Tell me a bit about you and what you write.
I fell in love with cowboys and the West at an early age, so western romance is my favorite genre to write, both contemporary and historical. High Lonesome is my second novel. It’s being released by The Wild Rose Press on April 17, 2009 in both E-book and print formats. My first book, Lucky in Love, is currently available from Asylett Press, and my two historical western romances are being published by Champagne Books in August (Delaney’s Crossing) and December (Outlaw Trail) of this year. I also have two short E-books published.
So tell us tell about one of your characters.
Let me share an "interview" with Carmen, a secondary character in my new contemporary western romance, High Lonesome. I decided she could explain what's happening at the ranch because she's very intuitive and a little nosey. She happily spends all her time in the kitchen, which is the heart of Scott Landry’s ranch house. She has been with the family since Scott was a boy and she knows everything that goes on at the ranch. She sees the interaction between her employer and the beautiful amnesiac, Beth, and she cares deeply for both of them—particularly Scott, who she loves like a son. She wants him to find true love again, but at the same time, she couldn’t bear for his heart to be broken—and falling for an amnesiac might cause that to happen.
Why this story?
I was inspired to write this book set on a southwestern guest ranch after attending a week-long cowgirl camp at a working cattle ranch in New Mexico (I’ve been there twice). I love horses and own three of them, so horses are always in my books because they can bond people; in this case, Scott, Beth and Willow. I’m also enamored by enchanting New Mexico, so the rugged mountains and desert landscape, breathtakingly beautiful and magical, are important components in this story.
I believe in romance and love at first sight, so I wanted to write a story about instant attraction and the deep personal connection that can happen when two people least expect it—and how true love, when it’s meant to be will be—even when the odds are stacked against it.
Here's what Carmen has to say about life on the ranch, Scott, and the situation he's found himself in.
Carmen—may I call you Carmen, or do you prefer Mrs. Rios?
Carmen is fine. I was married once, but it didn’t work out.
So, Carmen, I understand you’re the cook at the High Lonesome. That’s a guest ranch outside of Ghost Rock, New Mexico. Correct?
Si. People come to trail ride horses into the mountains and take in the beautiful scenery. My employer, Scott Landry, owns 7,000 acres here in Red Rock country. He inherited this ranch when his father passed away. I’ve been here for close to 30 years and have watched Mr. Scott grow from a gangly boy into a hardworking, responsible man.
I met him down at the barn when I drove in. He’s one handsome cowboy. (sigh…)
(Carmen laughs). Si. Some of our guests say he looks like that country singer, Keith Urban. A lot of our female guests leave here with crushes on him.
He’s not married?
No. His wife died several years ago.
Oh, that’s sad. She must have been very young.
Si. She was his world.
I also saw a little girl in a pink cowboy hat and boots riding a big black horse in the outdoor arena.
That’s Willow, Mr. Scott’s seven-year old daughter. That one’s seven going on seventeen. (Carmen shakes her head and chuckles). She keeps us in stitches all the time. She’s a little cowgirl who competes in barrel racing.
I understand you have a special guest staying here right now.
Si. (Carmen lowers her voice and whispers). Just the other day, Mr. Scott was driving home from town and came across this pretty young woman on the side of the road. It turns out she’d been attacked and left in the desert. And she has amnesia! Mr. Scott brought her here to the ranch to recuperate while his best friend, the sheriff of Ghost Rock, tries to discover her identity.
Wow! Can this woman remember anything at all about the attack?
No. She can’t even remember her name, so we call her Beth. Willow came up with that. I won’t tell you how. (She laughs again and her bosom jiggles). Beth is the sweetest person, and very pretty, with long dark hair and big green eyes. She has taken to ranch life like a catfish takes to water. She loves the horses, and she and Willow are growing so close. Beth and Mr. Scott are spending a lot of time together, too. (She winks). Yesterday they took a horse ride to the lake. I’m an old lady, but I still have eyes. I can tell they like each other—very much. The trouble is…
Mr. Scott deserves to find true love again. I can see Beth makes him very happy, but there are several complications. Her amnesia is only one problem, and it’s a big one.
What other complications are there?
(Carmen jumps up and turns off the skillet where bacon has been frying). I shouldn’t say. All I know is that Beth has been having flashbacks of a man that frighten her and she sees visions of a little girl. (Carmen makes the sign of the cross). I wonder if she’s married. And…there is someone else…well, I’ve already said enough. I’m not one to gossip.
The kitchen door swings open and a sexy man with sparkling blue eyes and unshaven cheeks strolls into the house. He’s wearing a denim shirt and dusty jeans and boots, a bandanna around his neck, and his hair is blonde and shaggy beneath his cowboy hat.
“Good mornin’, ladies.” He touches the brim of his hat to us and then hangs it on a hook, washes his hands and straddles a stool at the kitchen island.
Carmen hands him his plate and pretends to zip her lip. Seems our interview is over.
Thanks Stacey for sharing Carmen with us. The book sounds wonderful.
You can visit Stacey’s website for more information or to purchase her book.
A Note from Allison -
Occasionally, I'll be asking other authors to share some of their characters with us. Stop by often to learn more about some of my writing friends, their books and more about the trials and tribulations of writing romance.