The New Year’s Eve Club – Five women. One night. One year to get it right.
Terry Irene Blain
Borough's Publishing Group
On New Year’s Eve five women friends make a pact to meet next New Year’s with a man who meets the qualities of Mr. Right. Practical school teacher Sarah Alexander decides she’d like a little adventure. With her summer job teaching child actors on a western movie set, she just might get more than she bargained for. Cowboy stuntman Kit Stewart is adventure with a capital A.
A hand touched Sarah’s arm. “Yes?” she turned and there he was. Kit Stewart, the man who saved her from certain harm her first day on the film set. The man who continued to intrude on her thoughts. At least this time he wasn’t mad.
Darn if his half-smile didn’t make her heart thump just as hard today as almost being run down by galloping horses had that first day.
Still in cowboy garb, he thumbed back his hat in a gesture she’d seen a million times in the movies. “I wanted to say I’m sorry for yelling at you the other day.
An apology. How gentlemanly. And unexpected. She supposed it was her turn.
“I wasn’t watching where I was going. I’m, ah, new to all this. ”
His smile got even bigger drawing an answering grin from her.
“I’m Kit, the stunt coordinator.” He held out his hand.
She accepted his gesture, allowed his fingers, warm and just a little rough, to wrap around hers. “I’m Sarah, the school teacher.” She winced, “That sounds so, I don’t know.” She usually wasn’t at such a loss for words. But standing here with a low grade current running from his hand to hers caused her thoughts to scatter on the pine scented breeze.
He grinned. “I’ve always liked school. And school teachers.”
Wow, her heart kicked up another beat. She could actually feel the sparks flying between them. Were his nerves sizzling like hers? She took a breath and withdrew her hand, hoping to regain her composure. “I accept your apology and I hope you accept mine.”
“Of course.” He smiled then winked at her. “See you around.”
Oh lord, she hoped so.
He turned and walked away giving her a view of leather chaps outlining one fine butt.
Jillian: Welcome to Get Lost in a Story, Terry. First off, I'd love to share your bio with readers:
Terry Irene Blain was lucky enough to grow up in a large Midwestern family with a rich oral tradition. As a child she heard stories of ancestors’ adventures with Indians, wildlife, weather and frontier life in general, so she naturally gravitated to the study of history, completing a BA and MA and teaching history at the college level. Married to a sailor, now retired, she’s had the chance to live in various parts of the country as well as travel to foreign places such as Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland. She currently writes historicals and contemporaries set in the American West.
Jillian: How often do you get lost in a book?
Terry: If I’m really into a book I don’t see the words on the page, just the ‘film’ of the visual images of the story in my mind. What John Gardner calls the ‘fictive dream’. As an example I remember a story my Western Civilization teacher told when I was in college. He’d gone to school on the GI bill after WWII, and one of his neighbors was a southern girl married to a friend of his from Ohio. The story goes that the wife was reading Gone with the Wind when her husband came home and asked what was for dinner. She’d been so into the book that she slammed the book shut and said, “Get it yourself, you damn Yankee.” That's getting lost in a book! I only hope that my stories can do that for a reader (or two!). I often read historicals, and I’ve had my husband ask me a question and I’ll look up and it takes me a few seconds to come back several centuries where I was to the present so I can answer his question.
Terry: For me, the story-telling is easier. I think this comes from teaching history, where you really are telling as story. You tell about Henry VII and all his wives, or about George Washington and the American Revolution, or the hoplite phalanx and how it connects to democracy. When you can make your lecture around a person/character or an event, you can relate it to something that resonates with the student. I can ‘see’ the story in my head and never am really sure that I get what I see translated on to the page so that the reader sees exactly what I see. And I guess the reader doesn’t have to see exactly what I see, as long as they enjoy the story.
Terry: I’m not one of those authors who say they started writing early. Really the first story I wrote was Kentucky Green, my first historical novel. I taught US History and Western Civilization in at the college level, and to me teaching history is really storytelling to keep the class interested.
Jillian: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Terry: Humm? My parents tell me I learned to read at an early age, around five or six, but don’t really remember actually reading any of the children’s stories I remember. So I’m going to say the first book I really remember reading was Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom. Its set in England in the Lake District, and it’s about the four children’s adventures during the summer and the adventure they have with their sailboat, The Swallow. The Amazons are two sisters that also have a sailboat. All the action and adventure is from the children’s point of view, and the adults are very much background characters.
Jillian: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Terry: Both of my grandmothers drank tea, so I leaned to drink tea instead of coffee. I remember my one grandmother saying, “Unless the kettle boiling be, filling the tea pot spoils the tea.” So I’m very particular about my tea. I actually order my tea from a company in Canada, and make it with boiling water in a tea pot. I admit that I do use tea bags instead of loose tea. My usual tea is a black and green blend with a little sugar to bring out the flavor. If it’s a stronger tea, then I have used a little milk (and no, I have no opinion as to whether the tea or the milk should go in to the cup first).
You’ll notice in The New Year’s Eve Club that Sarah (my character) does drink tea. Jackie Leigh Allen (A Real Man) had Sarah drinking Earl Grey tea in the draft of her ms. and I asked her to change it as I really hate Earl Grey. So to make our stories match, Jackie changed her manuscript so The New Year’s Eve Club novellas would be in sync. Thanks, Jackie.
Jillian: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Terry: I like to watch television in the evenings and do counted cross stitch. I’m currently working on a cross stitch birth announcement for our first grandchild due in June.
Terry: I guess the play list for reading would be the same as I listened to while writing. When I wrote my historicals, I did search for a good soundtrack for writing the story. As an example I used the soundtrack for The Last of the Mohicans when writing Kentucky Green. For Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold which is set in Durango in 1888, I found a CD called Durango Saloon. CD covers – Durango Saloon, Last of the Mohicans
However, since Sarah’s Cowboy is a contemporary, I really didn’t search for specific music. Since most of Sarah’s Cowboy takes place on a western movie set, I just listened to the country station, and used the songs that the station was currently playing. I do mention a couple of specific country songs in Sarah’s Cowboy.
Jillian: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Terry: My favorite movie is Red River (1948). It’s a classic western with John Wayne and Montgomery Cliff. It’s about the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas (a very fictionalized version). I saw the movie on television when I was a young. Not only does it have cowboys, but it’s a coming of age story, a revenge story and a romance. (Red River ranked #5 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the “Western” genre.)
Could this be why all my heroes have been cowboys (to name another movie)? Perhaps this is why when we five authors brainstormed the characters and stories for The New Year’s Eve Club, I chose a stuntman in a western movie for the hero in Sarah’s Cowboy?
Terry has a question for commenters: Who is your favorite cowboy hero or your favorite book/movie set in the west? Terry is giving away an ebook copy of SARAH'S COWBOY to one lucky commenter.
Here's where you can find Terry online:
Website: http://www.terryireneblain.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerryBlainAuthor
***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.