A woman who loves Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under is a woman after my own heart! Meet Kaye Spencer, our Best of the West featured author.
She's sharing an excerpt today from a short story in an anthology released by Prairie Rose Publications. Generous to a fault, Kaye is giving away up to TEN copies of this wonderful story for those who leave a comment.
Here's the blurb:
Widower Simon Driscoll needs a wife to get custody of his grandchildren. Tessa Morris needs a fresh start and a new reputation. Desperate men and desperate women sometimes take desperate measures. But when it all plays out, can she be A Permanent Woman?
Excerpt from A Permanent Woman
Simon walked to the window, rolling his shoulders as he crossed the room, trying to ease the ache at the base of his neck. He gazed out, looking at everything, yet at nothing in particular. An old saying came to mind. Married in haste, we may repent at leisure. He sure as hell hoped not.
“Excuse me. Mr. Perlman directed me here. I’m responding to an advertisement in the Matrimony Courier. Are you Simon Driscoll?”
Simon closed his eyes, fortifying himself to face another woman with a façade of interest. “Yes, I’m Simon Driscoll. Your name?”
He opened his eyes, frowning as he mentally ticked off the names on the list. Still gazing out the window, he asked, “Did you send a letter under a different name? I don’t recall a Mrs. Morris.”
“Miss. Miss Morris. I’ve never been married and, no, I didn’t send a letter. In fact, I came across your advertisement but five days ago.”
Simon turned. “I’m sorry, but the deadline—” The words died on his lips. Ben was in the doorway, pointing to the woman and nodding.
“Mr. Driscoll, is something wrong?” She followed Simon’s stare and looked over her shoulder right as Ben stepped out of the doorway.
His insides went topsy-turvy. Ben had a way with people. He couldn’t leave him to talk to this woman alone. No letter of introduction. He didn’t know anything about her, and he sure as hell didn’t know what to say.
“You’re quite pale, Mr. Driscoll. I think you should sit.”
He cut her a sidelong glance. She was close enough that he could feel her body heat, and the scent of her perfume made him a little lightheaded. When she took hold of his hand, the soft warmth of her touch made his heart leap into his throat. She led him to a chair and, situating herself beside him, positioned hers so their knees touched. His breath hitched, and he scooted his chair, which prompted her to move her chair even closer. He was too old for parlor games, and she seemed determined to make him uncomfortable with her casual familiarity. The other women had kept a safe, proper distance across the table barricade.
She filled a glass with water from the pitcher at hand and gave it to him. “Here, drink this. You’ll feel better.”
Dumbly, he accepted the water, but she didn’t let go when he wrapped his big hand around the glass, trapping her fingers under his. It gave him a start, and he released his grasp like he’d been burned. That’s when he looked at her. Really looked.
Colorado native Kaye Spencer writes sweet to spicy historical romances from her basement paradise in a small, rural town in the far southeastern corner of the state—no mountains in sight—just prairie dogs, buffalo grass, and glorious prairie sunsets. While drawn to cowboys and the Old West, all genres are within her story-crafting realm.
Kaye retired June 1, 2013 from a long career in public education, and she is enjoying the life as a full-time writer and spoiler of grandchildren. Kaye is also afflicted with ACD—Accumulative Cat Disorder—with no cure in sight. Kaye refers to herself as a lover of words, crafter of stories, and a hopelessly hopeful romantic. She is proud to be a flower among the ‘Roses’ at Prairie Rose Publications.
Website/Blog – http://www.kayespencer.com
Twitter – http://twitter.com/kayespencer
Amazon Author Central Page – http://www.amazon.com/author/kayespencer
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kayespencer
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kayespencer23
Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/KayeSpencer
YouTube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/kayespencer?feature=mhee
Newsletter – Front Porch Circular – http://ow.ly/Rwt7n
E.E.: How long have you been writing Western historical romances, and what drew you to the genre?
Kaye: My first published novel (currently out-of-circulation for second edition revision), Lonely Places, is a western romance I started writing when I was 21. Over the next twenty-nine years, which brought me roughly to the year it was published, I revisited the story time and again. As I matured, the story matured with me, all the while continuing to reflect—and sometimes mirror—my life at any given time.
Reading Louis L’Amour’s westerns, listening to Marty Robbins’ gunfighter ballads, watching the classic television westerns, and growing up on a cattle ranch near Fort Morgan, Colorado, all contributed to my love of the American Old West—truths and myths alike.
I’m drawn to writing within the historical genre for these reasons:
Every historical I write allows me to follow rabbits down research rabbit holes. I've discovered the most intriguing and amazing tidbits of history in my historical research Wonderland. Researching is my ‘happy place’.
*Living vicariously in the past
While I’m writing a story set in the past, I get to travel to a different place and time and live in someone else's shoes, so-to-speak. I’m like Anthony Marston in Quigley Down Under: “…Some men [women] are born in the wrong century.”
*Challenge of inconveniences
I like writing stories that lack modern day conveniences. Without the amenities we’re accustomed to nowadays, there are so many juicy complications for the characters to face, deal with, and overcome that otherwise could be written away with a call on the cell phone or by hopping an airplane. Just imagine the possibilities…
E.E.: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Kaye: Beauty and the Beast. Whether it’s the Disney version or the original folk tale, there are five important life lessons to take away from this story:
1) Inner beauty is more important than outward appearances.
2) Don’t make hasty judgments based on first impressions.
3) Let go of the life you’ve planned so the life awaiting can unfold.
4) Whether giving or receiving, kindness soothes the soul and heals the beast within each of us. 5) Find happiness and serenity in what you have, not in what you think you need.
E.E: What was the first story you remember writing?
Kaye: The first story I wrote was about a multi-generational rodeo family. I wrote it across the span of my high school years, which was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The story was somewhat autobiographical as I was, at the time, rodeoing with a real multi-generational rodeo family, and I wrote our experiences into the story---and then killed off the entire cast of characters in a massive car wreck at the end of the story. Fortunately (yes, fortunately because it was terrible writing), this hand-written story was a casualty of one of my moving expeditions some thirty years ago. I would be mortified to have it show up now.
E.E.: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Kaye: It would be inconceivable to choose any movie but The Princess Bride. Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.... Now, I don’t mean to brag, but I do speak fluent Princess Bride movie lines.
Kaye's favorite movie line is from Quigley Down Under. At the end of the movie, Quigley outdraws Marston in a gunfight and, as Marston dies, Quigley looks down at him and says, "I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it."
E.E.: Who’s your favorite villain?
Kaye: This is an interesting question, because there are villains and then there are villains. My idea of a villain is the character you love to hate and hate to love. That character for me is Hannibal Lecter. In my own twisted way, I admire him for his intelligence, charm, wit, unique personal code of acceptable behavior, and his devotion to Clarice Starling despite his murderous, cannibalistic, and manipulative personality.
E.E: Is writing or storytelling easier for you?
Kaye: Storytelling, especially telling stories to children. When I get going on a storytelling adventure, I throw myself into it whole body with arms waving, facial expressions, different voices for each character… I think I was a traveling bard in a previous life.
E.E: If you were given a chance to travel to the past, where would you go and specifically, why?
Kaye: I would go to William Shakespeare’s London (minus the Black Plague, of course), and spend time with Shakespeare to learn everything he is willing to *teach* me about word-crafting and storytelling. I would experience the theater as he knew it from the production and playwriting side of it, and I would also watch performances of his plays from the audience’s perspective.
E.E: What’s your favorite kid joke?
Kaye: I have two favorite groaners.
A string walks into a bar with a few friends and orders a beer. The bartender says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve strings here."
The string goes back to his table. He ties himself in a loop and messes up the top of his hair. He walks back up to the bar and orders a beer.
The bartender squints at him and says, "Hey, aren't you a string?"
The string says, "Nope, I'm a frayed knot."
A businessman was confused about a bill he had received, so he asked his secretary for some mathematical help. "If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?" The secretary replied, "Everything but my earrings."
Over the next few months, Kaye will republish her backlist of novels. In the meantime, she has several short stories available.
A Permanent Woman (from Lassoing a Mail-Order Bride Anthology) http://www.amzn.com/B014085RYQ/
A Gift of Christmas Hope (from Wild Texas Christmas Anthology) http://www.amzn.com/B011SBZBLM/
Cowboys, Creatures, & Calico Vol. 2 (Kaye’s story: For Love of a Brystile Witch - coming soon as a single read) http://www.amzn.com/B00NVXNT5G
A Holiday Anthology, Vol. 1 (Kaye’s story: Gifts to Treasure)
A Holiday Anthology, Vol. 2 (Kaye’s Story: Romance Valley)
Kaye has a question for your today, and she'll be giving away up to to 10 copies of her short story A Permanent Woman to those who answer:
Since watching movies is one of my *down time* activities, what is your favorite movie and why?