Horses, writing and happy endings


Shhh…. I love a happy ending.

Why am I whispering? Because I’m a mystery author and mystery authors are all about mystery, suspense, danger, and dead bodies, right?

Right. And …

Truth be told, sure — a satisfying ending is one that puts the world back to rights and has justice and right coming out on top, if sometimes a little battered in the process. But …

That happy ending can also mean two people find each other and sparks fly.

The reader in me loves sparks, too, especially happy ones. There’s nothing like passion to hook me into a story. Nothing like putting your heart on the line to keep those pages turning.

As a writer, it’s important I remember passion comes in many varied packages.

Thea Campbell, the protagonist of my series, is a passionate young woman. And not only does she have a sexy guy she’s passionate about (and would gladly throw herself in front of a speeding train for, if it meant saving his life), but she’s passionate about her family and her horse as well.

Her horse?

Yes. She has a special connection with her very special horse. You might even say a “psychic connection.” Yes, you could actually say that.

Many moons ago, when I conceived of the idea of a mystery series featuring a young woman, I gave her a horse. I know horses. In my away-from-the-computer life, I ride, teach and train dressage. I’ve been horse-crazy all my life. From the moment I could read a sentence I tracked down and read every book I could get my hands on with a horse in it. I was Alec Ramsey in the Black Stallion books, I rode with Billy and Blaze, loved Dorothy Lyons’ novels, devoured Dick Francis. I knew a horse had to be in my mysteries, and not just as scenery. The horse had to be a character, and so Blackie — short for The Black Queen’s Bishop — was born. Thea loves him, and Paul had better never, ever ask her to choose between him and Blackie. Not that he would. If you have an affinity for animals — particularly horses — you understand completely, and will recognize yourself in Thea’s heart.

The fourth of the Thea Campbell mysteries, BushWhacked, is due to be out in May and Blackie still plays a role — after all, Thea always has something to learn from him.

And, you may ask, what about the happy ending? Are sparks still flying between Thea and Paul? Even after four books?

Oh, my.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed — either with the sparks or the “justice accomplished” happy ending.

Happy reading!

Susan can be stalked, followed, and generally run to earth for a chat at these locations:

Twitter
Website: http://www.susanschreyer.com
Blog: Writing Horses http://writinghorses.blogspot.com
Blog: Things I Learned From My Horse http://thingsilearnedfrommyhorse.blogspot.com

All four of the Thea Campbell Mysteries are available in e-book format and trade paperback at the following locations:
Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/7ma39hm
Smashwords.com: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SusanSchreyer
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/susan-schreyer
And most e-book and trade paper back retailers

Susan is giving away her ebook  Death by a Dark Horse to one of the readers who leaves a comment.

Advertisements

Author Susan Schreyer here Monday, April 30

Author Susan Schreyer will be here to give you a sneak peek at her new novel Bushwhacked. This is the fourth novel in her Thea Campbell Mystery series. I am currently reading the first book, Death by a Dark Horse. If you love a good mystery spiced up with romance and written with humor and pathos, you are sure to enjoy this series. Be here Monday and hear what Susan has to tell you about Bushwhacked.

To learn more about Susan, her writing and her horses, please go to her web site at http://www.susanschreyer.com/

A little passion to start your weekend

A girl. A boat. A tradition.

Rosy Again!

I have decided to try something new as part of my adventure in blogging. I’m going to post excerpts from my books in progress. Your opinions are welcome and necessary. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

Chapter One
Rosy Again

He was sitting at the bar with one hand wrapped around a pint and the other on Peg Cooley’s right thigh when the door flew open with the ferocity of a rogue wave.
“There ya are, Daly,” an all too familiar voice shouted above the music session going on in the corner.
Shane swiveled around to meet his fate in the form of Rosy Connelly. One hundred pounds of fury in a bright yellow mackintosh, green Wellingtons, soaking wet and smelling like a dead mackerel on a summer’s day.
He lifted his pint in a mock toast. “I see ya dressed for the occasion.” He sniffed the air and added, “Ah, what’s that? Eau de sea bass?”
Peg giggled at his cleverness.
Rosy dripped defiantly on the wood plank floor. “You.” She pointed her index finger into his chest. “You are gonna marry me.”
Shane tried to feign calm the way he did when the boat was in trouble on a bad sea and he didn’t want to worry the crew. “Ah, ye hear this lads,” he said, turning to the group of men propping up the bar. “She fancies a husband, now.”
“I don’t fancy a husband and I don’t fancy you, you stinkin’ bottom feeder. And stop calling me ‘Rosy’.”
“It’s your name.” Shane set his empty pint glass down with a thump. Then he smacked his forehead in a parody of recollection. “Oh, now how forgetful of me. Our little Rosy went off to University and came back…Róisín.” He knew the way he pronounced her name in Irish would irk her even more…RHO-sheen.
“That’ll do,” she snapped.
And, as he suspected she didn’t look pleased. She looked like she was about to burst into flames. Spontaneous human combustion was not entirely out of the question where any Connelly was concerned. Shane thought he shouldn’t take a chance of her igniting a conflagration that would take down the best and only pub in Ballybeg.
“Do we get to discuss this proposal or have you already reserved the church?”
“Oh, we’re gonna discuss it alright.”
Shane looked around, quickly calculating the risks of letting Rosy have her say in a public place. Not to mention in front of every man in town.
She wasn’t inclined to wait for him to weigh the odds. “Let’s take a walk.”
“It’s bucketing,” he protested.
“Ah now, just a bit of good Irish weather.” She shot him a look of disdain as she headed for the door.
“Back in a flash mates,” he shouted to his companions and gave Peg a quick kiss on her cheek.
“You’ve got some explaining to do,” he said to Rosy through clenched teeth.
“Yeah…well, it’s your own fault, Shane Daly.” She shouted over her shoulder and kept walking. “Now, you’re stuck with me.”
Shane reached out and snagged her by the back of her collar. “Hang on here. If you’re up the pole, it for sure isn’t my doing.”
A red flush crept up her neck and pinkened her cheeks. “I’m not…pregnant!” Her hand swung out making contact with his jaw. “You feckin’ fool. You think I’m stupid?”
“Ow! Stupid? No. Insane? Completely.” He dared not mention he doubted any man would have the guts to get into her knickers.
“If you had a brain bigger than your left testicle, you would have remembered that I moved Da into the care home today.”
“Oh bloody hell.” He’d promised to help. “I’m sorry, Rosy. Hey, I’ll make it up to you. I’ll go over right now and help him get settled…I’ll…”
“Pull your head out of your backside long enough to listen to me. This isn’t about your helping out for an hour here or there. This is bigger than that.”
“Well, then tell me what the hell is going on.”
“You’re just gonna marry me. That’s all.”
“Maybe you are stupid,” he suggested and moved back a step in preparation of her hitting him again. “You’re like…like…”
“Like family? Is that what you were gonna say?”
“Uh…now that ya mention it.”
This time he wasn’t quick enough. She caught him in the ribs with her fist.
“Dammit, Rosy, stop hitting me.”
“I should kill you. If I’d let you drown when you fell off Cailleach Head, I wouldn’t have to marry you now.”
“Go way outta that. A man would have to be mental to hook up with you.”
She stuck her face as close to his as possible, considering he was a whole head taller. “The Róis Aris is my boat. I’m not sharing her with the likes of you.” Rosy turned and started to walk toward the pier where her father’s fishing boat was moored.
Shane jogged to keep up. “What’s the Aris got to do with this?”

Stay home and rest!!!

How often has your doctor, your husband, or your best friend given you that advice? And, how often have you fought the idea?

I am currently going through “post concussion” syndrome. For me it means I’m just a bit more out of touch with reality than usual.

I don’t really know what happened to me. One moment I was trotting quietly around the arena with my pretty little mare, happy as a clam, calm and relaxed. The next I was sitting on a step having lost several minutes of my life.That in itself would be frustrating, but to be told to rest, take it easy, not ride my horse, not drive, read or play my violin…that’s impossible.

I took it easy, didn’t drive for a couple of days, stayed off my horse for a few days. But, I’m a rider and that means I ride six days a week. There is a definite difference in my attitude toward life when I haven’t been on my horse for a few days. 

I do wear a helmet and, since I fell on mine, I bought a new one. I know there are still riders out there who say “my head is harder than the dirt” but, just so you know where I stand…it’s not!

I’ve ridden horses since I was a wee girl and I’ve taken my lumps but I’ve never been knocked unconscious before. I like my brain and I want to keep it as healthy as possible. It allows me to write my novels, play a few tunes on my fiddle and be an enthusiastic companion to the man I love. 

I’ll rest, but I’ll not overdo that either. I’ll ride and I will wear my helmet.

If you are a rider, or someone who loves a rider, and you have an opinion, I’d love to have you post your comments.

Got Cowboy?

Please welcome Helen Hardt to Clare’s Blog today. Helen is a multi-published author of romance fiction with a knack when it comes to scratching the dusty surface of a cowboy and finding the lover hidden there.
Helen is offering a free copy of her novel to one of you, so be sure to leave a comment or ask Helen a question.
Double click on the book cover to go to the publisher’s site and view Ivy League Cowboy and Helen Hardt’s other books.

Got Cowboy?

Who doesn’t love a hot cowboy? Especially one with an Ivy League brain to go with all that brawny hotness? Zach McCray is a cowboy first, though, and he stops at nothing to rope in his cowgirl. Zach stars in Ivy League Cowboy, the first in my McCray Brothers Series at Musa Publishing. If Zach leaves you panting and wanting more, check out his brothers, Dallas and Chad, in A Cowboy and a Gentleman and Rodeo Queen, respectively, also available at Musa. Enjoy the excerpt, and leave a comment to win your own copy of Ivy League Cowboy!

Dusty doesn’t fear the feisty bull…but his owner’s another story.

Dusty O’Donovan, an accomplished bull rider, isn’t afraid to ride El Diablo, a feisty stud whose owner, Zach McCray, is offering $500,000 to anyone who can stay on him for a full eight seconds. Though Zach refuses to let a woman ride his bull, he’s intrigued by the headstrong Dusty, who he last saw when he was thirteen and she was six. Sparks fly when they’re together, but will Dusty’s secrets tear them apart?

Excerpt:

Infuriating. Sexist Pig. Idiot genius who didn’t care about proper English usage.
But oh, could the man kiss.

From the first second, refusing wasn’t an option. The unimaginable sensation of his mouth pressed to hers overrode the rational part of Dusty’s brain. His lips were warm, unexpectedly soft, and laced with the robust boldness of his after dinner Irish coffee. The bewitching friction as he nibbled at her mouth enticed her lips to open.

And then it was magic. The woodsy spiciness of the coffee, the tangy storm of the Irish Whiskey, and something else… Something unique and indescribable. Zach. His tongue danced around hers, and her legs trembled beneath her. As if on cue, one strong arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her to him. Every cell in her body screamed at her to drive into him, to deepen the kiss, but she was frightened. She barely knew him. So she began to pull away.

His strength defeated hers. “Kiss me back, darlin’,” he whispered against her chin. “Please.”

It was the please that did it. Somehow, she knew instinctively that Zach McCray didn’t utter that word very often, if at all. Weak-kneed and aroused, she thrust her tongue into the moist warmth of his mouth, and she was lost.

She’d done her share of kissing in the past, but never had she felt such an adventurous surge of need and desire. The frantic necking in parked cars, the careless goodnight kisses, the lazy exploration—nothing compared to this urgency, this demand. As their tongues tangled together, she moved her hands upward, framing his face. Her fingers toyed with the roughness of his night beard, the sleekness of his jaw line. Part of her was barely cognizant of him cupping her cheeks, his thumbs caressing her, yet another part was hyper-aware of his touch, his mastery of her.

When the frenzy between them slackened slightly, he removed his lips from hers and trailed them across her cheek, down her neck, then to her ear, tracing it with his tongue, nipping the soft lobe. She kissed his neck and inhaled his scent. Cloves. And pine. The outdoors. Heavenly. Faint moans met her ears, and she realized they were coming from her throat.
“Dusty.” Zach’s voice was husky, smoke-filled.

She moaned again as his mouth found hers. Unrestrained desire took her over, and she thrust her hips against him, feeling the strength of his arousal. She imagined him inside her, filling her, pleasuring her with that gorgeous body. She had never wanted a man like this. She imagined him naked, on top of her, doing things no man had ever done to her.
She let out a disappointed rasp as he broke the kiss and headed for her ear again. “God, you’re beautiful,” he whispered. “Let’s go inside.”

“Oh yes, yes.” Dusty tunneled her fingers through his silky hair, leading him back to her mouth.

His tongue pushed into her again, then retreated. “Now, darlin’. Or I take you right here.”

What’s your pleasure?

Kilted highlanders, Pirates from the high seas, cowboys? What kind of hero do you long for in your next romantic read?
If your fantasy hero wears chaps and says “yes, ma’am”, mark your calendar for April 16. Author Helen Hardt will be here to share her fun and steamy romance series.

Previous Older Entries