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So what are we having for Halloween then?conv

Especially as we’ve had everything from hellhounds—why do you think terriers are called terriers? Because they are obviously TERRIfying. Yes, to reiterate we’ve had hellhounds–ok terriers– cannibals, witches,  not to mention,  paranormal writers. Oh and Miss Nikki Dee Houston and her blazing hot fireman. Wait till you see my next blogpost on that one.

Today…we are having……………. conv

Actually, we’re not. I lied. But we are having riders. Cowboy ones, here today courtesy of the fabulous, the wonderful. best selling author, Adrienne deWolfe, who I got to know earlier this month when she met dah Wolf, my Judas Bride hero the Black Wolf out on book tour. Maybe Adrienne hasn’t got a drop of Scots blood in her veins, I decided a girl who loves a man in a kilt should get to be an honorary Celt. After all maybe she does have that blood. Who am I to argue when she makes such a great Scot? Adrienne_deWolfe_Author

Adrienne isn’t just a best seller, an award winner 48 times over,  AND an honorary Celt, a pretty face either, she knows every hot tip going when it comes to writing, which is why I’m thrilled she’s come along today to share some, especially how to create……..

TEXAS COWBOYS AND LAWMEN: HEROES TO SIGH FOR

By Adrienne deWolfe

I absolutely love writing about Texas characters!

(And if Texas cowboys would just trade in their dusty chaps for nice, knee-high kilts, I would be the happiest Romance writer in the world.  Maybe even happier than Shehanne, who gets to write about yummy lairds all day.)conv

Seriously, though.  I don’t think any writer can live in Texas and not get caught up in the “romance” of the Old West.  To this day, Texas legislators battle over water rights.  CEOs wear cowboy boots at board meetings.  Property owners get tax breaks if they graze livestock in their yards.  Images of longhorns and bluebonnets dominate the walls of swanky hotels and shopping malls.

Trio_Wild_Texas_Nights

As you’ve probably gathered, living in Texas is like living a part of history!  It’s the perfect place for a Western Historical Romance author, like me.  (Did you know that Texas is the only state in the United States that became a self-governing country?)My Wild Texas Nights series features two lawmen (Texas Outlaw, Texas Lover) and a cowboy (Texas Wildcat).

My novella-in-progress (Shady Lady) features a cowboy who moonlights as a gunslinger; and Devil in Texas (Book 4, Velvet Lies series) will feature an outlaw who goes under cover for the Texas Rangers.

Researching Old West lawmen for my Wild Texas Nights and Velvet Lies series was a real hoot.   I learned that Texas Rangers adhere to a VERY strict dress code:conv

  • They can only wear white or gray cowboy hats.  (That’s right.  No black Stetsons for the good guys.)
  • They MUST pin their badges over their hearts. (Many a Ranger’s noble tin star has stopped a bullet and saved a lawman.)
  • And — get this – modern-day Rangers still track and collar livestock rustlers!

I get lots of email from folks – er, I mean readers (in the British/Scottish vernacular) –  about my Wild Texas Nights series.  The biggest debate appears to be which of the heroes is more lovable:   Cord Rawlins (U.S. Deputy Marshal from Texas Outlaw); Wes Rawlins (Texas Ranger from Texas Lover); or Zack Rawlins (Cowboy from Texas Wildcat.)

I probably shouldn’t confess that I have a favorite Rawlins brother.  (I mean, they’re ALL children whom I slaved to give birth to, know what I mean?)conv

But one of them sings.  AND cooks.  AND has red hair.  So I’m a goner for him, natch.  (Fortunately, he shows up in all three books in my Wild Texas Nights series!)

Here’s a book excerpt that features my favorite Rawlins brother.  I hope ya’ll like it!

Texas Lover

Chapter Excerpt

By Adrienne deWolfe

Rorie blew out her bedroom lamp and headed down the stairs. She avoided the creaking floorboard in the dining room, more out of habit than necessity, and approached the kitchen door. She was intending to fetch the basket in which she collected eggs each morning, but the sound of voices stopped her.

“You got that batter stirred up, Topher?”

“Yeah, but…” The nine-year-old sounded mutinous. “I don’t see why we got to do it. Men don’t cook. That’s women’s work.”

Wes’s chuckle floated out to her. “And just who do you think cooks for the cattlemen, the Rangers, and the buffalo hunters when there aren’t any womenfolk on the trail?”

A traitorous smile stole across Rorie’s face.

She edged forward, her footsteps muffled by the rattle of pans, and furtively poked her head around the corner. What she saw nearly left her choking on amusement.

The kitchen was in shambles. A bucket had been overturned beneath the sink, and one of the window curtains was twisted and wrinkled as if a small hand had grabbed it, probably to haul Topher up onto the sideboard to steal cookies. That hypothesis would explain why all the jars and bottles were in disarray and why an empty cookie tin lay beneath a bench.

The picture grew more comical. On the table, nestled between little mountains of flour, were several discarded egg shells, each dripping the last of their remains into the powdery residue sprinkled across the floor.

In fact, flour seemed to be everywhere. It decorated the milk pitcher in the imprint of a large masculine hand; it trailed footsteps to the butter churn and Ginevee’s prized rack of spices; and it made Topher look like a ghost—or rather a raccoon, since his big blue eyes stared out from a pasty mask.

At the moment, Wes’s back was turned to her. But after he slipped his head into the bib of Ginevee’s apron, Rorie saw he had not been left untouched. The flour storm had blown into the crevices of his rolled-up sleeves and had rained down on his hair, giving him a sort of confectioner’s halo. She had to clap a hand over her mouth to hold back a giggle when he brushed a rakish curl off his forehead, leaving a smear of white in its place. Then he grabbed a bowl and began filling it with the flour mountains, sweeping them off the table with his forearm and into the bowl.

Topher’s brows furrowed, dribbling a few flakes of flour into the batter he was stirring. “Just what are slabberdabs, anyway?”

With a deft flick of his wrist, Wes broke an egg into his bowl. “Why, they’re my pa’s prized trail flapjacks. Pa passed the secret on to my brother, Cord, and Cord passed it on to Zack and me. Now I’m letting you in on the recipe. It’s a time-honored tradition, son, and no women can ever know about it.”

He fixed Topher with a stern stare. “You’re going to have to take a pinky oath.”

Topher’s eyes nearly bugged out. “Gee, that’s serious!”

This time, Rorie clapped both hands to her mouth as Wes nodded gravely.

“Do you hereby swear to take to your grave the Rawlins brothers’ secret slabberdab recipe?”

Topher linked his smallest finger with Wes’s. “Ain’t no woman going to pry it out of me until the worms eat out my eyeballs.”

Rorie’s mirth lodged in her throat when she heard a footstep behind her. She turned guiltily, blushing to think that one of the other orphans had caught her eavesdropping. Instead she recognized the squat, round form of Ginevee. Rorie hastily pressed a finger to her lips, grinning as she beckoned her friend closer.

Meanwhile, Topher was standing on a chair, straining to get a better view of Wes’s bowl. “Whatcha got in there? Another secret recipe?”

“Naw. Just some biscuits. I could be making huckydummy, though, if I had raisins.”

“We got raisins,” Topher said brightly. Jumping back down to the floor, he blazed a trail through the flour drifts and stood on tiptoe to haul a tin container down from the shelves. “How many raisins you need?” he called as the metal lid clattered onto the floor.

“Well,” Wes said thoughtfully, raising his spoon and watching the batter plop back into the bowl. “We got eight hungry people coming to breakfast, and I reckon they’ll want at least two biscuits each. I figure we’ll need about ten raisins per person; so how many does that make, Topher?”

The enthusiasm on Topher’s face dwindled to confusion. “I don’t know.” He scowled. “Sixteen?”

Ginevee nudged Rorie as if to say, “That boy hasn’t been doing his multiplication tables.” Rorie shrugged helplessly. Topher had known the answer to eight-times-ten two weeks ago.

“No,” Wes said gently. “Try again. Eight tens are how many?”

Topher’s chin jutted. “I ain’t any good at numbers.”

“You want to know a secret?” Wes winked. “I’m not either.”

The tenseness eased from Topher’s shoulders. “You’re not?”

“Nope. That’s why I made up a song to help me. Want to hear it?”

Topher nodded eagerly. Grinning, Wes sang:

Grisly’s in the honeycomb,

Queen bee, she’s a bawlin’,

Hound dog treed a cougar cat,

and kitty’s up there squallin’.

In spite of Wes’s total disregard for pitch, Rorie recognized the tune because it belonged to a childhood game she had played in Cincinnati. Wes had taken liberty with the lyrics, though. Either that or he was yodeling the Texas version, because she couldn’t remember singing about grizzly bears or cougars in Ohio.

Grinning from ear to ear, Topher threw back his head and helped Wes finish the refrain:

Ten times 5 is 50, ten times 6 is 60;

Ten times 7 is 70, ten times 8 is 80.

The combination of squeaky soprano and rusty baritone was so awful, so wonderfully blessed awful, that Rorie couldn’t help herself. She snickered.

Ginevee, who was the county’s uncontested fiddle-playing champion, covered her ears and did the same.

The next thing Rorie knew, the two of them were howling with laughter, clutching their sides, and staggering against the wall for support.

“Uh oh,” Topher warned in a mortified whisper. “Women!”

About Adrienne deWolfe

Adrienne deWolfe is a #1 best-selling author and the recipient of 48 writing awards, including the Best Historical Romance of the Year. She is excited to announce that she will be donating a portion of her royalties from her current series, Velvet Lies, to urban reforestation efforts.

Fascinated by all things mystical, Adrienne writes a weekly blog about dragons, magic, and the paranormal at http://MagicMayhemBlog.com to help her research her Epic YA Fantasy series. She also writes a weekly blog featuring tips about the business of writing at http://WritingNovelsThatSell.com. She enjoys mentoring aspiring authors and offers professional story critiques with her book coaching services.

Follow Adrienne deWolfe

Believe me folks it only remains for me to thank the lovely Adrienne AND to say you really should check out her http://WritingNovelsThatSell.com. site. The tips are invaluable.  OH and Happy Halloween one and all.conv