Please help me welcome the lovely KC Klein to the blog today, talking about a writer’s inspiration. Also, make sure you leave a comment and your email to be entered in her giveaway : )
Finding Inspiration In Texas
First, I wanted to thank Amber for allowing me to come on her blog and do a guest post. What better place to talk about my latest book in the Texas Fever series, Hustlin’ Texas, than at a blog dedicated to romance? Amber has been so kind to work around my schedule and all my last minute postponements. Thank you so much Amber for working with me. Your patience has been amazing. J
A few years ago, before I even thought about writing a series, I started thinking about a sweet little love story that was centered on a headstrong young woman who had fallen for the cowboy next door. Add to it my heroine’s absolute passion for horses and a desperate rancher, and I had myself a story. So naturally when I started writing, I had to place my book in a small town in Texas. Well, the problem was I live in Arizona and had never been to Texas.
I was grateful to learn that the southern part of Texas has similar landscaping as Arizona and after interviewing and following around some local horse ranchers I was able to pull off a realistic Texas setting. But…I still felt the need to visit Texas and get the feel of the local flavor.
My best friend, Pam Silva, took pity on me and invited me to stay with her family who lived in the small town of Whitesboro, Texas.
I learned a lot. I toured both small and large working horse ranches, saw long-horned cattle up close, found out in Texas that just about everything can be fried…catfish, hushpuppies, okra, sweet hushpuppies, and that no one I saw seemed as interested in pool like the woman on my cover. (What a shame.)
I also found that I wasn’t the first author, by far, to be inspired by Texas. In the Stockyard Museum in Fort Worth there is a wedding dress on display called the “Bad Luck Wedding Dress.” Due to technical difficulties I lost my pictures of the dress, but found a photo and the history of the gown on the museum website. Though you can’t tell from this photo all I have to say is that the women back then must have been very, very tiny.
Alongside the dress was a romance novel by Geralyn Dawson who was inspired to write an entire series around the legend of this dress. Here’s her book cover.
How cool is that to find your book kept in the Stockyard Museum alongside the actual dress that inspired your book—if only. (Insert heartfelt sigh here)
Well, maybe my book won’t make it into a museum, but I hope it will make its way into readers’ homes and hearts.
Thank you for letting me share a tiny bit of what inspired me in Texas. Below is the blurb and teaser of my latest book, Hustlin’ Texas. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, leave a comment below with your email address and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an e-copy of Hustlin’ Texas.
Thanks again and happy reading.
Jett nodded, then glanced around the crowded bar. When he turned his gaze back on her, a person would be hard pressed to describe his eyes as anything sweet or candy like. “I was hoping you’d be up for a little game of nine-ball.”
Nikki took a sip from her beer and raised her brow in question. Nine-ball was the hustler’s game. It was short and quick, without all the rules of straight pool.
He nodded his head toward the tables in the back. “I heard you played.”
“Then you heard wrong.” She took another sip, eying him the whole time. “I’ve given it up for Lent.”
The corner of his mouth hinted at a smile. “Found God, have you?”
“Among other things.”
Jett glanced to the tables, then back to her. “One game. No money.”
Nikki shook her head. “I don’t play for fun. No thrill in it.”
He swallowed, and she could see his jaw work. “Then we’ll play for a favor. A debt. You up for a little more red in your ledger?”
She didn’t want to ask, not really, but gambling was too deep in her blood not to hear the stakes. “What’s the favor?”
He smiled, not the golden boy smile she’d come to know, but instead one that lacked any charm at all. “Well, Texas, that’s the thrill part. You don’t know until the end. Anything goes. No boundaries.”
Her heart did a funky jump-start in her chest at the possibilities, but her game face was ice-cold. “No limits?”
“None. Unless that’s too much heat for you? We could place some ground rules if you want to play it safe.”
Nikki knew what Jett was doing. It was so obvious, and yet, there was that achingly familiar thrill that zipped up her spine and buzzed in her blood. Some families were predisposed toward red hair or near-sightedness. The Logans were addicts. Throw a dart at the family tree and you’d hit a vice—drinking, smoking, shopping. You name it, and the Logans could turn anything into a compulsion. But really, under all the addictions, there was only one. One vice that was as indicative of a Logan as dark hair, brown skin, and blue eyes.
It was very basic, really. The Logans were gamblers.
There were stories as far back as her grandfather, if stories in the Logan family could be believed, who won his first car—a 1950 Cadillac—on the toss of a coin. Then there was her father, Dakota, who’d bet on every sports game invented, and even ones that hadn’t, like golf without clubs. Her father had once bet a hundred dollars on his ability to throw a golf ball through the eighteen holes. Legend had it, he’d won that hundred, but lost the money in the same night in an “I can piss into a can from the second story” contest.
So Jett knew what he was doing. And Nikki was smart enough to know this was more than a simple favor and way more than a simple game of pool. She also knew something else. Jett was no match for her in this game.
She hid her smile with a sip of her drink. The thrill of a “sure thing” was headier than any shot of tequila, more exciting than a leather-jacketed man on a motorcycle.
“Oh, I can take the heat,” she said.
“But can you handle this much heat?”
“Oh, I can handle it. Because we both know I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back and blindfolded.”
His eyebrows arched. “Then you’d best start figuring out what your favor will be.”
Nikki put down her bottle, no longer needing the buzz. “Already have.” Her car fixed…for starters. “You really think you can beat me at pool?”
God, he was so cocky. It was almost tragic.
His eyes narrowed and there was absolutely no humor in his voice when he spoke. “Oh, I’m betting on it.”
BIO: KC Klein has lived most of her life with her head in the clouds and her nose buried in a book. She did stop reading long enough to make a home with a real life hero, her husband, for over sixteen years. A mother of two children, she spends her time slaying dragons, saving princesses, and championing the belief in the happily-ever-after. Her debut novel, Dark Future, is a finalist in the 2012 Prism contest and has been honored with a reviewer’s choice award. Her other titles include a sci- fi, 2012 RONE award winning romance anthology, Hotter on the Edge, and the first two books in her Texas Fever contemporary romance series, Texas Wide Open, and Hustlin’ Texas. KC loves to hear from readers and can be found desperately pounding away on her laptop in yoga pants and leopard slippers or more conveniently at www.kckleinbooks.com. Sign for her quarterly newsletter for updates on her latest releases, sales, and free giveaways.
Blurb for Hustlin’ Texas:
“Sassy, sexy, fun, but sweet at heart, KC Klein knows how to spin a tall Texas yarn.”—Lori Wilde
“A sexy read. KC Klein’s hero is as hot as a Texan summer’s day. KC is an author to watch..” —Rachel Gibson
Only one person in Oak Groves is happy to see bad girl Nikki Logan back in town…
Oak Groves’ most beloved bachelor, Jett Avery, lives by a simple set of rules. Getting involved with a complicated woman isn’t one of them. He learned that the hard way two years ago when he spent one of the most incredible nights of his life with Nikki Logan. But then she hightailed it out of town, never to be seen again—until now. It might be time to break one of those rules…
Picking up the pieces of her life, Nikki is back in Oak Groves, face to face with the one man she’s done her best to forget. But she has her reasons for being here—and they don’t include winding up in bed with Jett. Especially since he’ll never forgive her once he finds out the truth about why she’s back…
Buy links for Hustlin’ Texas:
Barns and Nobel: http://kckleinbooks.com/BNHustlinTexas
Blurb for TEXAS WIDE OPEN:
“A tortured hero, a love that defies distance and time…this is a book you won’t soon forget.” –Cat Johnson
Katie Harris loved growing up on a ranch. She had her horse, the beautiful Texas prairie, and Cole Logan, the cowboy next door. But there are a lot of secrets hidden under a Texas sky…
Katie always knew she’d marry Cole one day—until he broke her dreams and her heart. But now that Katie’s father is sick, she’s back home, older, wiser and nowhere near the love-sick fool she once was.
Cole knows Katie doesn’t want anything to do with him. But after so many years, he can’t pretend she’s no more than a neighbor. Holding his ground was hard enough when she was seventeen. Now that she’s her own woman, Cole’s heart doesn’t stand a chance…
“Passionate, gritty and fast paced…with a hot blooded, honorable hero to make every woman’s knees go weak.”—Diane Whiteside
Buy Links for TEXAS WIDE OPEN:
Barns and Noble: http://kckleinbooks.com/TexasWideOpenBN
Blurb for DARK FUTURE:
A woman caught between two futures…
Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go travel in time to save the world–and his life. Of course, her future self doesn’t tell her who he is just sends her into the darkness and straight into an alien invasion.
…must choose between the man who has her heart…
He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting military commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way for Smith to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy–slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the desire he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman.
…or the fate that saves the world.
As Kris and ConRad struggle to trust each other in a world on the brink of destruction, they each will have to face the ultimate choice of whether to fight or die… survive or forgive.
Buy Links for DARK FUTURE:
Amazon e-book: http://kckleinbooks.com/AmazonDarkFuture
Amazon print book: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Future-Kc-Klein/dp/0062117041
Avon Impulse: http://www.avonromance.com/buy/dark-future-epb/
Barns and Noble: http://kckleinbooks.com/BNDarkFuture
Links To Social Media:
Amazon Author page: http://kckleinbooks.com/AmazonAuthorPage