My guest today is the irrepressible Stephen Bly. I can’t resist a good Western, can you? Here’s Stephen:
The Lady Who Lingered Too Long
The working title for my new release was The Lady Who Lingered Too Long, to aim for female readers and to reveal the hero’s desire for a woman who’ll stick with him despite a turbulent lifestyle.
However, Center Point Publishers insisted on a classic western title: Creede of Old Montana. Which do you prefer? I’m stuck with the latter.
And so are my two heroines, who both remind me of the Bly family gals: got awesome smiles and stubborn as bulldogs.
One of them, Mary Jane Cutler, will mind. She’s threatened to kill Avery John Creede and will protest appearing in a story with his name on the cover. When Creede ignores this angry gal with the unlikely nickname of Sunny, she becomes more menacing. Yet another reason to watch his back.
Creede longs for peace and quiet. He’s arrived in Fort Benton, Montana, for a reunion with three army pals. While he waits for them, he buys a diamond ring in a velvet bag, just in case Carla Loganaire appears. She torments his dreams and memories. Her daddy made his fortune with imported glass, partnered with Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. Carla visited their NY house many times. As a girl, she had a crush on Elliot, not TeeDee (Teddy, Jr.).
But now she adores Creede. She calls him “Avery, dear” and fawns on him when they’re together. She reminds me of a Mary at the feet of Jesus, focused only on the one she loves. And Creede sees something sturdy in her he admires, beyond the elegance and sumptuous scent. She also offers him a settled life, in a social arena he has at times embraced. But missed communiqués keep them apart, even though sparks between them have raised a roof or two. Then, just as they get close again, she’s deceived by the charms of a truly bad hombre. Creede can’t let that happen.
By Chapter 8, Creede winds up on a 12 x 50 foot sandbar with the gun-toting Sunny and quite an eclectic cast crowded on this piece of land. When Sunny befriends a moose, she threatens me, the author, that she’ll quit the book if I continue to call her Moose Lady. Got to keep my characters happy. So, Creede disposes of the moose. The way he does it gets Sunny really riled up…again.
Can’t figure out if Creede’s naïve…or one smooth cowboy.
In the midst of the shooting, Creede manages to keep both ladies right where he wants them…or does he?
The whole time that Carla sweet-talks and soothes what ails him, Sunny jabs. He doesn’t tease well. She blurts out what she’s thinking, while Creede guards his feelings and thoughts. On the positive side, she proves to be a Martha type, able to handle most any situation with common sense solutions. He also learns that she’s a crack shot…and still more than ready to aim straight at him.
So, who do you think winds up with the ring?
On the trail,
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Author of 101 books, Christy Award winning Stephen Bly’s newest release is Creede of Old Montana, available October 2009. Order through your local bookstore, favorite online book outlet, public library, or www.BlyBooks.com “
Thanks, Stephen. It sounds like a winner!