Officer Series, The Officer and the Southerner

The Officer and the Southerner–Bob’s thoughts

To any of my new readers, please bear with me, this is a tradition in which I reveal my husband’s thoughts, edits, suggestions, etc about my upcoming release.

This is one of my most looked-forward to posts, so while it might frustrate some, it is usually comical.

Red Beauty

Here we go:

  • No, no, nooooo!!!!!!!
  • Is this right?
  • Delete this.
  • What a deceitful little minx!
  • Too spacey (unfortunately, this in an inside jest that only those who found me “right away” when my books first came out can relate to–to the good fortune of everyone else and their sensibilities, what he’s referring to no longer exists)
  • Soon-to-be, you mean?
  • Confusing
  • Snapping, not sapping, dear
  • And here’s trough, in place of through, again. What is this the third book? (At least! It’s a common typo.)
  • Something, not someone.
  • Helpmate? Isn’t what what the Amish call their spouse? (No, I think that’s helpmeet, dear.)
  • Oooh, that’s deep!
  • “At fault?” We men never really do think this of ourselves.
  • More like mutant than unique…
  • Shot the cat!
  • Mrs. Gordon loves a man who shares his pillows! (Yes, I do!)
  • Sounds like you’re referring to liquor.
  • That’s how a little kid says it.
  • OUCH!!!! DId you have to? (Of course I did!)
  • Big knife! Big, sharp knife!
  • I’m feeling faint…
  • This whole conversation is like a couple of chicks bickering… (And see, THIS is why I have him read it before anyone else does. He helps make the men more manly!)
  • Oh, this has to go. One word for you, actually two: Mrs. Cleansweep.
  • Hmm…
  • Such a comment would warrant a punch in the face. (See, more manly.)
  • Yeah, right. He can still get in trouble.
  •  This could be any number of species. (Thank you for the head’s up, Mr. Banks.)
  • No more rounders I beg you!
  • That’s not all she’s going to– (watch it, Mr. Gordon!)
  • Oh my!
  • Corny, corny, corny…
  • …accidental highlight…
  • Sure to become a Rose Gordon quote for the ages!
  • With his tongue…cleaning out her waxy canal. (Gross, just gross. That’s all I’m going to say about that.)
  • Buttocks, not derrière.
  • Your innuendo is unnecessary and unladylike!
  • Of course.
  • OOOh naughty suggestions, I wish you did such…
  • Instant classic!
  • We were just napping dot, dot, dot…

I hope you enjoyed his comments as much as I did!

In case anyone here is interested, on Friday from 2-6pm CST there will be a Release Party on Facebook for The Officer and the Southerner with games and prizes and all sorts of craziness! You’re all invited to come join. I’d love to see you there!!

This is a come and go event so don’t feel that you have to stay for the whole thing.

Officer Series, The Officer and the Southerner

Excerpt from The Officer and the Southerner

As the days are getting closer, I thought it only prudent, to post an exclusive excerpt of The Officer and the Southerner!

Red Beauty

 

May 1846

 

Jack tossed down his hat and shrugged out of his coatee. He slipped the button at the top of his shirt free and proceeded to unbutton each of his cuffs. It was too hot in here as it was, and he could hardly sit still long enough to finish his report about what he and his men had found when they’d ridden out to the Creek land last week. He scribbled down a few more words so the report looked lengthier and Colonel Lewis didn’t ask for more details Jack couldn’t remember. The men and women he’d visited seemed just fine. They had enough food and water and didn’t seem to give any indication that they had thoughts of attacking the fort and lynching those who lived here.

To his mind, all was fine.

At least where the Creeks lived. For him, personally, all was the furthest thing from fine. Not that it was bad, however. He was just…er…nervous.

Not necessarily a good nervous, but not a bad nervous, either. It was more like a mix of the two, but mainly good.

“Are you feeling well, Jack?”

Jack started. “Yes. Why?”

His friend Wes shrugged and idly scratched the brown hair just above his temple. “You just seem anxious.”

Of course he was anxious. After the better part of a year and a plethora of letters passing between them, Jack had finally convinced one Miss Elinor “Ella” Davis to come here as his mail order bride, and if he’d done his calculations correctly, today was the day she was set to arrive. Of course, nobody else knew of this yet, lest she reach Fort Smith, change her mind and not come. His gut tightened at the thought. “Everything’s fine,” he said as smoothly as he could.

“Hmmm,” Wes said before turning his attention back to the paper in front of him.

“Hmmm, what?” Jack asked, scowling.

“Nothing. I just find it odd that you keep glancing out the window every thirty seconds.”

Jack swallowed. He hadn’t meant to be so obvious. “I asked McCorkle to march my men this afternoon so I could finish this report. I want to make sure, by the time they come back, they still know how to march properly.”

Wes chuckled and Jack relaxed. All of the other officers here knew McCorkle couldn’t think more than half a step ahead of himself. To be quite honest and incredibly blunt, it was a miracle the man was able to dress himself in the morning. It seemed he needed direct orders to do just about anything, and heaven only knew what his men often talked him into letting them do because he was so easy to persuade. “If you wanted to ensure they stayed on task and actually learned something, you should have sent them with Gray, then.”

“I would have, but Gray said no.”

“Do you blame him?”

“If he wanted to eat that pastry, then he shouldn’t have left it unattended,” Jack said in his own defense.

Wes shook his head. “And that is why I am so glad I have a wife who can bake me pies and pastries whenever I ask, and not once every six months.”

A hint of a smile touched Jack’s lips. Ella could cook, too. “Allison wasn’t always so eager if I remember right.”

“No, she wasn’t,” Wes agreed. “She just had to learn. And thank heaven she did or else she’d surely have perished within a month if Mrs. Ridgely hadn’t helped her.”

Jack signed his name to his report and walked it over to Colonel Lewis’ desk so the man could find it easy enough and not come pestering Jack for it later. Because frankly, later, he’d be busy. Tonight would be his wedding night, after all… He cleared his throat and his thoughts simultaneously before he found himself in an awkward situation that he’d have to think of some way to explain his way out of.

“Surely, it wasn’t so bad for Allison when she first came. I seem to remember her being very cheerful.”

Wes snorted. “That’s because you only saw her in brief snatches when she first arrived. Fort Gibson is nothing like where she came from in Boston. She struggled at first.”

“But she did learn,” Jack hedged.

A wide grin split Wes’ face. “Of course she did. It just took some time.”

Jack expected the same from Ella. Although to tell the truth, from Ella’s letters, she seemed to have a better understanding of what was expected of her as a wife. If Jack remembered correctly, not only could Allison not cook, but she couldn’t even sew either, and Wes had to use his clothing allowance to buy her a shirt to wear with the unusual skirt she’d sewn.

“Jack?”

Jack started again. “Yes?”

“You’re not thinking to do something foolish, are you?”

“Foolish?”

“Yes.” Wes’ blue eyes searched Jack’s heated face. “You haven’t taken it into your mind to send off for a mail order bride again, have you?”

“No.” That wasn’t a lie. He’d already sent off for one; he had no need to send off for another. “Why do you ask?”

Wes’ eyes narrowed. “Because every time you start talking about Allison, you get this distant look in your eyes—the very one you had last year right after Allison came and you suggested you could use a wife and were thinking about sending off for a mail order bride.”

“I still don’t see what’s wrong with my logic. A wife out here could make a man’s life far easier.”

“And hers miserable,” Wes countered. He raked a hand through his brown hair. “Jack, please don’t do anything foolish. Besides the fact that she’d be utterly miserable married to you in the first place, the journey here might kill her.”

Silence filled the air. Last year, days after Allison had arrived, Jack, Wes and Gray had found a ransacked carriage and the bodies of Allison’s traveling companions. “Not to worry about that. If I were to seek a wife and have her travel here to meet me, I’d have her come across from Fort Smith. It’s far safer that way than down the Texas Trail.”

“You speak as if you’ve already made plans to do this,” Wes said, steepling his hands in front of his face.

Jack shrugged. “After what happened last year, a man couldn’t be too careful making travel plans for his future wife.”

“You do know that Allison’s arrival here wasn’t planned.”

“I know,” he said thickly. This was a fact he was unaware of when he’d originally placed his ad. When Allison had arrived, Wes had led them all to believe she was a mail order bride. It wasn’t until a man who claimed to be her intended appeared that the truth was exposed. “Because it was just a random occurrence and not your own arrangements for her to be on the Texas Trail, I don’t place any blame on you.”

“Thank you,” Wes said dryly.

Jack frowned at his friend’s sarcasm. “I’m sure that had you actually sent off for a mail order bride, you’d have done whatever necessary to keep her safe.”

“Including arranging an Army escort,” Captain Grayson “Gray” Montgomery said, poking his head in the door of the large room all the officers shared to do their work.

Jack’s heart thudded in his chest. Did that mean… “I should think that would be prudent,” Jack said slowly.

Gray scoffed. “You know darn well that’s exactly what you’d do because that’s what you did do.” He stepped inside the office and closed the door. “I didn’t think you’d truly have the nerve or the stupidity to actually send off for a wife. Nor did I think one would be desperate enough to respond, but I suppose that makes me the biggest fool of all because there’s a beautiful woman who just arrived and is claiming she’s looking for a man named Jack Walker—her intended.”

Officer Series, The Officer and the Southerner, The Officer and the Traveler, Updates, Writing

What’s going on?!

July is zipping by! I cannot believe it. I have been so overwhelmed with things I had to force myself to go to B&N yesterday just to breathe.

Today, I’m going to give one of the most disorganized posts EVER so just bear with me.

1. Updates.

The Officer and the Southerner is done and will go to editing next week. I was hoping by now to be a good way into The Officer and the Traveler, but to be blunt, things just aren’t happening. It’s not that Gray is being difficult, but rather my personal life. I blogged a while back about my fall and that took me out of writing for a wee bit while recovering. But since then, I’ve had some other slow downs. My boys are six and seven and they still like to be around their mom so I have to take advantage of that and have put off some of my time writing to take them to a movie every once in a while or hook up the sprinkler and sit outside with them as they run through. So, the book is coming, it’s just slower than I originally planned, but for me, that’s okay.

2. What is Authorgraph?

A few have asked about this. Authorgraph is a FREE website/program that allows you to submit a request to any of your favorite authors who have registered and have them write you back a personal message and “sign” the book. This is all digital so it won’t be their real signature unless they use a stylus, which I don’t because I don’t have the right attachment, but the note is real and the cover and note will be packaged as a PDF and emailed to you for you to save on your computer or upload onto your eReader. Many authors participate and love to get requests.

3. What is the donation number for Sudden up to?

If I knew I’d tell you! I accidentally deleted my thermometer yesterday so I’ll have to reconfigure it today or tomorrow morning and set it back up. I do know that we were not yet halfway to our goal so feel free to share, share, share!

4. Where are your Regencies???

At the end of June I had a VERY humbling experience when I sent out my “new release notification” and had a record number of unsubscribes from “lack of interest”. Why the lack of interest? My guess is due from switching genres. That’s okay. I expected that and I do promise that I am still writing Regencies. I had wanted to do a western, a Regency, a western, a Regency, etc, but I don’t think I will now. The Officer Series books are coming MUCH faster for me than the Regencies at present and since I have the second one finished and a start on the third, I’ll just wait to put out any Regencies until I’m done. At this rate, I should have Southerner out in September some time (I’m hoping the sooner the better) and Traveler before the end of the year (as I mentioned earlier though, things are going slow because I’m trying to spend time with my family at present). So expect Rose’s Regency England back in full swing the early part of 2014.

Have a great Thursday!

Just for Fun, Officer Series, The Officer and the Bostoner, Writing

Editing Stage 3: A man’s perspective on romance…

I’ve never made it a secret that my husband has read all of my books. He has. (And he’s enjoyed them, too… Well, as much as he can considering they’re romance novels.)

It used to be that he’d wait until I was completely done with my edits before he’d start reading, but for the past two books, he’s “started early”. Once I hit the 2/3rd mark in my second round of edits, he starts getting antsy so I give him what I have, then by the time he’s ready for more, I’m done. It works out well because on Wednesday evening I gave him the first 70% then as he read that, I finished up the last 30%, then after he read that, I was able to input the changes all within 24 hours!

So what does my husband do exactly?

Well, he finds my typos:

“She ran her hand trough his hair huh, I thought only horses liked troughs…”

He finds my inconsistencies:

You refer to this person as a he in this paragraph and she in the one above. Which is it?

He points out what he thinks is too unbelievable–even for a romance novel:

This is corny…

…oh my, it just got worse…

…this is got to be the most unrealistic scene I’ve ever read.

He offers very helpful suggestions:

Maybe instead of having Carolina shrieking, she could just cry or sob, she sounds like a madwoman as it is

He calls me onto the carpet when I step over a line:

This is unnecessary. Anyone who reads this will close it right now. Since Sir Wallace has a thing for perfection, maybe he should knock a painting off the wall and gets banned from the museum…but this? This goes TOO far.

He gets confused, then blames it on me:

“I think you have your ladies mixed up…” No dear, that was you who got mixed up. LOL

He offers his sage advice on how we should all conduct ourselves based on what happens to the characters in the story:

So, the moral of this fine tale (so far) is not to drink the fruity punch (Sorry, I couldn’t post this one before now as I felt it gave away too much for the book, but since it’s been out three months now, I figure I’m safe around here to post it).

He gives me a man’s perspective:

It wouldn’t be a man’s eyes that widened if she kissed him like that, it’d be his–

He offers tips and pointers on “guy” pursuits:

Any good woodcarver would not hold the wood and knife that way or he might sever his finger. Instead, he needs to…blah, blah, blah

He tells me point blank if he’d be able to fall in love with such a heroine:

(in no particular order)

I think you just described yourself, how can I not like her?

Oh, this one’s kinky!

I think she’s my favorite

Well, at least she’s better than Liberty…

He, himself, gets ideas:

Why don’t we ever do this in the bedroom?

There are many other things he does, and while sometimes his comments are nothing more than amusing, he’s given me a lot of good advice. Shrieking/excessive crying isn’t attractive. Sir Wallace knocking a painting from the wall was a much better way of getting himself banned from the gallery. Men’s actions and reactions are important. I’ve read books where the men were too feminine. Sure, it’s great to have a beta hero who’ll open the door and care about his wife’s feelings, but you don’t want a guy who could easily be confused for a lady.

I then fix the typos and inconsistencies and then change any scene, characteristic, subplot, etc that I agree with my husband that the story will benefit from the change. This takes about three to four hours total depending on how many things are necessary to fix and the best way to do it.

Then, last night, it went off to the first paid editor… (This step takes a little longer, so it’ll be a while before I come back with details of that.)

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a really great weekend!

And see… that is why it’s ALWAYS important to proof things, I meant to hit preview and hit publish, thus saying that my husband was ready for me and not more (what an uncomfortable insinuation I made there), then I said I gassed him… I don’t even want to know where that came from. LOL If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you’re far too serious!