The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Welcome, my first new guest author of 2011, Anna Kathryn Lanier!

It's great to have a fellow Wild Rose Press author here with me for the next couple of days to help kick of a New Year on my blog! Anna is here to talk about her new Christmas story...take it away!

Hi, I’m Anna Kathryn Lanier. Thanks for having me today, Rachel.

Happy New Year’s! I know that most people are now blogging about making plans for 2011….lay out what you want to do for the year and how you want to do it. I know I should make some sort of plan, and I will do something, but when it comes to my writing, I’m a panster, so I don’t think making plans to write four books and ten short stories is going to work for me. Still, having some expectations for the year is a good idea. Then you can take stock occasionally and see how you’re doing.

This past year was pretty much a dud for me where writing was concerned was concerned. I did manage to get one story submitted and edited for a December 8, 2010 release….yea, me! And I started on several others, with not much coming of them. So, I need to dust those stories off and finish them or chuck them and start on new ones. Friends keep at me to dust off a novel I wrote several years ago and rework it so it’s submitable.

The one story I did get done for the past year, A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE is a Christmas set story, but as a love story, it’s a story for all time.


Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger. Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun. Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.

Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.

Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure?


Jacob Scott raised a brow, then broke away from her hypnotic stare to glance at the shotgun pellets embedded in his wall. “You could have killed me.”

“You broke into the house in the middle of the night.”

He reached into his jeans’ pocket and pulled out his keys. “I didn’t break in. I have the damn key to my own front door.”

She put a hand on her hip and cocked her head. “And how was I to know it was you making all that noise? You’re not supposed to be here.”

Irritation boiled inside his gut. She was treating him like a criminal for entering his own home.

“Well, I am here and this is my house. And just who are you?”

She drew in a breath and glanced to her left. “Tessa Jones,” she mumbled.

The name rattled around in his brain. It was familiar. She was familiar, but he didn't think he'd actually met her before. He sure would have remembered that thick auburn hair and lush body if they'd been introduced. So, why did he know the name?

Oh, no. Not that Tessa Jones.

“Tessa Jones? The cook for Baxter’s Diner who burned down half of Spencerville after she started a kitchen fire last month?” Thrusting a hand through his hair, he shifted his weight “What are you doing in my house?”

Her face reddened as she glared at him. “I’m the cook for the cowboys here on the Triple H.”

What was Christina thinking? Hiring an arsonist as a cook?

What he thought must have shown on his face, because the hand on her hip fisted, bunching the flannel and inching it up to reveal more of her lovely thighs. Fire blazed in her eyes. “You know, things aren’t always what they appear to be.”

With that, she strode down the hallway to a bedroom and slammed the door behind her.

* * *

Now, A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE took me a while to write. It is a sequel to my first The Wild Rose Press story, THE PRICELESS GIFT. Jacob is the brother of the heroine and I knew from the time I wrote it, that I wanted Jacob to have his own story. I just couldn’t find the right heroine for him until Tessa appeared. I knew right away that she was the one for him. She was worldly enough to knock him off his pedestal and show him what really mattered in life. Not that Jacob needed to be shown that too much. He already knew he wanted a change in his life, but until Tessa arrived, he didn’t realize how much of a change he really wanted.

You can find out more about my writing at and

This story sounds lovely, Anna - can you tell us a bit about your writing process as a pantser? Do you mean that you only write when the muse strikes? Or are you the sort of pantser I am, and just write whenever you can without actually plotting where you're going?

How about my visitors? Any comments?


  1. Hi, Rachel. I don't have a writing. Part of that is because I'm lazy and don't do schedules too well. The other is that I'm a substitute teacher and never know when I'll have a job or not. That is sort of a plan of mine, to set up a writing schedule.

    I do not do much plotting before I write. I will have a general story in mind, but if I have names, eye color and place before I write, I am doing good. I have tried to plan out the story, write the arc, make a box for each chapter and write down what doesn't work for me.

  2. Oh, I'll give away a copy of A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE and its companion cookbook to one lucky commenter.

  3. Hi, Anna! Loved the excerpt!

    I was a panster, but changed into a plotter with a list of goals and schedules of what I wanted to accomplish. But one year I had myself so overscheduled that I ended up pulling my hair out in frustration and vowed never to do that again.

    I do set goals, but leave enough room to work with an editor, if lucky enough to land a contract, book promotion and of course, life.

  4. Hi, Susan. I think I plan out more a little more than I did. I should set some goals for the year...

  5. My change is the opposite of you, guys - I went from a plotter to a pantser (with set annual goals!). Weird, huh?

    Rachel x

  6. Great post! I'm a plotter and a pantster depending on the story!
    Liz Arnold

  7. I'm not a writer but I like the post.


  8. Hi, Rachel. I do plot a little more than I did before.

    Liz, understand what you mean.

    Hi, Loretta! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. I am not a writer but in everyday life situations I make lists for most everything so
    feel as if I am plotting.

  10. Congratulations to Loretta. She wone the drawing for A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE and its companion cookbook. Thanks to everyone sho stopped by. It was fun and thanks, Rachel for having me as a guest.