Before I let Ginger take the floor, I want my readers and visitors to know just how wonderful and generous a writer Ginger is because I am sure she will be too modest to tell you herself! I first met Ginger online when Eternal accepted The Sharp Points of a Triangle two years ago. I was nervous about starting with a new publisher but Ginger welcomed me with open arms, led me through Eternal's processes and introduced me to a lot of other writers who I now consider friends. Paying it forward - that's what Ginger taught me about writing!
I’m a genre-hopper. I have little control over my writing, except to hone stories into novels by showing the reader what my characters tell me. I suppose it’s my upbringing that summons characters from the old west, because my favorite genre of all is western historical romances. I’ve written six thus far…well, maybe five if you rule out Sparta Rose since Tennessee is east of the Mississippi river, but the spirit remains the same. *smile*
My latest, Odessa, was just released by Eternal Press, and here’s the blurb:
It’s 1886. The wagon carrying Odessa Clay and her father overturns, killing him. Alone and frightened, somewhere in the desert, she faces finding her way to Phoenix and Aunt Susan. Her food and water run out, and Odessa is near death when Zach Johnson finds her. On his way to becoming a reluctant outlaw, he can’t leave such a young beauty to die. She awakens in his arms, thinking she’s already died and gone to heaven, and for him, now not only his father’s land is at stake—he faces losing his heart, too.
I tend to fall in love with my characters, and when someone asks my favorite, I can’t come up with an answer. They are all my babies and special in one way or another. Odessa sees a young girl turn into a woman who has bravery forced on her if she wants to live. I love when reviewers really GET my work. My latest review indicated a lack of understanding about why Odessa’s bravery wilted, and that’s when you want to respond to the reviewer and explain, but that’s not a very wise thing to do. Instead you talk to yourself. “Of course her bravery wilted. She never expected to find herself alone in the middle of the desert, her father dead and facing her own demise if she didn’t ‘man up.’ After Zach (the hero) came along and became so protective and willing to care for her, she relied on him like she used to lean on her father.” I was just totally relieved to read this as part of the written summary:
Odessa is like walking straight into a nineteenth century western town and trying to survive. The descriptive words used to explain everything from the smells, to the heat, to the surrounding decorations, and so much more are vividly told through Ms. Simpson’s voice.
That means I achieved a goal. I put this reader in my heroine’s shoes and let her experience the story first hand. Everyone shoots for those five-star reviews, but I’ll happily take four stars this time. Somewhere out there is a reader who will understand Odessa as much as I do.
Here’s a sample:
Odessa sat perfectly still, barely breathing, her eyes trained on the rattler. She had always heard that when frightened and preparing to defend themselves, snakes coiled. Maybe if she didn’t move and posed no threat, the creature wouldn’t strike. A sharp pebble dug into her calf, but she bit her lip, refusing to shift her weight.
She closed her eyes and waited. Her life been reduced to one nightmare after another starting with Papa’s death. Everything that happened since that horrid day in the desert replayed in her mind. Familiar faces raced through her thoughts: Papa, John Harper, Alf Rearden, Flo, Bess, and her dear, dear Zach. Tears seeped between her eyelids, but she dare not stir. She chanted words of encouragement in her mind to remain strong, but time dragged.
The Arizona sun, which had climbed higher in the sky, beat down with relentless fury. Sweat trickled between her breasts and dampened her brow. She’d sat for such a long time, every muscle in her body cramped. Finally, she peeked through her lowered lashes, her gaze fixed on the spot where she’d last seen the snake. The critter was gone. She swiveled her head from one side to the other, but saw nothing. Relief washed over her like a breath of fresh air. A loud exhalation fluttered her lips and she laughed aloud.
The laugher seemed out of place given her situation. Now, all she had to do was walk until she found help.
Odessa is available through Eternal Press, http://www.eternalpress.biz
And is also featured on Amazon in print or for your Kindle. EP lists our books in places too numerous to list, so if you want to find more locales, just Google “Odessa by Ginger Simpson.”
You can view the video and much more about my other work on my website at http://www.gingersimpson.com
Thanks to Rachel for being my gracious hostess today.
You're welcome, Ginger, love having you here - comments? Questions? We're a-waiting!