The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Thursday, 5 July 2012

My good friend, Vonnie Davis is here today!!

SOOO happy to host a visit from you today, Vonnie - you will always be the lady that introduced me to my agent! :)  Glad to see your writing is going well with another Wild Rose Press release. I downloaded "Those Violet Eyes" to my Kindle a couple of days ago and will get to it asap. Can't wait! Okay, over to you...

Rachel, thanks for having me here. Actually, I truly wish Calvin and I were physically with you—for many reasons. I’m writing this on Monday, and we haven’t had power for three days thanks to a severe wind storm. Half of our city is without power and temps are over a hundred degrees. We spend our days camping out in places with air conditioning and hope we can connect to their Wi-Fi. This whole experience makes one appreciative of what they have. But enough complaining. I’d rather talk about a Wild Rose Press series I’m excited about.

Rachel: As you know Dawn (she's our agent everyone!) has been keeping us updated - I'm glad to hear since you sent me this post, the power has finally come back on and you guys might be able to feel human again. I feel so, so sorry for you!

Honky Tonk Hearts

Lonely hearts seem to gravitate to the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk.
Owner and bartender, Gus Rankin, has seen his share of the wandering souls cross his bar and dance floor over the years—he'd even like to think he helped a few find true love along the way.

I’m blessed to be part of the Honky Tonk Hearts series with my story, Those Violet Eyes, in which one pivotal scene must take place at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. Writing for a series was a new experience. Working to keep my story within the parameters set forth by the editor of the series and writing something interesting proved quite a challenge. This is where an author’s creativity comes into play.

Personally, I think that’s the beauty of a series. We all start with the same basic premise and the same parameters, or guidelines. Yet each story in the series is vastly different.

So how did my creativity handle coming up with a story idea? Not very well, I’m afraid. I had a few lame ideas, but nothing revved my creative mental engines. Truthfully I’d given up on writing for the series and, for a few months, stopped thinking about it. Then one night Win Fairchild came to me: My hero on a Harley, all muscles and macho attitude, yet polite as can be. Oh, I loved him from the start. He told me what he wanted out of life now that he was a mass of war debris. He asked me to write his story.

Once I knew the premise of Those Violet Eyes and what things my hero was dealing with, I jumped into the writing. Suddenly Evie sauntered across my computer screen, full of attitude of her own. She turned to me and announced, “I’m not taking any guff from that man. I’m not in the mood.” All righty, then! Let the war between the sexes begin.

And so it did. No outline, no plans, no vision of the ending. Nope, not for me. I prefer getting to know my characters well enough that they tell me what’s going to happen. I love that journey of discovery—as if we were friends, sharing a bottle of wine, listening to some slow jazz and talking.

My hero’s life is in flux since the Humvee, in which he was riding, ran over an IED. Not only did he lose part of a leg and some of his hearing, he’s also dealing with the loss of three of his Marine friends, his brothers in arms. Now he’s trying to heal. For him, healing means helping others—something his momma taught him. So he’s intent on fixing up a rundown ranch and opening a place for amputee children to learn how to ride and care for horses. To earn some extra funds for his dream, he cooks at the Lonesome Steer for his uncle Gus four nights a week.

Evie Caldwell is trying to escape her life by working as a waitress at the honky tonk. Her life is dawn to midnight work, either on her brother’s ranch or at the bar. The first night Win cooks, management tells her to go back to the kitchen and introduce herself. 

Evie charged through the swinging door to the kitchen and skidded to a stop. It couldn’t be. Although his back was toward her, there was no mistaking the height and broad muscled shoulders. This mystery nephew of Gus’s was the guy who’d remarked on her eyes. Her stomach did a little twitchy dance, nerves no doubt.
She ran her suddenly damp palms over her short skirt and cleared her throat. “Excuse me. Win?”
No answer.
She took a couple steps closer and noticed he was washing vegetables under a spray of water. “Win?”
No reply.
Evie rolled her eyes and stepped behind him, tapping him on the back. The metal strainer clattered in the sink and a blur of motion barely registered before steely hands gripped her forearms. Oh my God! In a flurry of movement, he snatched her off the floor and backed her against the stainless steel counter. Cold wet hands viced her arms. Her eyes snapped wide and the air whooshed from her lungs when his body slammed into hers.
Win’s eyes were narrowed, his breathing rapid through a clenched jaw and a vein bulged in his forehead. “Don’t do that.”
The man was every inch the warrior, every hard tensed inch. He held her mid-air, so close they were nearly eyeball to eyeball. As his gaze traveled over her face and awareness evidently crept in as to the sex of his attacker, several inches of his frame hardened even more.
Evie swallowed. Oh, good Lord.
He glared and his nostrils flared.
“I…I’m sorry, Win. I called your name, but…but you didn’t answer. I was only trying to get your attention.” Her lips twitched at the humor in the situation—hadn’t Keira told her the man lost part of his hearing? Evidently she’d startled him. Poor soul. She felt a portion of herself return. A portion she’d hidden for so long; that light-hearted part of her soul that teased and cajoled. “Honest, I wasn’t trying to attack you.” She placed an open palm on his defined pecs and patted. “You’re safe with me, big guy.” Just to rattle him some more, she winked.
Win’s hazel eyes flashed for a second, then he slowly leaned in and whispered in her ear, “Well, you’re not safe with me.”

You can find me on the web at


 Love, love, love it! Can't wait to get this one - and the way Win looks is enough to have me salivating, lol! Great post, lovely lady. Here's to lots of future sales. Okay, Vonnie is waiting to chat!



  1. Thanks for having me, Rachel. I'm sitting in our air conditioned house. How grand to have the power back on again. We were 5 days without electricity. Five loooong days in hundred degree heat. Personally, I prefer creating my heat in my stories, but then that's a different kind of heat, isn't it?

  2. I was sweating for you, Vonnie - not over your book but your lack of electricity! LOL Yes, your story sounds steamy and fun. Can't wait to read.

  3. I love this excerpt!

    I'm so glad your power is back on. I was suffering right along with you darlin.

  4. Oh my power in the heatwaves that have been going around can't have been fun at all.....but this story definately is LOL

  5. Brenda, I hope you enjoy Win and Evie's story. I've got yours on my Kindle, waiting for me to finish LaVerne's AFFINITY. Can't wait to read it.

  6. Calisa, I hope we never have to go through another ordeal like that again. Yet, so many had it much worse than us. We were able to get in our car and find a cool place, like the theater or a restaurant. Other's were housebound by roads blocked with downed trees.

  7. Thanks for stopping in, Stacy. Yes, in many ways this is a fun read. Thanks for being a great editor.

  8. Hi Vonnie, Win is definitely a hottie. I loved the excerpt and think the Honky Tonk series ROCKS. Thinking of you, and everybody else back East, and hoping the power is on by now. Amazingly we've got fog and chill along the Calif. coast again...thought our June Gloom was over but NO.

  9. Thanks, Tanya. Win is probably my most favorite hero thus far. As to the weather, it seems "wonky" doesn't it? Crazy things are happening.

  10. Hello Rachel and Vonnie. Loved the excerpt, and have your book waiting on my Kindle. I'm going to save it as a reward, say, when I hit 30K in my WIP. Yep, I'll read it as a reward.

    Happy 10th first meeting day with Calvin, Vonnie.

  11. My dear Lynne, I've been called a lot of things in my lifetime, but never a reward. LOL I hope it feels like a reward when you read it. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Hi guys! Very glad to hear you're back to normal over there, Vonnie! I'd have sent you some of my cooler temps if I could have!

    This excerpt. Can I just say yum? This one's waiting for me on my iPad!

  13. Thanks, Joanne. A hot shower and a cool bedroom can make for a happy exhistance, let me tell you. We lost a freezer full of food, plus everything in our refrigerator/freezer. We'll replace it all eventually. I hope you'll enjoy Win and Evie when you read their story.

  14. Hi Vonnie,

    Started your book a couple of days ago but haven't made much progress over the holiday. I'm hoping to put a dent in it tonight! So far, I'm loving it.

  15. Thanks, Jannine. Hope your reading goes well.

  16. OMG! I love, love, love your excerpt. And I love Win already. Love a wounded hero, esp. a man that has served his country. I am sooooo adding this book to my TBR list and moving it up the list even before I buy it. Awesome, Vonnie! Just awesome.

  17. Hi Lilly! I do hope you enjoy Win's story. Let me know.

  18. Vonnie, sorry late to get here but love the premise of the story and the excerpt was wonderful.