Friday, January 25, 2013


Wow, just when I thought today couldn't get any better. I found out that my first release with the wonderful WILD ROSE PRESS has been released through kindle select. I mean it just doesn't get any better than that.

I want to publicly thank the cover artist, my editor, Rhonda Penders, and everyone involved with helping a dream come true. You guys are awesome.

So now that I've publicly gushed. I'm going to leave you all with a blurb and my first excerpt from Castillo's Fiery Texas Rose.

Mary Rose Thornton is the only survivor of an attack that leaves her brother dead. Although investigation suggests he was planning to sell army weapons to the Mexican renegades, she knows he would never have done such a thing. Avenging his death and saving the family business by running it herself are a double challenge, and a lawman with a mistaken sense of honor stands in her way.

U.S. Marshal Trace Castillo is committed to keeping the peace, but no badge can protect his heart when it comes to a fiery Texas Rose. His hands are full with a hotheaded Irishwoman determined to find justice. Can he clear her brother's name and locate the stolen rifles before innocent people are murdered?


“Don’t you dare tell me it’s not my right to work,” she hissed. “My brother may be dead, but I own that freight company. It is my blood, my sweat, my life!”

“Your life,” he scoffed. “Your death, Miss Thornton, if you keep up with this foolhardy attempt.”

She flashed him a look of disdain. “You pompous windbag.” Her nostrils flared and color crept into her cheeks. “Don’t you preach to me! I intend to honor my brother’s memory by making Thornton’s the best freight company in Texas.”

Her fire set his blood aflame. Any other woman would have run in the opposite direction. In defiance, she stepped closer, glaring up at him, the color of her eyes deepening from blue to deep indigo. In their depths a sparkling of fire leaped and could not go unchallenged. Unable to control his movements, Trace reached out and grasped her by the waist, his broad hands nearly spanning her middle.
“Oh, yes.” His words tumbled over his lips, deep, throaty, and laced with desire. “You’ll make a name for yourself. Every unmarried man, every scoundrel, and every hot blood in southwest Texas will turn up on your doorstep. They will watch the tilt of your head, the sway of your skirts, and try to catch the shimmer of fire in that fine head of hair.”

Beneath his stare, her eyes widened. Not from fear, but with understanding of what his words meant. He searched her face but didn’t hold back. “They won’t stop there,” he continued, pulling her toward him. “Not until they have a taste of heaven.”

I hope you'll enjoy Trace and Mary Rose's story.


Monday, January 21, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog

Whoo hooo! Everyone is enjoying a blog hop during this cold snap. You can visit so many exotic places and get a host of stories to fill that e-reader while curled up on your couch as the snow flies.

I've been tagged by Karen Michelle Nutt from So come, sit down, and let me introduce you to my first book from The Wild Rose Press.

Question: What is the title of your book?

My debut novel for The Wild Rose Press is entitled Castillo's Fiery Texas Rose. It's set in Texas, (of course) and deals with the tensions between Mexico and the Lone Star state in the years just after the Civil War.

Question: Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for Castillo came from all those television westerns I watched as a child. Who didn't fall in love with those handsome heroes? While doing some research for a college paper some years back I came across some old photos of Texas just after Independence from Mexico. I got to thinking about all the ill will that must have prevailed. So my hero was born. A half Mexican, half Anglo who's family sunk their roots deep into the Texas soil and chose Tejas over Mexico. Of course his family disowned him. Of course, tension runs high but I won't give away the events just yet.

In keeping with my multicultural theme, I chose my heroine to be of Irish descent. She and her family came west to seek a new beginning after the war. She's a spunky lass and she and the hero Trace Castillo don't quite get along. ( Of course they don't, this is a romance after all) Will true love win out? Wink...
Question: What genre does your book fall under?

My book is a historical romance so it falls under the cactus rose line for The Wild Rose Press.

Question: What actors would you choose to play in the movie rendition?

Oh, this question has given me fits. So of you might remember Tim Matheson from the West Wing's first season. He began his career on westerns such as The Virginian and Bonanza. He could play Castillo. A more modern actor is Dominic Zamprogna who plays Donte on General Hospital.

My heroine, Mary Rose Thornton, could be played by Maureen O'Hare in her early years. I've always loved her feisty spunk. Now? I'd need a good redhead full of fire, I'm wondering if Kate Hudson could die her hair a bit to strawberry to play her or perhaps the young lady in Suburgatory, Jane Levy might do the role. I'd love to hear suggestions from readers, too, once the book is released to who they would pick.

Question: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Lone Survivor of a raid on a supply wagon run, Mary Rose Thornton seeks revenge against the men who murdered her brother, refusing the help of U.S. Marshal Trace Castillo, a lawman with a deep seeded sense of honor who is determined to keep her safe despite the odds.

Question: Where can we get your book?

When he book releases, you will be able to get it at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and of course The Wild Rose Press. If you are with Amazon Select you may see it pop up early. The date for release has been set as May 24, 2013.

Question: How long did it take your to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took probably around three months to write. Then, I let it sit for about three weeks and went back in to try and tweak.

Question: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I would like to think my book would compare to The Devil's Own Desperado by Lynda Cox and The Treasure of Como Bluff by Alison Henderson.

Question: What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

I think the mystery that Mary Rose and Trace have to uncover might be of interest to readers, a gold coin, a ledger with bank deposits that don't match might keep the reader wanting more. A real surprise comes when the reader finds out who is behind the attack on Thornton freight lines.

The next stop on the Next Biggest Thing Blog will be with the talented Tara Kingston on Monday, January 28th. Look for her post at

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday afternoon Matinee

When I was little, my parents talked of going to the movies on Saturday afternoon. There, they'd watch newsreels, current events, see a cartoon and then the feature film. Ladies wore hats and gloves, which they were reminded to remove so the people behind them could see the picture. Men wore coats and ties. Their hats rested on their knee while the slipped their arm around their honey and watched. Simpler times.

On Saturday's, I'm going to be offering you a sample of stories that are available for purchase or stories that are coming out soon. I hope you'll stop by to see what's new in Tessa's world and get a peek at what might be on the blog this week.

Out now - Tejas Conspiracy Incident at Cold Creek

Lily watched the men draw into the yard. A lump rose in her throat. She recognized the two as the men who brought Frank’s body back. Her hurt and anger returned. Wiping her hands on her trousers, she moved to the edge of the porch and waited for them to stop before she spoke.

“Gentleman,” she called out.

“Afternoon, Mrs. Prentiss,” Silas nodded. “We come by to see if there was anything we could do?”

Lily gave them an icy glance. “I’d say you’ve done enough.”

The coldness of her tone made the cowboy who spoke shift nervously in the saddle. A creak of leather drew her gaze to the other cowboy. The look he gave her made Lily’s skin crawl. She rubbed her right hand up her left arm for warmth. It was the first time all day she regretted not having her skirts or corsets.

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Dirk as he shifted his body to dismount.

“Crawl right back up there on that horse, mister.” Lily’s voice rang out with authority that surprised even her.

“Now, Mrs. Prentiss, where’s that southern hospitality you Virginia ladies is known for?” Dirk’s mouth widened to a leer.

Lilly stepped back.

“Dirk,” Silas warned, throwing his right hand out to stop his companion, but he was too late.

“Those pants sure do fit you nice, ma’am.” Dirk’s eyes focused on her legs. “I like the way they come up and cup your-”

“Lily, any problems?” The voice came from behind her.

She heard the hinges creak as Ty came on to the porch. Relief washed over her, yet, she still felt the terror of being under Dirk’s scrutiny.

“Some men from town,” Lily explained, yet she didn’t take her eyes off them. Ty’s boot steps came nearer. “These are the men who brought Mr. Prentiss home.”

Dirk moved toward his mount’s head. “Yeah, terrible thing that.”

Ty’s arm caught her peripheral vision. She gave a quick glance. His eyes jerked toward the doorway. He was telling her to step back. Lily did. He crossed in front of her, placing his body as a shield.

“You ain’t from around here, are you?” Silas asked.

Lily could see the muscle in Ty’s jaw twitch. “That’s none of your business,” he replied.

Dirk took a step forward. Lily raised her hand to grab Ty’s arm, but before she could reach out to him, his right hand cleared the holster, gun drawn. Her eyes widened.

“I believe the lady said, don’t dismount.”

Dirk stopped, his eyes large as he stared at the barrel gun.

"You’re mighty quick with that shootin’ iron.”

Ty leveled him a dark glare and Dirk grew silent.

“Take your hands away from your sides,” Lily heard him speak to Silas. “I find it mighty interesting that you would call on her now, and not when she needed help with the burial. That’s right, raise them high.”

This historical western romance is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all romance ebooks. Copy the links and add to your browser to go to the sites. I hope you'll enjoy reading about Ty and Lily's adventures and their not so smooth path to true love.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Here's to new beginnings

This week we are putting away our memories of 2012 and making ready to embrace 2013. But, as writers are we ready?

Many of us will sit and stare at 365 days of more writing without a game plan. Writers, you must have that game plan. Just like any other mode of business, writing a book, promoting a book, planning a book takes time. Yes, as pantsers you sit down and write. Yes as plotters, you make notecards before you write. However, even before you sit down to your prescribed way of attacking your novel, you need to create a schedule.

A very wise writer imparted this wisdom on me. Writing is but one side of the business. New York authors my have people who will do some of the work, but if you plan on being successful, you have to plan. Which means making a rude twelve month calendar where you write down what stories you plan to put out. Leave a month for it to sit and ferment before you open it back up and look at it with "new eyes" to find mistakes. You also need to work into your plan, time to promo work that you've done or put your name out there by building your platform or you awareness to the masses through social media.

Its not easy. Planning means to look at how much your write a day vs the length you anticipate your novel. Full length 60,000 words or more - if you write 1,000 words a day - you are looking at 60 days plus for a work. Are you giving yourself weekends off for family? Add a few more days. Don't go into writing and think that you flick on the screen and suddenly words appear. A carefully crafted story takes time. Which is why authors get so very, very upset to see their work pirated on sites. Imagine if you worked for pennies a day and someone took what you had labored over, sold it, and you got nothing except the attitude, you can write another.

But I digress. So, you're planning to write that novel. Take today to look at the books on your shelf, decide how long your novel will be, how many days it will take to write and make a work calendar or purchase a paper one like students use to write their assignments on. Write down your expected end date. Keep a weekly word count by listing the starting of your novel and using the computer word count where you end each week. You'll find you look forward to seeing your progress.