Hi everyone, today we have Tessa Berkley with us to tell us about her Historical Western from The Wild Rose Press Castillo's Fiery Texas Rose. Good morning, Tessa.
Good Morning all, I'd like to first thank Becca Dale for having me today.
You are more than welcome, Tessa. Glad you could drop by. Please tell readers a litte about yourself.
My name is Tessa Berkley and I've just had the pleasure of releasing my fist book with The Wild Rose Press entitled Castillo's Fiery Texas Rose, a historical western romance.
Why historical westerns you ask?
All my life, I've felt drawn to the American west. The power of the men and women who dared to tame a wild land, to take on nature, or their fellow man when most lived by their own creed governed by their own rules or lack of rules completely intrigues me. So, it should come as no great stretch that I studied history at our local University.
For those of you who have picked up a copy of Castillo's story, you've probably already noticed that Trace embodies several characteristics of famous actors. He is a U.S. Marshall aka Matt Dillion. He has a roguish smile similar to Henry Darrow of The High Chaparral. But most of all, he is a man of honor. I think he gets that from John Wayne.
Trace is a bit cynical. He's seen the world at its worst and had his heart broken. He opens the story by running afoul of our heroine, Mary Rose Thornton. A hot headed Irish lass who could be played by Maureen O'Hare. Trace tells Mary Rose's brother, "Women cause trouble on the trail." He just doesn't know what he's in for. I'll leave you with a bit of Trace Castillo and Mary Rose.
Excerpt from Castillo's Fiery Texas Rose.
Trace spied a bench partially hidden beneath the boughs of a willow tree. “Over there.” He motioned with his hand and escorted her to the bench. “Sit.”
She sat down and looked back. “What is so important, Marshal, that you brought me out here, away from my guests?”
“Miss Thornton,” he began, “do you think it’s advisable to return to the freight office?”
The air filled with a stunned silence. “Excuse me?” she whispered. He detected a hint of laughter with her disbelief. When he didn’t speak, her eyebrow rose in mild contempt.
Trace’s mouth pulled to a straight line. “You have experienced the tragic loss of your
brother, whom you clearly adored, not to mention being injured. Surely, you don’t expect to walk into—”
Her hostile glare stopped him cold. “Go on.”
He recognized the trace of contempt in her voice. Her eyes were cold and stormy, and he knew he stood on dangerous ground. But she was being pigheaded, and he intended to prove his point. “A freight office is a place where men hang out, rough men. The type of men who would walk over you as soon as look at you.”
She rose to her feet and stood nose to nose with him. The faint scent of vanilla surrounded them as, eyes ablaze, she lashed her words like a whip. “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.” He felt the warmth of her hand upon his chest setting the skin below it aflame as she tried to push him back. Ignoring the pressure, he leaned closer. Her mouth opened to signal a protest, and before she had time to stiffen her arm and push him away, his lips descended upon hers.
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