Well, folks, here we are in mid-Missouri with another wintry day on our hands. We had a touch of spring last week and we're all spoiled now. But the nice days are just around the corner, and so is my latest novel, SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY, due out from Muse Publishing in April. I've got several things planned to celebrate another new book release, and this is the first of them. But before we get on with my character chat, I'll explain some of what I've planned.
Beginning next week, I will release an excerpt from Ana's story each week for six weeks, culminating with the actual release of the book by Muse Publishing. The six excerpts will not be in correct chronological sequence and readers can post what they think is the correct order of the excerpts as they appear in the book. EX: not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, but maybe 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Send in as many entries as you want. (HINT) If you read the book when it comes out, you'll get it right. The first one I receive that is correct will derive a free copy of the new e-book. Or, if you've already purchased it, any of my other published books. And all entries will net you a free read: a new romantic comedy I'm working on called THE LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS. It's about the funniest thing I've written to date. Each time I do the excerpt thing with a new release, I'll give all of you a new chapter of the book to read. If you stay with it, you'll be able to read the entire book for free. I guarandamntee it will make you laugh.
More about that next week, when the first excerpt of Sleeping will come out for your perusal. Now, on to the main item for this blog.; Pat Dale's Character Chat.
(Camera focuses on three women; light blonde, pale blue-eyed Ana Henry Morrison, of Fort Collins, Colorado; honey blonde, azure blue-eyed Lucy Fox Hillen, of Sweetcreek Kansas-near Kansas City; fiery redheaded, cerulean blue-eyed Hattie McCall Trimble. )
Ana: "Hi, you two. I've heard so much about both of you from Pat. It's good to be able to put faces and names together."
Hattie: "It sure is. So you're Ana, the famous nurse from the Rockies. I hope you don't get homesick down here in flat old Misssouri."
Ana: (chuckles) "Not at all, and from what I've seen so far, the show-me state is anything but flat. Not like Ft. Collins, but it's really very scenic down here."
Lucy: "Did you bring Sherry with you?"
Ana: "No. She had school and Dan had to work, but I'm sure Becky will take good care of both of them."
Lucy: "Becky? She the girl you and Dan more or less adopted?"
Ana: "Yes, but she's not really adopted. Just lives with us and works in my med clinic up in Poudre Canyon."
Lucy: "That girl went through hell, didn't she?"
Ana: "And then some. Just imagine that some creep has made you pregnant and then threatens to kill you if you blab about the terrible thing he did."
Hattie: "That would be hard to take. I think I'd be tempted to knock his block off."
Ana: "Maybe. But Eddie was a really mean kind of kid. Becky was scared to death of him, so much so that she tried to OD just to end things."
Lucy: "Gruesome end for him, but poetic. Pat really did a job on that dirtbag."
Hattie: "He sure did. Hey, guys, want a fresh cup of coffee. I brewed some up before we got together."
Ana: "Sounds good."
Lucy: "Me, too. So, Hattie, you live on the other side of the state?"
Hattie: "Yep. Brad and I moved to Farmville after I sold the Leadburg Mercantile to Pinchpenny Wilson. Brad's the editor of the newspaper there and I teach high school English. Oh, and I also run the New Mercantile we built after moving down there."
Ana: "You guys are really industrious. Are all Missourians this energetic?"
Hattie: "You kidding?" (she laughs) "Some of us are go-getters I guess, but thte pace is a lot slower over where we live than some places. What about Colorado?"
Ana: "It's pretty much a rat race out there. Oh, some folks are still laid back and easy going, but all the easterners that moved there are busy trying to recreate what they just escaped from."
Lucy: "That's human nature for you. Hey, Ana, when Pat asked us to get together, I dreamed up some questions for you."
Ana: "Let 'em fly, Lucy."
Lucy: "What if Dan hadn't been able to prove his innocence after he was arrested and accused of running over Joey?"
Ana: (sighs) "Oh! Well, I'm not sure about that. It chills me to think how close he came to paying for that damn Eddie's crime. I guess if Jessie were here, she'd say God had it all in His hands. It would have turned out okay in the end. Really, I don't know. I'm just glad I didn't have to find out. That was scary!"
Hattie: "Speaking of the lady pastor, Jessie Everett I think her name is, do you guys still go to church up there in that canyon?"
Ana: "We sure do. It's close to home and convenient. Besides, Jessie helped us all so much, I'd never think of going anywhere else to worship. I have to confess, before I met Dan and Sherry, I'd avoided church like the plague."
Hattie: "I know what you mean. We still go back up to the church in Leadburg because it was our families' church ever since I was a little girl."
Lucy: "Little girl? Hattie, no offense, but you're still a little girl. What are you, five two?"
Hattie: "You nailed it." (grins) "You know dynamite comes in small packages." (she begins singing) "Five foot two, eyes of blue, but oh what those five feet can do!" (all three break out in laughter)
(Pat Dale enters room)
Pat: "Hey, looks like you gals are having a great time. Glad to hear the laughter. Sorry I'm late. My editor posted the final edits for DANCE WITH THE DEVIL and I had to get them back."
Ana: "No problem. After the story you put me through, I realize how tough it is to put down just the right words so your characters don't have to suffer...(makes face at Pat)...NOT!"
Lucy: (laughs again) "That is so NOT true, Ana. I can't speak for your story but this jerk put me thorugh my paces. I almost lost Thom before he finally got his head out of his-uh, ot of the bag he'd pulled over it." (chuckles) "Did you know our esteemed author made him go all the way out to Reno just to make sure that mean old Sherry really got a divorce while she was out there?"
Hattie: "Yeah, I read that. But then he let you fly out there to get married. You didn't mind that, did you?"
Lucy: "No. Even pregnant, it was a thrill to fly over the mountains to meet the man of my dreams. Okay, Pat, I guess Hattie put me in my place."
Pat: "Lucy, Lucy, I love you. Didn't you know that? The purpose of that whole story was to let you avoid growing old without ever experiencing true love."
Ana: (tears in her eyes) "And Pat wrote mine so I could get back to the land of the living. Living and loving. I was about to end it all before the story came to life."
Lucy: (turns to Hattie) "Speaking of pregnant, do you and Brad have any plans for adding to your family?"
Hattie: (blushes) "Well, (pats her tummy) we've got a little girl in the oven right now. She'll be born in about four more months."
Lucy and Ana: "Oh, that's wonderful!"
Ana: "Brad sounds like a really neat guy. He'll be a good father too, I'm sure."
Hattie: "How about you, Ana? Any storks flying around Poudre Canyon where you live?"
Ana: (blushes) "Storks! Hattie, really, that's not where babies come from."
Hattie: "I know, but that's the way we talk about things over where I come from. So?"
Ana: "Okay, okay. I didn't want to talk about it but we've decided to put all our efforts into helping Becky get on her feet as a young adult. At forty, I'm old enough to be her mother. And Sherry needs my love and attention. So, no, we're not having any babies of our own."
Pat: "Maybe I can add something here. Ana and Dan have talked about becoming a foster family. When Becky goes off to college, they plan to bring in a young boy or girl so Sherry will have someone to shepherd. They have a great place for kids to grow up."
Hattie: "Yeah. Hey, Ana, you said something about Missouri being scenic, but I'd love to live up in the mountains where you do."
Ana: (takes Hattie's hand and squeezes it) "It is kind of a mountain heaven, I admit."
Pat: (turns to camera) "Well, folks, that's about it for now. We've got to wrap this up but we'll be back from time to time with other character chats. Hope you've enjoyed this one with three of my favorite characters. (as camera fades to black, all three ladies converge on the author, hugging and kissing one another.)
Thanks for dropping by, everyone. Oh, for those who don't know these ladies, Lucy is the heroine of my romantic comedy GOLDIE'S BEAR and Hattie plays that role in FOR THE LOVE OF HATTIE. Both books are available at Red Rose Publications, along with DON'T BET ON IT, featuring Cassandra Sizemore, from whom you'll hear more in the recent future.
Happy readin' and 'ritin',