Tell us about your story in Silver Belles & Stetsons anthology.
It’s a story of Redemption not only for the hero but the heroine as well. The hero is an accused bank robber, who at the age of fifteen had been lookout for a bank heist. He was caught and sentenced to five years in jail. The heroine’s father was killed in the crossfire that day- or was he? A prominent judge has spread rumors her father was an accomplice and she’s had to live with the shame.
What inspired you to write Christmas Redemption?
I read a book about Oregon outlaws. In it was a story about a man who as a young boy participated in a bank robbery, returned to his home town after serving his sentence, and eventually ended up the president of the bank he’d help rob. This happened in the county where I grew up. So the whole forgiveness of the town and the man having the courage to return seemed like a great story for a romance and especially a story set at Christmas time.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
Now that my husband is semi-retired and home a good deal. (his part time job is across the fence) I have to really fight for my writing time. I tell him, I can’t help you until I’ve written 2500 words. So that is my goal every day. To write 2500 words before I am pulled away from the computer.
About Christmas Redemption
Van Donovan returns to Pleasant Valley, Oregon where twelve years earlier as a boy of fifteen he left in handcuffs after standing guard for a bank robbery. He's learned a trade and excelled at it and is ready to prove to his father and the town he can amount to something.
Upon his return he learns the fate of the daughter of an innocent man who died in the robbery crossfire. To make amends he takes her out of the saloon and gives her a job, not realizing she'd been squatting in the very building he'd purchased for his business.
Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives?
Tessa leaned against the bar, giving her feet a break. The room was still packed and it didn’t look like the bunch would leave any time soon. Marge and Vi had gone up and down the stairs so often they started serving drinks to keep from being dragged up there again. Which had brought Floyd’s attention to her.
He gripped her arm tight and leaned across the counter, breathing his nasty air into her face. “You could help take up the slack with some of these boys lookin’ for a good time.”
She jerked her arm from his grasp. “I told you. I don’t do that.”
“If you want to keep this job, you better start.”
She whirled away from the bar as a man stepped through the door. He was a good six feet, broad shoulders, dressed better than a cowhand but not so flashy as a dandy. Standing just inside the door, he scanned the room. His gaze rested on her long enough to bring heat to her neck. She grabbed the whiskey bottle Wesley ordered and crossed to the gaming table.
“Tessa, darlin’ sure you wouldn’t want to run your hands over my winnings to bring me good luck?” Wesley drawled. He’d been matching the unsuspecting mark drink for drink, which was unusual. He usually pretended to drink, duping his mark into thinking he was just as drunk then taking him for everything he had.
She leaned down next to his ear and whispered. “Wesley, you shouldn’t be playing cards in this state."
“You’re right darlin’. In this state I should be showing you a good time.” Before she could gain her senses, he’d pulled her down onto his lap and covered her mouth with his. She shoved at his face, and he captured her hands, holding them down between them as he continued to try and kiss her. He rubbed the backs of her hands against the bulge in his lap
“No! Get! Let me go!” she screeched. Laughter erupted at the table. Rage and embarrassment heated her face and flamed her actions. She shoved her hands into his crotch, and he let go with an oath.
Tessa shot to her feet putting space between her and Wesley.
An iron grip shot pain up her arm and swung her around. “You don’t treat customers like that!” Floyd’s hand shot in front of her face. She scrunched her eyes shut, waiting for the blow.
“No!” growled out a deep voice.
Floyd’s grip released on her arm. She opened her eyes. The latest arrival to the saloon had Floyd by the front of his shirt.
“You don’t hit women.” He shook Floyd like a rug and flung him
Tessa, held her breath as her employer landed hard on a table, glasses shattered to the floor, and patrons shot to their feet to avoid the collapsing table.
“Did they hurt you?” The stranger’s deep voice drew her gaze to his face, a half a head above hers.
She shook her head, rubbing her arm. His eyes, a dark, shiny brown, held her captive. He swallowed and reached out, brushing her hand from her arm. His gaze dropped to the redness caused from Floyd’s grip. The planes of his jaw twitched, and his eyes lit with anger.
“Get away from my help.” Floyd regained his feet and charged toward the stranger.
“If this is how you treat your help, I’m surprised anyone works for you.” The man turned a steely stare on her boss and sidestepped his charge.
Tessa grinned inside as Floyd shot passed the stranger and landed on the floor.
The stranger didn’t spare her employer a glance. He clasped her hand in his and dragged her to the door.
“You leave with him and you’ll never work here again!” Floyd shouted from his spot on the floor.
Tessa tried to pull out of the stranger’s grasp.
“She doesn’t need your job,” the stranger said.
She stared at the man. Shaking her head she backed away. His eyes didn’t leer like most men. They stared her straight in the eyes, no wandering to her exposed chest or legs, and held her gaze.
“She’ll be working for me.”
She started to protest.
“In my boot shop.” He opened the door and waved an arm toward the street. “How about it? You want to be a clerk?”
* * *
We’d love to get to know you better. Please help us by answering the following:
Favorite Animal = toss-up between a horse and a dog. Love them both!
Biggest fear = mice- had one run up my pant leg when I was pregnant and I’ve feared/loathed them ever since.
Easiest person to talk to = my friend Danita
Favorite song = Rascal Flatys’ “Take me There”
Favorite book = The one I’m writing. Favorite that I’ve read…Wow, there are too many old and new that I’ve loved.
Ghosts, are they real? = I prefer to call them spirits and I do believe in spirits.
Hometown = Lostine, Oregon
I'm in love with = my husband, my children and grandchildren, and my life.
Middle name = Marie
One wish = Hatred was not an emotion
Reason to smile = So many! A beautiful day, hubby being thoughtful, my dog happy to see me… the list could go on and on.
Song you last sang = Moves like Jagger
Underwear color = black and white leopard print
Vacation destination = Trying to talk hubby into a trip to Hawaii.
Favorite Movie = Tough one…I have half a dozen I watch over and over again. Dirty Dancing, Hairspray, Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, While you were Sleeping, Miss Congeniality I and II.
Worst habit = chewing my cuticles
Favorite food = cheesecake
Zodiac sign = cancer
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Paty!
Read Paty's Story & nine others