Old West Romance

Inspiration: Where does it come from?

I’ve been thinking lately about inspiration. Unlike many authors, I don’t have a million book ideas knocking around in my head at any given moment. I generally have only one. Once I get an idea for a story, I become fully immersed in it until I flesh it out in a book. It’s like my brain can only process so much and stubbornly refuses to allow extra stuff in that will be distracting.

Because of my brain’s stingy supply of new ideas, part of me is afraid I’ll eventually run out of them. As I write and complete each new book, however, that fear gradually diminishes. I have written nine historical western romances containing domestic discipline, a rather specific genre, and yet each book has contained a different premise, plot, and character personalities.

The world is full of inspiration. You just have to pay attention. You have to listen, learn, and feel. I’d like to share my inspiration for each book I’ve written. For some of them, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment or experience that inspired me, but for others, it’s very clear.

detail_3605_TheUnbraidingOfAnnaBrown_200x300The Unbraiding of Anna Brown. My first book. Believe it or not, I started this book in 2011 and didn’t finish it until 2015. I was so thrilled when Blushing Books accepted it for publication, and I was even more thrilled when I learned that — wow! — there are other people who want to read my fantasies. Carter, the hero, is a grieving widower who has withdrawn from the world. Anna, the heroine, is a sweet young woman whose kind heart and quiet presence gradually help him awaken from grief.

My inspiration for this story? The western T.V. show Bonanza. If you’re a fan of the show, you know the big joke. Throughout its air on T.V., the four bachelor ranchers meet scores of women, but the women they meet and fall in love with all die. Ben Cartwright, the patriarch, was actually married three times and all three of his wives died. I was thinking of Ben Cartwright when I wrote Carter Barnes (see the name similarity?).

Growing up, watching the strong, old-fashioned cowboys take charge and do good in the world, did all kinds of happy things to my impressionable young heart, so it makes sense that I would have a “thing” for cowboys. I suppose you could say Bonanza is an inspiration for all my books, in a way, since my books all take place in the old west with rugged, untamed men (yum!).

large_3825_submissivesuffragette_500x755The Submissive Suffragette. This is a prequel to Anna Brown, even though I wrote it after. While writing Anna’s story, I came to understand the woman Carter was mourning. Carter’s first wife, Nalin, was sharp, feisty, and different from Anna in just about every way. I felt that Nalin and Carter deserved their own story, which led me to write The Submissive Suffragette.

It was fun to write, and I’ll tell you why. While writing Anna and Carter’s story, I fully formed Carter’s character, and I had to stick with it when I wrote the next book. He was who he was! And that was a gruff, stoic, no-nonsense man. Young, demure Anna fell right in line with that. But pairing him with Nalin was a fun challenge. Imagine a progressive, intelligent woman going toe-to-toe with an old-fashioned cowboy for 130 pages, and you have an idea of what goes on in this book.

large_3663_missymarshall_500x755Missy Meets the Marshal. You’ll notice as you keep reading that a recurring inspiration for my books is other books. This is true for Missy Meets the Marshal, although it might be surprising to discover which book inspired it. Believe it or not, it was inspired by a nonfictional book about how to write westerns, called Write a Western in 30 Days by Nik Morton.

I had grudgingly and unenthusiastically decided I should do some research on the old west, since it was clear by this time that writing westerns was the direction I was going. In this how-to book, I learned that to make a western book feel authentic to the reader, I needed to get more specific and more in tune with the lingo of the old west. For instance, instead of writing that the marshal drew his gun, I could write that the marshal shucked his Smith & Wesson. I learned about some of the gritty details of the wild west, and an action-packed story of villains, bank robbery, and murder formed inside my head. I don’t claim that my books are completely historically accurate (they’re not, as several disgruntled readers have pointed out), but I do try to add as many details as possible to make them believable. Fun fact: Anna and Carter show up in this book, and they are instrumental in helping Missy and Grover find their HEA.

fetchingcharolotterose_fullFetching Charlotte Rose. This book ranked #1 in historical erotica and erotic westerns on Amazon. It also won “Best Sweet Spanking Romance” of 2016. So yes, this book is both erotic and sweet! I can actually pinpoint the exact book that inspired me to write Fetching, and it’s a book by a spanking romance author I’ve never spoken with or had any kind of communication with other than to review a couple of her books. The author is April Hill, and the book that inspired mine is titled Scarlet Fever. In the beginning of this book, the hero (a Canadian Mountie) and heroine (an American journalist) engage in the most hilarious banter. The bratty heroine repeatedly insults the longsuffering hero who has a duty to deport her for not possessing proper papers. She jabs at him for being Canadian, for being a man, for being humorless… all his qualities and personality traits are fair game for this smart-mouthed heroine.

In my book, down-to-earth, practical Max fetches haughty, well-educated Charlotte Rose from the station, and immediately there are fireworks. Thinly veiled insults fly from the travel-weary lady, and events during the buggy ride from the station to town include Charlotte tossing away an apple given to her by Max, reporting that she’s had lemons that were sweeter. It’s so, so fun writing bratty heroines and the moments that lead to their comeuppances!

hislittleredlily_fullHis Little Red Lily. This book dabbles with mild age play. The young heroine is in need of a father figure, and the older, more-experience Jesse fits that role. Charlotte and Max make a significant appearance in this book. Writing Fetching Charlotte Rose and becoming acquainted with its setting and its characters inspired me to write Lily. Other than that, I honestly can’t say where I got my idea for this book. Lily longs to be an entertainer and to sing and dance in Jesse’s saloon. I can’t relate with this at all, as I would rather get indigestion than get up on stage and perform. Still, Lily’s longing for a protective man who will see to her safety isn’t a fantasy unfamiliar to me, so the story flowed naturally.

claimedbythemountainman_fullClaimed by the Mountain Man. Trapper Jack meets Naughty Nettie. I’ve actually already written a post on my inspiration for this book! If interested, you can read about it here. In a nutshell, my inspiration came from a Dolly Parton song. Yes, you heard that right. Country western songs have been pretty helpful to me in writing westerns, actually. Many other country songs have led to writing scenes in my other books. I can give specifics if asked, but this post would be a lot longer if I tried to list them all.

corrallingcallie_fullCorralling Callie. By this point in my western book-writing endeavor, I had written men with the following occupations: rancher, marshal, blacksmith, saloon owner, and trapper. I thought to myself, what other jobs did men have back then? I researched and found out that one of the most dangerous, lucrative careers a man could have in the old west was as a stagecoach driver. I knew I had found my next hero: Jude Johnson. Tough as nails, he has a job to do, and it’s to transport travelers west in one piece — surviving treacherous trails, bad weather, and bandits.

So what happens when a focused man gets a passenger like Callie, a misbehaving orphan with very little understanding of safety and proper behavior? Well, let’s just say there’s some spanking involved. I really fell in love with these two characters, so much so that I was inspired to write a follow-up story with them called Christmas with Callie, which can be found in this anthology.

emmassurrender_new_2.1Emma’s Surrender. I try to pay attention to trends in what people are reading and writing, and one trend I noticed and experienced myself in my own taste was dark romances. All the heroes I had written up to this point were what I would call morally upright. But I got to thinking, what if my hero was a villain? What if he was so evil that he actually murdered the heroine’s father? My mind went down a dark path (fun!). This book took on more D/s themes in addition to DD. It was my first time writing anal punishment, first time writing capture, and first time writing 100 percent from the heroine’s perspective. Before, my books contained chapters from the hero’s point of view, but I intentionally didn’t allow the reader to get inside Nathan’s head in this book. I wanted them to experience all the fear and doubt that Emma felt, without understanding the hero’s motivations until she did.

The plot of this story is based very loosely on real-life historical events. I lived for about six years in a small town in Montana, and in that time I learned some of the history there. During the Civil War, though Montana had no official affiliations, sympathizers of the Union stole gold to support their cause and painted pictures of the victims as evil Confederates, even though most of those people had come upon that gold legally. The sheriff in Virginia City was eventually hung as a result of a series of events that happened around this time. Using these fascinating historical truths, I wrote a strange, but not altogether unlikely, tale where the people who are supposedly good in this book are actually not good at all.

Handling Susannah CoverHandling Susannah. This is my latest release. I plan to write a lot more about my inspiration for it in a separate blog post but, as a preview, I will say I was hugely inspired by one of my author friends, Susannah Shannon—so much so that I gave the heroine her name! This friend of mine has been instrumental in brainstorming sessions. She can come up with hilarious, delightful ideas for stories and plot twists at the drop of a hat, and that was the case with this book. Every western romance writer needs to write a story with the mail-order bride trope, right? It’s practically mandatory. Discussions with Susannah led to shaking up this trope and writing a story about a mail-order groom. And boy was this fun to write!

Thanks for reading about my inspiration! If you’re an author, I’d love to hear what inspires you. Are there similarities, or is your process totally different from mine? Do you have any advice for finding inspiration? Are there events in your life that have led to an influx or drought of ideas? Please share!

If you’re a reader, what kinds of themes do you like to read in your romance books? What would you like to read next? Please share your thoughts, as I’m always looking for new ideas and willing to try new things!

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

When spanking is the only fitting punishment #SatSpanks

Good morning! Today’s Saturday Spankings contribution is all about audiobooks; specifically, audiobooks from my last two releases: Emma’s Surrender and Corralling Callie.

Emma’s Surrender is live and ready to download, so if you feel like listening to a gritty western with an interesting plot and dynamic characters (oh, and spankings!), make sure to check it out. Here’s the first chapter.

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Buy the Audiobook
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I’ve also got a little preview of Corralling Callie for you. This will be coming out very soon, likely in the next couple weeks. What do you think?

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Isn’t the narrator’s voice amazing? I could listen to him all day. Here’s some of what’s contained in that chapter:

She sniffled. “Please don’t leave me behind.” She wiped a tear with the back of her hand, and Jude felt the last of his anger slip away. After all, her reckless action had been to help a passenger and was done in good faith. What further softened him was the fact that she did it for someone who had been less than kind to her.

“Callie,” he said more gently than before, but still with a firmness in his tone. “I know you were only trying to help, and I know it’s important for you to get to California. However, I can’t allow behavior like that to go unpunished. What you did was out-and-out dangerous.”

She nodded, a glimmer of hope creeping into her wet eyes. “I understand, Jude. But can’t you give me work to do or force me to ride up top or something?”

Jude ran his hand along the beard on his jaw and studied her. She looked like a scared and desperate child, very different from the proud little lady who had been bragging to him for the last few hours. He knew he wouldn’t have the heart to leave her behind. She looked too vulnerable to be on her own, and the only punishment he thought fitting was a spanking. Yes, that’s what she needed—a good blistering that would leave her temporarily sore but would impart a lasting lesson.

Are you excited to hear the rest? I know I am! Stay tuned. I’ll announce it on this blog when it’s released.

Thanks for stopping by. Click here to read spanking snippets from other authors.

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: A spanking fantasy

corrallingcallie_stripGood morning, and welcome to my contribution to Saturday Spankings. I’m sharing another snippet from Corralling Callie today; this time Callie is having a spanking fantasy as opposed to a real spanking. Jude has already given her a few punishment spankings, which she hated at the time, but now she finds herself fantasizing about them. If you’ve ever done the same, I think you’ll like what follows. Enjoy!

She imagined lying over his lap naked while his hand stroked the length of her body, from the nape of her neck down to her bottom and backs of her thighs. The spankings he’d given her had hurt at the time, but she liked remembering and fantasizing about them. Jude looked handsome even when he was angry—perhaps especially then. His dark eyes flashed and his firm jaw became impossibly harder. Then there was his voice when he scolded her before and during a spanking. It was deep and serious, yet still gentle, leaving her feeling both contrite and cared for at the same time.

She ran her hand up her inner thighs and squeezed her eyes shut as she imagined what would happen if she lost her temper and told Jude she hated him again. He would surely make good on his threat to spank her bare bottom.

“That’s it!” he would declare, peeling off his suede driving gloves and slapping them on the table. Her mind’s eye watched him cross the room to the bed with thunderous strides. He sat down and crooked his finger. “Come here, young lady. It’s time for that spanking I promised you.” His voice was stern, but she saw a twinkle in his eye.

She took slow steps in his direction. His hands looked so big, each one splayed over a denim-clad knee. Standing in front of him, she gazed at him sorrowfully and covered her behind with her palms. “I didn’t mean it, Jude. Are you going to spank me hard?”

If this tickles your fancy, you might enjoy reading more excerpts from Corralling Callie or the entire first chapter on my blog.

Buy Links for Corralling Callie

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
BARNES & NOBLE
ALL ROMANCE
KOBO
Corralling Callie

Thanks for stopping by! Click here to read more spanking excerpts from other authors.

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: I’m going to spank you until you calm down

Saturday SpankingsI’m sharing another excerpt from Corralling Callie today, which I hope you’ll like. Callie reacts inappropriately when someone wrongs her on the stagecoach. She curses and runs off, and then when Jude catches her and tosses her over his shoulder, she pounds her fists against his back. Jude has sympathy for what happened and intends to set things right for her, but first he must get her to settle down. I think this snippet aptly shows Jude’s no-nonsense approach but also the tenderness he has for his troublesome little passenger.

“I’m going to spank you until you calm down. It’s up to you how long it takes,” he informed her, then fell into silence and focused on his task with great attention. He smacked her crisply across both cheeks over and over, while she wailed and cursed and struggled to free herself from his iron grip on her waist. His forearm effectively pinned her to his left leg, and when she wouldn’t stop kicking, he wrapped his other leg over hers, trapping her completely and allowing him to keep his target steady. After a good twenty swats or so, she stopped cursing and hung limply over his lap, sniffling quietly.

As soon as he felt her body relax, he stopped spanking and rubbed her back, murmuring comforting words as they came to him. His sympathy only seemed to make her cry more, although by this time her crying wasn’t hysterical; instead it was sad and resigned. He sat her upright on his lap and hugged her to him, kissing her forehead and rubbing her back.

corrallingcallie

About Corralling Callie

For eighteen-year-old orphan Callie Broderick, going west as a mail-order bride seems to be the only hope she has for a decent husband. But when she sets out for the gold-mining town of Sacramento with nothing more than the clothes on her back and a stagecoach ticket, she quickly discovers that the trip will be quite a bit different than she expected.

As a former soldier and an experienced coachman, Jude Johnson is used to difficulties and dangers of all kinds during the arduous journey west, but he has never had to deal with trouble like Callie before. Not being the kind of man to kick a penniless orphan off his coach, he puts up with the sassy, disobedient girl for as long as he can, but when Callie’s antics put the lives of his passengers at risk Jude is forced to take matters into his own hands and spank her soundly.

The stern punishment leaves her thoroughly chastened and promising to behave, and Jude soon realizes that when she puts aside her foul-mouthed, defiant façade, the real Callie is as sweet and kind as she is beautiful. As the days pass, he takes it upon himself to guide her, care for her, and give her the loving discipline she so desperately needs, as often as she needs it. But when they reach their destination, will he be able to give her up?

Read the entire first chapter or purchase this book from your favorite retailer:

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
BARNES & NOBLE
ALL ROMANCE
KOBO
Corralling Callie

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Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

New Release! Corralling Callie #SatSpanks

corrallingcallie_fullI’m excited to share that I have a new release called Corralling Callie, a historical western romance with plenty of discipline/spanking. I loved writing these characters. Orphaned Callie has a tendency to lie, steal, and cause lots of trouble, but she is also quite endearing. Stagecoach driver Jude is just the man to deal with her unruly behavior and give her the love and discipline she’s always needed. Please enjoy this snippet.

“I’ll not have you running off, worrying me and delaying our trip.” Smack!

“I’ll stay with the others!” she promised in a wail.

“That you will, young lady.” He smacked the low curve of her bottom especially hard. “Otherwise, you’ll be spending the entire trip sitting on a smarting bottom. Is that what you want?”

“No,” she hiccupped, hating that tears were coursing down her face. She watched one drip on the ground next to Jude’s dusty boot. In addition to feeling pained, she also felt terribly angry and betrayed. She thought Jude was her friend, but instead of being friendly, he was giving her a very painful spanking. She thought he liked her, but he mustn’t think much of her at all if he felt inclined to cause her such agony.

Jude stopped spanking. He ran his hand over her scorched backside and rested it on her thigh. “One more thing. The senator is bellowing that you stole his pocket watch. I really don’t want to believe him.”

His touch felt gentle now, and she might have relaxed had it not been for his statement. Her heart sank, and she deeply regretted her impulsive theft. She searched for the words to say but couldn’t find them. Jude hadn’t exactly asked her if she’d taken the watch, and she certainly wasn’t going to offer him a confession, which as good as guaranteed more time in her current position. Callie remained silent, figuring that was the safest option.

Jude sighed heavily, then righted her skirts and planted her on her feet in front of him. He held her arms and studied her, frowning. “Think you can behave now?”

Callie shrugged out of his grasp and swiped at her tears with the backs of her hands. “I hate you.” The words were spoken hesitantly in a trembling voice. She worried the pronouncement might get her spanked again, but it was the only thing she wanted to say to him.

Jude’s eyebrows lifted. “You can hate me, darlin’. What you can’t do is disobey me.”

You can read other snippets from this book here, here, and here or buy it from one of the following retailers:

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
BARNES & NOBLE
ALL ROMANCE
KOBO
Corralling Callie

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your hop. Click here to enter your read more spanking excerpts.

Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: A spanking game

I’ve got a new book coming out next weekend! Please enjoy this “spanking game” teaser from it.

“The rules are simple. I’m going to ask you some questions, and you’re going to answer. For each lie, you get punished, but for each truth you get rewarded. Are you ready?”

She shifted again over his lap. “May I ask a question first?”

“Of course, darlin’.”

“I know what the punishment is, but… what’s the reward?”

“That’s a good question, baby.” He wrapped his hand around her thigh and gently pulled her leg to him, revealing her sex to his view.

A little more about the story:

Jude is a stagecoach driver used to encountering trouble in the form of bandits, treacherous roads, and poor weather during his journeys across half of the country. However, he’s never run into trouble quite like what he experiences with Callie Broderick, an orphaned teenager and mail-order bride who leaves her home in Saint Louis to travel to Sacramento, intent on meeting her future husband, a wealthy miner who pays for her journey west. Callie is a liar and a thief, with a dirty mouth and petulant disposition. Beneath all that, however, is a sweet girl who wants nothing more to be loved. Jude might just be the man to give her the discipline and love she needs.

Look for it August 20!

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Old West Romance · Saturday Spankings

#SatSpanks: You’re not to move from this position

Saturday SpankingsToday I’m sharing an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released book, which is currently in the editing stage at the publishers. I’m super excited about this western domestic discipline story. If you like a strong, loving hero and a naughty heroine in need of both tenderness and spanking, you’re going to love this book. Jude is a stagecoach driver responsible for transporting passengers across half the country, and Callie is a young mail-order bride traveling west to meet her fiancé. She’s smart, unruly, and keeps the driver on his toes from day one. Of course, things don’t work out according to either of their plans, but I think you’ll be happy with the results. Enjoy the snippet!

Excerpt

“Hold still,” he admonished when she fidgeted nervously in anticipation of the first stroke. “You’re not to move from this position until your punishment is over, understand?”

She settled immediately. A meek “yes, sir” reached his ears.

He took a deep breath. He didn’t want to spank her too hard, just enough for her to know he was serious and to make her think before behaving foolishly in the future. He drew back his arm and snapped the belt across the seat of her dress with moderate force. She let out a small yelp but remained in place.

“Good.” Although he spoke the word to praise her for taking the lick without moving, he also praised himself for inflicting enough pain to cause a reaction but not enough to tempt her to break position.

If you’re interested, you can read a couple more excerpts from this book here and here. And follow me on Amazon to get an alert when it’s been released!

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