By Kristy McCaffrey
Today I’m pleased to share the release of THE BLUEBIRD, Book 5 in my Wings of the West series. It’s taken me 13 years to complete this collection (which also includes a short novella), so I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Here’s a little background on the entire series.
The characters in THE WREN (Book 1) came to me when I was 15 years old. I saw a girl and two brothers. This grew into the characters of Molly Hart and Matt Ryan (and his brother Logan).
When I was 23, I moved across the country to attend graduate school in Pennsylvania. I drove with my mom and sister, and during a rest stop in Amarillo, Texas, I looked out over the flat, rolling plains and ‘saw’ a young Molly running among the tall grass.
Although it felt like Molly was stalking me to tell her story, I didn’t publish THE WREN until I was 37 years old. I wrote it while I had four kids under the age of 5 underfoot. Although I’d been compelled to write since I was a young girl, it took me that long to finally do something about it.
The character of Molly was named after my paternal great-grandmother—Mary Agnes “Molly” O’Rourke Kearney, who emigrated from Ireland. ‘Hart’ is a family name on my mother’s side.
While writing THE DOVE (Book 2), I traveled to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and was able to find local research books that helped immensely in the layout of the town in 1877. If you’re a writer, do this. Often, local research isn’t available on the internet or Amazon.
THE SPARROW (Book 3) took the longest for me to write—about 6 years. While I took a lengthy break to focus on raising my children, I also became stuck in the story at the halfway point. This book employed my most intuitive writing, guiding me toward shamanism, a discipline I knew nothing about. I spent over two years attempting to understand the skills and techniques utilized in this ancient healing modality.
THE SPARROW is my most mixed-reviewed book. Readers either love it or hate it. For me, personally, it was a labor of love, albeit a painful labor at times. While I’ve considered cutting portions of the story to make it more marketable, it encompasses an interior emotional journey that has spoken to similar kindred souls. When a writer is pushed by some unknown force toward a work that makes little sense to her, sometimes the best thing to do is to step out of the way and let it be what it needs to be.
Although I now live in Arizona, I wrote THE BLACKBIRD (Book 4) without ever visiting southern Arizona (the location of the story). Clearly this goes against my earlier advice of visiting the setting of a book; however, I’m a very detail-oriented person (probably why I studied engineering in college) and I always immerse myself in intensive research whenever I write a book. I did my homework.
While writing THE BLUEBIRD (Book 5), I lost the file twice. The first time, the manuscript was two-thirds complete and I had no backup. It was a rude awakening about my lazy computer habits. I quickly cleaned up my act, but it took me a week before I could bring myself to sit down and write the book again. And then, near the end, I lost the file again. Thankfully, this time, I did have a backup. But my disillusionment with technology runs fairly deep now and I no longer trust ANY source completely, whether it be a computer hard drive, an external hard drive, a stick, or Dropbox. These days, I backup in four places every day.
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Can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.
Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.
A sensuous historical western romance set in 1892 Colorado.
McKenna’s jet-black hair curled along the collar of his shirt, and a coal-colored stubble had sprouted on his strong jawline. When he shifted his gaze to her, his eyes put her in mind of molasses. Molly chewed on her lower lip and glanced away, lest McKenna catch her staring.
Shaking off her fascination, she asked, “How did you meet Robert?”
“In a poker game.”
Molly gasped. “Robert gambles?”
McKenna chuckled. “You’ve already been to a whorehouse. If you wanted to remain innocent, you shouldn’t have come to Creede.”
Her backside stiffened. “I’m not naïve to the ways of the world.”
Another grin lit his face. Her breath caught and her heart pounded more intensely. She honestly couldn’t look away. She’d read about people who possessed a charm that swayed the masses and opened doors with merely a glance, but she’d never met such a person.
What was the word she’d come across? Charisma, that was it. In this moment, the meaning became crystal clear.
“Whatever you say, Miss Simms. Why did you come to Creede?”
“To visit my brother, of course.”
“You came by yourself all the way from Tucson?”
“My folks believed that Robert would be here to meet me.”
He nodded, his amiable demeanor slipping a bit. She took a steadying breath to quiet the knot in her stomach that never quite receded. Please be all right, Robert.
“My folks thought that Robert would look after me,” she added, her voice muffled as rain continued to pound on the roof of the cabin. “But I assure you that I can look after myself.”
“I don’t doubt that. I’m at your service, nevertheless.”
He held her gaze, and a frisson of awareness shot through her. She shifted her eyes to the stove. She hadn’t traveled all this way to fall for the first rugged buckaroo who crossed her path, charisma or not. She had more important things to do with her life first.
Copyright © 2016 K. McCaffrey LLC
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Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.
Connect with Kristy
Blog ~ Pathways: http://www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2erVsze