Friday, August 19, 2016

Solitary Horseman by Deborah Camp ♥ Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Historical Western Romance)


Texas rancher Callum Latimer believed that the Civil War had killed everything tender and yearning inside of him until he struck up a partnership with Banner Payne. His dark-haired, golden-eyed, spirited neighbor stirred embers that he thought were long dead . . .

Sunlight glided over hair as she shifted from one boot to the other, and before his mind could catch up with his instincts, Callum reached out and wrapped his index finger around one of her auburn curls. Its softness against his calloused skin sent longing through him like a rushing river. She’d be like that all over – soft where he was hard, giving where he was not. He heard her gasp and his heart bucked.


Have you ever had an imaginary friend?

I was an only child. Well, not really. But my only sibling was 10 years older than me, so we never played together. Therefore, I felt like an only child in that I had to amuse myself when playmates weren’t around. I had a big imagination and I had many imaginary friends. I think this helped me as a fiction writer because I was used to imaginary friends being so very real to me. I cared about them just as I care for the characters I create. I talked to them and they talked back! I remember once when I was walking home from elementary school, chatting away with an imaginary friend, and someone drove by and yelled, “Who you talking to, nutty?” I was startled and embarrassed. Not for having an imaginary friend walking home with me, but because I was “caught.” Sometimes I’ll see a young kid walking along, lips moving, and I know he or she is discussing something with a friend who is only in his/her head. Like “Harvey” the imaginary rabbit in the famous play/movie. We all need someone to talk to, right? Imaginations are wondrous things.

Do you have any phobias?

I had to really think about this. I must have a phobia or two . . . I used to be scared of the dark when I was a kid, but I’m pretty much over that. I have things I dislike or are uncomfortable around, but they don’t reach the level of phobias. So, no, I guess not.

Do you listen to music when you're writing?

About half the time, I do. I ask “Alexa” to play pop music or classical music or opera. Depends on what I’m feeling like. I don’t have to listen to music when I write, though. I used to always have the TV on when I was writing – although it was mainly “white noise” because I couldn’t tell you what was on and what was happening. Now, though, I can write in silence or listen to music when the mood strikes me.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?

I was in writer critique groups for 25 years and had my novels all read aloud in them, chapter by chapter. That was one of the best things I ever did for my writing because a cold reader will show you if dialogue is hard to deliver or if something needs to be restructured to get the right inflection. Now I will occasionally read dialogue aloud to see how it sounds to me. Primarily, though, when I have a dramatic scene coming up to write, I will act it out aloud and jot down dialogue that I particularly like so I won’t forget it when I sit down to write the scene later. I might “act out” the scene two or three times, each time coming up with good snippets of dialogue or ways the scene can go that are better or worse. Hearing those scenes, acting them out, and being aware of the facial expressions and gestures that accompany them are important to my process. My guy is used to it and never pokes his head into the room anymore to ask me, “Who are you talking to in here?” He has figured out that living with a writer is often just weird.

Tell us about your main character and who inspired him/her.

My main characters are Callum Latimer and Banner Payne. I can’t say that any one person inspired either of them. They are a collection of characteristics I wanted for each of these characters. Callum is a war hero, but a broken, shattered man. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and his life has become one of responsibility. No joy or satisfaction. Banner is also suffering in that she’s dirt poor and has an older brother who returned from the war a haunted, mentally scarred individual. I wanted these two people to complement each other and become stronger with each other to lean on.


They finished eating, sopping up the last of the gravy with biscuits and popping the final bite of bacon or sausage into their mouths. All except for Callum, who seemed to have lost his appetite. He pushed aside his plate, nodding when Banner reached to take it away.

In the kitchen, she began preparing to wash the dishes, as she went over and over the unsettling conversation. So, the vigilante groups were stirring up more trouble along with memories that some people were trying hard to bury. She’d noticed that Hollis seemed to be worse lately. Sullen. Anger simmering just below the surface. Stalking off to be alone with his thoughts. Snapping at her when she questioned him about his moods.

Her brother was a sensitive soul and when there was unrest around him, he felt it, through and through. Living with him when he was jittery was like handling a porcupine. There was no way to touch it without getting pricked.

Someone cleared his throat right behind her and Banner spun around with a gasp, her wet hands flying up and slinging drops of water across Callum’s faded red shirt.

“Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“I . . . got your shirt wet.”

He shrugged. Banner hoped to see a softening in his eyes and she was disappointed.

“I’ll be back tonight, but it will be late. You go on home at the usual time.”

“I was mighty proud of you just now.”

He raised his brows and shook his head, clearly puzzled.

“What you said about the war and how nobody wins a fight.”

He held his hat in one hand and rubbed his chin with the other. “I don’t think I said that exactly. Fights are won, but sometimes the cost isn’t worth it.” He took a step back from her, running his hand down the front of his shirt and Banner watched the journey.

She so loved his hands. Long fingers, wide palm. She knew the tenderness of his touch and how they could trail fire along her skin. “I’ve missed you.”

He stared at her a few moments and something vulnerable shimmered in his eyes before he abruptly turned and walked away from her. “I need to get.”

“Callum!” She grabbed the back of his shirt. “Wait.” When he didn’t face her, she stepped around him. “Is something wrong? I feel like we’re on a seesaw here. Up and down. Up and down.”

Walking his fingers around the brim of his hat, he avoided her probing gaze. “I guess that sums it up. I’ve had a lot of time to think lately and maybe you’re right. We need to keep our heads clear and . . . well, a woman like you and a man like me . . .” He shrugged.

What in tarnation did that mean? Was this about her being a lowly Payne? Feeling as if he’d ripped opened an old wound, she glared at him, but he wasn’t looking at her. Finally, he glanced up and his eyes widened fractionally.

“Go on then.” Banner snatched his hat out of his hands and whacked him with it. “Get. I don’t have time anymore for this silly game.” His look of surprise angered her even more and she crushed his hat against his chest, making him grab it. She caught sight of Shane standing in the dining room, not hiding his curiosity at the scene unfolding. “Shane needs to talk to you. I’m finished with you.” Whirling around, she stomped through the kitchen and out the back door where the air was bitterly cold, matching the season in her heart. She would not cry! She wouldn’t! Should have known that he’d finally realize that he was too good and proper to be sporting with that Payne gal. He’d been raised to see her as filth and he couldn’t shake it.

Striding purposefully across the frozen ground, she made a beeline for the hen house. It would be warmer in there. Mary had already collected the eggs, but there were probably a few more that she could—.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the scrawled lettering across a big white banner that had been nailed to the side of the barn and her shoes slipped in the snow. She almost fell, but regained her balance in the nick of time. Staring at the ugly message, she was aware of pounding footfalls behind her.

“Damn it all, Banner! Just hold up. I didn’t mean to—.” Callum’s grouchy apology stopped at the same time he did. “What the hell?”

JOIN OR DIE

A Confederate flag was nailed below the fluttering white sheet that bore the menacing order. When had this been done? Banner wondered, her mind spinning back to when she’d been out earlier. She would have noticed it then. And the men had ridden up for breakfast! They would have seen it. Someone – no, more than one person – had done this while they’d all been inside. The audacity!

“Sons-of-bitches.”

Banner looked at Callum, sharing his disgust but not the wrath stamped on his chiseled features. She touched his hand. “Callum . . .” she whispered, trying to calm him.

He backed away, having none of it. “No. Don’t. Not now, Banner.” Then he spun about and marched toward the house again, yelling to Shane. “Take that bullshit down off the barn and burn it. The flag, too! Do it now.”

“Yes, sir,” Shane said, already trotting toward the barn.

Banner stood rooted to the spot as Callum swung up into Butter’s saddle and rode away, the horse’s hooves muffled by the snow. Cold air wrapped around her and she shivered, her teeth rattling.

Looking toward the house again, she saw Seth Latimer standing on the front porch, his squinty eyes fixed on the barn. He shook his head slowly, then turned and made his way back into the house.

Banner went inside, too, but she stood at the kitchen window and watched as Shane jerked down the big sheet and Confederate flag. He bundled them up and set them on fire, standing near them until they were nothing but ashes scattered by winter’s breath.

Gone. But the malevolence had left its stain like the black hole in the snow.





Author of more than 45 novels, Deborah lives in Oklahoma. She has been a full-time writer since she graduated from the University of Tulsa. She worked for a few years as a reporter for newspapers before becoming a freelance writer. Deborah's first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, and Avon. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of the Author's Guild.

Lover of the west and the people who tried to tame it, Deborah likes to write about strong, independent women and the men who are their equals. She grew up on a diet of TV westerns which have served her well. Since she appreciates men with devilish twinkles in their eyes, she likes to mix laughter in with the love scenes in her books. Also widely published in non-fiction, she writes and edits for a magazine focused on small businesses. Deborah taught fiction writing for more than 10 years at a community college. She is currently working on her next historical romance set in the wild, wonderful west.

Her books have been re-issued on Amazon for Kindle Direct and have attracted tens of thousands of new fans. For a list of them, visit her website.


    

Win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card!

@GoddessFish @AuthorDebCamp http://goo.gl/ZJ8SUT

34 comments :

  1. Great interview! Thank you for sharing the excerpt with us! :)

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    1. You're welcome. I hope it entices you to buy the book since that's the point of all this. :-) Happy Reading.

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  2. Dang Deborah! You've written 45 novels?? It must be hard to choose a favorite...but do you have one?

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    1. My work-in-progress is always my "favorite." :-)

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  3. Good luck with the release!

    --Trix

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    1. Thank you, Trix. Good luck to you, too.

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  4. Enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Marcy. I hope you enjoy the whole book.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the interview. It was a bit like "true confessions"! :0

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  6. Thank you for spotlighting my book on your blog. Bloggers are so important to authors and I appreciate the time you give to writers and readers.

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  7. Congrats on the blog tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  8. I enjoyed the interview this book sounds fantastic.

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  9. I enjoyed the interview this book sounds fantastic.

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  10. Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

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  11. Loved the interview, thanks for sharing.

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  12. Hi Deborah,

    You are a new to me author. What book of yours should I read first?

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  13. Great interview. Really enjoy reading historical fiction, especially of the old West. Definitely adding to my TBR list.

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  14. Great interview. Really enjoy reading historical fiction, especially of the old West. Definitely adding to my TBR list.

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  15. Thank you for the excerpt & giveaway.

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  16. Shared on Facebook to help spread the word! :)

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  17. Great synopsis! I love cowboys :)

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  18. Couboy love story, gotta love it. Excited to read this

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  19. Good Golly Miss Molly. LUv the synosis. Wow, prize amazon gc is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. :) Pick me, pick me! Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest. Starving artist here desperately needs the gc to shop and eat. A life changing exp.

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  20. Im so glad i stumbled across this giveaway. Ive had a hard time finding new books to read, and some of yours sound fabulous. the excerpt from this one is great!

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  21. Deborah is a new to me author but her story sounds fun!

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  22. sounds like a fun one

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  23. Thanks for hosting. Enjoy your weekend.

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  24. Wow, all those novels written and not planning to stop soon! Write 'em cowgirl!

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  25. I've always had a preference to "tall, dark and lonesome." The silent, solitary hero with a dark past. This sounds like the right kind of story for me!

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