How would you describe your main character(s)?
Craig Harris is arrogant, chauvinistic and incredibly sexy. Left to shoulder the responsibilities of pulling the Rockin’ H ranch out of near ruin at the age of fifteen, Craig has grown up hard and fast and he’s used to women throwing themselves at him. Despite his past disappointments with women, he longs for an old fashioned marriage and family.
Tamera Collins earned her degree as a large animal Veterinarian at the tender age of twenty four. A sheltered only child, she is crushed when her parents are killed in a tragic airplane accident. Having been nicknamed Temper Tantrum by her father (shortened to Temper as she got older) her high strung, temperamental personality is the perfect match to Craig’s.
What is the problem your character(s) face in your book?
Both have past disappointments and tragedies and mutual distrust of the opposite sex to overcome in order to open up to the love blossoming between them.
What would you like your readers to know about your character(s)?
Like most people, Craig and Tamera are quick to form judgments and opinions of each other, and like most, come to realize that first impressions aren’t always the truest.
Now in print and audio!
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Read an excerpt from Chapter 1
Craig Harris pushed his half-empty plate away and signaled the waitress for a cup of coffee. He scrubbed a hand over his face, rubbed his tired, gritty eyes and looked out the window, hoping to avoid idle chit-chat with the woman as she sidled up to him, coffee pot in hand, seductive sway to her hips, and a hint of suggestion in her smile.
“Wonder when I’ll have the opportunity to leave you looking so haggard,” she remarked.
His gaze cut to her in a quick, scathing look that stopped further conversation. A flash of movement and color caught the corner of his eye. Craig glanced out the window to see a red Corvette toting a horse trailer drive into the service station across the street.
Impossible, he thought, with a shake of his head. He rubbed his eyes again, positive he was hallucinating. Sure enough, it was there, plain as day. Seen it all now, he thought, and watched a petite blonde disembark from the vehicle, speak to the attendant, then unload her horse. Craig admired the care she lavished on the huge animal. Admiration turned to awe then anger when she loaded the horse back in the trailer and headed in the direction of the diner where he sat. He lay in wait. She was seated comfortably at the counter when he approached her.
“Gonna leave that horse out there long while you sit in here where it’s nice and cool?” he asked. As a rancher, Craig detested the misuse of any animal, especially horses.
Tamera Collins turned and looked into the angriest—and prettiest—steel-gray eyes she’d ever seen. “Are you talking to me?”
“No,” he snarled. “I’m talking to Harry. Who else would I be talking to? You’re the only idiot I’ve seen put her horse in a trailer in one hundred-degree heat!”
Tamera knew the stranger had no way of knowing her horse trailer was equipped with oscillating fans to keep its occupant cool and it was on the tip of her tongue to tell him, but the sheer audacity of him attacking her stayed her words. She stiffened and desperately held on to her rising temper. “Look, mister, I don’t know who you are or where you get off being so rude, but I’ll have you know my horse is well taken care of.”
With a low growl, he grabbed her by the arm, nearly unseating her. “It’s hotter than blazes outside, and even hotter in that trailer! I want to know how long you’re going to leave him in there before you get moving?”
Tamera’s already strained temper shot up another degree. She jerked free of his grasp. “Don’t manhandle me, mister. My daddy never manhandled me. You can bet some half-cocked stranger’s not going to either!”
A collective gasp sounded in the cafe, followed by absolute silence as the customers waited to see what happened next. Not one of them would have crossed him in any manner, and everyone wondered what he’d do to the mere slip of a girl who dared to.
Caught between surprise and shock, Craig bit back a curse. Little spitfire. Got nerve too. “Looks like your daddy never spanked you, either, sweetheart,” he drawled. “Now answer me and make it quick. I’m not used to waiting when I ask a question, and I’m extremely low on patience right now.”
Tamera saw red—bright, hot, furious, red. Low on patience? More like low on manners! How dare he manhandle her, insult her father, then calmly demand an answer to an unwarranted attack on her ability to take care of her horse!
Before he could blink, she grabbed her glass of water off the counter and tossed it in his face. “Cool off, Mister. Show some courtesy from now on and next time you just might get your answer.”
She stormed into the bathroom, locked the door and burst into tears, the confrontation an overload to her taut emotions. “Arrogant jerk cowboy!”
Craig stared in stunned disbelief, eyes narrowing as he realized she’d succeeded in humiliating him in front of an entire room of his peers. He glared around as customers ducked heads, sipped drinks, or hid snickers and smiles behind their hands. With a muttered curse, he started toward the bathroom.
“No more, Craig,” Harry interrupted with quiet authority, fully aware Craig would tear the door down to get to her. God only knew what would happen then. “Leave her alone.”
Turning on his heel, Craig stormed out of the cafe. The customers burst into wild laughter the moment he was out the door. Craig Harris owned one of the largest and most successful ranches in the state. And he never let anyone forget it.
Craig tore out of the drive, the jeep’s tires spun, throwing dust and gravel everywhere. Harry waited until he was gone before he went to the ladies’ room.
“Come on out, honey, he’s gone,” he encouraged the occupant.
Tamera clamped a lid on her whirling emotions, washed her face then opened the door. A flush of embarrassment stained her pale cheeks. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
Harry chuckled, leading her back to her seat as the patrons burst into spontaneous applause. “It’s okay, sweetheart. Craig Harris can be a real jerk sometimes. Most of the time actually. He’s a fine man, but he does demand respect.”
She gasped in petrified shock. “You don’t mean the Craig Harris who owns the Rockin’ H Ranch do you?”
“Yep, one and the same.”
Embarrassment washed over her in angry waves. Tamera hung her head. Of all the strange twists of fate, this certainly topped her list of ‘life’s little ironies’.
“My daddy always warned me to watch my temper,” she said in a humiliated whisper. “Now I know why.”
“Don’t worry, honey, he’ll get over it.” Harry assured.
I doubt it, Tamera thought, knowing she’d find out soon enough.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!