Saturday, December 6, 2008

Writing Westerns, Two by Two…

by Tawny

I'm SO excited to welcome my dear friend and a fabulous writer, the awesome Stacey Kayne to the Lair. I've know Stacey since the dawn of time... or way back when she, I and Beth started writing *g*. Stacey is one of the most intriguing writers I know and I'm so excited she agreed to come by and visit. And - check it out!! Two of Stacey's western releases for this year are up for Best Western of 2008 over at .

BANDITAS!!!! I’m excited to be back in the lair. Thanks for having me over! Anna C., I’m still hoping you’ll record my Stacey Kayne theme song—with that Rawhide whip crack in the background *g*—so I can post it on my My Space music! I can’t look at my books without hearing your voice :-)

I’ve been doing some celebrating in the past couple weeks…I turned in the third and final books for both my WILD and BRIDE series— MOUNTAIN WILD and COURTED BY THE COWBOY (don’t let the title fool ya—it’s part of an anthology, and also an addition to my BRIDE series!). Both books will be in bookstores this summer. Excerpts on my website!

Has anyone else noticed more and more westerns on the bookstore shelves lately? In the recent RT I saw new westerns by Dorothy Garlock, Georgia Gentry, Cheryl St. John, Linda Lael Miller, Bobbie Smith and more! Here’s hoping this is a western trend that will keep on booming!!

While I was thrilled to turn in my latest books, I have to admit, I’m a tad sad to see the end of my first two series. I had a lot of fun with the Morgan brothers and the Doulan family. I have always been a huge fan of those western family sagas, and as a writer I have this habit of falling in love with my secondary characters—everyone needs a book! This last book in my Wild Trilogy was extra special, since the hero Garret Daines first appeared on the page as a twelve year old boy in MUSTANG WILD. In MAVERICK WILD a few years have pack some muscle onto his wiry frame and his teenage heart is subjected to some serious bruising when he crushes on a woman who only has eyes for Chance Morgan. My critique partners would tell you I had a hard time accepting sweet, protective Garret as the rugged cowboy he needed to become…and though it took my brain a while let go, Garret is all grown up in MOUNTAIN WILD and has found a wild woman all his own. Those who’ve followed the series might recognize her *g*.

While initially writing Kyle Darby’s story in COURTED BY THE COWBOY, I had similar troubles. Kyle also made his first published appearance as a twelve-year-old boy at the end of BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON. But while writing THE GUNSLINGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE, Kyle stomped onto the page with a force that shocked me, shattering any lingering boyish image. He wasn’t about to be upstaged by his gunfighter cousin and reminded me he had a book waiting to be finished. I was smitten all over again and couldn’t wait to pair him up with Miss Constance Pauley…who’s not as docile as her name might indicate!

But for every door that closes, a window opens – opening just wide enough to launch a new western series for 2010! This new series will be revolve around the founding and expansion of a Montana boomtown shortly following the Civil War. The heroes of the first two books are talking to me…these two rugged wounded souls were childhood friends, fought on opposite sides in the war and still have some reckoning with each other while trying to find their place in a scarred world. That place will be established by the end of the first book in the series, and each book will introduce another couple to become a vital addition to their growing community.

I’m really excited to write one consecutive series---even better, one that will be packaged with the series title. The Powers That Be have asked for a series title that will reflect the setting…Something River, Something Mountain, Something Spring…Something that says RUGGED WILD WESTERN SERIES….only problem, I stink at titles. So…today I’ll be randomly tossing out beaded dragonfly clips to those who post a title suggestion—Help!!!!

And at the end of the day I’ll give away a western ornament and a signed copy of THE GUNSLINGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE. Big thanks to my Play Pals Tawny and Beth for being such gracious hostesses!


Jane said...

Is it mine?

Tawny said...

YAY Jane :-) Congrats on the rooster nabbing! You're fast.

Jane said...

Hi Stacey,
I really enjoyed "Maverick Wild. I'm so excited that you have a new series planned for 2010. I'm not good with naming stuff, but I throw in some suggestions. How about Stormy Mountain or Savage Sierra?

flchen1 said...


Oh boy! I've been loving your books ever since Tawny introduced me to them! And I'm thrilled to hear that you'll be writing a new consecutive series for 2010! (That feels so far away right now! ;)) Does that mean that the books will be coming out in consecutive months? ;) And how many books are planned?

I'm not so great at the brainstorming either... and I'm terrible with American history--what kind of stuff was happening in Montana after the Civil War? Are the heroes all ex-soldiers? Or just people who happen to end up in that town? Apparently parts of Montana attracted gold miners...

Tons of questions and no ideas yet! Montana Heroes? (not!) I'd better go dust off my thinking cap!

Congrats on the GR, Jane!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Stacey! Welcome back to the lair.

You know - I was saying the exact same thing about the appearance of a lot more Westerns on the shelves these days. I think you're partly to blame for the resurgence of this subgenre.

Wish I could help you with titles, but I'm terrible with them myself. Good Luck, though. I'm sure something will come to you.

Stacey Kayne said...

Congrtulations on the fine rooster nabbing Jane!

I'm so glad you enjoyed MAVERICK--thank you! I'm adding your title suggestions to my list :0) I'm one of those that has to have working titles, but my mind has been blank on this one.

Stacey Kayne said...

Fedora!!! I know what you mean about the wait--from the time I finish a book until it hits bookstores is excruciating! Right now I'm pining for covers for my '09 books *lol* And Harlequin is fast as far as the publisher time-line goes.

At this point, I'm contracted for the first two books--the great thing about following the town is that I have an unlimited supply of characters! So I suppose I can keep adding as long as I can muster interest and contracts ;-) My hope is to have close release dates for these and I've been writing the first two books consecutively. So we shall see.

My heroes are war veterans who are looking for a new start and a wild haeven of sorts. The hero in the first book dreams of finding a place so picturesque he'll forget the images of war...his friend doesn't believe such a place exhists, and of course nothing goes according to plan and they end up finding a whole lot of trouble ;-) Is that helpful? *lol*

Stacey Kayne said...

Thank you, Donna! I wish I could claim responsibility *g*, but I'm thankful to be part of the tide! Nothing lights up my imagination like rugged cowboys ;-)

CONGRATS to you on your Best First Book win!!!

Tawny said...

YAY Stacey's here :-)

Hmmm... titles.

Ride 'em Cowboy
Have Spurs Will Travel
Hot, Rugged and Ready

*g* its clear that Stacey doesn't ask me for title help, isn't it?

Jane, congratulations again on the rooster snagging. And what a great title idea - yours are MUCH better than mine!

Tawny said...

Fedora, I'm so glad to take credit for hooking you on Stacey's awesome writing LOL.

Donna, I think you're right. Stacey probably won't take the credit, but I hear her name mentioned whenever Westerns come up.

Stacey Kayne said...

ROFL!!! I knew I'd get you over to the Western side, Tawny! :-D I'm already drooling over YOUR cowboy Blaze--cannot wait!!! I'd buy any of those titles *g*

danie88 said...

Hi Stacey!

here are some ideas though I don't think they're that good...

~The Scarred Montana Man
~The Rugged Montana Man
~The Scarred Mountain Man
~The Rugged Mountain Man
~My (or Her) Wild Western Montana Man
~The Troubled Mountain Man
~The Troubled Montana Man
~My (or Her) Wild Western Hero
~My (or Her) Wild Montana Hero
~The Montana Mountain Man
~Montana Man Searching For A Dream

I know some I just switched the words... others you can switch the words around a bit too... but here ya go...

Helen said...

Well done Jane have fun with him

Stacey I love westerns and your books sound wonderful I am going to think about names and get back.

Have Fun

Keira Soleore said...

Welcome to The Lair, Stacey. So thrilled to have you (and your delish cowboys--how many ways can I say Kyle?) here.

I'm a relatively new convert to westerns. Linda Lael Miller's McKettrick series was my intro a little over a year ago. Now, I'm adding new westerns authors to my list every other month. Can't get enough, er, read enough of them.

Tawny, I must've been hiding under a rock when you introduced Stacey to The Lair before. I have yet to read one. Please advise: Which one do I start out with first????????

'Grats on the chook nabbing, Jane.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Stacey!

Congrats on the new releases and the new series! I'm so excited to see more Westerns on the shelves. I started reading romance with my Grandma and she loved a Western. When I read them now, they remind me of her.

Congrats Jane! What are you and the GR getting up to today?

Minna said...

Congrats on the GR, Jane!
Titles... No ideas just now... I'm all too exhausted after making all those Christmas pastries. But, it's Independence Day here. Some lucky people have been invited to the Presidential Palace. And on Radio Nova they seem to play only Finnish music today (some songs might be in English, though). If your internet connection is faster than mine, you might be able to listen, too:
just click Radio Nova on Air on the left (or Joulun radio, if you like to listen to Christmas music).

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to the lair, Stacey!! I'm so glad westerns are making a comeback. Mustang Wild was awesome! I loved it! Now I know why you always beat me in all those contests :)

Congratulations with all your books.

Joan said...

{Standing and applauding}Kudos to new and different historical time periods!

I'd agree with the reference someone made (Tawny?) that your sale led to the resurgence in Western historicals.

As to names? Well, Mountain Men brings on a whole 'nother image, the Sons of Katie Elder's been taken :-)

You could call the series Western Swing but then you'd have to teach them to dance, LOL. (Hey! Here's a marketing idea...with every book sold, throw in a CD of Asleep at the Wheel! Or Anna C. singing? Really?)

Off to Xmas shop...might just swing by the bookstore for some hunky cowboys!

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats, Jane! Have fun with the GR and keep him away from the six shooters!

Love your books, Stacey! Your tough, wounded hot heroes are the best!! And the no nonsense ladies that take them on are just the kind of women that won the West. Love 'em!

And I am definitely excited about the new series!

How about - Tomorrow Mountain as a name for the series. Maybe The Men of Tomorrow Mountain.

I know many of the odd names of Western towns and natural wonders had to do with whatever someone said about it for the first time.

Tomorrow Mountain could be named because when people were traveling there in wagon trains and asked the wagon master when they would reach that mountain he would always say "Tomorrow." And it could tie in with your heroes wanting to go into the future and escape their pasts.

Okay, that's my contribution! I have to dash off to work in a bit, but I'll stop back by after work to see what great titles the Banditas and Buddies have come up with for you!

Joan said...

Wow, Louisa.....

Good job!

Do you charge for title consultation?

PJ said...

Welcome Stacey! I love westerns and I'm so happy to see more of them returning to the shelves. It's about time! I'm looking forward to reading your books. I've been hearing great things about them all over the internet.

For your new series, how about Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Valley or Rainbow Ridge? For the men who have been through the Civil War their new home in Montana could signify the beautiful rainbow at the end of the storm.

PJ said...

Congrats on grabbing the GR, Jane!

danie88 said...

I seriously must be missing something here... I must not have been here long enough yet to know what's going on...

what exactly did Jane get?

lol I'm so confused...

PJ said...

danie, the GR (golden rooster) is the (virtual) mascot of the board and goes to the first poster of the day.

danie88 said...

ohhhh i see...

*rubs hands together*

*makes plans on nabbing the rooster tomorrow*


Dina said...

Wow a new seris that I can start with the first one, lol.

Here are my trys:

Troubled Rock River
Shadow Mountain Men
Serene Springs


Beth said...

Yay, my very favorite Western writer is here!! Welcome back, Stacey *g*

I am so excited to read Mountain Wild and Courted By The Cowboy!!

I'm headed out for a Christmas House Tour but wanted to pop in before I left :-) While I'm gone, you can bet I'll be brainstorming rugged, western title ideas!

Oh, and Keira, I'm not Tawny (although we've been accused of sharing the same brain) but I highly recommend Stacey's first book Mustang Wild. It's the first story of Stacey's I read and it hooked me right from the get-go!

Virginia said...

Hey I stink at title to. I do so love your books. You just can't beat a good western series.

Rugged Mountain Rivers.
Wild Rivers.
Spring in the Mountains.

Like I said I stink at this.

Stacey Kayne said...

Good morning all! I LOVE all the title suggestions--THANK YOU!!!

Dannie 88, I'd so love SEARCHING FOR A DREAM as the first book title in the series. All these suggestions really make the words start to weave...I'm making a list *g* Thanks!!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Stacey, waving wildly at you! So glad to have you back in the Lair. Your books are super-delicious.

Wow, girl, you are jamming on the westerns. It's great to have a resurgence of these stories. I grew up on Rawhide and Gunsmoke and love a good western.

Personally I really like how you've taken a young-ish character and evolved him into a western alpha male. It reminds the reader where the character gave from and gives him a vulnerability that explains his mature actions.

Sorry, I so stink on titles; I'm no help there.

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Helen! Good luck with the shopping :)

Keira ~ WELCOME to the western side!!! *g* Linda Lael Miller hooked me on westerns too ;-) If you haven't read ONE must!!! My all-time fave of all her westerns.

The first book in either series would be a good starting point - my readers are split down the middle about which series they like best *lol* But they tend to have a definite favorite. The second book in both series is up for the Best Western Reader poll and I'm very curious to see which book gets more votes! Last year only one of my books made it into the poll and MUSTANG WILD took second place to Linda Lael Miller's western...can I say that a thousand times *ROFL* It was a HUGE writing highlight for me ;-)

LindaC said...

Hi, Stacey! Iread the excerpt for your The Gunslinger's Untamed Bride. I love Lily. What a modern woman.
Suggestions for a title for a new series involving two scarred men-Peace, Refuge, Haven. Sierra Refuge, Hope's Plain, Haven Valley.


Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Deb!!!!! I so love your new cover! Harlequin is putting out some gorgeous covers :)

Ya know, my grandma was a huge western fan too. She died of cancer when I was eighteen and I think her love of westers was another draw for me--writing westerns makes me feel close to her again :)

Minna said...

The Men of lost Trail Pass
The Men of Wolf River
The Men of Bearpaw Mountains
The Men of Three Forks Click Itsenäisyyspäivän vastaanotto, La 6.12. klo 18:50-20:30 ja 20:45-22:15 (koko maailma) on the right side and you'll get to see how they dance the Presidential Palace.

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Minna! Happy Independence Day to you!!! Christmas pastries sound nummy :)

LOL, Christie!! The contest and frustrating times ;-) CONGRATS on your recent published win!! I'm so glad you enjoyed MUSTANG--Thank you!!

Stacey Kayne said...

Linda C - HAEVEN VALLEY has a beautiful ring to it!

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Joan! *LOL* Love the image of swinging mountain men!!!

The hero of the first book is a cartographer, his buddy is an explosive expert--he did some naughting things in the war that haunt him--and they've been hired by the railroad to map out expansion routes when life leads them waaay off course. But I'm thinking a dancing scene would be great!!! I've made the mental note ;-) I am sooo game for the Anna C theme song CD!!!!

Anna C...this could be a hit for both of us ;-)

Stacey Kayne said...

Wow, Louisa!! THANKS!! Love that title and the introspectoin to go with it!Thanks so much for all those kind words about my books -- I love writing that opposites attract angle with my heroe's and heroines--stubborn grit being their one common factor *g*

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi PJ! My ears are burning *g* glad you've heard good stuff about my books!

I love that rainbow analogy! Rainbow Ridge has a nice ring to it :) Thanks for the help!!

Keira Soleore said...

Beth and Stacey, thanks for the recommendations (Mustang Wild and One Wish by LLM). The world sure is extremely eyes-falling-off-my-head lovely on the western side.

Minna, wish you a Happy Independence Day. And many thanks to the link to Radio Nova and Joulun.

Beth, hope your Xmas House Tour was fun.

Fo, we want a listen in to your musical contribution. Yes, I do insist.

Stacey Kayne said...

Danie88 ~ I've been hankering to nab that rooster too!

Hi Dina!! I've enjoyed writing both my series, but it was a challange to have alternating release dates, and switching the brain waves back and forth between the two families. Having one continuous series will be a treat for me :) Not that I don't have other projects brewing *ggg*

Love those title suggestions--my list is growing!

Thanks for the help! Every new blend of words really gets the creative mind flowing!!

Stacey Kayne said...

Beth!!! When is your next SUPER coming out--I can't wait--I need me some Dillon!!!!

Has anyone noticed anything similar about my author pic and Tawny and Beth's author pic???? *ggg* That's a fun story ;-)

A Christmas house tour sounds like FUN. Can't wait to hear your title suggestions ;-)

Stacey Kayne said...

Thanks, Virginia!! So glad you've enjoyed my westerns and your title suggestions are GREAT! I'm very partial to anything with "Rugged" and "Wild" ;-)

Stacey Kayne said...

Hey Jo! :::waving back::: Thanks for the welcome :)

Thanks for the reader insight on the evolution of a hero!! Of all my boy-to-man heroes, Juniper Barns is my favorite. I love all my heroes for very different reasons--with Juniper, he was so damaged and vulnernalbe when he came to me in BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON...he was like an abused little puppy I wanted to hug *g* -- and I think he maintains that quality in GUNSLINGER, with dangerous and rugged overtones ;-)

Rawhide and those were some great western series :)

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Linda! Lily definitely has the "women's sufferage" gumption of her time...although she's too caught up in her own sufferage to take up their banners--but she does mention them and their banners *lol* Lily was such a kick to write :) Really love your medly of healing words and those titles--thank you!!

PJ said...

Hey Keira, have you read LL Miller's A Stone Creek Christmas yet? It's wonderful!

Helen said...

I am looking forward to reading your books Stacey and the new series sounds fantastic I have always loved westerns and have read many over the years and am so glad they seem to be making a comeback I love hot cowboy heros rugged and all man.
As for titles I am not very good at this but I will try Rugged Moutain Rebels.
I did love the post and the cover yummy thanks Beth and Tawny for inviting Stacey

Have Fun

Stacey Kayne said...

Minna, thanks for those super links--and your title suggestions! Fantastic!!!

Fo, you heard Keira--she's insisted ;-)

Stacey Kayne said...

Great recommendation, PJ! If ya haven't read THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK start there, first in the Stone Creek series---another great series title ;-)

Stacey Kayne said...

Tanya Hansen was a recent guest on Petticoats and Pistols and she talked about her western set in HAWAII -- I'm totally intruged by these Hawaiin cowboys -- haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Love to hear about westerns with new spins :)

Minna said...

I just found this on the internet:
Gifts for people who have it all:

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Helen! Hope you'll enjoy my brand of westerns!! I try to pack in the dust and grit...with sprinkles of warm fuzzies ;-D

Harlequin has been good to me with the yummy covers...I'm curious to see if I'll get a hot cowboy or spunky mountain woman for my MOUNTAIN WILD cover :)

Love your title---it's added to the list--THANKS!!!

Stacey Kayne said...

OMG--too funny, Minna!! My boys loved that ;-)

Keira Soleore said...

PJ and Stacey, added LLM's "A Stone Creek Christmas" to my to-be-bought list.

Minna said...

Some of that stuff is actually useful. I'd like that animal paper shredder. Or dinosaur mug. Or miss army knife. And what about that Hillary nut cracker? Or the ex-knife set? *g*

Tanya Hanson said...

hi Stacey! I just read on myspace you're over here today so thought I'd pop over and say hi.

I really loved Maverick Wild and wish you tons of success on future books.


Tawny said...

*gasp gasp* Here I am... running in late! Today was my local chapter's holiday party and it went a little later than I'd intended :-)

Kiera... what Beth said LOL. I really do recommend reading Stacey's first book if you can, because then you get to read all the rest right after.

and Stacey, LOL on our pictures. We're scary, aren't we?

To share (and no, this isn't answering Stacey's question about what is the same in her, my and Beth's author photos... which are all on the homepage, btw LOL) at conference people tend to confuse Stacey and I. We don't 'really' look that much alike, but we so often we end up getting called by each other's name. Or in one case, talked by proxie *g*

flchen1 said...

LOL! Tawny, it's really obvious that you write Blazes ;) (That's a good thing!) And yes, thanks for turning me onto Stacey's books--love, love, LOVE them! In turn I've been pimping both your books to whomever will listen ;)

Stacey Kayne said...

LOL!! Yes, Tawny's a wonderful decoy *g* (THANK YOU, Sweetness!!)and I love getting compliments on my adorable daughter ;-) Always happy to be a pround proxy mamma *g* This last year we'd both dyed our hair--and it was still same color *LOL* Cosmic twins.

Hope you had a super time at your party, Tawny!!

Stacey Kayne said...

Hey Tanya! I was just talking about you *g*. Thanks for the cheers and good wishes--right back atcha!!

Stacey Kayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Has anyone noticed anything similar about my author pic and Tawny and Beth's author pic???? *ggg* That's a fun story ;-)

LOL - our pix just prove that great minds think alike *g*

Thanks for asking about my next Supers, Stacey. Dillon's story will be out in April.

I had a great time on the holiday house tour but now feel like a total slacker since I don't have any decorations up! One woman said it took her three weeks to decorate! I'm lucky if I can spend three hours decorating :-)

And I want to remind everyone to check out Love Western Romances where TWO of Stacey's books are up for Best Western Romance of 2008!

michellewillingham said...

Stacey--you have the most fabulous covers ever! Man, I could just sop those men up with a biscuit. Woo!

Susan Seyfarth said...


I blow at titles, so I won't even try, but I loved the sound of all your series. I'm going to have to add them to my crushingly huge TBR pile. Hopefully my kids will be so excited to see all their aunts & uncles & grandparents at Christmas they'll leave me alone with my giant stack of books so I can start reading them. :-)

Thanks for swinging by the lair today! Can't wait to see these on the shelves!

Stacey Kayne said...

THANK YOU, Fedora!!!!! *g*

Stacey Kayne said...

LOL Beth!! Same here. As you know, we're remodeling and have moved into a rental. We're HOPING to be home by Christmas so have been holding off on breaking out the decorations...but a little holiday cheer sounds nice ;-)

While packing the bare essentials to take with us, I found an old paper and nylon turkey one of my boys had made in school years ago--it's still the ONLY decoratoin on our walls *lol*.

Thanks for the LWR voting plug ;-)

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Michelle!! Thanks :) I actually have your covers to thank for mine *lol*---I told my editor to take the cover of your book THE WARRIOR'S TOUCH and just put a cowboy hat on him--seriously ;-) Your covers are HOT! Congrats on the new UNDONE!!!

Stacey Kayne said...

Thank you, Susan! Best of luck with the Aunts & Uncles reading plan *g*

Caffey said...

I haven't had the joy to read your books yet Stacy but so love reading westerns!! I so wished they were on the shelves longer! I don't get out enough. I love westerns! I remember reading my first few, one being Maggie Osborne, and so miss her books, but more coming recently and I love to grab them when I know about them! I so look forward to catching your new series! I thought of Rugged Montana Mountains
so far! Wasn't sure if the series would have the same word in front for each book with Mountain, River and Spring, if so I though of Rigorous? I'm not good at this, LOL.

Tawny said...

Thanks, everyone, for welcoming Stacey to the Lair today! And don't forget to go vote for your favorite cover over at

Tena said...

your books sound wonderful I cant wait to read one I ordered one I hope I get it soon

shirley said...

I have never won anything but would love to start with your book I have been looking for new books to read and yours would be so wonderful to read thanks

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Caffey! I wish they were on the shelves longer too!! They sure don't let dust settle in those bookstores ;-) Thank goodness for online shopping!!!

I came late to the world of romance reading and have only read a few of Maggie Osborne's and really enjoyed them :) Some reviewer have compaired our work, which I found to be a huge compliment :oD

Thank you for your title suggestions! Every one helps!!

Stacey Kayne said...

Tena, thanks for ordering my book!!! Hope you enjoy it :)

Stacey Kayne said...

Hi Shirley--Thank you! I am running another contest for GUNSLINGER -- info is posted on my website News page - wishing you much luck!!