Hi everyone! I'm Cheryl Pierson, and I just want to introduce myself today here at SnSD. I won’t bore you with too many details–just want to tell you a little about me and I’d love to hear about you all, too.
I was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, in 1957. I had two “way older” sisters (10 and 12 when I came along) and I was a Tomboy–with a capital “T” for sure! Although I loved Barbie, I’d much rather have been playing cowboys and Indians–probably why I chose to write western historicals.
I finally got to go to a rodeo when I was about 9 with my cousin, and Larry Mahan was there! I was in love. After that, I wanted to be a barrel racer, thinking that would be a great way to get those handsome cowboys to notice me when I was older…of course, that was a huge pipe dream since my family was NOT into rodeoing at all. But my first “serious” little story I wrote in elementary school had a guy in it named “Larry” and girl named “Cherry” (original, huh?)
My dad was an oilfield hand–a chemical engineer, on call 24/7 for as long as I can remember. Mom was the “June Cleaver” type, and both of them were appalled when I told them I wanted to write books for a living. As they predicted, that dream had to be placed on hold for many years–enough time for me to marry and raise my two kids–with a myriad of “real jobs” (as others called them) in between.
But I was writing all the time, every spare minute I got. I started out with an idea for a western romance, and the more I wrote, the bigger the story became, until I had a 1000 page manuscript! Of course, it’s still unsold (go figure!) but it’s the book of my heart–so I'm hoping it'll happen one day! That was what I needed to “get me going.” Ideas flowed, and so did the words.
Although that first “tome” is still as yet unpublished, the third book I wrote, FIRE EYES, was published in May 2009, and went on to become an EPIC Award finalist. The Wild Rose Press also published two of my western short stories, and my first contemporary romantic suspense, SWEET DANGER, was released on October 1, 2010.
The fourth book I wrote, TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, was published through another smaller press. After a few short months, we parted ways, and TIME PLAINS DRIFTER is homeless again. My daughter designed my cover for this book so it’s very special to me. It also garnered me the award of Honorable Mention for Best New Paranormal Author in PNR’s PEARL Awards this past year.
GABRIEL’S LAW, another western historical, was the third place recipient this past year in the historical category in the San Antonio Romance Authors’ Merritt Contest. The judge for that final round asked for the full manuscript.
Over the last year, it has been my pleasure to have had several short stories published through VICTORY TALES PRESS, a wonderful company owned by Rebecca Vickery. My stories have been featured in A SUMMER COLLECTION, A HALLOWEEN COLLECTION, three of the four Christmas collections, and most recently, A VALENTINE COLLECTION. I have several more stories slated to appear in VTP anthologies in 2011.
I live in Oklahoma City with my “transplanted” (from West Virginia) husband, Gary, who plans to make good on his threat to retire this fall. My daughter, Jessica, is 24 and works at an actors’ casting agency here. My son, Casey, is 21 and a physics engineering major in college (and believe me, those math and science genes did not come from me!) Along with my business partner, I teach writing classes for all ages, and have done lots of work with the Indian Education Program for one of the major school systems here in OK City.
Thank you all so much for your warm welcome and your generous friendships. I am thrilled to be here!
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from one of my short stories, A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES.
When a wounded drifter and three children appear at her doorstep, widow Angela Bentley can’t turn them away. Nick Dalton has a dangerous reputation, but is it truly deserved, or is it just talk? Will love find two lonely people on this, A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES?
FROM “A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES”:
Angela placed the whiskey-damp cloth against the jagged wound. The man flinched, but held himself hard against the pain. Finally, he opened his eyes. She looked into his sun-bronzed face, his deep blue gaze burning with a startling, compelling intensity as he watched her. He moistened his lips, reminding Angela that she should give him a drink. She laid the cloth in a bowl and turned to pour the water into the cup she’d brought.
He spoke first. “What…what’s your name?” His voice was raspy with pain, but held an underlying tone of gentleness. As if he were apologizing for putting her to this trouble, she thought. The sound of it comforted her. She didn’t know why, and she didn’t want to think about it. He’d be leaving soon.
“Angela.” She lifted his head and gently pressed the metal cup to his lips. “Angela Bentley.”
He took two deep swallows of the water. “Angel,” he said, as she drew the cup away and set it on the nightstand. “It fits.”
She looked down, unsure of the compliment and suddenly nervous. She walked to the low oak chest to retrieve the bandaging and dishpan. “And you are…”
“Nick Dalton, ma’am.” His eyes slid shut as she whirled to face him. A cynical smile touched his lips. “I see…you’ve heard of me.”
A killer. A gunfighter. A ruthless mercenary. What was he doing with these children? She’d heard of him, all right, bits and pieces, whispers at the back fence. Gossip, mainly. And the stories consisted of such variation there was no telling what was true and what wasn’t.
She’d heard. She just hadn’t expected him to be so handsome. Hadn’t expected to see kindness in his eyes. Hadn’t expected to have him show up on her doorstep carrying a piece of lead in him, and with three children in tow. She forced herself to respond through stiff lips. “Heard of you? Who hasn’t?”
He met her challenging stare. “I mean you no harm.”
She remained silent, and he closed his eyes once more. His hands rested on the edge of the sheet, and Angela noticed the traces of blood on his left thumb and index finger. He’d tried to stem the blood flow from his right side as he rode. “I’m only human, it seems, after all,” he muttered huskily. “Not a legend tonight. Just a man.”
He was too badly injured to be a threat, and somehow, looking into his face, she found herself trusting him despite his fearsome reputation. She kept her expression blank and approached the bed with the dishpan and the bandaging tucked beneath her arm. She fought off the wave of compassion that threatened to engulf her. It was too dangerous. When she spoke, her tone was curt. “A soldier of fortune, from what I hear.”
He gave a faint smile. “Things aren’t always what they seem, Miss Bentley.”