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Monday, January 24, 2011

HEY FROM OKLAHOMA! IT'S GOOD TO MEET YOU!

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Although that first “tome” is still as yet unpublished, the third book I wrote, FIRE EYES, was published in May 2009, and went on to become an EPIC Award finalist.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.”

33 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Cheryl!! A Night for Miracles sounds like a wonderful read. :)

Paris said...

Hi Cheryl! I loved your excerpt and look forward to reading your story. Western romance is a particular favorite of mine;)

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Cheryl,
We have the same birth year.:) And I was a tom boy too. Sounds like another great story!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I know what you mean about "real jobs" vs writing for a career. My family, the Great Depression survivors, were also extremely practical. I have read everything you have written except your Holloween story and Gabriel's Law. If I had known about them, I would have gobbled them up, too. I love your work and think the world of you.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Tina!
Thank you! I loved that story so much that when I finished it I wished I'd made it a full length novel rather than a novella. It truly is one of my favorite things I've ever written.
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Paris,
I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! That is a stand-alone short story, in the 35-40 page range from The Wild Rose Press. I forgot the link, I think, so here it is.
Thanks for commenting!
Cheryl
http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=534&zenid=dcfd7a03f147f0d4c975eb874c408725

Cheryl Pierson said...

KATHY!!! And we both write western historical romance! Do you think we are twin sisters of different mothers, separated until now?LOLOLOL I'm glad to know there were some other tomboys out there--I think that's a vanishing breed, don't you? Thanks for commenting!
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

SARAH!!!! What a wonderful way to start the day! Your comments just mean the world to me. I'm so so glad you've liked everything I've written so much--you are a true fan; but more than that, I appreciate our friendship. You are very dear to me, too, and I'm so glad to know you. Thanks for having me here at SNSD. I'm looking forward to our interview next month!
HUGS,
Cheryl

Redameter said...

Hi Cheryl,
good to see you hear. Interesting excerpt. So many nice people here.
Thanks for the insight, and keep up the good work.

Love and blessings
Rita

Rawiya said...

Hey Chryl,

Loved reading your post. Good luck in all your future endeavors and I wish you much luck in sales. :D

Cheryl Pierson said...

HEY RITA!
Good to see you here, too! This is a great place, isn't it? Beautiful site, beautiful people. Thanks so much for popping in to say howdy!
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Rawiya,
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I've seen you here and there, but don't think we've ever "met"--I love your name--very unusual and pretty!
Cheryl

Celia Yeary said...

Yeah, hey you from Oklahoma!I learned even more about you--so you fell in love at age nine. No wonder you write such great romances, you were born with it! I so remember your "A Night For Miracles." What a touching, memorable story. It's been a favorite ever since I read it. Great job on this post--I like the way it was done--
Celia

susan said...

Hi Cheryl.love this post and interview and thanks for sharing. I am ten years older then you..born 1947. I am retired and now can not have enough books to read..must count on the library some..retirement allows more time but not near as much extra cash for books. I enter contests quite alot to get a few if I am lucky and just love to come here and meet new authors and find what books are out there. I guess I love to be teased with books. ha ha I haven't read A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES but after reading these comments I have to check for it. susan Leech

C. Zampa said...

It's nice to meet you, Cheryl! And "A Night for Miracles" sounds wonderful!

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Cheryl, great to see you here! A Night for Miracles is a wonderful read which I highly recommend :).

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi CELIA!!!
I'm so glad you came by and commented. Oh yes, I was totally in love with Larry Mahan. Totally. LOL Thanks so much for your kind words about A Night For Miracles, and the post. I appreciate that, and YOU!
Hugs,
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Susan,
My husband is retiring this week--after number-crunching I can sure seen what you are talking about with the financial downside of retirement. Contests are a great way to get some wonderful books, for sure. I'm so glad to meet you, and so glad that you read and commented, Susan. A Night For Miracles won't break the bank--it's around $2.00 over at The Wild Rose Press!
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi C.!!!
Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. I hope you enjoy A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES if and when you do get to read it.
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

HELEN! How are you! My gosh it is wonderful to see you here. I have to say that I owe a lot of A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES' smooth reading to my very wonderful editor at the time!Thanks for reading and commenting!
HUGS,
Cheryl

Judy said...

Enjoyed your post and the excerpt. This looks like a great read!!

My husband retired a year and a half ago!! At first it was good, now sometimes I need some done time:)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Cheryl, I'd love for you to do a post on your work at with the Indians.

My husband retired and took over the kitchen so I could write more. What a hero!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Cheryl...it's always great to get to know you every better! I love Fire Eyes. You are very talented, and I for one would LOVE to read that 1,000 page epic! oxoxox

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Judy,
Thanks so much! I appreciate that you read and commented, and I hope you'll enjoy A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES if you get it.

I tell you, I am NOT looking forward to retirement--I am used to having my writing time, etc. and I know that is all going to change drastically. LOL I may go back to work. LOL

Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hey Caroline!

Man, now that truly IS having a hero for a husband! I wish mine would do that! LOL Maybe he will...nah--wishful thinking.

One of these days I might just do a post on working with the Indian kids. It was a pull-out program (meaning that they pulled them out of regular class to come be tutored on their tutoring days) and we worked on whatever was giving them trouble. Many just wanted someone to talk to. Lots of kids in the world today that just need a listening ear.

Thanks, Caroline!
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Oh Tanya, bless your heart. You are always so kind. Thank you so much! Now as for that 1000 page tome, I'm hoping to go back and revise it some and maybe get it ready for prime time--I'm sure it'll be hard to place, being so long. But it's the "one that started it all" for me, and really dear to me. Thank you so much for coming by and reading and commenting.
Hugs,
Cheryl

Estella said...

A Night For Miracles sounds like a great read!

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Cheryl. I love a Night for Miracles--and I really, really want to read th story about Larry and Cherry.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Thanks, Estella! Glad you stopped by and commented!
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hey Keena!

LOL I probably still have it somewhere--my mom saved everything I ever wrote, I think. LOL Thanks for stopping by--I know you are busy as heck. I'm getting my entry ready!

Hugs,
Cheryl

EA said...

Cheryl is the master, or mistress, of romance. Her works are delicate, but with that added touch of spice. Someone's always getting hurt though, LOL.

Chery, isn't it funny to think of the origins, how it all began?

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hey EA!
Thank you so much! You are a dear!Yep, my guys always get hurt. Maybe I should write one where the heroine gets sick or wounded or something--just to change it up some. LOL

It is really odd to think of how it all got started, for sure--everyone has a different story yet we all ended up on the same road.

Thank you so much for coming by and for your sweet comments!

Hugs,
Cheryl

Carol L. said...

Hi Cheryl,
I loved this excerpt. I'm so glad you stopped by and we get to meet you and learn about your work. I want to read A Night For Miracles. I love these type of stories. Thank you for sharing.
Carol L
Lucky4750@aol.com