For Better or Worst Nightmare — Davalynn Spencer ( + Giveaway )
Today I’m happy to welcome author Davalynn Spencer as she shares some fun facts behind her stories.
I’ve always loved romances (see what I did there).
Seriously, if given my choice of what to read, it will have a strong romantic thread or, better yet, be a flat-out romance. It’s the happy-ending thing, the fulfillment of a desire. Redemption. Acceptance. Second chance. The biblical book of Revelation. You get where I’m going.
The world we live in is full of bad news, so I like to read and write good news. That doesn’t mean I preach or want to. It simply means we need more good news.
Literarely speaking, historical bride stories intrigue me. They are full of possibilities ranging from disaster to delight. It’s my personal goal to wrangle delight out of each one I create. Enter, my Front Range Brides series.
Book 1, An Improper Proposal, is a mail-order bride story. Book 2 is a let-me-try-this-again story. Book 3 is … well, I’m working on that. The gal’s hero finally returns, but the stuffing’s been beat out of him, he’s broke and bruised, and she has to leave to go take care of someone else. To be continued in 2020.
However, my recent release in the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings collection is Mail-order Misfire, and it also serves as the prequel for my Front Range Brides series. In Mail-order Misfire, I combine a bit of disaster with the delight promised in a good romance novel.
One day I asked myself, “What would happen if the child of a widowed father wrote for a mail-order bride but didn’t tell dear old Dad?”
What could go wrong?
You’ll have to read the book to find out.
However, there’s one thing I’d like to mention, something that actually happened here in Colorado after I wrote about it in Mail-order Misfire.
Last spring, on March 13, to be exact, people in Colorado and neighboring states experienced what television weather-watchers called a “bomb cyclone”- a big snowstorm with barometric issues. One of the state’s major arteries, I-25, was shut down with 1,100 stranded vehicles in Colorado Springs alone. Facebook images of snow-bound animals outside in draws and inside barns were astounding.
In Mail-order Misfire, a snowstorm strands people and livestock for several days. Folks must help one another dig out. Writing the incident and then seeing it happen was a unique experience.
But responses to the disasters were also similar: people helping people. Ranchers helping neighboring ranchers dig out their animals before those animals froze standing up. Emergency personnel rescuing stranded drivers from their undrivable cars on ribbons of ice formerly known as streets and highways.
In my story, the storm hits just prior to Thanksgiving. In reality, it hit in the spring, but I’ll bet there was just as much thanksgiving going on last March as there is in any given November.
The heroine in my story, Etta Collier, does her own share of helping and takes a big chance on a little family. But as romance novels go, well … I can’t tell you.
- When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was in the sixth grade, our teacher gave us a short-story assignment. Mine was a sci-fi romance. I know—scary for a twelve-year-old. However, the teacher liked it and chose it for a skit that was part of an evening’s activities at our science camp that year. You’d think I’d end up as a science-fiction author, but a certain brown-eyed cowboy named Mike caught my attention when I was seventeen, and well, I chose a different path.
- What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
As you might have guessed from my previous answer, I married a cowboy. A rodeo cowboy who just happened to be a professional bullfighter and clown. We—including a menagerie and two children—traveled across the country in various rodeo rigs following the circuit. One summer in Estes Park, Colorado, at the weekly night rodeo, a bull rider hung up to his bull and Mike ran in to save him. In the process, he freed the bull rider’s hand, but the bull hit Mike in the chest, broke several ribs, knocked him down, and ran over him, taking off his right ear with a hoof.
The plastic surgeon who reattached Mike’s ear told him he was not to return to the arena for one week. Period. However, we had a contract for three more performances that week—the last week of our run in Colorado before we headed west for California. Our contract included three comedy acts to be performed between events during each rodeo performance. Therefore, I dressed in Mike’s clothes, makeup, and wig, strapped our one-year-old in his stroller, and took him up to the announcer’s booth where he’d be watched over while I went on with the show, as they say. You’d be surprised how hard it is to be funny.
I did not fight bulls during the bull riding because my mama didn’t raise no fool. Another bullfighter covered that.
- How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Keeping our sanity is hard but doable. For me, it’s all about spending time with the Lord. I prefer early mornings before sunrise when there’s less noise and distraction. Meeting with Him, listening for His voice in my heart, reading His words, and pouring out my soul to Him all help me remember the Big Picture is more “real” than my little picture. His is the Big Romance. The one I referenced in the biblical book of Revelation. God’s got this. And His story has a great happily ever after.
Readers, enter the giveaway for an ebook copy of “Mail-Order Misfire” by answering the following question:
What do you think of the old adage, “Out of the mouths of babes” regarding things that children say?
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Book 2 in the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection—and prequel for the Front Range Brides series—Mail-Order Misfire exposes the heart of a widowed lawman when he meets the bride his nine-year-old daughter wrote for without telling him.
Preacher Bern Stidham is a peacemaker—when he’s not carrying one on his hip. His little girl, Gracie, wants a helper for her preacher/sheriff papa and a mama for herself, so she writes their former pastor in Missouri asking for a mail-order bride.
Recently widowed dressmaker Etta Collier is a half-step ahead of the banker who carries a lustful eye for her as well as the note on her home. When her pastor receives a letter from little Gracie Stidham, he sees a solution for everyone’s problem and encourages Etta to answer Gracie’s request.
Running from one man’s lecherous pursuit into the home of another she knows nothing about, Etta Collier risks everything to ease a little girl’s loneliness and perhaps find a second chance at love.
Wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer can’t stop #lovingthecowboy. She writes award-winning Western romance with rugged heroes, teaches writing workshops, and plays the keyboard on her church worship team – when she’s not wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. Connect with her at www.davalynnspencer.com and get a free book when you sign up for her quarterly newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/xa81D
Amazon Author: https://amazon.com/author/davalynnspencer
Lockton, Colorado – 1879
Gracie slid a thin sheet of paper from the top drawer of her papa’s desk and held her breath, listening for his steps on the porch. It would take him only a little while to finish chores, but she had already memorized what she wanted to say.
Perching on the edge of his desk chair, she unstopped the ink well, and dipped his pen, taking pains not to drip on the leather-cornered blotter. Carefully she penned her plea.
What did the hymn say? The one they’d sung yesterday at church—“Blest be the tie that binds … each other’s burdens bear.” That was it.
Since Mama died, Papa didn’t have anyone to help bear his burden other than Gracie herself, and if she understood the words to the song as she believed she did, then God wanted her papa to have a helper.
She signed his name and addressed an envelope to the pastor in Independence who had married her parents. Then she ran to her room and hid the letter beneath her pillow. When Papa went to work tomorrow and she went to school, she’d stop by the mercantile and slip the letter into the storekeeper’s mail pouch.
Peeking through her lacy curtains, she let loose a whisper. “Oh Lord, I pray this ain’t lying I’m about to do, but my papa needs a tie that binds his heart up. It’s been hurting for such a long time.”
She smoothed her pillow and quilt, then took all her nine years of knowledge to the kitchen and made biscuits for supper, confident that the Lord heard her prayer. She’d been taught to believe such things since before she could remember. Why, just yesterday the preacher’s words had stirred through her heart, telling her to have faith, to trust God. And she believed those words.
Especially since the preacher was her papa.