Monday, August 8, 2011

Meet Roselle - Sparta Rose

When we moved to Tennessee in 2004, we lived in Sparta.  I was so inspired by the history rich area and the beauty of the Cumberland, that Ellie Fountain urged me to put my creative mind to work and write another historical novel.  Thus, Sparta Rose was born.

This book put me through hell, literally.  I found an agent to represent who loved the story, who got me signed with a an epublisher because the owner vowed that she only put her books into print.  Didn't matter that she the books were only available on Amazon and other on-line venues.  That alone, made the house an e-publishing business.  Anyhow, I still accepted the contract, but didn't stay around long.  I got caught in the middle of an ongoing feud between other members there and was promptly banned by the group, had the cover I had just received yanked away, and was threatened with having my contract rescinded.  I realized this wasn't a place I wanted to be, and I left.  Sadly, a few people from the house followed and continued to haunt me because I wanted to use the Istock photo from my previous cover.  Anyone can buy the picture, so why not.  Somewhere in my back blogs, there's an entire story about the ongoing fued, but I've since put it behind me and am thankful for the great group of friends I made there...the ones who got caught up in the same mess.  Did I mention that this book has had three different covers?  *lol*

Anyhow...back to the story.  Ellie Fountain is a total tomboy and upset when her father hires a ranch foreman to ride herd over the ranch she intends to inherit one day.  In her quest to show him she can do anything he can do, but better, she puts herself into jeopardy with the twins who live on the adjoining land...the ones who, with their pa, are determined to own Fountainhead.  Danger isn't the only thing that threatens, Ellie.  Despite trying to hate Tyler Bishop for being the son her father never had, she can't fight the attraction she feels for him.  Can she stand to lose her heart after she's already lost her father's attention?

Here's one of my favorite scenes from the book...Ellie has been hiding out and learning to shoot, and as usual, her big mouth has gotten her into trouble by challenging Ty to a shooting match.

Excerpt from Sparta Rose:

Here again she faced the consequences of using her mouth instead of her brain.  She took a deep breath, turned, and braced herself.

Ty had already tethered his horse and busied himself setting up a line of cans along a fallen log.  Ellie found a stump and sat, her heartbeat sounding in her ears.

He straightened from his task and glanced over at her.  "You ready?"

She stood on wobbly legs.  "I...I guess."

"You don't sound too convincing.  We an call the whole thing off if you aren't feeling sure of yourself."

Oh, that irritating tone in his voice  Call if off?  Not a chance,  She could do this--had to do this.  Besides, his attitude was downright insulting.  "I'm quit confident about my abilities, thank you,"  Ellie spoke through clenched teeth.

She brushed by him and walked toward the target area.  With a glance over her shoulder, she feigned confidence.  "So how are we going to do this?"

Ty came and stood should-to-shoulder with her.  "We'll take turns.  I've set up the first six targets.  I'll go first so you get the idea."

Ellie stepped to the side to give him room.

Ty's gaze focused on the cans lined atop the log.  Beneath the brim of his dusty hat, determination knit his two brows into one.  He widened his stance, and rested a hand on the butt of his revolver.

As soon as his weapon cleared leather, a blaze of gunfire ensued.  With lightning precision, Ty masterfully downed five of the six cans and re-holstered his gun.  Wearing a cocky smile, he turned to Ellie.  "Well, I must have been distracted on that last one, but five out of six is pretty good, seeing as how it probably only took ten seconds or so."

Ellie exhaled.  There was no denying he'd done a good job.  Her heart really started to pound.  What is she wasn't as skilled as she thought?  While watching Ty set up six new cans, she mentally pictured her makeshift target filled with holes made by expertly placed shots.  The whole time she fought rising nausea.

Ty strolled back.  "It's your turn."

Her stomach clenched.

"Thanks, I kind of figured that," she snapped, surprised by her snippiness.  This was her idea, not his.  She swallowed hard, determined to mellow her tone.  "Could you do me a favor?"


"Can you please stand back a little ways?"  She motioned over her shoulder.  "It distracts me to see you out of the corner of my eye."

"Sure, no problem,"  He backed up a few paces.

It didn't help.  He was distracting anywhere, anytime.  Oh, if only her mouth didn't get her into these messes.

Ellie swiped at the beads of perspiration on her brow.  Despite the brisk air, the pressure of the moment burned beneath her skin.  She wiped the offending moisture on her pant leg, broadened the distance between her feet, and readied herself.  She briskly rubbed her palms together, and since they were in the perfect position, she took a brief second to mutter a silent prayer.  Please God, don't let me make a fool of myself.

With determination, she eyed the cans and locked her fingers around the rosewood grips.  Recalling exactly how she'd riddled the floral material at the old mine, Ellie drew her weapon and fired.  One after another the first four bullets found their mark, but the last two dug deep into the earth beyond the log.  Two cans remained.  Ellie's jaw tightened as she shoved her weapon back into its leather restraint.

"Not bad, not bad at all.  I'm impressed," Ty said, with a smug grin.''

Perhaps it was his attempt at a compliment, but it sounded more like taunting.

She turned and gave him a forced smile.  'You don't have to rub it in  You won, I lost.  It's as simple as that."

"I'm not rubbing anything in.  I thought you did a good job under the circumstances."

"And what circumstances are those?"

"You-me...a shoot-off for the first time.  I didn't expect you to hit anything."

"Well, thanks for the confidence.  I am only a woman, after all."  Ellie seethed inside.

"Ah, Ellie, don't get mad,  That's not what I meant.  You wanna try again?"

Her mind screamed no, but her mouth overrode the warning.  "Sure, set 'em up.  Why not shoot at the same tine this round?"

"Really?"  He eyed her suspiciously.

"Set 'em up, I said."  Ellie reloaded her revolver, wondering why he stirred her need for rivalry.

If you want to know how the second round goes, you'll have to invest in the story. One reviewer says the next scene contains one of the most romantic kisses she's ever read. *smile*

You can find Sparta Rose at Eternal Press or in print or download (Kindle) at
Did you know that allows you to request a personalized message for your downloads?  Try it.

1 comment:

Roseanne Dowell said...

Gosh darn it. Now I have to put this one on my to buy list. You have me hook, line, and sinker. Loved that scene. If it's as good as your other books, I know I'm going to love it.

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