Monday, December 16, 2013

Author: Peggy L. Henderson

I meet Peggy Henderson when she was looking for a critique partner for her first novel.  I didn't have to read much of her manuscript to know I had stumbled upon a terrific storyteller and an author who sky-rocketed to the top of my favorite's list.  Once you read one of her books, you will be so glad she is a quick typist.  Her stories have a way of enveloping you with enjoyable characters and fascinating story lines.  You don't need to take my word for it, judge for yourself but I warn you, you will become a fan.

I never thought I'd be a writer, much less publish a book some day. I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I guess life just had other plans for me. When my husband and I decided to start a family, vet school pretty much went out the window. I used to work with a vet who had three children while going through vet school. To this day, she is my hero. 

I live with my husband and two teenage sons in southern California. I have a Welsh pony and a miniature horse (down-sized from a barn of six horses). A crazy Labrador retriever who is a food vacuum, three cats, two parakeets, four bearded dragons (my compromise with my sons when they wanted a snake), and a small flock of chickens complete our menagerie of critters. I can’t imagine my life without my animals. My dream is to live in Montana some day.

Four years ago, I began writing a story that, for whatever reason, was stuck in my head for almost a year. I have been an avid romance reader for a long time, and the idea took hold to - why not? - write my own! What a simple idea, right?
It has been a long and difficult journey from my first sentence to a completed, and hopefully polished, manuscript. Today, I have a completed series of 5 books and a novella in what I called The Yellowstone Romance Series, two books in my new Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, and I am currently working on the final book in a trilogy set in the Grand Tetons.

Ain't No Angel blurb:
Delaney Goodman has been running from her painful past all her life.  Dreams of working with horses have long been replaced with the reality of doing anything to make ends meet.  About to hit rock bottom, she accepts a stranger’s proposition, even if it sounds too good to be true. She figures she has nothing, not even her dignity, to lose.  She awakens in an unfamiliar setting - and century - and quickly discovers that she will need more than her charm to complete the task assigned to her.

On the surface, Tyler Monroe has everything going for him -  good looks, the respect of his friends and neighbors, and a thriving horse ranch.  However, his past holds deep wounds with thick emotional scars. When a brazen, beautiful woman arrives in town, Tyler makes an impulsive decision that will cause him to question everything he knows. 

Tyler is unlike any man Laney has ever met.  Laney is exactly the kind of woman Tyler wants to avoid. As the attraction between them grows, questions arise that stretch the boundaries of trust for both.  The secrets that threaten to tear them apart could be exactly what Tyler and Laney need to bring them together.

Ain't No Angel excerpt:
Laney stood, and glanced in the mirror again. She ran her hand along the contours of the corset. The stiff contraption gave her an unnatural hourglass shape.
“There’s no way I’m wearing this thing every day,” she mumbled, and searched for the hooks or ties that would loosen the corset from around her ribcage. She turned sideways and peered into the mirror over her shoulder. The lacings were at the back. She reached her hand over her shoulder, then under, trying to get to the strings.
“Dammit. How am I supposed to get this thing off me?”
She turned in a circle, trying to see into the mirror while at the same time reach the lacings with her fingers. Laney growled loudly in frustration. She was tired, hungry, and she desperately needed to use the bathroom.
“I bet there isn’t even a bathroom,” she said out loud.
Exasperated, she moved away from the mirror. With a loud sigh, she let herself fall backwards onto the bed, sending up a small cloud of dust. Laney stared up at the ceiling. A loud knock sent her bolting upright again. Her eyes fell to the open door to her room. Tyler filled the frame, and their eyes met. His gaze traveled up and down her body, then he quickly turned his back to her.
“Thank God you’re here.” Laney scrambled from the bed and rushed to him from across the room.
“Eddie will have supper ready in about a half an hour.”
He stepped out into the hall, and Laney grabbed his arm before he had a chance to walk away.
 “Wait. I need your help, Tyler.”
Tyler’s muscles tensed underneath her hand, and he turned his head slightly to glance back at her.
“Please, I can’t undo this corset. Could you untie the lacing for me? I really need to change my clothes.” Laney peered up at him, and her mouth went dry. Tyler’s eyes roamed her face, every muscle along his jaw tense. For a split second, it seemed as if he was going to pull away from her and keep walking. She swallowed her apprehension.
You’re in the nineteenth century, Laney. People act differently here.
Had her behavior earlier when she’d come on to him out in the yard been a mistake? Had she been wrong in her assumption that she needed to play the role of a prostitute? The reverend had specifically told her that she was required to keep Tyler satisfied. Had she misinterpreted what he meant? How was she supposed to do that and behave like a prim and proper nineteenth century wife at the same time? Come to think of it, Tyler was probably expecting a virgin bride.
“I . . . I really feel uncomfortable standing here in just my underclothes, Tyler. I’d appreciate your help so I can change.” Was that the right tactic to use? Laney held her breath, waiting for his response.
“Turn around,” Tyler said, his jaw still tense, and his words clipped. She quickly did as he asked, holding her hands up to her chest for good measure.
Tyler’s fingers grazed her back when he lifted her hair and laid the long strands over her shoulder. Her heart hammered in her chest, and a chill raced down her spine. Why did he affect her like this? There was something so sensual about his slow and gentle movement, something so unexpectedly tender that it brought tears to her eyes. She’d asked him to remove her corset and he quietly complied, without any lewd remark or stare, or even a hint that he wanted to undress her fully and take advantage of the situation.
Tyler worked the lacings loose as if he had plenty of practice with this sort of thing, and she breathed freely once the confining contraption fell away from her sides. She clutched the corset tightly to her chest, even though she still wore a chemise underneath. A breeze swept through the room from the open window, and although it wasn’t cold, goose bumps covered her arms.
Laney stood still. She leaned forward slightly and held her head down. She ground her teeth in frustration. The skin along either side of her spine tingled, anticipating, longing for his touch. Now that he’d loosened the confining corset, she imagined his palms sliding along her shoulder, his lips pressing against the back of her neck.
“That oughta do it,” he grumbled. “You’d better get dressed before you catch a chill.”
Laney held her breath. She waited, then slowly turned.
“Thank you. I really appreciate . . .” Her voice trailed off. Tyler was already halfway down the hall, and headed for the front door.

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Peggy Henderson said...

Hi Carol! Thanks for hosting me today! And thanks for visiting my blog today, too. How cool that we both have new releases at the same time!

Barbara Ouradnik said...

I loved this book, Peggy! There are so many laugh out loud moments as well as dozens of tug at your heart times. Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.