Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Excerpt - The Reluctant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler

Captain's Log, Stardate 04.20.2009

The Reluctant Cowgirl
by
Christine Lynxwiler


Actress Crytal McCord gave up the closeness of her big family in order to make a name for herself on the New York City stage. But when life in the Big Apple turns sour, she follows a country road back to her parents Arkansas ranch.

The last thing she expects to find in cowboy country is a new leading man. Still, she can't help but imagine handsome rancher Jeremy Buchanan in the role.

Unfortunately, Jeremy's been burned by Crystal's type before. Or has he? Every time he thinks he knows her, the multi-faceted woman surprises him. Will the reluctant pair allow their hearts to guide them, or will their common stubborn pride keep them miles apart?

Buy from Christianbook.com
Buy from Amazon.com

Excerpt of chapter one:




Reluctant Cowgirl




Barbour Publishing (April 2009)






Chapter One



“Mark my words. Someday Julia Roberts will be bragging that Broadway star Crystal McCord used to serve her sandwiches.”

“Right, Mia,” Crystal drawled into the phone as she looked out the dingy cab window at the small theater. Distance-wise, the green awning was a stone’s throw from Broadway. But on days like this, that stone seemed to weigh a ton. “Julia Roberts came into the diner one time, and I was so nervous I messed up her order. I can’t really see her bragging about knowing me. Besides, you’re my agent. You have to say that.”

The cabbie made a left and swung around to the back of the building. Crystal balanced the cell phone against her cheek and fished his fare from her purse.

“You’re too modest. Why do you think I took you on?” Part of Mia’s magic as an agent was her supreme confidence in her clients. She counted on it being contagious. And usually it was. “Look. You’re a fantastic actress. If this play hadn’t closed so quickly—”

“My daddy always said ‘if’ is the biggest little word in the English language.” Crystal put her hand to her mouth. Where had that come from? Apparently her brother’s email had made her more homesick than she’d realized. And that’s why she had to put it out of her mind for now.

“Yes, well,” Mia replied, without missing a beat or questioning the quote, “your daddy isn’t in show biz. Here we deal in ‘ifs’ on a daily basis. And like I was saying, IF this play hadn’t closed so quickly, it would have been your fast track to Broadway.”

A weary smile lifted Crystal’s lips. “Fast track?”

At least Mia had the grace to laugh. “You and I both know you’ve put in a hard six years here. But the media loves an overnight success. So when you do hit Broadway with a bullet, we’ll spin it that way.”

“Almost seven years actually. And I wish I had your confidence.”

The cab driver eased his car up to the back door of the theater and stopped.

“Closing nights are always tough.” Sympathy laced Mia’s voice. “Just get through tonight. I’ve got leads on several auditions. You’ll have a new play by next—” Mia gasped. “Crys, listen to this late review I just found.”

Crystal shifted her hand, preparing to flip the phone shut. “I’ll have to read it after the performance. I’m here. Besides, good or bad, I’d rather not hear it right now.”

Mia sighed loudly. “Fine. Spoilsport. Call me later. Oh, and Crystal?”

“Yeah?”

“Break a leg.” Mia snickered at her own tired joke.

“Haha.” Crystal closed the phone and shook her head. Why had she ever told Mia how sick she got of hearing that?

The cabbie cleared his throat.

Her gaze jerked to meet his impatient eyes in the mirror. “Sorry.” She dropped her phone back into her bag, fumbled his fare into his hand, and jumped out. “Thanks.”

Crystal waited for an oncoming cab to pass then crossed the street. She jumped as the cab honked at the car in front of it. An answering honk came quickly. She wove her way around a parked moving van.

She was always amazed by how easily plays came and went. Two weeks ago, Making a Splash had opened to great expectations. Then the bad reviews had started. As a supporting actress, she’d been lucky enough to escape mention by name, but guilt by association was bad enough.

The aroma of fresh-cooked hotdogs drifted to her from the small vendor by the door and her stomach growled. She nodded to the white-capped man.

He gave her a toothless grin. “Half-price for you,” he called.

She laughed. “You only say that because you know I don’t eat before the show.”

He sent her a broad wink. “When the curtains close, the cost doubles.”

“I’ll have to take my chances.” Today she bantered almost on automatic pilot. She just felt so tired inside. With two fingers she caressed the tiny daisy pendant that hung around her neck. Brad had picked a fine time to be a no-show. Some wannabe fiancé he was. As if on cue, her purse vibrated. She stepped over to the edge of the sidewalk and retrieved her phone from the big red bag. She pressed a button to read the text message. Text me later if you want me to meet you for the cast party.

She started to hit reply, but accidentally landed on the message that had irritated her an hour ago. Helping Dennis move tonight. Don’t freak out. After all, I saw opening night and you were great. Break a leg.

Her lips tightened and she shoved her phone back into her purse. She could text him at intermission and he’d have plenty of time to make it for the cast get-together. Right now, she needed to concentrate on the show.


“It’s been nine months.” Jeremy Buchanan slammed his fist on the old oak table and pushed to his feet. “Why can’t we find her?”

Sam gave him an uneasy look and stood. “Being patient is never easy. This time it was a dead-end lead. But next time. . .”

Jeremy stared at the private investigator whose Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed.

Shame coursed through him. The situation he was in was no one’s fault but his own. Yet here was a grown man half-afraid of him. He nodded and slapped Sam. . .gently. . .on the shoulder. “I’m sure next time will be different. I appreciate your not giving up.”

Sam nodded, but Jeremy was pretty sure he didn’t imagine a bit of hurry in the man’s step as he let the screen door slam behind him.

Jeremy crossed the kitchen and stood by the cordless phone waiting for the call he knew was coming. Five, four, three, two, one, he counted down. The phone chimed loudly and he lifted it off the cradle and hit the TALK button. “Hi, Mom.”

“Actually, it’s me,” a deep voice said, embarrassment evident.

Jeremy couldn’t resist a sad grin. That had been the way for forty years. His mom had always suckered his dad into doing her dirty work. “Oh. Hi, Dad. Sorry.”

“That’s okay. Your mom—”

Jeremy heard a murmur in the background.

“We. . .” His dad cleared his throat. “We wanted to know what you found out.”

“Nothing. Dead end.”

The silence on the phone line hurt almost as bad as the news from the P.I. had.

“I figured it was.”

“Yeah, me, too.”

“Hang on, your mom wants to talk to you.”

Jeremy tightened his fingers on the phone.

“Jeremy?”

“Hi, Mom. Sorry the news isn’t better.”

“Don’t give up hope, son. God hears our prayers.”

Jeremy nodded, even though she couldn’t see him. “I know.”

“Your dad wants to know if you want to come over for supper.”

“Nah, I’ve got soup in the refrigerator. I think I’ll read a while and turn in early tonight. I promised Jonathan I’d check the hay crop in his bottom field and see if the cold snap the other night got it. But you better have coffee ready when I get done with that,” he teased half-heartedly.

“Yeah, we know how cranky you are without your caffeine.” Her teasing was as forced as his, but at least she tried. “See you then. Love you.”

“Y’all too.”

Crystal slipped inside the backstage area. She closed her eyes and let the familiar smell of turpentine and the noise of sound checks calm her like a cup of chamomile tea. She might be tired, but there was no denying her love for the theater.

“Crystal?”

She jerked her eyes open.

Zee, the stage director, frowned at her, his gold eyebrow hoop lifting. “You okay?”

She smiled. “I am. It’s just been a long day, and you know closing nights are always rough.”

“Hmph,” he grunted. “Especially when they’re forced on you. But you’ll be great. Just like always.” She was surprised he didn’t ruffle her hair. He wasn’t much older than she was, but in spite of the fact that she was twenty-five, most of the show people still treated her like she was a teenager. The joys of being short.

“Thanks, Zee. You’re sweet.”

“Tell that to Tink. I need all the help I can get with her.” A grin flitted across his tan face, the long scar from his ear to his chin puckering slightly.

“I’ll put in a good word for you.” Crystal laughed and hurried into the crowded dressing room.

Her friend and castmate, Tina, or “Tink” as Zee called her, waved from an empty station. She ran both hands through her dark spiky hair and finished with her arms straight up in the air in a ta-da motion. “There you are.”

Crystal motioned toward Tina’s hair. “Turquoise, huh? Cool.”

Tina fluffed her multi-colored spikes. “Yeah, thanks.”

Every few weeks, Tina’s highlights changed color. Tonight, they matched her blouse and her eyeshadow.

“I’m all done with my hair and makeup. Want me to do yours?”

“Thanks. I’d love that.” Crystal sank onto the chair and closed her eyes.

Tina briefly massaged her shoulders. “Girl, you’re tighter than a fiddle string tonight,” she said, in her thick Texas drawl.

“I know.” Crystal sighed and tried to relax.

Tina’s hands flew as she brushed through Crystal’s shoulder-length hair. “Why do I think that sigh isn’t all because the play’s closing?”

Crystal jerked her head up to meet the woman’s gaze in the mirror.

The heavy black eyeliner around Tina’s eyes didn’t hide the compassion there. “What’s wrong?”

Crystal shrugged. “Nothing really.”

Tina snorted. “Nothing, my foot.”

Those blue eyes never missed a trick. Crystal sighed again. “Isn’t it enough that the play is closing? And that you, Zee, and I will have to try to find another job Monday? What if we don’t get one together?”

Tina grabbed a folded-up newspaper and stuffed it into Crystal’s bag. “I know you don’t want to see it now, but read it after the show.”

Crystal laughed. “Must be some review. First Mia, now you.” She held up her hand. “But you’re right. I don’t want to know.”

Tina snatched a pick off the counter and attacked Crystal’s hair, artfully styling it into the homeless look necessary for the first scene. “Don’t worry, we’ll get a gig together. You audition where you want to and we’ll tag along. We’ve done it before. What else?”

“Brad texted to tell me he couldn’t make it tonight. Something came up.”

Tina shrugged. “Wedding-Proposal Ken can’t make it tonight, huh? That’s a little irritating, and you know the right answer to his question anyway, you just don’t want to admit it. I’m pretty sure there’s something bigger wrong, unless I’m way off-base.”

A smile tugged at the corners of Crystal’s mouth, but she was careful not to show it. Tina got a kick out of calling Brad “Ken” as in “Ken and Barbie” but other than that, she had good instincts. In every way.

Tina paused with the teasing comb above Crystal’s head. “Might as well tell me, you know you want to.”

“Maybe you need to go to work for one of those psychic hotlines,” Crystal drawled.

“Very funny. You know I don’t believe in that mumbo jumbo. I just know you. Nice try changing the subject though. And if you really don’t want to talk about it, far be it from me to be pushy.”

Crystal grinned. “Pushy? You?” She considered taking the out. But Tina was her safety valve and right now she really needed that. “I got an email from Aaron.”

Tina tapped her lip with the comb and stared at the ceiling for a second. Then her gaze met Crystal’s in the mirror again. “Aaron. Got married a couple months ago. Right?”

“You amaze me.”

She shrugged. “I don’t have any family but my grandpa to keep up with. So keeping your six brothers and sisters straight is a challenge. Besides, it was an event worthy of you going home for a visit. That, in itself, is rare enough to make me remember it.”

“I visit.” Crystal heard the defensiveness in her voice, but she couldn’t seem to help it. “Holidays are a bad time to get away in this business. You know that.”

Tina opened her mouth then shut it again. She took a deep breath and smiled. “So what did Aaron have to say?”

Crystal closed her eyes for a second as she remembered the email. “He and Bree have gotten a chance to move to inner-city Chicago for a year and do some mission work with at-risk boys.”
“Ah, that’s sweet.” Tina slapped Crystal’s arm. “Too bad they don’t want to move to the Big Apple. We could use a little more gospel around here, don’t ya think?”

Crystal nodded absently. “I guess.” Tina and Zee were always trying to get her to go to church with them. In a way, that was probably what had drawn her to them in the beginning. Even though she’d quit going to church when she moved to the city, she still believed in God. She just wasn’t sure He cared about people who had turned their backs on Him. “This is a special houseparent program that Aaron and Bree have a chance to participate in.”

“Good for them.”

Crystal looked in the mirror at the dark smudges under her eyes. “Aaron was twelve and just about to initiate into a Chicago gang when his grandmother died and we got him. So he feels a strong need to do this. Stop boys from getting into gangs. Provide a place where people care about them and give them boundaries.”

Tina smiled. “And introduce them to Jesus.”

Crystal ignored her comment. “Anyway, Aaron called a family meeting for tomorrow.”

“You going?”

Crystal snorted. “To Arkansas? I’ll be auditioning and you know it.”

“On Saturday?”

“All next week. It would be a waste to just fly there and fly back. Not to mention annihilating my tiny savings.”

“So everyone but you is going to be there.”

She shrugged. “Probably. But they know I can’t make it.”

“Can’t or won’t?” Tina muttered. Before Crystal could respond, she spoke in a normal voice. “So what’s the problem with Aaron leaving?”

“He’s Dad’s right hand man.”

“Don’t some of your other sisters and brothers live nearby?”

“Yeah, but they’re busy with their own lives. Aaron’s been the main one who takes care of the cattle. And Mama and Daddy are going on an overseas trip in a week. I think he’s afraid they’ll cancel.”

“Mission trip?” Tina asked, her voice dry, as she deftly started on makeup.

Crystal nodded. “With a second honeymoon tacked on for good measure.”

“Honeymoon or no honeymoon, your family’s so holy, the Hallelujah Chorus must burst out spontaneously every time they’re together. I bet they bug you worse than we do about going to church.”

Crystal frowned. “Not really so much.”

“It’s not because they’ve given up on you, honey,” Tina drawled as she smoothed in the foundation on Crystal’s face.

Heat spread from Crystal’s neck to her face. Tina had an uncanny way of taking the words right out of Crystal’s mind and speaking them aloud. She glanced in the mirror and cringed inwardly. Not much chance her embarrassment would escape unnoticed since the pale makeup clashed violently with her red face.

Tina made no comment about the color change. “Your biggest sin is you’re too hard on yourself.”

“I’m not hard on myself.”

“Yeah, and I’m not from Texas,” Tina drawled as she unfastened the Velcro at Crystal’s neck and whipped the white cape off her with a flourish. “Ta-da. The most beautiful homeless woman I’ve ever seen.”

Popular Posts

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by Feminitz.com . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Rules, rules, rules

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.09.2009 Well, I have discovered that I need to comply with California law in order to do my book giveaways. Who knew there were so many rules? It doesn’t really affect you guys much, except that I can no longer mail the books internationally . Sorry, guys, but I really don’t relish spending any time in prison. Here’s the new rules, effective for any give away on this blog, in my newsletter , or on my website after September 9th, 2009: Disclaimer: 1. No purchase necessary to enter any give aways given on this blog (http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/), in my newsletter (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft), or on my website (http://www.camytang.com/). The give away will end on the date stated in the posting. The opportunity to play may be affected by local ability to access the Internet at any particular time. The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. 2. Open to all readers, 18 years or older who are legally allowed to participate in su

Sneak peek: Camy’s Kickstarter rewards

This Kickstarter is going to be awesome! I’ve been planning rewards that’ll knock your socks off! Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check out this blog post about my Kickstarter. I posted a description of the rewards (and pictures) on Patreon. Click here to check out the Kickstarter rewards! You can Follow my Kickstarter to be notified when it’s launched, and I’ll also announce in my newsletter when it’s live. Follow Camy’s Kickstarter here

Speed reading

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.04.2007 I totally want to learn to speed read. My friend Georgiana found a website and posted a few tips on her blog: Speed Reading 101 If I could speed read, I could read so many more books than I do now! I think my biggest problem is sub-vocalizing my words. I don’t think I’ve EVER not done it. I don’t know if I’d be able to not do it. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Anybody have tips?

「戌年」連載小説 第11章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第11章 - タビー猫、黒猫、灰色と茶色の縞猫 彼女の母親は何かを摂取したに違いない。何を摂取したかはわからないが、代謝が急激に上がり、まるで神経質なリスのようになった。マリには、過去数日間に母親が家全体を掃除させた理由

Favorite chocolate?

Captain's Log, Stardate 04.22.2008 Lately I’ve been on this chocolate kick. Normally, I’m not a huge chocoholic like Captain Caffeine. I enjoy chocolate, but if given a choice, I’ll usually choose a fruit or custard/creamy dessert over a triple decadence chocolate layer cake or a chocolate-lovers’ downfall brownie. But lately, I’ve been eating dark chocolate squares. I think it started when I went into Joseph Schmidt gourmet chocolate shop in Santana Row. We’d gotten Joseph Schmidt truffles for Christmas, and they’d been fabulous—I can honestly say that they were as good as DeBrand truffles (author Colleen Coble’s favorite). So when I saw the brick and mortar shop in Santana Row, I went in immediately. Inside, this man was buying up stacks—and I kid you not, stacks —of the Joseph Schmidt Belgian Dark Chocolate bars. He raved about them, said they were terrific. A cashier was restocking the display case the man had cleaned out, and I snagged a bar. “I’ve got to try one, after watc

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

Frogs

I know I blogged about this on my Writing Diary Blog , but I don’t think I blogged about this here. I read a few writing and productivity books, and I’ve been trying to form better daily habits. The problem is that my self-discipline is very bad. As in, embarrassingly bad. One of my goals has been to form a better writing habit. Since I’m a full-time writer, I already write every day, but I think there are things I can do to tweak my schedule so that I can be able to focus better when I write. I tend to get distracted by the thought of things I need to do that day which I haven’t done yet. I don’t know why my brain is like this, but I haven’t been able to break this tendency. So for example, while I’m writing, I’ll suddenly think about the fact that today’s the day when I need to change the bathroom towels, or mop the kitchen floor, or change the bedsheets. It’ll distract me for a few moments before I tell myself I’ll do it later and I need to focus on writing now. Then a few

Hello 2014!

I LOVE New Year’s Resolutions. I know lots of you hate them but I LOVE making them. I hardly ever fulfill them but it’s still fun making them because the whole year is new and filled with possibility. Last year, I was upset to get sidelined by plantar fasciitis so that I couldn’t run the Honolulu Marathon in December as I’d planned. My head and spirit weren’t in a good place for much of last year, which affected my work, and to cope, I slipped back into bad eating habits while I was under deadline for books. I gained 5-8 pounds over the year and felt like a gigantic blob sitting in my work chair. My New Year’s Resolution is to lose 30 pounds and train for the Honolulu Marathon in December 2014! I want to stop snacking while I work because I’ve gotten used to having something in my mouth as I’m typing, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Instead, I’d like to get up from my work, have a snack at the table, and then return to my work. I actually started my resolution early and re