Friday, December 13, 2013

A Brand New Historical Western Romance!!

By Kristy McCaffrey

I'm happy to share my new release, now available in print and digital. Into The Land Of Shadows is a historical western romance with a brooding hero and a spunky heroine.

Ethan Barstow has come to Arizona Territory to search for his younger brother, Charley. It’s been five years since a woman came between them and it’s high time they buried the hatchet. He soon learns that his brother has broken more than one heart in town, has mysteriously and abruptly disappeared, and that an indignant fiancée is hot on his trail.

Kate Kinsella pursues Charley Barstow when he skips out of town without a second thought. Not only has he left Agnes McPherson alone and pregnant, but everyone still believes that he and Kate are engaged, a sham from the beginning. An ill-timed encounter with a group of ruffians has her suddenly in the company of Ethan Barstow, Charley’s brother and a man of questionable repute. As they move deeper into the shadows of the Arizona desert, family tensions and past tragedies threaten to destroy a relationship neither of them expects.



If you decide to read it, would you consider leaving a review at any of the above sites? It greatly helps in spreading the word. :-) Thanks a bunch!!

As a thank you to my wonderful readers, I'm running a contest at my website this month. Please stop over and let me know your favorite book(s).

Kristy's website

And if you're looking for that perfect gift for the booklover in your life, I've got a special offer going for my Wings of the West trilogy.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!!

And now, an excerpt from Into The Land Of Shadows.

Kate hid in the shadows at the far end of the hallway hoping neither of the men would see her. They opened the door to Harry’s room and went inside. She would have little if no time to escape before they realized she was gone.
Rufus didn’t completely close the door behind him. Kate tiptoed as fast as she could past the room she had just occupied for the last several hours and moved quickly down the stairs, her legs still aching from misuse.
“Where’d she go?” Clive roared as Kate ran out into the street.
She looked right then left. The road was dark, windy, and deserted. The sound of loud thumps on the stairs told her Clive and Rufus were right behind her. She darted around the building and then ran behind another. She hustled toward the end of the street.
“Spread out! We’ll git her!” Clive yelled.
Kate moved around a trading post. Sensing a presence from behind, she jerked her head around and stared. A four-legged creature ran past, disappearing. With a hand on her chest she struggled to calm her breathing. It was just a dog.
She peeked around the building and saw Clive walking down the street carrying his gun. Rufus wasn’t in sight. She needed to find a place to hide but most establishments looked closed. Movement to the left caught her eye. Joe Tohonnie? Maybe she hadn’t dreamt him after all.
The shadow moved across the street and disappeared behind a blacksmith building. Kate ran to the other side of the street, hunching over in an effort to hide herself. Once she made it to the blacksmith she glanced around.
“Joe?” she whispered. “Mister Tohonnie? Is that you?”
No answer but the wind. Kate began backing up toward the rear of the building, dread gripping her stomach. She swallowed hard, feeling uncertain.
Staying close to the structure, her heart wouldn’t stop pounding and her hands were clammy from fear. She swallowed hard again then turned to run but was caught short, letting out an involuntary gasp when the four-legged creature cut her off with a growl. The animal’s yellow eyes glowed by the light of the moon and he watched her with rapt attention, his body poised for attack.
A wolf.
Another low growl emanated from deep in the animal’s throat and Kate fought the urge to flee. The wolf’s head easily came to her chest; he would have no trouble chasing her down and ripping her to pieces. The gash on her face would pale in comparison to what he would do to her.
A sudden commotion from behind startled her. Someone grabbed her. In a frenzy Kate fought back, kicking and straining against the iron grip the man exerted around her waist. His hold loosened and Kate fell to the ground.
She grabbed a loose board, and screamed as she swung it around, hitting the man’s leg. But he didn’t go down. She scooted backward and scrambled to her feet. The man grabbed her this time, facing her. Thinking it was Clive or Rufus, she continued to struggle.
“Katie! Katie! It’s me. It’s Ethan.”
He held her tight against the building. A sob escaped from deep inside her throat, a sudden maelstrom that matched the wind roaring in her ears, and then Ethan’s mouth was on hers. Hot, insistent, devouring. She molded into him, her lips and tongue hungry for the sudden and consuming contact. She pushed her body against his, clinging to his broad shoulders, desperate to be closer still. He didn’t abandon me. His mouth crushed hers and she felt on fire, head to toe.
“Rufus, you find her?” Clive yelled in the distance.
Ethan broke the kiss, and Kate reeled back against the building.
“Let’s go,” he said and grabbed her hand, pulling her behind the blacksmith building.
“Wait.” She tugged his hand to stop him. “There’s a wolf.” Her voice shook—either from the men chasing her, the wolf challenging her, or the man who had just devastated her defenses with one kiss. She could take her pick. She’d had a busy day.
“He’s with me,” Ethan said quietly. “He won’t hurt you.”
The wolf suddenly appeared. “Bart!” Ethan cocked his head. “Come.”
“Get back here,” Clive yelled.
Kate looked over her shoulder and saw him in pursuit. He began shooting. Ethan ducked down and pushed her in front of him.
“Dammit, Clive!” Ethan yelled. “Give it a rest!”
“Bring her back,” Clive said. “We need her!”
“I need her more. Run, Kate.”

Copyright © 2013  K. McCaffrey LLC

Monday, December 2, 2013

My First Half-Marathon (or Hanging Out With Wild Woman)

By Kristy McCaffrey

“Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events half understood and half remembered…”
~ Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
                                                by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

There is a girl, and she’s curious. She likes to explore and wander, outside as well as inside herself. Maybe you’ve met her. Maybe you spend a lot of time with her, or maybe you cross paths with her only occasionally. She is Wild Woman; she is you. 

The only antidote for fear is Wild Woman. She will look beyond any smallness and strive toward a connection of empowerment. I found her recently, again, while reaching for the goal of completing my first half-marathon. I’d never run this far before, I never imagined I could run this far. Although I’ve jogged off and on most of my life, I would be hard-pressed to ever admit that I’m a runner. I shuffle along at a very slow pace, one that had me, many years ago, accompanied by a police officer riding the end-of-the-race motorcycle for a 5K competition. I was mortified. I continued to participate in 5K’s, but they frequently left me dejected and depressed. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d somehow failed because I wasn’t fast. Wild Woman was nowhere to be found.

But growing older has brought new priorities, as well as a low tolerance for belief systems that drain rather than enhance life. Wild Woman whispered in my ear, enticing me with places like the Himalaya, Mongolia, and Alaska. Don’t you want to hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain or summit Mt. Kilimanjaro? she asked. Yes, to all of the above. Knowing that I needed a strong baseline of fitness to accomplish these journeys, I decided to train for a half-marathon. This motivation was far better than worrying if I would be fast enough not to embarrass myself.
The pain of Mile 12.

The lesson is this—sometimes you just don’t know yourself.

On race day, I ran the first mile in 9 minutes. This was way too fast for me since I had trained at 12-minute miles. But it felt surprisingly good, so off I went. I kept a pace of 9- to 11-minute miles for seven miles. Wow. I was stunned. But Wild Woman wasn’t; she was simply giddy with joy. She didn’t care about pace, she ran because the rhythm felt right. She mentally embraced every woman she passed, or who passed her, because nothing is grander than others pushing and reaching past their own limits, whatever those limits might be. 

It was a great day. And although the end wasn’t pretty (big deeds are not achieved without discipline and maybe just a dash of agony), I crossed the finish line immensely proud of my accomplishment. I ran faster than I ever imagined, and while I still came in well in the back of the pack, it mattered little to me. I’d spent the day with Wild Woman. I highly recommend it.

The end. Mission accomplished.