Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Into The Land Of Shadows by Kristy McCaffrey - June #blogabookscene #westernromance #prairierosepubs @prairierosepubs

By Kristy McCaffrey

Blog-a-Book-Scene is a monthly themed blogging endeavor from a group of authors who love to share excerpts from their stories. Find us on Twitter with the hashtag #blogabookscene and #PrairieRosePubs.

June's theme is On The Road Again. This excerpt is from my historical western paranormal romance novel, Into The Land Of Shadows, in which Ethan Barstow decides to help Kate Kinsella find his brother, who he believes is her fiance.


Kate wondered how far she’d get on foot before the man standing a few feet away caught her and did God-knew-what.
Ethan Barstow.
Of all her bad luck. She had never met the man, but Charley’s recollections of his brother filled her head. Liar. Swindler. Killer.
“You must be Charley’s fiancée,” he said, watching her closely, his gaze dark.
Swell. He knew who she was. She nodded, deciding now wasn’t the time to share the truth about her and Charley's relationship. Instinct told her she needed to ditch Mister Barstow, but losing the donkey was a bit of a problem. Maybe she could find the animal herself on foot. But what if the three buffoons who’d stolen her horse were still out there?
“I arrived in Flagstaff three days ago looking for Charley,” Ethan said. “I was told he’d left town unexpectedly so I’ve been trailing him. I take it you don’t know where he is, either?”
She cleared her throat. “No, I don’t.”
“Is there some reason why he wouldn’t tell you where he was going?”
Well, it’s not me, but Agnes he didn’t tell. It was far too complicated to explain, least of all to this man, so she uttered, “We’ve had a bit of a misunderstanding.”
“Yeah, Charley and I’ve had a bit of a misunderstanding as well,” Ethan said quietly, almost to himself.
Kate plastered the biggest smile she could onto her face. “I think I’ll just go look for that donkey myself. I really don’t want to be a bother to you.”
She moved past the man who was a dead ringer for Charley, possessing the same angular cheek bones and long nose, the same dark hair, the same lean build as her fiancé. Her fiancé! What a ridiculous mess that was. There had been a time, far back in the beginning of her acquaintance with Charley, when she’d found him attractive and fun. It had been short-lived, especially once Agnes entered the picture. Now, she was face-to-face with a man much like Charley, but while his eyes had been green and his demeanor inviting, Ethan’s eyes were blue, almost gray, like a lake frozen over.
There were other differences, as well, and none of them flattered Ethan. He was a man who had killed other men, and Kate knew she would never find anything appealing in that.
“Hang on a minute,” he said. His hand wrapped around her forearm to stop her—a large, warm hand. “I don’t suppose you have any idea who I am since Charley and I haven’t spoken in over five years, but I came to Flagstaff to hopefully put the past in the past. I came to see if Charley and I could bury our differences. The least I can do is to help you find him, especially since we’ll be kin one day.”
She made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Up close, she could see flecks of gold buried within the blue, and a few wrinkles in the skin around the edges of his eyes. It must be her imagination that he seemed the slightest bit more friendly. Charley had charm and it would seem Ethan did as well, although Kate sensed it wasn’t without shadows.
A killer of men would undoubtedly have many shadows to keep him company. She couldn’t think of how to reply. The last thing she wanted was company, and least of all Ethan’s company. She’d find her damned fiancé herself.
“Yes, it would make sense to look together.” So much for thinking fast on her feet. Her brother, Owen, had always said she was a little slow off the mark. It would seem he was right.
“You can ride Brandy,” Ethan said as he released her arm.
He moved to his other horse and began untying the bags of supplies he’d brought with him. He moved the largest satchel to his horse and tied several knots swiftly to anchor it in place. Kate chewed her lip. She could just make a run for it. The only after-effect of her fall from the donkey was a splitting headache—her legs were perfectly fine. But Ethan would probably chase her down. And then, he’d wonder what was wrong with her. And then, maybe he’d just shoot her in the back if he decided she wasn’t worth the trouble.
The image horrified her. Perhaps she should at least be civil to the man, to ward off her immediate murder. An opportunity for escape would surely present itself.
She had a plan. This was good. She would make small talk with Charley’s brother, then run for her life when she got the chance.

Copyright © 2013  K. McCaffrey LLC

Available in digital and print at Amazon.

Also in the Kindle Unlimited subscription program.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

How are the energy vortexes of Sedona related to my cowboy romance story?

By Kristy McCaffrey

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.
Photo by Kristy McCaffrey

Sedona—located a two-hour drive north of Phoenix, Arizona—is a place where spiritual and psychic energies are enhanced. While the entire town is considered to be an energy vortex, there are specific areas that people visit for maximum meditation enjoyment. The top four Sedona vortexes are located at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon. Each spot radiates its own particular energy, some producing energy that flows upward while others have energy spiraling downward and entering the earth.

How did Sedona get so famous? Her reputation as a spiritual center got quite a boost in 1987 when a man named José Arguelles, a New Age artist and author, stated that a great Harmonic Convergence would take place in August, based on dates provided in a 1971 book called Lord of the Dawn by Tony Shearer. During this convergence, the earth would start slipping out of its “time beam” and risk spinning off into space, and there would be a higher incidence of déjà vu and UFO sightings. Only through the focused psychic efforts of the human race would the earth remain in place. If enough people gathered at sacred sites around the world then a New Age would begin, and the earth would remain safe and enter a new era of harmony and love. Of course, we know that our home did not spin wildly into space, perhaps because of this widespread moment of meditation of which Sedona was a major player. :-)

My daughter and I at the saddle of Cathedral
Rock, Sedona, Arizona.
But more importantly, what are these spiritual cracks in the earth? The answer may be tied to ley lines—magnetic pathways that likely hold the secret to bird, mammal, and even bacterial migrations. Confirmation by modern measurements has shown these lines to flow in gentle curves along the lay of the land. Most humans can sense a difference in a local magnetic field of only a few gammas; energetic places like Sedona have anomalies that are far stronger.

In my recently re-released western romance, BLUE SAGE, Braden and Audrey find a place with magical properties, not far from Sedona.

What do you do when a woman literally lands at your feet?

Braden Delaney has taken over the family cattle business after the death of his father, but faced with difficult financial decisions, he contemplates selling a portion of the massive Delaney ranch holdings known as Whisper Rock, a place of unusual occurrences. The sudden appearance of a pretty relic-hunter while he’s collecting his livestock, however, is about to change his mind.

Archaeologist Audrey Driggs arrives in the remote wilderness of Northern Arizona for clues to a life-altering experience from her childhood. When she rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney, it’s clear she needs his knowledge of the area to complete her quest. But if she tells him the truth, will he think she’s crazy?

Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.

This long novella was previously published in the anthology A COWBOY TO KEEP, and I’ve added minor updates to the text.

Now Available:
Google Play:

Print coming soon.


The damned calf was stuck in the brambles again.

Braden Delaney swung down from his horse, his spurs jangling, and approached the mewling youngster. The calf thrashed in a mess of bushes beneath a stately juniper tree with shredded, red-colored bark. It reminded Braden of pulled-pork barbecue. It was on the menu tonight if Lewis, wrangler and cook during roundups, had been telling the truth this morning before the five of them had headed out.

It was late in the day and Braden’s stomach rumbled in response.

He’d take care of this problem and then head back to base camp—two airstream trailers and a horse trailer with a built-in bunk for Braden.

Braden knocked the brim of his Stetson up a notch and went to work prying the animal from the tangled jumble of branches. His gloved hands made fast work of the situation, and before long he’d set the calf on all fours. The animal took off at a lope, headed toward a band of larger cows, one of whom was likely his mama.

“You’re welcome,” Braden uttered under his breath.

It was the third rescue he’d performed on the calf in the past two days. The contrary little beast had a knack for wandering and getting into untenable predicaments. He should just usher it to the makeshift corral a few miles to the southeast, but Braden wasn’t quite ready to bring in this cluster of cattle, and he didn’t want to separate the calf from its mother.

Billy Lasco, his range foreman, would be up in a few days with two large semi-trucks to collect the cattle they’d gathered and transport them to the Delaney Ranch fifty miles to the south. Braden would guide the wayward calf and his mama into camp then. His current plan was to simply flush the cows and steers hiding out in the rocky hillside into the open plain below.
As he returned to his horse, a scream and a crash spun him around.

Had a steer just rolled down the slope? Braden circled, searching for an injured critter.

But it was no animal.

A woman lay on her back, grimacing.

Braden moved quickly to her side. “Are you all right, miss?”

She pushed to sit, leaves and sticks in her brown hair, askew in a haphazard ponytail. She wore trail pants, hiking boots and an ivory t-shirt. His eyes jerked back to the shirt, not sure he’d read correctly the word printed on it. Yep, he had. BOOBIES covered the spot where those very things resided, round and nicely shaped. Then he saw the image above the word—two birds with blue feet. Blue-footed boobies. Despite the dire situation, a smile tugged at his mouth.

Copyright © 2018 K. McCaffrey LLC

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