Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing a Western with Cassandra Dean

Hi all! Cassandra Dean here, and I’m thrilled to be a guest on Louisa’s blog. I’m here to chat about the Wild Wild West, and how I ended up writing a Western Romance series when I’m from Australia. Crazy, right?

I never thought I’d write a Western Romance. I love reading Westerns, love watching Western movies and I have a BIG crush on the TV show Deadwood. I love the pioneering spirit of the west, the way the rules are thrown out the window in favour of carving a new society.  I guess it’s similar to the way Australia began, which in the scheme of things really wasn’t too long ago. Maybe that’s even part of the Old West’s appeal for me. However, it didn’t even click to write a Western Romance. But when, my editor suggested I write for Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape , I thought ‘Why not?’.

I’m so glad I thought that! It was heaps of fun inventing bits and pieces of Freewill, Wyoming, the fictional town in which all of the Western Escape stories are set. I was able to introduce The Diamond Saloon and Theater, as well as her owner, Alice Reynolds, and her star, Pearl la Monte. I could introduce the telegraph master, establish the new train station, talk about the outskirts of town and the coal mining beyond. I researched coal and cabaret, Christmas decorations and prospecting. All of this resulted in two books I’m extremely proud of – ROUGH DIAMOND and FOOL’S GOLD, which I’ll hope you’ll check out.

Hmm. Maybe it’s not so crazy I’ve written Western Romances :)

Thank you for hanging with me!

Christmas in Freewill

Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.

Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.

When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?

FOOL’S GOLD is available at the following e-stores:


Turning on her heel, Pearl marched off toward the stairs.

A weird kind of panic jolted through Ethan, one he’d never felt before in all his days. It was…he didn’t…. She couldn’t leave him. “Where are you going?”

She whirled to face him, her irritation plain. “I was seeking my bed before your arrival, and now I’m seeking it again. Help yourself to whiskey this one time. I got better things to do.”

Shoving to his feet, he strode to her. “Don’t just walk away when we’re discussing things.”

“We ain’t discussing nothing. You’ll be down here, waiting out the blizzard. I’ll be in my bed, doing what I was gonna before you arrived. That’s the end of it.”

Taking a step, she made to leave him. Again.

He grabbed her arm. “Don’t leave me.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Glaring at him, she stood before the bar, her magnificent hair slipping from its pins, her breasts rising and falling.

Abruptly, his mouth went dry. Clearing his throat some, he said, “You’re supposed to offer succor to those in need.”

“We’re closed, remember?” Paint-less lips pressed tight together, she glared up at him.

They were so close he could see the faint marks of freckles on her skin.

Pearl La Monte had freckles.

A kind of haze came over him, tightening his skin and bringing with it something all-fired powerful and completely unstoppable. All the years he’d known her crashed through him, all the times she’d flirted with him and meant something else, all the times he’d seen her perform on stage and wished he could have held such fire.

Grabbing her upper arms, he hauled her against him and, ignoring her shocked gasp, he covered her mouth with his.

Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.

Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.
So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels.

The love affair exists to this very day.

Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.