Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Tomorrow, on my on blog, Dishin' It Out, I'm posting in depth about spoilers, and asking those who visit to share their opinions.  Reading reviews that give away your entire story are even more upsetting than just reading unfavorable comments.  I recently bemoaned the fact on the loop because my latest release, Sarah's Heart, ends in a fashion that some readers are really taking exception to.  I chalk their responses up to the fact that they didn't GET the story.  There is but one way to get my main characters together, and I found it.

My solution gives the reader hope that the hero and heroine can have the HEA that is so craved in romance, yet also gave me an opportunity for a sequel, which I am working on now.  Sarah's Passion will be a continuation of the story. Rather than assume one is coming, some readers would rather divulge the entire plot on a VERY public site, and not just spoil the ending, but discourage others from purchasing the book and drawing their own conclusion, and being able to look forward to reading more about Sarah and Wolf.  The lack of understanding exhibited by some is defeating at times, but giving in would let them win, and I won't do that.  I'm a good author, and I know it.

I'm very impressed by those who were historically savvy enough to realize the methodology to the ending and appreciated it.  I love the story.  Sarah is a courageous woman faced with making some very difficult decisions in life, and in this case, it seems she makes one that isn't popular with readers, but if you consider the time in history and her circumstances, it makes a lot more sense.

Here's an excerpt that helped influence the ending's outcome:

Wolf draped the naked hare across the empty coffee pot and began gathering more logs for the fire. He returned with an armful, and dropped them onto the smoldering cinders within the ring of stones. While the flames blossomed, he sat cross-legged on the ground, working on three longer branches. He skinned one clean, and using it as a skewer for their dinner, propped it across the pit with the other two as support.  The fire crackled and popped with each drip of grease splattering from the roasting rabbit; the delightful aroma teased Sarah’s nose. Rustic or not, dinner smelled wonderful.
Wolf sat with one knee bent and his arm resting atop it. He gazed into the distance, seemingly lost in thought.
  “Wolf,” she summoned him back. “How did you learn to speak the language?”
He took a deep breath. “It’s a long story. Are you sure you want to hear it?”
“Of course.”
“I was just five-years-old when my father, Charles Elder, was killed defending my red-skinned mother. We lived in Montana territory—migrating there after my parents married. A neighboring farmer and his family were slaughtered by a Crow war party, and an angry mob from town wanted my mother to pay for it. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t her tribe—an Indian was an Indian.” His brow creased.
“That must have been horrible for you. If speaking about your past is hard for you, you don’t have to continue.”
“I’m fine. Pain is part of life.”  He leaned forward and pulled a browned leg from the cooked rabbit. Tender, the limp released into his hand without effort. He offered her the meat then yanked a second piece free, chewed a bite, and swallowed. “So, the town’s preacher heard what was being planned and came to our house before the others got there. He hid me and my mother beneath blankets in the back of his buckboard and took us to the church while my father stayed at home, planning to reason with the townspeople. The Reverend kept us in the chapel basement until dark and then drove us home. There wasn’t much left of the place. My father’s bloodied body lay in the yard, and the house and everything in  it had been reduced to smoldering ashes. The barn looked like they set it afire, but for some reason the building didn’t catch.”
“Why are people so hateful?”  Sympathy stabbed at her. Why had she asked him to relive his pain?  Although saddened she had, hearing about his past provided a connection between them. Maybe sharing the experience brought him closure.
 “What did you and your mother do then?”  Licking grease from her lips, Sarah leaned forward, anxious for the rest of the story.               
“Luckily we still had the wagon and team, and after traveling for weeks, Ma and I happened upon a Lakota village—one of seven Sioux tribes who follow the buffalo. My mother, Little Feather, intended to find her way back to her own people, the Dakota Sioux, but Lame Deer took a liking to her and made her his second wife.”
Sarah studied Wolf’s face. Despite his dark hair and olive skin, his hazel eyes revealed his white heritage. He had a striking profile—strong chin, high cheekbones, and full lips. Her heart fluttered, remembering how he had called her his wife. Her curiosity piqued. “So, how long did you live with the tribe?”
“I lived with the people until my sixteenth year. Spotted Fever took my mother and several others in the tribe, and with her gone, nothing held me there. Because I wasn’t full-blooded, most of those my age made it their callin’ to make my life miserable. In my younger years they shoved me and called me names, but as I aged and my body grew strong, the physical cruelty stopped. Still, there was always someone around to remind me I was an outsider.”  He removed the skewer stick with the remaining rabbit from over the fire and extended it toward her. “More?”
She shook her head, preferring to hear the story’s ending rather than eat. “So you left?”
“Yes. That was ten years ago, and I still haven’t found where I fit.” Holding both ends of the stick, he chomped into the rabbit’s hindquarter then wiped the juices on the back of his hand. Even though primitive and missing the manners she appreciated, Wolf was a very handsome man.
Sarah gazed down into her lap, her cheeks warming.  She had no business thinking such things about a man she barely knew. Thank goodness, she wasn’t small-minded enough to let his heritage determine her treatment of him, but once they got to Independence, she would thank him for his help and bid him farewell. There was no room in her life for a man, now or in the future. Still, she dared another glimpse at him through her lashes, fighting a strange sensation in the pit of her stomach.