a short story in
Wolf Creek, Book 10:
Romancing The West is pleased to present a double feature: Wolf Creek, Book 9, A Wolf Creek Christmas, and Wolf Creek Book 10, O Deadly Night. Each volume contains six Christmas stories, all centering around Wolf Creek in 1871, written by award-winning western authors. Today, RTW is pleased to host the very first guest ever booked on this blog, Cheryl Pierson.
A native Oklahoman, I live in Oklahoma City and write historical westerns and western romance.
"A Home for Christmas" in the anthology Wolf Creek Book 10, O Deadly Night, features two of my characters, Carson Ridge and Kathleen McCain Hyder. For more great Wolf Creek stories, look for my short story, "It Takes a Man," included in Wolf Creek, Book 6: Hell on the Prairie, and all the other Wolf Creek stories available under the pen name Ford Fargo.
I'm also co-owner of Prairie Rose Publishing, an up-and-coming publishing company of western romance and westerns written by women. Look for our first anthology, Wishing for a Cowboy (Kindle | Smashwords | Print).
Cheryl's story: A Home for Christmas
Derrick McCain's sister Kathleen has not recovered from her experience at the hands of the Danby Gang — and her judgmental husband, Reverend Dill Hyder, cannot accept what he now considers an "impure woman." Then someone from her family's past shows up, and everything changes...
About Kathleen and Carson
The principal characters in my story, A Home for Christmas, are Carson Ridge and Kathleen McCain Hyder. This is my first in-depth story about these two, although they both appeared in Wolf Creek, Book 5: Showdown at Demon's Drop, and Carson has appeared in some of my other Wolf Creek stories. Throughout the storylines I develop, there is a constant dilemma over racial lines — the Cherokees and the Anglos. In some places, it was quite a disgrace to have to claim any kind of Indian blood, even as recently as the mid-1900s, so imagine what it would have been like for someone in the Wolf Creek time period of the early 1870s.
Kathleen is a white woman, the younger sister of the first character I ever created for Wolf Creek, Derrick McCain. Her father was the headmaster of the Cherokee school. But Derrick, her brother, carries a secret even he doesn't realize — he's not Kathleen's full brother, only her half, because he is the product of an affair his mother had with the Cherokee statesman, Collin Ridge. It was this affair that led to Kathleen's father uprooting the family from Indian Territory and moving them to Wolf Creek. Now to understand why this is so important, we have to take a look at Collin Ridge's part in this. He had a son with his wife, who is Carson. Carson and Kathleen are not blood-related, although they share a half-brother, Derrick. Confused yet? Hold on, it'll get clearer.
Carson and Derrick are within weeks of the same age. They grew up as best friends, so Carson knew Kathleen and there's always been a bit of "something" there, a special friendship, even as children. They have not seen one another since that day at Demon's Drop when Kathleen and Derrick were rescued. That's been several weeks since this story, A Home for Christmas, happens.
Of course, Carson is wounded (why do I do this to all my heroes?) and Kathleen finds him and gets him to shelter as the snow is falling. Being snowed in together gives them a chance to get to know one another again, and rekindle the relationship they had so long ago.
I think the way I identify with my characters is because of the fact that I did have Native American ancestors, and it was not an easy time for them. In any story there has to be some angst, some discovery, and some yearning that might not always be fulfilled. Much of this comes from the past that my characters have had, and it's not so much my identification, but the identification I make on my ancestors' behalf with my characters. In this story, Kathleen has more understanding than most about the Cherokees since she associated with them for the first nine years of her life. She and Carson have a shared past, and that is an oddity, to begin with. But it gives them a starting point and a place to go from... if they choose.
What's new from Cheryl
Cowboys, kisses and love in the holiday air make for a special recipe in each of these wonderful new stories. Christmas miracles can happen when you're Wishing for a Cowboy!
"Outlaw’s Kiss" by Cheryl Pierson
A story in
Wishing for a Cowboy
Talia Delano has been humiliated before the entire town of Rock Creek by Jake Morgan. A known gunman, Jake has bid an outrageous sum for Talia’s "boxed supper", a kiss, and the gift of her time for the rest of the Independence Day celebration. But, as always, Jake changes the rules and takes more than he should — especially with the whole town watching. Talia’s chance of happiness is dashed, along with her reputation, when Jake leaves Rock Creek suddenly.
When he shows up five months later at her farmhouse, wounded, and in the midst of a blinding snowstorm, she can’t turn him away — even though she knows being along with him will cause tongues to wag once more. But with Christmas only two days away, how can she harden her heart against the handsome outlaw who has no place else to go — even if he is being trailed by someone just as dangerous? Magic and danger are woven together in the Outlaw's Kiss.
Wolf Creek Book 9:
The Last Free Trapper
by Jory Sherman
A Savior is Born
by Meg Mims
That Time of Year
by Jerry Guin
‘Twas the Fight before Christmas
by Jacquie Rogers
A Kiowa Christmas Gift
by Troy D. Smith
Renewal of Faith
by James J. Griffin
Wolf Creek, Book 10:
Sarah’s Christmas Miracle
by Big Jim Williams
Irish Christmas at Wolf Creek
by Charlie Steel
A Home for Christmas
by Cheryl Pierson
The Angel Tree
by Chuck Tyrell
The Spirit of Hogmanay
by Clay More
O Deadly Night
by Troy D. Smith