Musings and Missing Muses

My Darling Gunslinger


My Darling Gunslinger 


I began Charlotte and Tyler’s story in September of 2012, before the first book in my Idyllwild series was quite finished, before I decided to turn that first book into a three book series, before I wrote a single word of Pretty Poison or Taming Beauty. In January of 2013, with 36,000 words of the first draft written, my muse strapped on her fairy wings and flew right out the window. I turned my efforts to finding a home for Portrait of Passion (a home that turned out to be a short term lease as I have recently had the rights reverted to me which is why you won’t see it on my website just now). Months went by, then a year, the first two books in the Idyllwild Series were published, the rough draft of Pretty Poison was finished and Taming Beauty was little more than a faint spark of an idea drifting around the edges of my mind.

In the spring of 2014 the characters in the third book in the Idyllwild Series simply refused to behave as they ought to and I grew weary of trying to wrestle them into submission, weary of writing and rewriting entire chapters only to crumble them up and toss them in the trash bin – metaphorically speaking as I write on a laptop, of course.

Despondent and convinced I would never finish Unraveling the Earl, and wondering if the first two books I’d had published might be the last, I opened up the unfinished manuscript, tentatively title Fallen Angel. It had been so long since I’d read those 36,000 words I’d nearly forgotten the premise of the story, nearly forgotten how delicate, yet fierce Lady Charlotte Grenville, Countess of Westlockhart, was on those pages. More importantly, I’d forgotten how lonely and lost bounty-hunter Tyler Morgan was, how desperately he longed for a home and a family and the chance to hang up his guns.

Now, if you know anything at all about me, you know I am fascinated with first kisses. When I re-read Ty and Charlotte’s first kiss I was amazed I’d written the words. But when Ty tried to explain the kiss to someone else (a misty-eyed, tenderhearted saloon girl because…well, what’s a good Western without a misty-eyed, tenderhearted saloon girl?), my eyes watered, my fingertips tingled and I could not for the life of me understand why my muse had abandoned me to fly into the netherworld.

I took up Ty and Charlotte’s story once more. How could I not? But I had a contracted manuscript to finish. So, though the characters from Unraveling the Earl continued to act contrary to their nature and drive me positively insane at times, I finished the last book in the Idyllwild Series while simultaneously writing Ty and Charlotte’s story. It was a bit surreal having two very different stories, with two vastly different sets of characters living in entirely different times and places, gamboling around in my head. But by the end of summer I’d written 18,000 more words. They were heart-wrenching and angst-riddled words, filled with emotional upheaval as motivations were misunderstood and past hurts resurrected. By January of 2015 I had a total of 76,000 words written and I was more than half in love with Ty, with his rough demeanor and oftentimes volatile temper hiding a gentle, wounded heart.

Alas, Pretty Poison needed revising and polishing in preparation for publishing, so I was forced to tuck Ty and Charlotte away for a while once more. But they haunted me and when Pretty Poison was published, I was able to devote myself to My Darling Gunslinger once more.

And devote myself I did, finally finishing My Darling Gunslinger in July of 2015, nearly three years and four books after I’d started the story with Nanny Bettleheim’s advice to Charlotte:

Life is a series of joys and tragedies, some yours and some belonging to others, that join and spin off again like the many streams and creeks that feed a wide river. If you’re smart you head for high ground when it rains and frolic in the shallows when the sun shines down on you.

Sage advice, indeed.


My Darling Gunslinger 

After seven years on the run, crossing oceans and uncharted lands to escape an aristocrat with murder on his mind, Lady Charlotte Grenville, Countess of Westlockhart, has finally found a safe haven in the wilds of Montana.

Until the night a gunslinger wounded in body and soul falls at her feet.

In a single hand of cards, Tyler Morgan wins both the Zeppelin Ranch and the chance to hang up his guns forever. He never expects to find a proper English lady living on his land with her son and an odd assortment of servants.

With his past haunting him and his heart threatened by the lady who can never be his, Ty’s future stretches out before him in one long, lonely eternity.

When Charlotte’s secrets are revealed and her life endangered, will Ty strap on his guns once more to embark on a perilous journey to the glittering world that is Victorian London?

Now available at your favorite retailers including:


Barnes and Noble

Read an Excerpt of My Darling Gunslinger

And while you’re here, why not discover all the magic of Once Upon A Regency: Timeless Tales and Fables, a box set of novellas written by nine wonderfully talented authors?

Congratulations to the winner of December’s Corset, Dee Foster.

January’s Corset is a little bit Victorian with a touch of Funky. This lovely floral pattern features chunky metal hooks and buttons for an industrial flair.

January Corset
To enter simply post a Comment below. Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing, a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on February 1st.

If you missed January’s Issue of Corsets and Kisses, and would like to remedy the situation, please click here.

Better still, sign up to receive future issues of Corsets and Kisses!



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