Friday, May 25, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Take a look at the new release from Renegade Night author Nikki Noffsinger. Enter a world of passion, wolf-shifters, and love that conquers all.
Read an excerpt and be enchanted:
Lorna drove down the street to a salon. Ivy was going to get her hair cut. She was excited as they went in and started looking through the hair magazines for a new hairstyle. Ivy had long hair for her whole life and felt as if she should be nervous about cutting it, but it symbolized a life that she had no desire to live. A petite blonde woman came over to where they were sitting and ushered Ivy to her chair.
“You have really gorgeous hair, you know that! Are you sure you want it cut?” the beautician asked as she fingered through Ivy’s waist length hair.
“Yes! I am quite sure! I was thinking something to my shoulders and layered perhaps.” Ivy replied.
“Alright, I know just the style that would be perfect for you that would complement your face shape!” the beautician said as she took Ivy to a shampoo bowl.
Lorna looked on as the beautician shampooed, conditioned and wrapped a towel around Ivy’s head. Ivy had certainly come a long way from the scared girl that she’d rescued from the Shepherds of the Flock religious group. The Shepherds of the Flock were a cult that was similar to the LDS church that she had fled herself fifteen years ago. It had taken her three years to help Ivy get to where she was today. Ivy had been married to an elder as his seventh wife and it had been hell getting her out! She had first met Ivy in a hospital where she had been taken for not just a miscarriage but also being beaten nearly to death. A nurse, Millie Shugart had called Lorna and she had broken a number of traffic laws getting to the hospital to see Ivy. Lorna shuddered in her seat as she remembered how battered and beaten Ivy had been.
She had been like a frightened child and Lorna had told her of her own life with the LDS church, and had offered Ivy a way out. Ivy had been so distrustful but she took the help that Lorna had offered. Lorna immediately called Terrance McGee and got a police guard at the hospital and filed the necessary paperwork and police report. Ivy had been a child bride and had gotten pregnant but due to a beating by her ‘beloved’ husband, she had miscarried the baby. One of the sister wives had brought her to the hospital and left her there. When the hospital released Ivy, Lorna had taken her in and for a solid year it had been a nightmare! Ivy had terrible nightmares and for the first part of that year, she wouldn’t even talk to the psychologist.
It was like getting a wild and feral animal to trust, and Lorna was amazed she’d been able to salvage Ivy through the layers of abuse. This was her job, her calling and Ivy was a success story. Ivy would have the life she was meant to have, not the one she had been born into. Lorna smiled as she watched Ivy’s face scrunch up as the hair stylist took that first cut off those long locks of hers. ‘Breathe Ivy! Breathe!’ Lorna thought to herself. Lorna knew all too well that first cut had been not just a big step but more like a jump across the
“Are you okay, hon? You’re not going to cry or anything are you?” the beautician said frantically as she noticed that Ivy had an odd look to her face. It was a look that blended well with panic. Ivy wasn’t panicked but it was like some invisible fear that suddenly the world was going to fall apart or she’d be struck down by God for cutting her hair.
It wasn’t until Lorna walked over and bent down to her ear. “Ivy, Ivy open your eyes!” Lorna urged. Ivy slowly lifted her lids. Lorna smiled, “See, the world is still turning and you’re not a crispy critter! No cracking earth or devil to drag you through the floor!”
It was true, and she felt stupid for overreacting but for some reason she had to have that verbal assurance that nothing Papa Paul had said was true. The beautician waited until she relaxed again in the chair. Ivy smiled slightly and told the girl to go ahead with the hair cut. Lorna patted her shoulder and returned to her seat in the shop’s lobby. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to freak out! This is my first haircut!” Ivy admitted. The girl smiled and nodded, “Well it’s going to be the best first hair cut anyone has ever gotten.” The two young women laughed.
In about an hour, the beautician was finished. Ivy looked at her hair that came just past her shoulders. It had layers that had been cut in with a razor and she looked modern, stylish, and pretty instead of looking as if she dropped out of the 1800s. Papa Paul had always told her and the others that for a woman to cut her hair was a sin and abomination in the eyes of God and her husband. A woman who cut her hair, wore make-up and wore the garments of Satan would be subject to the wrath of God. Next to adultery and being barren; the sin of cutting one’s hair was right up there with the seven deadliest.
Anything that caused the displeasure of one’s husband and God was grounds for beatings, seclusion, starvation, and the worst - Purification. In her lifetime, Ivy had watched as her own mother had been whipped and taken out into the wilds to fend for herself with no clothing or even shoes. Her own mother had beaten into Ivy, physically and mentally the duties as to which Ivy would one day carry out. Ivy pushed those thoughts out of her head. Today she was starting her new life officially and the past was not going to play any part in it! She stood as Lorna met her giving her a reassuring look.
“Woo hoo! Look at you girl! Now that is what I call a very attractive hair do!” Lorna praised. Ivy blushed slightly at her friend’s assessment. Lorna paid the woman and they both left.
Friday, May 04, 2012
My First Book
When I received the first hard copies of A Story of the West, I put a few in a bag and began peddling them. It was just lil’ ol’ me, nervous and alone, pounding the pavement. I went to a couple of stores and sold a few copies, mainly because even though I was an unknown first-time author, as a local, there was some interest.
One day I thought, what the heck, and decided to try my luck at a store in a nearby town where I bought dog food. It was a unique place because on one side you could buy livestock feed, as well as halters for horses and other animal supplies. On the other side was an upscale western boutique that carried really nice, expensive clothing and gifts.
I approached a clerk on the boutique side and asked her if they sold any books. She told me that they carried a few coffee table books, but that I should come back and talk to Carol, the owner.
I returned when Carol was there, introduced myself, told her about A Story of the West and asked if she would be interested in carrying it. Her reply was that she would have to read the book first. She then asked me to sell her a copy at cost. I willingly obliged and handed over a signed copy for only slightly more than I had paid for it.
I waited for a couple of weeks before I went back as I was terrified of hearing my first critique by a stranger. Finally, my knees knocking, I got up the courage to return and ask Carol what she thought of my creation.
I still remember walking up to her. She didn’t smile as I approached and I couldn’t read her expression. I asked what she thought of it, and she replied, “I loved it. I think it should be made into a movie.” She then bought copies to carry in her store and told me she would encourage her employees to read it so they could help promote it.
Needless to say, her words made my day. I left walking on air and with the confidence to continue pushing my novel.
Sadly the store closed shortly after that. I heard Carol decided that, with the slow economy, it was a good time to move on to other things. I hope she is doing well.
The moral of the story is, believe in your book!
Susan Spence has always been intrigued with life in the west in the 1880s. She researched historical accounts and first-person narratives as she prepared to write A Story of the West. A lifelong resident of the west, she currently lives in
You can visit her website at www.writing-ranch.com.
ABOUT A STORY OF THE WEST
Matt Daly’s eyes narrowed as he faced the stranger in front of him. “I know I don’t have a quarrel with you because I don’t know you,” he growled.
“But I know you,” the menacing outlaw sneered back, clearly ready to use the Colt revolver hanging from his hip.
Only a few years earlier Matt and his father had trailed a herd of longhorns north from
Shortly after the Northern Pacific rail line was completed and it became easier for people to head west. Lavina Lavold stepped off the train in
There are unscrupulous men, however, determined to build cattle empires. A ruthless neighbor decides he wants the Daly’s claim, and he will stop at nothing to acquire their ranch. Since the entire area is undeeded land, it is up for grabs and there is no law on the rough frontier to prevent a range war. When Matt refuses to back down, his life takes a dangerous turn.
Forced to abandon his family, his travels take him down a long road of misery. An encounter with an Indian medicine man helps him to regain his sense of self, but not until after he gives in to his desperation.
A Story of the West depicts life during the open range ranching days of the Wild West. Besides plenty of action, I have added a women’s perspective to settling the American West. I researched the era to ensure historical accuracy and have written an accurate portrayal of life during this time, as well as an exciting read.