09 January, 2017

Down Squash Blossom Road by Janet Chester Bly Book Tour and Guest Post!

WHAT SECRET LIES DOWN SQUASH BLOSSOM ROAD?

Cowgirl Reba Cahill’s schedule is full.
Save the family ranch.
Free her mom from a mental institute.
Take another road trip.
Solve a murder … and a kidnapping.
Plus, evade a stalker.
Can she also squeeze in romance?

Reba Cahill thought she could focus on the duties of the ranch, to help out her widowed grandmother. But a crippled Champ Runcie returns to Road’s End in a wheelchair and seeks revenge for the accident that put him there. Meanwhile, a letter from her estranged mom forces her and Grandma Pearl back on the road: I can leave now. Come get me. Love, Mom

When they arrive in Reno, her mother issues a demand and refuses to return to Idaho. They head west instead. In California, Reba’s friend Ginny’s marriage is on the rocks. The family business is threatened. And squabbles turn deadly.

Reba digs deep to find the courage to forge a relationship with her mom and escape a crazed man’s obsession. She also faces an uncertain future even as a horse trainer offers her a new horse to replace Johnny Poe … and maybe more.

Janet Chester Bly is the widow of Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. Together they published 120 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids. Janet and their three sons finished Stephen’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. Down Squash Blossom Road is Book 2 in the Reba Cahill contemporary western mystery series. Book 1 is Wind in the Wires. Find out more at www.BlyBooks.com

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling author Rachel Hauck said of Book 1, Wind in the Wires: “I love your voice! I love the setting...It’s a great story!”

Outtakes & Bloopers From Down Squash Blossom Road
Book 2, Trails of Reba Cahill
Janet Chester Bly

I found these scraps on the chopping block that didn’t make it back into my new novel, Down Squash Blossom Road. The headers explain the main reason they got booted.

Wrong Title For This Story
For months the working title was On the Road Again. Then I played with these others for a while … Pewter Skies and Sand Castles, Do You See What I Hear?, and One of These a Killer.
A remark by a critiquer about the uniqueness of the squash blossom theme pushed using that to the top of the title list.

Character Control
The minor character Norden McKane tried to gain more leverage. To keep him in his place, I had to delete paragraphs like this.

“Norden tried to be there. He listened to everything his brother or father told him. As a strong lifeline. Even if he’d never act on it. But he felt like he’d fallen down a dark, tar pit hole and would never get out. The negative thoughts invading his head made perfect sense to him. But when he voiced them, Jace or his father looked at him as though he needed a shrink. Couldn’t they see he attempted to be social, brilliant, and at the same time vulnerable? So he believed.”
Character Changes
This scene had to go when I realized Jace was really none of these traits.

“Jace, what’s a secret about you that few people know?” Reba Cahill asked.
“Hard to choose just one. I used to stutter as a kid. I don’t fly in planes. And I moved to Road’s End to remain as anonymous as possible.”
“Why? Are you a wanted criminal? Or a movie star?”
“No, not exactly. I had a hard time keeping my head above water in my businesses.”
“Financially?”
“With the glare of the spotlight. I would lie a lot, especially about personal things, when I was interviewed by reporters. I figured there would be more truth printed that way, since they always twisted things.”
“So, have you been lying to me?”

Over-stating the Issues
Twenty-five-year-old Reba Mae Cahill deals with abandonment issues. However, several readers mentioned her constant harping against her mom about this made her too unlikeable. Removed scenes like this to avoid overkill.  

Abandoned! That’s what she was and nothing would ever change that fact. Or that feeling. Her sense of loss and disconnection stemmed all the way back to childhood. To that day alone on her grandparents’ porch. Getting close to her mom now was like rubbing sandpaper on a boil. She’d been grieving over the death of this relationship all her life. Hard to stop now. But she must try at least this once. She knew this wound was the source of insecurity and how she handled other relationships and distress. An infection, an insidious virus that invaded her body, mind, and soul.
Reba licked her lips. “Mom?”
Hanna Jo’s eyes registered empty as she half-turned her way. “What?” The voice seemed sharp, irritated.
Reba shoved past her and out of the room, slamming the door.

Pesky Intrusions
Scene 1, at Santa Dominga, CA on a Greek family compound:
“The multi-colored parakeet shot off, spooked by the loud noise. He flew to the trees farthest from the house. Ginny George’s ribs and shoulder throbbed as she tried to get the bird. Then she stopped, remembering he would come home before dark. He finally flew to the eucalyptus and squawked as though he taunted, Come get me. Ginny ran into the house for his favorite seed ball container and shook it when she returned outside. He rushed out of the tall tree and plunged head first to the ground as July Fourth firecrackers popped loud somewhere nearby.”
Scene 2, at Reno, Nevada mental institute:
“Hanna Jo’s roommate, Bumper, shuffled with them and ambled forward as Reba opened the front door.
An attendant yelled, “Close it! Quick!”
Too late, Bumper dashed down the cobbled path and weaved between the cars in the parking lot. Reba and the attendant raced after her when she started a frenzied jaywalk across the street. Horns blared and a blue coupe barely missed her.
“Let her go,” Hanna Jo shouted. “Run, Bumper, run!”
Reba caught Bumper by the shoulders and the attendant escorted her back to the institute. Hanna Jo stomped beside Reba and stewed, “She was ready. They don’t understand.”
Ready for what? Reba wondered if her mother was ready for the real world of logical thinking and sane responses.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Down Squash Blossom Road Book Blurb:

What Secret Lies Down Squash Blossom Road?
Cowgirl Reba Cahill’s schedule is full. Save the family ranch. Free her mom from a mental institute. Take a road trip. Solve a murder and kidnapping. Evade a stalker. Can she also squeeze in romance?
Reba Cahill focused on the duties of the ranch, along with her widowed grandmother. But a crippled Champ Runcie returns to Road’s End in a wheelchair and seeks revenge for the accident that put him there. He blames Reba's horse. Meanwhile, a letter from her estranged mom forces her and Grandma Pearl back on the road: I can leave now. Come get me. Love, Mom
When they arrive in Reno, her mother issues a demand and refuses to return to Idaho. They head west instead. In California, Reba’s friend Ginny’s marriage is on the rocks. The family business is threatened. And squabbles turn deadly.
Reba digs deep to find the courage to forge a relationship with her mom and escape a crazed man’s obsession. She also hopes for a future with a horse trainer who offers her a new horse to replace the one she lost in the accident. But why does he have a photo of a pretty woman on his wall?  


AUTHOR BIO:
Janet Chester Bly is the widow of Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. Together they published 120 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids. Janet and their three sons finished Stephen’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. Down Squash Blossom Road is Book 2 in the Reba Cahill contemporary western mystery series. Book 1 is Wind in the Wires. Find out more at www.BlyBooks.com

Download Now! 5 Free Chapters of Down Squash Blossom Road, Book 2!

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