Alexis: Hi Callie, Thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. I noticed you tend to write Westerns. What is it about the West that intrigues you?
Callie: Most likely the adventure of going somewhere new and different. Also, women were needed more in the West. They weren’t pampered, and had to be more like modern women because they were expected to pull their own weight.
Alexis: That's a great point. I hadn't thought of it like that. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your latest release, A Wife by Christmas?
Callie: In 1906 Guthrie, Oklahoma, History teacher, Ellie Henderson, has been a thorn in High School Principal Max Colbert’s side ever since he took over three months ago. When she’s not flying by his office, late for her class, with books and papers jumbled in her arms, she’s attending Suffragettes meetings against his orders.
Because of her family connections, he can’t fire her, but he can certainly find someone to marry her, and keep her busy in the kitchen. And far away from his school. Max soon finds that what seemed like a good idea can turn into disaster when Miss Ellie Henderson is involved. The woman is a master at getting into trouble.
With the Christmas season in full swing, he has many opportunities to introduce her to prospective husbands. However, the uncomfortable feeling is growing that no one is worthy of the minx…
Alexis: Where did you get the idea for this story?
Callie: Ellie Henderson is actually the youngest niece in A Run For Love, that released a week before this one. I took an online class from Eliza Knight and used Ellie and Max for the scenes I had to write. Once I got those two characters in my head, I knew I had to write their story.
Alexis: I completely understand :-) What are your favorite character traits of Ellie and Max?
Callie: Ellie is trouble from the word ‘go, but she means well. She’s ahead of her time, in that she believes women can take care of themselves, and proves it by moving out of her family home, and having a career. But as strong as she is, there is soft spot in her that Max wiggles his way into.
Max is rigid and overbearing. He has his ‘life plan’ and no one is going to get into his way. Not ruthless, just determined. It seems he, also, has a soft spot that Ellie discovers. Once he realizes why she annoys him so much, it becomes easy for her to break through that shell.
Alexis: So this is a sequel. Can you tell our readers a bit about A Run for Love?
Callie: A Run For Love released a week before this one. That book starts at the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Tori Henderson is an out of work teacher who just became the only parent to her four nieces and nephews ranging in age from eleven to sixteen. Since they’re about to become homeless in Kansas, she enters the race for a piece of land in the newly opened Oklahoma Territory.
Before the race even starts, she clashes with Jesse Cochran, an attorney running from his wretched childhood and aching for acceptance in a new life, which he hopes to gain in Oklahoma.
They end up neighbors in Oklahoma, and those initial sparks turn into flames and Tori ends up pregnant. Jesse insists on marriage, but conflicts early on lead to a tragedy that pushes them apart.
Tori’s ready to give up, but Jesse is determined to hang onto what he’s dearly wanted all his life.
Alexis: I'm loving these stories! What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?
Callie: I have a book, Annie’s Attic to be released from The Wild Rose Press in 2012. That is a contemporary novella that I wrote in conjunction with other Oklahoma Romance Writers. We had a central theme of a cursed doll that must appear in all our stories. It was fun to write contemporary for a change because I could use all the modern sayings.
I’m right now working on Michael Henderson’s story (The oldest nephew from a Run For Love).
Alexis: That's great. Now we can look forward to more from you :-) Thank you so much for sharing your romances with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.
Callie: Thanks so much, Alexis. It’s always fun talking about my stories and characters that I dreamed up in my head.
Alexis: For a chance to win Callie’s A Run for Love or A Wife by Christmas, be sure to leave a comment for her. If I have contact information I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)
For more information on Callie’s Romances go to http://calliehutton.com/
Or if you can't wait, you can buy these books at Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Soulmate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/a-wife-by-christmas/
Alexis: Check out this excerpt from A Wife by Christmas.
“Miss Henderson!” Max choked out. The woman stood before him, dripping wet, in trousers—trousers! Her unbuttoned coat displayed the man’s shirt she wore, plastered to her chest, the peaks of her nipples prominent against the wet fabric. Dripping wet pants outlined her legs as if naked.
She continued to laugh, and pushed the hair out of her eyes, raising her breasts, which pointed directly at him. Max yanked her jacket closed and buttoned it up.
His jaw tightened as he took her hand and helped her out of the trough. She covered her mouth with her other hand, trying to stifle her laughter.
“Miss Henderson, I don’t see any humor whatsoever in this. You are an upstanding citizen of this town, a member of a prominent family, and a teacher. A teacher!” He took her by the elbow and moved her forward. “I can’t believe you would appear in public dressed in trousers.”
Ellie pulled away from him. “I have to go back to the meat store and get my bag.”
Max took her elbow again and walked her in the direction of the bag resting against the large glass store window where she’d left it. Her shoes squished with every step she took, and she continued to shake herself like a dog. A trail of water followed them. She retrieved her package and turned, her lips blue, her body shaking with the cold. “Thank you v-v-very much, Mr. C-C-Colbert. I guess I will s-s-see you Monday.”
He continued to stare at her wide-eyed. “Miss Henderson, I have no intention of letting you continue to wander around town dressed in soaking wet trousers. You’ll catch your death of cold and miss school. I will escort you home.” He stopped and stared at her. “Where is it you live?”
She pulled her hair to the side and squeezed. Max jumped back when the water hit his highly polished boots. “The b-b-boarding house on Elm and S-s-seventh.”
“Very well. My house is closer. I’ll drive you home in my automobile.” He grabbed her elbow again, and Ellie stumbled along, taking two steps to his every one.
Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of A Run for Love or A Wife by Christmas.