Although multi-published in fiction and nonfiction at the time, I had this idea if you were a real writer you would write a book. So, married and with young children, I began. I knew nothing about writing a novel, about setting or plots or character arcs, but gradually the characters and their story started to become real. It was only when one of the authors in my critique group mentioned my “romance novel” that I realized what I was writing. After I joined Romance Writers of America, and understood more about structuring a romance, I changed some of my already-completed novel. When I regained my rights from the first publisher, I reedited and rewrote portions of it.
The setting is a fictionalized version of the southern California valley in which I live. No matter what I say, one of my dearest friends is absolutely sure she knows the exact location of El Rancho Navarro. Trust me, she is mistaken!
Jilted by love in 1834, Cara, a young Bostonian woman, sails to Mejico’s rugged California to make a new life for herself. She takes a position as companion to the wife of Don Miguel Navarro, the tough and irresistible owner of a major inland rancho, and finds herself as deeply drawn to him as he is to her. Even though his wife has the mind of a child due to a mysterious fall, Cara would never be mistress to a married man.
Native superstition says that when the bells ring and an eagle cries, someone will die. Several have died. Will the next death be hers? Until ships sail for Boston again, she’s trapped between danger and an impossible love.
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Dear Lord, please make me the wonderful person our precious cat, Ella, always thought me to be. Amen.
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