Hello everyone, and a big thank you to all of the Nine Naughty Novelists for hosting me today. For those of you who don't me, allow me to briefly introduce
myself. I'm Rie McGaha. Rie is short for Marie. When my nieces and nephews were small, "Auntie Marie" was too much of a mouthful, so it came out "Auntie Rie" instead – I've been Rie (pronounced Ree with long "e" sound). I won't even go into how to pronounce my last name!
This summer was the first vacation my husband, Nathan and I have been on in over six years. It was definitely a much-needed break, and a wonderful road trip. Nathan owns a 1500 GL SE Honda Goldwing, fully dressed and equipped with everything a bike needs, and then some. We packed up the saddlebags and headed out for two weeks and 5,000 miles of fun.
We live in SE Oklahoma about two hours from Arkansas to the east, and forty-five minutes from Texas to the south. We headed north to Interstate 40, and then headed west toward California. The desert was hot, hot, hot! And then it got really hot! The closer we got to California, the hotter it got, and by the time we reached Victorville, California to visit my son, Corey, I felt as if I would burst into flames at any moment. Two days later we headed across yet more desert on Highway 58 to Interstate 5 north, and then cut across to Highway 101 through the wine country. Though still hot, the closer we got to the coast, the cooler it became, and by the time we hit Monterey, we actually had to stop and leather up.
There is nothing like riding a bike up the west coast of California. The ocean, trees, vineyards, quaint villages, beautiful cottages, and the sea breezes made for a lovely ride all the way to Eureka, where I am originally from. We spent a few days there with my brother Frank, and his family, went to our oldest grandson, Mathew's high school graduation, visited my son-in-law, Robert, his wife, Liana, and Mathew's brothers, Julian, Ethan, and Hunter. We also visited my daughter, Sarah and her daughters, Destiny & Hailey, as well as my dear, sweet friends, and pastors, Dewey & Meta Davis. Then we headed out over the mountains of Trinity and Shasta counties, to Susanville in Lassen County, where we visited my sister of the heart, Karen and her hubby, Ken. From there we were back in the Hades with the heat, as we traveled across Nevada, Colorado, back through New Mexico to Texas, where we spent the night in Amarillo, and then continued non-stop back home.
Although it was a glorious two weeks, I was happy to be home because I missed my kids and grandkids who live nearby, and my daughter and her family who we share a house with. I wouldn't want to be on vacation every month, but three or four times a year would be awesome!
Of course there is also that little thing called "jobs" that must be done, and although Nathan's job is one of those that requires getting up and going to "the job," mine is a little more laid back. I'm an author, my office is my bedroom, or living room, or wherever I choose for it to be. In addition to being an author, I'm also an editor, review editor for two on line sites, and I host a Blog Talk radio show with my dear friend, Jeff, who is also my producer and the one who puts the shows together, so all I have to do is show up and chat with awesome guests. Do I have a dream job(s) or what?
To top it off, I recently have taken on the role of publisher and opened my own online publishing house called Dancing With Bear Publishing (www.dancingwithbearpublishing.com). As this post goes live, there are still two days left of our launch party, and that means still time to join in and win some great prizes. On August 5, 2011 we will be giving away our grand prize – a sizzling summer BBQ package!
CROSS THE LINE – from Dancing With Bear Publishing (Paperback)
Blurb: Carrie Ann Robertson was a southern belle until the war came and her family lost everything, including her mother and older sister. After dragging Carrie and her younger sister to Indian Territory, her father worked hard to start a new life, but that first winter took Lydia's life too. Charles Robertson never recovered and died from a broken heart. Carrie was left to fend for herself, until the day a man with a broken leg showed up.
Born a slave, Noah Mosely would've died that way had he not escaped. When his horse was spooked by a mountain lion and threw him, his leg snapped and the horse ran. Dragging himself through the woods, he finally spotted the little cabin and hoped someone there would help him--or shoot him and put him out of his misery.
The daughter of a former slave owner and a runaway slave are an unlikely pair but these two must rely upon one another in order to survive. Noah Mosely is in no shape to help anyone until his leg heals. Noah knows that feeling the way he does for a white woman could see him hanged. So he forces himself to leave her and rides back to his tribe, but when a hunting party heads out, Noah can't resist the desire to see Carrie one more time.
Noah knows that his feelings for Carrie cross the line, but how can he walk away from the only woman he's ever loved?
White Bear chewed on a piece of dried meat and looked thoughtfully at Noah. He was a patient man and he could wait until Noah was ready to talk. He had lived on the earth for nearly forty summers, as the Indians reckoned time, and he’d seen a lot of heartache and sorrow. He recognized it in Noah now, and knew it wasn’t the same as what he’d seen when Noah first came to the tribe.
Then, Noah had been wild-eyed, terrified, angry, hurt and lost. It had taken a long time for the wounds on his body to heal, but it had taken much longer for the ones in his heart and soul to mend. And White Bear knew those wounds left much worse scars than the ones on Noah’s body had. White Bear had a few of those himself, but he was no longer a young man and had learned not to let the scars encase his heart.
Noah observed White Bear for a long time, knew he had questions he hadn’t asked, but his patience was greater than Noah’s. “You have questions,” Noah said. “You may as well ask them or we’ll never get any sleep tonight.”
White Bear smiled, his even white teeth glinting in the fire light. “You still do not know patience.”
“I’m just anxious to get some sleep, that’s all old man,” Noah’s lip curved slightly.
“Tell me the rest of your story,” White Bear said as he laid back comfortably on the warm furs.
“I told you the story. A big cat spooked my horse and I broke my leg when I hit the ground. I crawled until I found a place where I could get help. They helped me until I could walk again,” Noah shrugged and looked into the fire.
“Where was this place you found?”
Noah took a breath and blew it out. “Just a cabin down the mountain in the valley, about three days south and west of here in the Indian Territory.”
“Ah, the white man and his daughters?”
Noah looked at White Bear again; he hadn’t realized anyone in the tribe knew of the place. “The youngest daughter and the man both died. The older daughter is alone there now.”
White Bear nodded. “We saw them when they first settled there. We watched them, but we found no reason to fear them. The man was full of grief; the daughters were young, without a mother. It will be too hard for the daughter alone now, she cannot survive on her own.”
“She seems determined to. I stayed to help her prepare for the winter. It was all I could do to repay her for helping me.”
White Bear nodded, though he remained silent for a long moment. Then, just when Noah thought he might be able to get some sleep, White Bear said, “She is on your heart.” It was not a question, but a statement of fact.
Noah lay back on the furs and stared at the ceiling of the lodge. Yes, he thought to himself, but she is not just on my heart, she is in it completely. She was seared into his soul. “I will make sure she is okay through the winter, and I will make sure no others bother her. The word will go out she is to come to no harm.”
He knew the rumors of a white woman living alone would travel fast; this tribe wasn’t the only one that had survived the white man. There were bands of warriors who stalked and raided white settlers, then disappeared into the mountains like ghosts, but Noah would not have any harm come to Carrie. He would protect her and she would be safe.
“Be careful, Son,” White Bear said. “The white man will kill you over one of their women. It is better for you to you take one of our women as your wife; you are safe here. Little Dove is still living in her father’s lodge.”
Noah grinned in the dim light. Little Dove had been only seven summers when Noah had come to live with the tribe, so she would be fifteen or sixteen now. She had taken to Noah immediately and had sat with him while he was recovering from his injuries. She had brought him flowers she’d picked and she’d helped him to learn their language. She was a sweet child and Noah thought of her the way he would have thought of a sister, if he’d had one.
Even now he knew she was too young for him, but aside from that, he could not think of her in a romantic way. In fact, he’d never thought of any woman in a romantic way until he’d met Carrie. He had never touched any of the women of the tribe in all the years he’d lived among them, and he wasn’t planning to start now.
“She will meet a strong warrior one day and have many children,” Noah said. When White Bear had no reply, Noah turned to his side and shut his eyes. Carrie’s face swam before him as he drifted off to sleep.
Rie McGaha is the author of more than fifteen novels, including the second book, CALEB, in the highly acclaimed My Soul To Keep Trilogy, and the re-release of the award winning novel, CROSS THE LINE, an interracial romance set just after the American Civil War. Rie has just opened the virtual doors of her own publishing company, Dancing With Bear Publishing, inspired by her recently released first non-fiction, a memoir entitled Dancing With Bear: A Love Story, that chronicles her life with J. Bear Marler.
Rie lives in SE Oklahoma in the beautiful Kiamichi Mountains with her husband, Nathan and a plethora of rescued animals. She enjoys spending time with her 12 kids and 38 grandkids, (with #39 due in Sept. 2011), gardening, baking, and sewing. Rie and Nathan are members of The Patriot Guard and enjoy getting away on their motorcycle as often as possible. You can reach Rie through her website at www.riemcgaha.com.