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Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Coming Out Of The Closet…sort of…

No, I’m not making a big announcement. heehee Instead, I want to tell you about a project I started thinking about two nights ago. One of my published books, Holding Out For A Hero, will be out of print at the end of February. This is one of my favorite stories, and I’m sad to see it unavailable after four years. But all good things must come to an end. Right? WRONG! Not if I have anything to do with it.

So here is my wild-hair brain idea. I thought about turning my historical western into a contemporary western. In other words, I’m bringing my contemporary muse out of the closet. It’s been a while since I’ve written a contemporary story since I’ve been focusing my voice on historicals. Yet for some reason, I can’t let this idea rest. I realize the hard work it’s going to take practically rewriting this fun story…but I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Yeah, go figure, huh?

When I first wrote Holding Out For A Hero, I wanted it to be an inspirational romance, but after the first few rejections from Christian publishers, I added more steam to the story and sold it that way. It was my first historical romantic comedy. I received wonderful reviews, too. The book was publisher’s best seller for three months in a row!

So tell me… Do you think I’m crazy to want to do this? Do you think I should just let it go and be glad it was published and did so well? As a reader, do you like to read other genres from authors? If you have read some of my historicals and liked them, would you be tempted to buy my contemporaries as well?

Because my story is still available until February 28th, 2010, I’m going to tempt you historical lovers to want to buy my book with a little excerpt. (grins)

Watch the cute book trailer –

5-Roses! Ms. Campbell has written an exciting western that will have you rapidly turning the pages for the shocking climax. This book will have you laughing out loud with Summer’s antics. She is feisty to the core. Her and Jesse’s banter brings humor one minute and the next minute you want to cry because the book is so emotional. I love this kind of story that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. And you feel a part of the Wild West, filled with bank robbers, Texas Rangers and life on the western frontier. This book will have western lovers like me clamoring for more stories to come and waiting for your perfect hero. ~~ My Book Cravings / Sherry


The cloud of darkness parted in Summer’s mind, opening a small light of awareness. Every muscle in her body screamed in pain, and she clenched her jaw. But protective arms surrounded her, and the swaying motion let her know she was on a horse, curled against a firm body. The man’s musky scent enveloped her. Comforted her.

As the fog lifted, she shifted closer, her hand resting on a solid chest. Gentle fingers stroked down the side of her cheek and she nuzzled closer. A sharp pain shot through her head, throbbing with every beat of her heart.

She groaned and forced her eyes open, squinting against the sun. The full brightness of a Texas autumn afternoon flowed around her. Her head pounded, but she struggled against the soreness and the fog in her brain. Suddenly, her memory came rushing back. The stagecoach, the bandits, and especially the archangel of mercy who had come to her rescue.

The Ranger must be the one holding me. She let her body relax against the contours of his hard muscled body. Not too often did she like being protected and cared for by a strong, virile man, but at the moment she was reluctant to break the spell.

She dared a peek at his face. His deep blue eyes grabbed her attention. Kind eyes. Sunlight glinted off the golden tones of his light brown hair, his thick mustache, and long sideburns. He must have sensed her watching, for his square jaw changed shape and a soft smile bracketed his mouth.


Yes, very handsome. She couldn’t have dreamed a better vision of a hero, and dream it must be because things this good just didn’t happen to Summer Bennett. Safety and security spread over her like a warm blanket and she melted against him, closing her eyes while his long fingers continued their tender exploration. It was the first time in her life she had allowed a man to touch her like that--a soft stroke, a gentle caress--and the first time she had ever really relaxed in a man’s presence.

She sighed. Wonderful.

“How do you feel, Summer?”

The soft baritone voice rumbling in his chest seemed oddly familiar. Summer frowned and took a second peek at his hair, his mustache, that incredible mouth. He gave her a full smile. Awareness tugged at her memory and a large knot formed in the pit of her stomach. When recognition came, it struck like a thick piece of wood right between her eyes and ripped through every nerve in her body like venom from a rattlesnake bite.

She jerked, moving off the comfortable nest she had made of his chest. “Jesse Slade?”

A crafty smile claimed his face. “The one and only, darlin’.”

She widened her eyes. “Darlin’? I’m not now, nor will I ever be your darling, Jesse Slade.” She couldn’t believe her rotten luck. Her temper snapped, and she fought to move from his grasp. She batted his hands away. “Get your hands off me.”

“Be still Summer or--”

“Let me go,” she demanded.

“Tarnation, Summer.” His hands moved to her waist. “You’re as slippery as a wet weasel.”

“Quit touching me and put me down.”

Although he held onto her, she managed to slither from the horse.

“Of all the confounded-stupid-female stunts.” He pulled to a halt and dismounted.

The moment her feet touched the ground, dizziness overtook her and she plopped down on her bottom. When Jesse reached for her, she slapped at his hands.

She glanced up at him from her undignified position and clenched her teeth. “You. Of all people, it had to be you.” Holding onto a stirrup, she pulled herself to her feet and gazed into the heavens. “Why Lord? Why me?”

“There’s no need to get your feathers ruffled,” he snipped, looking at the blood oozing from her shoulder wound. “Look what you’ve done. You’re bleedin’ again.”

She glanced at her shoulder. It was worse than she thought, but she’d die before admitting it to him. She was not riding into town perched on Jesse’s lap for everyone to see.

“It’s just a scratch.” She lifted her skirts, grabbed an edge of her petticoat and ripped off a piece. It was bad enough that he had to rescue her, but why in heaven’s name did he have to look so gol-darned handsome? This certainly wasn’t the skinny, ill-tempered Jesse Slade she remembered. Well, the ill-tempered part still fit.

Jesse stood by the horse, arms folded across his chest as he tapped his foot. She brought up the strip of fabric between her free hand and chin and awkwardly fashioned it around her shoulder. Her head pounded worse than ever. She kept on, but the makeshift bandage tore apart. Out the corner of her eye, a self-assured grin stretched across his mouth.

“Oohh.” She stomped her foot, causing another throbbing burst of pain in her head.

“Would you like some help?” Jesse offered with a self-assured grin she’d liked to slap right off his face. She knew the man enjoyed every second of her struggle, but she just couldn’t ask this arrogant no-good for help.

“Course, I’d have to touch you,” he needled.

She tossed him a murderous glare, but he ignored her. She tore off another strip of petticoat and began again, but fared no better.

“Summer, if you’d just use your head for once, you’d admit you need help.”

She scowled and tried to think of another solution, but nothing came to mind. It galled her, but plain and simple, he was right. She couldn’t bandage her shoulder by herself. Letting out a sigh, she nodded.

Jesse took the flimsy strip of fabric and covered the wound while she stood stiff as a board. The enticing scent of cedar and leather emanated from his body and stirred flutters in her stomach. The gentle touch of his hands as he bandaged her shoulder sent warm tingles over her skin. Her chest constricted, making it difficult to breathe. When he stepped away, the feeling disappeared and she wanted to sigh with relief, but she didn’t for fear he’d hear.

He smiled. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

She inhaled deeply and gave him an indignant look. “Maybe not for you.”

“I was just trying to help.”

“After making my life miserable all these years, why do you want to help me now?”

A mocking grin touched his lips. “Well now, I couldn’t just let you bleed to death, could I?”

“Don’t tell me you’ve grown a conscience?” She brushed the dirt off her skirt.

His eyes twinkled. “Actually, I promised Violet I’d find you. When the stagecoach was late, we knew somethin’ was wrong. After all, I had to rescue my future sister-in-law from harm.”

Summer sucked in her breath. Oh! If not for her injured arm, she’d have socked the rotten polecat in the nose. “Well, you’ve found me, so go back and tell my sister I’m fine.”

His smile faded. “You’re not fine.”

“I’m fine enough. Waco isn’t that far. I’ll walk the rest of the way. I’ll not let the whole town think I’ve been rescued by the great Jesse Slade.”

Another wicked smile tugged at his lips. “But I did rescue you, Summer.”

She propped her hands on her hips. “You most certainly did not. You um…you just happened to arrive the exact moment I lost consciousness.”

He sighed and tipped his hat back from his forehead. “Actually, the bullets from my gun dismounted three of the bandits.”

She scowled. “I had things under control. Besides, I’m very capable of walking to town on my own now.” She took several steps forward and dizziness blurred her vision. She swayed, and tilted toward the ground. Two strong arms grabbed her by the waist and pulled her upright.
“You bullheaded little twit. That does it.” He picked her up and carried her to the horse, then let her feet drop to the ground and held her by her uninjured shoulder. “You ain’t walkin’.”

She slapped at his hand. “I’m not going into town with you.”

“You’re as ornery as an old mule.” He paused, his heated gaze boring into hers. She liked neither the look, nor the silence. “You listen to me, Miss Persnickety. I don’t care what you like or don’t like, I’m takin’ you to town.”

“I--don’t--like.” She grinded her teeth with each word.

“To--damn--bad.” He mocked her. “You have two choices. You can get on that horse willin’ly, or I’ll hog-tie you and put you there myself.”

Her mouth dropped open and her mind scrambled frantically for several seconds.

20 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

LOVED this book:)

Phyllis, go for it:) It would definitely be an interesting experiment:)

Phyllis Campbell said...

Thanks, Molly! Yeah, it's a different experience already...and I haven't changed one word. I'm just doing a lot of thinking now. But hey...I found a real live Texas Ranger, so I'll be picking his brain when I start this story. How cool is that?


Melissa Blue said...


My first love always has been (and always will be historicals), but, that being said, your contemporary stories are incredible. "Ten Ways to Melt a Man's Heart"... I've never laughed so hard in my life!!

I say go where your muse takes you :)


Phyllis Campbell said...

Thanks, Melissa. I don't really know if my muse is taking me in that direction...I just know I don't want to let go of this story! Like "Ten Ways To Melt A Man's Heart" this historical is quite humorous! And of course this story has adventure we all love.'s hard to let go.


Anonymous said...

You scared me at first girl, about the closet thing (g).

Ref crossing genres, I think if you're careful, it's possible, but with care. For example, all my full length novels are romantic suspense/thrillers, but I also write short SF stories. The market for the novels is via specific sites/populace groups while I focus the SF stories to shorts and promote via difference sites/outlets.

If you mix the market outlets too closely, it could turn off readers that follow and wait for your stories. For examples, I have a group of ladies that contact me and ask when my next romantic suspense will be out in paperback. For my SF which come out in electronic and are reviewed/promoted via SF sites, I sell more (only a buck) but my sense is its mostly a male audience.

Michael Davis (
Author of the year, 4/2009

Anonymous said...

Phyllis, you know I love this book!!! However, I can see it as a modern western. You can do it, girl!slehut

Anonymous said...

Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain! I have no Idea where yhose extra letters came from. Yarrrrrr!

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Phyllis! Thanks so much for joining us today. It's a pleasure and an honor to have you with us.

I agree with everyone here, go for it! I believe in going where your heart and muse guide you when it comes to writing!



Phyllis Campbell said...

Hey Big Mike! Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I write both genres, but I publish more historicals. lol I love that genre! Thanks!


Phyllis Campbell said...

lol Anon. I'm glad you weren't swearing at me... lol I'm glad you liked my story - and that you have faith in me. (grins)


Phyllis Campbell said...

Gracen...I did post, but for some reason it didn't go through. Anyway, thanks for your support. And thanks for having me on your blog.


Victoria Roder said...

Follow your heart Phyllis and you'll do great!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Phylis,
I loved the story as it is, but I am a historical buff from way back. Couldn't you sell it to a different publisher. But in the long run you have to go with your gut feeling. My advice for what it is worth.

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Don't think you are nuts at all. In fact, it's a grand idea, plus you'll get to revisit a place that seems very dear to your heart. You go for it. Great excerpt!

Phyllis Campbell said...

Thanks, Victoria! I'll certainly follow my heart!


Phyllis Campbell said...

lol Margaret. I'm a historical buff, too. But yeah...I'm still deciding.


Phyllis Campbell said...

Thanks Angelica!! You're awesome!


orelukjp0 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orelukjp0 said...

I definitely read everything by an author I like, regardless of the genre. A good writer is a good writer. When you re-work a story completely, it is a different story and I know I for one, would buy it. Look at all the fairy tales that have been re-written. I love Cinderella. Look at everything from the Disney story to the Jerry Lewis Cinderfellow to Ella Enchanted. All the same but all different.
Go for it. I'll be one of the first in line.

Morgan Mandel said...

I think it's a great, fun idea. Although it sounds like your first edition was great, look at it this way. Movies often have remakes and the remakes sometimes are even better than or at least equal to the first.

Morgan Mandel