She remained silent.
"This doesn't change anything," he said.
Lisa pulled back and looked up, shaking her head. "It changes everything."
"No, it doesn't. The feelings were there before, and they'll still be there whether we act on them or not."
She didn't try to deny it. "But we can’t, and it will be so much harder now."
"That's true. Now you know how much I want you, and I know you want me, too. I don’t know where this is going, but we have to find out.”
“I don’t want to find out.” But a small voice inside denied the words. Part of her had to know.
“I think you do, and I know I do. I'm not going to offer to leave, even though it might make some things easier, not unless you can convince me you really want me to go." He cupped her face in both hands and searched her eyes. "Do you?"
Lisa knew she should say yes and remove the unbearable temptation of his presence, but she couldn't bring herself to speak the lie. She shook her head. "No."
Jared's lips moved in a tiny smile, then his serious expression returned. "I can't tell you I'll never kiss you again, or touch you, or that I won't want to get even closer to you, but I promise I won't press you for anything you don't want to give. I'd never do anything to hurt you. You know that, don't you?"
"Good. Now it's time for you to get some sleep." He led her to the bed and tucked her in, his hands lingering as he smoothed the quilt across her. Then he leaned over her, his expression rigid and deadly serious. "I want you to know leaving you tonight is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But I want more from you than one night in your bed."
You just read an excerpt from:
Harvest of Dreams
The Wild Rose Press
Today, we’re here with published author, Alison Henderson.
Alison: I’m a Midwestern girl through and through—born in Kansas City and currently living in Minnesota—although I ventured off to New York for college. Unlike many writers, I didn’t know I wanted to write until I took an extended leave from work when my daughter was born. I started writing when she was three (she’s now in graduate school!) and kept at it after I went back to work. My first three books were Western historicals before I decided to try my hand at romantic suspense. I currently write under my own name, although that may change if/when I have books out in multiple sub-genres.
Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
Alison: I might still have a copy of the manuscript somewhere, but it will never see the light of day. Writing it was a wonderful learning experience, but it wasn’t publishable eighteen years ago, and it isn’t publishable today. I wanted to see if I could actually write a book and was thrilled to find out I could. At that point, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and that gave me the freedom to make every mistake possible while discovering how much I loved the creative process.
Kage:What’s your back list and coming soon bookshelf look like?
Alison: At this point, I don’t have a back list; Harvest of Dreams is my first published book, released October 22nd by The Wild Rose Press. A sequel that follows two of the secondary characters is currently in editing.
Kage: YAY on your first release!! Congrats. So, let's talk about Harvest of Dreams then. So, spill all the juicy stuff. What's it about?
Alison: Harvest of Dreams is what I like to call a Midwestern. It’s set in a small town in northwest Missouri just after the end of the Civil War. My heroine is a young widow who has lost every important man in her life to violence and is determined to protect her newborn son at any cost. She has no reason to trust the stranger with the six-gun, no matter which side of the law he’s on.
The hero, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve. Against his better judgment, he finds himself tempted by the possibility of something he’s never had—a family of his own. Just as their hearts begin to soften, an act of ultimate violence threatens to rip them apart.
HARVEST OF DREAMS
Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child. Help arrives in the form of a stranger with a six-gun. Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law. Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost.
Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve. With Lisa and her baby, he’s finally found something worth fighting for – a family of his own. But a fresh wave of violence threatens to tear them apart. Can their new love survive?
Kage: Wow, that sounds pretty amazing. I can't remember how long it's been since read a good old western historical romance. What would the story be rated if it were a movie?
Alison: It would have to be an “R”. My father keeps telling me how anxious he is to read the book, but I hope he’ll be content just to look at the cover with my name on it..
Kage: Personally, I love a good romance with explicit scenes, but yeah, I cringe every time my mom reads on of my stories. Anywho...If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?
Alison: That’s a tough one, but I guess this book has elements of a Bodyguard story. My hero is a born protector—that’s the essence of his character.
Kage: Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Harvest of Dreams under, what makes this book so unique from every other Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner book out there?
Alison: I based the heroine’s farmhouse on an actual 1840’s brick farmhouse just outside the real town of Weston, MO. It was for sale at the time I was researching this story, and my husband and I made arrangements to tour it with a realtor. The house hadn’t been lived in for years and was barely modernized. I literally felt I had stepped back in time. I could see my heroine struggling to give birth in the big second floor bedroom heated only by a small fireplace and hear my hero’s heavy boot steps on the old boards as he ran up the stairs.
Kage: That would be so cool to actually visit a part of your story. What was the easiest part to write?
Alison: Definitely the dialogue. I love to write dialogue, and the balance in my books tilts that way. Dialogue brings the characters to life.
Kage: What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?
Alison: I empathized with my heroine and fell in love with my hero, but I think I had the most fun writing the secondary characters: the heroine’s wise and loving mother, her fiery-tempered best friend, and the reluctant outlaw who’s got his eye on the judge’s daughter.
Kage: Alison, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. I enjoyed your interview and am really excited about Harvest of Dreams. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?
Alison: Harvest of Dreams may have a historical setting, but its theme is timeless. It’s about finding the courage to take risks and conquer your fears in order to get what you really want in life.
Now that Alison has totally made us want to buy her book, she was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to Harvest of Dreams: Paperback , Ebook
If you're still curious about Alison, here's another place to find her on the web: Her Website