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Monday, September 26, 2016

That’s What Friends Are For

Being a writer is an often solitary existence. We lock ourselves in a room or office, immersed in our stories, and we emerge hours (days? weeks?) later. Our families are usually supportive, throwing snacks and fluids through the threshold in the hopes we might survive.

As wonderful as all that “in person” support is, one of the things that sustains me most are the connections and friendships I’ve forged with other authors. Fellow authors provide a kind of support non-writers in my life just can’t. They understand the struggle and rewards of the writing process. They know exactly what you mean when you say you’re stuck on a scene or your muse is being a jerk. They know the pain of writing a blurb or getting a bad review. More than just empathy, my writer friends know how to commiserate and how to help.

Over the years, I’ve met many writers. Through serendipity, I ended up in a private Yahoo group with some talented writers who’ve become some of the best friends I’ve never met. One of those friends, the incredible and sweet Rose Anderson, even brought me to RB4U where I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many other wonderful people—and I’m even going to be in the next RB4U anthology with several of them.

Through social media, shared publishers, and other projects, I’ve made other friends. We’ve vented to each other, provided a sympathetic shoulder, and supported each other’s writing efforts.

I treasure my readers. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. But I prize the friendships I’ve forged with my fellow authors. Roping the Cowboy is our RB4U anthology, and Bear Country is my contribution.

Gavin, a bear shifter who left his clan to follow his dream to be a rancher, has nursed a crush on Mallory for years. With the death of her aunt—his boss—the ranch came to them both, and that’s when trouble started. She wants to sell, and he doesn’t.

Tasked with scattering the ashes of her beloved aunt at the source of the Big Bear River high in the mountains, Mallory must swallow her pride and ask Gavin, a laconic, sexy ranch hand, to guide her through the unfamiliar terrain.

Mallory spotted Gavin at the other end of the bar. Sitting on a stool and taking a swig from his beer mug, he seemed to be alone. Mallory took a seat on the opposite side and asked the bartender to send another beer to Gavin. The more alcohol in him, the more likely he would be to agree to be her guide so that she could fulfill Aunt Abbey’s final wish.

She watched Gavin exchange a few words with the barkeep, and then he looked down at her end of the bar, pushed his Stetson back, and raised his glass. The woman sitting next to Mallory, an attractive blonde, smiled back and blew a kiss.

Mallory wasn’t sure whether that was a good sign. She’d hoped to foster goodwill with her gesture and to also get him a little plastered.  As much as she didn’t want that goodwill to go to the woman sitting next to her, Mallory couldn’t help but think she’d dodged a bullet.
Then the barkeep pointed again. Gavin spit the beer he’d just swigged into his mug and pushed it away. He got up and turned away, and she knew he planned to leave, so she hurried to the other end of the bar and put her hand on his arm. “Gavin—”


“But you—”


“At least hear me out.”

“I heard you out. There’s nothing more I want to hear from you.”


“No.” He turned to face her, and she felt the undiminished force of his hatred. “Get the hell away from me.”


Tina Donahue said...

I feel exactly as you do, Melissa. The support from writer friends I've never met in person truly sustains me. Roping the Cowboy is one great collection with wonderfully talented authors. :)

Melissa Keir said...

Oh no... this doesn't bode well! I'm sure it will be a happily ever after ending!! :)

jean hart stewart said...

How are you going to get them out of this? Great teaser......

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