Sunday, May 7, 2017

Kids, Conflict, and Consequences, oh my!

Lately, I’ve been keeping very busy with lots of books-in-progress, each and every one a small-town story. Whether you’re a reader or writer of small-town romance, do you always find yourself focusing on more than just the hero and heroine? Like me, do you get wrapped up in the lives of their families, too—including even the youngest members?  No matter their ages or stages, those little ones can play big, important roles.

One of my favorite ways to include kids in a story is by making the hero a daddy when he has no idea he’s ever fathered a child.

This “secret baby” plot is very popular with many readers. And the child isn’t always a baby. Caleb, the hero of one of my earlier books, The Rodeo Man’s Daughter, comes back to his hometown seeking redemption. Instead of the peace he wants, he discovers he has a child who is now nine. Unaware Caleb’s her daddy, Nate’s both crushing on her rodeo hero and happy to give him a little sass!

Another previous hero, Sam, has finally gotten his life in order after a rough divorce. Then his ex-wife deposits a little girl on his doorstep. A four-year-old little girl who can’t hear, leaving Sam with a daughter he has no idea how to communicate with.

There are many other ways for a hero to become a daddy. Maybe he’s named as the child’s guardian through a court decree. Or he becomes the adoptive father of children left in his care after a family member’s death. Or he marries a woman with children of her own.

I’ve written—or am in the process of plotting—almost every one of those scenarios.

But one thing I’ve never done is create a hero who singlehandedly raises his own child from birth. 

Until now.

And Reagan is doing just fine as a single dad, thank you very much.  Or so he thinks, until he meets up with a feisty flirt from his past.

Here’s a peek at the blurb for The Rancher’s Baby’s Proposal:


Ally Martinez has always been known as a fun and flirty kind of gal. But deep down she’s never forgotten the cowboy who left town. When her crush Reagan Chase comes home after a five-year absence, Ally knows this is her big chance. The guy I’ve always wanted. Only Reagan has something different in mind…

Still reeling from his last relationship, Reagan needs a babysitter for his month-old son. With Ally’s help, he can get his family’s ranch ready for sale and get out of Cowboy Creek. The problem? Ally is one seriously cute distraction. But Reagan will do whatever it takes to keep his heart safe. Even if it means losing the only place—and the only woman—he can call home.

And here’s a clip from a scene with Reagan and his infant son:

“Don’t look to me for advice when you start dating,” Reagan muttered to Sean, who looked up at him from his infant seat on the kitchen table. “When it comes to women, you and I both know I never get things right.”
In the couple of hours since Ally had left, he’d tried countless times to push away the memory of her shocked expression, her angry words, her tear-filled eyes. He had failed every attempt.
He’d had no better luck trying to forget his own guilt.
At the time she had left, knowing he needed to give her some space, he had taken Sean with him to the barn. But even from that distance he had heard the back door slam, her car door slam, the car's engine race as she drove away from the house.
He hoped she had slowed down once she reached the main road.
“You and I,” he informed his son, “are going to be bachelors until you’re forty.”
His cell phone rang, and for a moment he froze. But if it had been Ally calling, even the ring would have sounded angry.
He couldn’t blame her for that.
He couldn’t keep beating himself up. Just as with his dad, he’d had the best intentions. He hadn’t wanted to hurt her with the truth.
The phone continued to ring. Reluctantly, he answered it.
“Hey, Reagan. Cole here. A few of the boys and I are headed in for a night on the town. We want you to come along. It’s Ladies’ Night at the Cantina, and the guys sure don’t like to miss one of those.”
He didn’t care to accept the invitation, but Cole’s statement was enough to surprise a response out of him. “Why are you going? I thought you were a happily married man.”
“I am. Nobody’s happier than I am, believe me. But the boys twisted my arm.” Cole laughed. “They need someone to keep them in line. We’re planning to have supper there and a few beers. So, how about it? And I’m not taking no for an answer.”
“Thanks, but I’ve got plenty of work to do around here.”
To do alone, now that he'd chased Ally away from the ranch…

About the Author
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:

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  1. I'm happy to be back at JCR for a visit and am looking forward to chatting about romance.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Tammy! I'm always very lucky with my covers, but this one's an extra-special cutie, isn't he? :)


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