Keriann McKenna and Stevie MacFarlane dropped by today to discuss their recent release The Key to Annie's Heart.
Before we begin the excerpt and blurb, I asked Keriann a question, which she gave a surprise answer to.
Sitting alone in a big field, looking at stars, what do you think/feel?
I think I would feel very small and at the same time very blessed to look at a beautiful sky filled with stars more miles away than I can fathom. I would enjoy the expanse of the field; sometimes it’s good to have a place of peace and solace. However, I wouldn’t feel insignificant. We each have a place on this earth and an important part to play. I think we forget that far too often. A kind word, a smile, a prayer, a couple of bucks given to a homeless person may seem like a small thing to us…don’t underestimate the small stuff…it’s a ripple effect beyond what each of can ever know.
Thanks, Keriann, now on to Annie's Heart
Annie met Monica in high school and they had kept in touch ever since. She was married now, to a great guy and they had two sweet little children. The day passed and Monica carefully avoided the topic she knew Annie did not want to discuss—until she couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Annie, you really should try to meet a nice man. You’ve been alone too long, honey.”
After the children had their baths and were put to bed, the two women sipped a glass of wine on the patio near the pool. Finally, Annie announced that she had met a wonderful man. She didn’t expect her overly cautious friend to gush over this news but she hadn’t expected a mini inquisition either.
“So, tell me how’d y’all meet?” Monica was curious as all get out.
“Well…um, I met him through an internet dating site.”
“Annie, are you out of your ever-lovin’ mind?” Monica nearly shouted.
“I’m tellin’ you now, I’ve heard horror stories about that sort of thing…men druggin’ women, raping ‘em, and God knows what all else. Honey, you best be careful,” her friend warned her, as she shook her head back and forth, saying “Uh, uh, uh.”
“Oh, I have been. I didn’t meet him right away and we corresponded for quite a while before we even spoke on the phone. He never rushed me and I liked that about him.”
“Well, I suppose that’s a good sign,” Monica conceded. “But the internet! Lord o’ mercy, why don’t you try to find a man at a normal place…like church?”
Seeing that Annie was about to end the conversation, Monica softened her tone. “What’s his name? He probably told you something like Joe Smith.” She laughed.
Annie laughed too. “Not at all, his name is Mac. Well, that’s actually short for his last name, MacDermot. His first name is very unusual. He is called Conall after his father and grandfather.”
“Oh, that’s a fine Scottish name. What’s he do, honey?”
“He has a ranch up in the mountains near Fall River and he breeds and raises horses. He’s told me how beautiful it is.”
Unable to help herself, Monica went right back into interrogation mode. “You mean he’s never invited you to his home, not that you should go, mind you. He’s probably got a wife up there and a whole passel of kids. This guy could be just whistlin’ “Dixie” right up your skirt.”
“His wife died several years ago,” Annie said quietly.
“Honey, that ain’t necessarily a good sign. How’d she die?”
“He told me she died as a result of injuries from an auto accident.”
“He told you…uh huh, girl, that man could have told you anythin’ and you wouldn’t know if he was tellin’ the truth or not. Honey, you better run a background check on this dude and find out what comes up.”
Annie could see she wasn’t going to share any intimate details of her relationship with Mac.
“You’re probably right. What harm could a background check do?”
Monica more than agreed. “It can’t do any harm at all, and Lord knows, it might just come back all good. So, what else? Has he taken you out to dinner?” Monica asked trying to determine if the guy had any class.
“Yes, the first night we met in person we had a wonderful meal in a very elegant restaurant. The food was delicious and he was a perfect gentleman.” It was all Annie could do to suppress a sigh. He certainly was perfect in all the right places.
“Go on,” Monica was more curious now.
“On the second date, he took me to a Chinese restaurant. I was totally embarrassed because I’ve never figured out how to use chopsticks, and Monica, after I accidentally flung a glazed onion at him, he was so sweet about it, he fed me.” Annie figured it couldn’t hurt to throw that into the conversation. The man was a master at satisfying her appetite.
“Now, that’s more like it. This man is soundin’ better and better all the time.”
“Monica, he really is a gentle person. I trust him,” Annie assured her dear friend; she knew she was just looking out for her own good.
“Well, honey, just take it slow; trust needs to be earned and there’s no need to rush into anythin’.”
“Oh, I’m not rushing into anything,” Annie assured her. At the same time she was thinking back to last night…if Monica had been a fly on the wall, she would have fainted and keeled over on the spot. Much to her surprise, Annie wasn’t the least humiliated or mortified by her behavior.
To live a rancher's life in the Rocky Mountains had always been Mac's dream. He loved his place on Fall River. He was a success by anyone's measure, except his own. He failed to keep his wife content to be at home, although "home" was a dream put to architectural drawings. Too many nights she preferred to stay in town with friends rather than make the trip up the mountain. She liked to party, and winding mountain roads coupled with too much to drink ended her life. Could Mac ever forgive himself for his wife’s death?
In all his ways Mac was basic, even when it came to sex. He was a standard missionary position kind of guy with an occasional variation. That would have to change; he wanted a wife and a family—a second chance.
Annie Campbell was a busy event planner at a five star hotel in the city. Fiercely independent, she wouldn't consider herself sexually savvy; she certainly was open to new experiences. It had been six lonely years since her husband died. It was time to move on and setting her fears aside, she joined an Internet dating site.
After reading what she considered to be a damn near perfect profile, she sent Mac a brief note and waited.
He had no idea just how independent she was. She had no idea how over-protective he was—but they were about to find out.
Could Mac pull it off? Could a country guy woo a city gal, stop researching how to please a woman, and put it into practice…and what about Annie? Could she surrender some of her independence and learn to submit to him? Read their story!
A contemporary western romance, The Key to Annie’s Heart is the first novel in the Fall River Ranch series. MacDermot’s Bride, Book 2, is scheduled to be released by March, 2015, and will be followed by a prequel, The MacDermot’s of Scotland. Each is a stand-alone novel intended for mature readers.
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About Keriann McKenna:
I’ve been writing for most of my life. My first love was music and lyrics and my first song was a dreadfully simple little tune about a boy I was madly in love with at fourteen. I’m certain I drove my grandmother to distraction as I wailed this boy’s name from the piano in the living room at every opportunity…romance was in my heart even at a young age.
Later in life I developed my craft as a poet and published work in anthologies. I still write poetry but am dipping my toes in the waters of romance, both sweet and steamy.
I was born in a small community in Upstate New York, but left as soon as I bought a decent car that didn’t require more oil than gas…I’m not kidding. I used to pull into a service station, hand the attendant five bucks for gas and tell him to fill it up with drain oil.
I lived in Canada and the Midwest for several years before settling in the Seattle area with the love of my life. I now live in the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains near my family; I’m retired from the counseling field although I still work crisis intervention two nights a week. I consult with and edit for other authors into the wee hours of the night, and I rescue senior dogs and give them a forever home.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keriann.mckennaTwitter: https://twitter.com/KeriannMcKenna