My guest today is another fabulous Total E Bound author. Celeste Rupert – such a beautiful name by the way Celeste, my great niece shares it with you – hails from Canada. Outlaw Rose is her debut novel, which is always an exciting time. Celeste, I bet you’re still pinching yourself and trying to keep your feet on the ground. So thanks for dragging yourself out of the Old West to visit us Downunder.
Celeste Rupert lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Her fascination with the Old West results in stories set in the rough and tumble world of the frontier, full of cowboys and outlaws and women who know exactly what they want and aren’t afraid to go get it.
Rose would do whatever was necessary to get the gold back from the bank robbers. Enjoying it was an unexpected bonus.
Rose had a plan.
After all her planning and hard work, she was about to hit the payoff—until the bank was robbed, the gold stolen right out from under her nose. Rose wasn’t about to give up without a fight, but catching up with the outlaws was the easy part.
When Tucker finds the little bank teller tailing them, he needs to keep her from running to the posse, and her proposal sounds like way more fun than what he had in mind. But in this band of outlaws, they split everything three ways—he’s going to have to learn to share.
What Rose had thought was a straightforward plan quickly becomes more complicated. Maybe these law breakers can work together…in more ways than one.
Excerpt: OUTLAW ROSE
A branch cracked. Rose crouched down in the shadow of a nearby bush and hoped her dark dress and the overcast night would be enough to hide her from view. The footsteps grew nearer and she held her breath. Her heart pounded so loud in her ears that she was afraid it would lead him straight to her. She tried to calm down.
It was quiet. She strained her ears for any sign he was coming closer. The silence pressed in on her as she squinted through the darkness, searching for movement. There was nothing but the faint rustle of nearby leaves in the night breeze. She breathed out a sigh.
He was gone.
She sensed the movement a split second before she felt the hand close over her arm. She fought with all her strength, jerking backwards to try to break his grip, until the loud, metallic click of a hammer being drawn back echoed through the night. She froze.
“That’s better.” His voice was a low growl and she felt the steel barrel of his pistol against her cheek. He lifted her to her toes, bringing his face down close to hers. She could smell the coffee on his breath, then his face was close enough to see clearly. His strong jaw and full lips had been hidden by the mask the day before, but she remembered his eyes, which registered surprise as he recognised her. “You! You’re that little snip of a bank teller.” He pressed the gun harder into the soft skin of her face. “What the hell are you doing sneaking around our camp?”
“I followed you.”
“The posse took off to the south, thinking you’d head for Mexico. I…” She hesitated, until the pistol jerked again. “I took a chance.”
“Stupid of you. I can’t let you go now, or you’ll just run to the sheriff.” He twisted, and she realised he was looking around him. “I don’t like killing women, but you’ve put me in a bad spot.”
“No!” Her heart pounded in her ears.
“No?” He leaned over her menacingly. “Do you have another suggestion? We’ve made plans for that gold, and I don’t plan to let some pretty little bank teller get me hanged before I get around to spending it.”
“If you’ll let me live…” Her voice trailed off.
He gave her a shake, bouncing her off his broad chest, his hand like steel on her arm.
“I’ll make it worth your while.”
He froze and she collided with him again. “What?” he said.
She relaxed against him, trailing a trembling hand across his chest. She heard him suck in his breath, then jumped when his hand covered hers, holding it still.
“That’s a mighty tempting offer, miss, but what am I supposed to tell the boys? ‘Oh, the girl knows which way we went, but I let her go after I had my way with her?’ You know what they’ll say?” He put his face close to hers, holding onto her with both hands. She wondered where the gun was. “They’ll want to know why I didn’t bring you back to share.”
Her mind raced, searching for options, analysing the situation. It took her only a second to come to a conclusion. She needed to get into their camp and this might be her only chance. “You found me.” She pressed her breasts into his chest. “Seems to me you should be first.”
What was the first book you had published?
OUTLAW ROSE is my very first to be published!
What was your initial reaction when offered that first contract?
I was shocked. I wrote OUTLAW ROSE basically on a dare, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I was offered a contract!
Of the books you have written is there one that hold a special place in your heart and why?
My very first manuscript is special. It’s not very good – every time I open the file I get overwhelmed and give up editing, but I learned so much writing it, most importantly how much I enjoyed writing fiction.
Are you a disciplined writer or do you have to wait for the muse to arrive? Do you have a ritual that gets you in the mood?
I would dearly love to be a disciplined writer, but … yeah, no.
I am easily distracted, and need quiet to be able to focus. At least until I get involved in the story, then it doesn’t matter what’s going on around me!
What was the last book you read?
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon
What are you working on now?
Two more short stories, both set in the old west. The first, working titled COLD COCKED, includes my first attempt at writing same sex erotic romance – the lack of pronoun diversity has been an adventure, but I love the story. There’s banter. I love banter.
What genre would you like to try and write that is different from your own?
This is what I did when I wrote OUTLAW ROSE! Erotic romance was a complete redirection for me, but so much fun, too.
When you receive edits are you Teary and Disillusioned or Feisty and Focused?
Disillusioned and Feisty? Edits make me feel very foolish, and then very determined to fix it all! *D – that’s cheating Celeste you picked one from each option Lol! 😉
What is the one thing in your books you’d like to try?
I would love to be as daring as the women in my books. I’m really not at all like them, but writing them is a chance to live vicariously.
Now for some hard hitters with an Aussie flavour!
A sport /sportsperson that you watch? (C’mon there must be one) OR An embarrassing sporting memory.
I’m Canadian. Gotta be hockey!
I am a HUGE hockey fan – I never miss a Flames game on tv and have been known to get up in the middle of the night to watch our World Junior team play overseas.
Favourite Aussie Author/Actor /Musician?
Keith Urban. Yes, please. *D – Thanks Celeste you gave me a chance to brag (once again) about seeing him in concert a few weeks ago, he was awesome 🙂
Your view on Vegemite?
I have no view on Vegemite. Is it related to Marmite? My English father eats Marmite. My view on Marmite is not favourable. At all. Ew. *D – No comparison really, Vegemite is much better 😉
Formal dinner party or backyard barbeque?
Backyard barbeque! I’m not really in favour of “formal”.
Adventure holiday or relaxing by the pool?
Hmm … relaxing by the pool, I suppose.
My “vacations” usually involve horse shows and a whole lot of work, but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it!
Favourite Aussie holiday place or one you’ve always wanted to visit?
It’s practically a rite of passage for Canadian farm kids to spend at least a few months in Australia, but while my cousin and many of my friends went, I stayed in the northern hemisphere. See above Re: Celeste’s lack of daring. 😉 *D – Maybe you can come pay me a visit one day. You’ve been daring enough to release your book into the big world.
Thank you so much for visiting Celeste, did you like the picture I added to entice you to visit the Aussie outback?