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#5 Contest, Beth Williamson Joins Us
Friday, January 15th, 2010

Hurray, Beth W. is in the house. Leave a comment on her post and qualify to win a Beth Williamson book of your choice. All those sexy cowboys and western guys to choose from….


Experience or Imagination
by Beth Williamson

Some writers hold to the belief they can’t write about a place or an event unless they’ve experienced it themselves. It gives it that “real” flavor for the reader, that taste only gotten by a writer who has “been” there.

Well, I don’t hold to that principle myself because although my physical self has boundaries, my imagination has none. 🙂

Take for example, my current release, The Stranger’s Secrets. The heroine, Sarah, has suffered a life-changing injury to her leg that requires her to use a cane. Although I’ve never walked with a cane, I have used crutches (am now using them as a matter of fact) temporarily. That, of course, is simply not the same.

Yet, I can use my super-powered imagination to put myself in her shoes and then the story takes on a life of its own. There are so many things we can do if we tell ourselves we can. I mean, it’s normal right? People convince themselves things are real all the time (and I don’t mean take drugs to stop the voices kind of things). It’s the power of our minds, and in this case, of the imagination.

Would it surprise you to hear that I cry when I write my books? My husband looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind and tells me “You made them up, why are you crying?”. Well, because although I made them up, I made them real to me. Real enough that I feel that emotion when they do, and cry, laugh, squirm, and shout.

If I make myself feel all those things, then I’m damn sure hoping the reader does too. I know my sister has told me she cried, and my mom too. Maybe I’m crazy and I only make my family cry. LOL. Really though, I think the mark of a writer is one who dives in deep into the pool of the story – one who becomes part of it.

That, ladies and gents, is writing a good story.


You are so right about that, Beth. So let’s take a peek at one of your good stories…
the strangers secrets¥MECH

Betrayed By Her Own Heart

Sarah Spalding has learned to forge her own way and never to trust anyone—least of all a Yankee. But when her companion abandons her while on a train to Colorado, Sarah begrudgingly accepts the help of Whitman Kendrick—a Yankee, yes, but one with the most bewitching green eyes. Allowing Whit to be her traveling escort is one thing, taking him as a lover is another—even though she’s tempted beyond reason…

Whit Kendrick isn’t quite sure what to make of the sharp-tongued, sassy woman sharing his train compartment. All he knows is that Sarah is refreshingly different from most women—and his urgent, primal attraction for her is unlike any he’s experienced. Breaking down Sarah’s wall of defense won’t be easy. But Whit is determined to prove to Sarah that they’re more alike than different—and loving each other is all they need…


The dining room was nearly bursting at the seams. There was only one unoccupied table by the time Sarah and Whitman arrived to eat. Unfortunately it was in a corner and made for two.

“Told you to hurry,” Whitman grumbled under his breath.

Sarah couldn’t stop a very unladylike snort, again. “Next time I’ll run up the stairs and you stand at the bottom then.”

He didn’t respond, but she saw the corner of his mouth twitch, as if he was holding in a laugh. Perhaps the serious Yankee did have a sense of humor after all.

When they sat down, Sarah realized it was the first time they were face to face. On the train and even walking to the hotel, they’d been beside each other. Facing Whitman was an entirely different experience.

He wasn’t classically handsome, but damn, he was exactly the kind of man Sarah was attracted to. His face was angular, the late day whiskers only added to his appeal, his nose was slightly crooked, and a few scars were scattered here and there as if he’d been wounded by small pieces of something.

But it was his eyes which captured her attention. Deep, green and framed by those long eyelashes, Whitman had the sexiest gaze she’d ever seen. Fortunately or unfortunately, she felt a tug of sensual awareness just looked at the tousled chocolate locks above those eyes.

Hell and crackers.

He frowned. “Why are you scowling at me?”

“I’m not scowling.” She fiddled with the fork and knife on the table while hoping the missing waitress would appear to save her from the awkward situation.

Damn Mavis Ledbetter. The woman was over by the window with that same gentleman, completely ignoring the fact she’d been paid to take care of Sarah. Whit had been right—she was going to fire Mavis and leave her in whatever town this was.

“She said she was a spinster.” Whit followed Sarah’s gaze. “Looks as if she hasn’t given up the quest for a husband though.”

“She spent so much time declaring she was a spinster, she kept most men away from her.” Sarah frowned at Mavis. “Nobody in town wanted anything to do with her because of her reputation.”

“You’re from the same town then?”

His question was one anyone in polite company would ask, but Sarah found herself unwilling to answer any personal questions. So she decided to insult him to keep him disliking her. “You’re nosy.”

“You’re rude.”

“You’re pushy.”

He barked a laugh. “And you’re refreshingly honest.”

Sarah found herself holding back a chuckle. What was it about this annoying Yankee that set her on her head? Aside from being handsome, there wasn’t anything else remarkable about him. She needed to figure out his appeal so she could combat it and keep her distance, at least as much as she could considering they were stuck in a train compartment together for fifteen hundred miles.

“Then you won’t mind if I continue being honest.”

He nodded. “I wouldn’t expect any less.”

Why in the hell did that make Sarah’s heart thump like a bass drum? Back home when she ate a meal, it was with her friends, a group where everyone chatted and relaxed. Sitting with Whit made me feel jumpy and awkward—a condition Sarah was definitely not used to.

“You make me uncomfortable,” she blurted.

His eyebrows went up. “I do?”

Now that she’d gone down that path, she had to finish her thought. “I’m sure you’ve heard the song before, Mr. Kendrick, but Yankees aren’t high on my list of favorite folks, much less one I have to rely on. It’s going to take some time for me to ah, adjust, so if you can, be patient with me.”
Whit nodded. “I’ll do my best.”

She didn’t want to demand anything from the man. After all, there was no reason for him to help her. His actions told her more than anything that he was a gentleman. “When life kicks you once, you get back up and move on. When life kicks you a dozen times, you’re less willing to forgive and trust.” That was as far as she planned on going with that train of thought. He seemed like a sharp man and could likely understand why she felt uncomfortable.

“Don’t worry. I won’t give you any cause to kick me back. I promise.” The sincerity in his gaze made her want to believe him.

Ridiculous of course, why should she trust a stranger? She had to rely on him to be her companion, however that would turn out. Yet expecting him to carry her bags was a far cry from trusting him with her life. Sarah could take care of herself, for the most part anyway, and she regretted the fact she couldn’t do it all the time.

“Good because I bite when I kick.” She fought back a grin.

“Somehow that doesn’t surprise me in the least.”

Learn more about Beth and her books here.
Learn more about The Stranger’s Secrets here.
Beth’s Blog

38 comments to “#5 Contest, Beth Williamson Joins Us”

  1. Beth Williamson
      · January 15th, 2010 at 7:37 am · Link

    Howdy Beth! Thanks for the invite and the guest blog. I’m happy to be hanging out with one of my favorite writers. :mrgreen:

  2. Amy M
      · January 15th, 2010 at 7:45 am · Link

    Good morning Beth and….Beth!

    I have to say, I loved The Redemption of Micah. That was the first book that I read of yours, and I was so glad to have picked it because it was really good!

    Have a wonderful day ladies!
    Amy m

  3. Lea
      · January 15th, 2010 at 8:48 am · Link

    Hi Beth and Beth!

    What a wonderful post and the excerpt from “The Strangers Secrets”, is excellent.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Beth Kery
      · January 15th, 2010 at 9:19 am · Link

    Welcome Beth. Sorry for temporarily claiming your blog post as my own. :blush: Like I told you earlier, I write Beth….and the Kery just follows. Not so much narcissism as it is ditziness…lol.

    I don’t recall seeing this cover for Stranger. It’s very eye catching!

  5. Sherry S.
      · January 15th, 2010 at 9:47 am · Link

    I’ve only read one of Beth’s books and it was great. This book sounds like one that I would enjoy very much. Thanks for the wonderful excerpt.

  6. Beth Williamson
      · January 15th, 2010 at 9:59 am · Link

    Amy ~ Thanks so much! Micah’s story was pretty emotional too. I am the queen of cowboy angst I think. LOL.

    Lea ~ Thanks for stopping by and the kudos! 😀

    Beth ~ no worries, sweetie. I do the exact same thing!

    Sherry ~ Yay! I’m glad to hear it. Woot! :mrgreen:

  7. Blanche
      · January 15th, 2010 at 10:22 am · Link

    Hi Beth and Beth!!

    I’m such a fan of Beth’s work (as I’ve told her a bazillion times!!). I just finished The Stranger’s Secret and LOVED it! 🙂 I’m so looking forward to Lee’s story and all the other good things you have coming out this year!!!

  8. Danielle
      · January 15th, 2010 at 10:27 am · Link

    Hi Beth, I have to admit that I’m a fan girl of your books. I love them all. I have your ebooks and your current releaes. Which do you prefer writing Westerns or Contemporaries?

  9. Ina
      · January 15th, 2010 at 1:57 pm · Link

    Hi Beth!
    oh that’s a wonderful post 🙂 your books must be fantastic when you have these deep feelings for your protas! thanks for being here today!
    greetings, Ina

  10. Larena Wirum
      · January 15th, 2010 at 2:04 pm · Link

    I really enjoyed the first two books. I am really looking forward to reading this one also. Congrats on the latest release. :mrgreen:

  11. jennifer mathis
      · January 15th, 2010 at 2:23 pm · Link

    got to love them cowboy yeehaw

  12. Jane
      · January 15th, 2010 at 2:32 pm · Link

    Hi Beth,
    Congrats on the new release. I loved “The Redemption of Michah” and look forward to reading “The Stranger’s Secret.”

  13. Scorpio M.
      · January 15th, 2010 at 2:35 pm · Link

    Any chance to win a Beth Williamson book I have to try! I loved the Redemption of Micah, I read that book in less than 2 days.
    And I am not surprised that you have such strong emotional ties to the characters you’ve created. It comes across the page to the reader as well.

    Have a great weekend 😀

  14. Leni
      · January 15th, 2010 at 2:49 pm · Link

    Beth Williamson rocks. It was so refreshing to read your post and just wanted to say thanks for the insight. 😀

  15. Beth Williamson
      · January 15th, 2010 at 3:56 pm · Link

    Thanks y’all! I’m so glad you all came by to say howdy.
    I definitely would say my first love is historical westerns, but I also like to write contemporaries.
    Wow – y’all are making me feel wonderful! Recovering from ankle surgery and I am all warm and fuzzy after reading the comments. :mrgreen:

  16. Amelia
      · January 15th, 2010 at 3:41 pm · Link

    I read The Stranger’s Secrets two weeks ago and I loved Sarah!

  17. Marjana kaly
      · January 15th, 2010 at 4:23 pm · Link

    Beth, I’m big fan! Can’t wait to read this new one!

  18. Beth Williamson
      · January 15th, 2010 at 5:28 pm · Link

    Thanks all – I love to meet folks who’ve read my work and new readers. I aim to meet as many as I can! 😀

  19. Karin
      · January 15th, 2010 at 4:31 pm · Link

    Beth, I really like your comments about what it means to be a writer. As a reader, I always enjoy being sucked into the story by the characters, so I imagine that’s the way I would want to write a story as well. I love the excerpt. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Tracy
      · January 15th, 2010 at 5:06 pm · Link

    HI Beth,
    I’m new to your books, but this one sounds great. I loved the excerpt and the premise.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. Bonnie H
      · January 15th, 2010 at 5:44 pm · Link

    Hi Beth!! *waves* I haven’t yet read any of your books, but I have all of them on my TBB pile!! And I’m hoping you’ll come up to Washington again one of these days so I can bask in the glory of all you wonderful ladies over a mexican lunch 😀
    And thanks again Beth K!! *hugs*

  22. Estella
      · January 15th, 2010 at 6:07 pm · Link

    I loved The Redemption of Micah! Can’t wait to read this new one.

  23. Armenia
      · January 15th, 2010 at 6:08 pm · Link

    Yay…Beth’s here. Howdy, ma’am. Count me in cause I don’t Madeline’s story. Have a great weekend!! 😉

  24. Jody F.
      · January 15th, 2010 at 6:19 pm · Link

    Recently read and loved The Stranger’s Secrets. As a disabled person, I thought you portrayed Sarah in a very realistic way. Now I just need to read the other books in the series, so I’m really hoping I win.

  25. Jennifer D.
      · January 15th, 2010 at 6:24 pm · Link

    Hello Beth,

    Thanks for the excerpt of the Stranger’s Secrets – I like the banter between the characters. The book sounds good.

  26. Beth Williamson
      · January 15th, 2010 at 7:33 pm · Link

    Hi Bonnie! I might be returning to Washington again this summer! :mrgreen:
    Armenia & Estella ~ hey girls! Thanks so much!
    Jennifer ~ yay!
    Jody ~ Thank you so much – I am so glad you liked Sarah’s story. She was such an amazing character to write – one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever had.

  27. Booklover1335
      · January 15th, 2010 at 8:03 pm · Link

    Hi Beth and Beth,
    I’m glad you have an active imagination. When I read your books you sometimes make me cry to and I love that I feel enough about the characters to have that kind of emotion when reading about them.

    Get well soon!

  28. Tracey D
      · January 15th, 2010 at 9:54 pm · Link

    I enjoyed the post and excerpt. I look forward in reading this.

  29. Pamk
      · January 15th, 2010 at 10:03 pm · Link

    love that excerpt and looking forward to reading this book.

  30. Beverly G
      · January 15th, 2010 at 10:46 pm · Link

    hi Beth and Beth both of ur books are awesome ty for the look in to your world and the interview was great cant wait tor ead the new books

  31. Mitzi H.
      · January 15th, 2010 at 10:52 pm · Link

    I love that she just blurts out what she thinks and his sense of humor. Can’t wait to read it!!!! Congrats on another winner, Beth. 😉

  32. Linda Henderson
      · January 15th, 2010 at 11:04 pm · Link

    I enjoyed the excerpt and can’t wait to read the book.

  33. Spav
      · January 15th, 2010 at 11:50 pm · Link

    Nice excerpt. It looks like an interesting book.

  34. Beth Williamson
      · January 16th, 2010 at 6:41 am · Link

    Thanks everyone for coming by and hanging out. And a great big thanks to the fabulous Beth Kery for hosting me. :mrgreen:
    Have a wonderful weekend y’all!

  35. Julie
      · January 16th, 2010 at 6:56 am · Link

    I love it when an author makes me cry, even if my family gives me that “you’re so odd” look. 😉

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  36. Dina
      · January 16th, 2010 at 10:34 am · Link

    Hi Beth, sorry to have missed you. Glad you stopped by.

  37. Jo White
      · January 19th, 2010 at 3:52 pm · Link

    I’ve only read one of your books, but I loved it! and intend to get more! Thanks!

  38. Beth Williamson
      · January 20th, 2010 at 6:55 pm · Link

    Thanks Jo!! :mrgreen:

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