Friends Friday -Cassandra Dean.


Seriously, I wrote a Western??


I never thought I’d write a western romance. I love Deadwood, and really enjoyed Unforgiven (particularly the awesome script), but I didn’t read the genre. Then my editor suggested I write for Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape series. I was a bit hesitant, afraid I would write something that wouldn’t do the genre justice. After all, I didn’t read it. What if I messed it up?

So, full of trepidation, I started groping about for an idea. Man, what is this caper going to be about? Well, how about a Saloon. Maybe with a burlesque show. As the town of Freewill, Western Escape’s very own Western town, is in Wyoming, let’s have a look at Wyoming type stuff. Huh. Wyoming is a massive coal producer. Well, that just fits in perfectly. The heroine can have a plot of land with coal on it, the hero can originally be from Wales and have some sort of relationship with coal mining, they can be all conflicty about that. And then there can be the burlesque thing, and dancing fun times, and perhaps some kind of monthly showstopper Spectacular thing the heroine runs…Wow, an idea!

I tentatively suggested this idea to my editor and she said to go for it. Right! Let’s get this thing written!

So I sat down at the computer, opened a new document…but then, almost immediately, a stumbling block – Oh my lord, how do these people talk? What phrases and idiosyncrasies pop up in their dialect? I can hear English voices in my head, no problems, but Western speak… WHY AM I WRITING A WESTERN????

Panicky, I imparted my problem to a friend of mine. She suggested I borrow her Deadwood DVDs. Of course! Deadwood! That show I love! I watched that, and then I watch Justified (Gosh, that Timothy Olyphant is attractive), and then I read a couple of Western-themed books, and slowly speech patterns formed. “You’re looking mighty pretty, Miss.” “Why don’t you wait a spell?” “Why are you being all contrary-like?” Suddenly, it all made sense! Suddenly, I could actually write this thing!

Now, we are super, super close to ROUGH DIAMOND’s release and I couldn’t imagine NOT writing a Western. Alice, Rupert and the world they inhabit have come vibrantly alive to me, and I hope to visit their world again sometime soon.

I would love for you guys to check out ROUGH DIAMOND upon its release and let me know what you think.

Thanks for having me, I’ve had a blast!

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Owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice Reynolds is astounded when a fancy Englishman offers to buy her saloon. She won’t be selling her saloon to anyone, let alone a man with a pretty, empty-headed grin…but then, she reckons that grin just might be a lie, and a man of intelligence and cunning resides beneath.

Rupert Llewellyn has another purpose for offering to buy the pretty widow’s saloon—the coal buried deep in land she owns. However, he never banked on her knowing eyes making him weak at the knees, or how his deception would burn upon his soul.

Each determined to outwit the other, they tantalize and tease until passion explodes. But can their desire bridge the lies told and trust broken?


Lifting the glass, Alice studied its contents. “There is nothing quite like the enjoyment you get from a good whiskey. There’s the look and color of it, and the way it burns in the light.”

“It’s the same color as your eyes,” Llewellyn breathed, his own wide and empty of thought.

A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. That’s right. Fool me into thinking there’s not an ounce of calculation to your words. “Is it? Mighty kind of you to notice.”

A happy grin was her response.

Well now, she was surely going to enjoy this. Setting her own half-smile, she tilted her glass, watching as the whiskey caught the light of the candle. “Have you ever noticed the feel of glass? It’s smooth against your fingers, and though the whiskey burns you, the glass is cool. It seems strange, doesn’t it? That such fire could come from something so cool.”

Intensely aware of his gaze upon her, she brought the glass to rest on her bottom lip. “You lift the glass to your lips, and all that coolness rests upon your flesh. The scent of the whiskey hits you, sweet and fiery. Your mouth waters, and you can’t wait to have it inside you. Slowly, so slowly, you tip the glass, teasing yourself as long moments in want of its taste stretch unbearably.”

He no longer wore a smile. Dark eyes watched her as strong fingers dug into the glass before him.

A prickle washed over her skin, her heart a steady beat in her chest. With hushed voice, she continued. “Liquid slides down your throat. The flavor explodes inside you, a glorious rush of sensation that overwhelms and consumes. You curl your tongue, enjoying the lingering sensation in every part of your mouth. Then, you look at the bottle.” Finally, she met his gaze direct. No subterfuge. No tease. “And you know you can do it again.”