25 April 2010

Guest Author: Cheryl Pierson

This week on Unusual Historicals we're featuring Cheryl Pierson, author of Western romances. Here's the blurb from her debut, FIRE EYES:

Beaten and wounded by a band of sadistic renegades that rules the borderlands of Indian Territory, U.S. Marshal Kaed Turner understands what the inevitable outcome will be for him: death. But Fate and a war party of Choctaw Indians intervene, delivering him instead to a beautiful angel with the skill to heal him. Jessica Monroe has already lost a husband and a brother to the outlaws who tortured Marshal Turner.

As the rugged lawman lies bleeding on her bed, she faces a difficult decision. Can she afford to gamble with her heart one last time? For when Kaed recovers, he is sworn to join the other Territorial Peace Officers in their battle to wipe out the renegade gang once and for all. When vengeance is done, will Kaed keep riding? Or will he return to claim his future with the beautiful woman the Choctaw call FIRE EYES?

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of over 30 years. I have two grown children, Jessica, who is a wonderful artist, and Casey, my son, who is either always at work or in school. I have a freelance editing business and also teach fiction writing classes in the Oklahoma City metro area to all age groups. I've worked extensively with one of the local school districts in their Indian Education Department as a tutor and fiction writing workshop presenter. I love to talk writing with other writers and readers. I'm a classically trained pianist and used to teach that, too. Now I seldom get to practice like I should. Before I published FIRE EYES this past May, I wrote and published many short stories through Adams Media ("Rocking Chair Reader" series) and Chicken Soup for the Soul. I don't have a pen name. I figure, I've worked hard enough to get to this point, I want people to know my name!

You write romantic tales from the heart. How do you feel about your books and your career so far?

FIRE EYES went on to become an Epic Finalist, and sometimes when I read it I have trouble believing I wrote it. I sometimes get so engrossed in my characters, and what they are saying and doing that I will go back and read over what I've written and actually won't remember parts of it. But I really do love this story, and for it to have become a finalist in the EPIC Competition is just unbelievable for me. Although it didn't win, it was a great honor to be included!

Tell us about TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, your second novel.

TIMES PLAINS DRIFTER is a unique time-travel--and a PNR Paranormal Romance Reviewers Top Pick for November 2009--with ruggedly handsome angels and demons with deadly tricks to twist fate. Substitute teacher Jenni Dalton is flung backward in time 115 years with seven of her students when a comet passes close enough to Earth to rearrange the bands of time. They find themselves in 1895, Indian Territory with no way back to 2010.

U.S. Territorial Marshal Rafe d'Angelico was murdered, along with his brother, sixteen years earlier, in 1879. Now, he finds himself a reluctant angel, brought through time to help Jenni Dalton and her students escape the Dark One who is after one of them. But which one? And for what evil purpose?

Rafe only knows he doesn't want to be an angel, now that he's found the woman he wants to spend his life with. Keeping one step ahead of Satan's man who's teamed up with Rafe's murderer proves to be the hardest thing he's ever faced--until he's forced to choose between saving the woman he loves and spending eternity in a Hell of his own making.

Will love be strong enough to save the Time Plains Drifter?

What inspired you to write this story?

This story came out of a desire to write something that my agent (at the time) would be able to sell. My first western was way too long, and the second one I wrote was shorter, but still not short enough. This book, TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, was an idea that came to me from the desire to write something really different that would be intriguing and different. At the time I started it, I didn't realize how hard it was going to be for a "pantser" like me to make it all come about as it should with the time travel and paranormal elements.

This cover is really special to me because my daughter, Jessica Pierson, was my cover artist. This is the first cover she's ever done for me, and I'm so glad we got to work together on a project. We've talked about it since she was a little girl, and it's one of those "dreams come true."

"Night for Miracles" is a Cactus Rose release for The Wild Rose Press. Tell us about Nick and Angela.

Angela Bentley is a widow in post-Civil War Indian Territory. On a snowy Christmas Eve, just at dusk, she takes in a wounded gunman and three children that are traveling in the raw cold. Nick Dalton, the outlaw, is wounded as much emotionally as he is physically. Angela discovers that things are not always what they seem, and that Christmas Eve will always be "A Night for Miracles."

Your heroes usually need mending by the heroine. What’s the story behind hurting these strong adorable guys?

I'm not really sure what that says about me! I think for me, it's a gambit of putting the hero in a position where he must depend on the heroine. Lord knows, he wouldn't in any other circumstance. My guys are usually so hurt and closed up emotionally that being dependent on the heroine is the catalyst that makes them realize they can find love again--or for the first time.

What are your current projects and works in progress?

Right now I have three things in the works. One is a contemporary romantic suspense involving a drug cartel and two DEA undercover agents, both of whom unknowingly have a connection to the heroine-- and boy, are they in danger every second! The second thing I am working on is another western historical romance, GABRIEL'S LAW. And last but not least, a little short story that would not leave me be until I sat down to write it, "Scarlet Ribbons," which involves a cowboy's bid for redemption when he finds out he's the father of a little girl who's blind. It's a Christmas story with a paranormal element in it, and will be released through Victory Tales Press in one of their Christmas anthologies for 2010.

Where can we visit you online?

I have two blogs that I semi-maintain, one which is mainly about my books and writing, and one which is mainly about the information and history of the old west.


Thanks for stopping by today, Cheryl, and best of luck with your career! For readers who'd like a chance to win one of two copies of "A Night for Miracles," please leave a comment or a question. Maybe: Do you fancy the idea of paranormal or time travel elements in your Westerns? We'd be curious to know! I'll draw a winner at random next Sunday. Void where prohibited. Best of luck to everyone!


Tina Donahue said...

Great interview, Cheryl - love the cover!! May you have many, many sales. :)

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Cheryl. I love your wounded heroes, and find I just want to love on 'em until they're mended. Oh, well. Guess that's the heroine's job. :-)

I loved Fire Eyes and Times Plains Drifter, and can't wait for Gabriel's Law.

StephB said...

I love your stories, I especially liked Time Plains Drifter with it's time traveling elements. Looking forward to your next release.


Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Great interview! I love the fact that your daughter did the artwork for your cover - that is amazing!

Shannon Robinson said...

Great interview ladies! Your stories sound very fascinating, Cheryl. Especially the new idea you're working on - Scarlet Ribbons. Wow, that sounds intense and right up my alley! Can't wait to learn more about that one!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Cheryl, good luck with your sales and writnig! I've got Fire Eyes on my tbr list.

Thanks for the wonderful interview, girls.


Cate Masters said...

Great interview! Best of luck with all your projects, and wishing you many sales!

LK Hunsaker said...

Cheryl! As you know, I'm a non-paranormal reader who loved TPD! I look forward to your next to come. :-)

Celia Yeary said...

CHERYL--you're doing great--this is my first visit to this blog. It's very nice! Your books are so good, I hope you sell even more than you already have.Celia

EA said...

Well, I don't count for the contest because I already own a copy of the fabulous Night for Miracles, but I am glad I stopped by for the interview. There is always something knew and wonderful to learn about you, Cheryl. Your writing is just so... velvety smooth, chocolate rich thick. :D

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cheryl,
Great interview. I love all your covers but the one your daughter did is wonderful you must be very proud of her.
Best of luck with all your projects.

liana laverentz said...

I've already got Fire Eyes, and it looks like Time Plains Drifter is next on my list! For some reason--and I know they're not related at all--the cover reminds me of the first Terminator movie. Go figure!

Danielle Thorne said...

I loved FIRE EYES. Can't wait to get a hold of Plains Drifter this summer and read. Cheryl, you are such a talented person and I think it's great you share your gifts with the community where you live.ther1

Virginia said...

Great interview! This sounds like a fabulous read and I would love to read it. Its sounds different then a lot of things I read! Great cover too!

Barbara E. said...

Lovely interview, I enjoyed it. I love Western romances, and I like the idea of the wounded hero that has to rely on the heroine and then realizes he can love again.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone!
My I ternet is out right now and as you can see, I am not so great with the iPhone keyboard yet. LoL I want to answer you individually, but wanted to thank you all for coming by and commenting ! more hopefully tomorrow.
Hugs and thanks to you all,

librarypat said...

Have seen FIRE EYES mentioned on several other blogs (Petticoats and Pistols for one) and like the sound of it. You have given a bit more information on the story today which makes the plot more clear. I'll be looking for it.

I like Time Travel stories and see no conflict with having one combined with a Western. The extra paranormal element should make it even more interesting.

Best of luck with your new projects.

Deborah Schneider said...

I wish I could be nearly 1/4 productive as YOU are. And the writing is so good!

Good luck with your books.

Cheryl said...

Hi Tina,
I hope you all get these comments--sorry to be so late--I just got my internet back up last night.

Thank you so much for coming over!


Cheryl said...

Hi Keena!
LOL I'm thinking you need to read those wounded heroes and substitute your name for the heroine's, girl! LOL

Thanks so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed FE and TPD, and here's hoping Gabriel's Law will find a good home when I start shopping it around.


Cheryl said...


Thanks for coming by and commenting. I know you are busy, and I appreciate you!!!! I am so glad you enjoyed the stories. That means a lot to me.


Cheryl said...

Hi Julia,

I have a cousin that is very dear to my heart named Julia. I love that name!

Yes, I was so glad we had the chance to work on the cover for TPD together. That really meant a lot to me. I hope it's the first of many joint projects.


Cheryl said...

Hi Shannon,

Thank you so much for the kind words! I love Scarlet Ribbons. Although there is no sex in the story, it's just a very sweet romance between a couple that happens over a period of 5 years, and during that time, both of them have grown from the impetuosity (is that a word?)LOL of their youth to maturity. I love the paranormal twist in the story. It'll be out in December through Victory Tales Press and I am really thrilled to be working with them. They're a great company.


Cheryl said...


Thank you so much for coming over!!! I hope you like FE once you get around to reading it. It'll always have a special place in my heart.

Cheryl said...

Hi Cate,

Thank you so much for coming by. You are one busy woman. Loved your interview with Margaret!


Cheryl said...


I know--I am still amazed that you enjoyed TPD, knowing that you aren't a time travel buff. Makes me feel good to know that you read outside your "likes" and ended up liking it anyhow!


Cheryl said...

Hi Celia,

This IS a fantastic site. I discovered it a few months back and have really enjoyed it ever since. And I am certainly grateful to Carrie for inviting me to come and do an interview here.


Cheryl said...

Hi Evie,

Wow, what a NICE comment! I appreciate that so much! I'm so glad that you enjoyed A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES. It's a story that is really dear to my heart. It was hard for me to let those characters go. LOL


Cheryl said...

Hi Margaret,

Yes, the one Jessica did for me is very very special to me. She had always wanted to do a cover for me from the time she was just a little girl and I was first talking about my writing and all. So her being able to actually do that and us having a joint project was just wonderful for both of us, and I hope someday we'll get to do it again.

Thank you, Margaret--you always just make my day.


Cheryl said...

Liana!!! I am cracking up!!! You're right! I think it was the poster they used to advertise THE TERMINATOR...what was that actress's name? She went on to be the Beauty in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in that tv series. That is so funny that you put that together, and it is so true. LOL Glad you enjoyed FE. I'm hoping that TIME PLAINS DRIFTER is placed somewhere very soon and becomes available again.

Thanks so much for coming by and commenting.


Cheryl said...


That is very kind of you to say. I don't do tutoring with the Indian kids anymore, but am hoping that very soon we will be able to put together some kind of writing workshop for those who are interested in it.

I hope that Time Plains Drifter will be available again very soon. I left Class Act Books a couple of months ago and am looking for a new, larger publisher for it. And I have been writing down ideas for the sequel!

Thank you for commenting, Danielle!

Cheryl said...

Hi Virginia,

Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment. I hope you do get a chance to read Fire Eyes and A Night For Miracles. Also, look for my first contemporary romantic suspense, SWEET DANGER, available through The Wild Rose Press on October 1!


Cheryl said...

Hi Barbara,

Everything I write has a wounded hero! LOL It's a well-known fact that being a hero in a Cheryl Pierson story is a lot like wearing a red shirt in the landing party on Star Trek--you either "ain't comin' back" or if you do, you are going to be in a world of hurt. LOL

I am glad to know that you love that kind of hero/heroine relationship. I do too!

Thanks for coming by!

Cheryl said...

Hi Librarypat!

Wow, that is good to know that you are seeing it mentioned in different places. Yep, P&P is going to be one of my new blogging homes. I'll be doing a twice a month blog there starting next month, and I hope you'll pop over.

I'm glad FE sounds like something you would enjoy. And I totally agree with you about the paranormal elements in a western historical. It was fun, and the more I write the more I tend to incorporate the paranormal tidbits into my stories.

Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!


Cheryl said...

Hi Deborah,

THANK YOU!!! WOW, most days I don't feel all that productive, for sure. LOL I kept thinking once the kids were grown I'd have all kinds of time, but that just hasn't happened as I planned it.

So glad you are enjoying my stories! Thanks for coming over and commenting. It means a lot.