My next colleague from Come Love a Cowboy is best-selling, and award-winning author, Caroline Clemmons. Caroline writes both historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends.
Her novella, Grant Me the Moon, takes place in and around Post City, Texas.
For several years, the story in GRANT ME THE MOON has nagged me to write it. The idea first occurred on a trip from our home in the DFW Metroplex to visit family in Lubbock. We drive through Post on that trip. I’d written one story set in this area, BE MY GUEST, but my interest in the town continued.
I can’t explain why this setting appeals to me as it does. Post is a small town of approximately six thousand people and the county seat of Garza County, Texas, at the foot of the Caprock, the start of the Great Plains also known as Llano Estacado. Perhaps the fact that I grew up in nearby Lubbock explains why the area fascinates me.
Post City was founded by cereal magnate Charles William Post as a utopian colonizing venture in 1907. He designed the community as a model town and laid out the streets logically. After he purchased 200,000 acres of ranchland, he established the Double U Company to manage the town’s construction.
The Double U Company built houses and numerous business structures which included the Algerita Hotel, a cotton gin, and a textile plant. They planted trees along every street. In addition, they sold farms and houses to settlers. The town shortened its name to Post when it incorporated in 1914, the year of C. W. Post’s death.
My husband Hero and I love visiting ancient ruins and pre-history dwellings and remains. The Garza site, named after the county, is on private land and not available to the public. I’ve always wanted to see that dig, which is a Clovis site. So, I decided to have a similar fictional site for my story, GRANT ME THE MOON, discovered by the hero, Grant Grayson, on his ranch. High school history teacher and sponsor of the History Explorers’ Club is Victoria “Tory” Fraser. Naturally a good history club sponsor would want her students to visit this recent discovery. Trouble starts with Grant’s innocent statement to the students.
Here’s the GRANT ME THE MOON blurb:
All Tory Fraser intended was to show her high school history club students a local archeology dig. How could she know the excursion would involve a murder? Or that one of her students would be suspected as the killer? And she had no idea she would meet the man of her dreams.
Grant Grayson has taken over management of his family’s Grayson Ranch near Post, Texas to give his grandfather a less arduous schedule. A flash flood washed away an old talus slope on the ranch to reveal a prehistoric cave that is a Clovis site. Being a good citizen, Grant invited the nearest large university archaeology department to excavate the cave. When a gorgeous blonde high school teacher asks his permission to take her students to the site, how can he deny her? Especially when he’s instantly attracted to her as he’s never been to anyone.
Tory and Grant are drawn in to the investigation to clear her student but unintentionally make themselves a target. Now they must evade the killer to live and celebrate their new found love.
Here’s an excerpt from GRANT ME THE MOON:
After they’d eaten, he drove under the speed limit on the way back to Post. Her company fascinated him and he wished he could prolong the evening. When they reached the edge of the Caprock above Post, he pulled over at a wide space on the shoulder and opened the sunroof.
“I love this spot. You can see the lights of our little town below and the stars above.”
She relaxed against the seat and head rest. “The almost full moon tonight obscures many of the stars. This is a beautiful vantage point, though. As if we’re divine and are hanging above the world. I could almost reach out and touch the moon.”
He reached for her hand and entwined their fingers “Should I grab it for you?”
She offered a whimsical smile. “Let’s leave it there so everyone can enjoy the moonlight.”
“Tory, I’m having a hard time resisting making a move on you like some teenager. I think we’d better get you home.” After releasing her hand, he shifted to drive and pulled back onto Highway 84.
In the moonlight, her eyes shone like stars. “I don’t need rescuing, Grant. I can fend for myself.”