Sunday, October 7, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: Austin Second Chance Cowboy.

Getting My Texan On

         When my kids were little, there was one sure way to tell if my patience was drawing to an end: my voice would start to change.
Little by little, my ‘r’s would get a little softer, my vowels a little longer, my grammar a little worse. A drawl would come out, and I’d start spouting things like ‘fixing to’. As in, ‘I’m fixin’ to ground y’all, so you’d better settle down.’
         That change would cause my two kids to look at each other and grimace.
         No, I wasn’t suffering from some kind of personality disorder. I was just getting my Texan on.
         I grew up in Houston, and by the time I got out of high school, I had a pretty good accent, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I only discovered I had an accent of note when I went out to Colorado for college. Clue Number 1 was when my roommate would ask me to talk to her friends on the phone-just so they could hear what I sounded like.  
         Clue Number 2 came from one of my college professors. I was an education major, and one of my first classes was to prepare a short speech and give it in front of the class. We’d all be videotaped, and then be forced to watch ourselves during a private meeting with our professor.  That, of course, scared me to death, and my first speech was even more chocked-full of Texan-isms  than usual. My accent was so thick, my professor suggested that I consider getting a new major. He didn’t see how any child was going to learn much listening to a voice like mine.
         After that, ah, horrible experience, I made it my goal to lose that accent. And for the most part, I have. Now, living in Ohio, I can almost sound like a northerner. Almost.
         Except when I’m really happy. Or really tired. Or really cranky. Or really _____ (just about anything can be added here!). Then, like bluebonnets in spring, that accent comes back with a vengeance.
         Nowadays, I kind of greet my old twang like a good, long-lost friend. Hearing that drawl makes me remember a different time in my life, and it brings back memories of being on a drill team, looking out at wide Texas skies, and enjoying the comfort of old Levis and buttery-soft boots.
         All that is why it’s always such a joy to write any book set in Texas…or, in this case, write a book about a very appealing cowboy. Writing about horses and cowboys and plains and Stetsons lets me relax a bit. I ease back into those y’alls and remember a time when I was sure everyone on earth used the phrase ‘fixing to’.
         I guess it goes to show that you really can take the girl out of Texas…but maybe not completely take the Texas out of the girl. And now, well, I’m not so sure I’d want that anyway. Each of us needs a little bit of our history with us, don’t you think? Even if it’s just to take out when it’s time to give those kids a talking to.  

  I hope y’all will enjoy Austin, Second Chance Cowboy. And in the meantime, please, do share. Do any of y’all have a word or phrase from your childhood that you just can’t give up?    

GIveaway: Shelly will be giving away a Copy of Second Chance Cowboy to 2 Lucky Winners
To Enter to Win: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment: Do any of y’all have a word or phrase from your childhood that you just can’t give up?  a Rafflecopter giveaway    

Austin & Dinah talk about Life, Love and Rodeo...

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Austin: Being a different man than my father.
Dinah:  Becoming Roundup’s sheriff.

What trait is most important in a friend?

Austin:  Humor
Dinah: (looking a little uneasy) Trust and Patience, I suppose. I haven’t had too much time for friends lately.
Austin: Which is why, Dinah, everyone around you needs a sense of humor.
Dinah:  Next question, please?

What do you most enjoy about your job?

Austin:Owning my own business means I’m the boss of me. I like that.
Dinah:   Helping others, especially the kids in town.

Who do you most admire and why?

Dinah: My sister, Cheyenne. She’s raising her girls on her own-and they’re wonderful girls.
Dinah:  My mother.

Name your biggest regret.

Austin: Damn, these questions are getting pretty personal. (swallows) All right, here goes. My biggest regret is that I drink too much. I’m working on this though.
Dinah:  That my father didn’t see me become the sheriff. He would’ve really liked that.

What makes you angry or upset?

Austin: When people think I’m just like my dad.
Dinah:  When people underestimate me.

What trait would you like to change about yourself?

Austin: I hold grudges and keep everything inside. Shoot-is that two traits?
Dinah:  Austin, I’m surprised you didn’t have a whole laundry list.
Austin: Just answer the question, D.
Dinah:  All right, the trait I would most like to change is my insecurity. I kind of have a hard time seeing myself as a woman and a sheriff.
Austin: I don’t have any problem seeing you like that.
Dinah:  Shut up, Austin.

What is your most treasured possession?

Austin: Can’t say that I have one. Yet.
Dinah:  One of my father’s old flannel shirts. If you close your eyes and hug it tight, it smells just like him.

What makes you happy?

Austin: Coloring with my nieces.
Dinah: My mother’s home cooking.

Of what are you most afraid?

Austin: Of losing everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Dinah:  Of being alone for the rest of my life.

If they made a movie of your life, what genre would it be?

Austin: Oh, heck…it would have to be just about everything…and just to let you know…my life ain’t even close to being over.
Dinah:  I think my movie would be an action-adventure. Being a sheriff gives me some pretty eventful days, you know…

Author Info:

Shelley Galloway writes for the Harlequin American Romance and Harlequin Heartwarming lines.  To date, she’s written eleven novels for them. Shelley's first novel with Harlequin made the Waldenbooks Bestseller list and her second novel, Simple Gifts, won the 2006 Reviewers Choice Award.

Shelley also writes Amish romances for Harper Collins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire as Shelley Shepard Gray. Her novels have twice won the HOLT Medallion award for Best Short Inspirational Novel, and have appeared on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists. 
Finally, Shelley also writes western inspirational novels for Abingdon Press as Shelley Gray.

To date, Shelley’s novels have been highlighted on NPR, the Philadelphia Enquirer, Time Magazine, and USA Today. 

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degrees in educational administration. She lives in southern Ohio and writes full time.


  1. Hmmm...I dont'n think I have a word or phrase from my childhood that I just can’t give up. At the moment can't remember :)

  2. My father has a habit of saying Bollock when he is swearing. I picked up that word and have been using it every sense.

  3. SECOND CHANCE COWBOY looks wonderful.

    We had family names for things that have stuck: a chemise or singlet is a shimmy, as egg is a googie & when we had to use the bathroom we said we were 'badly' as it I need to go badly. There are probably a lot more.

  4. I think I don't remember anymore any particular word or phrase from my childhood.

  5. Not that I can think of. There are things my family always reminds me that I said when I was little but not anything that I still use.

  6. I can't think of anything that I used to say as a child that is different than I do now. Your book sounds great, thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Can't think of anything I still use either. I've picked up new things along the way. Love your book cover. Love cowboys.
    Sue B

  8. Hi

    I have always used the word "crap" to describe many things - I use it to this day much to many people's dismay.

    Thanks for the chance

  9. I'm from Maine so we have a few words we are known for ("ayuh" being one that thank goodness I don't use), however "wicked" is my local hangup. As in: "That book looks wicked good!" Thanks for the chance to win...and loved the blog!

  10. I definitely still have words from my childhood that I use. My family uses them more as a in-crowd way to communicate. A few of the words are ways we can talk about not so nice things in front of others.

  11. I have a word that my older sister and her friend made up ~ Crumbinelious. It's used in place of a swear word but my sister's friend got told to stop swearing by her mother when she used it.

    Another of our in family words is jello for jealousy and green jelly if it's a bad case.

    I still use the expression "I need to make a rose bush" when I need to go to the bathroom. Visiting Mrs Murphy is the same thing as well.