Title: The Lawman’s Agreement
Author: Nancy Fraser and Patti Shenberger
Series: McCade Legacy series, #2
Length: 254 pgs
Sub-Genre: Western Post-Civil War Mississippi
Available from: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
U.S. Marshal, Zack McCade takes pride in protecting the good folks of Greenville—especially the beautiful Dr. Suzanne Martindale. He doesn’t always understand her need for independence, but he sure does like getting under her skin. It’s not like he’s looking to settle down—his job is too dangerous to risk taking a wife and family.
In an era when women aren’t readily accepted in the male dominated world of medicine, Suzanne doesn’t have time for courting—especially a charming Cajun rogue like Zack. When he proposes a fake betrothal to keep the matchmaking town out of their hair, she’s sure it’s a bad idea, but can’t deny her longing for a respite from the over-zealous bachelors in town.
Their ruse starts a fire in their hearts that neither expected, but will the re-emergence of Suzanne’s real fiancé douse the flames?
Suzanne entered the woman’s ward of the hospital and lifted Felicity’s chart in her hands. Four days had passed since the night of the harrowing delivery, and both mother and baby were progressing even better than she’d hoped.
“Enough lollygagging around in this hospital bed,” Suzanne said. “It’s time for you two to head on home.” She smiled down at Felicity and baby Chance, and then raised her gaze to meet the new father’s. “Jake, if you wouldn’t mind getting Chance settled in for his trip home, I’d like a few minutes for one last exam of Felicity’s stitches.”
Jake laid the baby in his basket and lifted him from the bed. “I’ll be right outside whenever you’re ready to go,” he said.
Once the door had closed behind him, Felicity breathed a long, deep sigh.“Finally. It’s been one visitor after another for four days. If I weren’t already exhausted from the delivery and nursing, the well-meaning company would have done me in for sure.”
“You should have said something. I could have placed orders to limit the visiting hours,” Suzanne suggested.
Felicity shook her head. “It wasn’t as much the string of people as it was the fact you and I have barely had a minute alone.”
Concern for her patient, her friend, was paramount. “I’m sorry if it seems like I’ve neglected you. Did you have questions?”
“No, silly, you haven’t neglected me at all. And, the only question I have is, what’s going on with you and Zack? I haven’t seen the two of you together since the night Chance was born.”
“We’ve been busy, that’s all. I’ve had my patients, yourself included, and he’s had his…his…”
“His what? I don’t recall any news about an outbreak of bank robbing.”
“He’s just busy, that’s all.”
“Have the two of you called off this unusual arrangement of yours?”
Rather than remain standing, Suzanne took a seat next to Felicity on the edge of the bed. “No, we’ve not called anything off as yet.”
“Then why aren’t you wearing the ring?”
Suzanne rubbed her fingertips over where the ring should be. “It’s complicated.”
“Oh, my,” Felicity said, the two simple words catching on a gasp of surprise. “You two have been together, haven’t you? You’ve made love.”
“Whatever gave you that idea?”
“If I’ve learned anything over the past year of my marriage, there are only two types of complications between a man and a woman. Either they’re making love, or they’re not.”
Suzanne shook her head in the negative, but then admitted. “Yes, we made love. Once. It was…” her words stalled on a long sigh. “It was wonderful. Yet, it broke our agreement and I’m not sure how to get past it.”
“And so, for that reason, you took off your ring?”
Suzanne met Felicity’s gaze and a single warm tear ran down her cheek. “I didn’t exactly take it off. I lost it.”
“You lost it? How? When?”
“Well, I suppose I did take it off, but not for the reason you were thinking. I removed it on my way to the operating room just before your surgery. I put it in a small cup on the shelf above the sink. In the excitement of the evening, I forgot to go back and get it. When I came in the next day, the cup was gone and so was the ring.” Suzanne stood and helped Felicity to her feet. “Enough about me and my forgetfulness. It’s time for you and your new baby to go
“I thought you wanted to check my stitches.”
Suzanne shook her head. “No, I checked them earlier this morning and they were fine. I just wanted these few minutes alone with my favorite patient.”
“I’m glad we talked,” Felicity admitted. “Now you and Zack need to talk and resolve whatever issues you have about what happened.”
“It’s not just that,” Suzanne said. She plucked at the apron covering her shirtwaist, and ran the cotton edge through her fingers. “We also have our reputations to think about. This isn’t New York, or even New Orleans. This is a small town filled with people who thrive on gossip.”
“No doubt,” Felicity agreed. “However, you also have to be true to yourself. And, as for the ring, I know Zack won’t be the least bit concerned over the fact that you lost it.”
“I suppose you’re right. Perhaps, tonight, I won’t run out of here so early. Maybe, with any luck, I’ll have an escort home.”
Please give a warm welcome to Nancy and Patti. Thank you so much for being with us here today on the blog, I am so excited.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
Nancy: I was born in Detroit, MI but now call Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, to be exact) my home.
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
Patti: Reading Jude Deveraux first put the bug in my bonnet. I’ve been writing non-fiction, short fiction and articles for nearly 20 years and have been published in full length romantic fiction since 2005.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Nancy: I’ve always known I wanted to write and spun some pretty crafty tales even for a ten year old. However, like most authors, I think I felt the “official” tug when I got my first rejection letter in 1993.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
The Lawman’s Agreement: A feisty female doctor, an over-protective lawman. A fake engagement to ward of their unwanted suitors mixed with one night of steamy passion…what could possibly go wrong?
I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Nancy: Keep caffeinated to avoid internal explosion!
Patti: Type-A personality at work—approach with caution!
If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Suzanne Martindale, M.D.: “It’s 1868, for heaven’s sake! A woman can do whatever she wants if she applies herself.”
Zack McCade, US Marshal: “Damn it, woman, you are the most infuriating person I’ve ever met!”
Deputy Pete Bailey: “You McCade boys do tend to attract every available female for miles. It was that way for Matthew, then Jake. It’s your turn to wallow in the McCade charm.”
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
Suzanne, definitely. She’s an independent woman in a time when it wasn’t fashionable. She had no problem speaking her mind, despite the fact that it drives our hero, Zack, crazy. Actually, maybe that’s why she does it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
We do a lot of plotting and record keeping. When you’re writing a series of books that take place in multiple locations, you have to be organized to keep it all straight, especially when it comes to the supporting characters.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
The Lawman’s Agreement is the second book in our McCade Legacy series. The first book, Gambling On Love was published in May of this year. The third book, The Barrister’s T
emptation, is due out next July.
How did you come up with the title and cover design?
We knew we wanted to tie it into the fact that our H/H come to an arrangement to keep the unwanted suitors at bay. Since it’s Zack that proposed the unusual agreement, the title just came naturally. As for the cover, we were perusing a stock photo site for some pictures to use for a book trailer and found Zack. Nancy downloaded the picture and forward to the wonderful Heidi Stryker and said, “this is our hero”. She took it from there and created our absolutely sexy cover!
Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?
At the end of the McCade Legacy and onto other joint and separate projects. However, still writing and enjoying every minute of it.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
We both agree, a mixture of both is good. As attached as we are to our e-readers (for convenience), there’s nothing like holding a book in your hand. And, as authors, there’s nothing like the thrill of autographing a “real” book!
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
We’ll be finishing up the Legacy series with another 3-4 books. Nancy is also spreading her contemporary wings next month with Entangled’s Flaunt line. Patti has another release coming up with eXtasy Books in the spring. We think it’s important to write in multiple genres, if for no reason but to keep your perspective fresh!
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
This is where we differ as authors. Nancy loves the love scenes, and the steamier the better. Patti loves the dialogue and interaction between the characters. Of course then, Nancy argues back … believe me they’re “interacting” during the love scenes and don’t even have to talk if they don’t want to! Favorite scene would have to be the last chapter…who doesn’t love a happy ending!
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best component?
With book one of the Legacy, we were criticized for our use of a timeframe specific word … specifically the word “teat”. The funny thing was, we’d pulled some very specific writing from the time and the word teat was used far more often than either breast or nipple. I think what we learned was, you’re never going to please everyone, some are going to find something to complain about no matter what. As writers, if you’ve done your due diligence, you can’t hope for anything more. Nancy was once told by an editor of a rather large publishing house that her love scenes were “too hot” – I mean how is that even possible!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Have you ever read a book more than once?
Nancy: I can honestly admit, I’ve read Chain Lightning by Elizabeth Lowell at least two dozen times. It’s an old Silhouette category but it’s got to be one the best plotted, most romantic stories ever!
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
You’re kidding right?
Are there any new Authors that have seized your interest and why?
Nancy: Tonya Burrows … I love her Wilde Security books! Also, if you love Viking historical, I highly recommend Gina Conkle’s Norse Jewel! Both authors have put in the time and research to make their stories come alive and, as an author, I appreciate that.
Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
Not so much in The Lawman’s Agreement … we like that one just as is. If we could change anything in book one, Gambling On Love, we might (just might) take out some of the “teats”!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be true to the genre in which you write. Do your research, don’t just gloss over things hoping nobody will notice. Even one mistake will make your reader doubt your expertise.
What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
Don’t give up. Take the criticisms with a grain of salt and glean what you can from the advice then throw away the rest. Not every suggestion will fit everything you write.
Do you write under a pen name?
We both prefer to write under our own names. We want the readers, our friends and family to know that “We/I did this”!
Now for a little fun:
What are your pet peeves?
Nancy: People who give up on their dreams too soon and without putting in the required effort. On the reverse, I also cringe over people attaining things/fame too easily.
Cats or dogs?
Patti: One of each … they each have their own way of interacting in a person’s life.
Wine or liquor (or beer if you just have to)?
Nancy: Goudet White Chocolate liquor or Bailey’s Carmel (in my coffee of course)!
Coffee or tea?
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Nancy: My tote bag (which could hold almost anything), a book, my tablet and a good attitude!
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Patti: Laptop … I love being able to write anywhere!
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous / fictional people you would want with you?
Nancy: HG Wells (I love his time travels), Superman (that way I could get off the island if I wanted to) and Guy Fieri (we need someone who can cook!)
An actor you have a crush on
Patti: None at the moment
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Nancy: Criminal Minds for the writing; Elementary for the wit; Arrow for the absolutely swoon-worthy hero!
Once again thank you two ladies so much for being here today, it was truly an honour to interview you.
Nancy and Patti are giving away an amazing prize!! You have the chance to name a business in their next book and have one of the characters named after you!!! The grand-prize is inclusive also of a copy of said book and a copy of The Lawman’s Agreement!! Second place is a copy of book 1 and 2!!!
Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Patti Shenberger recently signed a contract for her twenty-first romance novel/novella sale. She’s published in short contemporary, historical time travel, paranormal and erotic romance, as well as multi-published in fiction and non-fiction magazine length work.
Patti is a wife, mother of two, mother-in-law of two, brand new grandmother to a beautiful baby boy and pet mommy of two. Patti resides in Michigan, where she complains about the heat in the summer and the snow in the winter. When she’s not writing, Patti can be found with her nose buried in a book.