Thursday, July 28, 2016

D is for Dan Jenkins

Dan is the hero in Debra's upcoming Halloween at The Corral.

By the time I introduced Dan as a VERY minor (as in he's mentioned once and has no speaking part) character in This Feels Like Home as a bull riding buddy of Jake's, I already had plans for my spin off series of holiday stories. I was kind of 'hedging my bets' and throwing in some characters I might want to use in a future story. Other than the fact he was a bull rider, I didn't know a thing about him.

When it came time to write the Halloween story for my series, I decided it was Dan's turn to be the hero. The first thing I did was give him a last name. Jenkins popped into my head so I went with it.

Then, of course, I had to flesh out his character. In the back of my head I had this idea of using the Halloween theme of costumes that hide who you really are. So, Dan became a man of many 'faces'. As a bull rider, and a damn good one at that, he is somewhat of a celebrity in his hometown. He has legions of adoring fans, mostly women, but he never is sure if they like him for himself or for his fame. If they'd get to know him, they'd learn he is a down-to-earth guy, despite the fact that he comes from a wealthy family. And although he's considered somewhat of the black sheep of this snobby family, he still loves them and is willing to don a suit to go have brunch at his parents' house because it makes his mom happy. Before 'running off' to join the rodeo, he was a premed major at a prestigious college.

Because of these many 'faces', Dan isn't really sure 'who' he is.

And neither is Kelly Harper. At first, she thinks he's a good ol' boy with an ego the size of Texas, and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Been there done that and learned her lesson in the past with an ex-fiance. But as she gets to know Dan, she discovers layers to him that she never dreamed existed. Layers she really likes. If she could figure out who the 'real' Dan Jenkins is, maybe she'll be brave enough to trust him with her heart.

The cover, which I've shared before, turned out so absolutely perfect for this story, I am in awe each and every time I look at it.

Here's the opening paragraph.

Great. An impromptu meeting of the Dan Jenkins Fan Club gathered a few feet away. The combination of floral perfume, hairspray, and cosmetics made Kelly Harper want to gag. As did the simpering, coquettish smiles on the faces of the groupies clustered around this little corner of Texas's hometown celebrity.

Halloween at The Corral debuts this fall.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. I love the "hiding your true self" trope--can't wait to read this one. And the cover is beautiful.

  2. I thought the 'hiding yourself' was a perfect theme for Halloween. :)

    And, I am so in love with this cover. Y'all will probably get tired of me talking about it! LOL

  3. The cover is a classic Z, made from the orange leaves at the top, followed down by their bodies and ending at the orange pumpkin.

    1. I never looked at it like that. I love that you noticed that.

  4. I love your character description of Dan. He sounds a thoroughly nice guy. Lovely cover too.

    1. I like to think he's a nice guy...just trying to figure things out. :)

  5. I like the fact that Dan doesn't really know who he is - and I love your opening!

    1. He's definitely confused, but Kelly will help him out! :)

      Thanks. I figured it gives us a pretty good indication of Kelly's feelings toward him at the beginning of the story. Ha!

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