Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TBR welcomes Charlene Raddon

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Charlene Raddon. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Charlene: I’m a grandmother with more hobbies than I have time for. I started writing over thirty years ago because of a vivid dream and have been at it ever since. Kensington Books published five of my western historical romance novels in the 1990s before the bottom dropped out of the historical market. After that I took a bit of a break, tried a contemporary, unsold, finished an old book I’m polishing, and am reworking that first book inspired by the dream. I also do genealogy, needlepoint, digital scrapbooking, Ukrainian dyed eggs and love to travel. I live in Utah with my husband and a very neurotic, paranoid cat.

TBR: Tell us about TENDER TOUCH and where it's available.
Charlene: TENDER TOUCH was originally published in paperback in 1994 and was a Golden Heart Finalist in 1991 under the title Brianna. Now that I have my rights back, it’s being e-published by Tirgearr Publishing. It can be found at Amazon, Smashwords,, and most other e-book stores. At the moment Tirgearr is having a big extravaganza blog tour and all books are half-price, so it’s a good time to buy TENDER TOUCH or my other e-book, FOREVER MINE.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Charlene: After three years of an abusive marriage Brianna Wight fakes her own murder. Harboring terrible secrets that could mean her death in reality, she escapes to St. Louis. There she hires Columbus Nigh, an ex-fur trapper turned guide, to take her to Independence where she hopes to join a covered wagon train to Oregon.

Losing his Indian wife left Columbus Nigh a wanderer, necessity made him a wilderness guide. Now he finds himself drawn to the enigmatic woman who’s hired him to lead her westward. Her gentle strength stirs his lonely heart…her tender beauty arouses his deepest passions. But the perils of the Oregon Trail pale beside the murderous wrath of the man tracking them. Brianna knows the only way to save herself and Columbus is to risk their tender love. Only then can she free herself from the horrors of the past—and embrace a rapturous future.


Three nightmarish years of marriage had shattered Brianna Wight’s sheltered world. Faking her own murder, she fled St. Louis…harboring terrible secrets that could mean her death.

The tragic loss of his Indian wife left Columbus Nigh a wanderer; necessity made him a wilderness guide. But now he found himself drawn to the enigmatic woman who’d hired him to lead her westward. Her gentle strength stirred his lonely heart…her tender beauty aroused his deepest passions.

But the perils of the Oregon Trail paled beside the murderous wrath of the man who tracked them across the harsh frontier. Brianna knew the only way to save herself and Columbus was to risk their tender love. Only then could she free herself from the horrors of the past—and embrace a rapturous future.


St. Louis, Missouri, April 1849

Brianna Wight’s heart pounded as she reluctantly fol­lowed her housekeeper’s son inside the dingy, cavernous livery stable. She felt as though she were entering the very bowels of hell.

Heat from the blacksmith’s shop blasted her delicate skin through her clothes and fluttered the veil covering her face as she waited for her eyes to adjust to the dark­ness. The flames leaping from the forge and the murky silhouettes of men, dancing about the fire like so many devils, were all she could make out.

Harsh, angry voices flew at her out of the blackness, like hurtled knives. Instant terror stiffened her body and she threw up an arm to shield her face.

“Wait your turn, stinkin’ squawman. Whaddya need yer horse shod for anyways? It’s only one o’ them Injun ponies. Get back to yer slut squaw an’ have her pick the lice from yer hair, why doncha?”

The voice that answered was soft, deep and—Brianna thought—deceptively calm, but the words were unclear.

“Why, you bastard!” the first voice yelled.

The sound of flesh and bone striking flesh and bone froze Brianna. Her heart stuttered. That sound was entirely too familiar, as was the pain that always followed. She tensed, waiting to feel the expected blow.

Instead, a man sailed toward her out of the smithy. Brianna screamed in the instant before he slammed into her. Together, they tumbled to the straw-littered floor in a tangle of arms, legs and skirts.

“You blasted squawman!” someone bellowed. “Look what ya done now. Get up, damn you! That’s a lady you’re laying on.”

Brianna fought for air and shoved frantically at the heavy man weighing down her already bruised and bat­tered body. Pain from a hundred places threatened to rend her unconscious. Inside her head, a voice shouted,“It’s not Barret!  Not Barret! But the fear had her in its grip. She could not stop batting for her life, as she had been forced to do, so many times before.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Charlene: Even as a child I was fascinated by the Old West and stories of the Oregon Trail. I always wanted to experience the journey myself. Writing about it was the next best thing to actually taking the trip.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Charlene: I’m a bit of both. I think my instincts lie in the pantser direction and that’s how I wrote my first few books. Then I began laying out my plots in advance to avoid a ton of rewriting and false starts.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Charlene: I do usually fill out personality forms, but once I get into the book and know my characters, I forget the charts and let them guide me.

TBR: Any tips or tricks for world building you’d care to share?
Charlene: I think it’s important for authors to listen to their instincts and take the advice of others’ with a grain of salt. Trying to please everyone and follow all the rules that are thrown at writers can be confusing and inhibiting, and can also prevent the discovery on one’s “voice.”

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Charlene:   To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given the chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.
~ Bette Davis

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Charlene:  Brianna’s husband, Barret Wight, because he’s a vindictive bully, much like my first husband, and I’ve had enough of his type.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Charlene: How fun the research could be. I can become totally absorbed in it and have to remind myself to limit what I try to include in the story.

TBR: What's next for you?
Charlene: I have two completed books, one a contemporary fantasy, the other a western historical, that I hope to slap a final polishing job on and see published soon. And I’m reworking the first book I ever wrote, a time travel that has haunted me ever since I began it in 1980.

TBR: Any other published works?
Charlene:  Yes, I have five western historical romances published in paperback which I’m in the process of getting turned into e-books, Forever Mine and Tender Touch, which are already available, and To Have And To Hold, which will be out January 31, 2013. After that I’ll get my other two books, Taming Jenna, and The Scent of Roses, e-published. Along the way I hope to fit a new book in there somewhere.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Charlene: The most challenging for me is not second guessing myself and rewriting over and over. The most rewarding is seeing what’s in your head in actual print, and on a bookstore’s shelves, or an e-book listing.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Charlene: I adore Penelope Williamson, Lynn Kurland, Maggie Osborne, Catherine Anderson, Susan Wiggs, Kristin Hannah, Linda Lael Miller, the list is endless. Right now I’m reading Stealing the Sheriff’s Heart by L. B. Shire and enjoying it very much.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Charlene:, Charlene Raddon's Chatterblog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Charlene: Yes, I’d love to know what they’d like most to see in a historical romance novel but rarely find.

TBR: Readers, Charlene has a treat for you – she’ll give away an ebook and the computer game The Oregon Trail to one lucky commenter. She'll pick a winner on November 22 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Charlene. All the best to you.

Charlene began her writing life at an early age, often penning stories with herself cast as the heroine. Usually, once she’d vented her spleen, she threw out these stories. Her first serious writing attempt didn’t come until 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work

While that book never sold, her second one did. Tender Touch became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. A short time later she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene's western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To Hold Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of Roses.

After the collapse of the historical romance market, Charlene took a break from writing, but not for long. Since then she has completed two novels, A Kiss and A Dare, her first contemporary paranormal romance, and Divine Gamble, which earned first place at the 2010 Romance Through The Ages contest in their western historical romance category. At present, while polishing her completed works, Charlene is reworking that first book she wrote that was inspired by a dream.

When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, do needlepoint, research genealogy, create digital scrapbooks, and dye Ukrainian eggs. She also enjoys camping and fishing with her husband, spoiling her grandchildren and playing with her very neurotic cat.


  1. Welcome to TBR, Charlene! Love your Bette Davis quote. :)

  2. Thank you. I'm thrilled to be on TBR. Thanks for having me.

  3. Great excerpt shared, Charlene. Rather enjoyed it. Wishing you the best with your publications.

  4. Thank you, Angela. Best luck to you as well.

  5. I've read all of Charlene's books and can't wait to see them all back available again. Especially her new, unpublished stories. A Kiss and A Dare is very charming!

  6. Thanks, Kem. Guess I'd better get to work polishing Kiss and a Dare, hadn't I?

  7. Charlene, I love this excerpt. You do such a fabulous job of putting readers right in the middle of the scene. I've got the book on my TBR list and can't wait to get to it.

    Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :-)

  8. Thank you, Kathleen. You should have left your contact information. Maybe you would have won a copy.

  9. Charlene,
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Your excerpt for Tender Touch is great. Your writing is wonderful, and I can't wait to see more of your work out there!
    lsbookcrazy at bookcrazy at yahoo dot com :)

    1. Thanks, L.B. You have a good holiday too. And I'll have another book out the end of January, one of my favorites.

  10. Hi Charlene. sorry I'm a day late. In London all day yesterday. Looking forward to reading one of your books.
    Best of luck

    1. Cathy, glad you could stop by, late or not. I hope to read one of your books soon too.

  11. Great job on the interview and, of course, I loved reading your excerpt as well. Good job all around!

    1. Thanks, Brenda. Appreciate you stopping by, very much.

  12. I'd like to announce that Cathy Mansell is the winner of my drawing. Congratulations, Cathy. Contact me at so I can get your address.


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