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Monday, January 6, 2014

A Muse With a Mind of Her Own by Barbara White Daille

Please help me welcome Barbara White Daille to Muse Monday. Her muse keeps her guessing sometimes! 

Thanks so much to Brenda for inviting me here to chat with you on Muse Monday.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  I don't know about other authors, but my muse can be one fickle female. 

Sometimes she shows up for work with her shirtsleeves rolled to her elbows, ready to tackle the day ahead.  When she's in that mood, her cooperation comes as a gift, a solid chunk of an idea I can build on to create a story I love.

This happened with Court Me, Cowboy.  One of my earliest books, it's also the one that led to "The Call" and my first publishing contract. 

My muse gave me a nugget in the form of an image that wouldn't go away:  a man sitting on the edge of his bed and tossing his no-longer-needed wedding ring into the air and catching it.

With that flash alone, I learned Gabe had been married after a whirlwind relationship, then
abandoned by his bride soon after their Las Vegas wedding.  I also knew my loner hero wasn’t going to be at all happy when his wife returned to his ranch to share the very startling news she was carrying his child.

Of course, at that stage, I had no idea why Marissa summoned the courage to come back—or heck, why she'd run off in the first place.  Or how Gabe found the strength to believe Marissa was telling the truth.  But in that first tiny glimpse of an idea, my muse gave me a foundation that never changed throughout the writing of the book.

On the other hand...

With my newest story, Rancher at Risk, my muse took a long time to let me in on any details.  A four-books-long time, as a matter of fact, as this is the fourth book set in the small town of Flagman's Folly, New Mexico.

My hero, Ryan, is brand-new to me.  He's a man who lost his family in a tragic accident and is now on the verge of losing everything else, including his job and his self-respect.

The heroine, Lianne, is someone I've known since way back in book one, where she plays a small role.  Because she's deaf and not in town during that story, her "page time" came mostly from text messages and e-mails to her sister, the heroine of the first book.

Unfortunately, around the time I met Lianne, my muse was in one of her fickle stages.  Though she knew darned well Lianne had a story to tell, my muse would only offer the tiniest bits of information.

While I was still floundering, trying to find out more about Lianne, she appeared on-page in another of the Flagman's Folly books.  After a while, I was able to coax her into telling me what I wanted to know—with almost no thanks at all to that unpredictable muse of mine!

When the muse hands me her gift—that story nugget—I'm so excited to be able to jump right into the book.  Yet, when she makes me work my tail off to figure out the story before I can start writing, I always find it's well worth the effort, too.


Readers - what do you think—maybe my muse knows best, after all?

And if you're a writer—got any tips for getting along with a muse?

Rancher at Risk

A Fresh Start

After the loss of his family in a tragic accident, Ryan Malloy has been given one last chance to change his life. His boss sends him to Flagman's Folly, New Mexico, to run his ranch, but unfortunately, Ryan's troubled attitude lands him in hot water with the locals, especially the ranch's manager, Lianne Ward.

Deaf since birth, Lianne has never let her disability define who she is. But, she's yet to meet a man who treats her as an equal. Ryan seems different…that is, when they're not butting heads over the ranch's new school for disadvantaged boys

Forced to work together, Lianne and Ryan discover an unexpected attraction beneath their quarreling. But will Ryan's painful past drive them apart…permanently?

Rancher at Risk:


Barbara White Daille

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.

Barbara's newest title, Rancher at Risk, debuted this week in both paper and e-book formats.  An earlier book, Court Me, Cowboy, has just been re-issued as a Cowboy at Heart Special Release, available as a standalone e-book (at your favorite retailer) and in Larger Print (exclusively at 

Barbara would love to have you drop by her website:


  1. Good morning! A big thank you to Brenda for inviting me to the blog. I'm on deadline so will be in and out, but I'll definitely stop by during the next few days to chat with y'all.

    Please feel free to leave comments about the blog, thoughts or questions for me, etc.

    See you later!

  2. Hi Barbara. Oh those annoying muses. Worse than men if you ask me. You may not be able to live with or without one, but a man is still of 'some' use! :) I love the sound of the Flagman's Folly series. I'll have to check it out. As for what to do with a muse, when you get that answer I'd love to hear it! LOL

  3. Hi, Calisa Rhose! LOL on the analogy. I suppose we just have to look forward to the times when the muses (and men) cooperate. If I get any answers, I'll share..

    Thanks so much for your kind words about the Flagman's Folly books. I hope you'll take a peek at them and like what you see.

    Thanks also for stopping by. It's nice to have company. ;)

  4. Hey, readers, been tied up with doctors today. Glad to have you here, Barbara.

  5. Hi, Brenda! Hope your day wasn't too stressful. Thanks again for inviting me over to hang out.

    Readers - hope you're enjoying the post. I'll be around if you respond to the questions above, have comments, or want to chat.