Meet Grant and Lacy

Lacy on horseIs anyone else excited Lacy releases tomorrow? (Wave those hands in the air!)

I’m all kinds of giddy about it. I can’t wait for you all to be able to read Lacy and Grant’s story.

Today, I want you to meet them (or at least the visuals I used to develop their characters).

Lacy grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, located just outside of Pendleton.

Her mother (a sister to Lacy’s favorite Uncle Charlie) insisted her four children attend the school on the reservation and embrace assimilation. Due to her progressive thinking, Lacy is educated, well-mannered, graceful and smart.

When I was searching for a “face” for Lacy, I looked at Native American actresses and found Tonantzin Carmelo.

Tonantzin Carmelo 1She’s beautiful and looks how I imagine Lacy.

Tonantzin Carmelo 5It was easy to picture her as a young woman struggling to blend two worlds.

I also turned to two photos I found from the Lee Moorhouse collection.

This is Ku-massag, also known as Agnes Davis. She appears in several of Moorhouse’s photographs. Here, she wears traditional dress, including a woven hat Moorhouse often used as a studio prop.
And here she is in a studio pose. I just think she is so stunning. Look at that beautiful skin and those long braids! Notice the shell disc earrings she wears in both photos.
So Lacy is a combination of inspiration from both of these women.
Grant Hill, an esteemed banker in the town of Pendleton, needed to have a polished look, but with a rugged edge. I wanted him to have an air of kindness with a spark of fun. And a little charm couldn’t hurt either.
I finally settled on…
Jensen Ackles 3Jensen Ackles.
He’s handsome, clean-cut, and exactly how I picture Grant Hill. Especially with those eyes.
Jensen Ackles 2I love the crinkles around his eyes and that little rugged vibe…
Jensen Ackles 1Eyes… did I mention his eyes?
Jensen Ackles 4And the smirk. Grant can tease with the best of them and smiles often.
I can hardly wait to hear how you all like the book.
For now, here’s another little teaser. The two of them rode out of town for a picnic after work:
***

“This was so nice. Thank you for thinking of it.” Lacy handed him back the jar and looked around. “It’s good to get out of town and enjoy this mild weather.”

“I’ve heard we’re supposed to get a rain storm, but the clear sky overhead says otherwise.”

“You never know.” Lacy rose to her feet and stared at the sky, streaked with brilliant color. She and Grant needed to head back to town soon or they’d wind up riding home in the dark. Not that she minded, but she wasn’t familiar with the trail and that made her a little nervous.

Warmth from Grant’s presence settled around her. He rested a hand on her shoulder as he stood behind her. Long and slow, she breathed in his scent, letting it envelope her senses while her insides turned molten.

The next time she saw Ruth or Rose, she’d have to ask if this was how it felt to be in love. To possess a sensation of being light and airy while simultaneously feeling heavy-limbed and weak.

In all her years, Lacy had never experienced anything like it. Regardless of the foreignness of her feelings, she wanted to feel more, to experience more, to know more about the wonder of loving Grant.

Filled with longings, most of which she couldn’t name, she leaned back against him, into his strength. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her against his chest, resting his chin on her head. They stared at the vibrant pink, orange, and gold tones coloring the evening sky.

Time stood still as they remained close and quiet until Grant expelled a heavy sigh. “Blast it all to…”

He spun Lacy around and held her so close against him, their hearts pounded in harmony.

***

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