Celebrate 100 Books with Stella Bagwell
Since the 1980s, readers have loved Stella Bagwell‘s Western reads and she continues to uplift romance readers with her stories of family and love. Join us as we celebrate her 100th book, Fortune’s Texas Surprise and let us know in the comments how long you’ve been reading romance books!
by Stella Bagwell, author of Fortune’s Texas Surprise
I honestly didn’t know I had reached that milestone until I saw the golden medallion on the cover of the book! To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Over the years I’ve often been asked how many books I’ve written and I’ve always truthfully answered that I don’t know–I don’t keep up with how many, I just keep writing. And then the next question I get is how do you think up all those stories and don’t you run out of words? It’s impossible for me to explain that there are more and more stories always rolling around in my head and the words never stop.
My mother used to say I could look at a rock and see a romance in it. She knew her daughter well. Anything and everything sparks my imagination. I see a dilapidated house out in a field and I begin to wonder. Who lived there and why did they move away and leave a home to ruin? Did they ever know happiness or were they mostly beset with heartaches? And wouldn’t it be nice if I could pull that broken family back together and give them a fresh start?
As a child, my older brother would make up stories to entertain me and I always listened, spellbound, to his outlandish tales. But I never really thought of myself as a storyteller until I was in my twenties and already a wife and mother to a young son. By then I had gone through stacks of Harlequin Romances and I’d fallen in love with the relatable characters and happy endings. Could I write one of those? Thankfully, I was crazy enough to believe I could. Now here I am, a hundred books later, and just itching to move on to the next story, and the next.
There probably couldn’t have been a more fitting book to be my 100th than Fortune’s Texas Surprise. It’s a continuity, which means the story and characters are connected to those of past and future books. Writing continuity is something I really love to do, especially when it lets the characters who’ve become near and dear to my heart live on.
Writing Fortune’s Texas Surprise was an extra treat for me because the heroine, Stephanie Fortune, works as a veterinary assistant at an animal clinic/shelter. She has a special gift of dealing with all the furry patients and her huge heart doesn’t just include finding homes for needy animals; she’s also a foster mother to a newborn baby. And how that baby came to be is really the focal point of this particular group of stories involving the Fortune families of Rambling Rose, Texas. When she gets the chance to become foster mother to Linus, she doesn’t hesitate to step in and take the infant home.
Stephanie believes her life is full with baby Linus and all her furry friends. That is, until local rancher, Acton Donovan, walks into the clinic with his dog, Seymour. The man is a flirt and the dog is adorable. Then just when everything begins to feel perfect, the threat of losing Linus comes out of nowhere and puts the couple’s love to a real test.
Thankfully, after all these years and a hundred books behind me, writing happy endings has become a habit. One that I have no intentions of ever breaking.
About Fortune’s Texas Surprise:
USA TODAY bestselling author Stella Bagwell delivers a heartfelt and emotional journey in the next installment of The Fortunes of Texas.
The baby was unexpected. So was the cowboy.
This Fortune daughter is rich in the things that matter…
Veterinary assistant Stephanie Fortune has never been lucky in love—unless you count the furry kind. But now that she’s become a foster mom to a baby boy, she believes her heart is full. And then she meets Acton Donovan. The flirty cowboy charms everyone he meets, so why should Stephanie be any different? “Just friends” is all Stephanie dares to be. Acton, however, is intent on proving he can be the family man she truly needs…