After Armadillocon

Gnome and friendBest part of being in the dealer’s room for two and a half days at ArmadilloCon 37 this past weekend:

Number One: Getting to talk with Howard Waldrop! We’ve met him before, have heard him read before, but have never had the opportunity to chat. Priceless.

Number Two: Selling a copy of my short story collection TWISTED RIXTER to Joe Landsdale! Joe Lansdale, people! And we didn’t even twist his arm.

Number Three: Getting to meet Facebook friends Juan Perez and his lovely wife Malia, trading a copy of my TWISTED RIXTER for their SEX, LIES, and CHUPACABRAS.

Number Four:The birds-eye view we got of the autographing sessions that were smack dab in front of our two tables of books.

Number Five: Selling 32 books.

Number Six:  Meals delivered to the dealer’s room, a very good hotel experience, an totally easy and safe drive there and back again. Hotel was the Omni off I35 South.

Number Seven through Ten: Meeting and talking with all the other dealers in the room, some of whom we knew from other ArmadilloCons and others new to the con. Bought two novels from new writers selling in the dealer’s room, bought a lot of tea (a lot of tea), bought artwork. Spent more than we made, actually. Had fun being there.

Thank you ArmadilloCon staff and participants. Good job.

Here’s the book we sold the most of:Twisted Rixter


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  All Clear by Connie Willis.

Photo by Roxanne Rix (doesn’t have anything to do with ArmadilloCon or the hotel)


Armadillocon 37 July 24-26

Short stories

Weird western







The Safari Bride




Come visit us at Armadillocon 37 at the Omni in Austin, Texas this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’ll be in the dealer’s room with my books (more than these three titles) and books by Patrick Kampman. All good reading. Giving away free rubber ducks. You know you’ll want one.


WHAT I READ THESE PAST WEEKS:  Day Shift by Charlaine Harris.  The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks.  To The Hilt by Dick Francis.  Blackout by Connie Willis.

Crossover Book for The Cowboy’s Baby

The Cowboy’s Baby has a crossover book called Baby Sings the BoosBaby Sings The Boos

What’s a crossover, and what is The Cowboy’s Baby crossing with?

A crossover book marries two different novels that seem to have nothing in common, but they do. The Cowboy’s Baby is tied into Talking To The Dead Guys and its sequel Tea With A Dead Gal by virtue of setting, time, and the coincidence of quirky animal characters.

You see, the made-up town of Creighton where The Cowboy’s Baby takes place is less than thirty miles from the real town of Lockhart,Texas, where Boo Radley, the dog character in the Boo Done It mysteries, lives and wreaks havoc.

So I had them meet.

The real Boo RadleyYes, Boo Radley meets Baby.

At the State Fair of Texas. Maxwell, Texas

At the local comic-con in San Marcos.

Baby Sings the Boos contains humorous short stories combining the two characters in adventures.






Photos by Roxanne Rix.

The sequel to The Cowboy’s Baby

Bet you didn’t know there was a sequel to THE COWBOY’S BABY. Here’s the cover.

The Cowboy's Baby Goes To Heaven


THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. It’s a better book, I think. Takes the characters of Ralph Maybeath (the preacher man) and Leona Robin (the recently retired diplomat) and throws them in with Baby and Little Leon. But you’ve also got Cassie and Frank and a couple of new characters, and hay falling from the skies.

Next year there will be a third book, THE COWBOY’S BABY GETS MARRIED.


The Cowboy’s Baby with a professional cover

The Cowboy's BabyAbout a year after publication, I decided to stop using the DIY method and hire the hard stuff out to the professionals. By that I mean the cover and the formatting. This is what The Cowboy’s Baby looked like afterwards.


Cover by Streetlight Graphics


This was done by Streetlight Graphics (aka ). I’ve used them for everything since then.

Another Streetlight Graphics cover

How’d I find these marvelous people? Well, it was through the rising fantasy and science fiction writing star Lindsay Buroker (

I honestly don’t remember how I first found Lindsay, but it was most likely that she’d put one of her books up for free on Kindle and I took advantage of it.

When I started following her on Twitter, I decided I liked her covers and took a chance that she would answer a fellow writer’s business-related question. Thus my introduction to the Streetlight Graphics people.

So, thank you Lindsay Buroker, thank you Streetlight Graphics, and thank you Kindle, and Twitter, and Facebook.

What a great new world of publishing!

The Oil MuseumPhotos by Roxanne Rix

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris.


The Cowboy’s Baby and its first book covers

If you read from the June 20, 2015 post up to the June 29, 2015 post you will get the whole of the unused original prologue for The Cowboy’s Baby. It gives you a perspective of Cassandra Lennon’s life and how she came to be known as the Sleeping Beauty.

Below are the original The Cowboy’s Baby covers.

To the left, the first paperback cover (the black outline has been added to provide definition against this all-white background). Our original paperbacks came from and a designer we picked from their list. We were and still are very proud of this cover, and at this moment we still have two copies of this exact book in stock.

Obviously the paperback is a reworking of our original e-book cover (shown on the right). We did this one ourselves. My sister took the photograph in the area surrounding Maxwell, Texas. Our friend Mike McGregor helped us with the design. And I finally said, yes, this is what I want! It accurately represented the Sleeping Beauty Ranch that exists in The Cowboy’s Baby‘s world.

We used this design for a full year before opting to hire a professional cover artist. It was a very good decision, but sometimes I miss this simple cover.


cover photo by Roxanne RixThe original cover










You can find The Cowboy’s Baby at and at and sometimes at Buffalo Clover on the square in Lockhart, Texas.

Photos by Roxanne Rix butterfly

End of The Cowboy’s Baby prologue

Atypical Texas sceneryI’ve finally come to the end of the unused prologue to THE COWBOY’S BABY. Here it is.

The time passed. The camels weren’t real friendly and tended to attract motorists to her fence along the country highway, but she kept them anyway. The longhorns were now a herd and she had just begun to experiment with the miniatures of the breed, finding to her surprise something she loved and was really good at. The dog, the cat, the horses all multiplied and over the next decade Cassie’s family land became a ranch, and rich, widowed, childless, distracted Cassie became a cowboy, most of her time now spent riding up and down the fences and with her animals.

Cowboy Cassie tended the stock,moving it from one part of her land to better pastures on the other side of the highway, continually surprised at how much time that took up. Keeping trespassers from Creighton Lakeview Resort from getting in her way was her other main job.Angel

Some people still remembered her as the Sleeping Beauty, but to most of her neighbors Cassie Lennon was now “the cowboy.” The name switch changed nothing except the image. The moat was set, the walls were protected, and the knight patrolled the castle battlements. Cassie and her baby’s animals were all as safe inside as her lost Joseph was safe inside her mind. Cassie was now thirty-five years old. If he had lived, Joseph would have been about fifteen.

It was past time for the prince to come and save her. Off the Texas coast.

COPYRIGHT by Gretchen Rix

Photos by Roxanne Rix

Continued, Prologue to The Cowboy’s Baby


Cassie was twenty-four when she decided her baby needed a horse to make him happy. Abruptly Cassie was competing with the Creighton Resort people for carpenters and tradesmen to build a barn, pens, and fenced areas for her horse, then for the vet’s attention when that one horse turned into a small herd she allowed to roam over her property. The recluse was once again the subject of speculation in her community, but to their disappointment, Cassie stayed within her thorny rosebush enclosure.

Cassie learned to ride and found she enjoyed it. Soon she used her baby’s horses to ride the fence lines, checking on her roses, making sure the pesky, enthusiastic new golfers on the other side of her roses stayed on their side, and using the time to think about Joseph, for a while picturing him growing up with some anonymous family, bizarrely wondering if he would like golf when he got older. The Creighton Resort golfers irritated the hell out of her from the first, though, what with their balls coming over her fence and their blatant use of her shade trees as a congregating place. She decided Joseph definitely would not be interested in golf.Wildflowers

Over time her menagerie grew. Cassie got her baby a kitten, then another dog, then a calf, and then graduated to some cows and a bull. After seeing some longhorn cattle on someone else’s ranch Cassie got some of those. And after watching “Lawrence of Arabia” one afternoon Cassie decided her baby would enjoy a camel, but she couldn’t find one. She kept looking, coming real close to signing the paperwork on some used-up circus camels, decided to think about it later and kept changing her mind.


Copyright by Gretchen Rix

Photos by Roxanne Rix Luling Texas Chicken


THE COWBOY’S BABY continued.

Prologue to the book that was never used. ranch

The rose growers and gardeners she kept in business for several seasons blessed her sweet hide.

Red roses, white roses, peach and yellow roses, antique roses, miniature roses, rose trees, roses running up the original fence in trellises, roses from catalogs, roses from neighbors wishing to honor Joseph’s memory, all became a thorn obstruction keeping Lennon property separated from Creighton.

Visits to the lawyer dwindled away to none as the resort property developed on schedule. Tidy roads were laid into the black dirt. Two small lakes were dug out of the former plantation fields and forests, pine trees drowned under a deluge of piped-in water and man-stocked fish, and a nine-hole golf course was planted over the native grasses, though many of the trees were retained.

BluebonnetThrough all of this activity, Cassie thought only of the missing Joseph, but she spent most of her physical time on reinforcing the rose bush hedges around her fenced land and building herself a fantasy life that made her happy. She ate, she slept, and she worked on the fence. The roses were for Joseph. Everything she did was for when Joseph came home. One day she thought of getting him a pet.

When David died she was caught off guard.

The police came to tell her, quiet and polite. A traffic accident in Dallas, Texas, had killed her husband a day previously. He had stayed her husband because of Joseph; she had felt no divorce possible as long as her son was in his father’s power. But although David had been tracked, there had never been any sign of Joseph. The police mistook her tears for grief.

TO BE CONTINUED. Copyright by Gretchen Rix. romantic comedy

Photos by Roxanne Rix

THE COWBOY’S BABY Prologue continues

By Gretchen RixAnd so it continues. The unused prologue to The Cowboy’s Baby by Gretchen Lee Rix.

“You don’t need the money, of course, but it’s a good offer and this county needs a resort like this to bring in some business, new people, new money.” He stopped to take breath. The interested expression had come back into Cassie’s face. “Resort,” he repeated. “That’s the word I was looking for.”

Cassie grimaced. She knew she should care about the community of Creighton. Hundreds of them had come out to search for Joseph, some still searched for her son, sending her notes to tell her so. But two years of anguish had changed her.

“There’ll be a fence?” she asked. “They won’t be getting on my property?”

“There will be a big fence.”

She had another thought that stopped her hand in mid-signature. “What if I don’t like what the Hubbard people do? What if they tear down all the trees or something?” Texas summer

Cassie had spoken her reservations, but immediately she waved her lawyer quiet. “I don’t know why I opened my mouth,” she said. “I don’t give a damn, anyhow. They can put in a Texas Disney World next door just as long as they leave me alone. And I hope you know I’m doing this for you,” she told him. She had the momentary satisfaction of seeing him blush.

She flourished the pen, signed and acquired a new neighbor that day in the Creighton Lakeview Resort to be. The fence that abutted the land she kept for herself went up the next month. That was when the community of Creighton started calling Cassie Lennon the Sleeping Beauty, behind her back, or course, alternately bemused and appalled at the quantity of thorny rose bushes she had trucked in and planted to keep pace with the fence construction.

TO BE CONTINUED… Copyright by Gretchen Rix

Gnome and friendPhotos by Roxanne Rix

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.