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.





Prologue Continues

THE COWBOY’S BABY Prologue continued…butterfly

Before long Cassie Lennon was twenty-two and had gained a little weight on her formerly spare five-foot-ten-inch frame. The curly hair was shorn too close to her head, and the designer clothes had been replaced by blue jeans and tee shirts. The house could no longer be called fine, for she was neglectful of it, but the family portraits remained on the walls. Even the ones with David in them remained on the walls. But Cassie no longer had a family. Cassie’s parents were long dead, her husband was fading into a bad memory, and her son had completely vanished. She received private investigator reports monthly: David was still out there somewhere, but Joseph wasn’t with him.

The Lennon estate had mostly fended for itself, what was left of it. She had sold off a large portion of it to the Hubbard people with her lawyer’s approval.

“It’s going to be a retirement community, I think,or a gated residential community or something like that,” he told her when the offer was first made.

His description had been so uncharacteristically vague that she had sat up and paid attention. The lawyer immediately noted her change in attitude and felt the first stirring of hope for the poor lady.

Atypical Texas scenery“I know, I know,” he replied, rushing his words in his attempt to keep her engaged. “It’s probably just a housing project built around some man-made lakes. And they’ll have a fence around it,” he added quickly, seeing her face change. “And the residents will need a pass to get in and out.” He felt he was losing her with every word.

TO BE CONTINUED….. My Twitter avatar

Copyright by Gretchen Rix

Photos by Roxanne Rix



Continuation The Cowboy’s Baby Prologue

Continued from yesterday’s post, The Cowboy’s Baby Prologue.

Wildflowers in fieldIn the morning the community of Creighton was combing the fields of the Lennon estate, whole lines of neighbors and police stretched across Cassie’s land while a doctor’s drugs restrained Cassie to her bedroom. She put David clearly out of her mind. It was Joseph everyone wanted to find, a blue-eyed, smiling, pudgy child not even a year old, lost. They found nothing. But as the days of fruitless searching bled into weeks of frustration, Cassie remembered that it wasn’t smart to forget about David. She began making lists.

Over the months the police used the lists. David hadn’t quit his totally unnecessary job, he just never went back. The paycheck was eventually voided; Cassie didn’t need the money and didn’t want to see the name David J. Lennon written as if it were an important name to her.

“But darlin’,”advised her lawyer. “He had better be important to you or you might never get little Joseph back. You need to make thinking about David Lennon your top priority.”

He hesitated, not wanting to say it.

“Of course,you need to get well, too. I don’t think you’ve seen anything but law officers and doctors and your own house since David left.”

He deliberately omitted a reference to her prolonged hospital stay.

“Come on over tomorrow and have supper with us,” he said. She didn’t. Central Texas ranch

TO BE CONTINUED. Copyright by Gretchen Rix


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The One In My Heart by Sherry Thomas.

Photos by Roxanne Rix

Book of the month continued, again

The original photoPrologue to The Cowboy’s Baby continued, again.

Cassie felt helpless trembling naked in her own home, balked by the memory of her husband’s smile. She wanted to search for her baby so badly that her legs were walking her forward as her mind was forcing her back.

“Search first, then call the police if you can’t find him, if you can’t find Joseph,” she muttered, pacing the hall.

Already David had been edited out of the picture in her mind. There was no David for her anymore.

“No,” she said. “Get the police first.”

In the end she ran back to the kitchen, grabbed the phone and dialed for help. She searched the house on her own before they got there, barely taking the time to dress. David and Joseph were gone.

Cassie looked in places Joseph could not have fit and wouldn’t have had the wits at age ten months to try. Along the windowsill, under the bed, the hope chest, in the wastebaskets, in the bathtub. It was with an awful trepidation that Cassie forced herself to raise the lid on the commode and check. Then she took the tank lid off. She put it back,careful of its weight and its ability to break into a thousand tiny, sharp, dangerous pieces just as her soul had just done.

She searched outside the house. David’s car was gone. She raced back inside for her own car keys, fearful of the space in her car’s trunk, then of the area under the hood. She looked in the trashcan knocked on its side in the driveway. She looked everywhere. The police looked everywhere.

TO BE CONTINUED. Copyright by Gretchen Rix. Spring in Central Texas

Photos by Roxanne Rix




Book of the month continued

Continuing with the original prologue to The Cowboy’s Baby by Gretchen Lee Rix.

The Cowboy's BabyCassie Lennon was twenty-one years old and this was her house, her home, but as she drew the obstructing door open to this completely familiar hall in the long-loved refuge, she fixated on her hand in front of her. David had come out of nowhere to win this hand, she thought, becoming her husband in a trice. Between them they had made Joseph, their only child. Cassie was terrified.

“David!” she screamed.

Portraits of her family watched disinterestedly from the walls in the family room as the blue-painted door knocked her soundly in the rear, rebounding from her sudden force. She got no answer from David as she stood frozen in the hallway seeing nothing.

Part of Cassie wanted to break down and cry, to stop here, to not go any further into her home. As she felt the beginnings of this defeat spread like fog into her head she shook herself and leapt completely out of the nightmare that had caused her to scream. Frantic with worry, Cassie raced into her husband’s part of the house.

She knew they weren’t there even before searching. David would have been smiling that lopsided sneery way he had of making her feel stupid and coming towards her by now. She would have heard his contempt in the very vibrations of the air if he had been there.

TO BE CONTINUED. Copyrighted by Gretchen Rix. The Cowboy's Baby

Photos by Roxanne Rix

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: A Dangerous Road by Kris Nelscott.

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Book of the Month part 3

Book of the Month, part 3. The missing pieces out of The Cowboy’s BabyThe Cowboy's Baby


Here is the prologue that I deleted from the final version. I’ll put it up here day by day until it’s finished. Copyright Gretchen Rix.

The Cowboy’s Baby

“David?” Cassie called, tugging the sheet to cover her bare breasts, heart racing as if it wanted to jump out of her throat, a woman’s scream ricocheting in nasty echoes around her skull.

Abruptly unmindful of her nakedness, she clambered from the couch she had slept on this night, angrily wadding the sheets into a ball over the soiled cushion she had never been able to get him to clean or replace.

“It’s a souvenir, like,” her husband had explained in a very calm, even voice when she had complained that one time too many. “Next time  you’ll think first.”

No one answered, not husband nor child. The house radiated emptiness. Her tongue tried to do her thinking for her, darting out to touch the edge of her mouth while her eyes looked at the ceiling. Certain fear brought on the goose bumps.

“David!” she yelled, stumbling naked from the living room to the closed door of the hallway.

The door separated the two living spaces of the house, soundproofing it as well. She cursed the man who’d planned that door, her hand trembling as it wavered like a frightened thing reaching for the knob butting from the door separating her from her family. Cassie had to use her other more obedient hand to force it to do its work.


Photos by Roxanne Rix

Find The Cowboy’s Baby at  and at and



WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Masterminds by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  Fosgate’s Game by David C. Cassidy.