A Girl and Her Hero

By Delores Goodrick Beggs

Caleb Cameron appeared in the New Mexico town of Mescal Flats shortly after  Jasper Greon did.  The difference between the men was Jasper liked to dress flashy and often acted a bit rascally when he proposed what he called larks – dubious adventures he dreamed up, bordering on excitement with a touch of danger.

Tennyson Wells found it heady being part of Jasper’s select little group, perhaps a tad too much so. When steady, constant Caleb came to town shortly after Jasper did, Tennyson asked him to complete their little group whenever Jasper proposed a new lark. She wanted to help people who needed assistance, but she sensed some of Jasper’s larks, which he thought of as fun, turned into pranks instead of frolics. She came to depend on Caleb to champion her and keep her out of potential trouble.

Tennyson reminds me at times of my own childhood.  I have a wonderful older brother, my personal hero. I loved to tag after him when I was small, never once giving thought to what his friends, all boys, might think of a little girl ensconcing herself in their group, not just a girl, but one with a hearing disability.

Whatever his friends might have said I’ll never know, but my brother knew; what I observed is from time to time he would ask me to stay back a ways, and some pummeling between boys would result once I moved a safe distance away. Sometimes he would walk me home and ask me to stay there, and a little later he’d return home disheveled, with his shirt tails hanging out, hair mussed, a bruised face, red dripping from a split lip.


I knew the wonderful, safe, feeling of having a champion at my side…so I empathize with my heroine Tennyson’s appreciation of Caleb accompanying them, times she agreed to participate in one of Jasper’s larks.

           But how did taciturn Caleb, who never spoke about himself, feel about this situation, protecting a lovely young woman and even removing her from participation when he sensed a planned lark was too shady? How did he feel about Tennyson herself? He never gave any indication of his own feelings until Tennyson’s older sister Mauranie asked him one day:


“I do believe you care for her more than anyone knows.” Mauranie met his gaze with calm eyes. “Am I right?”

“Don’t take offense, Miss Mauranie, but I’ve not said anything to her.”

“You haven’t said anything yet?” Mauranie looked askance. “Caleb. Perhaps not speaking up for yourself is your problem. When she ran off with Jasper, who did she listen to about returning home? You. When Jasper crossed too far on the wild side, who influenced her to pull back and avoid trouble? You. Don’t sell yourself short, Caleb. Tennyson listens to you the way she doesn’t listen to anyone else. You do like her, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” he admitted. “I like her a lot, but she doesn’t seem to look at me special. I know I’m not exciting and all, like Jasper is. Sometimes I sort of feel like I’m a substitute lover, you know?”

“But don’t you see, Caleb? She doesn’t know. You haven’t told her how you feel. Caleb, tell her. Speak up for yourself.”

Available now  from Desert Breeze Publishing:  Place in the Heart Book Two: Substitute Lover By Delores Goodrick Beggs

You can also download today from Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel, and other major e-book publishers

Also Available by Delores Goodrick Beggs: Place in the Heart Book One: Breaking Point and Charming Champion


A Celebration of Life – New release deals with adaptive devices in the 1800s

By Delores Goodrick Beggs

In my upcoming December 21 release, Substitute Lover, a youth loses a leg rescuing the heroine, Tennyson Wells, who is inspired to start a mobility aids shop in the small, old, western town of Mescal Flats.

I have known two men who lost a leg, a friend and a distant relative, both losses from motorcycle accidents.  Both returned to full activity after a period of adjusting to an artificial limb; in fact I wouldn’t have known about the losses if I hadn’t known in the beginning, they compensated so well with their artificial limbs. But not everyone has the inner determination and resourcefulness to work at overcoming a physical loss.

It often takes an inspiring moment and deep desire to do something to push the action button.

While my hero and heroine (Substitute Lover) make it possible for the youth Theron to do anything he did before losing his leg by providing him with a hand-carved pegleg and a special stirrup on his saddle to hold it in place, he sits in his room focused upon the loss of his leg until one day he gets tired of awaiting assistance and decides to go visit his horse anyway, discovering freedom for himself and taking back his life again.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “When life deals you a lemon, make lemonade.” Whenever she said that, which was often, she usually followed it up with, “There’s something better waiting down the road, but you have to keep on keeping on until you reach it.”

 My mother was a smart woman. She was right. It is all about determination, and celebrating life. When you want something enough, you find a way to get it.


“Caleb?” Tennyson followed him out.

“Yeah?” He leaned against a tree trunk and crossed his arms over his chest.

“He’s getting better now isn’t he?”

“Yes. I think he will want to try sitting up today.” Caleb pushed himself away from the tree trunk he’d leaned against, and turned to survey the small stand of trees nearby. He selected a sturdy sapling with a crook at the top, and broke it off near the bottom. He ran a hand over the straight trunk, clearing it of leaves and twigs. He held it out toward Tennyson. “Put it under your arm. Let me see how it fits.”

“A crutch?” She shot him a searching look, and then tried out the makeshift crutch as he’d asked. “I think it will do.”

“I hope so,” he said. He met her gaze and then looked away.

“Caleb, does he know about his leg?”

He sighed. “I don’t think he knows yet. We’ve kept the leg covered. He knows it hurts. He’s apt to guess when I take this in. If he doesn’t, then I’ll be telling him. When we go indoors, I want you to take Annie and go back outside for a bit.”

“But why?” Tennyson saw his mouth turn up in a wry grin at her question.

“I expect he’ll want to take a swing at me. I know I would in his place.”

Place in the Heart Book Two: Substitute Lover, coming December 21, 2012 at

Also available from  Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other major e-book publishers

Available now:  Place in the Heart Book One: Breaking Point or on Amazon.com Link:  http://goo.gl/DOo3E