Tag Archives: western romance

Guest Release Promotion–A Rancher’s Request by E. Ayers

Most marriages in the late 1800’s were actually arranged marriages. I wanted to use a local tie to Creed’s Crossing, WY. It didn’t take me long to decide to use a young woman from Franklin, VA and have her discover that her father has arranged a marriage for her. Then the fun began.

The historical seesaw into the attitudes of the time, living conditions, along with the social customs, and characters with a sense of humor was all I needed to create this story of the early 1890s.

A Rancher's Request ebook cover

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Zadie Larkford, recently graduated from an Eastern women’s college, lives a quiet life in her hometown of Franklin, Virginia. Content to spend her days painting by the river and watching her friends marry, she is shocked to learn that her father has promised her hand in marriage to a complete stranger. Ultimately unable to disobey, she leaves her childhood home to travel – unaccompanied – to Creed’s Crossing, Wyoming to meet her betrothed.

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EXCERPT

Duncan settled his horse before making his way to his cabin. Opening the door, he encountered the water on the floor where it had come through the open window. One more thing in my day that is not going well. First I get soaked and now this? He left his packages on the table and grabbed his dirty clothes to mop up the water. If I’m stuck inside, I might as well do my laundry. With the worst of the water soaked into his clothes, he pulled off his wet shirt and tossed it with the others. From the shelf near his bed, he lifted the last pair of clean pants he owned and left the last clean shirt where it was. He certainly didn’t need to be dressed to do his laundry. Then he tossed a few pieces of wood into his stove and began to heat some water. While he waited on the water, he unwrapped his food items. The way they’d been bundled, the only things that had become wet were his sweet sticky buns and the paper that held the corned beef.

If he cooked the beef right away, the water wouldn’t matter, and certainly he could eat a dozen slightly waterlogged buns before the day was finished. One cookie was also a little damp. He shoved that cookie into his mouth as he poured the hot water into the washtub.

By the time he’d finished doing his laundry, his stomach was loudly protesting. He sat at his table and ate three of the cinnamon raisin buns and washed them down with leftover coffee that had been there since morning. He loved those sweet treats more than anything he could remember eating at home. Sorry, Mom. Even soggy, these are the best.

It was then it dawned on him that he had letters from home. He had tossed them on his bed as he had gathered his laundry. Collecting them, he chose to first read the flourished handwriting from Franklin, Virginia. From my future bride?

He opened each piece of mail and spread out the damp pages on his table, and then poured the last bit of coffee into his cup. The cabin was hot from the stove, so he opened the front door, hoping that the roof over the porch was enough to keep the deluge of water from entering.

Raindrops hitting his metal roof told him when the rain had eased up and when it returned to a full downpour. His parents had a standing seam roof, and he remembered hearing the dissonance of rain on the roof. But his childhood home had an attic to deaden the sound, and this cabin had nothing to suppress the cacophony. He covered his ears and realized it did nothing for the situation.

Perspiration ran down his chest and soaked the waistband of his pants. He downed that last bit of coffee and made another pot. Pumping another pan full of water, he added the corned beef. He figured he might as well fix the meat. It certainly wasn’t going to get any cooler anytime soon.

Satisfied, he picked up the one letter written in an elegant script and sat on the bench on the front porch. Rain sheeted off the roof and onto the ground. He lifted the scalloped page to his nose and sniffed. “Humph.” Not even the slightest scent of perfume. “I thought women were supposed to scent their letters.”

The rain had caused the ink to bleed on the page, but it was still very legible. He read the note, and when he reached the part about her refusal to slop the pigs, he couldn’t stop his laughter. As his composure returned, he read the rest of his letters. As usual, his mother missed him. And his father’s note was brief, but mostly about herring and the number of pounds per day that had been caught. The only other letter that captured his interest was from Dr. Gregory Larkford, promising his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Zadie was apparently spoiled, but from the father’s letter, she was learning how to manage a household and do the associated chores. The father also spoke about his daughter’s talent. Apparently she was quite gifted.

Duncan went inside and checked on the stove. He fixed another cup of coffee and then found his box that contained pen and paper. So many times while plowing he’d given thought to how he might woo his bride. But after reading the letter from her father and Zadie’s own letter, all thoughts of pressing and sending her the pretty orange and yellow flowers that grew in the fields left his mind. She wasn’t going to be impressed with a few dead flowers.

He stifled his laughter and figured he could give what he’d received from her. He opened his box of stationery, withdrew a sheet of paper, opened his inkbottle, and dipped the nib of his pen into the liquid.

Dear Miss Zadie Larkford,

I don’t own any pigs.

Sincerely,

Mr. Duncan Lord

E. Ayers 4x5

E. Ayers lives in a pre-Civil War home with a rescued dog and cat. Her idea of a perfect day is spent at the keyboard, coffee in hand, and everything in the house actually working as it should. Unfortunately old houses never cooperate.

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Guest Release Promotion–Lily and the Gambler by Linda McLaughlin

Thanks so much for hosting me today!

I’m so thrilled about my latest release, a western romance set in the California Gold Country, specifically Grass Valley, 1868. My husband and I visited the area some years ago, and I fell in love with it. Grass Valley was especially interesting to me because of the large Cornish population in the 19th century. This area had deep gold veins that couldn’t be panned. The Cornish miners were encouraged to come because of their experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, which were petering out. To this day, the Cornish pasty is a local treat.

A shorter, sexier version of this story was previously published by Amber Quill Press. When I got back the rights, I realized I now had the opportunity to tell the tale as I’d originally intended, as a sensual romance. It was fun to revisit Lily and King’s world and spend time with them again. They are two of my favorite characters. I hope readers will agree.

Linda McLaughlin

LilyandtheGambler_300x200-ARe

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Respectability is in the eye of the beholder. Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society’s rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton ‘King’ Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.

King believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?

Only Lady Luck knows for sure…

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EXCERPT

Lily smiled at him. “That was quite a trick. Do you tell fortunes, too?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”

“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”

“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”

Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.

“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.

“Health and long life.”

“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.

He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”

For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.

“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”

She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”

He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.” Cupping her chin, he stared at her, his eyes full of half promises. “Oh, hell, I may get my face slapped for this, but…” His hand moved to the back of her neck as he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath away.

For a moment, she closed her eyes and gave herself up to the kiss. Then a door slammed somewhere in the house, reminding her of where they were. She pushed him away. “How dare you?” she hissed.

He gave her a lazy grin. “What’s that old saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”

“I think you’d best be going.”

He paused at front door, turned and held her gaze for a moment, then left.

She sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. What had she been thinking to let him kiss her, however briefly?

LindaMac

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it’s only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O’Farrell. A native of Pittsburgh, PA. she now lives in Southern California.

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Guest release–Thorpe’s Mail-Order Bride by Cynthia Woolf

Thorpe's Mail Order Bride

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Lena DuBois never knew her father until he suddenly reappeared in her life to tell her he’s arranged for her to marry one of his business partners. Lena flees, deciding to become a mail-order bride, where at least she’s the one doing the choosing. Her future husband, John Thorpe, has requested a woman of good moral character which Lena considers herself to be. The problem is her mother is the most celebrated madam in all New Orleans. What will happen if he discovers her secret?

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EXCERPT

“Helena, as I said my name is Robert Drummond and what I’m about to tell you will come as a shock. But your mother and I have talked and decided that it’s time that you know.”

He paused and took a deep breath.

“I’m your father.”

Father. All this time she’d longed for a father. Had missed out on things like the father-daughter dances that the other girls at her school had attended. If she’d been standing, Lena might have collapsed. As it was she simply tightened her hand on the padded chair arm and hoped the man couldn’t see her shake within the chair. “That can’t be. My mother would have told me if my father was alive.”

“I can understand your reluctance to believe me, but it is the truth. I should have let Mellisande accompany me. She wanted to, you know, but I wanted to tell you myself, vain person that I am.”

He turned his hat over and over on his lap.

“I thought sure you’d be happy about the news. Look, I’m a well-known business-man and couldn’t have my relationship with your mother known within certain circles. When you were two, we decided I should remarry and when you were six we sent you away to school to shield you from your mother’s business. One of your classmates, Eric Rappaport, is my stepson. Do you remember him?”

Lena’s breath caught in her throat at that news. She sat straighter, glad she was sitting on the chair. “That’s true,” she nodded. “I do remember Eric. He was totally obnoxious and mean to me the whole time we were at school together. Does he know about this, too? That you’re supposed to be my father.”

Robert sat forward on his chair. “I’m afraid he does. He overheard me telling my wife, his mother, of your existence. I wanted to take care of you and did the best I could. Now, though, you’re of an age that you must marry and have children of your own. I’ve found a suitable man back in New York. One of my business partners actually. Your mother’s association to you will never be known.”

Anger gave Lena strength and she stood, back straight. She would not show any softness toward him, no matter how much she wanted to have a father. He could be a complete liar. But he wouldn’t have known those things about me if he wasn’t who he said he is. “You propose to tell me that you’re my father and I must marry someone you have chosen for me, all in few minutes. Are you out of your mind?”

“No. You are an adult now and need to take on adult responsibilities.”

She couldn’t believe his arrogance and she didn’t need a stranger’s help in securing a husband. She would remain calm, just like she did when the children she taught were getting rambunctious.

“I’ll pick my own husband.”

“Listen to me Helena—”

“My name is Lena and I refuse to be dictated to by a stranger. Please leave.” She pulled the cord for Thaddeus.

The library door opened and Thaddeus entered. He was not just a butler, but also her mother’s bodyguard. Lena had no fear when he was near. “You rang, Miss Lena?”

“Yes, Thaddeus. Please show out this gentleman.”

“I’ll leave now, Helena,” Robert donned his hat. “But I’ll be back in two weeks and I expect you to be ready to come with me to New York.

“Please leave, Mr. Drummond, before I have Thaddeus hail a police officer.”

“As you wish.” Drummond was not a happy man, but he stood and left through the door that Thaddeus held open. “I can find my own way out.”

Lena shook all over. Never would she marry some man her mother, or her newly discovered father, had chosen for her. Her mother had tried before to get her to marry. Lena was shamed by Mellisande’s business and might hate herself sometimes because of that shame, but she hadn’t fallen so far that she would allow her mother to choose a husband for her. She hadn’t before when Mellisande wanted her to why would her mother think that she would now? How could they tell her all of this at once and expect her to acquiesce to their demand? First she had a father, and second, she was supposed to marry some strange man, not of her choosing. That had been the problem last time. She hadn’t chosen the man. Her mother had. This was no different and she would not stand for it.

She dropped into one of the large overstuffed chairs in front of the empty fireplace, making sure it was not the one her father had sat in. Grabbing the paper from the coffee table she flipped through the pages looking for a special advertisement. One she’d heard whispered about by her teacher friends at school when they wanted to marry.

Finally she found it and read to remind herself of the details.

Women wanted. Matchmaker & Co in Golden, Colorado is recruiting women with the object of marriage to one of their thoroughly screened bachelors. These men are farmers, ranchers, miners and of other occupations, that are desirous of marriage and family. Contact Mrs. Maggie Black, with your photograph and the type of man you are looking for.

This was perfect. She could choose a husband far away from both New York and New Orleans. Her parents would never find her and she’d finally lead her own life as she saw fit.

Cindy Woolf

Cynthia Woolf is the author of twenty historical western romance books with more books on the way–as Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first book, Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. More information is at her website.

Guest Interview—Caroline Clemmons

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’ve been writing romantic fiction full time since 1994 but only sold my first novel in 1998, a contemporary western titled Be My Guest to Kensington. Since then, I’ve written numerous contemporary and historical western romances. Since 2011, I’ve been a self-published author and love the control (plus I make far more money on my own than I did with a publisher).

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Heartwarming romance and adventure.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

First I see characters, which are engaged in some scene in the story—usually the inciting incident. The plot comes from there.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I write with classical music. I do email with light rock, swing, or jazz—depending on my mood at the time.

What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?

I prefer to do my research first and save it to the book’s folder. That helps me plan the plot. If something else crops up, I research at the time.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Most. My latest two are set in Montana and Washington state, and I’ve never been either place. I relied on extensive research and advice from people who have been there. Most of my books are set in Texas, which is where I live. I’ve been to all of the settings in those books.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I have written several contemporary western romances and will have more releasing in 2016. I’ve written a couple of mysteries but probably won’t do more.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

A month in Ireland. After two trips there, my husband and I decided that IF we return, we’ll rent a cottage and spend a month touring at our leisure. We also enjoy England, Scotland, Switzerland, and southern Germany, but our favorite is Ireland.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

I use a storyboard. Years ago my plotting group heard Laura Baker and Robin Perini present their “Story Magic” plotting method. I imagine there was a light bulb flashing on over my head during the workshop. The method made so much sense to me and helped me overcome many of my plotting problems. Yet, a few who heard that presentation didn’t find it helpful. We’re all different, aren’t we?

In what genre do you read?

Telling you what I don’t read is easier. I never read true crime, horror,  zombies, or much sci-fi. I especially enjoy western historical and western contemporary, women’s fiction, and WWII mysteries such as those by Leeann Harris and Susan Elia Macneal, and British mysteries and Regency.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

If writing a historical, I use names from my family genealogy. If writing contemporary, I Google names popular twenty-five to thirty years ago. Names are important and require the right sound. For instance, hard consonants make a hero sound stronger. For a historical heroine, I prefer an unusual name or after someone in my family or both—as in Parmelia in Long Way Home. Sometimes a heroine’s name can be a contrast to her personality.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

My husband and I have one dog and three cats, all rescues. Our little Shih Tzu is almost blind and is hard of hearing now, so he is not adventurous and doesn’t play as he used to do. Our cats are each very different. Sebastian is a huge tuxedo who lets only me pet him and usually sleeps beside me. Max is a Manx and always into mischief. Jasmine is a rag doll that is a shy, sweet, cuddly cat.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope they reach the end of the book with a happy sigh for the pleasant experience, a temporary escape from their problems, and entertainment.

AMANDA'S RANCHER FOR LINDA

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One desperate young woman.

A chance meeting.

A life-changing outcome.

Growing up in a brothel, Mara O’Sullivan battled public disdain and contempt, but always remained kind-hearted and gracious. After testifying against vicious bank robbers, her life is threatened and Mara must find sanctuary far from everything she knows.

One train ride changes her life as she fatefully meets a half-sister and a niece she never knew existed. But when circumstances end her sister’s life, Mara makes a promise that she’ll raise her niece as her own and take her sister’s place as Preston Kincaid’s mail-order-bride. As Mara and Preston grow closer, their marriage no longer seems like a ruse, but a relationship of love, passion, and desire.

Mara’s past comes back to haunt her and she finds herself in danger—will her new husband forgive Mara’s deceit and protect her as his own?

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EXCERPT

They reached the church and Preston jumped down from the wagon and came around to help her alight. With a smile, he lifted Iris high over his head before he set her on the ground. Her giggle brought tears to Amanda’s eyes.

That was the first time she’d ever heard her daughter make the girlish sound. Iris had smiled, spoken, but never laughed until she met Preston Kincaid. For that alone, Amanda would be the best wife she knew how to be.

Inside the church, Mrs. Norton handed Amanda a bouquet of daisies secured with a white ribbon. The interior was plain with wooden benches and an altar raised one step above the rest of the floor. Although there were several windows, none had stained-glass as did the churches she’d seen in Georgia.

The minister was waiting at the front of the church and wore a black frock coat and matching string tie. His brown hair and beard were thickly streaked with gray. He stood at a simple lectern with what looked like a Bible in one hand while he conversed with another man.

Amanda was surprised only one other person besides Reverend and Mrs. Norton were in the sanctuary. She’d supposed Preston had many friends in the area and thought at least his ranch hands would attend. The second man turned and proved to be an older version of her groom who came forward to greet her.

Preston cupped her elbow. “Amanda and Iris, this is my father. Most folks call him Tom, but I call him Papa.”

Amanda smiled at the handsome man who must be around fifty. He was tall, but maybe an inch shorter than his son. Silver sprinkled the same dark hair. “May I call you Papa, too?”

He beamed his pleasure and his blue eyes crinkled at the corners. “I’d be honored. And in the absence of your father, may I walk you down the aisle?”

“Would you? I’d be ever so grateful.” She laid her hand on his arm. Nerves had set in and she needed his support or her knees might give way.

Preston said, “Iris, why don’t you stand with me while my papa walks Mama to meet us?”

Iris shook her head. “Mommy, not my old mama?”

Preston frowned. “Old mama?”

Panic sent bile into her throat that threatened to choke her. Don’t throw up on your wedding dress. “Perhaps you remember my mother recently died.”

Sympathy shone from his blue eyes. “Of course.” He took Iris’ hand in his and strode to the front.

Mrs. Norton began playing the piano. She nodded toward Amanda. Papa Kincaid gently led her up the aisle.

Walking toward her husband, Amanda was conscious of Preston’s stare, as if he could see into her mind and knew her for an impostor. Although he held Iris’ hand, the intensity of his blue gaze unnerved her. She wondered if he was disappointed or if he were as numb as she.

Thankful for the presence of her future father-in-law beside her, she tightened her hold on Mr. Kincaid’s arm.

In response, he patted her hand her where it laid on his sleeve. Without looking at her, he whispered. “Steady as you go. We’re almost there.”

Iris gave a tiny wave and Amanda couldn’t resist smiling at the child. The little girl truly was a blessing. Focusing on Iris gave Amanda a target she could face.

When they reached the front, Mrs. Norton ceased playing. Preston took the bouquet from Amanda’s hands. “Iris, would you hold this for Mommy so she and I can be married?”

Iris looked at him adoringly and reached to receive the flowers. Reverend Norton opened his Bible and began the ceremony. Preston took Amanda’s hands in his. She was conscious of his calluses, but also of the size and strength of his palms dwarfing hers.

When the minister indicated, Preston slipped a ring onto her finger. This new one belongs to me, even if my groom doesn’t know my true name.

After the ceremony, Preston brushed his lips gently against hers.

Iris clapped a hand across her mouth in surprise then said, “Mommy? That man kissed you.”

Preston knelt eye-to-eye with her. “I’m your new Daddy, remember? Mommy and I were just married and now I can kiss her whenever she says it’s okay. Do you think you can call me Daddy?”

Iris nodded. “Are you gonna kiss me too?”

He smiled broadly. “I certainly am.” He leaned forward and gave her a loud smack on the cheek.

The child giggled. Twice in one day this kind man had made Iris happy. Amanda owed Preston all her wifely devotion.

Giveaway

Caroline is gifting an ebook of the winner’s choice.Name to be selected from those who leave a comment.

Snippet from a 5-star review

“When I first started reading this book, I thought that it was going to go a different route than it did. The way that it turned out was fantastic. Loved the characters, and I would like to have more stories about Vern and Ben, they need their own books. Thank you for writing such a great story about Ranching and Farming.”

BIO

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of Happy Is The Bride.

Spotlight on Backlist Title–Stepping Out Of Line

I don’t know exactly what draws me to dance scenes except that they are often the most sensual aspect of a sweet romance story. Here is an excerpt from a release from five years ago, Stepping Out Of Line, which was included as a title in the Wayback, Texas series released by The Wild Rose Press.

SteppingoutofLine_web

EXCERPT

Dev knew he should pull his gaze from her slender throat but the graceful movements as she swallowed were hypnotic. What unique trait about this woman called to him? His fingers tightened on the beer bottle. Quit gawking and say something, dummy. “Band has a good sound. Are they local?”

She turned and nodded, a smile exposing even, white teeth. “Three are from Soledad, about thirty miles away. For this part of north Texas, that’s almost in our backyard.”

“I hear ya there.”

“So you know about rural towns.” She leaned an elbow on the bar and turned to face him, her gaze flicking over his face. “Your accent’s a bit different. You a native Texan?”

“Nope.” Perceptive, he liked that. “Raised in Chenoa, just a wide spot in the road in central Oklahoma. Got a few acres and some cattle there.”

Green eyes rounded and her lips tightened. With a sharp nod, she turned her attention to the mug in her hands. “So, you’re in Wayback for the rodeo.”

His gaze narrowed. What was that heavy note he caught in her voice? Even drawn into a tight line, her lips grabbed his attention. Made him want to make her smile again. “Might be.” If his body cooperated enough to allow him to compete in the upcoming rodeo. “You sound disappointed.”

“It shows?” She lifted her mug and sipped, but kept staring straight ahead. “Sorry. Knee-jerk reaction.”

Again, his gaze ran over her—the slender woman dressed like a native but didn’t like rodeos. Interesting twist. “From where I sit, the rodeo isn’t the only attraction in town.”

She ducked her head then took a deep breath.

Dev would have sworn he saw a flash of white teeth before her red hair swung forward and hid her face. Well, all right. The lady wasn’t immune to his manner—or his attention.

Roxie braced both hands on the bar and stood. “Nice meeting you, Dev, but I’ll be saying goodnight.”

Not so fast. Dev reached out a hand and covered hers. “Hey, don’t go.” Beneath his rough palm, her fingers were warm and soft. He couldn’t resist running a thumb along the top of her pinky.

She lifted her chin and met his gaze, eyebrow raised in question. “Because…?”

The first notes of a familiar Bob Seger song sounded from the jukebox.

“Because this is my favorite song.” He slid his mouth into his best cajoling grin. Keeping a solid hold on her hand, he stood and eased around the stool with deliberate moves. “Honor me with a dance?”

“Honor you?” Roxie tilted her head to the side and laughed. “Wow, I haven’t heard that phrase in years.”

“What can I say?” Dev moved close and slid an arm around her waist, urging her forward. “My grandma was a stickler for manners.” Within a few steps, he stopped and held out his free hand, palm up.

Roxie hesitated for just a second and then slid her hand up his arm to lie on his shoulder. “Manners are good.”

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AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

KOBO Books

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Two years ago Roxie Starr left behind her life as a Vegas showgirl and came home to Wayback, Texas to open a styling salon. She claims she’s there to help with her younger sister, but the truth is age was catching up to her body and the time had come to step out of the chorus line.

Fighting against a nagging injury, Dev Laredo is determined to finish one last rodeo. He won’t return to his Oklahoma ranch until he’s won enough to cover his brother’s college tuition. The sight of a sassy redhead sparks his interest, but her tender ministrations to his injury touch his lonely heart. Can two bruised souls put aside their differences and give love a fighting chance?

If this little bit has sparked your interest in this contemporary rodeo story, please follow the link and add this to your “Want To Read” list on Goodreads.

GOODREADS

 

 

My Sexy Saturday–On With The Show

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This week’s theme is A Long Sexy Time and focuses on couples who have known each other a long time. This theme fits perfectly with the story in my novella, On With The Show, that includes high school sweethearts who meet up years later. Read on and enjoy…

The steering wheel jerked in his hands, and Dietz pulled his full attention back to the road. Too many sideways glances at the tense woman illuminated by the dashboard lights could put the SUV in the roadside ditch. Hell, he shouldn’t enjoy seeing the flash in her whiskey-colored eyes and her lips tighten into a straight line. But he did…always had.

Probably why his marriage to Trina had only lasted two years. She’d been too damn compliant. Too late, he’d learned a passive personality wasn’t what he’d wanted in a partner. “How are you faring in the big city?”

“Big city? You make Houston sound like another planet.” A deep inhale sounded and she ducked her head. “Sorry. I’m primed for my family to ask the same question. Guess I shouldn’t take out my frustration on you.” Shifting in her seat, she turned and her lips spread in a smile.

His gut tightened. In a flash, he hurled backward more than a decade when her light brown eyes focused on him with adoration. Regret ran through him and he tightened his grip on the steering wheel. “Just asking if you’re still happy there.” When what he really wanted to ask was if she’d ever thought about moving back home. About giving life in small town Texas another chance. Don’t go there, don’t open those old wounds.

The truck jostled over a pothole and his hand shot out to hold her back, the sleeve of his coat brushing her breast. Smooth, Reinhardt. “Sorry.” He barely got out the words on a whispered breath. Then he dropped his arm to rest his elbow on the console.

“I’m okay.”

Had he heard her voice squeak on the last syllable?

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