Books by Craftie Ladies

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Great Ladies by Leann Harris

When I started on this journey of being a writer I knew nothing about writing except I wanted to tell my stories. I joined a RWA chapter, where other romance authors helped me. They were with me, answering questions,  reading my chapters, encouraging me and showing me the basics. That was over 25 years ago. If I hadn't  had their guidance, I never would've made it.

Things haven't changed. I've come out with my first Indie book, and my writer friends were right there with me, helping me through the process, answering questions, and pointing me in the right direction. Kathleen and Suzanne, met with me, answered my question and told me stuff I didn't know to ask about. I am overwhelmed with their generous spirit. And for me, knowing such great people is encouraging, and humbling. Thank you, ladies.

P.S. I went to the RWA conference this year and my friends were there, asking me how my energy was holding up, did I need anything. I had sisters who worried for me and watching over me. It was amazing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Brownies, writing, and lovely summer days

Hi everyone,

It's such fun to hear about what transpired at this year's Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio this month!  I longed to attend,  but given a number of other trips this year plus going to the Romantic Times Convention this spring, I just couldn't be away from home once again.

I've been busy with other things though--lots of family activities, helping our married kids move--all three have bought (or are in the process of buying) new homes this summer.  And, I've been working on book proposals as well. After finishing three self-published books this past winter and spring, I've just finished a two book proposal for Love Inspired.  I look forward to hearing about what my agent and the editors think!

On another note. do you have a super easy, go-to recipe that you love and have made a hundred times? Thought I'd share this one with you--but I would LOVE to hear about yours!

I'd also love to hear about some great pet names--I need one for a cat who lives in my current heroine's antique store. I love animals (as you can tell from my All Creatures Great and Small blog!)  and I like to put them into every book I can.

 I'll draw a name from those of you who leave a comment, and the winner can choose one of my three current e-books on Amazon:  Summer at Briar Lake,  Comeback Cowboy, or A Montana Legacy.

Here is the recipe:

1911 Brownies--the best!

The only food item I make from a box is angel food cake. Something possessed me to buy a brownie mix last week and it was so awful that I swear to never do it again. These brownies are sooo easy, and are even better the second and third day. The recipe comes from a 1911 Boston Cooking School cookbook  (with some little updates that I made .) No preservatives, no extra chemicals. How could they be any easier?

1 cup butter (no substitute!)
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp real vanilla
1 cup flour

Melt the butter and chocolate until smooth and blended. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar, let cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla and eggs, then add the flour.

Spray an 8" or 9" square pan with a pan release spray (the kind with flour in it is best.) Bake at 325 for 40 minutes, or until the sides are a darker color and the center isn't soft and gooey. Let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, cut, and store in airtight container or a ziplock bag over a plate. The photo is of the last one from a pan I made three days ago and it was still fudgy and soft and yummy!



Roxanne Rustand
www.roxannerustand.com


Monday, July 28, 2014

After the fun.

Pat Davids here.

After all the fun I had at the RWA conference, seeing my Love Inspired sisters, meeting with my editor and agent and getting an award for 25 books, now it seems I have to get back to work.

Back to work for me means crafting a new book in a new series. Before I left for San Antonio, I finished the last book in my Brides of Amish Country series and I introduced readers to a new family and a new location for my stories. The new series, which I hope to call The Sons of Isaac Bowman, takes place in Bowman Crossing, Ohio. A fictional town near the real town of Berlin.

It's hard creating new characters after coming to know and love the people of Hope Springs so well. Much harder than I thought it would be. I hope readers enjoy the new family as much as they have enjoyed my other families. If you haven't read one of my Brides books, the latest one, The Amish Nanny, is in stores now. It's book # 10, but you don't have to read them in order.



My Brides of Amish Country was never meant to go on for so long. The first three books in the series were all I had planned. As it turned out, I did 13 full length books, one on-line read and one novella. In all 15 stories revolving around a fictional place that has become almost real to me. I believe I could draw a map to get there. In fact, I have a map I created of the town and surrounding area.

I've been told readers enjoy series. Do you? What is it about going back to the same place that you enjoy? Is it seeing what old characters are up to? Or is it the anticipation of meeting new characters?
I'd love to hear your take on this. Why do you like reading series?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lone Star Hero Interview

Interview with Jake Torres from Lone Star Hero by Jolene Navarro, an August Love Inspired romance.

  1. Jake Torres, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
    1. Uhm…not much really. I’m a Texas State Trooper, do a little roping on the weekends. Some people find it interesting that I build my own home, a cabin in the Texas Hill Country.
  2. What do you do for fun?
    1.  Rope and play flag football with the youth group.
  3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
    1. Are you really going to make me answer that?…Ha, yeah I see you are, so it would have to be talking to Vickie. She’s been avoiding me since she came back to town. I could push it, but I know it would end up in a fight. I always hated fighting with her.
  4. What are you afraid of most in life?
    1. Being like my father
5.  What do you want out of life?
Wow, that’s a good question and thinking about it is one of the things I put off. Next question?
6.  What is the most important thing to you?
Oh, that one’s easy. Mi familia, my mother and sister. We had a rough start, but I’m so proud of them.
7.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
                        Yes, I’ve read all of Zane Grey, Elmer Kelton and Victor Villasenor’s books. I also read anything to do with the Texas Rangers. I’ve read One Ranger: A Memoir by Joaquin Jackson a million times.
8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
                        Trust. I would trust God more. I mean I trust Him in a lot of things but I don’t trust my temper and I think that goes back to some deep fears I have and of course that just means I’m not trusting God with everything in my life.
9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
I have two quarter horses, Bud and Poncho. I love horse, you become a team and they just do their job. Riding takes me to the old west and gives you freedom from this world.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
                        There was one night when I was nine that I think if I could go back and change it I would, but I don’t know if it would only make it worse. That goes back to trusting God, and I think the past needs to stay there so we can move forward. But then again it would be fun to go way back and ride with the first Texas Rangers. I’d get to be a part of something new, get a new start.
           


Saturday, July 26, 2014

FEATURED BOOK: LONE STAR HERO BY JOLENE NAVARRO

A Second Chance At Love 
Single mom Vickie Lawson is back in her Texas hometown, intent on making a better life for her children. But when her son's troubles lead childhood sweetheart Jake Torres to her door, she realizes her feelings for him never went away. Now a State Trooper, Jake vows not to be distracted by the beautiful woman who once held his heart. He's never revealed to her the secret that tore them apart. Jake fears if he does, she—and the whole town—will never forgive him. But if Vickie and Jake can untangle the past, they may have another chance at forever.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rita Finalist Elizabeth Byler Younts



1.  Where were you born?
Promise to Cherish was my 2nd name, I was born with the name Miriam's Soldier in October 2012. My mom dreamed up this story while brainstorming real Amish stories with my grandma! I take place in the early 1940s during the height of World War 2.

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters? Do people say you're alike in any way?
There are only 3 of us. I'm the oldest. My younger sibling Promise to Cherish will be birthed in October 2014, she's really pretty. Our kid sister Promise to Keep is in the midst of a long gestation and preparing for birth in October 2015. I'm sure she'll be as pretty as the rest of us, but we haven't seen her yet. We have a half-sister that's called Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl...she inspired my mom to write more Amish Historical!

Are we alike? Well, we each have the same vein running through us that will give readers the chance to learn more about Amish conscientious objectors during a wartime. 

3.  What do you think made you a RITA finalist?
Sigh...maybe because I'm pretty? Oh, wait, I guess it wasn't because of my cover. {grin} I think it might be because I give the reader a new view of not just the Amish themselves but also about this peaceful group of people with the backdrop of World War 2. I come straight from an authentic voice of a former Amish girl who still speaks that fun German/English language Pennsylvania Dutch. The story is unique in it's historical context and readers love the realistic battle that Miriam experiences.

4.  Please share the backcover blurb for An Heiress at Heart...
When World War II breaks out, Miriam Coblentz’s peaceful Amish world is turned upside down... It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wed­ding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning... 
When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an impor­tant decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry. 
Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fasci­nating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life. One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pursuing Your Dreams

Starting today, I'm in San Antonio, Texas for Romance Writers of America's annual conference. There's nothing better for a writer's soul than the opportunity to hang out with other writers. 

This will be my first RWA Conference since 2007. Back then, I was a novice writer in search of that elusive first book contract. I confess that there were times when my dream felt like nothing more than a pipe dream. Still, I kept writing and learning. I persevered through the rejections.

Seven years since my last RWA Conference, I am honored to be returning as not only a published author, but a soon-to-be multi-published author. All because of that dream.

Dreams don't come true just because we want them to. They take nurturing, hard work, sometimes tears and a thick skin. There is no path of least resistance. There will be challenges. Challenges that have to be faced head-on in order to come out stronger on the other side.

When my dream of becoming a published author took root, I had no idea it would take me almost 9 years to see it come to fruition. But the joy and satisfaction of that first contract was so worth the effort.

It wasn't until after I got that call from my editor that I realized I'd taught my children a valuable lesson. My youngest child was 5 when I started writing, so they'd witnessed my entire journey. The ups and downs, the heartaches and joys. Then they saw their mother's dream come true. Because I refused to give up.

In my September 2014 release, Rescuing the Texan's Heart, both my hero and heroine experienced the death of a dream. Only to have God restore them in ways they never imagined. After all, He is the ultimate dream giver. :-)

Have you ever had a dream? Did you pursue it or leave it languishing in the dust somewhere along the way? If you achieved your dream, what challenges did you face along the way?

Here's wishing that all your dreams come true.

~Mindy Obenhaus~

Coming September 2014

Melting his heart.

Cash Coble is desperate for a change. After working in the family business for ten years, he's stressed out and overworked. When he heads to Colorado to visit his ailing grandfather, he finds his mood lifted by the beautiful woman living next door. After a troubled past, ice climber Taryn Purcell isn't looking for love. Especially not with a charming Texan who's consumed by work. But there's something about Cash that captures her heart. Never one to back down from a challenge, Taryn promises to show Cash how to carve out a happy life—one that includes her.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stuck Going Nowhere by Margaret Daley


Have you ever felt overwhelmed to the point you can’t or don’t want to do anything? Instead of getting things done on your to-do list, you play computer games or even clean and organize your house (okay that may be on your to-do list)? But you can’t do what you need to because you are tired and burnt out.

So how can you change your situation—slow down and actually get somewhere? Some things I’ve heard that work for people are:


1. Make a to-do list with everything you need to do and mark it off as you go—the more small tasks on the list the more you get to cross off and feel like you’ve accomplished something.
2. It’s okay to take breaks and you should frequently throughout the day but limit how long you take the one—use a timer if you need to.
3. Do something for fun that isn’t similar to the work you’re avoiding.

4. Exercise—whatever you enjoy doing.
5. Start something you’ve always wanted to do that puts a smile on your face.
6. Don’t lose track of your friends (and family). Touch base with them.

7. Take a vacation even if it is only a day or two. Vacations give you permission to forget work and just enjoy.
8. Eat nutritiously but also allow yourself a treat every once and a while (it’s okay to eat a piece of chocolate pie or in my case have a double dip cookie dough ice cream waffle cone.

9. Smile and laugh.
10. Give your problems to God. He is here to help us.

Okay, it’s your turn. What would you add to this list? Any suggestions are welcome.

Margaret Daley's latest book is Deadly Intent (book 2 in Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations)
The blurb: Texas Ranger Sarah Osborn thought she would never see her high school sweetheart, Ian O'Leary, again. But fifteen years later, Ian, an ex-FBI agent, has someone targeting him, and she's assigned to the case. Can Sarah protect Ian and her heart? Buy links: AmazonBarnes and NobleApple and Kobo.
Margaret Daley's website: http://www.margaretdaley.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bragging about our LIH books!

Louise M. Gouge here, wondering what interesting thing I can say to our Craftyladies readers. As I’ve thought about various topics, one thing stands out: Not only am I a writer of Love Inspired Historical novels, I’m also a fan of historical fiction. I try to read every LIH book that comes out, buying them at my local Walmart. That is, if I can get there before other fans. Sometimes the LIH spots are empty! But I can hardly complain about that. Beside, all of our books are available through Harlequin’s Reader Service and other online bookstores, so if you missed them at Walmart, just click the link and you’ll find them there. You can choose print or e-books.

 

Realizing it’s impossible to praise every one of our excellent books in today’s short blog, I had to choose just a few to recommend to you. My fellow LIH authors, please don’t feel left out. I also must confess that I’m a bit behind. Right now I’ve just begun reading the May 2014 books, so all of these are earlier releases.

 

My first book to bring to your attention is Kerry Mountain’s Wyoming Promises (April 2014). I love this book because the hero, Bridger Jamison, is a damaged but courageous and decent man with a secret that threatens to destroy everything he cares about. The heroine, Lola Martin, has a job that will surprise you, not only because she’s a career woman in the 1870s, but her career is one that very few women choose even today. Lola is a brave, worthy heroine, the perfect match for Bridger, even though it takes the two of them a life-threatening situation to realize it. You won’t be disappointed by this enthralling story.

 

Naomi Rawlings’ The Soldier’s Secret (April 2014) drew me in from the first page. Most of us know the story of Les Miserables because of the musical Les Miz. That story takes place in the 1840s or so. But have you ever wondered about the lives of ordinary provincial French people during and after the French Revolution (1790s)? I knew very little about this historical time, so Naomi’s book was a real eye-opener. Not only does she give us some wonderful history, seamlessly woven into the story, but she takes us on a great adventure. A widowed heroine who risks everything to save and protect her children. A guilt-ridden hero who finds a new reason to live. What more could you want?

 

I love stories that take place after the American Civil War, when millions of Americans struggled to put their lives back together after that horrific conflict. In Lyn Cote’s Heartland Courtship (February 2014), Rachel Woolsey leaves her familiar Pennsylvania home for the wilderness town of Pepin, Wisconsin, where she plans to establish a bakery. As the riverboat docks at her new home, another passenger, who is desperately ill, is put off the boat. Rachel’s Quaker faith makes her path clear: whatever it costs her, she must help the dying man. Desperately ill Brennan Merriday can’t escape his past. A southerner who fought for the North, he has enemies on both sides. A hero near death; a compassionate heroine. This heart-rending story reminds us of our real purpose in life: to follow God’s will and not our own.

 

As in all of our LIH stories, each of these books contains a major element of faith. The main characters go through many trials, but they discover that faith in Jesus Christ is the ultimate path to peace. These stories will move you and reinforce your faith.

 

In September, I’ll be telling you about my upcoming LIH, Cowboy to the Rescue. This is my first western, so I’m pretty excited about its release. See you then!

Award-winning Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired imprint. In addition to numerous other awards, Louise is the recipient of the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for her 2005 historical novel, Hannah Rose (first place) and her 2011 Regency novella,
The Gentleman Takes a Bride, (second place). Please visit her Web site at

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flood Zone Interview

Today we're welcoming Dallas Black, the hero of Flood Zone, written by Dana Mentink, a July release by Love Inspired Suspense

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.   
1.  Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. My life kind of works that way. If there’s a hard way to do something, I’m going to find it. I was asked to keep an eye on Mia Sandoval because her drug king pin husband was tracking her every move even from jail. Turns out, he was the least of her problems. See what I mean by doing things the hard way?
2.  So, during the book you met Mia again.  Tell us a bit about him/her.  What was your first impression?  When did you know it was love? She’s small, determined, stubborn. And mistakes? She’s made almost as many as I have, but when I saw her taking care of her daughter Gracie, and sacrificing everything to give her a chance at a future, well, who could resist that?   
3.  What strengths/skills do you have?  What is your greatest weakness?  I’m street smart, athletic, calm under pressure. My greatest weakness is assuming I can handle everything on my own.        
4.  What scares you? Missing out on a chance to rescue someone. It’s my job, after all. My dog and I do search and rescue and when you don’t come through, when you know someone’s out there scared or hurting and you can’t get to them, that scares me.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Guess I’d learn how to talk to women better. They’re a mystery to me, like the Easter Island statues or something. Incomprehensible.  
6.  Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? Got faith in God, not in myself.     
7.  Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?  I’ve realized that faith in God is enough to transcend self doubt. Took me long enough, but I finally got that down. Slow learner.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant.     Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6.I’ve always wanted to do things myself, you know? Trust in my own skills and abilities? Then suddenly I realized I don’t have enough skill or ability. That’s when God finally got my full attention.
9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?
A sugar doughnut. Personally, I don’t like sweets, but Mia does so if I can make her happy, that’s good enough for me.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

FEATURED BOOK:FLOOD ZONE BY DANA MENTINK






PRIME SUSPECT 
Mia Sandoval's friend is murdered under mysterious circumstances—and the single mother is a suspect. Her only ally is a man she isn't sure she can trust. Search and rescue worker Dallas Black has a past as harrowing as Mia's own, and the police are suspicious of them both. With no choice but to work with secretive Dallas, Mia discovers he's as complicated as the murder they're forced to investigate to clear her name. Yet as a flood ravages their small Colorado town, a killer is determined that Mia, Dallas and their evidence get swept away to a watery grave. 
Stormswept: Finding true love in the midst of nature's fury

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rita Finalist Carla Laureano

The Craftie Ladies of Romance welcome Carla Laureano, author of Five Days in Skye.  She is one of two inspirational authors who finaled in the esteemed RITA contest.  The following interview is from the viewpoint of the book!




Where were you born?
I was born in Denver, Colorado in 2012, but I actually take place in present day Scotland (with a little London and Dayton, Ohio thrown in for good measure.)
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I do! I have two younger siblings, due to arrive in 2015 and 2016, both romances like me. I also have cousins in the form of a three book fantasy series my author is releasing in 2014/2015.

What do you think made you a RITA finalist?
I’m an inspirational novel, but in many ways, I read much more like a general market romance. I’m just a little gentler and less racy than my GM sisters. But I think the flirty tone and slick style my author chose for me made me stand out.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that my hero is a gorgeous celebrity chef with a Scottish accent. Enough said.
Please share the backcover blurb of Five Days in Skye.
Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she'll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she's sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. 

Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she'd rather leave buried. For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father's dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.
Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What's On Your Bucket List?

What’s on your bucket list? You know, the list of things you’d like to do, see, accomplish in this lifetime. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Years ago, writing a book was near the top of that list. I also wanted to skydive, a wish that has since disappeared from the list. (What was I thinking!!) My current bucket list is mostly about places I’d like to visit.

Before my brother died, we talked of seeing London together when he and his wife retired. We were both big Beatles fans, fascinated by English history, and loved to travel and have new experiences. Further, there’s a fun family story claiming relationship to the Tudor line. My grandmother’s maiden name was Tudor, and since both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were redheads like me, it must be true! Anyway, that’s the family legend.
Completely gratuitous photo of handsome Englishmen from the Tudors.

My sister-in-law called a couple of months ago and basically said, “Life’s too short. We’re going to Europe.” And so, in September she and I are headed across the pond in memory of my brother and son, finally marking number one off my bucket list.

Now, it’s your turn. What are the top two or three things on your bucket list?




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Y'all come and see us in San Antonio, Texas!!!--Lenora Worth



The Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired will be kicking up our heels in the Lone Star State next week when we head to San Antonio, Texas, to attend the Romance Writers of America annual conference which is being held at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel.

One of the highlights of the conference is the Readers for Life Literacy Autographing which is held on Wednesday night from 5:30 until 7:30 PM. Here is the official blurb:

"Meet Harlequin Love Inspired authors, collect their bling, and possibly win a $50 gift card.  Visit any participating Love Inspired author at the RWA Literacy Autographing at the Marriott Rivercenter hotel in San Antonio on Wed, July 23rd from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, and find out how to play."
That's right! We are giving away some serious swag. See mine below. It's a stress ball! You can think of me when you squeeze away that stress! The other Craftie Ladies will have everything from bookmarks to links to free reads to magnets to ... well ... a car! No, no, never mind the car. We're not Oprah after all. But you can get all this STUFF and sign up to possibly win a $50.00 gift card. And you can walk through a room full of writers--hundreds of writers--and buy their books and you will be doing this for the good of reading. The literacy signing started in 1990 and throughout the years, RWA has raised more than $825,000 for literacy.

We all love to read and we believe strongly in teaching others on how to read. So don't be shy. Come and see us. And help us spread the word. Pass it on, please. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lacy Williams: We interrupt this scene

The Wrangler's Inconvenient Wife
Lacy Williams here with a we interrupt this scene post.

If you've followed my Wyoming Legacy series, you know that older brothers Oscar and Maxwell have found love with some pretty spunky women. And now it's Edgar's turn...

Cowboy Edgar White has met his match in Fran Morris, who is on a mission to protect her younger sister. They've been hitched--only as a convenience--and are currently driving a bunch of cattle toward the railroad for a sale (Fran is driving the chuck wagon). It's been several days on the trail, and... well, I'll just let you peek in on what's going on:

It made for a drowsy morning, especially with the bright spring sun glaring in her eyes.
She was glad to take a mid-morning break.
Fran walked a bit away from the wagon, stretching the kinks out of her still-sore muscles.
The grass in this area was taller than her knees, and dotted with wildflowers. It smelled fresh and springy, and she felt hope for the first time in a long time.
Edgar hadn’t made any declarations. But didn’t actions speak louder than words? This morning had given her a tiny kernel of hope.
Contemplative, she sat down among the prairie grass, letting the sun warm her shoulders.
Then she thought she’d like to feel it on her face, so she laid down and spread her arms, face turned up to the sky.
It stretched, limitless and blue, like the possibilities before her.
Could she and Emma be happy on a ranch? She could. She knew it.
A shadow fell over her face.
She opened her eyes, raising up on her elbows to face the man standing over her.
“What are you doing?” Edgar’s voice revealed his curious confusion.
“Enjoying the day,” she retorted, lying back down to stare up at the puffy clouds against the blue sky. “You’ve been driving all of us so hard I thought I could take a few moments for myself.”
He settled beside her in the grass, heads tucked together, only inches apart. “Tyrant that I am, I’m only giving you two more minutes,” he said. He sat his Stetson on his chest.
He took a deep breath. She felt more than saw the motion, as his feet were pointed in the opposite direction of hers, and she couldn’t really see his chest.
“How long has it been since you stopped to smell wildflowers?” she asked, genuinely curious. “You haven’t stopped working since I met you.”
“It’s not always so bad,” he murmured. “Things around the homestead slow down in the winter months. There’s time for reading, games… But in spring there’s planting, calves being born, steers to sell…”
They were silent for a moment before he went on. “And I guess my brothers are probably right—I’ve been working more and not taking time to slow down and have fun like I used to.”
“Too afraid some eligible girl might catch your fancy?” she asked, only half teasing.
He snorted. “Didn’t stop you,” he said, reaching over to tweak her nose.
“Ha.” She swatted at his hand, and he captured her fingers. Slowly, he interlaced their fingers, surrounding her hand with the warmth of his larger one. He kept her hand, their clasp resting lightly on his shoulder.
“Just didn’t—don’t want to let my pa down. With Maxwell gone to medical school and Oscar married, more work falls on him.”
“But doesn’t your oldest brother still live on the ranch?”
“Yeah, across the valley. But he’s busy with his own family.”
“And the other brothers? Seems like they’re all of age…able to help take on more responsibility….”
He turned his head, the soft grasses beneath him rustling.
Photo courtesy www.scx.hu #1212249

She turned to meet his gaze straight on. From only inches away, the intensity of his blue eyes caught her breath.
“And what of Ricky?” she asked softly. “Maybe he could bear a little more of the load?”
“You’re not going to let my excuses stand, are you?” he asked.
“Should I?”
That one corner of his mouth kicked up. “You’re intent on turning every cranny of my life inside-out, aren’t you? The only one who challenges me.”
==We interrupt this scene==
Lacy: Edgar, I've got to grab you for a quick interview for this blog post.
Edgar: (sighs) Fine. But I was enjoying a private moment with Fran there...
Lacy: Yes, I saw. You seem like you're getting along pretty well.
Edgar: (neck turns red) She's something, isn't she?
Lacy: Are you starting to trust her yet? Because you've had trust issues all throughout this book.
Edgar: I... don't know. She's different than the other gals of my acquaintance. Pushes me. But there is the fact that she was in the middle of a deception when we met.
Lacy: She didn't really have a choice.
Edgar: (he shrugs, looks off in the distance)
Lacy: Don't you think you could forgive that one little untruth about her age, since she was really protecting her sister?
Edgar: I guess I would do the same for one of my brothers. If I was really stuck and there was no other choice.
Lacy: See.
Edgar: Doesn't mean I like being lied to.
Lacy: You got stuck in this marriage of inconvenience--
Edgar: Who came up with that tagline anyway?
Lacy: Marketing.
Edgar: Figures.
Lacy: Ssh. You're hijacking my interview. So you got stuck in this marriage. Any chance it could turn into a real love match?
Edgar: I guess we'll have to see what happens with Fran and me. Can I get back to the meadow now?
Lacy: Sure.

The Wrangler's Inconvenient Wife is an August 1 release and available for pre-order now. Click here to grab a copy.

Book blurb:

With no family to watch over them, it's up to Fran Morris to take care of her younger sister, even if it means marrying a total stranger. Gruff, strong and silent, her new husband is a cowboy down to the bone. He wed Fran to protect her, not to love her, but her heart has never felt so vulnerable. 

Trail boss Edgar White already has all the responsibility he needs at his family's ranch in Bear Creek, Wyoming. He had intended to remain a bachelor forever, but he can't leave Fran and her sister in danger. And as they work on the trail together, Edgar starts to soften toward his unwanted wife. He already gave Fran his name…can he trust her with his heart? 

And don't miss, A Cowboy for Christmas (Ricky's story), a December 2014 release!

And I'm excited to announce a special promotion!

A new Inspy Kisses anthology releases July 29 and is available for pre-order. My novella, With Love, Cowboy is part of this anthology. Grab a copy today!


And finally, I've got a giveaway going right now for some of my audiobooks. Here's how to enter:



a Rafflecopter giveaway