Tag Archives: western

Author Showcase – Barbara White Daille (Court Me, Cowboy) (The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal)

The End…or Just the Beginning?

Gabe Miller’s marriage ended so fast it had hardly begun. Which is why he couldn’t quite believe his luck—or his “ex”—when she returned a few months later with the news that legally they were still husband and wife. And that the child she was carrying was his son.

Gabe feared Marissa would bolt again, making a custody battle his only option—unless he could turn back the clock and woo her the way he should have during their whirlwind romance. But even with his boy’s future at stake, mending fences with a woman—especially the one he loved—wasn’t something the strong, silent type found easy to do….

 

CHAPTER ONE

One day soon, he’d get rid of this wedding ring.

Gabe Miller tossed the gold circle into the air and snatched it back again, trying not to think of the woman who’d slipped it onto his left hand, third finger. Trying not to think of what she’d had inscribed inside.

Forever, M

Ha. What a crock. Forever hadn’t lasted but three short weeks.

Scowling, he shoved the band into the velvet-lined jeweler’s box and slid it back beneath the stack of flannel shirts in the dresser drawer. Call him a dumb cowboy, but it’d taken his own wife’s desertion to finally get the message rammed into his thick skull:

Never trust a woman.

“Yo, boss.”

He turned. Warren stood in the bedroom doorway, his whiskered face scrunched into a frown.

“Shake a leg. The boys’ll be raring to eat any minute now.”

“Right.” He hustled along the hall in his elderly ranch hand’s wake. Their two pairs of boots sounded loud on the bare wooden stairs. He glared at the older man’s back, then felt immediate guilt. Warren hadn’t caused his ugly mood.

He followed him into the kitchen.

“We gotta get us a cook, boss. It’s been months since Joe and Mary went back east.” Warren flipped a switch, powering up the coffeemaker Gabe had gotten ready the night before. “Lord knows, a rancher’s got enough to keep him moving, sunup to sundown. And you’re kept busier than most, considerin’ the size of your spread, and managing it yourself ‘n all.”

“We’re doing just fine, Warren.” He kept his tone neutral, knowing how much the older man hated that he couldn’t pull his weight with the younger hands any more.

“Yeah, ‘long as you don’t try gettin’ too fancy.”

“Okay, so the pancakes didn’t work out too well.”

That earned him a chuckle.

Gabe grabbed the egg carton and a pack of pork links from the refrigerator. Sure, this’d been the last thing he’d needed–undertaking kitchen duties once his ranch cook and her husband had moved on. And Gabe did have more to handle than most of the local ranchers. Something Marissa hadn’t understood.

He rubbed the back of his neck and tried to swallow a growl. Tried to stop thinking of Marissa.

Lost cause, that idea. He brooded on it, anyway. Why in heck did he wake up this morning–alone in his big bed–with the feeling today would turn out worse than the usual? He couldn’t manage to push the feeling of gloom from his mind, the way he’d shoved the wedding ring back under his flannel shirts. The ring he should have tossed out, just the way she’d tossed him aside and walked out, months ago.

That, right there, was the problem.

She’d taken off three months ago today.

Jared and Hank and the rest of the cowhands trooped into the kitchen. Their usual whooping and hollering drowned out the sizzle of eggs and sausages.

“Hey, boys, hold it down a bit,” Warren grumbled. “Don’t know where you get your energy this early in the morning.”

Gabe grimaced, knowing his own bad mood had caused the complaints. He was used to rowdy cowboys before the sun was even up–he’d breakfasted with ranch hands all his life. But he remembered those days–those way too few days–when he’d skipped the chow-downs out at the bunkhouse and spent every last early-morning moment he could bedded down with his wife.

Hank, best known as the ranch’s clown, looked over Gabe’s shoulder. “No pancakes today, boss?”

The rest of the men guffawed.

“All right, so I’m not much of a cook.” Marissa was. He shook the thought away. “Better knock it off, or y’all will be taking turns at the stove yourselves.”

Silence fell heavier than a bale dropped from the hayloft. His back still turned to his men, he reached for the egg carton again and grinned. Shut them up, all right.

In the calm, he heard the noise of a car’s engine outside. Awfully early for visitors.

Warren pushed up the blind over the kitchen sink and squinted through the window. “Seems like you got company, boss.” The old cowboy’s voice had gone rusty.

Gabe stepped to his side. “Must be Doc, right? Nobody else’d–”

What he saw through the window shut him up, too. The light over the back porch stabbing through pre-dawn darkness. The white Mustang purring in the drive. And the woman sitting behind the wheel.

Marissa.

He must not have woken up yet after all, must have dreamed Warren’s call and his trip to the kitchen. Because, Lord only knew, he was dreaming now. Blinking didn’t help. The picture didn’t go away. He closed his eyes for a long moment and opened them again. Nope, she was still there.

Looking right at the lighted kitchen window.

He stumbled back a pace.

“Easy, now.” Warren might’ve been talking to a skittish colt. He pulled the forgotten carton of eggs from Gabe’s hands. “Got it under control here, boss. I guess you got some business needs taking care of.”

“Yeah, right.” He looked through the window again, gritted his teeth and set his jaw.

He had something to take care of, all right.

Throwing his ex-wife off his land.

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A husband for Christmas?  

Mitch Weston’s back in Cowboy Creek, and self-proclaimed matchmaker Jed Garland has his single granddaughter Andi on his mind. Mitch is a lawman, good with the little ones and easy on the eyes. He and Andi were high school sweethearts, for heaven’s sake! Why can’t they see they’re perfect for each other?  

Because Andi already lost one husband to a dangerous job, and now she’s all about playing it safe, for her sake and her children’s. Being a cop is everything to Mitch. After discovering Jed’s plan, Mitch and Andi come up with their own: they’ll pretend to get engaged and then break up due to irreconcilable differences. Jed’s got his work cut out for him—because this match needs a Christmas miracle!

 

 

As Mitch strode through the doorway, Andi crossed her arms, rested her hips against the table, and gave in to the pleasure of seeing him. In tight black T-shirt, jeans and black biker boots, he looked taller and tougher and sexier than ever before. That T-shirt and his black hair made his eyes startling blue.

“Jed and Paz told me I would find you here.”

She frowned. “Is everything okay? Do they need me to take Missy off their hands?”

“No, they’re feeding her Paz’s Christmas cookies, and they said that’s keeping her out of trouble. They also said your kids won’t ever want to go home.”

Just what Jed was hoping for, she knew.

“What can I do for you?” she asked. When he grinned, she crossed her arms more tightly. “I’m very busy.”

“That’s why I’m here. Jed figured he’d keep me out of trouble by giving me a job.”

She stood straighter. “I don’t need a helper, thank you.”

“Too late. I’m on board. What do you want me to do?”

She turned away and rummaged through a carton of ornaments. “Nothing. I’ve got everything under control.” The words made her think again of her reaction to his kiss. Of her loss of control.

“Andi, walking away yesterday didn’t make me go away. Pretending to be busy here doesn’t mean I’ll disappear. Why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you?”

“At the moment, you are.”

“Well, that’s a start.”

She shot a look over her shoulder and found him smiling down at her. He was so close, she could have taken a step back and found herself in his arms.

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I’m Barbara, and I write small-town romance that usually includes quirky characters and a touch of humor.

Have fun looking around the site and my blog, The Daille-y News.” And consider signing up for my newsletter, where you’ll get insider info on my writing life, sneak previews, and access to subscriber-only book giveaways.

 

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Author Showcase – Jessica Lemmon (Dallas Billionaires Club series)

 

 

 

(courtesy of Jessica Lemmon’s Website)

Standing before the mayor, was it any wonder the man had earned the hearts of the majority of Dallas’s female voters? Chase Ferguson was tall, his dark hair pushed this way and that as if it couldn’t be tamed, but the angle of his clean-shaven jaw and the lines on his dark suit showed control where it counted.

“Ms. Brand.” Hazel eyes lowered to a respectable survey of her person before Chase offered a hand. She shook it and he released her to signal to a nearby waiter. “Stefanie is around here somewhere,” he said of his younger sister. He leaned in. “And thanks to you, on her best behavior.”

The mayor straightened as a waiter approached with a tray of champagne.

“Drink?” Chase’s Texas accent had all but vanished beneath a perfected veneer, but Pen could hear the slightest drawl when he lowered his voice. “You’ll get to meet my brother tonight.”

She was embarrassed she didn’t know a thing about another Ferguson sibling. She’d only been in Texas for a year, and between juggling her new business, moving into her apartment and handling crises for the Dallas elite, she hadn’t climbed the Ferguson family tree any higher than Chase and Stefanie.

“Perfect timing,” Chase said, his eyes going over her shoulder to welcome a new arrival.

“Hey, hey, big brother.”

Now that. That was a drawl.

The back of her neck prickled. She recognized the voice instantly. It sent warmth pooling in her belly and lower. It stood her nipples on end. The Texas accent over her shoulder was a tad thicker than Chase’s, but not as lazy as it’d been two weeks ago. Not like it was when she’d invited him home and he’d leaned close, his lips brushing the shell of her ear.

Lead the way, gorgeous.

Squaring her shoulders, Pen prayed Zach had the shortest memory ever, and turned to make his acquaintance.

Correction: Re-acquaintance.

She was floored by broad shoulders outlined by a sharp black tux, longish dark blond hair smoothed away from his handsome face and the greenest eyes she’d ever seen. Zach had been gorgeous the first time she’d laid eyes on him, but his current look suited the air of control and power swirling around him.

A primal, hidden part of her wanted to lean into his solid form and rest in his capable, strong arms again. As tempting as reaching out to him was, she wouldn’t. She’d had her night with him. She was in the process of assembling a solid bedrock for her fragile, rebuilt business and she refused to let her world fall apart because of a sexy man with a dimple.

A dimple that was notably missing since he was gaping at her with shock. His poker face needed work.

“I’ll be damned,” Zach muttered. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“That makes two of us,” Pen said, and then she polished off half her champagne in one long drink.

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As the snow falls, her touch sets him aflame…

“I don’t want you to leave.”

Texas billionaire Chase Ferguson has one regret: leaving Miriam Andrix to protect her from his public life. When a snowstorm strands her in his mountain mansion, their passion reignites, and it’s too hot to resist! But reality—and scandal—arrives with the thaw. Chase turned his back on happiness once. Will he fight for what he truly wants this time?

 

 

(courtesy of Jessica Lemmon’s Website)

At the entrance of Whole Foods, the automated doors swished aside and the fragrant scent of mulled cider wafted out. She lifted her head and closed her eyes to inhale her most favorite scent—autumn—when a competing smell mingled with the cider.

Sandalwood. Pine. A touch of leather… And eerily familiar. As was the voice that crashed into her like a runaway shopping cart.

“Mimi?”

She snapped her head up and her gaze collided with a man taller than her by several inches, his devastatingly handsome face broken up by the frown on his forehead and additional lines at the corners of his gray-green eyes. His jaw sported a barely-there five o’clock shadow, and his hair was in the same disarray she remembered from ten years ago—the one crooked part of Chase Ferguson that couldn’t be tamed.

“Chase. Hi.” She blinked again at the man in front of her, having the half-crazed thought that she’d summoned him with her mind. A week ago she’d received a photo of herself in an envelope she’d had to sign for. Along with the photo was a letter from the mayor of Dallas’s office—Chase’s office—that was signed by a woman’s hand. Miriam had read the two neatly typed paragraphs and tossed the letter into the trash. There was no action step for her, merely a “making you aware” note that she might be mentioned in Mayor Chase Ferguson’s upcoming campaign and “may be called upon in the future” for her cooperation.

But throwing the letter into the wastebasket hadn’t removed the memories of Chase from her head. For a solid week, she’d reflected on the summer they’d spent together, fumed anew at the senseless way he’d cast her aside and played out a few scenarios wherein she’d enjoy humiliating his mother—whom Miriam blamed in part for Chase breaking things off.

“I didn’t expect to run into you while I was here,” the man from her past was saying. It was the same deep, silken voice she remembered, but his Texas drawl was diminished, no doubt due to rigorous training from a speech coach.

“That’s my line,” she said with a flat smile, stepping aside to allow a woman pushing a stroller to go in ahead of her.

Chase palmed Miriam’s arm and physically moved her to the side of the automated door, and if she was still twenty-three and over-the-moon crazy about him, she might have said that his hand was warm and brought back memories of the summer they spent with each other, most of those days wearing as little clothing as was legal. Sometimes less.

“Yes, I suppose that would be your line.” His smile hitched at one corner and dropped like it’d never been there. He adjusted the paper grocery bag in the crook of his arm.

“What are you doing in Montana?” She had to ask. Because seriously—what?…

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A Christmas Proposition will be available Dec 01, 2018.
 
“I need to get married…

And the only one who can help me is you.”

Trading one scandal for another, Stefanie Ferguson must marry to save her brother’s political career. Luckily, her brother’s best friend wants to help. But until this moment, Emmett Keaton has been off-limits. Now their convenient vows on Christmas Day unleash a passion too long denied. Will this marriage for scandal become a marriage for real?

 
 
 
 
 
Jessica is a contemporary romance author, artist, dreamer, wife, and den mother to a rescue dog. To keep up with the latest news and book releases visit www.jessicalemmon.com.

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Review of “The Queen of Paradise Valley” – Cat Dubie

Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del.

Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana’s ranch, back to prove he isn’t the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him.

 

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Teresa entered the room, her eyes troubled. “Signore, what–?”

“I locked her into the room and don’t want anyone to let her out.”

Si. She is angry now, but that is good. Anger can be overcome. I do not like the way she has been these past weeks, a statue without a heart. She will learn you mean her no harm.”

It was the longest meal Del had ever sat through. The key to the bedroom door lay on the table in front of him. He vacillated between rushing up and releasing Diana from the prison of the room, and dropping the key into his pocket and leaving the house. At last he finished the cognac, stubbed out his cigar, and trudged up the stairs. Light showed beneath the door.

He entered the room prepared to be assaulted or to find it in shambles. But she surprised him yet again. She reclined on the bed, her skirt tucked around her legs, and looked at him with eyes as cool and glittering as ice water. He pushed the door shut behind him. Her expression did not change, but her chin rose.  

The length of the room was between them, yet challenge ignited the air: mentally, like telegraphed messages crackling toward each other along the same wire; physically, like speeding locomotives on a collision course.

Someone tapped on the door. As if a switch had been pulled, a collision was thwarted.

Signore–” It was Alfredo, apologetic. “Clem is downstairs. He needs the Signora’s help with the cows.”

She slid from the bed and smoothed her skirt. “Where did you put my shoes?”

Del rubbed his chin. He had veered onto a detour while she continued on at full speed.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Money and the thirst for power cause many people to go off the rails, no matter the time period. In The Queen of Paradise Valley, readers will go on a journey featuring murder, mayhem, and misunderstandings.

From the very start, Diana and Del’s lives are turned upside down by treachery. Things only become more stressful when multiple people conspire to take everything away from them. Of course, you know things will work out for them. However, their happily ever after was not an easy road to travel down. 

Kidnappings, attempted murder, murder, fires, and even a run in with Baldface (bear) kept The Queen of Paradise Valley moving along in a steady pace. Whether Diana and Del were facing obstacles from dastardly outsiders or battling each other at home, quiet moments were few and far between. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

 

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Cat Dubie believes she was destined to write. Her love of words began early – she was making rhymes soon after learning to talk. With a crayon in hand she first drew stories, with a pencil she wrote them. As for reading, she was the girl who always had her nose in a book, the one who read with a flashlight under the covers or, when the moon was full, sat by a window for hours laughing, crying, loving characters whose adventurous lives wouldn’t let her sleep.

She has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back in time and into the future in books. Her keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.

After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love …

 

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Review of “The Devil’s Own Desperado” – Lynda J. Cox

 

 

He’s everything she fears… Wounded gunfighter Colt Evans stumbles onto a remote homestead never expecting to find compassion. But beautiful Amelia McCollister is like no other woman. Suddenly, his dream of settling down with a wife and home is within reach–but only if his past never comes gunning for him. She’s everything he dreams of… Amelia had to grow up fast after outlaws murdered her parents, leaving her to raise her siblings alone. With a young brother who idolizes shootists, she dreads having a notorious gunman in her home. But as Colt slowly recovers, he reveals a caring nature under his tough exterior that Amelia can’t resist. Just when Colt starts to believe he can leave the gunfighter life behind, his past returns, bringing danger to them all. Can a shootist ever hang up his hardware? Or will their dreams disappear in the smoke of a desperado’s gun?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 

No matter if it’s 2016 or 1887, you never can escape your past. Some how, some way, it will rear its ugly head. In Colt Evan’s case, his past brought danger in the regards to gun-toting men looking to settle a score.

As you can imagine, with any good historical tale, there instances where men drew guns. One at a card game (beginning of the book) and another towards the end of the book (where past meets present). In both instances, Colt survived both battles. Sure, he might’ve sustained some damage but I didn’t really expect him to come away unscathed. You wouldn’t either, right?

Even though this book some tension filled sections, the rest of the story was mostly filled with tender moments. Amelia and Colt’s stolen kisses and lovemaking could only be described as sweet.

Jenny, Amelia’s sister, was so dang cute. I loved it when she smiled and, as a parent, it tugged on my heart to see her afraid. There was one scene, with her, that reminded me of an unforgettable moment in The Patriot (2000). I’m speaking of tear-jerker involving Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) and his daughter, Susan (Skye McCole Bartusiak). For those who’ve seen the hit movie, I think you know which scene I’m thinking about and can get a rough idea where I’m heading with my vague remarks regarding Jenny. 

As for Saul, you can tell he’s going to grow up to be a fine gentlemen because he’s already a sweet young man. 
 

Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
(highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤
 
 
 

Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. Her heart has always belonged to cowboys, the wide open spaces, horses, and Lassie. She grew up on a steady diet of cowboy movies, syndicated Westerns, and Lassie.

All of those influences play a role in her life now. She writes western historical romance and raises and shows collies. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.)

She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page at Lynda J. Cox. (https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox)
 

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Review of “Seize the Flame” – Lynda J. Cox

 

Jessica Depre’s life is in tatters. She’s on the run, thanks to her abusive husband Robert, who needs to silence her about his criminal escapades and the part he forced her to play in them. When bounty hunter Drake Adams walks into the boarding house where she works, Jessica slips away into the night. Her only hope of surviving and protecting those she loves from her husband’s rage is to vanish forever.

Unable to accept that the only woman he ever loved left him standing at the altar and married another, Drake Adams has given up a good law practice in the Wyoming Territory. If he’s not hunting down bounties, he’s pursuing the bottom of a bottle of bourbon. When Drake learns his former fiancée, Jessica Majors-Depre, has a price on her head, he decides he will collect the reward.

Can the bounty hunter and the bank robber ignite a future from the ashes of their past when they are trapped by a blizzard in a mountain shack or will playing with fire burn them both?


 

 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Treachery, dirty rotten scoundrels, jealousy, lost loves reunited, and an unfortunate encounter with a bear trap….. Seize the Flame had everything you’d want in a western romance book and more. 
 
Two most notable sections of the book (for me): 
 
1.) Everything involving the bear trap. Lynda wrote the scenes so well, so vividly, the reader can almost feel Drake’s pain, hear his screams, and see the determination in Jessica’s eyes to not let him down.  She faced weather, wolves and her abusive husband, all in the name to save Drake; the man she’ll truly love forever. 
 
2.) Stud poker scene. Jessica and Drake had no money so they improvised in a most fun and sensual manner. Winner of each hand kisses the loser, anywhere, and the loser is forbidden to touch while he/she is receiving the kisses. Yes, there were absolutely no losers in this game. The only thing lost was articles of clothing. Mmm! 😉
 
Now for the ending (the epilogue), based off the prologue I didn’t expect it to end as it did. Maybe you won’t either. Only way to know for sure is to buy the book. 🙂
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
(highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤
 

 
 

Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. Her heart has always belonged to cowboys, the wide open spaces, horses, and Lassie. She grew up on a steady diet of cowboy movies, syndicated Westerns, and Lassie.


All of those influences play a role in her life now. She writes western historical romance and raises and shows collies. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.)

She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page at Lynda J. Cox. (https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox)
 

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