I still have a coaster on my desk from the first author’s conference I ever attended back in 2012–it’s pink with the now familiar name of Hildie McQueen on it. So imagine my delight to now find myself in an anthology with Hildie.
Hildie is a USA Today Bestselling author who loves unusual situations and getting into interesting adventures, which is what her characters do as well. She writes romance because she is in love with love! Author of Romance in Highland historical, Western Historical and contemporary, she writes something every reader can enjoy.
Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook. Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.
She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt, an unruly boy Chihuahua Pepito and a spoiled rotten girl Chiweenie named Lola.
Inspirations for stories are everywhere.
Giddy from my first visit to Montana, I rushed from the airport gate to where I’d gather my bags and rental car. I couldn’t wait for the scenery, the experience of Big Sky Country.
Then the perfect thing happened. As I went down the escalator, a tall, broad-shouldered, handsome guy stood next to the rental car counter. With a light blue and white plaid shirt, well-worn jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, he was the perfect romance book hero.
The cowboy scanned the crowd for whoever he came to pick up and sure enough another guy, almost same M.O., except for the hat went to him and they did the awkward, “glad to see you” man greeting.
While I waited for my luggage to come out on the carousel, I watched them walk out of the terminal ideas forming.
What would it be like for a guy to return home to Montana? After rambling for a while, sometimes a man needs to come home to the familiar to ground himself and get a fresh start. So that is how my story Jaded:Luke, came to be.
What about Her Man? Well that’s easy. What can be sexier than a lawman who wears a Stetson and a badge? In my novella for this anthology, I decided to write a light romantic suspense, with characters that are almost comical. In this small town setting, my hero Mark Hunter is starting anew. I hope you enjoy his story!
When someone is murdered, it’s definitely not a normal week in the usually quiet small town of Lovely, Montana.
Deputy Mark Hunter’s past returns full force when the first murder in twenty years happens on his watch in the usually quiet small town of Lovely, Montana. This is definitely not the time to fall in love. Especially with the beautiful witness Eliza Brock, who could be involved.
The last twenty-four hours have been hell, between a fight with her ex that left her with a bruised face and now finding a dead man Eliza Brock can barely keep it together. In the middle of all the mess Eliza still manages to feel an undeniable attraction to the handsome deputy and damn if she can’t resist when he knocks on her door.
Fate decides to bring two solitary people together, just when neither of them needs it.
The sound of the doorbell made her jump. She glanced at the clock. It was only eight-thirty, she supposed not too late for someone to stop by. Still on the couch with her feet up, she took in her outfit. She wore green polka dot pajama shorts and a loose t-shirt. Not bad since it was probably Mrs. Miller anyway.
Her stomach sunk when she peered through the peephole and caught a glimpse of Mark Hunter’s face. He stood away from the door staring straight forward.
“Shit.” Eliza mumbled and dashed to put the glass on her kitchen table. She yanked the towel from her wet hair and shook it out. Raking her fingers through her shoulder length locks, rushed back to the door.
His eyes met hers when she opened her front door and immediately her stomach filled with butterflies. How she wanted to roll her eyes at her body’s reaction to the flat but beautiful hazel eyes.
“Deputy Hunter. Is something wrong?” She took a step back. “I didn’t expect you to stop by. Would you like to come in? I just got home not too long ago from the diner.” Okay this was the time to shut up and allow the man to talk.
To her surprise he walked in and stood just inside the door. Once again he accessed her face. “I need to ask you a couple more questions.”
He wasn’t wearing his uniform. Instead wore a white t-shirt and jeans. Although he looked handsome in his police clothing, the casually dressed Mark Hunter was a totally hottie.
“Would you like some coffee? Tea? I have wine.” She hustled to the kitchen and stood behind the counter like a fast food worker, waiting to take an order.
He moved closer and frowned. “I’ll take some coffee, please. If it’s not too much trouble.”
“Not a problem.” She measured grounds into her coffee maker and poured water into the reserve. It had to be a good sign that he was drinking coffee. Surely if he suspected her of having something to do with Eddie’s death, he’d not ask for coffee. Would he? “Can I ask you a question?”
His lips quirked at the corners. “Sure. I haven’t asked mine, though.”
“Oh.” Her eyes rounded. “You go first then.”
“Thank you.” His eyes twinkled as she hurried to the kitchen table and sat, motioning him to do the same.
Once he lowered to a chair opposite her and pushed the wine glass toward her, he took out his small pad again. Eliza was too nervous to pick up the glass. Instead she clenched her hands together under the table.
“I spoke to Mr. Garrett today. He was worried you’d reported him for striking you.” He watched her intently. Those penetrating gazes of his making her want to either scream. She fidgeted instead.
“I…er. What is the question?” She bit her bottom lip and prayed the coffee maker would beep. It would give her something to do.
“Mr. Garrett was worried you’d pressed charges against him. Do you plan to?”
Eliza let out a breath. So this had nothing to do with the murder then. “I planned to speak to Sheriff Clark and ask him to talk to Jay.” She felt heat rising to her cheeks. Great, there went her chances of ever going out with Mark Hunter.
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Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …
Don’t miss this great collection from USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-Winning authors!! Available at https://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Keep-Contemporary-Western-Collection-ebook/dp/B072869SGV/
THE LEGEND OF BAD MOON RISING by Carra Copelin
Dinah Horne left for Dallas, Texas, to make her mark. When her money runs out, she returns to her hometown and the man she can’t forget. Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, and he plans to rebuild his life with the Hard Luck Ranch. Under a rising moon, will Ben and Dinah surrender to the passion still burning hot between them?
CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing
Rodeo star and rancher Chay Ridgway has left Wyoming to follow his girlfriend, K.C. Daniels, to New York. Leaving behind all he knows for a small bite of the Big Apple, Chay discovers the canyons of city streets may be too claustrophobic for this cowboy. As K.C. continues her two years of study for her Master’s degree, can she also keep a rein on Chay’s heart? Will this cowboy become a city boy, or will the wide-open spaces of Wyoming call his country heart home?
BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey
Braden Delaney has taken over the family cattle business after the death of his father, but faced with difficult financial decisions, he contemplates selling a portion of the massive Delaney ranch holdings known as Whisper Rock, a place of unusual occurrences. Archaeologist Audrey Driggs arrives in the remote wilderness of Northern Arizona searching for clues to a life-altering experience from her childhood. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.
THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay
Addison Reed’s stock is coming up short. Unfortunately, she suspects her foreman and dearest friend may be the person responsible for the missing cattle. For Sawyer Dawson, Hardin, Montana, is nothing more than a pit stop before moving on to bigger and better things. After a surprise kiss leads to helping a damsel in distress, he starts to question his drifter ways.
HER MAN by Hildie McQueen
Deputy Mark Hunter’s past returns full force when the first murder in twenty years happens on his watch in the usually quiet town of Lovely, Montana. This is definitely not the time to fall in love, especially with the beautiful witness Eliza Brock, who may be involved.
BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman
When Leticia Villarreal, a lonely widow, considers adding Quarter horse racing to her ranch, she finds she has a lot to learn. John Clay Laidlaw, a millionaire rancher and old acquaintance, races Quarter horses and offers to help. But he also cares for her and wants a relationship. Remembering his high-handed tactics when they were young, she doesn’t trust him. But when someone tries to harm her horses and John Clay rushes to her rescue, can she open her heart to him?
PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews
When Harper Donovan loses both her fiancé and business in that order, it’s the end of her dream of making it in New York City. Returning to the bosom of her family in Arizona is not her favorite option, but it’s her only one. When she meets handsome firefighter and cowboy Frank Flynn, she decides it’s time to get into the dating game again. Except Flynn shows no interest and dodges her, but not before claiming they’ve met before. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?
Hildie, I enjoyed your post today. Thanks for sharing where some of your ideas come from. Great visual for the cowboy, too!I enjoyed working with you on this project!
Hildie, your story was a fun contribution to the anthology. So pleased to work with you!!
Hi, Hildie and Andi! Like Carra I enjoyed the visual of the cowboy. This has been a great project to be part of!
Hildie, love your story of landing in Montana! Sometimes, you see guys in real life who beat out any cover model you can find. Sounds like there are some cute cowboys in the “Big Sky Country.” And I definitely enjoyed your sexy cowboy with a badge in “Her Man,” one of the awesome books of our boxed set!