Hildie McQueen

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!


Her Man:

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.


You can find Hildie at:

Author Amazon Page: www.facebook.com/authorhildiemcquee…

Author Website: http://www.hildiemcqueen.com

Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/hildiemcqueen


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/


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?


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.


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.


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?


Patti Sherry-Crews

This is the third anthology on which I’ve had the  pleasure of working with Patti Sherry-Crews, and I’m not sure I could proceed to work on one without her!  She has been a redoubtable ally against the foibles of publishing, and has stopped me from pulling my hair out on many an occasion with her delightful wit and sense of humor. Patti Sherry-Crews lives in Evanston, IL with her husband and two children. She writes both historical and contemporary romances. Her historic western and medieval romances are published by Prairie Rose Publications. Patti is also known to do the occasional good deed.


My cheery neighbor comes toward me, arms extended. We greet each other with a hug, because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other.

“Where do you get the ideas for your stories?” she asks me.

Well, neighbor, I’m not sure that’s something I want to share with you at this late date, I think to myself. I’d taken a short break from writing Phoenix Heat, to pop in at an open house down the street.

The thing is, I’m writing a scene taken from the pages of my own book and it involves this woman. Years ago, decades really, a massive storm was about to break. I was hurrying home when I saw a dog frantically trying to get into her house. I rang the doorbell but nobody was home, so I let the dog into the vestibule and went on my way. Good deed done. I’ll collect my karma later, thank you.

Months later I overheard my neighbor talking to someone. “And, I came home to find a strange dog in the hall! It shredded the wallpaper and ate a table!”


If I had heard this immediately after throwing a dog into her house, I’m sure I would have said something. But since so much time had passed it seemed enlightening her wouldn’t help the situation, so I zipped my lip. Instead, I stored the incident away in my writer’s brain to use at a later date, thinking what better way for a hero and heroine to meet?

Writers do that: we tuck away the odd incident witnessed, bits of strange conversations overheard, and significant experiences for later use. I think of my stories as scrapbooks for my memories.

When I was developing the character of Frank Flynn, who is the firefighting cowboy in Phoenix Heat, I had a vision of what I wanted him to be like. Sort of a self-contained, quiet guy whose still waters run deep. I wanted him to have something in his past he carried around with shame. It also had to be something that makes him turn away from Harper Donovan when they meet. Whatever it was haunting him, it couldn’t be so terrible that the reader lost interest in him.

Then I thought how some of our deepest wounds are things we carry from childhood. Maybe even things we had no control of like having a family different from everyone else’s.

So, I gave Frank a family who lived down the street from me when I was growing up. Without giving too much away, this was a household run by teens. There were five extraordinarily good-looking kids, who got into every kind of mischief kids without parents around can get into. As a kid, it was a fun house to visit, but as an adult I reflected on what it must have been like to live there. Only one of the five children, the oldest daughter, went on to make a stable life for herself. I gave Frank the strength of character she had to rise above it all.

I hope you enjoy Phoenix Heat! And by the way, my neighbor’s dog was a greyhound and the dog at her door was also a greyhound, so I ask you what would you have done? In fact, I’m now asking myself if there were two times someone threw a dog into her house, because unless you frequent the race track how often do you see greyhounds?



Harper Donovan thought she had it all when she turned her dream into a reality—opening a restaurant in New York City. But when the venture fails and her fiancé leaves her, Harper has little choice but to return to her family in Arizona.

When she meets handsome firefighter and cowboy Frank Flynn, she decides it’s time to get in the dating game again. Except Flynn shows no interest and dodges her, but not before claiming they’ve met before. Solving the mystery of the complicated Flynn gets under Harper’s skin, making her even more determined to seduce him.

When the two finally come together, the smoldering passion ignites into a heat that rivals the Phoenix desert. Now that Flynn has opened his heart, can Harper handle this wounded cowboy who’s playing for keeps?


Harper rolled down her window as Flynn approached and looked back at him over her shoulder. His feet landed in her tire tracks leading him closer, boot prints stamping a new pattern in the dust. Maybe she could hand him the bag and be on her way. He leaned down and put his hands on the driver’s side of her car with his arms spread wide. Oh my. He has a tattoo. Around one muscular bicep ran a band of Celtic design. He had his cheek sucked in like he wasn’t too pleased to see her.

“Hi, I brought you some food from the hotel,” she said, surprised by the slight squeak in her voice when she’d been going for relaxed.

“Rosa have you running her errands?” No squeak in his voice. He spoke in a deep, slow drawl. Very sexy.

“I pass by here on my way to work. It’s not a bother. I work at—”

“I know where you work,” he said in that same slow, deliberate way. That man didn’t do anything fast.

“Oh, right, well, here you go then,” she said, shifting the bag in his direction. “Nice of you to do this. I brought the food yesterday, so I know normally I’m to put the bag on the back porch.”

To her discomfort, he stood there, not reaching for the bag, intense eyes boring into her. She lifted the bag higher. “Well, here you are. I’ll just be on my—”

“Yesterday? You were here?” The muscles in his wide-spread arms bulged, making her feel like prey trapped by a more powerful opponent. His body, radiating heat, blocked her view. His male scent filled the car.

“Yes, I let your dog in too. Poor thing was frantic to get in with the storm coming.”

His face got tight and he narrowed his eyes. “Very kind of you, except I don’t own a dog.”

“Oh, well, I—”

“That dog did some damage.” A vein in his neck twitched and his compressed lips went white.

The scorch of shame flashed over her cheeks. “I’m so sorry! It never occurred to me…. Was it bad?”

“Words fail to describe. Let me show you what I came home to yesterday. Come on,” he said when she continued to sit in the car.

He stood back to let her open her door and step out into the hot sun, pulling the bag after her. She stood face to face with him now. With his hands hooked in his belt loops, elbows out, she was aware of the size of him. Large and imposing, his body held her captive without touching her. She didn’t know what to say, and he seemed to be taking his time raking her over with his eyes. He stood so close to her, she smelled the musky scent of him. The individual stubble of each whisker on his chin, clear to her.

Finally, he walked away, moving to the back of his truck, where he picked up something large and threw it over one shoulder—a fifty-pound bag of dog food.

“I thought you said you don’t have a dog?”

“It appears I do now.”


You can find out more about Patti at



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/


Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, but when Dinah Horne suddenly returns, can he ignore the passion still burning bright between them?


Trading horses for subways for two years seemed like a good idea to cowboy Chay Ridgway, but can city girl K.C. Daniels keep a rein on his country heart?

BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey

Archaeologist Audrey Driggs rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.


Determined to take back what belongs to her, Addison Reed will do anything. Even trust a complete stranger.

HER MAN by Hildie McQueen

Deputy Mark Hunter falls for Eliza Brock during a murder investigation. Is it fate or bad luck, especially when she may be involved?


Widow Leticia Villarreal wants to establish a horse-racing stable and old acquaintance John Clay Laidlaw offers to help. But can she trust him with her business and her heart?

PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews

After losing her fiancé and her New York City business, Harper Donovan returns to Arizona and meets cowboy Frank Flynn. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?





An Interview with Kristy McCaffrey

I had the pleasure of meeting Kristy McCaffrey when she recently visited New York, and I can tell you there is very little she doesn’t know about publishing, promoting and, most especially, writing a dang good book. Kristy writes historical western romances set in the American southwest. She and her husband dwell in the Arizona desert with two chocolate labs named Ranger and Lily, and whichever of Continue reading

Devon McKay

Devon McKay has been an absolute bonus to our group of authors, working extra hard on promotion in addition to having turned out a terrific story. Devon writes contemporary romance with a western flair. If she’s not typing at her keyboard, Devon’s busy with chores on her small ranch, working on a stained glass project, or walking one of her three dogs through the woods. Her greatest joy is putting a smile on a readers face and hearing from fans.
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Hebby Roman

Hebby Roman took a loose rein in organizing A Cowboy to Keep and I greatly enjoyed working with her. Hebby is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, SUMMER DREAMS, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino Continue reading

A Cowboy to Keep

There are numerous reasons why an author might accept an invitation to join an anthology. The ability to interact with other authors is appealing; the thought that new readers might find your work through the audience of the others is an attraction; and, for some, getting a story out that perhaps you already have and sharing the workload of promotion might be the draw. As for myself, having been faced with sixteen months of wedding planning which reduced my writing time, I saw the proposition of Continue reading

Amy Hale Auker

Fellow member of Women Writing the West, Amy Hale Auker writes and thrives on a ranch in Arizona where she is having a love affair with rock, mountains, piñon and juniper forests, the weather, and her songwriter husband who is also foreman of the ranch. She is the author of Rightful Place, Winter of Beauty, The Story is the Thing, and the forthcoming Ordinary Skin: Essays from Willow Springs. Continue reading

Nicodemus–African American Icon of the Old West

Back in 2015, my daughter and I were on a cross-country trip from New York with a turn-around in Wyoming. One of the stops I added to our route was Nicodemus National Historic Site, one of the oldest, and last remaining of the Black towns on the western plains. We arranged to meet with fellow author Eunice Boeve, who took us to lunch with Angela Bates. While initially reluctant to make this stop in Kansas, my daughter later swore it was one of the highlights of the entire road trip due to the informative and enlightening conversations we’d had with Angela.

Photo of Angela by Kathryn Sommers

Angela O. Bates is the executive director and past president and organizer of the Nicodemus Historical Society (1988). As a Nicodemus descendant and historian, she was responsible for obtaining National Historic Site designation for the town. For nearly 25 years, she has presented educational programs and one woman shows for libraries, schools, colleges, and organizations across Kansas and the nation. After serving on the Kansas Humanities Council in the Continue reading

A Brief History of the Volga Germans

eunice-photoBack around 2012, when I first joined ‘Women Writing the West’, I somehow managed to start a correspondence with a fellow author in Kansas—Eunice Boeve. One might think that a romance author sitting in NYC and a predominantly YA and western author living out in KS had nothing in common, but Eunice and I have found a lot of common ground and continue our correspondence to this day. Continue reading

Struggles and Hope During WWII’s Japanese Internment

shanna-3I’m so pleased to welcome back another pal from Women Writing the West, USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield. Shanna writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Continue reading