Category Archives: Western Romance Literature

Carra Copelin

Although with working on an anthology  you rarely get to meet the other authors in person, you still get a good idea of them through your correspondence.  That said, it’s been a pleasure working with Carra Copelin. Carra is an award winning and Amazon Best Selling Author in contemporary and historical romances but, unlike so many other authors, didn’t write from childhood or read long into the night beneath the covers with a flashlight. She found romance novels as an adult. After reading about a million, she discovered numerous people residing in her head, all looking for a way onto the printed page.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and she regularly contributes to romance blog, Smart Girls Read Romance. She is a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution and The Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Carra and her hero live in North Central Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex where they enjoy family and their three beautiful grandchildren.

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Hi, and thank you, Andrea Downing, for having me here today! This anthology, A COWBOY TO KEEP, Contemporary Western Romance Collection, has been a fun project. It is a privilege to work with this group of talented authors and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and their work. I think readers will love this collection of contemporary western romances.

I always fall in love with my characters, even the bad guys, and from the time Sheriff Ben Hammond walked on stage in my first book, CODE OF HONOR, Texas Code Series, I’ve been in love. Originally, he was a minor character and love interest for Dinah Horne, while the main story played out. The more he supported the other characters in their investigations, the harder I fell.

He is tall, dark, and handsome, carries a badge and packs heat – in more ways than one – plus he’s serious, smart, and loyal. If you’re looking for a guy with a big heart and the ability to keep you safe and protected in any situation, Ben Hammond is your man.

I went down the western historical trail for a while leaving Ben and Dinah to wait in the wings, non-too patiently I might add, for their own story, and it’s finally here. We find Ben recovering from a broken heart, dealing with the down-sizing of his small police force, and buying a ranch. What will he do, when the woman who walked out on him six months ago, suddenly reappear?

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Blurb:  THE LEGEND OF BAD MOON RISING 

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?

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EXCERPT:

Dinah Horne sat in a booth, in the darkened corner of the Bigger Jigger, her butt, literally and figuratively, frozen to the worn, red vinyl, seat. In the last few days, she and Maggie had discussed the situation with Ben Hammond, ad nauseam. Should she move back to McTiernan? Would he accept her living here again? Could they even reside in the same county?

She’d known her leaving last year had hurt him badly. But she’d needed to follow her dream of owning and running her own business. Hadn’t she? Well, she’d done it, all right. She’d even gone the extra yardage by telling him she couldn’t spend her life simply being Mrs. Sheriff Hammond. She was destined for greater things.

And, how’s that working out for you, Sister Sue? Her mother’s voice reverberated inside her head. Less than a year and she was back in McTiernan, tail between her legs, imposing on the kindness of friends. Pathetic.

She watched Maggie hug Ben, give her an almost imperceptible nod, and leave.

How much longer would he wait for the new realtor to show up? Not long, she surmised, if he was still in the habit of having one beer before heading home for the day. Slowly, she exited the booth and made her way toward the bar. She approached Ben just as Harry set a Styrofoam box on the counter. Ben paid his bill, picked up the white carton, and fished his keys out of his pocket.

Without fanfare, Dinah slid her card onto the lid of his dinner box.

He picked up the Packard Realty card, read the generic front, and said, “Hey, I was about to leave. I thought you weren’t going to make our appointment.” He half-swiveled on the stool, stretching out his hand. “I’m Ben, and you are, Ms?”

The look in his eyes told her most of what she needed to know. “Hi, Ben.”

He stared at her, and looked again at the card. He flipped it over to see her name scrawled across the back. Handing it to her he said, “We’re not doing this. I’ll call Tristi tomorrow.”

“Ben, you can’t just run away from me.”

“Oh, I don’t know, I’ve heard it works for others. I think I’ll give it a try.”

“That’s not fair, Ben.”

He set the container down with enough force that his thumb pushed through the lid. He grabbed her by the upper arm and marched her back to the booth she’d vacated mere minutes before.

“Fair? You want to talk fair?” He pushed her into the booth and slid in next to her, effectively blocking her escape. “You up and leave with only a note taped to my gun safe. You were afraid of losing yourself? What the hell does that mean?”

“Ben, I should go.” While she knew in her heart, he wouldn’t hurt her, she did her best not push him too far. The floodgates were threatening to overflow, and she absolutely would not cry in front of him. “This was a mistake.”

“You have no idea how huge.” With that, he got up and walked straight out the front door without so much as a glance over his shoulder.

* * *

Ben walked into the sheriff’s office, sat in his chair, and realized, as his stomach growled, he’d left his double cheeseburger with grilled onions and fries at the Bigger Jigger. Damn. He’d been really looking forward to that most perfect combination of meat, bun, and cheese with a liberal dose of jalapeños. His mouth watered at the thought, but there was no way he was going back to pick it up. He’d starve first.

His gaze drifted over to his only other option. Unhappily, he got up and slid a dollar bill into the vending machine slot, and retrieved a bag of chips. He ate one, grimaced at the remainder of the contents, and tossed them into the trash can beside his desk.

He dropped into his chair and scrubbed his hands over his face. What was the matter with him tonight? His reaction and resulting actions toward Dinah had been, while marginally understandable, completely unacceptable. He’d convinced himself, over the past few months, he was over her, and never again would she affect him. Tonight, however, had proved how wrong he’d been. Seeing her out of the blue like that had flummoxed him almost as much as seeing her that first time in Maggie’s living room last summer. Their break-up had hit him hard, and he’d promised never again to let a woman get that close. Evidently, he hadn’t moved as far along as he’d thought.

In an effort to, finally, put his relationship with Dinah Horne to bed — an unfortunate turn of phrase indeed — he started the computer and began composing an email to Tristi Packard, owner of Packard Realty. He’d call her in the morning with his concerns, but for now . . . this was a way for him to organize his thoughts.

The front door opened and closed, breaking his concentration, and when he looked up, Dinah stood inside, with her back against the glass closure.

“Hi, Ben.” She crossed the room and set a slightly worse-for-wear white box, with a hole in the lid, onto the desk in front of him. “You forgot your dinner.”

“You didn’t have to go out of your way.”

“I was driving by anyway, and promised Harry I’d drop it off. Sorry it’s gone cold.”

“Don’t worry about it.” He managed a measure of control to avoid a repeat of his actions at the bar. He cleared his throat. “You can go now.”

She pulled up a chair and sat down. “We need to talk, Ben.”

“No, we don’t. You chose to leave, you don’t get to come back.”

“Seriously? Childish much?”

Ben stared at the blank computer screen, wishing she’d leave, yet hoping she’d stay. Quite the impossible conundrum. He waited a few beats longer until the screen went dark, and then forged ahead.

“You bleached your hair. Why?”

“There’s so much competition in Dallas real estate, that when I got my license, I thought I needed something to help me stand out in the crowd. So, I got a makeover.” She smoothed her shoulder-length hair and pressed her gloss-covered lips together into an exaggerated pout. “What do you think?”

“Doesn’t matter what I think.”

“Of course, it does, Ben. Always did.

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You can find Carra at:  http://www.carracopelin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carra-Copelin-Texas-Skies-Author/233861816666958

https://twitter.com/#!/CarraCopelin

And you can 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

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?

CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing

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.

THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay

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?

BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman

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?

 

 

 

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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. Continue reading

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.

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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!”

Oops…

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?

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PHOENIX HEAT Blurb:

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?

Excerpt:

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.”

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You can find out more about Patti at

http://pattisherrycrews16.wix.com/author-blog

http://amzn.to/2o59A9D

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

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?

CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing

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.

THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay

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?

BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman

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

A CHRISTMAS REUNION

christmas-clip-artDecember, as my readers will know, I always like to have as guests some fellow authors to share their thoughts on the holiday season. This year I had the pleasure of working with some of the best authors in western romance on Come Love a Cowboy, and the experience was so enjoyable that I asked them back for a Christmas reunion. Just to remind you, Continue reading

Because of Virginia City

Blaire EdensBlaire Edens is another fellow author from the Good, the Bad and the Ghostly.  She lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She grew up on a farm that’s been in her family since 1790. Of Scottish descent, her most famous ancestor, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Guardian of Scotland, was murdered by Robert the Bruce on the altar of the Greyfriars Church at Dumfries. Continue reading

Yuma Territorial Prison – The Dark Cell and Ghosts

I previously had the pleasure of working with Keta Diablo on the anthology, Come Love a Cowboy, so when she asked me to join her on this boxed set I jumped at the chance. Keta  lives in Minnesota on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. A lifelong animal lover, she also devotes her time and support to the local animal shelters. Continue reading