What A Woman Desires Tour

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bath & a weekend with Teri Wilson…






I am lucky enough to live just a short thirty minute drive from one of the most famous cities in the world…Bath, England. Taking this into consideration, how could I not write historical romances? My career started by writing contemporary romantic suspense and mainstream contemporary romances, but all too soon the sights of Bath poked and prodded at my muse until I had no choice be to sit up and take notice.

Bath is probably most famous for the Roman, Georgian and Regency eras, but none of these periods were as appealing as my already established love for all things Victorian. If I was going to attempt an historical––which terrified me––I had to choose an era I found fascinating, so the Victorian period won!
What A Woman Desires is the third Victorian book in my series with eKensington/Lyrical Press (although they can be read stand-alone), and I am currently writing the fourth. My books are darker romances because the majority of the characters are lower class, with a sprinkling of the upper classes, so the issues are a lot more intense than balls and dances. Be warned, lol!

When an online friend, Teri Wilson contacted me to say she was flying in from Texas for a visit to the UK, I couldn’t wait to take her to Bath. This was the first time Teri and I had met so it was such an exciting time! It happened to be the week of the 2013 Jane Austen Festival which was perfect. Teri and I had so much laughter, chat and fun, I truly didn’t want our short forty-eight hours together end. We watched the parade, visited The Guildhall where we watched dancing, tried on hats (and moustaches) and even had our palms read. After a bizarre show in the evening (which I’m still not entirely sure was about eighteen months later), we were exhausted and said good night before finishing the next day with a lecture on the seedier side of Bath during the 19th century…which was, of course, of immense interest to me!

Bath is a place of great history, amazing architecture and fabulous sights – if you haven’t been, add Bath to your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and my parting tip - do not order a veggie burger from the local cafes…Teri knows why!



Friday, 1 May 2015

Welcome fellow RNA member, Helena Fairfax...


Hi Helena! So thrilled to have you here - looking forward to learning more about you and your work :) Wishing you much sales and success with your latest release, "A Way From Heart to Heart."

1.)          What is your favourite thing about yourself?

That’s a great question. I suffer from depression quite a lot, so there are often long periods where there isn’t anything at all much I like about myself. I should get your question out and think about it more often. It would be good therapy :) I suppose one thing I do have is a lot of empathy for other people. I think the ability to empathise is something writers share in common, and this is how we are able to dream up characters outside ourselves.

2.)          What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

A lot! Mainly I wish I’d started earlier and had more confidence in my ability to write.

3.)          Share a romantic moment in your life.

I’ve been married for quite a long time, and the older I’ve grown the more I appreciate the small moments rather than dramatic declarations. As I mentioned, I often suffer from depression. I can be lying on the settee consumed with self-loathing and all of a sudden my husband will look up from the television and mention how much he loves me. That sort of thing means far more to me now than being whisked off to Paris or given a whopping diamond!

4.)          Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?

Since I mainly write romance my heroes and heroines are basically decent people with the sort of ordinary flaws we all have. I’d never write a hero or heroine who had a flaw I couldn’t forgive, such as bigotry, bullying, etc. I know there are authors who write from the point of view of a completely unsympathetic character (for example Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels), but I don’t think I could stay in that person’s head for the length of time it takes me to write a book.

5.)          Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Read as much as you can in the genre that you’re writing, and try and analyse why a book works well/isn’t working. Reading ordinary readers’ reviews of books also helps me understand what readers enjoy in a story. Also, if you can find someone you trust to critique your work, their advice can often be invaluable. I still remember the advice I received from my reader in the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme.

6.)          If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?

Any one of Jane Austen’s books. I would love to have her ear for dialogue, her wit, and her ability to create characters that have endured for centuries.

7.)          What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I did a lot of things that ought to have got me into trouble, but I was very quiet at school and mainly got away with it because of my look of fresh-faced innocence. I once got detention after I stayed in the playground engrossed in Pride and Prejudice after everyone had gone inside. I hadn’t noticed the bell had gone. Getting in trouble for reading is probably as rock and roll as my life ever got!

8.)          If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

I’d try and find out what sort of things you like to eat, but if I didn’t know, I’d make things that I could prepare in advance, so we could spend time talking instead of cooking. Something like a lamb casserole or curry. I’ve recently discovered how easy it is to make your own ice-cream, so pistachio ice-cream would definitely be on the menu!

Thanks so much for having me, Rachel. I loved your questions. Hope you can come round one day for that meal in real life one day!

Bio

Helena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She's grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire. After many years working in factories and dark, satanic mills, Helena now writes full-time. Her first novel, The Silk Romance, was a contender for the Romantic Novelists' Association Joan Hessayon Award and a runner-up in the Global Ebook Awards in the contemporary romance category. Her present work in progress, a YA time-slip novel, was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize 2014.
When not writing, Helena walks the Yorkshire moors every day with her rescue dog, finding this romantic landscape the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.

­Social links:
Website/blog: www.helenafairfax.com


Helena’s latest contemporary romance, A Way from Heart to Heart, was released by Accent Press in November 2014. Here is the blurb:

A novel about friendship, loss, and the human heart’s enduring capacity for love.

A knock at the door shatters Kate Hemingway’s life when she’s told of her husband’s death in Afghanistan. Piece by fragile piece she begins to rebuild her world and her son’s, spending her free time with a charity for teenage girls in London.
Reserved, ex-public school journalist Paul Farrell is everything Kate and her teenage charges aren’t. But when Paul agrees to help Kate with her teenagers on a trip to the Yorkshire moors, he makes a stunning revelation that changes everything.
Can Kate take a risk with her son’s happiness as well as her own?

Buy links:
and other online retailers

 Helena is waiting to chat! Comments? Questions?

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Welcome Secret Cravings Publishing author, Morgan K. Wyatt...




1.)            What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well at first, I wanted to be Superman. That didn’t work out so well. I settled on being a forest ranger.

2.)            Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Tea.  My goal is to attend high tea at a grand salon or castle. It would be like being a costume drama.

3.)            What genre do you typically read? Why?

That is like asking which of my children my favourite is. I do love a good romantic suspense or a mystery. I am equally devoted to science fiction, fantasy and paranormal with a side serving of non-fiction. Life isn’t just one genre, so why should reading be. Bad days require funny romances. Mysteries suit long nights. Cold snowy days are  perfect for tropical setting books.

4.)            Share a favourite childhood memory.

My father was a barterer. He often brought home things as opposed to money for work he had done. He arrived one day from work at the livestock auction with a small black and white pony in the backseat. A glue manufacturer almost bought the neglected equine, but my father snagged her. Dixie actually grew into a large horse once she ate regular. The gentle mare carried countless children on her back over the years.

5.)            Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

            I do regularly clear out my book collection, which results in dozens of books going to   
            friends, women’s shelters or the local library. I also have 600+ books on my Kindle. I     collect boots, but I never give those away.

6.)            What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

I think the real work of the book comes before the writing starts in thinking of motivations for why the characters do what they do. A character can’t show up in a bad part of town just because the writer needs a chase scene. I also like well-developed secondary characters.


7.)            Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

My daily goal is 1,000 words with my day job. Sometimes I go over, usually on the weekend. Other times, I get bogged down in editing.

8.)            What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Series are all the rage and have been for years. I can see the appeal for both readers and writers. The writer doesn’t have to do as much mental preparation because it is a return to characters already created often situated in the same world. Readers greet the characters as well loved friends.

At a recent book conference, I heard two reader muttering about being tired of series. This is the flipside because publishers will push writers to write continual books in a successful series that has been played out. The phenomenon goes back to popular television shows that keep adding cute kids or new characters to continue on show that has grown old. Eventually, the producer or publisher moves on to a new series.

As for me, I’m not against series.



Love or Deception
by Morgan K. Wyatt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Amy awakes to find her husband Mark missing, along with her memories. Her recollections of Mark include a whirlwind courtship and a beach wedding. Amy is determined to uncover what happened to her husband. How could a man who loved her so intensely just walk away?

The police have no interest in finding Mark. They reason he wasn’t ready for marriage and he walked. She wonders if his disappearance could be associated with her work.

Ryan, a close friend and co-worker, assists her in piecing together her missing memories. As the pair work together, they find that Amy’s actual past reveals a scenario that is so horrifying that it forces them on the run, not knowing whom they can trust.  Will Amy’s newly recalled memories prove fatal to both her and Ryan?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

“I love you,” Mark whispered into her hair as he slipped one long, muscular leg over hers.


Amy snuggled closer to him, nuzzling his neck. Ah, she loved this time, right after a rousing lovemaking session when they were both sated and drowsy, drunk on the idea that in a world of mismatched couples, somehow they found each other. Mark’s slight snore alerted her he’d dropped off to sleep. She should get up. There was so much to do before work. Instead, she stayed, breathing in the peace of the moment. 

Hard to believe she was a bride. Not that she had anything against marriage. She just hadn’t foreseen it happening to her. How could it? All she did was work at Theron under major security scrutiny. The only people she saw were other employees, with the majority being women. The confidentiality clause she’d signed forbade fraternization between employees. The company must have a reason for being so paranoid. Right now, she didn’t care. All she wanted was her husband to awaken.

“Honey, do you remember our wedding?” Using her index and middle fingers, she made slow circles across his wide shoulders and around his muscular arm. The barbed wire tattoos encircling his biceps always surprised her, not that they didn’t look good on his tanned skin. They did. No, it was that she never imagined herself as a woman with a big gorgeous husband who could easily be a male stripper or a porn star with his looks. Nope, she never expected to marry. Even if a part of her held out hope, she never expected anyone without a heavier eyeglass prescription than hers.

Mark held up one arm, stretched, and twisted it enough to make his bicep pop. He noticed her eyes following the play of his muscles. His deliberate wink made her giggle a little. Geesh, just another sign she was way out of her depth. Truth told she never dated much, period. School, then work consumed her every waking moment.

He rolled to his side, facing her, and yawned before answering. “I do remember our wedding since I was there. Plus it was only two weeks ago.”

“Yes.” All that was true, but it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. By mentioning the subject, he might tell her how wonderful it was or even describe it in detail. Did she expect him to gush about the meaningfulness of their vows? No way, she’d admit that she had issues bringing their wedding into focus. All she could see was a couple and minister on the beach with the sun setting in the background. With the shadows falling on them, it was hard to tell if the couple was even white, let alone if it was actually them. The sun was setting in the west, which worked since they married in Tahiti. Still, it had the same feeling of looking at a magazine ad for honeymoons.

The woman had on a short dress, and the groom was barefoot. That she could tell. They did have a whirlwind romance. Was it possible she was drunk when she married Mark? Was that why she couldn’t remember anything very well? Her hope was, by mentioning the wedding, he might also confess how wildly in love he was with her. It might ease her fears about the two of them being an odd couple.

Her Aunt Remy raised her with a healthy self-esteem. Being worthy of her handsome husband wasn’t an issue. It was more a case of like going with like. She’d heard enough comments when a couple showed with one partner being more attractive. When the woman was more beautiful, people assumed the man was rich and powerful. Charitable women might think he was charming and good in bed. Unfortunately, it never worked that way with the women. People seemed genuinely baffled and usually predicted a future break-up. Rather unfair if you asked her. Couldn’t the woman have some great trait? Maybe she was smart, interesting, and a decent conversationalist, even reasonably good looking with a slender build and short blonde hair. Her nose crinkled once she realized she’d just described herself.

The curve between his shoulder and neck beckoned her to nuzzle. The simple action reassured that they were actually married and together. Everything happened so fast. A slow roll of her body had Amy looking up at her husband who pinned her to the mattress. “I think I know what my own Dr. Death needs.” He wiggled his eyebrows and leered at her.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Morgan K Wyatt believes in happy endings. When things don’t end well, she holds to the familiar Indian saying: If things don’t work out, then it’s not the end because everything works out in the end. She considers herself living proof after escaping an abusive marriage; she found and married her soul mate. While not every day is sunshine and roses, she writes about the possibility of flowers and chance meetings between strangers.

Her reputation as a plant rescuer has people dropping sick and dying plants at her house, and then speeding off in the night. The magic ingredient that brings the plants back to life is love and Miracl-gro. Morgan would love to hear from you. If you have a name for a character, cute dog pics, or gardening info, even better.

Social Media










Blogs









Buy Links














 Morgan will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour and a signed paperback copy of Love or Deception (international) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
Comments?? 


Monday, 27 April 2015

Welcome contemporary romance writer, Nora Fountain...


Welcome Nora! I am looking forward to hearing more about you and your books!

1) What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?
            
I suppose my first job was picking apples, Worcester pearmains, in a huge orchard outside Bristol. It was the school holidays and we sixth formers had enormous fun, probably the reason the housewives there were earning four times as much. There's a scene in Blackthorn Child in which a beautiful young heroine is picking apples, skirts tied around her waist when the hero comes upon her. A nice romantic interlude.


2.)              Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?
I'm a bit of a stickler for grammar, spelling and punctuation but of course I'm not infallible and I'm always willing to learn.

3.)              Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country?

 I'd like to think timeless elegance but comfort's the name of the game these days.

4.)              Tell me about your book {Cupcakes and Candlesticks} and where you got your inspiration for it?

 A friend once told me how she found a man slightly injured on the pavement. He turned out to be a gorgeous actor. They moved to the country and had six beautiful children. The meeting in my book is similar, the story completely different.

Blurb for Cupcakes and Candlesticks

Maddy is shocked when husband Rob announces he is leaving. Why? She’d always thought they were a normal happy family with just the usual stresses and strains. What about their four teenagers, studying hard, the boys excelling at sport, the girls at music, a credit to them? Or so she believed. 

Shock turns to anger and a determination to show that she is capable of going it alone. She and the children move to a rambling farmhouse in the country which opens up several possibilities. She could use her skills to open a restaurant or convert a couple of outbuildings to gĂ®tes. There are lots of things she could do. Who needs a man, anyway? 

But then why does she feel such an exquisite frisson every time she meets local landowner, Guy Deverill? And what about Andy, a teacher cum novelist who offers to help Jamie with his maths and work in the garden for the love of it. She’s obviously vulnerable, her emotions too raw to think rationally. Fate conspires to throw every obstacle in her path from planning laws to sick children but she won’t give up and all the while Guy is there in the background, offering support when she needs it. Everything starts to work out when Rob phones from Canada, full of apologies, wanting to move back. What should she do?


Cup Cakes and Candlesticks is now on Kindle and will be out in large print May/June.

5.)              Who is your role model? Why? 

Any terrific writer who tells a good story. I aspire to be among their echelons soon myself.

6.)              How much of your book is realistic?

 There's a touch of realism through the book as a background for a genuine romantic relationship. Okay, so the hero if based on someone no longer with us.

7.)              What are your ambitions for your writing career?

 I just want to write wonderful stories to give readers a bit of happy escapism - and it would be nice to make a load of dosh at the same time!

BIO

Nora Fountain is a professional writer and translator. Her short stories have been published by People's Friend, Yours, Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and Fiction Feast, among others.

Her novels are mainly in the contemporary romance genre published by Robert Hale and My Weekly Story Library. Nora has also written historical romance. Her books are available on Amazon.

Five novels are currently being reprinted by Samhain as part of their Retro Romance series and are available from the publisher as ebooks.
Nora lives in Dorset and is a member of the Society of Authors and the Chartered Institute of Linguists; she is a committee member of the Romantic Novelists Association.My website address is NoraFountain.co.uk.

My books, mentioned on my website, are all featured on Amazon Kindle. 

Blackthorn Child, my Amazon Kindle bestseller, top of three lists at one point, will soon be out as a paperback with CreateSpace.


I'm currently working on a historical set in fourteenth-century Italy.

Comments??

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Inspiration…The Temptation of Laura


One of the most frequently questions asked of authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” The simple answer is everywhere, but that rarely satisfies the curious reader or aspiring author…but it’s the truth.

Ideas can come from newspapers, TV shows, snippets of conversation, the author’s life experiences, their friends and family’s experiences, moral issues, books and films. The list goes on.

The inspiration for The Temptation of Laura was already established before I started writing the novel. Laura is a secondary character in the debut book of my Victorian romance series with eKensington, The Seduction of Emily. In this book, Laura is a prostitute who the hero goes to for help in the hope of imprisoning the villain. The more Laura appeared in the book, the more I learned and liked about her. I wanted to tell her story…luckily my editor suggested it first!

My Victorian books are set in and around Bath so I started thinking about famous buildings in Bath that I could use in my next book. I eventually decided on the Theatre Royal. How could I use Laura’s prostitution and the theatre?

I started trawling the Internet for accounts of famous prostitutes turned actresses – that was when inspiration struck in the form of Nell Gwynn. Nell’s story fascinated me. A prostitute, turned actress, turned mistress of Charles II....who bore him two children. What a story!

I read a couple of biographies on Nell’s life and then the novel, The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell, which I absolutely loved. Roll forward another 200 years and Laura Robinson, prostitute turned actress, was alive and very real in my imagination.

The Temptation of Laura was a joy to write and covers poverty, hope, loss, joy, success and ultimately, true love. I hope you enjoy Laura and Adam’s journey as much as I did writing it. 


I’d love to hear how non-fiction and fiction based on real-life people inspires or interests you!

Rachel x

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Welcome Wild Rose Press author, Jacqueline Farrell...



1.)            What did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher, because they got long holidays and everyone knew their job was dead easy!

2.)           Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Tea. Always tea.

3.)           What genre do you typically read? Why?

I love paranormals and vampire novels which is what I write, but also courtroom dramas and cop novels. At the moment I’m rereading Jonathan Kellerman and have just discovered JKRowlings Cormoran Strike novels, which, to my amazement, I really like.

4.)           Share a favourite childhood memory.

On a walk with my brother and cousin when we were about seven and eight. Our fathers and grandfather were about 100 yards in front, having forgotten about us because they were gossiping, and our granddad’s Alsation, Duke, got very agitated and kept running backwards and forwards, trying to herd us together until the adults remembered us. The dog didn’t even really like us that much because we were irritating little children, but he couldn’t rest until we were all in a close group like we were supposed to be.

5.)           Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

Writing – don’t feel right unless I’ve at least opened my laptop and stared at my work, even if I don’t write anything useful.

6.)           What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

The first sentence.

7.)           Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

I aim for at least 500 words a day. Doesn’t mean I actually do 500 words a day!

8.)           What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I love series. I love reading them, because to me it’s like getting to know a friend and hearing about their life and what’s been happening to them, so I love writing them as well. All of my books are created with the idea in mind that I’ll return to the same characters again. 

Jacqueline's latest release is Sophronia & The Vampire (Wild Rose Press) - here is the blurb and buy links:

She may be fifty, English, and a professional crone, but Sophronia Sheridan is not one to turn down a chance to help others, even when it goes against her better judgment. When she is faced with young witches and vampires who have fallen under a head vampire's power, she allows herself to become beholden to him in order to help the youth gain their freedom. Along the way, she realizes there is much more to the story--rival factions in the local undead community are growing restless with the current climate. Caught in a struggle for power and territory, she has to determine who to trust and what is worth fighting for.


Here is a brief bio: 
"I am 54 years old and live in the Northwest of England with my husband and two sons, aged 19 and 14. I am a teacher of French and English working with children who need to be home educated for a variety of medical reasons. I have been writing since my early twenties and have published two historical romances and co-authored a Jane Austen sequel."
Twitter : @jacquiefw1
Facebook: Jacqueline Farrell
  Comments??

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Welcome contemporary romance author, Jan Scarbrough...


 
1.)            What is the strangest talent you have?

Growing up, I had a best friend who could do everything I wanted to do—sing, play the guitar, draw, paint. The boys liked her too. I was disappointed because I didn’t have any talent. Later I discovered I loved to write. I don’t know if that is a talent, because it is also a skill developed over time by writing and writing. But I think it is my talent—strange or not.

2.)            What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

My mother once made me a lavender taffeta dress with a wide, floor-length skirt. When I wore it, I felt like Scarlet O’Hara sweeping down the steps of Tara. I also remember wearing it to a school function with cowboy boots. The dress still hangs in my basement. No. I can’t wear it any more.

3.)            Are the titles of your books important?

I think so. I hope they are descriptive of the content. “Kentucky” in the title of my Bluegrass Reunion series indicates the setting. The rest of the title describes something about the story. Internet search engines also pick up titles, and a good one helps a book get “discovered.” For example, putting “cowboy” in a title can help readers find a romance about cowboys.

4.)            If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?

Keep writing. What you write can always be revised. The important thing is to write through the block. Often the characters take over and write themselves, almost as if something outside myself is guiding my fingertips. Another trick is to look at the scene from a different character’s point of view. Sometimes that brings added insight.

5.)            Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above?

Can I say both? I raised a daughter who is a veterinarian. She came by loving cats AND dogs naturally. Currently, I have three dogs—a rescued chow mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis that were also rescued, and two cats—an adopted longhaired calico, and a twenty-year-old rescued calico with half a tail.

6.)            Who’s your favourite author? Why?

Anya Seton. Her book Katherine had an impact on me as a teenager. I wanted to write like her, creating a compelling story with a meaningful theme. Ms. Seton used a quote from Julian of Norwich in her novel that to me was the message of the book: “He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.” Katherine’s trials and ultimate triumph demonstrate that quote, and we all find comfort in it.

7.)            Do you have a pet peeve?

Yes. People at work who don’t answer emails that you need to do your job.

8.)            Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?

Not really. As I’m dreaming, I realize I’m dreaming and that it might be important. Too often, I’m being chased in a dream. I wonder what that says. Maybe I’ve seen too many scary movies or read too many thrillers.

Excerpt—Kentucky Cowboy: Bluegrass Reunion series


“Short Go” at a PBR Event in Dallas, Texas

“That’s one rank sonofabitch. Good draw you got, Romeo.”

Judd Romeo nodded. “Yep, he’s a mean ’un.” Perched on top of a six-foot deep metal chute, a leather bull rope clutched in his right hand, he acknowledged the flank man.

“Ain’t named Bad to the Bone for nuthin’,” the other man said.

Judd turned his attention to the 1900-pound Charolais-cross bull beneath him in the chute. It was good luck to draw last year’s bucking bull of the year. All he had to do was stick on this sucker for eight seconds and he’d have a win. No doubt about it.

Judd expelled a deep breath and rubbed his wet palms across his Wranglers. Pre-ride jitters. Nothing unusual. He’d gotten them before. He’d have them again. If he didn’t get ’em, he didn’t get that edge he needed to stay on one of these big, bad bulls.

Still, Judd’s gut twisted as he eyed stock contractor Tim Wilson’s bull. Other riders said this bull lived up to his name, and they talked about how Bad to the Bone threw up his head and smashed a guy’s face once. Yet the bull was allowed back into the chutes, and cowboys kept trying to ride him.

Now it was Judd’s turn. Adrenaline pumped through his veins. A thin line of sweat peppered his lip. He backhanded it off. Winning was the reason he had busted his butt on the circuit. He was a professional bull rider and a damn good one. This year he had a legitimate shot at the world title and the million dollar bonus.

Too bad his father didn’t care.

Why think about Jared Romeo now? His dad had never approved of him, let alone his desire to ride bulls for a living.

He had proven his old man wrong, hadn’t he?

Judd drew a breath. Damn, why was he was chewing on the past when he needed to focus?

He slowly put on his leather riding glove, directing his gaze toward the packed arena. How he loved this life. The noisy crowd. The blaring rock music and high-tech pyrotechnics. The earthy smells of dirt, sweat and manure. The camaraderie and danger. Eight seconds of heart-stopping thrills. Stunned silence when a competitor didn’t get up. Applause and cheers when the cowboy stood and staggered like a drunk out of the arena.

His father had never understood this excitement. The beauty of man tackling beast.

Mandy didn’t get it either. He had loved that girl in high school, but she had just seen the danger and walked away from him.

Judd looked away from the crowd. Riding bulls was all he wanted to do. All he knew how to do. It was in his blood.

He tried to swallow over the lump in his throat. His mother had appreciated his passion. She had understood.

The chute boss turned to him. “You’re up, Romeo.”

Judd’s head snapped up. “Right.”

His pulse kicked up a notch. Time to ride. This one’s for you, Mom.

Judd rubbed more rosin on his gloved riding hand and tugged his black Resistol down over his eyes. He plucked a mouthpiece out of the pocket of his protective vest and popped it into his mouth. Ready, he slipped from the railing and eased down on the bull’s flat back.

Bad to the Bone snorted and shifted in the chute. Judd slid his gloved hand into the leather handle of the bull rope, and another cowboy leaned over the railing to cinch the rope around the animal’s girth. Judd’s lips tightened.

“He usually goes out three or four big jumps,” the flank man warned, “and then spins like a sonofabitch.”

Judd jerked a nod of thanks, his total concentration now on the rope in his right hand. He sucked a deep breath and glanced at the other cowboy beside him.

“You gonna suicide it, Romeo?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn risky.”

Judd knew the risks of a suicide wrap. He also knew the rewards. Expertly he wrapped the rope around his gloved hand and the bull strap. Next he split the little finger from the others with a second wrap. For good measure, he pounded his curled, leather-covered fingers with his left fist.

Then with his grip secure, he scooted up over the right hand and tightened his legs against the bull. Blood rushed in his ears. He gulped another quick breath.

“Let’s roll!”

The gate flew open and the bull blew out of the chute jumping high into the air. The animal lunged thirty feet in two jumps and spun to the right, kicking high. Judd gripped the bull rope. Each jerk wrenched his riding arm and shoulder socket.

Riding directly in the center of the bull’s back, he dug the blunt rowels of his spurs into the animal’s hide. His free hand snapped at a ninety-degree angle over his head. His insides churned like a cement mixer.

Bad to the Bone changed tactics and spun faster to the left. Judd went with him. Forcing air through his lungs, he concentrated on staying in the center. He didn’t want to drop down into the middle of the spin. His inner clock ticked away six seconds.

Judd opened up and began spurring the bull. His timing was good. He was making points, but his calves no longer touched the animal’s sides. Any lurch or twist could dust his butt into the dirt.

Damn, this is good. No amount of money could buy this kind of high. He was winning. Riding the rankest damn bull on the circuit and beating the socks off the competition.

Blurb and buy links

Now on Kindle Unlimited—Subscribers read for free.  http://amzn.to/1bb6iPM

Professional bull rider Judd Romeo is a contender for the world title. He defies death for a living. But now he must deal with the death of his mother by settling her estate. Returning home to Kentucky, the PBR cowboy runs smack dab into the arms of his high school sweetheart, a woman he’s never forgotten.

Veterinarian Mandy Sullivan learned early on that risk-takers are trouble. Having custody of her sister’s child, she works hard to be both mother and father to the abandoned girl. When trouble shows up next door, Mandy discovers she can’t avoid her former beau. Will she take a second chance and risk her heart this time?

Books in the Bluegrass Reunion Series:
  • Kentucky Cowboy—She dumped him in high school, because he was a risk-taker.
  • Kentucky Woman—She loved him when she was a teenager, but they never connected.
  • Kentucky Flame—She had his baby, but he left not knowing the truth.
  • Kentucky Groom—She can't afford to fall in love with a lowly groom.
  • Kentucky Bride—She rejected him once, but he's willing to try again.
  • Kentucky Heat—She doesn't need to take on another project, but he won't take no for an answer. (Sequel to Kentucky Bride.)
  • Kentucky Rain—She has responsibilities to her daughter and herself, not to the handsome guy next door. (Sequel to Kentucky Cowboy.)
  • Kentucky Blue Bloods—She wants to save the family horse farm, but he has other ideas.

Author bio and links

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.


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