Thursday, December 13, 2018

Kim Redford Has Fun at the Dallas Fantasy Fair


Wish y’all had been with me at the revived Dallas Fantasy Fair just after Thanksgiving this year. I signed books, chatted with old friends like artist David Spurlock, made new friends, and discovered DJ Larry King’s straight-up pickle juice might be a food group all on its lonesome. What’s so special about the DFF is that it combines comic book collectors, comic artists and writers, fine artists, book authors, cosplay awards, and a fortune teller, along with my favorite—carnivorous plants. What’s not to like?

Let me share some photos of my friends who made the DFF special as special can be.

I caught up with Rachael Caine, bestselling author, and artist Cat Conrad over delicious Thai food. We regaled each other with life stories—laughter and pathos all rolled into one—while talking about our upcoming books.

Michael Golden, legendary comic book artist, signed a copy of his fantastic poster of Wonder Woman for my collection. Christ Coates, terrific artist, explained how he got his Mohawk just right. Renee Witterstaetter, fabulous author, publisher, and colorist, shared stories of her world travels.
Holly Hitch, massage therapist, and Caroline Crawford, Twanda Jewelry, took a moment to pose for me while having fun at the DFF.

Over the years, I’ve shared many an interesting panel with award-winning science fiction/fantasy illustrator Brad W. Foster, so we had fun reminiscing about other conventions and what we’re currently creating right now.

 I did mention carnivorous plants, didn’t I? Here’s terrific author and plant expert Paul T. Riddell of Texas Triffid Ranch trying to lure me into taking home a carnivorous plant for my cats. Did I do it? Not yet . . . although Paul’s pretty persuasive. 
And now I’m all set to enjoy the Dallas Fantasy Fair again next year.

Smokin' Hot Cowboys series
A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas (Book 1)
Blazing Hot Cowboy (Book 2)
A Very Cowboy Christmas (Book 3)
Hot for a Cowboy (Book 4)


Kim Redford is the acclaimed, bestselling author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at http://www.kimredford.com.


Crazed or Calm? What Will You Choose This Holiday Season?



Christmas is almost here and I'm about two months behind on everything that needs to be done. I've just finished the third book in my Deadly Forces series for Sourcebooks (and am waiting for a title), and have realized that I have no presents yet, my tree isn't up, and the kids come home from college tomorrow. Forget about the Christmas cards and baking.

Last night I felt the beginnings of a panic attack. Usually I have my Christmas planner out on November 1 and start the countdown. I check coupons, plan menus, and come up with a baking schedule. Because this book 3 has kicked my butt for the past ten months, I'm behind on everything.

So I did what I do when I get stressed. I took a bath. I filled the tub with hot water, added bath salts, and put on some Christmas music. And it felt wonderful.



As I drifted away, trying to forget how difficult this latest book was to write and how it sucked all of my creative energy for almost an entire year, I made a conscious decision to let my lack of planning not matter.

If I have to buy my cookies at the grocery store? They'll still be eaten.

If I get my cards out after Christmas? No one really cares.

The Christmas Tree? I'll leave that to the kids.

If I order everything on Amazon Prime? Most things will still get here on time. And if they don't? Well, that's what gift cards are for.

What brought me to this realization? As I sat in the hot water and let my mind still, I realized that this season isn't about my to-do list. It's about love and family. My kids come home tomorrow and I haven't seen them in months. If all we do is watch Hallmark moves, play board games, and eat pizza--for an entire month--I will still be the happiest mother in the world.

I don't want to run around these next two like a crazed, crabby woman. This book, truly, drained me. But I'm sure that I'm not the only person in the world who's had an exhausting year and has had to work up to the very last moment before Christmas.

The trappings of Christmas don't matter (regardless of what Pinterest or Hallmark movies say). The fact that my family will be together, healthy and happy, is truly all that is important. I just wish I didn't have to take a bath to remember that.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays during this wonderful season.



As a treat, I'm leaving you with one of my favorite holiday recipes that's so super easy even my kids can make it: Baked Pineapple.

I know some will question the white bread (Ack!) and the canned pineapple, but I promise no one will recognize these very humble ingredients. If you're making it for a buffet table, cook several. It's always the first thing to go.

Baked Pineapple
INGREDIENTS
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 20 oz cans crushed pineapple in juice
  • Dash salt
  • 6 slices white bread cut into cubes (the cheap, soft white bread)
  • 4 slices of white bread cut into cubes for the top.
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
  • Garnish
  • Fresh berries
  • Confectioner's sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter sides of a 3-quart casserole dish or an oven-proof cast iron pan.
  3. Thoroughly mix the first five ingredients and pour into dish.
  4. Top with the two slices of cubed bread. Dot with butter.
  5. Bake 1 hour. Serve hot
  6. Garnish with fresh berries dusted with Confectioner's sugar
  7. Serves 8
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.
Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.
EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo |  Google
And adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Excerpt from Decoy Date

Decoy Date, book 4 in The Wedding Date series, is available now!Fake relationship. Real feelings. Big problems.
Brody O’Donnel doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters—at least, not for himself. But he wants the best for his vivacious, beautiful friend Gwen Danes, and he’s tired of watching her pine for a clueless man. Figuring a little bit of jealousy will motivate the guy, Brody proposes a fake relationship. It’s an outrageous plan, but Gwen figures there’s no harm in it—until they share a passionate kiss she never saw coming. Suddenly, Gwen’s fighting a growing attraction to a man she knows she can’t have. After all, he’s just faking it…isn’t he?

Enjoy this excerpt!

“How about the bar. How did you get into that?"
More relaxed, Brody made another one of those considering faces before answering. "I grew up wanting my own restaurant. The plans for the bar came later. My grandmother owned this swank place in Manhattan, and I thought there wasn't anything better."
"Your grandmother?" Could this guy get any better?
And the answer was a resounding yes, because then he was doing that thing where he reached back, pushing his big hands through the untamed curls of his hair, making his shirt stretch tight over his chest and arms. Nice. Brody slid the elastic off his wrist to bind the hair that liked to fall in his face. It wouldn't stay that way for long. Within fifteen to thirty minutes, she'd bet all those wild red-brown curls would be back on the loose.
But for now he settled back against the cushions. "Yeah, the story goes that my grandfather opened the place before he met her. And one day she came in to the place with a date who'd done her wrong. Big mistake. She had a temper, and apparently wasn't afraid to show it. So when she finished chewing this date out, Fiona was getting up to leave and my grandfather stopped her to offer her a job. He thought she could keep the kitchen running with that fiery Irish temper."
Gwen was getting that warm swelly feeling in her chest as she leaned forward eager to hear more. "And then he fell in love with her and taught her to run the place?"
Brody coughed out a laugh. "Not quite. She told him what he could do with his offer and suggested if he had a better one, he had until she was out the door to give it to her. So he asked her to marry him instead."
She was up on her knees, her chocolate set on the table behind the couch so she could clutch her hands over her heart. "That's even better. No wonder you're such a romantic!"
"Oh Gwendolyn. You give me those eyes and tell me I'm the romantic?" he asked with a shake of his head. "Hate to ruin it for you, but Fiona thought her husband had rocks in his head. Remember this is the woman who raised my mother. The happy ending to Fiona’s story was if her husband hadn't died within a year of marrying her, she would have left him, new baby and all...but in the end she got the restaurant. And one summer I got to stay with her and she taught me to cook and—"
Gwen's brows crumpled, that warm swelly feeling in her chest deflating in a rush. "Wait what? No." She leaned forward poking him in the shoulder. "That's the worst love story I ever heard!"
And now he was laughing for real, those deep green eyes flashing at her as he wedged himself further back into the couch cushions. "Love story? Sorry but that’s not really how the women in my family are. Hey!" he yelped, when she poked him again. "Didn't anyone ever tell you not to poke the bear?"
Oh yeah, some bear. She'd heard people call him that before, because he was so big she guessed, but the only kind of bear this guy was, was a Teddy Bear. She poked again, and again because— "Yes, love story! You totally set me up."
Poke. Poke.
"Gwen."
She was pretty sure that was supposed to be some kind of warning, but no way could she take it seriously when the big guy was literally trying to wiggle away amid those deep rumbling laughs.
Poke.
Only then, lightning fast, the world spun and Gwen found herself laid out across Brody's lap, held in place by the strong hand still wrapped around her wrist and the solid arm supporting her back. She blinked up into Brody's too green, too deep, too soulful eyes, caught there and held. The laughter died between them and she swore, even as tight as he was holding her, the world shifted again…

Friday, November 30, 2018

Someone Like You

The fourth of the Night Riders’ crew finds redemption in the love of a beautiful woman in Someone Like You, an emotional historical Western romance!



Only she can heal his battered heart…

When Rafe Jerry was ordered off his family’s California ranch, he swore never to return. Instead, he ran away to war, where the harsh realities of battle transformed him into a crack soldier—and an unexpected betrayal made him a man to be feared.

Now the war has ended and Rafe is left with two goals: track down the man who betrayed his brothers-in-arms, and fight for the land that should have been his. He has no room in his hardened heart for love…but Maria de la Guerra is like no woman he’s ever known. With her gentle strength and endless compassion, she may be his only chance to let go of the pain of the past—and finally be free.

The war has changed them all, and each of the Night Riders must decide what is more important: love or revenge?

“An emotional, rich, adventurous romance.” —RT Book Reviews for Forever and Always, 4 Stars


A Whole New Woman

Maria allowed herself to kiss him back the way she’d been wanting to kiss him since the first
time he’d kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pressed her body against his, and
covered his mouth with a needy eagerness.
This new Maria wasn’t afraid to acknowledge what she wanted, wasn’t reluctant to
demand that she get it. She didn’t wait for Rafe to deepen their kiss, ratchet up its intensity, or
decide its length. Nor did she wait for him to pull her firmly against him so she could feel the
hardness of his muscles, the breadth of his chest, the strength in his arms.
She tried to reason with this new Maria, to tell her that Rafe loved her, wanted to marry
her, that they would have years to explore what it meant to be together as man and wife, but the
new Maria wouldn’t listen. She wanted everything, and she wanted it now.
For a moment, she could feel Rafe hesitate, but she didn’t mean to let him pull away.
With slow deliberation, she dropped her arms from around his waist, reached up and placed one
hand on each side of his head. She brought his face toward her and let her tongue invade his
mouth.
All hesitation on Rafe’s part stopped there.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Excerpt from You Had Me At Cowboy


You Had Me at Cowboy, book 2 in the Cowboys of Creedence series, is out now!

This cowboy is falling hard


Mason James is the responsible one who stayed behind to run the ranch while his brother, Rock, took off to play professional hockey. Women have used him before to get to his brother—and Mason intends never to get burned again. But after he meets quirky Tessa Kane at his brother’s wedding, Mason discovers he’s ready to take a chance on love.

Tessa Kane is a reporter on the verge of losing a job she desperately needs—unless she’s clever enough to snag a story on the famous Rockford James. But when she falls for her subject’s brother, she’s caught between a rock and a hard-muscled cowboy. What will happen when Mason finds out who she really is?



Enjoy this excerpt:I might have just fallen in love…

He wasn’t kidding. There was meat—and beef, as in beefcake—everywhere she turned. Tess didn’t think she’d ever been in a room full of so many beautiful people. Yet she couldn’t seem to take her eyes off the cowboy who was piling ribs onto a plate for her.
She was suddenly aware of how many of those beautiful people were also thin and fit, and if she weren’t starving, she’d probably be a little more conscious of her own full curves. But at the moment, she couldn’t care less. Her mouth watered as Mason dumped a scoop of creamy macaroni and cheese next to the ribs.
“This is supposed to be my mom’s recipe. She gave it to the caterers, and they did their best. It’s not quite as good as hers, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
Somebody needs to pinch me, Tess thought as he led her toward a table. She couldn’t believe she’d just walked through a buffet line behind one of her favorite celebrities.
Mason got her settled at a table and signaled for one of the caterers to bring them some drinks. “What are you drinking? Tea? Soda? Wine? It’s an open bar, so get whatever you feel like.”
“What are you getting?” she asked as she lifted a rib and tore off a bite. A moan escaped her lips. “Oh my gosh. These ribs are amazing.”
He chuckled. “I think I’ll get a beer. They’ve got one from a local brewery called Creedence Clearwater, and it’s pretty good.”
“That does sound good. I’ll have one too.”
His eyes widened, then a grin covered his face and his voice fell into a deep, low tone, reminding her of a biscuit dipped in thick, rich honey. “Damn, girl, I haven’t even known you thirty minutes, and I think you’ve already won my heart. You drink beer, eat barbecue like a truck driver, and I’ve already seen you in your bra. I might have just fallen in love.”
Tessa let loose a burst of laughter, but her stomach had dropped at the sound of his words spoken in a slow, sexy drawl.
She’d better be careful, or she might just fall in love herself.
Whoa. Down, girl. Nobody was falling in love with anyone.
She’d already fallen—into a mess of trouble—and the only way she was going to get herself, and her grandmother, out of it was to forget about the distraction of the cute cowboy and stay focused on the task at hand.
But the task at hand was heading toward the dessert table, and it looked like it would be a while before she’d get a chance to talk to Rock, so she might as well enjoy the food—and the company—while she waited.
Mason took his hat off and set it in the center of the table. It was a small gesture of manners but told her a lot about the kind of man Mason James was.
His hat was black—she couldn’t help but wonder at the significance of that detail—but it was also high quality and looked expensive. Obviously, a good hat and not one he donned to work in. A slight hat ring circled his head, a barely noticeable crease in his dark hair, and a shock of his bangs fell across his forehead, giving him an even more rakish look.
The temperature of the room had just increased a notch, or maybe it was just the heat building in her chest as she tried not to squirm in her chair, with her hands clasped tightly in her lap to keep from reaching up and brushing his hair from his forehead.
A petite blond waitress sauntered up to their table and offered Mason two bottles of beer and a suggestive smile.
Grabbing a napkin, Tess wiped the barbecue sauce from her mouth, noting that the perky blond’s shirt fit just fine over her chest.
Perky, petite blonds were so lucky. Tess had always felt like an Amazon around them—and not in warrior princess way, but in a clumsy, too-tall, size-ten clodhopper-shoes way.
Although the heels she wore today were far from clodhoppers. The cute burgundy pumps had cost more than she usually doled out for a pair of shoes, but they’d seemed worth it at the time. But that was before. Before she’d stopped attending parties and before her grandmother had started chatting online with a Nigerian prince.
Still, no matter how much her shoes cost or how shiny their finish was, Tess still felt gawky and self-conscious sitting in front of a plate full of half-devoured ribs while the waitress swung her tiny hips and cute ponytail at Mason.
He didn’t seem to notice as he took the beers, offered her a polite smile, and turned his attention back to Tess.
Score one for the Amazon.
She took one of the bottles and held it up. “What should we drink to?”
He reached his hand toward her face, and she sucked in her breath as he slowly swiped his thumb across her chin. A dab of barbecue sauce garnished its tip, and he sucked it between his lips. Lord, he had amazing lips.
She couldn’t breathe as she watched him lick the tip of his thumb, and she was fairly certain one of her eggs had just dropped.
Swallowing at the dryness in her mouth, she tried to keep from melting right into her chair.
He tipped his bottle toward hers and offered her a cocky grin. “To good barbecue, cold beer, and…”
He hesitated, and she raised an eyebrow as she waited for him to say lacy bras.
Instead, he winked and said, “…and new friends.”
She let out a chuckle and relaxed her shoulders. She liked this guy. Clinking her bottle against his, she repeated, “…to new friends.”
***

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Earl to the Rescue is out!


Sourcebooks has just released a refurbished version of my very first book Gwendeline, now called Earl to the Rescue.
Gwendeline, just eighteen and totally unsuited to earn her own way in the world, is about to be evicted from her home when butler ushers in a tall, rather arrogant visitor, Lord Merryn. He had, it seemed, been a friend of her late parents, who had lived too well and too briefly — squandering their fortune and then meeting death in a carriage accident.
But Gwendeline is an older orphan than Lord Merryn expected, a young lady who must be introduced to London society. Quickly, he invents a “group of her parents’ friends” to finance her debut. Never must she learn that he alone is her benefactor — or why.
Booklist called the book “an irresistibly sweet literary confection perfect for readers who miss those marvelous traditional Regencies by the likes of Marion Chesney and Barbara Metzger.” Read an excerpt below.

amazon-app-450x450   ibooks-icon-text  barnes-and-noble-iconbooktopia logo   

Alone in her bedchamber later in the day, Gwendeline thought over what the countess had told her. Why had such a sought-after gentleman, the type her father had called a real out-and-outer, taken an interest in her? Why had he been the one to come and fetch her, or the infant he said he’d expected? If he was a leader of the ton, and Gwendeline saw no reason to doubt his mother’s description of his position, what was his interest in her? Friendship with her parents seemed the only possible explanation, but he never spoke to her of them or appeared eager to answer when she tried to do so. Quite the opposite, in fact.
This thought reminded Gwendeline of a series of odd remarks she’d caught since coming to town. Both Lady Merryn and her son had made references she didn’t understand to her “situation.” Gwendeline hadn’t been aware that she possessed a situation in the sense that they used the word; seemingly, it was an awkward one. And she was becoming more and more interested in finding out exactly what it involved. She didn’t relish the thought that the people surrounding her knew more of her circumstances than she, especially since the knowledge must be widespread. Gwendeline’s chin came up. She was determined to find out the truth and not to flinch from it if it turned out to be unpleasant. Anything was better than this uncertainty.
But no opportunity presented itself in the following days, and thus, as Gwendeline stood beside Lady Merryn in the drawing room doorway three weeks later, ready to meet their guests, she felt rather nervous.
She thought she looked well in a dress of white sarsenet; her hair was newly cut and dressed in a cloud of curls called a Sappho by Lady Merryn’s hairdresser. A silver ribbon was threaded through it, and she wore a new silver filigree bracelet, a gift from the countess for her debut, on her wrist. But as Allison called out the first names, and an elegant couple strolled languidly toward them, she wondered what these world-weary Londoners were thinking about her and what she would find to say to them.
An hour later, she was just as uncertain. The countess had introduced her to what seemed scores of people, and she had said “how do you do,” and smiled a great many times. The guests and their names were jumbled together in her mind, and she knew she would never remember what to call anyone. She thought that they’d looked at her with sharp curiosity; indeed, sometimes she’d felt ready to sink under a particularly piercing glance. She longed to sit down for a moment away from the crowd and gather her thoughts.
“I think we can leave the door now, Gwendeline,” said Lady Merryn. “I can greet latecomers inside, and we must give you a chance to become better acquainted with our guests. Come along.” But as they were turning, the Earl of Merryn was announced, and they held back to greet him.
“Alex,” cried his mother. “I’d nearly given you up. You promised you’d come early tonight.”
The earl raised his eyebrows. “But Mother, I am come early. I haven’t arrived at an evening party before ten in years. Your guests will consider it a great compliment.”
His tone annoyed Gwendeline. “Perhaps we should be grateful that you came at all.”
“Indeed you should, Gwendeline,” he replied. “I never attend come-outs. They are uniformly dead bores.” She stifled a tart rejoinder as he went on. “You’re looking delightful. You’ve done an excellent job of fitting her out, Mother.”
Lady Merryn smiled complacently. “She does look well, doesn’t she?”
“I chose my own clothes, sir,” Gwendeline snapped. “I’m not a child.” She faltered. “Of course, I’m very grateful for your help, Lady Merryn, I didn’t mean…”
“Shall we go in?” said the earl, smiling. He offered each lady an arm. His mother accepted, smiling. Gwendeline hesitated but could see no way of avoiding entering the party on his arm. As usual, she was forced to fall in with his plans.
They paused just inside the drawing room doorway. The large space seemed completely filled with people. Heads had turned to look at them, and she knew that the subject of many conversations must be herself, a daunting thought.
The countess stopped to speak to a friend, and Gwendeline continued into the room on Merryn’s arm. A couple left the sofa against the near wall as they advanced, and the earl guided her toward it. “Shall we sit for a moment?” he asked, handing her to a seat. She sank gratefully onto the cushions. He sat beside her and smiled. “You look a trifle uneasy,” he said. “You don’t find your first London evening party altogether pleasant?”
“To be honest, it’s more frightening than pleasant,” said Gwendeline. “Your mother has been so kind and gone to such trouble for me, but I have no idea what to say to any of these people, and the thought that they have all come to see what I’m like is terrifying.”
The earl laughed. “Many of them would be very pleased and flattered to hear you say so.”
“Are they such horrid people,” wondered Gwendeline, “that they enjoy frightening strangers?”
“They enjoy their power to do so, a great many of them.” He looked over the crowd with some contempt. “However, you needn’t fear the ton. It will find you charming.”
“Because you tell it to, my lord?” asked Gwendeline, remembering what his mother had told her.
“Yes,” replied the earl simply. “And there is no conceivable reason for you to look daggers at me because of it. I never asked anyone to care what I thought. Perhaps that’s why they do so.”