When I first started writing my editor told me that the hero and heroine could not sit down on a blanket and fall in love. They might really want to sit down on the blanket and let love heat them right up like a hot Texas wildfire but that’s not the way it works in life or in romance books. Like Billie Jo Spears sings in the video, I spread the lovely blanket out on the ground under the shade tree in plain sight and as much as it pained me, I did what my editor told me to do.
I invested in a catapult. Then I put the hero and heroine in a tree and made sure the limbs were shaky. Every time either of them even looked at the blanket, I lobed another boulder up into that tree. By golly, if they wanted the love blanket, they had to pass all the tests to get it!
In the upcoming Christmas book, Mistletoe Cowboy, Creed found the perfect ranch. The price is right. The place is great down in the bottom of the
in the Texas Panhandle.
There’s just one little hitch. It comes with an eccentric artist named Sage and
the contract that he’ll have to sign a contract stating that she can live on the ranch as
long as she wants. Palo Duro
They’re stuck in a small house together in a blinding blizzard and I’m standing on the ground throwing rocks at them. They can see the pretty blanket and they’d really like to fall in love but they’re going to have to earn that blanket.
An excerpt of their first meeting up there on the tree branch:
The abominable snowman pushed his way into the house behind something that was either the ugliest dog on the face of the earth or an alien from a faraway planet. The huge thing set a galvanized bucket of milk on the table and a basket of eggs right beside it before he stomped his feet on the rug under the coat rack. The dog stopped in the middle of the kitchen floor and shook from shoulder to tail, sending even more snow flying everywhere in her kitchen. When it melted there would be water everywhere and her socks would be soaked.
“Who the hell are you? Get out of here and take that miserable mutt with you,” Sage said.
Creed removed his old felt cowboy hat and pulled off the face mask. His nose was scarlet and his dark eyelashes dusted with snowflakes. And of all the crazy things, there was a spring of mistletoe stuck in the snow on his shoulder as if it had grown there.
“I’m Creed Riley, ma’am, and I reckon if you want to throw your dog out in the snow that’s your business, but I’m not that mean or cruel to animals. And I’m here to stay since I’m the cowboy who bought this ranch. I guess you’d be Sage Presley. I didn’t think you’d make it home in this blizzard. I heard the roads were closed off.”
He was well over six feet tall because Sage had to look up to him. His brown hair was a bit too long, and his mossy green eyes were rimmed with black lashes topped with heavy dark brows. His deep voice held a definite
She backed up to the cabinet and braced herself against it. “Where is Grand? Is she behind you?”
“No, left a day early since the storm was coming in. I expect she’s in
by now where it’s fifty degrees and sunshiny today. Crazy, ain’t it? We get a
blizzard and the east coast is downright pleasant. At least it was yesterday
when she called to tell me that she’d made it fine and to tell you so when you
got home. Guess her cell phone’s battery was dead and her sister didn’t have
one so she called on a pay phone from the airport.” Pennsylvania
Sage rolled her eyes. “You have got to be kiddin’ me!”
“No, ma’am! That’s the truth and that’s really not my dog. I’m bringing my two huntin’ dogs out here soon as we make this sale legal, but this old boy just appeared out of nowhere this morning and rushed right in with me. I figured he belonged on the property. He wasn’t none too pretty when he was covered in snow, but it was covering a multitude of ugly, wasn’t it?”
She wants him gone. He’s determined to stay. They’re snowed in with no electricity. I felt kind of sorry for them when I lobbed the rocks up in the tree limbs but a happy-ever-after blanket does not come cheap.
The December book, Just a Cowboy and His Baby, spans summer, fall and winter. Poor Gemma really had to look at that blanket for a long time and there were times when she was sitting on a really shaky limb. She and Trace were in competition for the bronc riding rodeo title that came with a big pay check. Only one can have it and staying on that limb in the summer heat is almost as tough as staying on a bucking bronc’s back for eight seconds. When the baby enters the picture there are times that they both wonder if they’ll ever get to claim that blanket.
She had two options.
Number one: Stay on his back for eight seconds and show him she was the boss.
Number two: Wreck.
There was no in between, and “almost” did not count. Gemma didn’t allow herself to think the word , not even when the almighty Trace Coleman produced a smile that would part the clouds. He was well over six feet tall, dark haired, and light brown eyes. She’d done her homework on all the cowboys. She knew most of them personally from the rodeo rounds, but she’d only known Trace by picture and reputation. Both of which intrigued her to no end. When she’d seen him in action in
, the heat level of the whole great
state of San
jacked up twenty more degrees. His swagger, his broad chest, and his body had
said that Gemma was in deep trouble. But it was that deep sexy Texas
drawl that brought on images of tangled sheets, lots and lots of heat, and a
warm oozy feeling called an afterglow flitting through her mind. Texas
Trace might have just meant to be charming and helpful, holding his hand out to assist her in climbing the chute, but Gemma wasn’t buying his brand of bullshit. He wasn’t stupid, and the twinkle in his eye said he knew exactly how his touch affected a woman. Besides, his gaggle of rodeo groupies was proof positive of that. In
Austin , and Redding ,
Gemma had seen them circling him like a chocolate addict set loose with free
rein in a candy store. Oh, yes, without a single doubt Trace knew how to turn a
woman’s mind to mush, and she’d lay dollars to horse apples that he played it
to the nth degree. Reno
Hot cowboys, hot kisses, hot sex! It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, they always want the blanket and there's not enough money in the world or dirt in Texas to buy one. They have to pay for it with their hearts! Readers: Do you want the hero and heroine to have to work for the love blanket? Writers: Have you invested in a catapult or do you just throw rocks like a baseball?
I have an ARC of Mistletoe Cowboy to give away today. Leave a comment and your name will go into the boot. On Monday, I’ll draw and announce the winner!