Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All's fair in love and rodeo...

Welcome to the launch of


When I thought about Gemma’s book, I just figured she and Creed Riley (Ace’s brother from One Hot Cowboy Wedding) would move past the flirting stage and get down to serious business of falling in love. But Creed went out to the Palo Duro Canyon and bought a ranch that came complete with Sage Presley. And Gemma assured me about that time that she had no intentions of settling down until she’d tried to win the big buckle, the money and the title at the PRCA (Pro Rodeo Championship Association) finals in Las Vegas. I really tried to talk her out of it since she could fall just as hard for a cowboy who lived on a ranch right there beside her momma. I even pictured a gorgeous cowboy wedding at the little white church in Ringgold, but oh, no she wouldn’t have any of it! No, ma’am! She said she was doing the Million Dollar Rodeo Tour so by damn, we hitched up the travel trailer to her truck and off we went. She assured me that she would be too busy to find a cowboy on the tour, but I knew better because Trace Coleman had already hitched up his travel trailer and they were going to meet in Cody, Wyoming. And that’s where I got to take a little control of the story line!
Welcome to the rodeo!
Now a launch party wouldn’t be a party without food and drinks, would it? So in honor of this being a rodeo tour we are serving from the rodeo vending wagons today. Step right up and have a rodeo burger (Gemma’s choice of lucky foods) or a hot dog (Trace’s choice of what would bring him luck).
Grab a good cold beer out of the icy tub, and then move on down the line and get some fried ice cream.
While you are eating take a moment to read an excerpt:
Eight seconds could damn sure change the whole world and knock a rider off his pretty pedestal. Trace would have to work harder, keep his mind on the ride better, because if he didn’t final and didn’t win the big event in Las Vegas, he could kiss his Uncle Teamer’s ranch outside of Goodnight good-bye.
He’d planned on sticking around Cody for a few hours after the rodeo to toss back a few beers and bask in the glory of the win before he began the thousand-mile journey to St. Paul, Oregon. But suddenly a party didn’t look so inviting and he was eager to get on the road. He made up his mind that as soon as the rodeo personnel removed his saddle from Hell Cat, he intended to load up and point his truck and trailer toward the west. By the time the sun came up tomorrow morning he’d be more than a third of the way there.
“Hey,” Gemma said so close to him that he jumped.
“Good ride,” he said stiffly.
“Not my best. I could have done better, but thanks,” she said.
“Guess that puts you where I was yesterday.” Trace’s drawl was deep and very Texan. He slumped down on a rough wooden bench beside the chute he’d ridden out of just minutes before, stuck his long legs out, and crossed them at the ankles.
“Guess it does, but the night is still young. Anything could happen before the finals.” Gemma sat down on the other end of the bench, pulled a knee up, and wrapped her arm around it.
“What are you ridin’ for?” he asked.
Vibes bounced around in the space between them like a bucking bronc without a time limit. He wanted to move closer to see if the flames were hotter the closer he got, but he sat still.
“Glory of being the second woman to win the title. And you?” she answered. Her voice had just enough grit to be sexy, and it went with that dark hair, those red lips, and green eyes.
“A ranch.”
“One of us could be very happy when December rolls around.”
“And the other one is going to have a few dollars in their bank account,” he finally said.
“You going to St. Paul or Colorado Springs?” she asked.
“Both. You?”
She nodded.
“Which one?” he asked grumpily.
“Both! It’s a lot of driving, but it’s doable and I need the money to put me in the finals.”
Gemma didn’t look forward to a thousand miles in two days to St. Paul and then thirteen hundred back to Colorado Springs. But at least there were five days between St. Paul and Colorado Springs so she wouldn’t have to drive for hours and hours on that stretch. She hadn’t been a greenhorn when she started the circuit. She’d known there would be fast drives as well as those that could be taken leisurely. It was the way of the rodeo circuit. Drive hard. Hurry up to get to the next rodeo and wait for the eight seconds to ride hard. Then get in the pickup truck and do it all over again.
Tonight she got to put another shamrock on her construction-paper lucky horseshoe. There were still miles and miles between that four-leaf clover and the one that she was saving for when she won the Vegas competition. There would be a lot of riding, a lot of driving, a helluva lot of waiting, and a lot of missing her family and friends, but the night she got to glue the biggest, shiniest shamrock on top of her lucky construction paper horseshoe, it would make it all worthwhile.
Gemma stood up and settled her hat on her head. “Well, I’ll see you there.”
“And I’m going to win,” Trace said.
“Don’t bet on it, cowboy. Tonight is just the beginning of a long line of victories. You might as well go on home to Good-bye, Texas, and forget about it.”
“Right back atcha.” She grinned.
“No, not Good-bye, Goodnight.”
“I’m from Goodnight, Texas, not Good-bye.”
“Tomato, tomahto!” she quipped in a slow Southern drawl.
She’d done her homework and she knew exactly where Trace Coleman hailed from. She knew his statistics, how tall he was, and when his birthday was. And she had not made a mistake when she said “Good-bye.” She’d made a joke. Evidently he didn’t think it was funny.
He quickly stood up and fell into step beside her. “So you’re in it for the long haul for sure, no matter what?”
“Yes, I am, so let’s clear the air and get something straight right now. If you ever try to ruin my ride with a comment again, I’m going to leave your body so far out that the coyotes will starve huntin’ for it.”
He chuckled.
Instinctively she reached out to push him, but he caught her arms and used the momentum to pull her tightly to his chest. She had intended to send him ass-over-spurs into the dust like she did her brothers when they were all kids and she pushed one of them in anger, but suddenly she was listening to his heartbeat. She leaned back to look up at him and his eyes were fluttering shut. She barely had time to moisten her lips before his mouth covered hers in a sizzling kiss that left her wanting another and yet wanting to slap the shit out of him at the same time.
“If you ever try that again, I’ll…” she stammered in a hoarse whisper.
“Darlin’, either fight your way to the top with the big boys or go home and lick your wounds. I’m not one bit afraid of you,” Trace said.
“That’s a big mistake, Mr. Coleman.” She turned and walked away from him briskly, fringe on her chaps flopping with each step, leaving no doubt that she was stomping instead of walking.

It was a wild romp traveling thousands of miles with Trace and Gemma but I loved the trip. We started in the summer and we spent six months together ending our journey on Christmas day.
Thinking of Christmas, I’d like to thank Sourcebooks for a fabulous year, my readers for continuing to buy my cowboy books, and everyone who spreads the news when I’ve got another one on the market. Merry Christmas to you all!
Now go on over to the beer tub and the food table and have another burger and beer! And to those who leave a comment, I'll put your name in the famous red boot for a drawing this evening. One lucky person, no matter where you live, across town in Davis, Oklahoma or somewhere on the other side of the earth, will get a signed copy of Just a Cowboy and His Baby.


  1. I'm so happy it's finally out!!! Can't wait to get a copy! Congrats on the release of another awesome book! :)


  2. OH!!!!! I love Carolyn's books. Yeah

  3. Good morning folks! Glad to see that folks are already arriving at the launch party!
    Teresa: Thank you, thank you! You get another glimpse of how everyone is doing in Ringgold in this one.
    Regencygirl: An author just loves to hear that the reader LOVES her books! You've made my day.

  4. I love the other books! I cannot wait to read this one!

  5. Tory, Gemma is so happy that her story is finally out. She's even more excited that she got her picture on the cover with Trace! LOL

  6. OMG I'm stuffed from eating the fried ice cream...my first taste. Thanks, Carolyn :)

    LOVED the excerpt and all of your books, can't wait to read this one too, adding it to my TBP list :)

    Merry Christmas!!!

  7. Jenny Dauksa SchaberDecember 4, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this one and stay up all night reading. I'm been looking forward to Gemma's story for quite a while. Thanks for the great reads and have a Merry Christmas!

  8. CH: It's pretty dang good, ain't it? And virtual fried ice cream has no calories or fat grams...just lots of gooey flavor! I'm honored that another western/small town author like yourself reads my works! Hugs to you!

    Jenny: Gemma is so so flattered that you'd stay up all night reading her story! And she, along with Trace and I, send you Merry Christmas wishes!

  9. Oh Carolyn, I just can't wait to read Gemma and Trace's story. I knew Gemma would be a little spitefire.. We O'Donnell girls always are... lol..

  10. Hi Carolyn! I just LOVE your books! They are always so much fun. I love seeing the heroine get hers as she always does in your books. TeHe!! Can't wait to read this one, too.

  11. Kathleen: Yes, ma'am, the O'Donnell ladies are as full of spit and vinegar as their brothers! Gemma says that she will do her best to live up to the name.

    Kelly Jo: There's a bit of a twist at the end of this one that I'm thinking you will really like!

  12. I'm so excited for the release of this book! I can't wait to go get a copy! I love Gemma, she's so sassy. I'm glad she gets her cowboy! Congrats Mrs. Carolyn! Love you and your books!

  13. Bethany: Gemma doesn't let up on determination or sass throughout her story. She's determined to be the winner at the Vegas rodeo! Happy Reading and thank you for stopping by...but most of all my thanks for keeping up with this wild crew of O'Donnell's!

  14. Gemma sounds like my kind of heroine! I like that she's taking her life into her own hands. I'm sure that will help her win the right cowboy :D


  15. Na, Gemma does like to control things but then so does Trace so they lock horns pretty often!

  16. Love Carolyn's books. This one looks like another great book. I especiallly love cowboys. Great cover also.
    *I am headed back to get beer and food.* okay back.
    Thanks for the great giveaway. Would love to win.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

  17. Isn't it frustrating when characters do their own thing? Congrats on the release, Carolyn.

  18. Chris: Glad you are enjoying the beer and food. The idea of rodeo food was Trace's idea. He had to have a hot dog on the rodeo grounds before riding to get his mojo cooking! Good luck when Mr. Random picks today's winner!

    Shana: Amen! But then it did make a fun book to research and Gemma and I did have a lot of fun!

  19. Congratulations Carolyn! I can't wait to read Gemma's story! All that food looks so yummy! Have a Merry Christmas!!


  20. Missy, and a very Merry Christmas to you from all of us...Trace, Gemma and me!

  21. Congrats on the new release, Carolyn!!! Have a beer on me! :)

  22. Thank you, Terry! I'd love to but alas, my handsome cowboy doctor, has taken all beer away from me...and I still go back to him...yes, he is THAT good lookin'!

  23. Congrats on the latest release!

    Great post and thanks for sharing the excerpt. Enjoyed reading it! :)


  24. Congrats on the book!


  25. Winnie and bn100: Thank you both for stopping in! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. It set the mood for the rest of the book!

  26. Great excerpt!! The book sounds really great. I love reading about rodeos. Thanks for the chance.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  27. Congrats on the release of Just a Cowboy and His Baby! I'm always happy to see one of your cowboy books come out Carolyn, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

  28. Martha, Trace is so glad that you liked that excerpt. It was one of the few times that he actually got the best of Gemma!

  29. Barbara E: Happy Reading! Trace and Gemma will take you on a long, hot summer tour with lots of surprises along the way!

  30. Mr. Random picked number 4 from the boot. So CH Admirand is the winner of the signed copy of Just a Cowboy and His Baby! Congratulations!

  31. Looks like another hot one, Carolyn! Congrats!