Friday, November 23, 2012

Cowboy Up

I've got a thing for cowboys, and apparently so do most writers. Cowboys are one of the most written about heroes, right up there with Doctors. Have you ever wondered what the fascination is? Once upon a time, Cowboys were thought of as "ruffians." They endured the worst environmental conditons, could rope and ride a bull, and were as tough as rawhide. And if they ride their stallion like they were born in a saddle, well, all I can say to that is, I bet they can ride anything.

With this image, how could we not drool? After all, I'm known for writing bad-ass heroes. Wind-blown hair, five o'clock shadow, tanned skin, rugged jawline, worn hat, tight fitting jeans and their favorite boots. And an attitude that makes an entrance. Yup, are you imagining what I'm seeing? Perfect hero. Why? Because this means I can bring in a sassy, smart heroine that polishes the hard-ass right off that Cowboy until he shines with kindness. Although my Cowboy has a smoothness that can lasso any red-blooded female, before he knows what struck him, my heroine always swoopes in and ropes her a mustang.

I wrote my first Cowboy in, Second Chance Cowboy. Chance wasn't just any Western Boy. He was a genuine hard ass and carried scars. Sexy, masculine, calloused hands...once you've been touched by a man who uses his hands you know you've been touched. I loved this story so much that I didn't stop there. I gave Duke McGraw his spotlight in Second Ride Cowboy (releasing June 2013). Duke, Chance's best friend and ranch hand, is the brawniest bad-ass we can imagine. Stained from a bad childhood, he lived a life in the rodeo. Baggage is his middle name. But it takes one woman to dust off a hero. In this book, Duke has more scars than emotional. I can't give away too much information, but if you like steamy passion, you'll love what I've created for you.

Now is the time for you to pick up Chance's story. Get to know these characters. See how Duke and Lila's story buds, until they have their own "Ride."

A tumble down the stairs lands Carly back in the arms of her ex-husband.

After the loss of a child tears her marriage apart, Carly vows she’ll never speak to her soon-to-be ex-husband Chance again. On the eve of their divorce, however, Carly takes a stroll down memory lane and calls Chance.

A passionate one night stand between the two is shattered by cruel light of morning. With reality having set back in, Carly admits to Chance she made a mistake, forcing him to come to grips that there is no hope left for their marriage.

Fate has other plans for them. Carly’s fall down some stairs leaves her with amnesia…but that’s only the start of it.

Can deception bring a second chance at love or will it forever destroy an already broken marriage?

Carly squeezed her hands into fists. “My poor husband. How difficult it is for him to manage his inflated ego and keep his zipper closed.”

“We’re divorced, remember?” His voice reeked of sarcasm.

She groaned in irritation. Her pulse pounded in her ears like the beating of a drum. Her claws were showing.

Chance didn’t blink an eye as he gazed at her across the room. “Honey, I can keep my pants zipped just fine. Problem is, you can’t keep your fingers off my zipper.”

Carly’s palm itched to slap him. “We live in a small town, Chance. How do you think it’s possible we haven’t run into each other more than three times in the last two years?” She cocked her chin. “Let me fill you in. I’ve done everything in my power to keep from bumping into you. Do you realize how difficult it is to plan my schedule weeks in advance so I don’t have to see you? Is that a description of a woman who can’t keep her fingers off your zipper?”

“No, more like a woman who’s afraid she’ll forget what screwed up our marriage in the first place, realize she’s made a huge mistake and get her ass back home.”

“Humph, fat chance that’ll ever happen.” She fumbled with the sheet in irritation and gave her hair a toss over one shoulder.

Damn, he did have a point, although she’d never admit it to him.

“Yeah, right, Carly, because you can’t ever forgive and forget, can you? You think you’re the only one who has lost, don’t you?” His eyes became steely pools of green. His voice turned low and controlled. “I lost Devon, too. He was my son--our son. How long are you going to keep blaming me for his death?”

Carly swallowed the painful lump in her constricted throat. “I don’t blame you.”

“Could have fooled me.”

“We both know why I left.”

“We do?” His bitter laugh split the air with its razor-sharp intensity. “I know you want to hold on to the belief that I am the bad guy who drove you away, but isn’t it time you took half the responsibility for the failure of our marriage?” A trace of compassion softened his expression. He tugged on his shirt and finger-combed his hair.

“It wasn’t my fault you cheated.” Once she said it, she wanted to yank the words back. Too late, just like their relationship.

“You’re a broken record, sweetheart. It’s not worth denying the accusation any longer. Maybe eventually you’ll believe your words and feel justified in leaving. Devon died, Carly. He’s gone and we can’t change the truth. One of us needed to make the decision to let him go and I made it. I held out hope you’d eventually find a sliver of forgiveness in your cold heart. I guess I was wrong.”

The old wound broke open and her lungs emptied of oxygen. She wanted to lash out at him, tell him to go to hell, but the words didn’t come. Instead, she whispered, “I’m going to the bathroom. When I get back I want you gone.”

“Carly, you’ve become an expert at sucking all the joy out of your life and pushing away anyone who reaches out to you. You’re living in a self-made prison, founded on guilt and pain, and there is no key to unlock the cell door.”

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