Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Books’

While I was working on the cover for Capturing Christmas, I decided to add a few elements to the other two books in the Rodeo Romance series to really tie them all together and make them really look more cohesive.

The Christmas Cowboy CoverHere’s Tate’s new look…

Wrestlin' Christmas CoverAnd Cort’s.

I like the swirl of snowflakes at the bottom and the bandana border with the series title at the top.

What do you think?



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Have you ever wondered what women from two different centuries would discuss?

Today, you can listen in as Filly Granger and Kenzie Morgan dish on life, love, and the holidays.

Amanda Righetti makes such a lovely Filly.

Amanda Righetti makes such a lovely Filly.

Filly is a wife, mother, and involved community member in The Christmas Bargain, a sweet Victorian romance taking place in 1893.

Daniela Ruha is exactly how I picture Kenzie.

Daniela Ruha is exactly how I picture Kenzie.

Kenzie Morgan is from the contemporary sweet romance The Christmas Cowboy. She works from home as a direct sales corporate program developer, is a wife and mother.

Welcome to you both. Tell us a little about your home.

Filly: I live in the small but bustling community of Hardman, Oregon in Eastern Oregon. We have several churches, a school, a newspaper office, skating rink and mercantile there. My husband, Luke, and I live in the house where he grew up on the edge of town where we raise cattle and a few horses. He owns and manages the Hardman Bank and is very involved in the community.

Kenzie: Tate, that’s my husband, and I live on the ranch that his grandfather started back in the early 1900s. We’re about thirty miles from Kennewick, Washington. We primarily raise beef cattle, wheat, and hay.

What is your single most favorite modern convenience?

Filly: Indoor plumbing. And my washing machines. I feel quite spoiled to have two but it is such a big help on laundry day.

Kenzie: Since indoor plumbing is something we all take for granted these days, I’d say my cell phone is my favorite convenience. (Smiles and shows Filly her phone, giving her brief demonstration of how it works.)

Filly: (Wide-eyed, holds the phone in her hand) This is the most miraculous invention. I dearly wish I could show Luke. He’d be utterly entranced.

What’s your favorite thing about your home?

Kenzie: (Smiles) Tate and our son, Gideon. They make a place home for me.

Filly: You have a son?

Kenzie: We sure do. He’ll be two soon. (Pulls up a photo of the baby on her phone and hands it to Filly.)

Filly: He’s adorable. His curls put me in mind of our own little Maura. She’s just a few months old. (Filly removes a small photograph from her reticule and gives it to Kenzie.)

Kenzie: What a lovely family. Your husband is very handsome.

Filly: Mr. Morgan appears quite dashing with those dimples and bright blue eyes. Oh, and to answer the question, my favorite thing about home is Luke and Maura. It would just be a house without them there.

Here are three fun questions…

Coffee or tea?

Kenzie: Most of the time coffee, but sometimes I enjoy a good cup of tea. Tate thinks I make special Christmas tea, but I buy it from the store.

Filly: (Grins at Kenzie) I prefer tea as does Luke, although he hates to admit it to anyone. We also have spicy tea we make at Christmas. It’s so fragrant and delicious.

Skirts or pants?

Filly: Women wear pants?

Kenzie: (Opens a site on her phone with women’s fashions) All the time. I’m used to wearing skirts when I’m working so I put one on today. Otherwise, I’d be dressed in jeans and boots.

Filly: Jeans? As in denim trousers?

Kenzie: (Nods and shows Filly a photo) This is me with my horse, Goldie.

Filly: (Studies the photo and grins) Oh, how I wish I could wear jeans to ride. They look much more comfortable than the split skirts I wear. Your boots are wonderful.

Sweet or savory?

Filly and Kenzie: Sweet!

Filly: I enjoy sweets, especially chocolate.

Kenzie: Me, too!

Tell us one thing you admire about your husband.

Kenzie: It’s hard to choose just one. Tate is one of the most optimistic, positive people I’ve ever met. He always looks for the good in situations and in others. I’d say that’s probably what I admire about him most. He’s also loyal, determined, gentle, and kind. And handsome!

Filly: Luke has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He rescued me when I needed it most. He’s definitely my hero, champion, and best friend. I also think he’s quite charming and handsome.

Thank you both for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?

Kenzie: If you enjoy historical fiction, sweet romances, or good westerns, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in the Hardman Holidays and Rodeo Romance series.

Filly: Be sure to check out The Christmas Calamity, releasing Nov. 13. Luke’s assistant Arlan really gets into the magic of the season with the arrival of a prestidigitator in town.

Kenzie: I’ve never met a prestidigitator, although I’ve been around some great rodeo clowns when Tate rode in the rodeo.

(The two women stand.)

Filly: If you aren’t in a hurry, do you mind if I peruse a few things on that? (Gestures to Kenzie’s cell phone)

Kenzie: (Hands Filly the phone) Go right ahead. By the way, do you think you could share that tea recipe…

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy

Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.

Kindle | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple | Audible

christmas bargain coverTravel back to a different time with the historic Hardman Holiday Series,

beginning with The Christmas Bargain.

Kindle | Paperback

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bronc 2dThe sight of a cowboy in a pair of dusty boots with his hat settled just so on his head never fails to make me smile.

My appreciation of cowboys and the western way of life came naturally, growing up as a horse-crazy girl on our farm in Eastern Oregon.

The fact my oldest brother spent weeks (and sometimes) months at a time working on remote ranches next door to the edge of nowhere only added to my fascination. He’d arrive home full of exciting tales of daring that made me sit up and take notice. Sometimes, he brought along a fellow cowpoke in need of a home-cooked meal and a few days of rest before they headed back to boonies.

As a little girl, I’d listen to them talk about a way of life that seemed to be all but disappearing. They always smelled like leather and horses and sunshine – a scent I still love to this day.

When I began writing sweet romances, it was a natural fit for me to make most of my heroes cowboys. Some of my stories take place in historical settings, others are modern day, but the common thread is that the men live by an unspoken code of honor I always associate with cowboys. With those boots and hats, it can be a lethal combination to the hearts of unsuspecting women.

Tate graphicIn The Christmas Cowboy and Wrestlin’ Christmas, the first two books in the Rodeo Romance series, neither heroine wants to fall for a cowboy.

The Christmas Cowboy

Here’s an excerpt from The Christmas Cowboy

Quickly jumping off the fence, Tate jogged toward the stands. Kenzie looked around, getting her bearings, as he hustled up the steps and squatted down beside her.

“Dewdrop, I didn’t think you’d be able to make it.” He took her hand in his and squeezed her fingers. The warmth in her eyes as she gazed at him made his heartbeat kick into overdrive. Maybe she cared about him more than she wanted to admit.

The jubilant smile on his face made her glad she raced through her presentation, ran through the hotel as if the building was aflame, and pleaded with the taxi driver to put some hustle in it so she’d arrive at the rodeo on time.


And an excerpt from Wrestlin’ Christmas

Tall and brawny, Cort McGraw happened to be one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen. From his silvery-gray eyes rimmed with black eyelashes to the dimple in his all-too-attractive chin, she wished Kenzie had given her some warning. If she’d known what he looked like, that he was so young, rugged, and hunky, she would have told Tate not to bother sending Cort to her place.

Mercy, he smelled good, too. Even now, his manly, musky fragrance filled her senses. Annoyed with herself for savoring his heady scent, she brushed at her nose, hoping to chase away the lingering aroma of his aftershave.

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas CowboyStart the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.

Kindle | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple | Audible

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®

NoJCCF logow through Dec. 24, I’ll donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

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I thought it might be fun to share in interview with two hunky, sweet rodeo cowboys from my Rodeo Romance series today.

kellan lutzKellan Lutz – my idea of a perfect Tate Morgan.

 Tate Morgan is a saddle bronc rider out to claim a championship title and the girl he loves in The Christmas Cowboy, the first book in the series.

Colin Wayne with shirtColin Wayne – the perfect Cort McGraw

Wrestlin’ Christmas, the second installment, shares Cort McGraw’s story as a sidelined steer wrestler who falls for a widow down on her luck.

Welcome to you both. Tell us a little about you.

Tate: I live on the ranch that my grandfather started back in the early 1900s. We’re about thirty miles from Kennewick, Washington, where we primarily raise beef cattle, wheat, and hay.

Cort: I used to live near Boise, Idaho, until my sister shanghaied me and dumped me at Tate’s door. Now, I’m working on a ranch about fifteen minutes away from the Morgan place.

What happened with your rodeo career?

Cort: In April, I did a number on my knee when I jumped off my horse to wrestle a steer at a rodeo. I knew the moment I hit the ground I wasn’t walking out of the arena. The doctors have all assured me I either stop competing or cripple myself for life. Since I like the ability to walk, I guess my rodeo career is effectively over.

Tate: It isn’t the end of the world, man. You never know what great thing is waiting just around the corner.

Are you always so optimistic, Tate?

Tate: (Shrugs) Usually. Might as well think positive. It can’t hurt anything.

Cort: (Rolls his eyes) He should add that he’s super annoying to his friends with that can-do attitude.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Cort: Eating. (Chuckles and rubs a hand over his flat stomach). I do enjoy all the treats that seem to accompany the holiday season, but I think Christmas Eve is my favorite part of the holiday. My family goes to church, then we sit around a crackling fire and visit before my Dad reads to us. It’s just a nice time to connect and unwind with the people I care about most.

Tate: I agree with Cort on all accounts. It’s the time spent connecting with those we love that make the holiday special – and the treats. I never turn down a good holiday cookie.

Cort: Or cake, or pie. Or…

(Tate playfully slugs his arm)

You’ve both sustained major injuries competing in rodeo. Can you tell us a little about the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund?

Tate: It’s an amazing organization that steps in to help injured rodeo athletes when they’ll be out of work for while and are facing financial hardship.

Cort: Both of us were fortunate not to require assistance, but the JCCF is a lifesaver for some rodeo families.

Thank you both for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?

Tate: If you enjoy, sweet western romances, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in The Christmas Cowboy and Wrestlin Christmas.

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2014 FlyerSince today is the official start of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, I thought I’d post a little reminder that now through Dec. 24, I’ll donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

2014 Flyer2Each and every book purchase (be it digital, audio, or paperback) helps benefit the fund! Also, if you purchase the books through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon donates back to JCCF, too!

For those of you wondering what got me interested in the rodeo in general and the JCCF specifically, here’s the scoop:

Growing up on a farm twenty miles from the closest town, we generally took our excitement anywhere we could get it.

Each summer, I eagerly anticipated our small town’s biggest event of the year – the Fourth of July Rodeo. Back in those days, it was a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo. Some of the top names in the circuit would join hundreds of rodeo fans for four days of rodeo, events in the park, a parade through town, and the annual Suicide Race (a crazy horseback race down a steep butte, across the highway, through the river, and into the rodeo arena).

The whole family looked forward to the celebration. My oldest brother often rode in the Suicide Race and some of my cousins often competed in the rodeo.

For a horse-crazy little girl who loved the smell of leather and the sight of cowboy hats, it was amazing. From an early age, I had a romance with the rodeo.

One of the few stores we had in town was a saddle-maker with a boot shop. When I was five, my dad took me to Leroy’s shop to pick out a new belt for the rodeo. It was the first time I got to choose my own and I was so excited.

As we walked inside, the welcoming aroma of leather filled the air. Dad led me to where Leroy worked on saddle at the back of the shop and they talked a few minutes. Impatiently waiting, they finally told me to go see what I could find. My gaze – and heart – immediately settled on a hand-tooled belt with little flowers and a silver buckle with a gold saddle that glistened in the overhead lights.

I still have that little belt today along with my love of rodeo. It’s because of how much I enjoy the watching rodeos that led to the creation of my Rodeo Romance series, set near Kennewick, Washington.

The Christmas CowboyTate Morgan is a saddle bronc rider out to claim a championship title and the girl he loves in The Christmas Cowboy, the first book in the series. While I was writing it, I reached out to the Justin Sports Medicine Team to make sure I was getting my facts straight for the book. That’s when I learned about the JCCF and decided I wanted to contribute something to such a great organization.

Wrestlin' Christmas CoverWrestlin’ Christmas, the second installment, shares Cort McGraw’s story as a sidelined steer wrestler who falls for a widow down on her luck.

I hope you’ll check out one or two of my books – give them as a gift to yourself or others, and get in on the opportunity to help a great organization.

(And for those who have already purchased books or made donations – THANK YOU!)

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If you’re still scrambling to finish your Christmas shopping, think about giving books. They make such great gifts and you can give them in a variety of formats from paperbacks to digital and audio versions.

It truly is as easy as clicking a few buttons on your computer. Most books have a “give is a gift” or  “buy as a gift” option for those digital editions and today is the perfect time to purchase those because they download almost instantly!

Just think about what your recipient enjoys – whether it’s a contemporary love story, a historical romance, a mystery, or maybe a great cookbook.

And remember, any book purchase you make of mine today helps out a great cause – the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund!

Give the gift of reading this year – you’ll be so glad you did!

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christmas bargain cover


Forgive my shameless self-promotion today… but The Christmas Bargain is featured on StoryFinds as part of their Christmas in July theme this week.Hope you”ll check it out!

If you haven’t read the book yet, here’s a little blurb:


Luke Granger is about to get more than he bargained for… As owner and manager of the Hardman Bank, Luke Granger is a man of responsibility and integrity in the small 1890s Eastern Oregon town. Calling in a long overdue loan, Luke finds himself reluctantly accepting a bargain in lieu of payment from the shiftless farmer who barters his daughter to settle his debt.

Philamena Booth is both mortified and relieved when her father sends her off with the banker as payment of his debt. Held captive on the farm by her father since the death of her mother more than a decade earlier, Philamena is grateful to leave. If only it had been someone other than the handsome and charismatic Luke Granger riding in to rescue her. Ready to uphold her end of the bargain as Luke’s cook and housekeeper, Philamena is prepared for the hard work ahead. What she isn’t prepared for is being forced to marry Luke as part of this crazy Christmas bargain.


And an excerpt:


Participating in more of Luke’s kissing lessons scrambled Filly’s thoughts the next morning as she turned on the kitchen lights and started setting out the items she needed to make cinnamon muffins, fried heham and eggs for breakfast.

Although he’d teased her about it plenty the previous evening, a neighbor in need of a hand kept Luke out late and Filly had gone to bed with thoughts of his kisses lingering in her dreams.

Humming a rousing rendition of  Deck the Halls, Filly acknowledged she was both anticipating and dreading her next kissing lesson with Luke. Whenever he touched her, she tingled all over and felt strange fluttering sensations in her midsection. Just looking at his inviting lips made her feel flushed and light headed.

Retrieving eggs from the ice box, she turned to witness the biggest spider she’d ever seen in her life crawling across the counter.

Dropping the eggs, she let out a blood curdling scream that sounded throughout the house.

Just finishing his morning shave after taking a bath, Luke nearly sliced through his jaw with the razor when Filly’s scream echoed down the hallway. Dropping the razor in the sink, Luke tore out of the bathroom and ran down the hall, skidding into the kitchen to find a wide-eyed Filly staring transfixed at the counter.

Casting his glance that direction, he was surprised to see a huge spider scurrying across the end of the counter and vaulting itself to the floor. Luke hurried to the pantry, retrieved the broom and killed the spider. Sweeping it out the door, he went to Filly and folded her into his arms.

Putting her arms around him and resting her head on his chest, he felt her take in a huge gulp of air. He rubbed her back and murmured soft words until he felt her relax. Pushing her back, he cupped her cheek and looked into her eyes.

“Okay, now?” he asked, realizing the jokes he’d heard about women needing men to kill spiders for them was true.

Filly was anything but okay. Luke was standing before her in nothing but a towel knotted around his waist. Trying not to stare, but helpless not to notice, she took in his broad shoulders, tight muscles and fine matting of golden hair on his chest. His hair was still damp and fell in waves around his forehead, and a dollop of shaving cream still clung to one cheek. Her mouth suddenly went dry and she felt dizzy.

Luke had as fine a physique as any man should be allowed to have and the majority of it was on display right there in the kitchen.

“Filly, are you okay?” Luke asked, putting his hands on her upper arms and giving her a worried look when she didn’t respond.

Nodding her head, she attempted to regain her composure.

“I would never have pictured you as an afraid-of-spiders kind of girl,” Luke said, trying to lighten the mood with his teasing.  “Granted it was a big one, but I thought you’d been nearly killed by your screaming.”

“Sorry,” Filly said, stepping back so she could lean against the counter until her knees felt capable of holding her upright without assistance. Seeing the spider brought back unpleasant memories she’d rather have kept buried. She knew it was silly to have such a reaction, but she couldn’t help it.

“What is it?” Luke asked, genuinely concerned at her white face and shaking hands. “Come on, Filly, tell me what’s wrong.”

Shuddering, Filly wrapped her arms around herself and looked off in the distance, lost in the past. “My father sometimes locked me in the cellar when he got really angry with me. It was dark and there were spiders. So many spiders. I couldn’t see them and they’d crawl on me and… I don’t like spiders.”

“Filly,” Luke’s voice came out in a ragged whisper. “I’m so sorry, darlin’. So sorry.” Pulling her to him again, he held her close, furious once again at the suffering she had needlessly endured. “Everything is fine now. No one will ever put you in the cellar. And you scream all you want anytime you see a spider. I promise to come slay it for you.”

“Thank you,” Filly whispered, once again stepping back from Luke. Knowing they were married, a part of her still felt wicked for seeing Luke in his current state of undress. Unable to resist the temptation, though, she reached out a hand and rested it on his muscled chest, right above his heart. “Thank you for being such a good man.”

Filly’s hand on his chest was about to burn right through Luke. He had completely forgotten all he wore was a towel until he felt her hand warm against his skin. He would like nothing better than to sweep her into his arms and continue their kissing lesson, skipping right past hugging and moving directly on to marital bliss.

Now was not the time to give in to his growing desire for his wife. Instead, he took a moment to tamp down his need and let Filly gather herself together.

“I’ll finish getting dressed and help you clean up the mess,” he said, as she stood holding the edge of the counter in a death grip.

“That won’t be necessary,” she said, grabbing a kitchen towel and bending down to clean up the broken eggs. When she turned to see if Luke had left the kitchen, he was standing watching her. Her vision was suddenly filled with Luke’s muscled legs and she felt her cheeks flame once again as her eyes traveled up to where his thighs disappeared behind the white towel.

Watching Filly blush, Luke bent over and grasped her arm, pulling her to her feet. “See something you like, Mrs. Granger?”

“Good gracious, Luke, don’t be…” Filly was so rattled, she couldn’t even think of a word to describe him.

“Dashing, charming, your knight devoid of his armor?” Luke teased, quite pleased at his wife’s flustered state.

“No, so…so…” Filly spluttered, completely flustered.

“Appealing, enchanting, handsome?” Luke added, kissing her cheek.

“Conceited!” Filly managed to say, trying to keep from smiling.

Luke slapped a hand to his chest and took a step back. “You wound me, wife, deeply and profoundly.” Luke would have continued his theatrics, but the towel started to slip. Grabbing it with both hands, he shot Filly a devilish grin then sauntered back to the bathroom to finish getting ready.

Following Luke’s exit from the kitchen from the corner of her eye, Filly let out the breath she’d been holding.

Merciful stars, she had no idea what men looked like beneath their clothes. No wonder girls became so distracted thinking about boys. Picturing Luke’s muscled arms and chest made heat rush through her from head to toe. Thoughts of those muscled legs made her stomach flutter.

How was she supposed to keep her focus on anything with her growing attraction to Luke? She had admired, respected and liked him from the first day he rescued her. Immediately, she was infatuated with him. The past few weeks she knew she loved him, truly loved him, and now she realized she wanted him.



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