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I have something exciting to share with you today!

Are you ready?

Without further ado…

Cowboy Leaning in Doorway of Barn

 

The Cowboy’s Last Goodbye (Grass Valley Cowboys Book 6) is now available for pre-order!

And you get to be the first to see the cover!

Originally, I planned for Ben Morgan’s story to release this week, but with all that has transpired this fall, it just wasn’t ready in time.

I could have rushed and got it out mid-January. However, I want this long-awaited story to be the best it can possibly be, so mark Feb. 4 on your calendars because that is the date it will officially release!

In the meantime, here’s a little teaser…

***

Harper Hayes had no idea what possessed her to offer a stranger a ride.

Pure stupidity.

That had to be the reason she’d stopped to give the good-looking man a lift. He could be a con artist, a thief, or some kind of sick pervert.

For all she knew, he could be flashing that six-pack of abs and chiseled chin to make her the next victim in a string of yet undiscovered murders by a psycho serial killer.

Then again, Harper seriously doubted a serial killer would go hunting for unsuspecting women on dusty dirt roads that very few people traveled and even fewer women inhabited.

Before she fully regained the ability to own a rational thought, she observed the man, starting with his thick, short dark hair. Eyes the color of magnolia leaves in the autumn — brown with a slightly inviting sheen — made her want to take a step closer to him.

In all her twenty-eight years of living, she’d never seen a guy with such a full bottom lip, one just made for enticing kisses out of entranced women.

For a moment, she indulged in thoroughly ogling his broad shoulders, sculpted chest, and muscled arms. Eventually, she forced her gaze back to his face.

And it was such an incredibly attractive face, too.

Mortified by the wayward thoughts swirling around in her head, heat stung her cheeks as she took a step away from him. Away from temptation.

“What’s your name? I haven’t seen you around here before.” His deep voice flowed over her like a welcome breeze on a sultry summer afternoon.

Mercy!

She was in trouble where that six-foot of hunky biker was concerned. The last thing she needed in her complicated life was another man, especially one who appeared so virile and strong.

Nervous and ill at ease, she took another step back.

As though he sensed her concern, he offered her a reassuring look.

“I’m Ben Morgan. My family owns the Running M Ranch in Grass Valley.” He took a step forward and held out his hand while offering her a charming grin.

 

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I’ve probably mentioned it before, but when I’m writing, I like to find a song that makes me think of the characters, and then I play it on a loop.

For some crazy reason, it helps me keep focused on the story and creates the perfect background noise for my writing.

Sometimes the songs are upbeat, sometimes slow ballads. When I was writing Learnin’ the Ropes, I listened to an entire soundtrack of rockin’ hits from the big hair bands of the 80s.

With Lacy, I’m not sure why, but She Don’t Love You by Eric Paslay just spoke to me. I think it’s because Grant has had his heart hurt by women who didn’t love him for himself… they wanted the wealth and social prestige he could provide. At the very beginning of the book, Grant makes it known he wants to find a woman who can love him for him.

Lacy hasn’t loved and lost, but she feels alone and lonely.

Listen to the words of this beautiful song and picture Lacy and Grant finding each other and falling in love…

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 Hello and welcome, Melanie! 
Hi, Shanna! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. I really appreciate the chance to be here with you and your readers.

When did you first began writing fiction? 

I’ve been writing for about as long as I can remember. I went through many periods of my life when I had to push writing into the background, but I always came back to it. It’s a dream come true to finally be able to put some focus on it now. 

So when you were a child, did you dream of becoming an author?
Definitely! Growing up, there were three things I really wanted to do when I grew up: Be a stay-at-home mom, an author, and a marine biologist who swam with sharks. I took SCUBA diving lessons in college and decided it wasn’t for me. I’m very happy with two out of three!

When you write, what type of environment do you prefer? 
I have to have things going on in the background when I’m writing. Generally, I put some TV re-runs on (ER, Gilmore Girls, Diagnosis Murder, etc) or I’ll listen to some music. Now, when it comes to editing, it’s a whole different thing. The quieter it is, the better! 

Do you have any pets? 
Yes, we have two dogs: Jasper and Jessie. We also have a dwarf lion head rabbit named Tweak (the kids named her after a character on the Octonauts). We also enjoy a twenty gallon aquarium complete with some long-finned zebra danios, black skirted tetras, and red minor tetras.

Tell us something about yourself that most people probably don’t know? 
I was homeschooled from the first grade through high school. I really liked it! I enjoyed being able to get up in the morning and focus on my school work and then have the afternoon to do other things. I was a very self-motivated student and homeschooling was a perfect choice for me. 

What are you working on now?
I’m progressing through the first draft of Finding Hope – the second book in my Love’s Compass series. For those who have read the first book, this story is all about Lexi. I’m having a lot of fun writing it and I can’t wait to share more with my readers in the next month or two!

Thanks again for hosting me, I enjoyed visiting with you!

You can find Melanie’s books on:
Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Follow Melanie online at:
Website and Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Ilsa cover

I’m excited, pleased, and downright giddy to announce Ilsa is now available for your reading pleasure!

For those of you who read the first two books in the Pendleton Petticoats series, you’ll encounter many of the same characters and meet a few new ones!

Here’s a short blurb about the book:

One of the most talented seamstresses of her time, Ilsa Thorsen could sell her creations anywhere in the world, but she ends up on her sister’s ranch in the western town of Pendleton, Oregon. Disgusted with the dust, smells, and nearly every aspect of rural life, Ilsa wonders how she’ll survive, particularly with the arrogant Tony Campanelli constantly underfoot.

Enterprising and hardworking, Tony Campanelli embraces life in the small community of Pendleton with his sister and their friends, especially since Ilsa Thorsen moves to town. The uptight seamstress just needs to learn to have some fun and Tony’s convinced he’s the man for the job.

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If you click on the image below, you can instantly read the first few chapters for free! How fun is that?

And for those of you who are new to the Pendleton Petticoats series, here’s the skinny on the first two books.

Aundy CoverAundy (Book 1) – Desperate to better her situation, Aundy Thorsen agrees to leave behind her life in Chicago to fulfill a farmer’s request for a mail-order bride in Pendleton, Oregon. When a tragic accident leaves her a widow soon after becoming a wife, Aundy takes on the challenge of learning how to manage a farm, even if it means her stubborn determination to succeed upsets a few of the neighbors.
Born and raised at Nash’s Folly, the family ranch, Garrett Nash loves life in the bustling community of Pendleton as the 20th century approaches.
When his neighbor passes away and leaves behind a plucky widow, Garrett takes on the role of her protector and guardian. His admiration for her tenacious spirit soon turns to something more. He just needs to convince the strong-willed woman to give love another chance.

Caterina coverCaterina (Book 2) – On the run from the Italian mafia in New York City, feisty Caterina Campanelli travels across the country to the small town of Pendleton, Oregon, trying to hide her past while she decides what to do about her uncertain future. Seeking comfort in her cooking, she battles her attraction to one of the town’s most handsome men.

Kade Rawlings is dedicated to his work as a deputy in Pendleton. Determined to remain single and unfettered, he can’t seem to stay away from the Italian spitfire who rolls into town keeping secrets and making the best food he’s ever eaten. Using his charm, wit, and brawn to win her trust, he may just get more than he bargained for.

 

And don’t forget to join in Ilsa’s Book Launch Party April 9 on Facebook. Everyone is welcome to attend! And there will be loads of fun prizes!

And a

 

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Ilsa cover

Since I’m working on final edits of Ilsa this week, I thought I’d share a little about our two main characters.

If you read Aundy, Book 1 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, you know that Ilsa Ingrid Thorsen is Aundy’s sister.

Aundy gave Ilsa into the care of their only living relative,  nasty Aunt Louisa, and her French husband, Henri, after their parents died. Aundy left all she knew in Chicago to travel west to Pendleton, Oregon, as a mail-order bride, hoping she’d be able to eventually bring Ilsa to join her.

While she worked to make her way on the farm she inherited from her deceased husband, Ilsa turned her talents with designing and sewing fashions into her career.

Ilsa, who was the youngest of three children, has been babied and pampered most of her life – up until she went to live with Aunt Louisa.

She’s tiny, lovely, and clings to propriety like it’s a lifeline.

Ilsa 2

I thought Britt Robertson made a fabulous Ilsa. From her blue eyes and pert nose to that sweet smile, this is how I pictured Ilsa.

Ilsa can be fun and playful, and has a keen sense of humor when she allows it to run free. She also has a temper that she keeps hidden, and fears that she sometimes let get the best of her.

Arriving in Pendleton, she meets Aundy and Garrett’s closest friends, Caterina and Kade Rawlings.  Ilsa feels an immediate and overwhelming attraction to Caterina’s brother, Tony.

Tony  1 (william levy)Antonio Valentino Campanelli is a proud, fun-loving, extremely handsome man. In my opinion, William Levy makes the perfect Tony. I think it was the eyes that cinched the deal, for me.

In the story, Tony is hot-tempered, passionate, and a little wild. He’s also compassionate, friendly, generous, and hard-working. He takes an immediate interest in Ilsa and decides someone needs to help her learn to lighten up. Giving himself the job, he goes out of his way to tease her.

I hope you’ll join in the fun April 9 for Ilsa’s official launch party on facebook! Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PT) there will be guest authors, prizes, and a whole lot of fun!

In the meantime, here’s a little teaser from Ilsa:

***

“Oh, Ilsa,” Aundy said, trying hard not to smile as she carefully put her hands on her sister’s shoulders and turned her toward the house, knocking eggshells out of her hair as they walked. Garrett winked at his wife and a giggle escaped. Soon everyone was laughing.
Ilsa glared at Aundy then marched herself around the house to the kitchen door.
Mad at her sister for laughing and the rest of them for joining in, Ilsa stamped her foot and dislodged a flurry of eggshells on Aundy’s clean floor. Yanking her apron over her head, more broken shells and slimy yolks dislodged themselves from her head.
Hearing the back door shut behind her, she let her temper have free rein.
“How could you? It’s bad enough I made a fool of myself, but you set off all the laughter. It’s just mean.”
The sound of a muffled laugh made her even angrier. Trying to reach behind her back to undo the buttons of her dress, she needed to take a bath and have a fresh start to this awful day. It wasn’t even yet six in the morning.
“Don’t stand there like a hysterical ninny. Help me get out of this,” she ordered, resisting the urge to stamp her foot again. She felt fingers working at the buttons of her dress but the musky, masculine scent that reached her nose made her fully aware Aundy didn’t stand behind her.
Spinning around, she looked into the smirking face of Tony Campanelli.
“You!”
“Me,” he said, in a husky, low voice. Although his mouth still turned up in a smile, his eyes burned like a golden fire as they bore into hers. “Let me help you, chickadee.”

 

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A hunky mechanic, cowboys, a sassy ranch owner and a prankster dog round out the cast of my latest romance novel, Learnin’ The Ropes.

Here’s the scoop:

Out of work mechanic Ty Lewis is homeless and desperate to find work. Answering a classified ad for a job in Harney County, Oregon, Ty accepts when he is offered the position. Saying goodbye to his sister and his life in Portland, he heads off to the tiny community of Riley to begin a new adventure, unsure about his boss Lex Ryan, a man he has yet to speak with or meet.

Lexi Ryan, known to her ranch hands and neighbors as Lex Jr., leaves a successful career in Portland to keep the Rockin’ R Ranch running smoothly after the untimely death of her father. It doesn’t take long to discover her father did a lot of crazy things during the last few months of his battle with brain cancer, including hiding half a million dollars that Lexi can’t find.

Ty and Lexi are both in for a multitude of surprises as he arrives at the Rockin’ R Ranch and begins learnin’ the ropes.”

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the book:

“I thought you said you’re starving,” Lexi whispered, not quite sure what Ty was thinking.

“I am,” Ty said, his voice dropping in pitch as he held her tightly to his chest. “Starving for you. Famished for your kisses. Hungry for your arms around me. Dying to taste every little bit of you.”

—–

“I haven’t been sulking,” Ty said. “And I can’t date you anymore.”

“Why not? Do you find me that disgusting? Unappealing? Annoying? What is it about me that’s driving you away?” Lexi yelled, slapping at Ty’s chest. She’d been down this road with men before. Eventually something turned them away from her, usually her heritage, although she wouldn’t expect that from Ty. “What, Ty? Just tell me!”

“Nothing, babe,” Ty said, gathering her into his arms and giving in to his desire to kiss her, just one more time. He devoured her lips, drank deeply from the honeyed sweetness that was all Lexi, and felt drunk from the experience. Finally breaking the contact, he put a hand to the back of her head and pulled her against his chest, holding her close. “There isn’t a single thing about you that I don’t find appealing. You drive me wild, Lexi Jo Ryan. Every laugh, every smile, every toss of your raven hair, every swing of that perfect posterior, every touch from your hand, and definitely every kiss. You make me forget anything else exists.”

—–

 So much for her theory that after one kiss, they’d realize they weren’t really attracted to one another. Thinking one kiss from Ty would quench her thirst for him was like expecting an eyedropper full of water to put out a rampaging wildfire.
—–
You can find the book both in paperback or digitally at Amazon, or digitally in all the usual likely locations like Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. And check out the book trailer video on You Tube for a little added fun!

Amazon

Kindle

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

You Tube

 

The book is $2.99 for digital downloads, $12.99 for paperback and, as always, is clean fiction!

Enjoy!

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