Posts Tagged ‘western romance’

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Downing to the blog today. She’s a fantastic person, talented author, and wonderful friend. We met at a Women Writing the West Conference back in 2015 and have been swapping “howdies” since then.  

City or country? 

Born in NYC, having lived most of my life in the UK—mostly London—you might think I’m a city girl.  In fact, I much prefer the country so, despite the fact I now live part-year in NYC to be close to my daughter, I live the rest of the time in Wyoming.  And that’s what got me thinking….

Andy BBoy.jpg

At the end of the first of my two ‘Heart of the Boy’ books, Bad Boy, Big Heart, cowboy & fourth-generation Wyoming rancher Chay Ridgway is headed off  to New York so he can be with his girlfriend, K.C. Daniels, while she completes her M.A.  Talk about a fish out of water!  I just knew I had to see what would happen to this former rodeo star when dropped in the Big Apple.

Life could not be more different than between those two places, and City Boy, Country Heart deals with that.


Andi NYc

As any visitor to NYC knows, New York is crowded.  Manhattan is full of people, buildings are one upon the other, streets are packed with vehicles.  Living spaces are minimal—if you happen to be rich enough to own a complete brownstone house to yourself, it’s still crammed in between others of its ilk.  Forget about having land—a long narrow strip of backyard might be yours if you’re lucky.  In the other four boroughs, there is a sense of suburbia with single family homes on small plots. But for most people, apartment living is the norm, and for youngsters, sharing is usual.  If you grew up in the country like Chay, a sense of claustrophobia would be immediate. Moreover, when so many people are crammed into a small area, housing, with everything else, becomes expensive.

And you’re certainly not getting around by horse!  Even having your own car in the city is a waste of money because parking is at a premium and necessitates constant moving of the auto, while garage parking costs are astronomical.  So, what transportation is there?  Within the city, taxis and Ubers and their competitors are too expensive for daily, frequent use by college kids.  It’s down into the subterranean world of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s subway, a dismal hell-hole providing good transport.  Buses, too, are frequent but a lot slower, having to deal with NYC traffic.  To someone brought up in the fresh air of Wyoming, it would be disturbing and repellant at best.

With Lady Liberty on our doorstep, New York is a very mixed environment.  When you put a lot of people into an urban situation like this, there are bound to be pros and cons as Chay soon finds out.  Being neighborly is not particularly a NY trait.  I do know the people in the next apartment and a few others in my building, but no one drops in for coffee and a chat.  On the other hand, the huge amount of diverse ethnicities lends itself to a multi-cultural world that has its benefits:  any kind of food in the world is available in NYC, and living and learning with folks of such varied backgrounds leads to increased tolerance and understanding.

What other benefits are there to living in NYC?  Well, anything can be delivered straight to your door, and I’m not talking Amazon here.  Groceries, meals, dry cleaning (which can also be collected) come with a phone call or click; in Wyoming, where I live, I can’t even get a pizza delivered! In NYC, doctors of all specializations are on your doorstep; museums, libraries, and theatres are within walking distance.  And then there’s Central Park.

But for Chay, I believe, it would come down to space, an ability to step outside his door and instead of seeing the next apartment, see the Tetons, pastures, the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  It would come down to this:  New York City (that is, all five boroughs), at 304.5 sq. miles,  population 8.5 million; entire State of Wyoming, coming in at 97,818 square miles, population under 600,000.

Andi Wyoming

City Boy, Country Heart:

Rodeo star and rancher Chay Ridgway has left Wyoming to follow his girlfriend, K.C. Daniels, to New York.  Leaving behind all he knows for a small bite of the Big Apple, Chay discovers the canyons of city streets may be too oppressive for this cowboy, especially when the trauma is compounded by the fact K.C.’s parents dislike him, their housemate is a harridan, friends are few, and the only job he can get is rounding up dinner plates.

As K.C. continues her two years of study for her Master’s degree, can she also continue to keep a rein on Chay’s heart? Will this cowboy become a city boy, or will the wide-open spaces of Wyoming call his country heart home?


Having pushed their way to the corner, crossed the street and got to the line for the skating rink, K.C. left Chay to hold their place so she could ask what the cost would be. He took in the scene and tried to enjoy it: the skaters below doing their pirouettes or figure-eights; the towering buildings reflecting each other; the children running about with rosy, excited faces; the golden flags waving and planted trees decorated with lights; and above it all, the Christmas tree, a goliath of multi-colored lights topped by a star. It was all too much, too much commotion and hubbub, too much noise.

K.C. came back with a downcast look to a stomping Chay trying to stay warm.

“What? What now?” he asked.

She tutted and sighed. “Thirty-two dollars to get in, twelve dollars to rent skates.”

Chay stared at her in disbelief. “You have got to be kidding. How much money are they making? Maybe I should open a skating rink on my frozen tanks back home. Geesh. I’m not going to—”

“No, no. Let’s go…somewhere we can get a hot chocolate and warm up.”

“Yeah, and I know just the place.” Chay grabbed her hand and pushed back through the crowd.



“I’m sorry.”

“For what? It isn’t your fault.”

“I thought…I thought it was going to be such fun, the windows and the skating, and the—”


“Well. I didn’t know it was going to be this bad.” She peered over her shoulder at the golden statue that graced Rockefeller Center, and the tree. “Oh, gosh, Chay! You hardly saw the tree!”

“I saw it. Great. Big, and lots of lights and things. Maybe nice at night, though.”

K.C. stopped in her tracks and swiveled to him. “Nice at night? Nice at night? That’s all you have to say about the Rockefeller Center Tree—the most famous Christmas tree, like, in all the world?”

He stared at her and grimaced, shoving his hands in his pockets. “K.C., it was lovely. I see pine trees outside my window all year. I like them in their natural state, like in Wyoming. Up mountains, by lakes, with elk or moose underneath. I never did like the idea of putting silly little baubles on them, trinkets, or angels at the top. What’s the point?”

“What’s the point? Chay, it’s Christmas. It’s a Christmas tradition. Didn’t you ever have a Christmas tree in your home?”

“Yeah, I did. I decorated it with home-made things I could make when I was little. My mother showed me how to make cut-out paper chains, and popcorn garlands and stuff. All that glitz, I think, it’s sort of stupid, isn’t it? Spending money on crap, buying things. Taking something from nature and dressing it up like that?”

“It’s Christmas!”

“Yeah. I got that. It’s Christmas.” Someone pushed him from behind and anger flared across his face like wildfire down a hillside. “I thought we were going home for hot chocolate.”

K.C. stared at him as if she were seeing a different person, a person she didn’t know. “Where’s your Christmas spirit,” she asked in a voice so hurt, he thought she was pleading.

“Christmas spirit is maybe different to different people. I find the crowds—”

“All right, I understand!” She jerked her arm free and walked on at a quicker pace. “Christmas spirit is different to different people.”

Chay stopped for a moment, lost in the crowd, keeping an eye on her retreating back. “Yes,” he said to himself. “Christmas is certainly different to different people. And we were different people in Wyoming.”


Andi 1

A Cowboy To Keep Anthology

Featuring stories by Carra Copelin, Andrea Downing, Kristy McCaffrey, Devon McKay, Hildie McQueen, Hebby Roman, and Patti Sherry-Crews

 Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …

Don’t miss this great collection from USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-Winning authors!! Available at https://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Keep-Contemporary-Western-Collection-ebook/dp/B072869SGV/


Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, but when Dinah Horne suddenly returns, can he ignore the passion still burning bright between them?


Trading horses for subways for two years seemed like a good idea to cowboy Chay Ridgway, but can city girl K.C. Daniels keep a rein on his country heart?

BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey

Archaeologist Audrey Driggs rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.


Determined to take back what belongs to her, Addison Reed will do anything. Even trust a complete stranger.

HER MAN by Hildie McQueen

Deputy Mark Hunter falls for Eliza Brock during a murder investigation. Is it fate or bad luck, especially when she may be involved?


Widow Leticia Villarreal wants to establish a horse-racing stable and old acquaintance John Clay Laidlaw offers to help. But can she trust him with her business and her heart?

PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews

After losing her fiancé and her New York City business, Harper Donovan returns to Arizona and meets cowboy Frank Flynn. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?





A native New Yorker, Andrea Downing currently divides her time between the canyons of city streets and the wide-open spaces of Wyoming. Her background in publishing and English Language teaching has transferred into fiction writing, and her love of horses, ranches, rodeo, and just about anything else western, is reflected in her award-winning historical and contemporary western romances.

She has been a finalist in the RONE Awards for Best American Historical Romance twice, placed in the International Digital Awards twice, and won ‘Favorite Hero’ along with Honorable Mentions for Favorite Heroine, Short Story and Novel in the Maple Leaf Awards. Her book, Dearest Darling, has also won The Golden Quill Award for Best Novella and been on the short list for winning The Chanticleer Award for Best Short or Novella.

You can find Andrea at:

WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/writerAndreaDowning

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0






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For those of you who are interested, I thought it might be fun to share a little excerpt from Tad’s Treasure today.

Although the story is the last book in the Grandma’s Wedding Quilts series, it also is the prequel to my Baker City Brides  series. If you’ve read and enjoyed meeting the characters in those stories, you’ll get a little glimpse of Thane, Tully, Maggie, and Ian in this story!

Here is an excerpt:

Posey leaned down toward him, as though she felt the magnetic pull to be together as much as he did.

What might have happened next would remain a mystery, though. Nate grabbed Posey’s arm, jerking her and Tad back to reality.

“Mama, look!” The little boy stood and pointed to a cloud of dust rising on Main Street. The thundering sound of hooves preceded the sight of the sheriff and his two best friends racing pell-mell down the wide street.

“Looks like Tully, Maggie, and Thane are at it again,” Posey mused, settling Nate back onto the seat next to her.

“So it would seem,” Tad said, amused. “I don’t think Tully Barrett has changed much since he became the sheriff.”


Tad’s Treasure is available for 99 cents on pre-orders! The book releases Jan. 20.  http://a.co/2b97MgE

And, you can read the prequel  to Grandma’s Wedding Quilts right now for just 99 cents. http://a.co/fbaF6UC

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Lone Heart Pass is the latest release in the Ransom Canyon series written by Jodi Thomas. I loved it as much I did the other two.

This one had a little sadder note to it, I thought. The mystery wasn’t hard to figure out, but I loved the interaction between the characters, especially our hero, Charlie, and the young boy he takes under his wing.

Here’s a little blurb about the book:

Where family bonds are made and broken, and where young love sparks as old flames grow dim, Ransom Canyon is ready to welcome—and shelter—those who need it 

With a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubilee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she’s inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and the abrasive foreman she’s forced to hire are all she’s got.

Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he’s been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubilee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic.

Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. And when he finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation, his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.


If you enjoy a contemporary western romance with just a little spice, this is a great book (and series). I can’t wait for the next book to come out so I can find out what the characters are up to in Ransom Canyon.

Jodi Thomas

Jodi ThomasA fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full-time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and “checking up” on their two grown sons.

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at http://www.jodithomas.com.

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Captain Cavedweller is a very generous guy. He’s willing to share anything he has with me, including his germs.

Two weeks ago, he brought home the nastiest stomach flu I think I’ve ever experienced. Instead of lasting 24-hours, it hung on for days and days.

While I was down and out, I knew better than to try and work on anything that involved writing. Too many brain cells ceased to function the moment I took ill.

Instead, I decided to work on a cover redesign I’ve been wanting to do for more than a year.

Learnin’ the Ropes is one of my favorite stories that I’ve written. If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s about an out of work mechanic who grows so desperate to find a job, he accepts a position on a remote ranch. Ty is a city boy so everything he encounters on the ranch comes as a surprise to him, including his beautiful boss, Lexi. He thought she was a man and their first encounter really throws him for a loop. Oh, and there’s a dog – a really big dog, named Baby.

This was one of the early books I wrote when I was just getting started.

cover shot

This was the original cover of the book. Don’t laugh too hard when you see it. About five minutes after I published the book, I realized the cover wasn’t going to cut it.

Learnin the Ropes cover 09-12

Eventually, I updated to this cover. It was better, but still not quite there.

Before I began revamping it a third time, I asked CC for his opinions, gathered an assortment of image ideas, and tried to come up with something that really represented the story.

Learnin' the Ropes 1-16

Maybe the third time is a charm.

What do you think?

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Check out the covers for Faith Blum’s three new novellas, I Love Thee, Pass Me Not, and Redeemed. They will all be published this summer! Instead of doing three separate reveals, she chose to do one reveal for all three. To learn how these novellas came into being, check out Faith’s blog post today. Read on to see the covers and learn about each of the stories. Don’t forget to enter to win the novel that started it all!

I Love Thee

Publication Date: June 26, 2015


Pass Me Not (2)



I Love Thee

Mom and Dad dead STOP Please come STOP Gage

Confirmed bachelor, Cole Baxter, finds himself raising his sister’s four young children. After one week of leaving his ranch in the hands of his foreman to take care of the grieving, needy children, he has to admit the task is beyond him and he needs help. But hired help won’t suffice: those children need a mother’s hand. Cole needs a wife.

Approximately 17,800 words.

I Love Thee Preorder

Click on image to order now.


Pass Me Not

Let me at Thy throne of mercy/Find a sweet relief/Kneeling there in deep contrition/Help my unbelief

Timothy is at his wit’s end. His twelve year old half-sister has run off five housekeepers in almost a year. Since their parents died, she has grown wilder than ever. What can he do? As he looks for a new housekeeper, his eye catches sight of a mail order bride advertisement. One young lady has a younger sister and sounds like a God-fearing woman. Could this be the answer to his dilemma or will Louise run her off, too?

Approximately 15,300 words


Mail Order bride seeks wealthy Western man. Write Mona Sommers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Alexander Granger is tired of his father’s lectures and sermons. It’s time for payback. His plan is to pretend to marry a woman and scandalize his father when he finds out they aren’t really married. Will Mona accept his offer? Can Alex get away with his plan?

Approximately 11,600 words.

About the Author

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, Captaining on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.

You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter


How would you like your very own copy of the book that started it all? Well, at least started it all for the novellas. Enter the giveaway below and you could win a signed paperback copy of Amazing Grace.


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Or, if you would like another chance to win a signed copy, you can also enter the Goodreads giveaway that is open today through July 2nd!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Amazing Grace by Faith Blum

Amazing Grace

by Faith Blum

Giveaway ends July 02, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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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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 Although you should be glad you can’t see it, I’m dancing around my office this morning. It’s Lacy’s release day and I’m so excited to share her with you all!


Pendleton Petticoats Series Book 5

Lacy Cover

Sweet romance blossoms between people from two very different worlds.

Will the bonds of love be stronger than the bonds of tradition?

Eager to make her own way in the world, Lacy Williams leaves behind her family on the Umatilla Reservation and accepts a job in Pendleton at the telephone office as an operator. The work she takes in stride, but dealing with the unfamiliar, unsettling feelings stirred by the handsome banker across the street is an entirely different matter.

Grant Hill wants a wife.

However, not just any wife will do. If that were the case, he’d make an announcement at the mercantile and cause a stampede to the church. Grant wants a woman who will look beyond his material wealth and see into his heart. When he’s all but given up on the possibility that such a woman exists, he runs into the lovely Lacy Williams.

The two of them must strive to discover if the bonds of love are stronger than the bonds of tradition in this sweet historical western romance.




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Meet Lacy  and Grant

If you’d like a chance to win a digital copy of Lacy, either post a comment here or on my Facebook page what you enjoy most about a historical western. One random winner will be drawn Saturday morning!

Happy Reading!

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