Archive for the ‘Cowboys’ Category

Thanks to Novel Thoughts for inviting me to be on their blog today to talk about my newest book, Slow Ride Home. Yes, it’s a story about cowboys living on a huge ranch in Texas, but it’s also about lost love and lost dreams and whether they can be found again. The older generation of Gradys have created a lot of drama that Ben Grady and his brother Jake are now having to clean up. With a little help from Ben’s old girlfriend Allie—a woman he once loved but who his family destroyed. So there’s a lot of angst for those two to overcome. I decided to take a different approach to today’s post and borrowed a few questions I found in older Novel Thoughts posts, along with a few others that readers have asked lately:


In 5 words describe Slow Ride Home:


Cowboys. Reunited Lovers. Regret. Secrets. Hope.


What’s your favorite place to write?


Although I spent a great deal of effort setting up an office, I find I write best away from the desk. There’s something about sitting down at the desk, surrounded by the pile of receipts waiting to be entered, the sticky notes reminding me of blog posts to be written and administrative things to be done that diminishes my creativity. So I set up a comfortable wing chair with its own monitor in the corner, and have a special computer that I can easily turn off the net so I can’t “just pop over to FB to check something” that forces me to concentrate just on my story. Now to get over there more. Ideally I’d have two rooms for my office, one that has a huge 60 inch flat screen hooked up to my lap, a wireless keyboard for me to sit in a big comfy chair — or even better a chaise longue or day bed, and that’s it. (Except for all the plotting boards/sticky notes that ONLY talk about my story, not administrative stuff.)


What do you have on your desk?


Far too much. Mainly piles of paper — things like a printout of my latest manuscript, invoices for swag, the inevitable bills, at least a half dozen sticky pads, my regular glasses (I wear a special computer-distance set when working at my computer), a glass case, coffee cup, an extra mouse, a jar of hand cream, and (don’t laugh too hard) a single sock that I took away from my puppy (who loves to raid my laundry basket.—at least it wasn’t my underwear this time.)


What things do you need to write?


The main thing I need is quiet—no interruptions of puppies or cats clamoring for attention, no phone calls. Oh, and a laptop — I rarely write by hand since my writing can’t keep up with my brain, and when I try I can’t read my writing afterward. (Found that out after I wrote ten pages by a river one day and then tried—unsuccessfully—to decipher it the next day.)


5 random things about yourself


  • I’m terrified of glass elevators, and heights for the most part.
  • I suck at small talk or going up and introducing myself to strangers, especially in large crowds. I just don’t know what to say so I tend to be a wall flower so if you meet me at a conference I’m not being offish.
  • If there’s a choice between chocolate or something salty like chips, I’ll choose salty 9 times out of 10.(though I am intrigued by the chocolate coated chips that are now available.)
  • I make a killer chocolate macaroon that my hubby and kids will fight over. (I added the recipe below)
  • I’m a champion procrastinator.

Chocolate Macaroons

2 cups white sugar

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

3 cups rolled oats

½ cup cocoa

1 cup coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla


Boil sugar, milk, salt and butter for 5 minutes.  Bring to a rolling boil, then turn down the heat to keep it rolling but don’t over-boil or the mixture will be too dry. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Add oatmeal, cocoa and coconut mix.

Using a teaspoon (or for teen boys, a tablespoon), drop on wax paper to cool.  Work very quickly as mixture dries fast.



The only woman in a houseful of men (even the cat and dog are male), Leah Braemel loves hiding away from all the dust bunnies while she writes sexy heroes and heroines finding true love. To read more about Slow Ride Home or any of Leah’s other books, you can visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Slow Ride Home


Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.

Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…

Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.

Want to read more? http://leahbraemel.com/books/the-grady-legacy/slow-ride-home/slow-ride-home-excerpt/

Buy it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EFPNV5W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00EFPNV5W&linkCode=as2&tag=offiwebsoflea-20

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/slow-ride-home-leah-braemel/1116394183?ean=9781426897351

Carina Press: http://ebooks.carinapress.com/92B6C96A-B4E1-4C7C-B8F6-96CF911A92B0/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=3AE90FE4-FD3F-4435-B694-0CB1992C6C01

Or buy the audio book from Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Slow-Ride-Home-Audiobook/B00GA5KR16/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1383444529&sr=1-1



For the chance to win an ebook from Leah’s backlist, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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One of the joys of writing a series that includes a large family is getting to revisit the heroes and heroines from previous books, as well as slowly getting to fully know the members who have made cameos in the past. One of the heroes in ROCKY MOUNTAIN FREEDOM, Travis, has been around for five stories, so there is a lot of history to cover. That also, though, presents a challenge in terms of making the story understandable to all readers. I’m a firm believer that if possible all books should “stand alone”, ie, be a good book even if it’s the first of the series you’ve read.


There are many ways to provide the missing information from previous stories. It was so enjoyable for me as a writer to be able to return to a scene from book four. During ROCKY MOUNTAIN ANGEL Travis had stumbled into his cousin Gabe’s cabin under suspicious circumstances. FREEDOM retells the scene from Travis’s point of view, and finally fills in the missing details.


Sometimes this ‘revisiting’ comes in the way of a kind of flashback, or a return to the original time. Or it can be a conversation, like takes place between heroine Vicki from book 5 (REBEL) and the current heroine, Ashley. The two of them met each other previously, and as their friendship grows, it’s natural to discuss incidents that occurred in their past.


This kind of storytelling means all readers can enjoy the book. People who haven’t read the earlier stories aren’t lost and get to immerse themselves in the story without feeling they’ve been left out in the cold. At the same time readers who have faithfully followed the series get to find hidden “Easter Eggs”. Special moments of deeper understanding. Like they’re part of the family.


Whether you’re new to the series, or coming back to see what’s happening with your favourite characters, I hope you enjoy this story of finally breaking free from past pains. Of finding real love—real, enduring, and unconditional love.


Welcome to the SP Ranch. Make yourself at home!





Rocky Mountain Freedom
Six Pack Ranch, Book 6


Three hurting hearts. Too many secrets. One chance to conquer their fears.

Over the past year, Travis Coleman lost the two people he allowed closest to his heart. Both gave him ultimatums—then left. Hell if he needs that kind of pain again. Time to move forward without the friends he thought might save him from his dangerous cravings.

When Ashley Sims returns to Rocky Mountain House, her rambling lifestyle isn’t all she’s hoping to change. Travis snagged a piece of her, and while getting tangled in his issues again might be crazy, she hasn’t given up on him.

Nine months ago, Cassidy Jones walked away to stop his best friend from making a huge mistake. Temptation lingers, though, and when Travis shows up on his turf accompanied by a sensually uninhibited woman, the combination tosses fuel on the banked fire.

Passion flares among the three of them, as hot as the summer days. But are they willing to push the limits, and fight for love?

Warning: Dirty fighting, dirty talk, dirtier sex—secrets are coming out. Get ready for ménage a trois and cowboy-on-cowboy action, with ropes and crops and the kind of relentless love strong enough to set a man free.






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Haven’t tried the Six Pack Ranch books yet? Or are you behind on the series? Three readers will win their choice of ebook from books 1-5 in the series.


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Hi All! Cynthia D’Alba here. Thanks to Fatin for having me on Novel Thoughts and Book Talk to celebrate the release of TEXAS TANGO, the second book in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. Here’s a little more about the book:

Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 2

TexasTango72webDr. Caroline Graham is happy with her nomadic lifestyle fulfilling short-term medical contracts. No emotional commitments, no disappointments. She’s always the one to walk away, never the one left behind. But now her great-uncle is gone and her grandmother is on her deathbed, more concerned about Caroline’s lack of a husband than her own demise. What’s the harm in a little white lie? If a wedding will give her grandmother peace, then a wedding she shall have.

Travis Montgomery has one dream left—to build the ranch he and his wife planned before he lost her to cancer. There’s just one thing standing between him and the last bit of acreage he needs—a last living heir who has one traveling foot out the door…and an unusual request that challenges his determination to never again place his heart at risk. The land he wants in exchange for a faux marriage. Everyone wins. Until things start to snowball…and the hearts they stand to lose are their own.

Texas Tango features Travis Montgomery, the oldest sibling of the Montgomery clan. Travis suffered the worst loss anyone can suffer—death of his spouse—when they were both only twenty-six. He’s comfortable with being a widower and isn’t in the market for a relationship, especially one that involves a long term commitment.


Caroline Graham, the heroine from Texas Tango, is a contract physician. She hires out her services for temporary staffing. Sometimes she might cover maternity leave, or a vacation or extended illness by a primary physician. Whatever the assignment, she goes, which keeps her with one foot out of the door at all times. She’s comfortable with that lifestyle…no commitments, no one wanting more from her beyond what is specified by contract. To mark each location, she buys a charm that represents where she’s been. Each charm is unique as she rarely returns to a past locale. Always moving forward. Never backward. Her charm bracelet is heavily loaded with charms but she hasn’t yet bought her charm for the contract that brought her to Whispering Springs, Texas.


Like Caroline, I have a charm bracelet. They are such a dated concept now. But mine is in my jewelry box and when I put it on and the charms clink together, I can barely suppress the smile. I can tell the history of every charm. Where it came from, why I have it, what it means. Readers always ask if authors put ourselves in our stories and my usual answer is no but Caroline’s charm bracelet serves a memory marker much as mine does.


I will confess to having a serious thing about jewelry. When I used to have the “day job” which required putting on clothes and leaving my La-Z-Boy recliner (unlike my current job, which requires massive coffee and pajamas most days), I wore a lot of jewelry. It was nothing for me to have on earrings, necklace, two or three rings, and five or six bracelets. Now that I think about WHERE I worked, I’m surprised I didn’t ever get mugged!


When I started thinking about this tour and prizes, I realize that many of us devoted readers have TBR piles that would topple if not for our digital storage. Gift cards are nice but thinking about how important the charm bracelet is for Caroline (and me), I decided to have some fun with a Texas Tango Release Tour Jewelry Giveaway. And I think I found some pieces you might enjoy adding to your collection. Here’s a look at the pieces I selected…



I’m using Rafflecopter for this tour giveaway, meaning you can enter multiple times on multiple days. The down side to Rafflecopter is that we are on a WordPress.com site and WP.com doesn’t play well with the Rafflecopter widget. Never fear! There is a “back-up” Rafflecopter widget you can use to do your entries. Follow this link to my Facebook author page and there’s the second widget for you.


Plus, check my personal blog today. There is another stop on the tour today and the Rafflecopter Widget might be there.


BUT that’s not all. From the comments left on this blog, I’ll select one person (using Random.org) to win a Western-Theme ornament. Take a peek at the selection. Now the problem I’m having is separating myself from them. They are all so cute!

Christmas Ornaments

AND I have refilled my coffers with freebies and sway, yours for the asking. But when it’s gone, it’s gone. Pens, jar openers, postcards, bookmarks, trading cards…just go by my contact page and send me a note telling me what you are wanting from my stash.

Tour Freebies

I just realized that you may not know me or have come across me on the internet. So here’s a little more about moi: I was born and D'Alba RT Booksigningraised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, I’m thrilled to be making my home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. I started writing on a challenge from my husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.


I love love love to hear from readers and there are lots of ways to find me. Online, you can find me most days at my website or my group blog.

Follow me at Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Goodreads or Pinterest.

or email me at cynthia@cynthiadalba.com


To send me snail mail, write to: Cynthia D’Alba   PO Box 2116   Hot Springs, AR 71914

TEXAS TANGO is available at your favorite online bookstore or follow one of the links below:
Amazon | Samhain  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Thanks for coming by! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win one of the Christmas ornaments! And find me tomorrow too! Remember, you can still go back to my earlier stops on the tour and pick up additional Rafflecopter entries. Somebody’s got to win!


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Melissa Cutler here, and I’m thrilled to be on RR@H Novel Thoughts talking about cowboys. It’s been a whirlwind month spreading the word about COWBOY JUSTICE, my latest western romance, and the icing on the cake was my six day adventure in Las Vegas last week.


Guess who was also in Las Vegas last week? Cowboys! More specifically, professional bull riders and their huge, awesome fan contingency. While many of the fans in attendance of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Finals were cowboys themselves, there were a huge number of women who love romance novels. Imagine my delight!


For three days, I manned a booth at the PBR Fan Zone—along with fellow western author Laura Drake and the Barnes & Noble reps selling our books—and introduced romance readers to COWBOY JUSTICE and THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS. I felt like a romance genre ambassador, and couldn’t have been more proud to declare to each and every woman (and lots of men) who walked by our booth: “I’m a romance author and I’d love to talk to you about my books.”


Me with Author Laura Drake at our PBR Fan Zone booth


Sure, we got the occasional snickers from poor, unfortunate souls who are ignorant about our wonderful genre, and, yes, if I’d done a shot of whiskey every time someone asked me how my books compared to Fifty Shades, I’d be dead. And there’s always that guy who has to ask if we practice the sex scenes with our husbands (oy), but, by and large, people’s responses were enthusiastic and supportive…and I got my books into the hands of lots and lots of romance novel lovers.


As a bonus, everywhere I looked I saw cowboy hats and Wrangler butts. And, I must admit, I got the “yes, ma’am” shivers more than once when talking to the many polite, gentlemanly cowboys I met. I learned to recognize a bull rider swagger coming from a mile away and grew to appreciate the kind of event that offers shots of Jack Daniels for purchase at the concession stands. If you ever get the chance to attend a PBR event, I highly recommend it. I guarantee you won’t be the only romance novel (or cowboy) lover there taking in the sights and excitement.


Cowboy Justice

From the Back Cover of COWBOY JUSTICE:

She can’t help but fall for the sexy sheriff—again…

Rachel Sorentino’s first regret about shooting at the vandals targeting her property is that her aim wasn’t better. Her second is that when bullets started flying, it was Sheriff Vaughn Cooper’s number she dialed. Vaughn is the mistake she keeps on making, and no matter how inconvenient their attraction—for his career, her tangled case, and their already battered hearts—there’s no denying what feels so irresistibly right…


COWBOY JUSTICE is in Stores Now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/ZN8Bqb

B&N: http://bit.ly/Zn2yvl

iTunes: http://bit.ly/12jejAv

Kobo: http://bit.ly/17xaXMX

Walmart: http://bit.ly/151XfBS


Giveaway: I’m giving away a 2014 Sexiest Cowboy Calendar I picked up at the PBR World Finals to one commenter (US residents only, please), so tell me who YOU think the sexiest cowboy is—living or dead, fictional or real…


Sexiest Cowboy Calendar


My thanks to Fatin and RR@H Novel Thoughts for hosting me today. I love hearing from readers and am really easy to find at www.melissacutler.net, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks ), and Twitter (@m_cutler). And you can always email me at melissa@melissacutler.net or sign up for my newsletter (http://www.melissacutler.net/newsletter/ ) to find out about my latest books and upcoming events.


MelissaCutler_author photoBio: Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Penguin, and Kensington Books. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.

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It was a bit of a surprise for some readers when for book 4 I left the immediate family of the “SP” Colemans to venture off to tell Gabe “Angel” Coleman’s story. But it was the right place to be. Gabe had an important part in book 1-3 in the series, the three youngest Six Pack boys were too young for their own HEA, so it was time to show off one of my favourite heroes of the clan.


Gabe isn’t your typical Alpha hero. Oh, he’s still as male as they get, but he’s got this heart that’s been broken so hard that his entire life changed. He gives and gives until sometimes there’s nothing more to give. Getting him together with the perfect woman who also knew heartbreak, who also knew about sacrifice—that’s what he needed.


The fact the sexual interest between them is flame throwing hot isn’t a bad thing either. 😉


I hope you enjoy Gabe and Allison’s story.




Rocky Mountain Angel
Six Pack Ranch, Book 4


Sometimes even Angels must learn to fly…

Allison Parker needs a convincing excuse to come home to Rocky Mountain House. A hopelessly romantic reason that won’t let her mother suspect the truth—that Allison has discovered Mom is keeping a terrible secret from the family.

Gabe Coleman is struggling with two of the roughest parts of ranching: dealing with his bull-headed mule of a father, and making enough to pay the bills. When his old friend Allison offers to help him develop his ideas for organic ranching—in trade for pretending to be her fiancé—it sounds like the perfect set-up.

Yet the deception leads them in an unexpected direction, where their shared daily hells are erased by nights of heavenly distraction. It’s not supposed to be real, but once the gates are opened, there’s no denying they’ve found in each other a little bit of Paradise.

To break free of the past and face the future, though, will take more than temporary pleasures. It’ll take putting their hearts on the line.

Warning: Tortured hero with a guardian-angel complex, grief-stricken heroine willing to sacrifice everything for family. Break out the tissues, this trip to the ranch is a heartbreaker on the way to the HEA.


———-First Kiss——–


Gabe cleared his throat before tossing her that familiar Angel Boy grin she’d seen so often back in high school. The one that said mischief all over it. “Once you get settled, maybe you want to come up with the story of how we fell in love. If you figure it out, I’ll play along. Easier if one of us does the setup.”

Her pick for a helper couldn’t have been better. This was beyond incredible. “You want to go over it in the morning?”

He nodded, seemingly lost in thought. “I’ll rearrange my schedule so we can have some extra time. If we’re ready, we can stop in at your mom’s tomorrow night. However you feel works best.”

Gabe pulled on a well-worn jean jacket and shoved his keys in the pocket. He opened the door, paused, then shut it with him still standing there, his back toward her.

Allison put down the suitcase she’d been ready to carry to the other room. “Gabe? What’s wrong?”

He twisted gradually. “Just realized something.”

One step forward brought him close enough to touch. One more, and she was ready to edge against the wall to get out of his way. That was her plan until he reached out and caught her, one hand snaking around the back of her neck, the other around her body so he could pull them tight together. He lowered his mouth over hers deliberately, slow enough she could have retreated if she’d wanted to.

She was too surprised to move. Or at least that was the excuse she gave herself.

His lips were firm but gentle. No tongue, just a meeting of mouths. Kisses, one after another followed as he controlled her position, not allowing her to squirm away. And when she opened her mouth to complain he took total advantage, deepening the kiss until she was ready to pass out for the second time that day.

Pass out, or she was about to wrap her arms around him and grind their bodies together, she was so excited. From kissing. From the feel of his long, hard body pressed up tight against hers.

He let her go, leaning away. Cool air and regret he hadn’t done more than simply kiss her hit about the same time. Holy cow, what had she gotten herself into?

One corner of his mouth twitched before his wide smile reappeared. “Figured we’d better get used to each other a little—hate to have anyone call our bluff just because we ain’t good at kissing.”

The butterflies in her stomach didn’t quite know what to think of his comment. The tenderness in his touch had seemed far more real than she’d expected.

Allison pulled herself together. “You’re right. Totally right.” She nodded briskly and snatched up a bag in either hand, turning her back to hide her flaming-hot face. “Have a good night.”

She fled as unhurriedly as possible, but it was still an escape and he knew it. And she knew he knew because that wicked laugh of his followed her yellow-bellied retreat.

Allison stood on the porch in the dark and watched his taillights disappear down the long driveway leading to the main road.



Now available in PRINT as well as digital

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For a chance to win a print copy of Rocky Mountain Angel, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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UnbuttonedCarly Denton has learned to keep her buttons and emotions firmly fastened. Her parents’ constant drama, and an unrequited crush on her brother’s best friend, taught her to keep her passion beneath the surface. But she can no longer avoid the one man with the ability to bring that passion to a boil…

Lucas remembers Carly as a freckle-faced tomboy—not a frosty woman who treats him like a burr under her saddle. But when they have to work together on a charity project, Lucas is shocked to find their bickering melt into some serious mutual attraction. He’s determined to show Carly that he’s the man for her, if only she’d learn to let loose.

Lucas is the last man on earth Carly should give in to. The freedom she finds in his arms has her feeling happier than ever, but is it enough to make her realize that the greatest risk isn’t losing your heart, but losing the chance at happiness?




Hi, I’m Maisey. If you know me, chances are you know me for my slightly (ha) tortured billionaires who hail from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions of the globe. That’s kinda my thing. Or at least, it’s one of my things.


I love the glamour, angst and passion you find in a Harlequin Presents. It’s so rewarding to write. Cathartic in a way very few other things are. But…


I like cowboys. Yep. I do. Hot, rough, sexy cowboys who work hard and play hard. Who have rough hands and rougher language. (insert ‘riding hard’ joke here)


I’m a country girl. I’ve spent my entire life living in rural Oregon surrounded by mountains and trees. By cows and horses and allergens. (hay allergies are not the best thing to have where I live…)


But I digress.


Anyway, I have latent cowboy fantasies, that’s the important thing for you to know.


I’m not the only person who gets a little hot under the collar for cowboys. Carly Denton, the heroine of Unbuttoned, a novella and the first release in my Silver Creek series, has some cowboy fantasies of her own. But they’re most definitely for the wrong guy!


Her older brother’s best friend is a bad bet, and she knows it. And the very respectable Carly isn’t about to get down and dirty with a guy who might compromise the reputation she’s worked so hard to build. Or who could so easily break her heart!


Poor Carly really needs to get Unbuttoned. (See what I did there?)


I’m really excited for the Silver Creek series. It’s been really fun to write. For me, as a writer, I get a feeling of homecoming when I go back to the setting, and that’s what I want for people who read the books. They have lots of humor, romance, sex, cowboys and…marshmallow cereal because…you know, that’s how I roll.


One of the other things I love about writing this series is all the country music on my playlist. I like the way that country music tells a story. And in honor of that, my husband, who is awesome, wrote a song for Unbuttoned that I feel like really captures the story.


We recorded and sang it together and I want to share it here. I hope you enjoy!



For a chance to win a digital copy of Unbuttoned (to be gifted from Amazon or B&N on release day), just leave a comment below. Giveaway open to US residents only.

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The best type of growing up involves getting down and dirty

RockyMountainRebel300-e1353093396207Vicki Hansol made different choices than her less-than-reputable mom and sister, yet her fiery temper has left her branded with the same town-bad-girl label. When she desperately needs a change of scenery, her get-out-of-town-free ticket arrives—and requires she face down one of her deepest fears.

Easygoing Joel Coleman has nothing to complain about, but he’s never really done anything to brag about either. The youngest member of the Six Pack Ranch is looking to make some changes in his life that include stepping out from under his twin brother’s shadow.

So when the bold beauty with the smart mouth approaches him with a proposition, Joel is intrigued. Her request for him to teach her to ride soon takes on a whole new meaning. All that passion in his arms, his bed, in the barn…hell, anywhere he can get it? Bring it on.

But tangling the sheets leads to unanticipated complications, and by the time the dust settles, everything family means is going to be challenged.

Caution: Saddle up for some youthful vigor applied with great enthusiasm. Ropes, rails and raunchy sex—there’s more places to get dirty around the ranch than first meets the eye.


One of the joys of writing in a continuing series is that I get to return again and again to find out what’s happening next in the lives of previous heroes and heroines, as well as the continuing adventures of other family members.

While the story of Rocky Mountain Rebel is uniquely Joel and Vicki’s, there are twists and turns that give previous readers of the series glimpses of their favorite (to now) family. Newcomers to the ranch—I’ve worked hard to make sure each story stands alone, so while you might not get all the family jokes, you’ll be able to enjoy being introduced to a collection of people who are unique individuals while a part of a greater whole—a part of rock solid family.

Today, and at a few other special blogs during release week, I’ve got excerpts to let you take a peek into a few of those family relationships. Good, bad…you know, typical family.

And I hope you’ll join me in settling Joel and Vicki into their HEA.


Joel and Daniel & his boys

Joel headed toward town and his closest brother. Daniel might not have the twin-speak advantage there’d always been between him and Jesse, but in some ways, that made him a better sounding board.

They got each other. Understood the motivation to do something a little different.

Pulling up in front of Daniel and Beth’s home in town felt a touch strange, though. Jesse had been right. His older brothers were settling down, which was normal, but changed the dynamics like crazy.

As did the wild new family additions who rushed his truck.

“Uncle J, Uncle J.” Little boys shrieked as he stepped onto the lawn, allowing his three nephews to tackle him to the ground.

“Hey, guys. You ready for it? Three, two, one.” The game Daniel’s adopted boys had created of Guess the Uncle hadn’t gotten old yet, so he and Jesse still went along with it.

“Joel,” two of them shouted.

“Jesse,” the littlest of the three, Robbie, insisted.

“That’s Joel’s truck, you dum-dum.” Lance poked his brother. “Jesse only drives it sometimes.”

Robbie tilted his eight-year-old head to the side and stared hard into Joel’s eyes. “You sure you’re not Jesse?”

“Sorry, short stuff. Uncle Joel at your service.”

Nathan didn’t care who it was dropping in unannounced. “You gonna take us fishing? Riding? To visit—”

“Whoa, rein it in. I’m here to visit your mom and dad, and you for a bit, I guess. What you up to?”


The front door opened, and Daniel stuck his head out. “Lunch time.”

The three short people vanished as if they’d never been there. Joel pushed himself off the grass and wiped at his jeans. “You got extra for me?” he called.

Daniel leaned on the doorframe. “Don’t know. You planning on teaching my kids any more bad habits like proposing another ‘who can shove the most hard-boiled eggs in their mouths at one time’ contest?”

“That was Jesse.” Still he couldn’t help but smile as he headed in and patted his brother on the back. “Also, I seem to remember you won.”

“Shh, no getting me in trouble.” Daniel grinned at him. “Good to see you. Got something other than a free lunch on your mind?”

“That transparent?”

They walked toward the kitchen and the noise level rose exponentially.

“You’re always welcome, but there’s not much excitement around here for a single guy, egg-eating contests exempted. Also?” Daniel paused in the doorway and spoke softer. “I saw you last night at Traders. You were distracted. Let me feed you, and once the horde is full we can take them outside and talk.”

Joel nodded, but felt a bit of a fool. “Is Beth around? I kinda have a question for her first.”

Daniel raised a brow. “Sure. You can take lunch into her office.”

He passed over a plate filled with finger foods and pointed down the hall.

“It’s nothing bad,” Joel started, but Daniel waved him down.

“Don’t be stupid. You want to talk to Beth, talk to her. I don’t need to know the details ahead of time. Ass.”

“Daddy. You’re not supposed to call your brother an ass. Mummy said so.” Robbie was all wide-eyed as he worked on the sandwich he held in a two-handed death grip.

“You’re not supposed to call your brothers an ass until they are adults. Then you can pick the best words for the occasion, okay?”

The older two nephews snickered as the littlest one puzzled over that explanation.

Daniel pushed Joel down the hallway. “Go, before you get me in more trouble.”

The continued spirited conversation behind him regarding the use of the words ass, jackass and butt had Joel chuckling by the time he knocked on the office door.


Rocky Mountain Rebel

May 21, 2012

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Winner’s choice of ebooks 1-4 from the Six Pack Ranch series! We will draw 3 winners on Sunday. If you already own all 4 books, you can win for a friend. Good luck! 😀

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We haven’t drooled over a series of covers here since Jaci Burton’s Play by Play books but Alison Kent’s The Dalton Gang series…my oh my *fans self* I have no idea what kind of sacrifices or bribes are being offered up to Berkley’s art department but please continue.



And releasing in August…



The infamous Dalton Gang was once known for riding—and playing—hard. Now, as owners of the Dalton Ranch in Crow Hill, Texas, they’re working from sunup to sundown. But one look from the right woman can tempt them back into the saddle…

When a walk on the wild side turned into a nightmare for Everly Grant, she escaped her abusive ex by taking a job with Crow Hill’s small newspaper. Now assigned to write a human-interest story on the return of the Dalton Gang, she soon discovers that Boone Mitchell could give her plenty more than a good interview. As much as she craves safety, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Boone’s dangerous streak. Before she takes the cowboy to bed, she lays down the law: There are no strings attached, and she’s the one in charge.

That’s fine for Boone. In fact, Everly teaches him things no other woman ever dared. Soon they find themselves wanting more than their simple arrangement will allow. But to get there, Everly will have to open up in ways she thought she never could…

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While I love writing I also enjoy many crafts and outdoor activities. It’s really fun when I can mix some of the ‘other’ into my stories, and Rocky Mountain Desire was one book that had a perfect place to mix real life with storytelling.


In with all the other details causing mischief between the hero/heroine was the element of a fundraiser quilt raffle. Slipping the details of the event into the book made sense as the community got involved—I especially had fun thinking of what a group of mechanics would want to quilt!


But when it came to the Coleman family I knew there had to be some special components to the quilt that Matt strong-arms his father and brothers into helping sew. It became very real to me, so I even drew up a quilt pattern for them.

 Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 12.15.51 PM

Here’s the scene: ———————————————


The only quilt missing when they’d set things up had been the Colemans’. Matt had called earlier in the week and promised it would be delivered by that morning. Hope had to wiggle through the crowds waiting and pointing upward, shuffling slowly along the line as they dropped their raffle tickets into the bags for the fundraiser. A whisper went ahead of her and the faces turning toward her were smile-filled—as if they all knew a secret she didn’t.


“She’s here…”


A path opened, and Hope wondered what was going on. “Don’t let me get in your way. I don’t need to do anything else for the raffle.”


Gramma Martin stood to the side and ushered her ahead. “Oh, there’s one more thing you need to take care of this morning.”


Shoot. Had one of the quilts fallen off? She hurried forward, gaze darting over the wall, but she couldn’t see anything wrong with the display. There was an extra quilt tacked up on the right edge—the space she’d left for the Colemans’ contribution. She looked eagerly to see what they’d managed to come up with.


They’d made a wall hanging. Smaller in size, maybe two feet along each side, a little rough in the finishing, but still a quilt by any definition of the word. A border filled with flying geese surrounded four different squares. A log-cabin patch on the bottom left, a lopsided star in the upper right, the brand for the SP Coleman ranch burnt straight onto a piece of fabric, and a…


Hope moved closer to examine the final square. Half triangles of icy blue contrasted against a buttery yellow. The occasional solid square strategically placed—it wasn’t the prettiest pattern she knew of, but she was swallowing hard as she reached to touch it.


Single wedding ring.


Did Matt know the symbolism of what he’d picked?


A long piece of thin twine was tacked directly in the middle of the patch, and something shiny flashed where it was nestled against the knot. Oh my God, maybe he did know.




Matt later explains to her the meaning of each square, and who made it. For me this was another chance to show the individual aspects of the characters while pointing out one of what I think is the best part of the Six Pack Ranch books—they are family to the core. Different, but together they make something worthwhile and beautiful.


I hope you check out Matt and Hope’s HEA.




Rocky Mountain Desire
Six Pack Ranch, Book 3


Nothing comes easy. You’ve gotta work for it.


Matt Coleman always figured at this point in his life, he’d be settled down with a family. Since his ex split for the big city, though, no way will he give anyone else the chance to drop-kick his heart. Physical pleasure? Hell, yeah, he’ll take—and give—with gusto, but nothing more.


Hope Meridan is working long hours to hold on to her new quilt shop, going it alone since her sister/business partner ran off. Sex? Right, like she’s got the time. Not that she doesn’t have the occasional dirty fantasy about Matt. Fat chance he’d dream of knocking boots with her—the younger sister of the woman who dumped him. Nope, she’ll just have to settle for the F-word.


Friends would be far easier if there wasn’t something combustible going on between them. And when casual interest starts to grow into something more, their tenuous bond strengthens in the heat of desire. But it may not survive the hurricane-force arrival of the last person either of them ever wanted to see again…


Warning: Small-town rivals, men in pursuit and family meddling—in good and bad ways. Look for a cowboy who knows how to rope, ride and rein in a hell of a lot more than eight seconds of sheer bliss.





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For the chance to win a print copy of Rocky Mountain Desire, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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Today is release for the print version of ROCKY MOUNTAIN HAVEN. This book, like the heroine, Beth, has a bit of a twisted past. Moving forward and making changes has turned out to be one of the best things that happened to either of us.




1. The original title for the story was Rocky Mountain High. Since the heroine is a teacher in the high school, I thought that would totally work. Also, salute to John Denver, ya know. Only TPTB thought the title sent too young an image for a hot romance, and I had to come up with a new title. I think Haven ended up being just right.


2. After it was originally published in March, 2010 as a 40k category length story by Liquid Silver Books, I had a number of readers contact me to tell me Beth was perfect. The fear and strength that’s present in a woman who has faced abuse and moved on—it was real to them. Their letters still make me cry.


3. Rocky Mountain Haven won the Best Erotic Western Romance EPPIE of 2010. This was one of the first awards/honours I’d ever received as an author, and was all the more special because it was for this book.


4. When I decided to bring the series to Samhain Publishing, I was on the road traveling with the family for a year. We were on a temporary layover on Prince Edward Island during the three weeks that I revised and expanded the story to its current word count. As a Canadian I get a kick out of the fact I wrote a book just down the road (literally) from Anne of Green Gables home.


5. When Rocky Mountain Haven came out in digital in January of this year, I was in Ecuador with the family (yes, we are gypsies!) We had a book release party with the neighbors on the deck of the house we were staying in, and a week later we had another, even bigger party, as readers took the book onto the USA and NYT bestsellers list.


Authors have books that are defining moments in their writing career. I have a few of those, from Wolf Signs, which started the adventure, and High Risk coming in March of 2013. But Rocky Mountain Haven certainly meets the criteria for being a life-changing moment for me in so many ways.


I’m glad to share a HEA with Beth and Daniel.


Rocky Mountain Haven

Six Pack Ranch, Book 2

It’s the quiet ones that take you by surprise.

Beth Danube’s emotionally abusive husband is dead and buried. So is her heart. It’s no big deal, she has all she wants: her three little boys and a fresh start in a small Alberta town. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever.

After ten years of unsatisfactory, missionary-position sex, she never expected her libido to reawaken. One look at sex-in-boots Daniel Coleman in a Calgary bar, though, blows the dust off her sexuality.

Sensing an edge of desperation, even fear, beneath Beth’s come-on, Daniel finds himself giving in to the powerful urge to let his normally subdued desires run wild. The lady wants non-judgemental, non-vanilla sex? She’s got it—in and out of the bedroom.

At first, friends with blazing-hot benefits is more then enough. Then she realizes Daniel is burning away the protective fortress around her heart…and the guilty secret she dare not reveal.

Warning: One woman determined to retake control of her life, a man with the single-minded purpose of offering her—and her body—everything she needs. Inappropriate behaviour in barns, change rooms, and oh-my-gawd phone sex with a cowboy.




Vivian Arend: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


For a chance to win a print copy of ROCKY MOUNTAIN HAVEN or ROCKY MOUNTAIN HEAT (book 1 in the series), just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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