Thursday, June 29, 2017

Guest Post: Writing - The Long and Short Of It by Patti Sherry-Crews

Please welcome author Patti Sherry-Crews today!!
Take it away, Patti.

“When are you going to stop writing for boxed sets and write another novel?”

That was a question my daughter asked me some time ago.

Her implication being that writing novellas for anthologies is a lesser feat than writing a novel. The question did give me pause. My daughter is one of my biggest fans, and I often share my work with her because she’s a careful reader, picking out all the little breadcrumbs I leave along the trail from page one to writing “the end.”

So, why put my energies into novellas? I’ve written nine novels (some yet to be published) and numerous novellas for both my publisher, Prairie Rose Publications, and Indie boxed sets.

There are many reasons I write novellas. I like the companionship, the reduced workload involved in a group effort, and the chance to learn from others. I also like to have a couple of projects going at once. I flip back and forth, letting one rest while I go back to another with a fresh eye. I find if I’m not writing it affects my mood. Sometimes I don’t have a big idea for a novel in mind, and to be able to answer a call for submission or write a story for an anthology ensures I have something on my laptop.

But is a novella really a lesser feat? Not at all. Size doesn’t matter. In fact, I’d argue writing a short piece is more challenging.

When I submit to my publisher they have a word count limit. Indie anthologies differ in that way because I can write a longer piece--in fact it’s encouraged as long as it still comes in as a novella. But still, the word count in one of my novellas is typically a third or less than a full novel. There’s less room to have your story arc or flesh out the characters, which is actually difficult to do. I measure every word to make sure it has the feeling I wish to convey, given that I have fewer words to work with to set the mood. Character has to be fine-tuned and defined in a few pages, opposed to chapters.

Editing is something I actually enjoy. I think of the process as polishing. Image of a rock tumbler running in my head. I polish, polish, polish. Every sentence, every word. The advantage of editing a short piece is that I can run through a novella from beginning to end in a matter of hours rather than days. I think that helps with issues such as continuity or to quickly see I’ve used a word or phrase a few too many times.

The short read is also a place to showcase what I’m capable of. And because I feel a responsibility to the other hard-working authors in an anthology, I put my all into these efforts.

So, Missy, I will continue to write both novels and stories for boxed sets!

Includes Patti's story - PHOENIX HEAT

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?

An excerpt from PHOENIX HEAT

She switched off the ignition and reached for the bag when she heard the sound she dreaded. The sound of another car approaching. She squeezed her eyelids shut. After taking a second, she swallowed hard and opened her eyes. A pickup, riding a cloud of dust—pulling in behind her. Trapped. The driver turned off the engine and sat still for an agonizing few minutes.
Looking in her rearview mirror, she could see the grimace on his face. At last, Flynn climbed out of his truck. She took in a long, deep breath. Still looking in the rearview mirror, she watched his slow progress toward her. A plain white t-shirt and tight jeans might be the sexiest look on a man, she decided. His broad shoulders, trim waist, and muscular arms swinging at his sides couldn’t show more to advantage in any other clothes—except maybe his birthday suit. She caught herself mentally undressing him and bit down hard on her lower lip. He continued forward in an unhurried pace, a scowl etched on his features. An ache in her lungs alerted her to the fact she’d been holding her breath.
She rolled down her window as he approached and looked back at him over her shoulder. His feet landed in her tire tracks leading him closer, boot prints stamping a new pattern in the dust. Maybe she could hand him the bag and be on her way. He leaned down and put his hands on the driver’s side of her car with his arms spread wide. Oh my. He has a tattoo. Around one muscular bicep ran a band of Celtic design. He had his cheek sucked in like he wasn’t too pleased to see her.
“Hi, I brought you some food from the hotel,” she said, surprised by the slight squeak in her voice when she’d been going for relaxed.
“Rosa have you running her errands?” No squeak in his voice. He spoke in a deep, slow drawl. Very sexy.
“I pass by here on my way to work. It’s not a bother. I work at—”
“I know where you work,” he said in that same slow, deliberate way. That man didn’t do anything fast.
“Oh, right, well, here you go then,” she said, shifting the bag in his direction. “Nice of you to do this. I brought the food yesterday, so I know normally I’m to put the bag on the back porch.”
To her discomfort, he stood there, not reaching for the bag, intense eyes boring into her. She lifted the bag higher. “Well, here you are. I’ll just be on my—”
“Yesterday? You were here?” The muscles in his wide-spread arms bulged, making her feel like prey trapped by a more powerful opponent. His body, radiating heat, blocked her view. His male scent filled the car.
“Yes, I let your dog in too. Poor thing was frantic to get in with the storm coming.”
His face got tight and he narrowed his eyes. “Very kind of you, except I don’t own a dog.”
“Oh, well, I—”
“That dog did some damage.” A vein in his neck twitched and his compressed lips went white.
The scorch of shame flashed over her cheeks. “I’m so sorry! It never occurred to me.... Was it bad?”
“Words fail to describe. Let me show you what I came home to yesterday. Come on,” he said when she continued to sit in the car.
He stood back to let her open her door and step out into the hot sun, pulling the bag after her. She stood face to face with him now. With his hands hooked in his belt loops, elbows out, she was aware of the size of him. Large and imposing, his body held her captive without touching her. She didn’t know what to say, and he seemed to be taking his time raking her over with his eyes. He stood so close to her, she smelled the musky scent of him. The individual stubble of each whisker on his chin, clear to her.
Finally, he walked away, moving to the back of his truck, where he picked up something large and threw it over one shoulder—a fifty-pound bag of dog food.
“I thought you said you don’t have a dog?”
“It appears I do now.”

Patti Sherry-Crews lives in Evanston, IL with her husband, two children, one good cat, and one bad but lovable puggle. She writes historical western and medieval romances for Prairie Rose Publications. She also enjoys writing contemporary romances. When she’s not writing, she’s usually walking the dog or indulging her love of cooking.

Find Patti at

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Guest Post: Eight Seconds Of Glory by Andrea Downing

Please welcome guest author Andrea Downing to my blog!!


Rodeo revolves around several events that are timed at eight seconds.  Why eight seconds?
Brought by Spaniard colonists to what is now the southwest and California, rodeo originally referred to what we presently call ‘round-up’—the gathering and sorting of cattle. But at those gatherings, cowboys did compete—show off might be a better expression.  The term ‘rodeo’ itself did not have its current meaning until as late as 1929. Prior to that, cowboy sports were not standardized, and gatherings of cowboys to compete had names like ‘Frontier Days’ or ‘Stampede’ or even plain ol’ ‘Cowboy Contests.’   Those contests included trick roping, trick riding, and racing, but one of the feats displayed at the round-ups was breaking a bronco—a wild horse. 
A bronco will buck hard for about eight seconds; after that, its adrenaline decreases, and it becomes winded. A rider showing his skill would have ridden that animal to the ‘breaking point,’ hence broke the horse. To ensure that the bronco continues to buck at reasonable speed and height at the next arena, the first organization to set standards—the Cowboy Turtle Association (because they were slow to organize and stuck their necks out to do so)—set bronc riding in competition at eight seconds. This keeps the stock from being stressed and enables them to be spirited and in condition to compete. Obviously, stock growers don’t want their competition animals to become tame.
Today, in the rodeo event of bareback bronc riding, both the rider and the horse are judged.  The rider stays on by holding his rigging with one hand only—this looks like a suitcase handle on a broad leather cinch. There is also a flank strap, which encourages the horse to kick out straight and wide. This strap is not painful to the animal and, indeed, is covered in sheepskin or neoprene to protect his body. The rider’s free hand may not touch either the horse or himself. As the bronc and cowboy fly out of the chute, the cowboy’s spurs must be touching the horse’s shoulders until the horse’s feet touch the ground after the first move. This is called ‘marking out,’ and if the cowboy fails to do this, he is disqualified.  The rider earns his points by upper body control and moving his feet, toes turned out, in a rhythmic motion of spurring the horse and straightening again in readiness for the next buck. He pulls his knees up, rolling his spurs up the horse’s shoulders, and then returns them for that next jump.
Bareback bronc riding takes an immense toll on a cowboy’s body, and the men suffer many injuries and long-term damage. The swift action and turns of the animal stretch muscles, pull and pound joints, and strain and yank ligaments. It may be one helluva way to make a living, but it sure is exciting entertainment. And a bareback bronc rider makes for an excellent romantic hero….

Now available at AMAZON
Only 99 cents


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?

Late that night, with the bedroom door locked against whatever demons might lurk outside, exhausted from another bad night of serving to taxing patrons, Chay pulled the covers up and mustered K.C. into his arms.
“Adnan’s leaving. Going back to Pakistan at the end of this semester.”
“I know.” K.C. peered up into Chay’s face, assessing him.
“You knew? How long? Why didn’t you tell me?”
She shuffled to sit up, releasing herself from his embrace to face him. “I thought you knew, of course. When you didn’t say anything I just assumed….”
“What? What did you assume?” Anger rose like bile in Chay as he whipped around to face her.
“Why are you so angry? I assumed you knew, is all. You seem to see more of him than I do. I sometimes pass him on the street on campus and stuff, but you run with him and see him more socially than I.”
“When did he tell you?”
“Geesh, Chay, don’t bust a gut over it. Yesterday, I think. Am I supposed to tell you everything the minute I hear? You were still steaming over the meal with my parents and I was just trying to sidestep anything that would further upset you. You came home from work in a mood—”
“I didn’t come home from work in a mood.”
“Well, you’re certainly in one now.”
They stared at each other, Chay trying to feel less like his blood was boiling, but it wasn’t working. Without prompting, he blurted out, “And I’m not taking that damn high school test. It’s idiotic, a waste of my time—”
“A waste of your time? Why? Because you prefer going to the gym and running and heading to museums and reading?”
“What the hell is the matter with that? It’s more educational than those stupid questions.” He jumped out of bed and grabbed one of the books in a pile in the corner. Flicking through the pages, he found a sample to give her. “Here, look at this. Look at this crap, K.C. Do you think this is the sort of thing that can hold my interest? That I’m happy doing?”
She flicked a quick glance over the question about basketball players. “It wasn’t supposed to make you happy, Chay. The idea was to give you a high school diploma so you could—”
“Yeah, yeah, so I could go on to college. I’m not going to college, K.C. Once and for all, now hear this….” He put his hands to his mouth as if it were a megaphone. “I, Chay Ridgway, am not going to college.”
“Don’t be an idiot, Chay; at some point you’ll want this and you’ll be sorry if you don’t finish.”
“The only thing I’m going to be sorry about….”
But he left the sentence unfinished, slipped back into bed, and stared at the ceiling.
K.C. rested on one elbow staring at him for a time before she, too, lay down.
Then he rolled to his side to face her and gathered her back into his arms. They had enough to deal with, and he didn’t want the tensions escalating.

If he could help it.

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Guest Post: Ranching In A Man's World by Devon McKay

Today I'd like to welcome author Devon McKay to my blog!!

Ranching In A Man’s World
Ride. Rope. Repair fence. This is what a rancher does. Every day. Come rain, sleet, snow, or shine. Such devotion takes a love of the land. And a determined nature. 
In a world, mostly dominated by men, women are fighting to make their mark. And succeeding. Nowadays, it’s more common to see a female rancher, but it’s been a long haul full of challenges and obstacles for those paving the way. Not only have they had to prove their worth to a doubting cowboy, even finding sturdy work gloves in a smaller size has proven to be a difficult task.
 Perfumed with the scent of leather and spurred on by sheer will, women all over this country are doing what they love…ranching. In The Drifter’s Kiss, Addison Reed knows this all too well. The Drifter’s Kiss is one of seven stories in A COWBOY TO KEEP. 

Available at AMAZON
Only 99 cents

The Drifter’s Kiss Blurb
Addison Reed doesn’t want to believe her foreman and family friend is responsible for her missing stock, but the man isn’t making it easy. Hoping to prove he’s innocent, she follows him into a seedy bar and finds herself in a bigger mess…kissing a complete stranger.
            Drifter Sawyer Dawson never settled anywhere for long. In fact, landing a job on a ranch as the new foreman just fell into his lap, and he figured Montana was as good a place as any to settle down for a while. Of course, sticking around might have a little something to do with a sexy blonde with an affinity for kissing cowboys. 

The Drifter’s Kiss Excerpt
Frustrated, Addison Reed tapped the counter with her fingers and targeted her stare on Jacobs. Not being able to trust the man was killing her. She needed something concrete to prove her neighbor, William Ramsey, was the one responsible for stealing her cattle.

Not her dearest friend.

Suddenly, the older cowboy rose, said something to Ramsey, and brushed past the waitress, heading toward the exit. He was leaving? Her heart seized in her chest, then began an erratic beat, thundering loudly in her ears. Now she faced another problem. She stood between Jacobs and the door. Unless she could get out first, he'd pass right by her. Perhaps he wouldn't notice? Or maybe she could blend into the crowd?

She wavered between standing her ground and fleeing. Jacobs may be a thief and a liar, but he wasn't stupid. If she stayed put, and he did see her, then her cover would be blown for sure and she'd never get the proof she needed. He certainly wouldn't believe she chose the bar, which happened to be an hour's drive out of her way, simply on a whim.

No. She couldn't chance it. Wouldn't chance it.

Addison raced to the door, but as she neared the exit the crowd thickened and slowed her escape. She glanced over her shoulder to see Jacobs closing in. Quickening the pace, the heel of her boot slid across the sawdust covering the floor and she lost her footing.

A firm grip grasped her shoulders stopping her fall.

"You again?" A husky voice rose above the blaring sound of the country fiddle rocking the room.

She raised her head and locked onto a familiar green gaze. Great. Of all the people in this place, she had to run into this handsome man. Twice? Frantic, she spared another glance behind to see Jacobs was almost within reach. Seeking camouflage and not knowing what else to do, she faced the stranger.

"If our first meeting made your night, then you're going to love this," she mumbled, then stood on her tip toes and planted a kiss on the cowboy's lips.

Devon McKay Bio

Devon McKay writes contemporary romance with a western flair. If she's not typing at her keyboard, Devon's busy with chores on her small ranch, working on a stained glass project, or walking one of her three dogs through the woods. Her greatest joy is putting a smile on a reader's face and hearing from fans. 

Find Devon McKay

Friday, June 9, 2017

Guest Post: Author Hebby Roman

Please welcome guest author Hebby Roman to my blog!!

Good Morning, Romance Readers,

First, I would like to thank Kristy for offering to host our boxed set collection of contemporary western romances, A COWBOY TO KEEP, by spotlighting some of its authors on her blog, “Pathways.”

Our collection of seven authors’ stories has a little bit of everything for a lover of western romance. We have ranchers and rodeos, mavericks and marshals, mysteries and suspense, feisty cowgirls and handsome cowboys, and one story contains strong paranormal elements. (I’ll let you guess which one!) It’s truly a collection of what makes western romance a joy to read.

My story in the boxed set is entitled: BORDER ROMANCE, and I believe it’s the only story in the set that can be termed a “seasoned romance.” Just another bit of diversity for this awesome collection of western stories.

But what exactly is a seasoned romance? It’s a romance between couples older than forty, sometimes called a second-chance at love, depending on the heroine and hero’s past history together.

Personal experience is a big part of the appeal of seasoned romance, and my inspiration for writing my first seasoned romance, TO DANCE AGAIN, came from a very personal situation.
My husband’s cousin, along with his new wife, stayed with us while he went to specialists to investigate possible treatments for a rare eye condition he had, which could lead to blindness. 
I was so moved by his courage and his wife’s support, I found myself entertaining the idea of a book featuring high school sweethearts, reunited after twenty years. She’s widowed, he’s divorced, and they both harbor secrets. The hero feels he’s living on borrowed time and can’t share his condition with the heroine because he doesn’t want her to pity him. And she’s kept a secret from him that goes to the very heart of their love.
Experimenting with the mature themes of widowhood, failed marriages, missed opportunities, and even what could be a devastating illness within the framework of a romance, whetted my appetite for more. For me, as an author, that’s what makes them fascinating to write, their inherent diversity and depth. Throw in some grown children who don’t approve of Mom and Dad moving on with their lives, financial struggles, and even grandchildren to consider, not to mention exes of all kinds, and you know there’s a wealth of conflict to tap into before the heroine and hero can reach their happy place.
I’ve also written another series of contemporary romances called, “The Snowbirds,” about mature couples finding love in an RV Park.

Given my writing experience, it shouldn’t be a surprise that my book in this collection is a seasoned romance, too. BORDER ROMANCE is the third in my series called, “On the Border.” The first book in the series is about Leticia Rodriguez, and her early struggles to save her family’s business and find love and happiness after a  disastrous divorce. In the second book of the series, Leticia’s daughter, Camila, is featured and her May-December romance with Leticia’s ranching partner, Rusty.

At the end of the second book, Leticia, now widowed, needs help training her charro horses. Charro horses are specially trained “trick” horses, much like the famous Lippizzaner stallions of Austria. They appear in Mexican rodeos, doing tricks and dancing around the arena on their back legs.

Leticia hires Franco Ramos, a Mexican national, for his superb credentials, particularly with regard to training charro horses. When they meet, he reminds her of her late husband, and she’s attracted to him. And that’s where the second book ends.

Thus, the kernel of the story for BORDER ROMANCE was born. What if, Leticia, lonely and grieving for eight years, falls in love with her new handsome horse trainer?

How will they overcome the sticky situation of Leticia being the employer of a macho Mexican national? And even if Ramos falls for her, is he willing to give up his native country, along with his children who still live there? The built-in conflict seemed perfect for a seasoned romance.

But when I started writing the book, it suddenly veered off, going in a very different direction. Leticia’s foreman purchases a Quarter horse who’s been bred for speed, and she considers starting a Quarter horse racing stable. Her new venture brings her into contact with an old boyfriend. An old boyfriend whose high-handed tactics when they were young and both newly-divorced, helped to drive her into her late husband’s arms.

So, who will Leticia choose, her hunky horse trainer or a way-too-handsome millionaire rancher she’s known since high school? I hope you’ll read our boxed set and my story to find out what happens to her.

Now available at AMAZON
Only 99 cents

Border Romance Blurb

When Leticia Villarreal, a lonely widow, considers adding Quarter horse racing to her ranch, she finds she has a lot to learn. John Clay Laidlaw, a millionaire rancher and old acquaintance, races Quarter horses and offers to help. But he also cares for her and wants a relationship. Remembering his high-handed tactics when they were young, she doesn’t trust him. But when someone tries to harm her horses and John Clay rushes to her rescue, can she open her heart to him?

Border Romance Excerpt

John Clay swung back into the saddle and said, “You might think that calf is stupid but compared to sheep, she’s a virtual Einstein.”
            Leticia threw back her head and laughed.
            “But why cattle?” He asked. “I thought your ranch was all about horses?”
            “Yes, this is a horse ranch. The cattle are just a sideline. We don’t keep a bull, but for some of the better-bred heifers, we use our neighbor’s Angus bull. Keeps the herd young. We cull the older ones and sell them, of course.”
            “I’m surprised you bother.” He inclined his head toward the ranch house. “Must keep you busy, considering you said you’re short-handed.”
            “Oh, that, it’s only temporary.” She removed her Stetson and wiped her arm across her brow. The spring day was heating up. “We need the cattle to properly train our horses. Our charro horses are our pride and joy, but we’re just getting back into them. Mostly, we train working Quarter horses, and you can’t train a cutting horse or calf-roping horse without cows.” She pursed her lips.
            He slapped the side of his head. “Stupid of me. I wasn’t thinking. I’m all about sheep, except for my racing stable.”
            She laughed again. “Hey, don’t get overwrought and knock your hat off.”
            “Yeah.” He grinned and shook his head. “Kinda silly.”
And how right she was, he was acting like a goofy middle-schooler, just being around her. “So, your manpower shortage is temporary. Does that mean I won’t usually find you rounding up cattle?”
            “No, not usually. I always have plenty of paperwork to keep me from riding out. But today has been a nice break.”
            “I like the mare you’re riding; she’s a good-looking horse.”
            “Why, thank you, Mr. Laidlaw, how nice of you to say.” She patted her horse’s neck. “Yep, Pearl is a sweetie. Rusty and Camila brought her back from Ponder last year, and she was so good at everything, we couldn’t make up our minds how to train her, cutting horse or calf-roping or…”
She’d moved ahead to a thicket of live oak and ducked her head under a low-lying branch. “My mare, Sally, was getting old, so I decided to keep Pearl for myself.”
            He followed her into the thicket, staying behind her horse to navigate the rough, one-horse trail through the trees and undergrowth.
She cleared the thicket and stopped, waiting for him. He could see the ranch house ahead. He drew alongside her. “At least you have the grass for horses and cows. My ranches only support sheep. We keep some milk cows for the ranch hands, but other than that, it’s mostly mesquite and cactus and patchy prairie grass on my spreads.”
            She raised up in her stirrups. “Yes, Eduardo chose well. This land is fertile, and we irrigate some, using Las Moras creek to grow our own hay.”
She gathered her reins and smoothed them, half-turning toward him. “But I can’t wait to show you my new charro horse foal. Midnight Princess just threw a beautiful colt a couple of weeks’ ago.”
            “I won’t say no to seeing one of your charro horses. I remember how talented Eduardo’s horses were. I was sorry when I heard you’d quit breeding them for a time.”
            John Clay gazed at Leticia, and he thought he could see the faintest glimmer of moisture on her eyelashes. It was obvious she was still grieving for Eduardo? Where did that leave him?
            She dropped her head and fidgeted with her reins, smoothing the long ends. “Yes, Eduardo was magic with the horses.” She bit her lip.
            He wished he was the one biting her lip, her neck, and lower…

Hebby Roman is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, SUMMER DREAMS, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino romances. And her re-published e-book, SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction. She was selected for the Romantic Times "Texas Author" award, and she won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection. Her contemporary romance, TO DANCE AGAIN, was a 2016 RONE Finalist.

You can find Hebby at the following sites:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Release!! Blue Sage by Kristy McCaffrey

By Kristy McCaffrey

A Cowboy To Keep is out!!

I'm pleased to be included in this fabulous collection of contemporary western romances, which includes my brand new long novella BLUE SAGE.

Available at Amazon for only 99 cents or free in Kindle Unlimited

Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …

Dinah Horne is in danger of losing herself. Leaving her friends and family for Dallas, Texas, she’s determined to make her mark. Unfortunately, the big city has other ideas. When her money runs out, she returns to her hometown and the man she can’t forget.

Ben Hammond is sheriff of the small community of McTiernan, Texas. Once he’s over the woman who stole his heart and shattered it, he decides to buy the Hard Luck Ranch and settle down. Problem is, odd things are happening that may be tied to the previous owners. As he begins his investigation into the past, he is faced with an even bigger problem—the reappearance of Dinah Horne.

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 claustrophobic 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 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?

BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey
Braden Delaney has taken over the family cattle business after the death of his father, but faced with difficult financial decisions he contemplates selling a portion of the massive Delaney ranch holdings known as Whisper Rock, a place of unusual occurrences. The sudden appearance of a pretty relic-hunter while he’s collecting his livestock, however, is about to change his mind.

Archaeologist Audrey Driggs arrives in the remote wilderness of Northern Arizona searching for clues to a life-altering experience from her childhood. When she rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney, it’s clear she needs his knowledge of the area to complete her quest. But if she tells him the truth, will he think she’s crazy?

Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.

Addison Reed doesn’t want to believe her foreman and family friend is responsible for her missing stock, but the man isn’t making it easy. Hoping to prove he’s innocent, she follows him into a seedy bar and finds herself in a bigger mess…kissing a complete stranger.

Drifter Sawyer Dawson never settled anywhere for long. In fact, landing a job on a ranch as the new foreman fell into his lap, and he figured Montana was as good a place as any to settle down for a while. Of course, sticking around might have something to do with a sexy blonde with an affinity for kissing cowboys.

HER MAN by Hildie McQueen
When someone is murdered, it's definitely not a normal week in the usually quiet town of Lovely, Montana.

With the sheriff gone, deputy Mark Hunter had planned for another slow week at work, but when the first murder in twenty years happens, his past as a city detective comes to life. It’s no time to fall in love.

The last twenty-four hours have been hell. Between a fight with her ex that left her with a bruised face and now finding a dead man, Eliza Brock can barely keep it together. But despite the mess, she still manages to feel an undeniable attraction to the handsome deputy, and damn if she can’t resist him when he knocks on her door.

Leticia Villarreal is lonely. Widowed for eight years, she keeps busy with her ranch and charity work, but they don’t fill the empty place in her heart. When she considers establishing a Quarter horse racing stable, her new endeavor reunites her with an old acquaintance and exposes her horses to danger.        

John Clay Laidlaw, a handsome, self-assured, millionaire rancher, has been attracted to Leticia since high school. When he was young and first divorced, he tried to get Leticia to date him, but she didn’t like his arrogant and high-handed ways. Separated from his second wife, John Clay offers to help Leticia with her new racing horse. Remembering how he acted when they were young, she doesn’t trust him. But when someone tries to harm her horses and John Clay rushes to her rescue, can she open her heart to him?

PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews
Harper Donovan thought she had it all when she turned her dream into a reality—opening a restaurant in New York City. But when the venture fails and her fiancĂ© leaves her, Harper has little choice but to return to her family in Arizona.

When she meets handsome firefighter and cowboy Frank Flynn, she decides it’s time to get in the dating game again. Except Flynn shows no interest and dodges her, but not before claiming they’ve met before. Solving the mystery of the complicated Flynn gets under Harper’s skin, making her even more determined to seduce him.

When the two finally come together, the smoldering passion ignites into a heat that rivals the Phoenix desert. Now that Flynn has opened his heart, can Harper handle this wounded cowboy who’s playing for keeps?


Northern Arizona

The damned calf was stuck in the brambles again.

Braden Delaney swung down from his horse, his spurs jangling, and approached the mewling youngster. The calf thrashed in a mess of bushes beneath a stately juniper tree with shredded, red-colored bark. It reminded Braden of pulled-pork barbecue. It was on the menu tonight if Lewis, wrangler and cook during roundups, had been telling the truth this morning before the five of them had headed out.

It was late in the day and Braden’s stomach rumbled in response.

He’d take care of this problem and then head back to base camp—two airstream trailers and a horse trailer with a built-in bunk for Braden.

Braden knocked the brim of his Stetson up a notch and went to work prying the animal from the tangled jumble of branches. His gloved hands made fast work of the situation, and before long he’d set the calf on all fours. The animal took off at a lope, headed toward a band of larger cows, one of whom was likely his mama.

“You’re welcome,” Braden uttered under his breath.

It was the third rescue he’d performed on the calf in the past two days. The contrary little beast had a knack for wandering and getting into untenable predicaments. He should just usher it to the makeshift corral a few miles to the southeast, but Braden wasn’t quite ready to bring in this cluster of cattle, and he didn’t want to separate the calf from its mother.

Billy Lasco, his range foreman, would be up in a few days with two large semi-trucks to collect the cattle they’d gathered and transport them to the Delaney Ranch fifty miles to the south. Braden would guide the wayward calf and his mama into camp then. His current plan was to simply flush the cows and steers hiding out in the rocky hillside into the open plain below.

As he returned to his horse, a scream and a crash spun him around.

Had a steer just rolled down the slope? Braden circled, searching for an injured critter.

But it was no animal.

A woman lay on her back, grimacing.

Braden moved quickly to her side. “Are you all right, miss?”

She pushed to sit, leaves and sticks in her brown hair, askew in a haphazard ponytail. She wore trail pants, hiking boots and an ivory t-shirt. His eyes jerked back to the shirt, not sure he’d read correctly the word printed on it. Yep, he had. BOOBIES covered the spot where those very things resided, round and nicely shaped. Then he saw the image above the word—two birds with blue feet. Blue-footed boobies. Despite the dire situation, a smile tugged at his mouth.

Copyright © 2017 K. McCaffrey LLC