Guest Post ~ Top 5 Playlist ~The Trouble With Texas Cowboys Carolyn Brown


The Trouble With Texas Cowboys
Carolyn Brown
Release Date: January 6, 2014
Contemporary (Western) Romance
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Can a girl ever have too many cowboys?

No sooner does pint-sized spitfire Jill Cleary set foot on Fiddle Creek Ranch than she finds herself in the middle of a hundred-year-old feud. Quaid Brennan and Tyrell Gallagher are both tall, handsome, and rich...and both are courting Jill to within an inch of her life. She's doing her best to give these feuding ranchers equal time-too bad it's dark-eyed Sawyer O'Donnell who makes her blood boil and her hormones hum...



                                        
As I get settled in my rocking chair and ready to visit with y’all, George Strait is singing in the background. I grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Mama’s red radio that she set in the open window so she could get reception all the way from Nashville to Tishomingo, Oklahoma. So it’s only natural that I listen to country music while I write cowboy romance.

My list is very eclectic. I love the old ballads that Conway, Hank and Loretta sing but then I also like the new artists like Miranda and Blake. BTW, my newest book, The Trouble with Texas Cowboys, is dedicated to Miranda and Blake because their music means so much to me and the cowboys that I write about. Sometimes when one of my characters listens to a song on the radio, it turns their thinking around a hundred and eighty degrees.

In The Trouble with Texas Cowboys, my play list was pretty long…remember the Burnt Boot Bar and Grill or Polly’s Place as the locals call it plays an integral part in the story and the old juke box was almost a character within itself. I see someone over there in the corner has a hand raised; what is it darlin’?

She says she wants to know the top five songs that really made a difference in The Trouble with Texas Cowboys. Okay, I’ll give it my best shot.

The first song mentioned is Travis Tritt’s “T.R.O.U.B.L.E.”  (a short excerpt) Travis Tritt’s old song “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” played through his mind. The verse that kept running around on a continuous loop said that the men were going to love her and the women were going to hate her, because she reminded them of everything they were never going to be. It said that it could be the beginning of another war, because the world wasn’t ready for nothing like her.

The next one would be “You Can’t Make a Heart Love Somebody,” by George Strait with “Sure be Cool if You Did,” by Blake coming in as a tie. (Hey, the five top play list idea didn’t have anything to say about ties).

Third place goes to Miranda and Blake’s version of “You’re the reason God made Oklahoma”. I did substitute Texas for Oklahoma when I heard it in my head.

Fourth is Miranda’s “Gunpowder and Lead” just because the sass in it reminds me of Jill Cleary.

And coming up with another tie for fifth place is Conway’s, “Hello, Darlin’.” His deep drawl reminds me of Sawyer. And the one that tied for that place is “Old Country” by Mark Chestnutt. It talks about a country boy and a city girl. Jill isn’t a city girl but I can just hear Sawyer singing this song to her since he’s one of those country boys who really did just plow that day until noon.

Do any of you readers recognize those songs? What would you add to my play list as I write the next cowboy romance?
                                      
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times bestselling author with more than sixty books published, and credits her eclectic family for her humor and writing ideas. Carolyn was born in Texas but grew up in
southern Oklahoma where she and her husband, Charles, a retired English teacher, make their home. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.
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Theresa Romain Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress Spotlight Blitz & Giveaway

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress 
The Matchmaker Trilogy #3 
by Theresa Romain
ISBN: 978-1-4022-8405-2
Pubdate: January 6th, 2015


One good proposition deserves another…

Heiress Augusta Meredith can’t help herself—she stirs up gossip wherever she goes. A stranger to Bath society, she pretends to be a charming young widow, until sardonic, darkly handsome Joss Everett arrives from London and uncovers her charade.

Augusta persuades Joss to keep her secret in exchange for a secret of his own. Weaving their way through the treacherous pitfalls of a polite world only too eager to expose and condemn them, they begin to see that being true to themselves is not so bad…as long as they’re true to each other…

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

She tilted her head, setting the loose curl free again. “Are you doing what you wish?”
Doing what he wished? No, of course he wasn’t.

Right now he wished he could make her smile as she had when giving away her gloves. He wished he could dispense with his conscience and plead for her to take him as a lover. He wished he could pluck the pins from her sunset hair and send it tumbling over her naked skin, wished he could stop kissing her only to make her cry out in pleasure.

But always, in the face of a wish, came prosaic reality. A scarred wooden table, a plate of mutton and potatoes, a wedge of cheese. An adequate fire and a roof over one’s head. Such a reality was perfectly acceptable, even if it didn’t hold the luster of a gemlike fantasy.

“I try to wish,” he said in a calm voice, “for what I know I might attain. For respectable employment for a reasonable wage. For a reasonable employer.”

This brought a faint smile to her features, but the expression fell away in another instant. “That seems a very small dream.”

“What on earth do you mean by that? It’s a very suitable dream.”

“But it’s not really a dream, is it? It’s what you have now, just shuffled about a bit.”

Again, he folded his arms. She lifted her hands, placating. “As you say, it’s perfectly suitable. And if you insist that it’s exactly what you want, then I suppose it is a dream, after all.”

Of course it wasn’t a dream. It was good sense. It was practicality. “I don’t know what else I ought to wish for. This is my life. I am a man of business for a nobleman.” Remembering Chatfield’s words, he added, “I am not in bodily danger, nor in mortal peril. It could be far worse.”

“It could be. But if you want it to be better...”

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to buy happiness.”

“No one is fortunate enough for that.” She turned over her fork and scratched the tines into the surface of the table. “That’s not what I meant. I know happiness can’t be bought, or I would have bought it.”

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Excerpt & Giveaway ~ Kim Law Caught in the Act Blog Tour

Thanks for stopping by, it looks like it is going to be another exciting day here at FBL.  We are happy to be the first stop in the Caught in the Act Blog Tour.  Kim Law will be hopping from blog to blog for her latest release in the Davenports series.  Stick around and read the excerpt below.  Enter to win the beautiful jewelry that is being given away, which was made by an artist in Maine (Setting of the book.)


CAUGHT IN THE ACT
The Davenports, Book Two
Montlake Romance, Contemporary
January 27, 2015
Paperback & Kindle
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Catherine Davenport Carlton needs a break. After dedicating her life to her political-minded family, shocking scandals from the past have shaken her to her core. Summer in the quiet town of Dyersport, Maine, is just what she needs, especially with a super-hot neighbor right next door…who’s none other than Brody Hollister, the boy she fell in love with as a teen. Cat wants nothing more than to pick up right where they left off eighteen years ago, but she’s still haunted by a terrible secret that could devastate Brody.

Brody Hollister spent years pining over Cat Davenport. They met young and loved passionately—until she disappeared from his life. Now she’s back, as spirited and beautiful as ever. But while Brody is determined to help Cat free herself from her family’s drama, his own family may be hiding something that could ruin their rekindled romance for good.

In Book Two of the Davenports romance series, sex and politics collide…with passionate results.


“I . . . uh . . .” Louisa’s stumbling words caught his attention. She was looking back and forth between them, confusion marring her face. “I guess you two know each other?” she finally asked.

Brody’s gaze met Cat’s. They nodded simultaneously.

“We know each other,” he said. “Though it’s been a long time.”

Cat nodded again, the anger he’d seen flash across her face softening back into surprise. “Long time,” she muttered. 

And then her gaze skittered away.

Her lack of eye contact intrigued him, and he took the moment to study her appearance. Her makeup was just right: applied with a light hand but enough to come across as professional. Her hair, with its wide band perfectly matching her top and shoes, didn’t have a single flyaway strand.

And her stance screamed that she was important—only not so much as to not fit in with the locals. She wore her Davenport air, and from everything he’d seen over the last two decades, she should be standing there with a high level of confidence.
However, she was still focusing on anything other than him.

And then he got it. She hadn’t been spying on him for the last five days. She’d been ogling.

Him.

This brought a broad grin to his face. It had been nineteen years since he’d seen her. And yeah, he knew that people checked him out. He took care of himself. According to gossip at the college, he was a “hottie.” But to have Cat think so. After all this time. The very idea sent a rush of hot pleasure through his body.
And he could see it on her face when she peeked up at him once more. Her chin tilted stubbornly in the air. Catherine Davenport had just figured out that the guy she had the hots for was the very boy who’d once fumbled his way into her panties.

And she lived right next door to him.

The summer suddenly looked a whole lot brighter.

“Mr. Hollister,” a high-pitched voice said at his side. A small hand yanked on his belt loop, and in the next instant, multiple hands yanked on multiple belt loops, with additional “Mr. Hollisters” thrown in.

Brody looked down. He was surrounded by every kid who’d been sitting perfectly quiet only two minutes earlier. Not that he couldn’t handle them when they weren’t sitting quietly, they’d just caught him off guard. It would be only a matter of getting everyone calmed back down, and things would be fine.

He pried Amy’s tiny hand off his jeans while ignoring Cat still standing in the doorway. “What can I do for you, Amy?”

“Can the woman stay?” the girl asked.

“Yeah!” Fourteen other kids shouted the word in unison and began bouncing up and down, almost as one entity. “Let the woman stay,” they chanted. “Let the woman stay.”

A soft chime sounded overhead, and Louisa mumbled something about the front door. She was gone before Brody could ask for help.

Amy tugged on his belt loop again. “Mr. Hollister.”

“Yes, Amy?” Once again, he pried small fingers from the denim.

“I need to pee.”

Oh geez.

Brody looked around, panicked, feeling suddenly out of control. He did not want to ask Cat for help. There was a certainty in him that if he let her in, even a millimeter, she would quickly become more than a pretty neighbor to secretly fixate on.

He shoved the thought from his mind. She may be next door, and he may still want her—no matter how they’d ended—but it didn’t mean he had to act on it. Even if one glance at her in close proximity had him thinking that he wanted to peel that innocent-looking white skirt from her body and see what she looked like in a teeny-tiny pair of bikinis. 

It had nothing to do with her personally. It had simply been a while. 

And men had needs. 

“How about we all make a bathroom run?” he suggested. He stood tall and swept his gaze over the children. “Line up.” He motioned with his arms, each drawing out a line the kids should step to. “Boys on one side, girls on the other.”

Cat entered the room. 

She reached out a hand for Amy’s. “I’ll take the girls.”

“There’s no need,” Brody started. He grabbed Amy’s hand before Cat could. “I can handle it.”

Sculpted blonde eyebrows rose before him. “So can I.”

She stared at him, and it was as if nineteen years slipped away into nothing.

Something had happened that summer that he’d never been able to replicate with another woman. Not even the one he’d been engaged to. 

And it seemed to be happening again whether he liked it or not. 

All of a sudden, he felt like the geeky teenager he’d once been. She’d been so out of his league. A Davenport. A year older. She’d had a license, for Christ’s sake.

Yet she’d been drawn to him, too. She’d become his best friend during those weeks. He would have followed her anywhere.

Fine. He silently relented. He narrowed his eyes at her as he released Amy’s hand. But I didn’t ask for your help.

Shocker.

He’d been proud even then. No father, a single, struggling mother. He’d needed to be on top of his game for the scholarships he sought. 

Cat had needed to be pristine for her family’s reputation.

All of that had disappeared on their last day together.

Cat pasted on her fake, public smile now and proceeded to ignore him. She glowed down at the line of waiting girls. Each of them tittered in front of her as if in the presence of a princess. “Let’s make it a game,” she suggested in a secretive voice. “I’ll be the mama duck, and each of you are my ducklings. That means you have to hold on to your duckling sister in front of you.” She showed them how with one arm outstretched toward Amy’s shoulder. “And stay in a single-file line.”

The girls solemnly nodded and then assembled behind their leader, each with one hand on the girl in front of her. As they filed out of the room, the occasional soft quack could be heard coming from the hallway. Brody couldn’t help but smile.

When the last one disappeared out the door, he realized that he stood in the middle of five silent boys. All of them—including him—had fallen under Cat’s spell and were now staring awestruck in the direction she’d gone, tongues practically lolling out of their mouths.

Terrific. Nothing had changed. She had a way about her.

He looked down at Dylan, the oldest of the boys, who had lifted his head and was studying Brody intently. A quizzical expression was etched on the boy’s face.

“She’s pretty,” Dylan said innocently.

Brody nodded. “Yes, she is.” She had only gotten prettier since he’d last seen her.
“I like her,” the boy stated. 

It didn’t take long to figure that out about Cat. Everyone liked her. Dread settled in Brody’s gut. He may have been only fifteen before, but she’d broken his heart in two. 


I like her, too.
                                  

As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

CONTACT LINKS:
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