Cowboys and heroes just seem to go together, don’t they?

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the running for the GC we award each month. 

Since today is Veteran’s Day, Cerise Deland and I are hosting a Facebook Party to Honor Our heroes. Come by and see us at

But let me give you a taste of two of my cowboy military heroes.

Unconditional Surrenderunconditionalsurrender_800

From Whipped Cream Reviews:

“Unconditional Surrender is well written, has compelling characters and is very sexy. It’s a good length to lose yourself in and I for one would be happy to see what stories the other members of this Delta Force team have to tell.”

Slade Donavan is the leader of a Delta Force team. But he’s so much more than just an alpha male on the battlefield. At home on his ranch outside San Antonio, he breeds and trains horses. It’s definitely the Texan in him. He loves having control over the animals. He also wants and demands control in the bedroom, a role he prides himself in. But what happens when he wants more than just a woman to play with for one night. What happens when he needs someone to share his life with? Kari, an assistant district attorney, works hard and plays hard too. But since a meeting with a Dom five years ago when she was a young, naïve sub, she’s been searching for that a Dom to share her life with but without success.


perf5.000x8.000.inddRide the Mustang

Fletcher “Mustang” Call gets his call sign because when he’s home on his ranch in Texas he raises and trains mustangs. His favorite mount is a wild mustang he caught some time ago. He’s also a dedicated SEAL and a committed Dom. The one thing he isn’t is relationship material. A tragedy in his past killed his desire for more than a good time on leave and a little D/s play. Until April Coe walked into his life, a woman unlike any he’s known. Problem is, she’s as vanilla as they come.

April was warned about Mustang, a man as wild and free as his call sign, so she doesn’t expect him to stick around for long. That’s okay, she’ll enjoy the great sex while she can. At least, she thought it was great. When she senses her sexy bronco is holding back, she has to decide whether to ride the mustang a little harder or set him free.






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Thank You for a Fantastic Concert, Garth Brooks

Since we’re heading to my husband, Kick’s company corporate office in Wisconsin this week, he surprised me on my birthday with tickets to the Garth Brooks concert in Minneapolis on November 9.


Photo from

It was an amazing concert. He’s such a showman, and even though his voice was a little rough from too many nights on the tour, he gave us everything he had. He even commented on his shaky voice: “I’m 113 years old, one biscuit shy of 260, and I have no voice left, but I’m here to give you a show!” And he did!

Starting with hew new single Man Against Machine which is a heavy rocking song, Garth got the show off with a wild kick. Then he did favorites, well, my favorites, anyway, like Rodeo, Thunder Rolls, Two Pina Coladas. He did some of Kick’s favorites, too. The River, Ain’t Goin’ Down (Til the Sun Comes Up), Standing Outside the Fire, and Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old). Hahaha, that’s kind of Kick’s theme song!

When he sang Beaches of Cheyenne, which always reminds me of Lane Frost in the movie 8 Seconds, I teared up. I love that song, and hearing him sing it, live and in person, really touched me.

Here’s the view from our seats. We were close enough to touch the roof of the arena, but with the big screens behind the stage, and our binoculars, it was a perfect spot.


He ended with Friends in Low Places, and I realized we’d been on our feet the whole show, and so had the rest of the audience.

Unfortunately, we woke to five inches of sleety snow this morning, but luckily we don’t have to drive to Wisconsin until tomorrow. Hopefully the roads will be cleared by then.

Delafield_WIIf you’re a Wisconsinite, and live anywhere near Delafield (which is close to Milwaukee) and would like to get together with me for lunch Wednesday, November 12, e-mail me at Randi (at) RandiAlexander (dot) com and I’ll treat for lunch and bring some swag, too!

Garth’s concert won its way into my Top Five list of best concerts, and if you get a chance to see him on this tour, I urge you to do it. A fabulous musician, an extraordinary entertainer, and a set of songs that never grow old.

Are you a Garth fan? What’s your favorite song, and why?

“Rode Hard and Put Up Satisfied”
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Cowboy Winter

Well, it’s November and here in the Pacific Northwest that means it’s turning cold.

Okay, not as cold as the Mid-West or East can get, but for this transplant from California, it’s cold.

This morning there was frost on my lawn.  I’m not ready for it.  But then I got thinking about cowboys and what do they do in winter.

So let me know what you think about this:


I’d never thought about skiing cowboys.  But it does make sense.

This was a charity event, but it did get me wondering about how the cowboys get around in winter.  Ski’s would be one way, another would be snow mobiles.

Can you think of some others?

Personally I think I’d like to be hold up in a log cabin, a raging fire with this cowboy by my side.


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Is it Christmas yet? by Sarah M. Anderson

Hi all! We’re in that downhill slide that happens between Halloween and Christmas, whereSarahMAndersonhires Thanksgiving is hardly little more than a speed bump along the way. Normally, I try not to do Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. I don’t put trees up, I don’t start addressing cards–none of that. I’m still eating pumpkin-flavored everything and playing in leaves–please don’t sing the Christmas carols just yet!

Except for this year. This year, I wrote a Christmas romance and it came out on Tuesday. Nov. 4th. Almost two whole months before Christmas!

I have failed Thanksgiving this year. *heavy sigh*

But beyond that, I have a book out! There’s a giveaway at the end, so I hope you enjoy the excerpt below and then leave a comment!

A Beaumont Christmas Wedding Blurb:

Naughty and nice…

Public Beaumont Christmas Weddingrelations whiz Matthew Beaumont won’t let scandal ruin his brother’s Christmas wedding. Yet scandal is Whitney Maddox’s middle name. He grudgingly allows the outrageous child star turned horse trainer to stay in the wedding party…as long as she behaves herself. But soon he’s the one misbehaving with this irresistible maid of honor.

Determined to shed her troubled past, Whitney traded parties—and men—for a quiet life years ago. But one tumble into Matthew’s strong arms has her thinking that a hot night with the best man might be the perfect holiday gift…a gift that could last forever.

Exclusive Excerpt!

She pushed him back and grabbed his tie, then hauled his face down to hers. “I won’t stand for you disparaging llamas.”

“We could sit.” He nodded toward a huge dining room table, complete with twelve very available chairs surrounding it. The chairs had high backs and latticed slats. But he didn’t pull his tie away from her hand, didn’t try to touch her. “If you want to.”

“Oh, I want to, mister. No one gets away with trash-talking Larry the Llama.” She jerked on his tie and led him toward the closest chair.

“Larry was ridiculous,” Matthew said as she pushed him down.

“You’re going to regret saying that.” She yanked his tie off. It still had the knot in it, but she didn’t want to stop to undo it. She didn’t want to stop and think about what she was doing.

“Will I?” He held his hands behind his back.

“Oh, you will.” She had no idea how to tie a man up in the best of times. So she looped the tie around his wrists and tried to tie it to the slat that was at the correct height. “There. That’ll teach you.”

“Will it?” Matthew replied. “Llamas look like they borrowed their necks from gira—”

She kissed him, hard. He shifted, as if he wanted to touch her, but she’d tied him to a chair.

She could do whatever she wanted and he couldn’t stop her.

Sexy. Beautiful. Desirable. That was what she wanted.

She stepped away from him and began to strip. Not like yesterday, when she’d been trying to get out of her clothes so fast she’d kicked him. No, this time—at a safe distance—she began to remove her clothing slowly.

First she peeled her sweater over her head, then she started undoing the buttons on her denim shirt—slowly. One at a time.

Matthew didn’t say anything, not even to disparage llamas.

Instead, Matthew’s gaze was fastened to Whitney’s fingertips as one button after another gave.

A look of disappointment blotted out the desire when he saw the plain white tank top underneath.

“It’s cold here,” she told him. “You’re supposed to dress in layers when it’s cold.”

“Did the llamas tell you that? They lie. You should be naked. Right now.”

She was halfway through removing her tank top when he said that. She went ahead and pulled it the rest of the way off, but said, “Just for that, I’m not going to get naked.”

His eyes widened in shock. “What?”

She stuck her hands on her hips, which had the handy effect of thrusting her breasts forward. “And you can’t touch me, because you’re tied up.” Just saying it out loud gave her a little thrill of power.

For too damn long, she’d felt powerless. The only way she’d been able to control her own life was to become a hermit, basically—just her and the animals and crazy Donald up the valley. People took what they wanted from her—including deciding who she was—and they never gave her any say in the matter.

Not Matthew. He’d let her do whatever she wanted—be whoever she wanted.

She could be herself—klutzy and concerned about her animals—and he still looked at her with that hunger in his eyes.

She kicked off her boots and undid her jeans. Miracle of miracles, she managed to slide them off without tipping over and falling onto the floor.

Matthew’s eyes lit up with want. With need. She could see him breathing faster now, leaning forward as if he could touch her. Heat flooded her body—almost enough to make up for the near-nudity. She felt sexy. Except for the socks.

Well, she’d already told him she wasn’t going to get naked. Although she was having a little trouble remembering why, exactly.

Plus, he was sitting there fully clothed. And she didn’t know where any condoms were. “Condoms?” They were required. She’d been accused of being falsely pregnant far too many times to actually risk a real pregnancy. The last thing she needed in her life were more headlines asking, Wildz Baby Daddy?

“Wallet.” The tension in his voice set her pulse racing. “Left side.”

“You just want me to touch you, don’t you?”

He grinned. “That is the general idea. Since you won’t let me touch you.”

“I stand for llama solidarity,” she replied as she walked toward him. “And until you can see reason…”

“Oh, I can’t. No reason at all. Llamas are nature’s mistake.”

“Then you’ll just have to stay tied up.” She straddled him, but she didn’t rest her weight on his obvious erection. Instead, she slid her hands over his waist and down around to his backside until she felt his wallet. She fished it out, dropped it onto the table and then ran her hands over him again. “I didn’t really get to feel all of this last time,” she told him.

“You were a little tied up.”

She ran her hands over his shoulders, down his pecs, feeling the muscles that were barely contained by the button-down shirt and cashmere sweater. Then she leaned back so she could slide her hands down and feel what was behind those tweed slacks.

Matthew sucked in a breath so hot she felt it scorch her cheek as she touched the length of his erection. He leaned forward and tried to kiss her, but she pulled away, keeping just out of his reach. “Llama hater,” she hissed at him.

“You’re killing me,” he ground out as he tried to thrust against her hand.

“Ah ah ah,” she scolded. This was…amazing. She knew that, if he wanted to, he could probably get out of the tie and wrap her in his arms and take what she was teasing him with. And she’d let him because, all silliness aside, she wanted him so much.

But he wasn’t. He wouldn’t, because she was in control. She had all the power here.

Tension coiled around the base of her spine, tightening her muscles beyond a level that was comfortable. She let her body fall against his, let the contact between them grow.

“Woman,” Matthew groaned.

She tsked him as she slid off. “You act like you’ve never been tied up before.”

“I haven’t.” His gaze was fastened to her body again. She felt bold enough to strike a pose, which drew another low groan from him.


“No. Never tied anyone up before, either.” He managed to drag his gaze up to her face. “Have you?”

“No.” She looked at him, trying to keep her cool. He hadn’t done this before? But he’d seemed so sure of himself last night. It wasn’t as though she expected a man as hot and skilled as he was to be virginal, but there was something about being the first woman he’d wrapped his necktie around—something about her being the first woman he’d let tie him to a chair—that changed things.

No. No! This was just a little fling! Just her dipping her sexual toes back in the sexy waters! This was not about developing new, deeper feelings for Matthew Beaumont!

She snagged the condom off the table. “I demand an apology on behalf of Larry the Llama and llamas everywhere.” Then—just because she could—she dropped the condom and bent over to pick it up.

He sucked in another breath at the sight she was giving him. “I beg of your forgiveness, Ms. Maddox.” She shifted. “Please,” he added, sounding desperate. “Please forgive me. I’ll never impugn the honor of llamas again.”

Ms. Maddox.

She needed him. Now.

She slid her panties off but kept the bra on. She undid his trousers and got them down far enough that she could roll the condom on. Then, unable to wait any longer, she let her body fall onto his.

She grabbed his face and held it so she could look into his eyes. “Matthew…”

But he was driving up into her and she was grinding down onto him and there wasn’t time for more words. They had so very little time to begin with.

“Want to…kiss you,” Matthew got out, each word punctuated with another thrust.

His clothing was rubbing against her, warming her bare skin. Warming everything. “Kiss me back?” she asked, knowing what the answer would be.

“Always,” he replied as she lowered her lips to his. “Always.”

So! What do you think? Here’s today’s question: Have you already started decorating for Christmas? I know some people who already have trees up, but not me! One lucky commenter will get a print copy of A Beaumont Christmas Wedding! Good Luck!

A Beaumont Christmas Wedding is available from these online stores: Amazon | Powell’s | Indiebound | B & N | HarlequinAll Romance | Kobo | Google


Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go. Sarah won the 2012 RT Book Reviewer’s Choice for Desire of the Year for A Man of Privilege.

When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dogs, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son. You can learn more about Sarah at

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The Malloys ride again! By Beth Williamson

I’m super happy to announce that Malloy Family book 8.5, THE PRESENT, is now out in the world for your reading pleasure from Samhain Publishing Ltd.! This novella began as a free short story, about 5,000 words, and left the reader to imagine what happened after Ethan finds a stranded woman in his cabin.

The full 21,000 novella THE PRESENT brings the story full circle, gives you a glimpse into what has happened in Ethan Malloy’s life and who Fiona is (not her name in the original short story, BTW).

This is a fun, sexy read but with a touch of emotion and the end of the grieving process for a man who deserves an HEA. It was amazingly fun to revisit with my lovely Malloy family, like going home again. :)

THE PRESENT is permanently $.99 for all my Malloy Family readers current, new and future! Find an excerpt and buy links below! :)

Don’t forget – One lucky commenter each month (on all W&W posts) wins a $25.00 gift card!

One night can change everything

Ethan Malloy has distanced himself from the world after his wife’s death. Two years have passed in self-imposed loneliness. During a fateful snowstorm, he finds a stranger in his house when he returns. Ethan’s life will never be the same.

Fiona Carmichael didn’t intend to get lost in a snowstorm or end up spending the night in a house with a man she barely knew. He made her yearn for what she’d never found—a home, a man to love and be loved by.

Circumstances threw them together, but will they take the life fate offers them?


Fiona couldn’t believe her luck. First the goddamn horse ran off and left her stranded. Then she found this little house like Goldilocks in the fairytale.

And of course, the bear had arrived.

Ethan Malloy was exceptionally handsome. With deep green eyes and wavy reddish brown hair, the big man was sensuality personified. However, he was also grumpy and growly like a bear. Helping him with his boots and coat seemed the right thing to do, particularly since she’d invited herself into his house.

When he accused her of lying, it was all she could do not to shout at him. Fiona might be many things, but a liar was not one of them. She prided herself on being honest no matter what. There had been a lantern in the snow, leading her to his house. She had expected someone to be home considering a light was burning, as was the fire in the fireplace.

It felt cozy and homey, even welcoming. Until the bear arrived.

Any normal human being would be kind enough to realize she’d had no choice. Considering the amount of ice and snow caked on her clothes, she was lucky to be alive. No doubt within thirty minutes, she would have been dead.

He walked into the kitchen like an old man with a hand pressed to the small of his back. Fiona felt bad but it wasn’t her fault that he’d fallen on his ass. She followed him, careful to keep a good distance away lest he decide she was the nefarious trespasser he accused her of being.

“The biscuits smell good.” He sounded moderately displeased by that fact.

“I was hired as a cook and housekeeper for a reason, Mr. Malloy.” She went around him to the stove and pulled out the biscuits.

The simple chore allowed her to focus on what she was doing. Truth was, she was trapped in a stranger’s house for God only knew how long, with no means of protection other than her intelligence and her sharp tongue. Ethan Malloy was in for a surprise if he tried to take advantage of her.

With a mighty groan, he sat at the small table and watched her. She could feel his gaze on her and it made her jumpy. Dratted man was too suspicious.

“I’m not a thieving crazy woman.” She popped some biscuits onto a tin plate she found on a shelf above the wooden sink.

“I never said you were.”

Fiona let loose a very unladylike snort. “Well, you could’ve fooled me. I thought for certain you wanted to throw me back out in the snow.”

“I would never do that.”

She didn’t respond again. Mr. Malloy could say anything he wanted. Fiona was no fool—she’d been too long on her own not to distrust people she didn’t know. Some people out west were friendly, but others were downright mean.

She didn’t know which this Malloy brother was, yet.

“My mother taught me to be a gentleman and to help those in need.” He sounded almost resentful of the fact. “Our—I mean, my house is always open to folks.”

“Except stranded women in snowstorms.”

As she set the plate in front of him, he took hold of her wrist. Fiona twisted and immediately got free, her heart pounding. He looked up at her with genuine surprise on his face.

“I understand you’re upset I came into your house without your say-so, but I needed to stay alive. But if you plan on hurting me or worse, I’ll take my chances outside.” She wasn’t about to let anyone take advantage of her. After all, Fiona hadn’t gotten by without using her brain and her instincts.

Ethan dropped his head into his hands and sighed deeply. “I’m sorry, Miss Carmichael. I don’t have any excuse for how I treated you.” He paused. “Lo siento.

Fiona plopped down in the seat across from him and watched him carefully. She considered herself a good judge of character and Ethan was slowly convincing her of his. “You speak Spanish?”

He peeked at her through his fingers. “I’m sorry. Sometimes I speak Spanish without thinking about it. My wife was part-Mexican, part-Indian. She taught me…a lot.”

She was surprised to hear he’d been married, considering the barrenness of the house. Although she knew she shouldn’t ask, she did anyway. “What happened to her?”

Ethan sucked in a breath and uncovered his face. “Did you really ask me that?”

She shrugged. “Why not? After today you’ll never see me again. I’ll tell you my story if you tell me yours.”

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New Release: The Sticky Cowgirl

I had a new contemporary romance release a few weeks ago (delayed confetti tossing). It’s the second book in my Lone Star Sweets series. So, thought I’d share an excerpt with you…

Sticky Cowgirl_200x300Life is about to get sticky for by the book businessman, Samuel Stevenson.

Raised in Texan society, groomed to take over his stepfather’s company, and the hope of every debutante mama this side of Dallas, he wasn’t supposed to fall in love with a thorn in the company’s side: Samantha Dawson, owner of The Sticky Cowgirl.

But, fall in love he did.

Now, his job is in jeopardy, his mother is beside herself, and Samantha won’t budge an inch.

Will Samuel lose everything, or will the boot wearing, sassy mouthed rancher’s daughter show him exactly what he’s always wanted?


The flashlight’s nickname was Sam and was at least five pounds, if not seven or eight. It was as heavy as her marble rolling pin and if she swung and it connected with anyone, it’d hurt like hell.

She glanced at the business card she’d ripped from the shop’s bulletin board and verified the address while she waited to cross the street. The building she was looking for wasn’t but a few blocks away, although it was far enough she couldn’t see it behind the other buildings.

Flowers bloomed in planters along the sidewalks and the early morning traffic away from the river was light. She turned to the right and found the glass façade she was looking for at the other end of the block, on the corner. There was nothing overly spectacular about it, but when it was dark outside, the edges lit up, usually in white lights, but at certain times of the year, like Halloween or Christmas, the colors changed.

She’d never given a thought to the buildings downtown, how they came to at their current locations. With what she was going through currently, she couldn’t help but think about it now. What businesses had gone under for each one of the high rises to be built?

Outside The Worthington Building, Sam took a deep, less than fortifying breath. “Maybe no one will be in, yet,” she whispered to herself. She glanced to her left and right, then stepped forward.

“Can I help you miss?”

A security guard sat behind a desk, looking expectantly at her as she exited the rotating door. Sam hadn’t counted on a security desk. She should have.

Hell, she shouldn’t even be here. If she’d thought it through before she’d left her bakery, she’d… “I-I’m here to see Samuel Stevenson with Turner Enterprises.”

“Awfully early for a meeting,” he remarked. “Do you have an appointment, miss?”

No. “Yes. I ah… It was last minute. He asked me to bring over some of my new sticky buns. He’s thinking of having a breakfast catered.” The lies floated off her tongue with more ease than they should have.

He gave her a skeptical glance. “Sticky buns, huh? Mr. Stevenson —”

“Yes, sticky buns,” she said with confidence. This she could talk about. This she didn’t have to hem and haw over. She plastered on her best smile and held her hand out across the desk. “My name is Samantha Dawson. I own a bakery called The Sticky Cowgirl.”

His mouth broke out into a smile and his stern look vanished. “Oh yes. I’ve been in your little place. Down by the river, right? My wife is in love with the cinnamon buns you make. You know, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but that was before they had a chance to meet my Mrs.”

“Yes, that’s me. And I have several new flavors celebrating summer. Raspberry lemon, strawberry lime, blueberry vanilla, blackberry lime.” Sam pulled one of the to-go containers out of one of the carry-out bags she’d filled before she left the store. She wanted to leave a taste for Samuel and his boss and anyone else he worked with so they could see why she was popular. She worked hard. Or rather, her grandmother’s recipe worked hard. “Here. Why don’t you take a sampler box home and see what she thinks.”

“Thank you. I’ll do that. She’ll be excited I met you. She raves to all her friends all the time and always sends me down when we have family come from out of town.”

Sam blushed. “I can’t believe we haven’t met before. Next time you come in, be sure to ask for me so I can say hi. May I go on up to see Mr. Stevenson?”

“Oh. Oh yes. Twenty-fifth floor.”

Samantha’s eyes widened. “How many floors are there?”

He winked at her. “Twenty seven.”

“Well, then. He must be pretty important,” she said flippantly.

“He’s the boss’s stepson and vice president.”

“Oh. Then yes, I would guess he is very important. Thank you so much. I hope your wife likes the new flavors.”

“I’m sure she will. Elevators are just around the corner to the left, there.”

With a nod and an uncertain smile, Samantha headed toward the elevator bank. Six elevators. Three on one side and three on the other. She pressed the up button and was surprised she didn’t have to wait but a split second for the doors of one to open. Once inside, she selected twenty-five from the columns of floor numbers and tried to calm her racing heart as the car took her up.

It was a chance she took, arriving unannounced to see a man she didn’t want to like, who as it turned out was the vice president of the company she was fighting. As much as she accused Jacks of jumping first and asking questions later, she was much the same way sometimes. In no time, the elevator pinged and jolted to a stop. It was whisper quiet when the doors opened and she came face to face with the man she didn’t want to want, but who she wanted to crawl all over and screw six ways to Sunday.

“What are you doing here?”

They both asked the question at the same time. “You first,” Samuel said as Samantha stepped out of the elevator.

“I wanted… I wanted to bring some of my sticky buns by. Your turn.”

“I work here.”

“This early in the morning?”


“Is that the only reason you’re here? To drop some sticky buns off?”

“It was…” she hedged.

“Let’s stop beating around the bush, Samantha.”

She could do that. Right? She could say it, do it, make the move. Couldn’t she? “I’m here for you,” she said, a heartbeat before she pulled his head down. She laid a kiss on his mouth, open and hot and more aggressive than she’d ever been with a man before.

His arms wrapped around her and he pressed her back against the closed elevator doors. Lost in the taste and smell and feel of him against her, she nearly dropped the bag of buns she’d brought.

Samuel tore his mouth away and caught her free hand. “Come with me,” he murmured.

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Lissa’s Newsletter

Have a happy November, y’all!



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A New Face on the Wild and Wicked Blog

The lovely ladies of the Wild and Wicked Cowboys blog recently invited me to join them, and I enthusiastically said yes. My name is Tori Scott, and I write in several genres–the main one being contemporary western romance. My books range from hot to mild. I go where the characters lead, and some of them aren’t comfortable performing on stage. They prefer closed doors, and that’s okay.

I’m a Texan through and through, born in Lubbock, raised in Richardson (a suburb of Dallas), and now living in East Texas. My Lone Star Cowboys series is set in the fictional town of Morris Springs, located south of Lubbock in the area of Lynn County. I chose this area because both sets of grandparents settled in Lynn County near the turn of the century and several of my uncles and many of my cousins still live there.

I have many happy memories of visiting my grandparents. Hot summer days spent catching horned toads, wading in the ditches after a hard rain, hiding from tornadoes in the storm cellar, drinking fresh milk from aluminum cups–so cold that frost formed on the outside of the cups. My paternal grandmother’s pantry smelled like Graham Crackers, and there were always boxes of them waiting for us to dip in that fresh, cold milk.

Whenever we visited my mom’s parents, we’d arrive to the smell of fresh-baked yeast rolls. You could smell them from the driveway. She always had hot chocolate to go with them during cold weather. My grandmother could bake like nobody’s business, and you never left her house hungry–or without food to take home with you.

My country uncles and cousins left a lasting impression on me. They were men who worked hard, loved their wives and kids, and never forgot their manners. They said yes ma’am and no ma’am, please and thank you. They hurried to open doors, helped a woman with her chair, stood when a woman entered the room. They took their hats off at the door, but they never left home without one. They were good to their animals and treated them with respect.

When I first got the idea for Blame it on Texas, I had my dad in mind. He left home at 16 to join the army during WWII, but he was too young and my grandfather wouldn’t sign for him to join up. Rather than return home, my dad joined the Merchant Marines and traveled the world, escorting American subs to ports around the globe. After that experience, he decided he wanted to be an electrical engineer and live in the city. He had no desire to return to picking cotton.

My hero, Logan Tanner, left home at 18 with no intention of ever living in the country again. When his father has a stroke, Logan is forced to return, at least temporarily, to help his sister care for the ranch and their father. When Megan Flynn arrives at the ranch, she’s smitten with the town, the countryside, and Logan. Megan has always dreamed of living in the country and having her own veterinary practice.

Logan can’t wait to leave, and Megan can’t wait to stay…

The rest of the series brings their friends to Morris Springs, and pulls in a few of the local residents as well. Each book features a different couple, but all the characters have a part in each story. There are six books in the series, and one novella that wraps things up. There are ranchers and bull riders, tornadoes and accidents, weddings and babies. If you like cowboys, be sure to check them out.

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I look forward to getting to know everyone. I hope you’ll come join me on Facebook and Twitter, and check out my Amazon author page. I also blog the second Wednesday of each month for the Authors of Main Street.

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Get ready for another Rhinestone Cowgirl!!!

I’m working on Pressure Rising, Book 2 (Rhinestone Cowgirls), Pearl’s story. The first book, UNDER PRESSURE, Jewels’ story, was a blast to write. I love these three sisters. They can hold their own in any situation and are always getting into trouble.

In UNDER PRESSURE, Jewels is out for revenge on the cowboy who she believes mistreated her younger sister, Emerald. So, just like any sister would, Jewels seduces and entices Spark to come back to her room where she pulls out wax and rope. I’ve included an excerpt so you’ll see just how naughty Jewels is. Poor Spark! He doesn’t know whether to run or to lap up Jewels like an ice cream cone.

The story is loosely based on an incident where I just might have, but not sayin’ for sure, waxed my man’s back and he ‘possibly’ screamed in pain. Again, I’m not sayin’ for sure, but I might have laughed so hard that I almost peed my pants. Although getting his back waxed was completely voluntary, it did spark an idea how wax strips can be used as modern day torture devices. I will say proudly, not once have I screamed while getting waxed. I do believe my DH has a new respect for my pain tolerance.



Forcing one eye to a slit, he wasn’t in his room, but still in the motel. Damn. He’d fallen asleep.

Opening both eyes, he blinked the fuzziness away and lifted his head. His arms were stretched high above his head and his wrists ached. He darted a glimpse above him.

He was tied to the headboard. Acid gurgled in his stomach. “What the hell!” He gave his hands a jerk, but the rope held them tight. “Fuck!”

Jerking a glance around the room…there she was…sitting in the chair, her legs crossed and a look of satisfaction covering her pretty features.

“What the fuck is this?” Now he understood why Ms. Stone had been throwing herself at him. “Talk to me!” he demanded.

A sticky, tingly sensation brought his gaze lower and on his legs. He squinted. Both legs were covered with some sort of pink, glossy paper.  “And what in God’s creation are those?”

She got up, stood at the end of the bed, a smirk curving her lips. “Wax strips.”

“Get them off me and let me the hell out of this bed!” he snarled

“Are you sure you want me to help you with the strips?” One thin brow curved maliciously.

“Hell yeah!”

She reached down, grabbed the corner of one strip and pulled.

“Ow!” he squealed as a fire like none other raced through his leg. Clenching his teeth, he looked at her through narrowed gaze. “What the hell was that for?’

“You did ask me to help you. So I did.”

“I’m talking about all of this—the rope, the shit on my legs.” He forced a breath through tight lips.

Smugly, she crossed her arms. “This is a lesson earned.”

He popped up a brow. “A lesson? For what?” Bringing his gaze back to his rope twined wrists, he visually examined the headboard. The cord was wrapped around his wrists, fashioned through the five-inch gap into the wooden detail, then pulled back through and tied in a knot. From what he could see, and with another tug, it wasn’t a bad knot.

“I’m sorry, but I have plans so I must hurry. I won’t spend much time with my explanation. You played my sister. Therefore, I’m showing you what it’s like to be played.”

He perused his brain, trying to find a clue as to what she was referring too. He came up blank. This had to be a joke! “Lady, the only one of us who is a player and a manipulator is you.” Seeing a flicker of confusion, he chuckled. “Yes, that’s right, Jewels Stone.”

One brow snapped up and her hands clenched into fists. “So…so, you knew who I was all along?” Her lips thinned. Good thing she didn’t have a weapon, otherwise he’d be dead, he was certain.

“What? You don’t like being caught at your sordid game? Pot. Kettle. Black.” He gave his arms a jerk and the bed creaked.

She darted her glance to his bound wrists, but only a mere flash. “Don’t talk or I’ll have to get the tape and cover your mouth.”

Anger sliced through his gut. Damn, woman! He didn’t doubt for a minute that she’d do as she threatened.

With a cold glance in his direction, she bent and grabbed something. His jeans! She dipped her hand into the back pocket and withdrew his cell. Now what was she doing?

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UNDER PRESSURE is available now!

Watch for PRESSURE RISING coming soon!

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Falling Softly

FallingSoftly72lgOctober 21 marked the release of the final book in the Compass series. It’s very sad to say goodbye to these characters as they’ve become like family to me over the past few years. Compton Pass would be at the top of my vacation places if only it really existed!

Falling Softly

The deepest falls aren’t always the hardest.

Compass Girls, Book 4

Darkness has crept into Sterling Compton’s charmed life, relentlessly stealing what’s left of her grandmother’s memories. When she happens upon a compelling stranger leaning against a broken-down pickup in the middle of nowhere, grief and a gut-deep attraction spur her to take that too-safe life by the horns.

From the instant Sterling emerges from her Jeep, Viho is drawn to her carefree spirit. Her innocent offer of a ride turns into the ride of his life in his truck bed—and he forgets why he meant to avoid Compton Pass at all costs.

He should have known that karma was waiting to laugh in his face. Especially when Viho figures out Sterling’s father is the one who stood between him and the man he should have called “father”.

Yet it’s tough to hate someone who offers him a job. Especially when he and Sterling realize there’s a living tie on the way that will bind Viho to her family forever—if he can convince her she’s much more to him than an obligation.

Product Warnings
Sometimes it’s hard to let go, but every story has an ending. This one has a Native American hero with a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming and a vulnerable heroine who has a gift for polishing up diamonds in the rough. Some scenes may tug heartstrings so hard it’ll hurt, but the oh-my-god orgasms make up for it.


Putting out one hand, he said, “Viho.”

“Interesting name.” She shook it, marveling at how he swallowed her fingers with heat and a gentle pressure that didn’t crush her but didn’t treat her like she was delicate filigree either.

“I could say the same.” He flashed her another semi-smile. “Mine’s Native American. It means Chief.”

“Seriously?” Sterling nodded, impressed. “So are you royalty or something?”

He certainly had an air of nobility about him, despite his commoner’s clothes.

“Nah.” He shook his head a bit. “I guess I could have been. If we still had chiefs, my grandfather would have been it. The small reservation I grew up on looked to him for approval. But getting involved in our government wasn’t my path. Causing a rift in our community was never my intention. And besides, I’m nobody’s leader.”

“How did you know that?” she wondered. After today, she was starting to doubt herself and her life choices where she never had before.

At first, she didn’t think he intended to answer. She figured that was a pretty personal thing to ask a guy you’d spoken fewer words to than you’d say to a drive-thru attendant in the course of ordering a meal. But something about him made her feel as if they’d known each other for a hell of a lot longer than three point two seconds. Maybe it was the way he didn’t pressure her, letting her take the lead in their interactions and conversation, unlike most guys she met, who were eager to pinpoint anything they had in common. Some way to get closer to her, either because they were interested in moving up the ranks at Compass Ranch or because they wanted in her pants. Or both.

Instead, Viho reminded her of Jake, widely recognized as the best man around for taming wild horses. He had that same aloof patience that lured in the wild beasts and made them believe they were safe. And they were. Jake lived up to that implied promise. He cared for all his creatures, went above and beyond to see that they had everything he could give them.

It also could have been the sadness she sensed lurking behind Viho’s spectacular eyes that struck a chord.

“First, the place I grew up wasn’t the norm. It was culturally conservative. Dominated by a few extremist families that would never have seen past my less-than-pure blood. I’d have spent my entire life outvoted by the rest of the council regardless of how worthy my ideas were of their support. We’d have wasted everyone’s time in one giant pissing match, no one moving forward. It’s probably cowardly, but getting more involved seemed like a waste of time. Turning that tide was impossible. It never sat right on me anyway. Politics. People shouting over each other instead of understanding the other’s point of view. I’ve always enjoyed being outside, alone, listening to nature…”

No wonder he hadn’t been worried about spending the night outdoors.

“What does it tell you?” she asked.

And he shut down as surely as if she’d called him a loser.

“Hey.” She paused her examination to lay a hand on his wrist. They both shivered in response. His skin was balmy against hers and his pulse jumped beneath the pads of her fingers at the contact. “I wasn’t kidding around. Not making fun of you. I was serious.”

“Oh.” He sighed. Suddenly he seemed to age, and Sterling realized he was significantly older than she’d first thought. Maybe thirty-five or forty to her twenty-four. A man with some experience didn’t sound like such a bad thing to her. Hopefully, she hadn’t come off as some punk kid harassing him. “I guess I should have said that when it’s quiet around me I can hear myself think. And I don’t feel as out of place in the universe. If I stop listening too long, I start to feel like I don’t belong here and never have. And that’s totally a strange thing to admit. To anyone. But especially to…you know, you.”

He scrunched his eyes closed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“I guess that means we’ve passed that awkward introductory stage of our relationship.” With that lame attempt at a joke, she released him and tried to concentrate. On his words. On the truck. On anything but putting her hands on him again. Maybe sliding her palms beneath his shirt to steal some of his warmth and map the contours of his prime body.

Because suddenly, she really wanted to show him that he was in the exact right place in the cosmos, and so was she.

“It’s kind of weird, you know. I’ve always thought I knew where I was meant to be. But lately, things are changing, and I think that might be worse. Finding out that how you thought things were supposed to be isn’t going to last forever, and that your life is your family’s, not your own.”

“I know exactly what you mean, Sterling.” He gazed at her with such intensity that she had to clear her throat and deliberately turn away. “And when that anchor gets yanked up and you start to drift, it’s easy to get dizzy. To lose your way.”

“Is that how you ended up stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere?” She recalled the black, red and white bedroll she’d spotted in the bed of the truck. It looked like he’d used it. A lot. Not just for picturesque camping trips to manicured grounds, either.

“I suppose it was the start of that path.” He shrugged, kicking a rock into the distance.

The grief radiating off him reminded her too much of what she’d been feeling when she left Compass Ranch earlier—the pain she’d been trying to obliterate, if even for a few hours.

So she steered the conversation to less dangerous ground. Like the cooling weather.

Viho rewarded her change of subjects with the hint of a smile and the loosening of his tense shoulders. As they chitchatted, she tinkered with his engine. It quickly became clear that his assessment was accurate. The thing was toast.

Surrendering, she turned toward Viho at the same instant he leaned in for a closer look. They plastered together. Instinctively, her hands flew to his chest to brace herself. And she smeared grease all over his soft, charcoal cotton shirt.

“Son of a bitch.” She tried to wipe a smudge off and only splattered it more. “I’m so sorry.”

“No problem.” His easygoing nature counterbalanced her impending freak-out, which would only enhance the social awkwardness that had always plagued her. But when he reached down, grabbed the hem of the tee and whipped it over his head, he struck her dumb.

Muscles rippled as he moved, hardness covered with smooth, tan skin she wished she had a right to touch. “Uh…”

“It was an accident. No harm.” He wadded up the fabric and tossed it into the back of the truck.

Except there might be some damage to her heart if it didn’t start beating again where it’d nearly exploded in her ribcage. It was time for her to admit it. She had never drooled over a man, not even a movie star or that guy she’d exchanged some heated emails with through an online matchmaking site, the way she lusted after Viho. Instant and vicious, attraction seethed between them.

“Sterling,” he murmured.


“I think we’d better wrap up here so you can take me into town now.”

“What if I don’t really want to do that anymore?” She couldn’t stop herself from being honest when he’d been so open with her earlier.

“Then I’ll wait for the next person to come by.” He shrugged, but she didn’t miss the flash of disappointment in his warm stare.

Did he think so little of himself that he didn’t understand her implication?

“Viho, this is not the time to be dense.” Brave, sure, she could be. But making the first move in this situation… Well, that was a little outrageous, even for her.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He encroached on her personal space then, and she loved it.

“I think I’d rather stay here with you and listen to what nature is telling me right now.” She wiped her hand on her skirt, then reached up to his cheek.

“You can’t mean that.” His eyes went wide. “Are you for real? Maybe I didn’t drink enough water today. I’ve been stuck out here for a while.”

Sterling smiled. She knew she was doing the right thing. He’d needed to find her as much as she’d needed to discover him today. For whatever reason, they were here in the same place at the same time. Wasting that opportunity—divine or pure dumb luck—would not be wise.

Sterling might not have believed in fate before, but she could be converted.

“Does this seem like I mean it?” She launched herself at Viho then, sure he wouldn’t allow her to fall. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she went onto her tiptoes.

He didn’t leave her straining for long. His broad hands cupped the back of her thighs and lifted her to his level. The tips of her boots dangled off the ground as their bodies aligned. Locking them tighter, she wrapped her legs around his hips and crossed her ankles even as her hands rested on either side of his neck. A breeze cooled her ass when her skirt rode up due to her very unladylike position.

Holding her as if she was as dainty as her cousin, Hope, he stared into her eyes until she lunged forward, plastering her lips on his before he could bring either one of them to their senses. That was when his gentlemanly exterior sheared away.


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The Hotter You Get, The Faster They Come

Made you look with that title, didn’t I?

Whenever I’m writing a story, I set up a Pinterest board with photos that inspire me, and that quote was one of the first things I pinned when Lex Couper invited me to be part of the Five Alarm Alphas bundle about firefighters. While intially I’d planned to write about Canadian firefighters, my characters gave me a resounding “We’re Texan!” shout.

So although neither of them are cowboys, firefighter Zac Buchanan and diner owner Tabatha Morgan live in small town Texas. They’ve known each other since…well, they were knee-high to a grasshopper. But the timing’s never been right for either of them. Now, Tabby’s back in town — but Zac’s hesitant to act on his desires and tries, misguidedly, to set her up on a date with his best friend Quinn. Who promptly sets him straight. But Tabby soon discovers that dating a firefighter, even if he’s a volunteer, means accepting that he runs into burning buildings while other people run out.

And better yet, there are seven other stories along with my Feeding the Flames, and for the next few weeks, the Five Alarm Alphas will be available for just 99¢. Don’t miss out, because these firefighters are smokin’ hot!

Oh and don’t miss out the release party we’re holding on Facebook on November 7th — there will be guest authors and prizes.

Combustible ~ Lexxie Couper: Arson investigator, Desmond Russell is the best in Australia. Cool, calm and collected, nothing ruffles him. Until he meets Outback fire brigade captain, Jess Montgomery, a woman who ignites all his sexual desires. The initial spark will engulf them both…but will their hearts survive the inferno?

Wet Down ~ Delilah Devlin: Out with the old, in with the new…Or so Sherry Thacker thinks. Problem is, her ex is always on her mind and right across the street. When a “Wet Down” ceremony to retire an old fire truck is planned by the city council she has to put aside her hurt and anger and do her job. Blake Thacker wants his wife back—in every way and he’ll use whatever means necessary to win her back. Sex is always best served WET.

Two to Spark ~ Marie Harte: When a psychic predicts that a faulty toaster, a black cat, and the wrong address will bring Cooper together with Ms. Right, he shrugs off the notion as crazy. But before long, fate has something else in store for the sexy firefighter when a spark of attraction ignites into true love.

Controlled Burn ~ Desiree Holt: Montana Wade was home after writing off the past ten years of her life, but she needed one more night of courage before she faced her family. Boone Crider, hotshot firefighter, was burned out form the rash of malicious fires. They thought one night as strangers would cure them both, but the fire they started between them soon became a barely controlled burn.

Up In Smoke ~ Lissa Matthews: Half-brothers, Josh and Jay, share everything from a house, to a love of curvy, older women. So when their dream woman accidentally sets her kitchen on fire, they ride to her rescue, sirens blaring, promising to kindle flames that may never be extinguished.

Rekindled ~ Cari Quinn: Some blazes refuse to be contained. It’s been months since ex-firefighter Katie Kemp has spoken to her former lover and squad mate, Dash Carlton. But when a late night drive down memory lane leads her to a small fire at Dash’s house, she realizes she’s not willing to turn her back on the hottest flame of her life.

Into the Fire ~ Shelli Stevens: Shannon has always prided herself on holding her own in the male dominated field of firefighting. She likes to be in control. Until she strikes a bargain with a sexy man from her past who makes her give it all up in the bedroom.

Pre-order your copy now ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo  ~ All Romance eBooks


Feeding the Flames

© 2014 Leah Braemel

He lowered his head and kissed her again, taking his time to listen to every hitch of her breath. While they kissed, he let his hands range over her body, cupping her breasts, loving their warmth and their weight, how she moaned into the kiss with each stroke of his thumbs over her nipples.

She was just as busy exploring him, tugging his shirt from the waistband of his jeans, sliding her palms beneath. The heat of her hand, the gentleness of her touch drove him crazy. He pulled away, grasped the hem of the offending garment, tugged it over his head and dropped it on the floor beside her clothes.

Her eyes were almost black was she examined him. He stood still, letting her explore. It’s not like she’d never seen his chest before—but she’d never touched him, not like this. Her touch glanced over his pecs, blazed over the flat buds of his nipples, skated over his abs. Slowed at his fly. Which was now bulging from his aching hard-on.

She lowered his zipper to the base. The warmth and softness of her hands as she hooked her hands into the waistband of both jeans and boxer briefs had him biting his lips in a desperate effort at control. Slowly, methodically, she skimmed his pants over his hips, tugging his boxer briefs with them.

Freed of the restraint, his cock stood rigid and proud. Its head glistened, betraying how much he needed her.

The soft intake of her breath shot straight to his groin.

Touch me. Taste me. Suck me. Hell, all of the above.

Her fingers closed around his shaft. Christ, she was stripping his control and they’d barely started. A groan escaped him and she stopped. “Did I hurt you?”

“Anything but. You have no idea what a struggle I’m having right now to not pick you up, toss you on the bed and bury myself in you.”

No camera could capture the beauty of her smile when she glanced up at him and whispered, “So don’t fight it.”

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