New projects in writing always make me giddy. I love it when an idea, setting, or premise comes together to form what I can see as several books in a series.
That’s what happened with the latest contemporary western romance novella I’m writing for a box set. The idea of a female bull rider has been in my files for a while. when I came up with the scene to open the book, it made sense she’d been hurt, and who should the ER nurse be, but her cousin’s best friend and the one boy her 13 year old heart had fallen for.
Much has happened between Jared’s senior year of high school and his finding Lacey Wallis the battered bull rider on his ER gurney.
They are both from ranching families. While Jared got away from the ranch, Lacey’s family, all but her cousin, abandoned theirs. Lacey’s cousin resurrected the family ranch into a Dude/Resort Ranch and that is how I decided the Tumbling W Ranch should be the name of the series. All the stories will be about the people or relatives who come to, or are a part of, the ranch. This will give me a long list of possible stories to set at the ranch and the surrounding Montana landscape.
Here is an unedited glimpse into Lacey and Jared’s story: Eight Seconds to Love
Jared McIntyre can’t believe his eyes. The bull rider brought into his ER is none other than his best friend’s tomboy cousin, Lacey Wallis. The girl he couldn’t get out of his head the last fifteen years. During his tour in Iraq he lost another thrill-seeking woman, and he isn’t about to let this one destroy her life.
Lacey Wallis is injured during the bull ride that moves her up in the rankings to go to the National Finals Rodeo. Her dream. But the guy she had a crush on when she was thirteen is back in her life, and trying his darnedest to make her give up on the bulls and get her adrenaline rush from him.
She stared at him. “You care whether or not I get a chance to ride in the finals?”
“I don’t like you riding bulls, but I don’t like to see dreams crushed.” He put a hand on her shoulder. “Everyone needs a dream or goal. It’s what gets them out of bed every day.”
“What is your dream?” She stepped closer, nearly touching their bodies.
His body sprang to life at her nearness. He cupped the back of her head with his hand and brought her lips an inch from his. “To forget the past and take charge of the future.”
Her wide eyes stared into his. “How about take charge of the present?” The breath from her words whispered across his lips moments before she closed the inch between them.
She’d made her move, now it was time for him to make his. Jared opened his mouth and she followed. His tongue sought her moist heat and sweetness. He could tell by her clumsy attempts to mate her tongue to his, she had less experience. The knowledge only made him want to show her more.
The hand not cupping her head, slipped under her open shirt and cupped her breast. She moaned and pressed closer. He squeezed her breast and slid his leg between hers, lifting her slightly. Her body wiggled, and he felt her desire dampening his thigh.
A horse snorted and stamped a hoof.
He broke free of the kiss and lowered his leg. This wasn’t the place to bring her to an orgasm.
Lacey’s hand fisted in his shirt. She peered up at him. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No.” He nodded toward the barn and the buildings beyond. “I’m not a fool. Someone could come along…” He ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression about you or me.”
“What does that mean?” She released his shirt and took a step back.
“I won’t take advantage of you when you’re vulnerable.” The sparks in her eyes revealed he’d said the wrong thing. But he needed to keep her away. While he cared for her and God knew his body reacted to her without provocation, he didn’t want her in his life. She was too much like Anita. He couldn’t lose another woman he loved.
“I’m not vulnerable. I might have a bum arm, but I am sure as hell not vulnerable. I knew what I was doing when I pressed my lips to yours.” She spun away from him and marched into the barn.
The door slammed shut.
“No, you aren’t vulnerable. I am.”
Eight Seconds to Love will release September 15th in a box set and is the first novella in the Tumbling W Ranch Series. If you want to know when this is released sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook.