All this, and more to come!

I’ve done some re-decorating here at my home on the web. Welcome!

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JanePorter.com on your phone!

My old site served me well and through it I have connected with so many of you. But it was time for a make-over, and besides, I wanted to make sure that I was accessible to those of you who come here to visit on your phones. Yes, JanePorter.com is now fully responsive — visit me here via your phone or your tablet, the site will now be as easy-to-read and easy-to-interact-with regardless of how you come here.

Why make this big change? Because I adore you all.

I loved my red site, and over the years I poured all kinds of content into it to help extend your reading experience with me. To be honest, I’d forgotten about some of the cool stuff I’d posted years ago to support so many of my books, classic romances and modern lit alike. It’s been like getting surprised with a This is Your Life party each time my webmistress asked me: “And what about this feature?” There is no way I could have gone through it all at once — fourteen years of Book Extras and cool photos and articles and videos… But as it was fed to me piece by piece, and I got to enjoy the content all over again, I got to thinking… And then it hit me: THROWBACK THURSDAYS!

Right now this new JanePorter.com features dedicated pages for only a handful of my books — just the most recent ones (and even for these, not everything is in place yet — the website is a work in progress, thanks for your patience!). If you go to my bookshelf, you’ll see them all, of course. But while some click over to excerpts for you to enjoy, many simply lead to the Kindle page on Amazon. With so many of my previously out-of-print books now available in eBook format, I didn’t want anyone to have to look that hard while Team Jane was working at converting all the wonderful old content into this new format. There’s a lot more coming, including longer excerpts, more international covers and links (because I know so many of you are coming here from outside of the English-speaking world), all that previously buried content, and then, here and there, I might be able to dig up something totally new.

5-classicsThese Throwback Thursdays won’t start up until after the holidays… But in the meantime, please head over to my bookshelf… Help me grow this new site. Please tell me which of my books that click over to Amazon and not yet to a JanePorter.com page you would like to see come back to your viewing enjoyment first? Leave the title below in a comment, and I’ll pick one commenter before December 1st to receive a fun package of some vintage promo swag from years gone by, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and a book, too, of course.

I hope you all enjoy the new site, and how easy it is to get around. Of course, as with any brand new site, there are bound to be hiccups — please don’t post those in the comments or on social networks, my web team doesn’t check there. But if you report errors via my site page, the web team can fix it quickly. I appreciate the assistance.

I’m really looking forward to lots of reader interaction here on the new JanePorter.com. Welcome!

Jackie Ashenden: Sheikhs are the Ultimate Fantasy

Ashenden_JI became a huge fan of New Zealand author, Jackie Ashenden, the very first time I read one of her books.  Her strong writing style coupled with a sharp wit and intense, sexy characters made it all too easy to get hooked. Then Jackie wrote Never Seduce A Sheikh, featuring a bad boy who is also a Sheikh… two of my very favorite types of heroes rolled into one.  Isma’il is a delicious bad boy and so very easy to fall in love with!  What more could a girl ask for?

Jackie and I had a quick chat about Never Seduce a Sheikh and bad boys and here’s what she had to say —

Okay so I LOVE a bad boy. Especially their flaws because it’s their flaws that make them human and not just some cardboard cut-out, perfect man. But a bad boy who’s also a sheikh? Well, that’s one of my ultimate, alpha fantasies. A sheikh is a king, a warrior, a man whom no one can say no to. He rules his domain with an iron hand, is strong and in total command of himself. Yes, he may be arrogant, but if you’re a king you need a certain amount of arrogance, not to mention confidence, because who wants an uncertain, unconfident king?

So why is he an ultimate fantasy? I think the appeal of this kind of hero lies in the idea of a strong man brought low and changed by the love of his heroine. And it’s appealing because it makes the heroine a very powerful force. And what woman doesn’t want to feel that powerful? :)

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How deep into the darkness will she have to go to help bring him into the light?
Oil baronness Lily Harkness isn’t so much steel magnolia as titanium cactus. She’s used to living in a man’s world and when she plays, she plays to win. She wants exclusive oil rights to ensure her company remains at the top and she’s not walking away empty handed.
Sheikh Isma’il al Zahara rules his country his way. Always in command, he has his own plans for his country’s oil and it’s not just about the money. But he’s intrigued by the buttoned up business woman who’s come to his country to strike a deal. He can’t help but wonder what’s beneath her icy facade.
Lily’s desires are buried down deep, but her attraction to Isma’il is too strong to deny. Will seducing the sheikh cost Lily her body and her soul?
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Thank you, Jackie!  For those of you who haven’t yet read Tule’s Bad Boys series, do be sure to grab Jackie’s Never Seduce A Sheikh soon.  This Sheikh is simply irresistible!

I also have a special giveaway for you.  For a chance to win, tell me if you’ve read any of Jackie Ashenden’s stories before and if so, which title you enjoyed most.  Or just tell me about your weekend reading!  One lucky winner will win this awesome prize package!

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Terri Reed’s Home For Good

615R6sgpHfL__UX250_I love stories about hearth, home and happiness, especially during the holidays and Terri Reed‘s Home For Good was a perfect fit.  A sweet story that delivers on it’s promise of love and family and second chances, and packed with lots of emotion too.

Terri is an award winning multi-published author with lots of romance and romantic suspense novels on her list of impressive accomplishments.  She also loves to cook and I invited her to share one of her wonderful recipes with us.  I’m so glad she’s writing for Tule!  Please help me welcome Terri Reed!

Thank you Jane for hosting me and for giving me the opportunity to write Home for Good. This story was born out of preparing for a workshop that I was giving to my local Romance Writers group. Once the characters grabbed ahold of me they wouldn’t let go. Setting them in Marietta was a perfect fit. I so enjoyed living in the world of Marietta Montana and getting to know the other characters in town. I’m planning on writing one of Home for Good‘s secondary characters story next.

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Follow her dream…
After making a deathbed promise to her father, Joelle Winslow is ready to seize the NYC business opportunity to take her jewelry designs global. All she needs to do is cash out her inherited half of the family ranch in Montana—which means convincing her childhood rival, and now co-heir, to sell or buy her out. Sparks fly when Matt, no longer a gangly, solemn teenager, but a tall, handsome cowboy with work-hewn muscles, is unwilling to give up on the legacy he’s worked so hard to keep without a fight. And part of his bargain includes Joelle staying at the ranch with him through Homecoming Weekend.
The son her father never had…
The Winslow ranch rescued Matt Locke from a life in the foster-care system. As an orphan boy adopted by Clark Winslow and groomed to take over the ranch, he wants nothing more than to marry, raise a family, and continue the legacy of the man who became a father to him after his parents’ tragic deaths. Matt can’t imagine a life anywhere else, and he definitely can’t afford to buy Joelle out. Can he convince the dark haired beauty to not walk out on him and her home a second time?

Since the holidays are fast approaching and we’re all starting to think about our menus I wanted to share this recipe for Italian Sausage Spaghetti–Squash.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti–Squash

½ pound butter
1 pound Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
5 gloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp fresh sage
¼ cup Sherry wine (I substitute Marsala wine)
½ cup chicken broth (more if you want it soupier)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 large spaghetti squash(depending on the ratio you prefer of veggies/sausage to squash)

Pre-heat oven at 450 F degrees.
Split the squash in half, scrape out seeds. Drizzle the inside with olive oil. Use a non-stick baking tray or line an oven tray with foil. Place flesh side down and roast for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked. The shell will be soft. Remove from over and let rest until cool enough to handle.
10 minutes or so before the squash is done, heat butter in a sauté pan, add sausage and brown. Add veggies, garlic and spices and sauté until the veggies begin to cook. Add the wine, salt and pepper, if desired.  Remove from heat and cover.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, using a large fork or kitchen spoon, scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin, it will unfurl like strands of spaghetti.  Toss the spaghetti squash with the ingredients in the bowl. Serve and enjoy!

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Thank you, Terri, for sharing your favorite holiday recipe!  I can’t wait to try it!

Readers, please get your copy of Home For Good today and please help Terri feel welcome too.  Leave a comment for a chance to win this awesome prize Terri’s offering to one lucky winner!

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Katherine Garbera’s inspiration for a Wicked Bad Boy

Katherine_Garbera-mediumLast week I met Katherine Garbera‘s billionaire hero, Sebastian Warren from No Rest For The Wicked.  What an interesting experience it was!  He’s hot and delicious and completely intriguing.

With over sixty books to her name, Katherine Garbera always has awesome ideas for stories and I invited her to share more about the idea behind No Rest For the Wicked.

Katherine Garbera on the ‘why’ behind her bad boy story…

Sebastian had everything ripped from under him when his car crashed and his best friend died. Left grappling with a lot of questions as to why he’s still alive and Judd isn’t, he runs as fast as he can to ignore them.  He’s living his life for two now, making sure that Judd didn’t die in vain.  He sleeps with twice as many women, doubles up on danger and races through life because that is the only time he can forget for a few moments and truly feels alive.

Everyone deals with grief in different ways and I wanted to explore loss/death causes a change that we really can’t control.  When I as in high school there was a horrible accident that left one student dead and the other severely injured.  The injured boy/man sat next to me in World History and walked with a cane when he returned to school.  He’d changed almost overnight from the fun loving guy to someone who was more somber.  But he’d flirt with me sometimes and I saw a glimpse of the boy he’d been before.  From that moment I think I wanted to write about a damaged man.  I really love exploring that dichotomy.

The appeal of Bad Boys is that they are tempting.  We are all told to be good and play by the rules and they don’t.  They take what they want, they invite us along for the wild, crazy ride that life can be.  And we go for it.  In romance novels they appeal because they can and will be redeemed.  They will be find a sort of redemption in through love and for me at least that damaged part of them can be healed.

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Katherine Garbera’s No Rest For The Wicked is available now!

Billionaire Sebastian Warren has one simple motto: live fast and don’t look back. He’s never met anyone who makes him want to change. Until he meets enticing, fascinating Celeste Beacon.

Celeste believes that there’s a heart of gold beneath Sebastian’s bad boy image, so she challenges him to overcome his demons and be a better man.

Will Sebastian lead her down a path to wickedness, at his own peril – and hers? Or is Celeste the one woman who can finally bring him peace?

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Thank you, Katherine, for popping in to share with us!  Readers, you simply Must read No Rest For The Wicked!  It’s deliciously entertaining and totally delivers on the promise of bad boys.

I also have more fun for you with an awesome Happy Endings giveaway!  For a chance to win, tell me what you find most appealing about bad boys and you’ll be entered to win this great prize!  Winner announced Saturday.

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The Long Way Home by Kathleen O’Brien

kobrienMy guest today is the hugely talented and absolutely fabulous author, Kathleen O’Brien.  With well over 40 titles to her name, Kathleen has penned all types of romances that range from dark, brooding suspense to hot and sexy contemporaries and it’s no wonder she’s captured the hearts of millions of readers!

Kathleen’s new book from Tule Publishing, and book 4 in the Homecoming series, The Long Way Home captured my heart once again as I fell in love with her beautifully drawn characters.  She graciously agreed to join me here on my blog to share with you all more about her new release so please, help me welcome Kathleen O’Brien! —

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At eighteen, Abby Foster had been the cutest little rich gal in Marietta, Montana. She could make boys do whatever she wanted—especially sweet, wild, penniless Joe Carlyle, who adored her. But a lot’s changed in the eight years since Abby broke Joe’s heart by marrying the rich guy her domineering father chose for her. Her father has died, and the “perfect” husband has bolted, taking all the money. More importantly, Abby’s grown up. She’s vowed to stop listening to other people and follow her own heart instead. Right now, her heart tells her to return to Marietta. The wildfire she felt in Joe’s arms has haunted her, and, though she doesn’t expect forgiveness, she hopes maybe he, too, would enjoy a brief, no-strings affair. If they can share just the seventy-two hours of Homecoming weekend…well, maybe then they’ll both find it easier to forgive, forget, and move on. But when she sees him, she realizes how naive that idea was. The years have changed Joe, too…and the passionate, powerful man he’s become isn’t someone she’ll ever forget. This time the heart she breaks may be her own.

People always ask whether my books and characters are taken from my own life.  My answer is always some variation of “I wish!”

But I do have to love and identify with each character I create….writers live very intimately for long periods of time with these people.  So I often give each person a trait that is either a quirk I have, or a quality I would love to have.

In THE LONG WAY HOME, Joe’s feisty mom, Mary, got my rotten cooking skills, poor lady. She loves her four boys, but she just can’t make herself concentrate on cooking for them all day long.  She has good intentions, starts off with high hopes, then inevitably gets distracted, grows bored, wanders off, and lets everything burn.

To my eternal regret, that’s me!  I admire people who are creative in the kitchen, and I wish so much that I could learn to be that way…but I’m afraid I’m hopeless.  All the recipes I work with have to be super easy.

Joe, my hero, has learned to be a pretty good cook, in self defense.  All the Carlyle boys have, which, in my opinion, goes a long way to making them the perfect heroes!

Here’s a recipe for the blueberry pancakes he makes for Abby at the Marietta High pancake fundraiser.  It’s super yummy, and easy enough that even I can make them!

COCONUT-BLUEBERRY PANCAKES:

2 cups unbleached flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Mix the dry ingredients together, and, in a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients.  Then combine and put in fridge for about 45 minutes.  Cook by ladling batter onto hot, no-stick greased griddle, creating whatever size pancake you prefer.  When first side begins to bubble, add blueberries to taste.  Flip only once.

Serve while piping hot, with the rest of the fresh blueberries piled on top.  If you like extra coconut flavor, add toasted shredded coconut, which you can easily toast right beside the pancake as it cooks.

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Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing with  us!  Readers, as always, if you haven’t downloaded a copy of this book, please head to your online retailer and get it today and help me spread the word about this wonderful story.  And to make it more fun, I’ve got an amazing JP Fall prize including books, giftcards and treats for one lucky winner!  For a chance to win, tell me are you creative in the kitchen?  Or share what one trait you wish you had.  Winner will be announced on Wednesday.  Happy Reading!

Eve Gaddy’s Sing Me Back Home

gaddyI can be such a book girl sometimes, nothing makes me happier than talking books and themes.  One of my favorite themes is second chances and that’s partly why I’ve really enjoyed Tule’s Homecoming series.  Have you read any of the Homecoming books yet?

Eve Gaddy‘s novella, Sing Me Back Home kicked off the Homecoming series.  I read it some weeks ago but still find myself thinking about Jack and Maya.  Such a sweet, delightful story about second chances and full of strong characters, it’s a quick read and has a good dose of humor and heat too.  Eve was kind enough to sit down to a quick Q&A with me about Sing Me Back Home

What did you love best about the idea of writing a homecoming novel like Sing Me Back Home? I love second chance romances. I like to think that two people who belong together and break up finally make it back together. I also had fun with the characters. Jack and Maya and their kids were a lot of fun to write. I also enjoyed being able to set the story in Marietta. What a great place to write about.

What sort of journey was it for you, writing this book?  Did you struggle to find the words and get the characters to talk or did it all flow smoothly most of the time?  I think on the whole it flowed pretty smoothly. But as with nearly everything I’ve ever written, I had times when the words didn’t want to come. Once I immersed myself in the book and really got going, it flowed. My characters are often chatty to me. Of course, sometimes they refuse to talk to me at all. Very frustrating!

Do you have any special memories in relation to homecoming? I was a cheerleader all through high school so homecoming holds some fond memories for me. I can’t think of one particular memory that stands out, though.

How did you come up with the title of your story? That was fun! I often find inspiration from song titles. I was looking through some I’d googled that had the word “home” in the title. I saw Sing Me Back Home and instantly fell in love with it. I always make a playlist for my books so naturally, I downloaded the song by Merle Haggard. I had never heard it before. It was quite a shock when I found out it was a song about a man in prison about to be executed. He wanted his friend to sing a song for him that would take him back home before he died. While neither of my characters were ever in prison, I do think that songs are very evocative. There are many songs that take me back to a different time or place, so the song fit. And I found another Merle Haggard song I really liked so it was a win-win!

In 5 words, describe your Romance Writing Style. Fast paced, witty, sexy, emotional and realistic.

Name 5 words that fit your personality according to you.  And 5 words that fit your personality according to your best friend.

Eve: Empathetic, obsessive, determined, fun, concise

BFF: Energetic, witty, obsessive, smart, and compassionate. SingMeBackHome-MEDIUM-UPDATED

Sing Me Back Home by Eve Gaddy:

Dr. Jack Gallagher, one of Marietta, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, hasn’t been serious about a woman since his wife died five years ago. He’s been content to date occasionally, practice medicine and raise his teenage daughter.

Then happily divorced former fashion model, Maya Parrish, moves back to Marietta, with her own teenaged daughter in tow forcing Jack to rethink his casual dates only rule. Maya, Jack’s high school girlfriend and almost fiancée, may have broken his heart the night of their high school graduation, but the moment Jack and Maya meet again, all the sizzle and sparks, and then some, come rushing back.

Maya is ready to give love a second try. Jack isn’t sure he can take that chance again. He knows how quickly happiness can be ripped away, leaving heartbreak in its place. Can a mad, passionate affair last or will it burn itself out as quickly as it began?

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Thank you, Eve!  Readers, put Sing Me Back Home on your to-read list if you haven’t already.  I know you’ll love it!  I also have a fun prize here for one of you.  For a chance to win books, gift cards and some fun reader swag, tell me about your favorite themes.  What types of stories are your favorite to read?  Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win!  Winner announced on Tuesday.  Happy reading!

Kelly Hunter on the Appeal of Bad Boys

kellyhunterI’ve had my head down a lot lately, trying to get some serious writing done and while I do try to be good and not get distracted, sometimes a girl just can’t help it.  Especially if she’s got great author friends who insist on writing fabulously yummy stories about delicious Bad Boys.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Bad Boy books from Tule’s Holiday imprint, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.  It’s hard to ignore them.  They look so sinfully irresistible, standing there on the cover, whispering ‘come closer’.  And Kelly Hunter‘s bad boy, Caleb Jackson from Sympathy for the Devil fits the bill so perfectly!

It got me thinking about all bad boys and why so many of us find them appealing.  I pulled Kelly Hunter in for a quick chat about bad boys and here’s what she had to say:

Kelly on the appeal of the bad boy… I’m a big fan of a hero who lives by his own rules and doesn’t necessarily conform to social mores. He’s a game-changer. All that fire and passion, all his fierce loyalty and protectiveness – he’s exciting and unpredictable and I like that in a fictional hero. In real life I’d run!

When I write these guys, I’m aiming to get that super sexy, supremely confident guy to lay all his power (every last drop) at the feet of his heroine and say, ‘This is me, all of me. And I’m yours.’ The bigger the challenge the sweeter the victory.

Should you still need more convincing when it comes to the appeal of the very bad boy, I give you my favorite two bad boys of all time (superheroes included). I’d love to know yours so feel free to comment!

1. Sebastian Ballister, the Marquess of Dain, from Loretta Chase’s Lord Of Scoundrels

He’s big, he’s bad, he’s a total cad with an illegitimate son. He sleeps with whores. He needs a firm and loving hand, and, my, doesn’t he purr when he gets one? He’s fiercely passionate and a law unto himself. Occasionally he needs to be shot. A woman could indulge her inner disciplinarian with a man like this All. Day. Long.

2. Iron Man (Tony Stark)

At some point in one of the Avengers movies, Captain America says to Iron Man, “Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off and what are you?” And Iron Man replies, “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”

You’ve no idea how much I love this exchange!

Our boy Tony is a reckless risk-taker who flirts with anything sentient, drinks to excess and he doesn’t like sharing his toys. He’s the poster boy for how not to manage fame, and that’s before you factor in the armored suit and all Iron Man’s wins and disasters. He’s the bad boy who so desperately wants to do good. He has a broken heart – literally – and he can’t fix it. No one can. Happily, he’s wrong, because I’m sure I can fix it. No, really. I can. At least let me try.

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Kelly Hunter’s Sympathy For The Devil is out now.

Caleb Jackson has a secret – as a reckless teen he seduced his big brother’s girl. The girl moved away, his brother moved on and Caleb tried and tried to forget it ever happened. Ten years later, Bree Tucker is back, more tempting than ever, and his big brother seems hell-bent on reeling her back into their lives.

Bree Tucker doesn’t want to take the Jackson photography job, even if every last one of them is as photogenic as sin. Caleb, in particular, is the kind of man a woman would happily lie, cheat and check her self-respect at the door for – she should know. But Caleb had only ever been responding to the lure of the forbidden. He’d never been seriously interested in her.

Had he?

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And that is just part of the reason I love Kelly’s bad boy, Caleb!  What’s your take on the appeal of bad boys?  Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a fabulous prize pack from Kelly!  We’ll announce a winner on Saturday.

Kelly Hunter Bad Boy prize pack

 

Megan Crane: Falling in love with the Rodeo

Readers, you need no introduction to this guest author…my bud Megan Crane.  We’ve shared editors, publishers, an agent, and noone knows me better.  Welcome back, Megan!

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I was born in Texas, which means the rodeo should have been in my blood.

(At least that’s what I think it means.  Shhhh.)

Unfortunately, I spent only days in the land of my birth before being whisked away to New York, where rodeos were things I read about in my beloved romance novels and never part of my life at all.

Until Jane.

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Jane has been the gateway drug to a lot of marvelous things in my life.  Trips to Hawaii, Italy, Montana.  Fantastic new books to read and write.  And one of the best friendships I’ve ever had.  When Jane asks me if I’d like to do something (travel to this or that exotic place, start a publishing company, etc.) I’ve learned it’s always worth it to Just Say Yes.

So when she asked me if I wanted to go to the rodeo, that’s what I did.

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The truth was, I really didn’t.  I grew up in places where agriculture was something that happened Elsewhere.  No cows or bulls or people in ranch attire.  I thought attending a bull riding event would be an interesting sociological experiment.  And I’m a writer, so I love a good sociological experiment.

Imagine my surprise when I fell completely and wildly in love.

I was jumping up and down.  I was screaming.  I was swept away in the drama of men and wild bulls, the cheers of the crowd, the antics of the rodeo clowns.

I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in my life—and I don’t think it has anything to do with my Texan blood.  I think that’s what the rodeo DOES.  It’s elemental love.  It’s worth checking out.

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I hope you enjoy your taste of the 76th Copper Mountain Rodeo in Please Me, Cowboy, and the other Montana Born Rodeo books.  Because I promise you: it’s definitely worth falling in love!

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Megan, it’s always fun to have you as a guest.  Thanks for sharing with us today!

Readers be sure to download your copy of Please Me, Cowboy if you haven’t already.  And to help Megan celebrate her new release, I’m giving away this fabulous prize to one lucky winner!

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For a chance to win, tell me what you’ve enjoyed the most about the Copper Mountain Rodeo romances or you can just tell me about your weekend.  You know I love to hear from you!  Winner will be announced on Thursday.

Melissa McClone: Writer Turned Cowgirl

I’ve been having a fabulous time in Morocco and enjoying some good times with Surfer Ty.  It’s been a glorious few days here.  I should try to find a way to do it more often!  The sun is bright and shining, the Souqs are full of vivid colors and tastes and the people are just amazing!

I’ve also spent some time by the pool and actually just finished reading Melissa McClone‘s Kiss Me, Cowboy.  I’m such a fan of Melissa’s.  Not only is she a wonderfully talented author but she’s also a warm, wonderful person to know and this week, she’s a guest on my blog!  Here’s Melissa McClone to share her thoughts on being a cowgirl!

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Thanks for having me on the blog today, Jane! My dad grew up on a sheep ranch in Colorado and a couple cousins competed in rodeos so writing Kiss Me, Cowboy brought back many memories, including more recent ones of watching rodeo events at our county fair!

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It’s been a long time since I’d been on horseback other than trail rides on vacation, so I decided to do a little hands-on research at a working cattle ranch in southeastern Oregon. I spent three nights up at their cow camp where the herd grazes during the summer months.

My favorite part of being a cowgirl—next to wearing my first pair of Ariat cowboy boots—was herding cattle. I rode a horse named Lil’ Britches. Out in the canyon on horseback, the breeze rustling through the quaking Aspen, I could easily imagine my wranglers from Kiss Me, Cowboy, Charlie (Charlotte) Randall on her horse Sierra and Zack Harris on Blackbeard, riding with me!

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Our cattle herding experience was actually a surprise. We’d headed out to drop off mineral (i.e. 50 pound salt blocks) to the herd, but on our way down the canyon to where they pastured, we started picking up small groups until we had a herd that had to be pushed along. (We later discovered a hole in the fencing that they were using to get back into this part of the ranch.) The cattle didn’t want to move, so they kept looking back to see if you were still there!

We would break off into pairs (i.e. teams) to keep cattle from wandering off, and more than once, one or more of us had to ride into the trees to keep a mama cow and her calf from crossing the creek and setting off yet another chase. I saw how a cowboy’s chores led to rodeo events.

A cowboy’s work is hard and dangerous. I learned a lot, but next time I’m heading to a dude ranch like the Bar V5 that I write about in my Montana Born Books, a guest ranch with mouthwatering gourmet food and spa services. Not to mention hot wranglers named Zack, Ty, Dustin and Eli!

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Thanks so much for sharing with us, Melissa!  I think I’ll tag along with you to that dude ranch next time.  :)

Readers, do download a copy of Kiss Me, Cowboy if you didn’t already.  You’re going to love it!  And to help Melissa celebrate her new release, here’s a special prize just for you!  For a chance to win, leave a comment to welcome Melissa to my blog, tell me if you’ve ever been to a cattle ranch or just tell us about your week!  Winner will be announced on Friday.

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Alissa Callen: Rodeo Up!

Surfer Ty and I are in Morocco and the UK for the next week but while I’m away, I’ve invited some of my Tule author friends to stop by my blog and share some cowgirl fun with you all as Tule returns to the Copper Mountain Rodeo!

Alissa Callen - smallI’ve been super excited about Alissa Callen‘s new release, Cherish Me, Cowboy.  It definitely made an impact on the Tule staff when they read it for the first time and fell in love with the characters and I have no doubt you’ll love it too!  Alissa has a strong voice and such fabulous flair for beautifully written, fast paced stories.  So here’s Alissa to tell us more about Cherish Me, Cowboy!  Please help her feel welcome!!

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Thanks, Jane!  Rodeos were a part of my childhood and now thanks to Montana Born Books, are again part of my life.

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I grew up on a farm in Australia and we’d often attend local small town rodeos. It was at such a rodeo where, I was around twelve, I saw a runaway horse kick over a baby’s pram. It just so happens it was my brother’s pram. But thankfully he was asleep in the car. I’d forgotten such a memory until I was writing Cherish, Me Cowboy. But in my Copper Mountain Rodeo story it isn’t so much the horse kicking over the pram that is significant but the unforeseen events that such a kick triggers.

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I still live on a farm and last summer I took my children to the small town rodeo not far from where we live. Miss Mini Farmer loved the barrel racing, the cowgirl-bling and the rodeo clown whose humorous lines belied a quick-thinking mind. Little Farmer liked the popcorn, silver belt buckles and the ground-pawing bulls. I only hope as he gets older he sticks to riding motor bikes that weigh less than 2000 pounds.

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Thanks to Montana Born Books you don’t have to sit ringside on a bleacher to enjoy the sounds, color and action of a rodeo. Each book of the 76th Copper Mountain Rodeo series brings the Marietta fairground to rich and vivid life. Happy reading and rodeoing!  :)

Here’s a quick excerpt from Cherish Me, Cowboy :

“Now that’s what I’m talking about,” Trinity said, her words ending in a drawn-out sigh.

Payton didn’t have to look up from scanning the rodeo program to know her friend salivated over a man. Trinity had only come to the 76th Copper Mountain Rodeo for one thing – cowboys. Luckily Payton had come for the events. She read the list once again. She’d run late helping a cow calve and if Trinity and Mandy didn’t stop dawdling to look at the masculine scenery they’d never make it to the main arena to catch the tie-down roping.

“I hear you,” Mandy replied from Payton’s left, a dreamy note in her voice. “Come on Pay, take a look. You can’t be all work and no play. The view will make your day.”

Payton sighed. She’d have no peace until she threw a token glance toward the cowboy. She looked up from the program. “You guys, the only thing that will make –” Her jaw dropped.

The cowboy, dressed in jeans, chaps and a blue western shirt, who tied a black horse to the side of a trailer was the last person she’d expected to see.

Mandy giggled. “Trinity, mark this day. Payton’s mouth is hanging open and she isn’t checking out a nice piece of horseflesh.”

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Thank you, Alissa!  Readers, if you haven’t already downloaded your copy of Alissa’s book, do it today and once you’ve read it, let us know what you think!  Meanwhile, I’ve got a fun mystery prize pack for you!  For a chance to win, leave a comment and tell me about your experience if you’ve ever been to a rodeo or if  you haven’t, and you had the chance, would you want to attend one?  You’ll automatically be entered to win some fabulous books, reader goodies, gift cards and more!