FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from Cherish Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen & Kiss Me, Cowboy by Melissa McClone

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Available for a limited time ONLY at  BN


 Last week I shared a snippet from my book, MONTANA COWGIRL. Today, you’ll be happy to see snippets from my co-authors, Melissa McClone and Alissa Callen. If you’re a NOOK reader, here’s your chance to grab three heart-warming stories for under a buck apiece! If you don’t have a Nook, you can still buy these books individually from the vendor of your choice (just not in a bundle). See below.

From CHERISH ME, COWBOY:

“Come on, who says I don’t ever have any fun?”

Payton’s eyes shone with such golden life, her smile contained such uninhibited joy, all Cordell could do was nod and follow. Getting wet was a small price to pay for stealing a few brief minutes with the cowgirl in a swirling and surreal world. When the clouds parted and the rain stopped, reality would return. He’d have a promise to keep and a city existence to return to.

Within seconds, he was saturated. Water seeped through his cotton T-shirt and ran down the back of his neck. But as cold as the water was, the feel of Patyon’s fingers entwined with his, heated his blood. Thunder boomed followed by an almost instantaneous lightning flash. The storm was almost directly overhead. Knowing the wind would steal his words, he tugged her toward the porch. Again, she shook her head. Baxter, his tail between his legs, fled to the safety of his dry kennel.

Thunder again roared. Cordell snagged Payton’s slender waist and slung her over his shoulder. He reached the porch just before a jagged bolt splintered the sky.

Chest heaving, he firmed his hold on the back of her knees as he readied himself to return her to the ground. Cool air brushed his lower back and stomach. Payton must have gripped the bottom of his T-shirt to balance herself and had pulled it midway up his torso. He carefully took her weight and lowered her to the porch floorboards. But as he did so her full breasts pressed against his chest and her bare skin slid against his. He bit back a groan. The wet friction between the cotton of his shirt and her tank top had caused her own shirt hem to ride upward. There was now nothing between their naked midriffs but the wet lick of water.

His hands moved to her waist to steady her as her feet touched the ground. Beneath the pads of his fingers, he could feel the jut of her hips and the ripple of goosebumps over her soft skin. He fought for control. She’d be mad at being slung over his shoulder like a sack of grain. It would be okay. She’d tell him off and step away before he did something they’d both regret.

She didn’t move.

The soundtrack of the storm’s fury dulled to a whisper.

Every breath she took pushed her chest closer to his. Every breath he took threatened to shatter his self-control. When had she laced her hands around his neck? Another three seconds, and he’d be finishing what they’d started in his parked truck.

He didn’t even make it to two.

His mouth covered hers. She tasted of rain and sweetness and smelt of summer and mountain wildflowers. As she stood on tip-toe to match his hunger, the sky could have caved in over him and he wouldn’t have cared.

As much as she took, he gave. And as much as he asked for, she granted.

Her hands unclasped from behind his neck and slid over his water-slicked abs and under his T-shirt. He shuddered, knowing he was exposed but powerless to hide how she moved him and what she made him feel.

“Payton,” he groaned as they came up for air. “I can’t hurt you. I can’t stay.”

“I know,” she said, before again fusing her mouth with his.

His hands found the neat curve of her butt and pulled her even closer. This time she was the one who spoke as they drew apart to breathe.

“Please, tell me you’re feeling.”

“Oh, I’m feeling all right,” he growled as he plundered the delicate line of her soft throat.

“Good, because if you’re feeling, as per our talk the other night, that means I need to learn to accept help.” He’d never seen her eyes so luminous or heard her voice so breathless. She jumped and he caught her as she wrapped her slim legs around his waist. “And I think I’ll start by you helping me get out of these wet clothes.”

CherishMeCowboy-300dpi

From KISS ME, COWBOY:

The sun disappeared beneath the horizon. Darkness surrounded them. Zack didn’t care. Charlie didn’t seem to either.

A good thing. She was his lifeline, his way back to the civilian world, a place he felt disconnected from at the moment. He talked, and she held his hand. He cried, and she comforted him.

She wiped away his tears with her fingertips.

Embarrassed, he looked away.

“It’s okay,” she whispered.

No, it wasn’t, but if she could pretend, so could he.

Charlie sighed. “I wish…”

Her compassionate tone made Zack look up. The lantern glowed softly, giving off enough light so he could see her face.

She leaned forward, toward him. The connection between them intensified. He came closer, driven by an urge he shouldn’t be feeling. Not with Charlie.

Zack stared into blue eyes filled with empathy, wanted to know what she wished and was about to ask…

She kissed him.

A kiss so tender and sweet, Zack knew she’d been heaven-sent to get him through this night. He didn’t plan on kissing her back—that would be against his rule—but she wasn’t stopping.

 Why not kiss her? It was only one kiss…

McClone-Rodeo14-300dpi

Happy reading, my friends. My next BLACK HILLS RENDEZVOUS book will be featured next week…

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from MOTHER’S DAY IN MONTANA by Debra Salonen

 

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Available for a limited time ONLY at  BN


 I’m so excited to be part of this great Mother’s Day Bundle from Tule Publishing.  If you–or MOM–is a NOOK reader, here’s your chance to grab three heart-warming stories for under a buck apiece!

I’m a big fan of forgiveness and second chances. Most people would give Paul and Bailey ZERO chance of making up for past hurts and heartbreak, but, sometimes, love can beat the odds.

From MONTANA COWGIRL:

She opened the door and carefully lowered her good foot to the ground. The ache in her ankle was back, but she’d be damned if she’d play the cripple in front of Paul.

“I can take one of those,” she said, meeting him at the tailgate of the truck.

He pulled the bigger of the two out first, setting it on the sidewalk. His muscles really were quite impressive, she realized. Wishing she had some reason to touch him.

The idea unnerved her. When he suggested she let him make two trips, she didn’t argue. She needed some distance, a little down time. Right now.

“Do you have the key?” Paul called out as he dashed up the ramp, the first of her giant suitcases in tow.

“I don’t think Mom’s ever locked the door in my entire life.”

He tested the handle. Sure enough, it swung inward. He wrestled the ungainly, soft-sided suitcase across the threshold then dashed past her for its mate.

She’d barely stepped inside when her phone rang. Mom.

“Hi. We just got here.”

“Wonderful. I have more good news. Oscar’s doctor is letting him go home today. The discharge papers will probably take an hour or two, we’ll be there in time to have dinner together.”

Today?

“Great.”

“You should invite Paul to join us. To thank him for picking you up.”

“Really, Mom? Do you think that’s a good idea? Dad’s first night out of the hospital? He and I haven’t seen each other in a couple of years. Maybe we should keep it family for awhile.”

“Oh, of course. You’re right. What was I thinking? We’ll do something nice for Paul later on. I have to go. The nurse wants Oscar to shower before he leaves since we don’t have that kind of equipment at home yet. See you soon, honey. I’m so glad you’re here.”

A few seconds later, Paul lugged her other ridiculously over-weight bag across the threshold.

“We have rocks in Montana, Bailey. You didn’t have to bring your own from California.”

She tried to smile, but the erratic thudding of her heart interfered with normal reactions.

Paul cocked his head. “What’s up?”

She shoved her phone in her bag. “OC is being released today. They’ll be here soon.”

She took a step, planning to make some effort to appear the gracious hostess. Unfortunately, her ankle locked and she lunged off balance, grazing her hip on the side of her father’s worn leather recliner.

Paul pivoted as precisely as Daz “heeling” in the arena. He caught her elbow and stepped in to help her regain her balance.

Close enough to smell his cologne and see the tiny strips of facial hair his razor missed. Close enough to kiss the lips that looked more familiar than they should have.

What the hell was wrong with her? This man hated her, cursed her, and she dropped into his arms like some stupid damsel in distress?

No. Good grief, no.

~~~

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Deb

 

FREE KISS=TUESDAY from MONTANA COWGIRL by Debra Salonen

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KOBO   AMAZON   iBOOKS   BN


I downloaded a new copy just to see if it worked and wound up reading–and sniffling over–the first chapter. I’d forgotten how much I loved Paul and Bailey.

Since I’m pretty sure I’ve shared their first kiss before, here’s a later scene I hope you’ll like:

Paul could honestly say he hadn’t seen ‘sex with Bailey’ as even a remote option when he fired up the Cessna. He’d figured the trip would involve a lot of pacing in hospital waiting rooms and ferrying OC back and forth from the hotel.

To wind up sharing a room with Bailey…a pleasant surprise. To be invited back into her life as a confidant of her worst fear, to hold her, kiss her…damn, he couldn’t quite get his head around the bounty.

“I want you worse than when we were in high school,” she’d said.

He knew exactly what she meant. He’d gone hard the moment she’d pulled off her T-shirt.

Every inch of her skin smelled like honey and roses. He wanted to go slow, remember every sensation, but Bailey had never been patient. Once she made up her mind to do something, it got done.

“Do you remember our first time?” he asked unbuttoning his shirt.

She brushed his fingers aside and took over. One, two, three, pull out shirt tails, four, five… “We came close so many times, but I think it was in my barn, right? The hayloft. Your Boy Scout sleeping bag.”

He unbuckled his belt and unzipped while she pulled the belt through the loops. “The hay smelled good but the sleeping bag wasn’t thick enough to keep the poking parts from poking you.”

His belt joined her shirt on the floor. By wordless agreement, they both wiggled out of their jeans. Her panties didn’t match her bra. Lime green bikinis with black polka dots. “Cute.”

She touched the raised fabric of his navy blue stretch boxer briefs. “No more tighty whities.”

His breath caught in his throat as her hand cupped his erection. “Not since college.” Not since Jen started shopping for him.

She turned her attention to his bare chest. “Your muscles are so filled out. Chiseled, even. From swinging a hammer, I suppose. You’re so manly, now.” Her tone held a hint of teasing, but he thought he detected a bit of wistfulness, too. He felt the same.

“You’re thinner and more voluptuous. How is that possible?”

She flexed her bare arm to show her well-defined biceps. “Exercise. For a while after the accident, I couldn’t do anything. I felt like my body was melting into the sheets. As soon as I started physical therapy, I went gung-ho. One of my trainers, who also became my friend, called me Bailing Wired.”

He squeezed the muscle. “Hey, that was my nickname for you.”

“That’s what I told her. Although I was never sure it was a compliment.”

He locked fingers with her and leaned in close enough to nibble her neck. “It was. I admired your drive and fearlessness. Scared the bejesus out of me at times, but, man, you were something to watch.”

She moved her head and shoulder in a way that told him she was enjoying his touch. He trailed his tongue to a pronounced bump on her clavicle. A broken collarbone from falling off a horse when she was ten. A scare like that might have stopped other kids, but not Bailey Jenkins. From what her mother told him, she was back in the saddle while her arm was in a sling.

She dropped back on her elbows. “This,” she said, shifting to her right side to touch her collarbone, “was the first of many. Two cracked ribs. My kneecap is all screwed up. I broke my elbow, but it’s stronger since I started lifting weights. A couple of toes. And fingers. And that’s not even counting my ankle.”

He slid off the bed so he could start at her feet. “Which toes?”

She wiggled her left foot. He kissed them all, which made her laugh.

“And your right ankle.”

“Obviously.”

The scar wasn’t as furious a red as when she first arrived in Marietta. He nuzzled his cheek against her wound, their gaze locked. “I’m sorry you were injured, but I’ve got a few war wounds of my own, you know.”

He licked the inside of both her knees.

“You do?”

“Viral paper cuts. I give myself a yearly bonus to make up for the grievance.”

~~~

Hey, what’s lovemaking without a little humor? 😉

If you’ve already downloaded MONTANA COWGIRL, I hope you’ll share this blog with your reader friends. WHO DOESN’T LOVE FREE?

Happy reading,

Deb

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Tweet: Paul could honestly say he hadn’t seen ‘sex with Bailey’ as even a remote option when he fired up the Cessna. http://ctt.ec/Fbeze+

First Kiss Tuesday: A Bramble House Christmas by CJ Carmichael

First Kiss= TUESDAY

  BrambleHouseChristmas

All he wants for Christmas…is an answer.

Finn Knightly a.k.a. Finn Conrad wants to know why his recently deceased father left his nurse fifty thousand dollars after knowing her a mere six weeks. So he travels to Bramble House B&B in Marietta, Montana to find answers.

But Willa Fairchild is not the conniving woman he expects to find. Before he knows it, Willa-and her six-year-old son Scout-are stealing his heart. And that’s before he finds out Scout’s secret and the real reason this Christmas is so important. 


While they talked, he kept playing with her hair, loving the texture and the way the flickering light from the fire brought out various gold and copper hues.  Then suddenly, the room darkened, and the only source of light was the dying fire in front of them.  “oh, my gosh.  It’s midnight,” Willa said.  Only then did he recall Marshall mentioning the timer on the lamp.  He gazed into Willa’s eyes, wondering if she was going to say something about needing to get to sleep.  But she didn’t.  Then he did what he’d longed to do, almost from the first moment he’d met her.  He drew her into his arms, and he kissed her.  And just like that the world collapsed and all he cared about was the caramel taste of her lips, the velvet softness of her neck, the thumping strength of her pulse, which merged with his, as he pulled her closer against his chest.  Delicious, exploratory kisses evolved and became passionate and breathless.  He vaguely knew this wasn’t a good idea.  It was late, but still possible for someone to walk in on them.  More importantly, he still hadn’t told her his real name.

 


Purchase at these fine retailers:

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 Snow covered beech trees landscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

auth_CJCarmichael1USA Today Bestselling author C. J. Carmichael has written over 45 novels in her favorite genres of romance and mystery. She has been nominated twice for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, as well as RT Bookclub’s Career Achievement in Romantic Suspense award, and the Bookseller’s Best honor.

She gave up the thrills of income tax forms and double entry book-keeping in 1998 when she sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance. Since then she has published over 35 novels with Harlequin and is currently working on a series of western romances with Tule Publishing. In addition C. J. Carmichael has published several cozy mystery series as an Indie author.

When not writing C. J. enjoys family time with her grown daughters and her husband. Family dinners are great. Even better are the times they spend hiking in the Rocky Mountains around their home in Calgary, and relaxing at their cottage on Flathead Lake, Montana.

Visit C.J.’s website at http://CJCarmichael.com

Merry Christmas,

XOXO!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from CHOOSE ME, COWBOY by Barbara Ankrum )

First Kiss= TUESDAY

ChooseMeCowboy-Ankrum

There really is something about first kisses, isn’t there?  That rush of excitement, that never-to-be-repeated beginning of something? Then again, second kisses are nice, too.  Or the ones shared after long-term togetherness.

Then there are reunion kisses, make-up kisses and (gasp!) stolen kisses. The one I’m here to talk about falls into that category and it happens between my hero and heroine, a once meant-to-be forever couple who lost their way years ago. Now, fate has thrown Marietta kindergarten teacher, Kate Canaday, and Pro-bull rider, Finn Scott, into each other’s sphere again and things quickly get…well, complicated.  It seems Finn might need her help making his crazy life look stable in a custody battle with his ne’er-do-well ex for his five-year-old twins. The same ex, by the way, who was responsible for breaking them up years ago. What’s a self-respecting, serial-dating, never-got-over-him kind of girl to do?  


“Wait a minute,” Finn said.

Her hand on the door knob, she turned on him. “No, you wait, you…you…” She gave a frustrated growl for lack of a more descriptive word. “That is just low. Telling me your sad story. Playing on my sympathies like that, so I’d feel sorry for you. I could just…just—”

“Just what? Punch me?” he asked, moving between her and the doorway. “Kiss me?”

Kiss you? As if!” But her eyes had dilated to black splotches and a tremor ran down her as she backed up against the opened door. Her nostrils flared with anger, and her scent washed over him afresh.

“Punch me then. Or kiss me. Whatever makes you feel better.”

Hands splayed against the door behind her, she narrowed a look at him. “As I am not a violent person, I choose C. None of the above.” But with the door wide open beside her, she wasn’t choosing to exit either.

He braced a hand on the doorjamb beside her and loomed over her. “When was the last time someone kissed you ’til your knees stopped workin’? Huh? I used to be able to do that to you, remember?”

Oh, she was remembering. He could see the memory in her eyes.

“I—no, I don’t recall that…and—” she flicked that red hair out of her eyes with a jerk of her head—“I’m leaving now.” But her effort to go was merely a twitch in the direction of the car.

“Wow. That long, huh?”

She opened her mouth in silent outrage, but no words came to mind. No denial anyway.

In fact, right now, she looked as if a windstorm had just blown through all of her carefully nurtured self-righteousness. Finally, she stammered, “I’ve had plenty of kisses from plenty of men and I—”

“—men like Cree Malone, for instance? Is he a good kisser?”

She probably thought he didn’t catch the wince, but he did.

“Plenty of men,” she repeated. “Not that it’s any of your business. At all. And the last thing I need is a kiss from you.”

“Really?” He took a step closer until their mouths were only inches apart. Until he could feel the pebbled nubs of her nipples brush against his shirt. “The last thing?”

She swallowed hard and moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. “The very last thing,” she reiterated, as he bracketed his hands beside her head there on the doorway and lowered his nose to her hair to inhale her scent. “Stop doing that.”

“You smell really good,” he murmured against her hair. “What is that?”

Clutching the wooden door behind her, she tipped her face away from him. “I’m warning you.”

“Is that the same perfume you used to wear? Right here, wasn’t it?” He dropped his mouth down to a spot below her ear, that place he remembered used to make her lose it. He nipped at that spot gently with his teeth and a quake rolled through her.

“Chanel,” she breathed so quietly he almost missed it, and she tipped her head back against the door giving him access to more.

And not being a fool, he took the opportunity to slide his mouth along the ridge of her throat and up her jaw.

“I like it,” he murmured, but in truth, he’d been hard all night for her and the close-up scent of her skin was like a drug. “You remember this, Kate? I do.” He exhaled against her throat. “God, I do.”

He took her face in his hands and pulled her to him, kissing her as if this would be the last time. His mouth slid against hers, taking, tasting what he’d wanted to taste all these years. She made a small sound of protest as she pushed against his chest, but a moment later, her fingers clutched his shirt and she relented, kissing him back. Her soft lips—oh, yeah, he’d never forgotten them—opened to his with unexpected hunger, and the door banged against the wall behind it. He tasted wine on her tongue and anger in the way hers did battle with his. But she flattened herself against him, wanting more.

He forgot the risks of touching her this way again, the years it had taken him to pull himself back from the loss of her last time. Because all he could think about now was how right they felt together after all these years. How perfectly right.


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 In celebration of the release of CHOOSE ME, COWBOY, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card. Just leave a comment here and tell me if you’ve ever had a kiss that changed your mind! Please feel free to share Deb’s blog link with your friends.

BarbaraAnkrum headshotBarbara Ankrum has a thing for the West and has written both historical and contemporary romances, all set in that magical place. Twice nominated for RWA’s RITA Award, her bestselling books are emotional, sexy rides with a touch of humor. Barbara’s married and raised two children in Southern California, which, in her mind, makes her a native Westerner.

website link: www.Barbaraankrum.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Barbara.ankrum.author

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Hold Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen )

First Kiss= TUESDAY

 

alissa callen cover

Rancher Brent Ashton is back in small town Marietta but haunted by the death of his father he’s determined to resist rekindling the romance with the only girl he’s ever loved. But Kendall is no longer shy and uncertain, she wants Brent and will do anything to make sure he won’t ever walk away again. Even if that means dressing up in a little red dress and breaking down his self-control.


At the kitchen doorway Kendall paused to tug down the short hem of her fitted red dress. Tension tightened her neck and she rolled her shoulders. She was no longer the shy and insecure girl who’d no idea what to do once she’d caught Brent’s attention. Life had ensured she now possessed the self-confidence that would enable her to walk into the kitchen, head high, and go after what, and who, she wanted.

            She pushed open the door. Dressed in jeans, a black tee, hair tousled and shower-damp, Brent leaned against the kitchen bench. Coffee in his hand, he stared at the fresh roses in the center of the table she’d picked from her town garden yesterday. Expression grim, he lifted his coffee mug to take a swallow. Then he saw her. His mug stopped halfway to his mouth.

            “Hey,” she said, tone light as she sat her jacket and purse on a kitchen chair. “I was hoping I’d catch you. Your dinner’s in the oven and Ruth’s gone to bed early to read.”

            She headed for a cupboard and stretched to collect a glass. All the while she felt the heat of his hooded gaze tracking her.

            “Going to meet Izzy?” he asked, voice low.

            Kendall nodded as she walked past to the sink to fill her glass with water. His words were casual but the huskiness of his tone gave her hope his self-control had taken a hit. “Yes. We’ll go to Grey’s for a drink and then out for a late dinner somewhere … maybe Rocco’s.”

            “It’s Friday night, town will be busy.”

            Kendall took a sip of water. “It will be.”

            He twisted to set his coffee on the bench behind him. He faced her again and folded his arms.

             “I guess the cowboy you were talking to at Big Z’s will be at Grey’s too?”

            “Digby? Probably. His fiancée, Holly, lives in the new part of town so they could be.”

            Kendall couldn’t be sure but she thought relief eased the grooves beside Brent’s mouth.

            “Say hi to Izzy and enjoy yourself.” He turned to collect his coffee.

            Kendall’s hope deflated. She may as well be dressed in a paper bag. Not once had his attention dipped below her collarbones. His iron-control appeared unbreakable. “I will. Why don’t you come too?”

            Brent’s tanned throat rippled as he swallowed a mouthful of coffee. “Thanks, but I’ll stay and keep Mom company. I’ve got bookwork to do.”

            Now was the point where she said good-bye, gathered her purse and jacket and left. But if their conversation ended now, the only place she’d be going to was Izzy’s for a big tub of toffee ice cream and she was determined that wasn’t going to happen.

            She sat her half-full water glass on the sink. “You did a good thing bringing Ruth home. She’s eating more and getting stronger. Every day she walks a little further into the garden.”

            Brent stared into his coffee cup. “Yes, she’s doing much better.”

            “She’s just happy you’re home … and so am I”

            Brent shot her a quick look and in the intensity of his eyes she glimpsed every emotion she’d ever hoped to see. Pain, longing, hunger. But then he pushed himself away from the bench and turned to pour his coffee down the sink.

            “Kendall.” He spoke quietly over his shoulder, not looking at her. “Don’t go there. Please.”

            Pulses racing, she stepped closer and breathed in the clean scent of soap on his skin.

            “Why. We can’t keep ignoring the elephant in the room.”

           He slowly faced her, his face stony and set as though chiseled out of Copper Mountain granite. “You’re right, we can’t. I’m sorry I hurt you by not staying in touch. Things happen. People … change.”

            Kendall had wanted him to talk, but now that he was, she focused not on his words but on what his body said. Brent had two tells. He dragged his hand through his hair when on edge, but he also stood intensely still when he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Like now.

            Things did happen. Loved ones were no longer with them. People did change. But that’s not what had happened with them. Brent’s feelings for her hadn’t withered and died. The reason why he now fought what he felt and why he kept her at arm’s length had to be connected with why he’d stayed away. But for now, she’d follow her instincts that said she needed to dismantle the wall between them. While ever it remained, Brent’s emotions and words would stay hidden.

            “Some things don’t change.” She moved in close to touch her fingers to his clean-shaven jaw. He didn’t pull away. His gaze briefly dipped to where the red pendant hung low around her neck.

            “You’re always so in control, always so honorable. I’m not the only one who thinks of others first or who goes out of their way to make people happy.” She stood on tiptoe. Her breasts brushed against his chest, the pendant filling the tiny space between their bodies. Still he didn’t move. “But sometimes,” she whispered, her breath tracing the path her fingertips had travelled, “The person we need to make happy is ourself.”

            For a moment she’d thought she’d never reach him. His control was impenetrable. Then she felt him shudder. His fingers tangled in her hair and his mouth claimed hers. Hot, urgent and out of control, he demanded, consumed and gave. This was no sweet and gentle kiss like they’d shared at the rodeo. This kiss was raw, untamed and … perfect.

            She moaned as he angled her head to deepen their kiss. She had no idea when she’d wrapped her arms around his neck or when her fingers had dug into the soft, damp hair at his nape. All she knew was that kissing Brent was like coming home. She fitted her body to his. And the only place she truly belonged was in his arms.

 


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Alissa Callen headshot

When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Once a teacher and a counselor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives in rural Australia.

 

 

 

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Hold Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen )

First Kiss= TUESDAY

alissa callen cover

Rancher Brent Ashton is back in small town Marietta but haunted by the death of his father he’s determined to resist rekindling the romance with the only girl he’s ever loved. But Kendall is no longer shy and uncertain, she wants Brent and will do anything to make sure he won’t ever walk away again. Even if that means dressing up in a little red dress and breaking down his self-control.


At the kitchen doorway Kendall paused to tug down the short hem of her fitted red dress. Tension tightened her neck and she rolled her shoulders. She was no longer the shy and insecure girl who’d no idea what to do once she’d caught Brent’s attention. Life had ensured she now possessed the self-confidence that would enable her to walk into the kitchen, head high, and go after what, and who, she wanted.

            She pushed open the door. Dressed in jeans, a black tee, hair tousled and shower-damp, Brent leaned against the kitchen bench. Coffee in his hand, he stared at the fresh roses in the center of the table she’d picked from her town garden yesterday. Expression grim, he lifted his coffee mug to take a swallow. Then he saw her. His mug stopped halfway to his mouth.

            “Hey,” she said, tone light as she sat her jacket and purse on a kitchen chair. “I was hoping I’d catch you. Your dinner’s in the oven and Ruth’s gone to bed early to read.”

            She headed for a cupboard and stretched to collect a glass. All the while she felt the heat of his hooded gaze tracking her.

            “Going to meet Izzy?” he asked, voice low.

            Kendall nodded as she walked past to the sink to fill her glass with water. His words were casual but the huskiness of his tone gave her hope his self-control had taken a hit. “Yes. We’ll go to Grey’s for a drink and then out for a late dinner somewhere … maybe Rocco’s.”

            “It’s Friday night, town will be busy.”

            Kendall took a sip of water. “It will be.”

            He twisted to set his coffee on the bench behind him. He faced her again and folded his arms.

             “I guess the cowboy you were talking to at Big Z’s will be at Grey’s too?”

            “Digby? Probably. His fiancée, Holly, lives in the new part of town so they could be.”

            Kendall couldn’t be sure but she thought relief eased the grooves beside Brent’s mouth.

            “Say hi to Izzy and enjoy yourself.” He turned to collect his coffee.

            Kendall’s hope deflated. She may as well be dressed in a paper bag. Not once had his attention dipped below her collarbones. His iron-control appeared unbreakable. “I will. Why don’t you come too?”

            Brent’s tanned throat rippled as he swallowed a mouthful of coffee. “Thanks, but I’ll stay and keep Mom company. I’ve got bookwork to do.”

            Now was the point where she said good-bye, gathered her purse and jacket and left. But if their conversation ended now, the only place she’d be going to was Izzy’s for a big tub of toffee ice cream and she was determined that wasn’t going to happen.

            She sat her half-full water glass on the sink. “You did a good thing bringing Ruth home. She’s eating more and getting stronger. Every day she walks a little further into the garden.”

            Brent stared into his coffee cup. “Yes, she’s doing much better.”

            “She’s just happy you’re home … and so am I”

            Brent shot her a quick look and in the intensity of his eyes she glimpsed every emotion she’d ever hoped to see. Pain, longing, hunger. But then he pushed himself away from the bench and turned to pour his coffee down the sink.

            “Kendall.” He spoke quietly over his shoulder, not looking at her. “Don’t go there. Please.”

            Pulses racing, she stepped closer and breathed in the clean scent of soap on his skin.

            “Why. We can’t keep ignoring the elephant in the room.”

           He slowly faced her, his face stony and set as though chiseled out of Copper Mountain granite. “You’re right, we can’t. I’m sorry I hurt you by not staying in touch. Things happen. People … change.”

            Kendall had wanted him to talk, but now that he was, she focused not on his words but on what his body said. Brent had two tells. He dragged his hand through his hair when on edge, but he also stood intensely still when he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Like now.

            Things did happen. Loved ones were no longer with them. People did change. But that’s not what had happened with them. Brent’s feelings for her hadn’t withered and died. The reason why he now fought what he felt and why he kept her at arm’s length had to be connected with why he’d stayed away. But for now, she’d follow her instincts that said she needed to dismantle the wall between them. While ever it remained, Brent’s emotions and words would stay hidden.

            “Some things don’t change.” She moved in close to touch her fingers to his clean-shaven jaw. He didn’t pull away. His gaze briefly dipped to where the red pendant hung low around her neck.

            “You’re always so in control, always so honorable. I’m not the only one who thinks of others first or who goes out of their way to make people happy.” She stood on tiptoe. Her breasts brushed against his chest, the pendant filling the tiny space between their bodies. Still he didn’t move. “But sometimes,” she whispered, her breath tracing the path her fingertips had travelled, “The person we need to make happy is ourself.”

            For a moment she’d thought she’d never reach him. His control was impenetrable. Then she felt him shudder. His fingers tangled in her hair and his mouth claimed hers. Hot, urgent and out of control, he demanded, consumed and gave. This was no sweet and gentle kiss like they’d shared at the rodeo. This kiss was raw, untamed and … perfect.

            She moaned as he angled her head to deepen their kiss. She had no idea when she’d wrapped her arms around his neck or when her fingers had dug into the soft, damp hair at his nape. All she knew was that kissing Brent was like coming home. She fitted her body to his. And the only place she truly belonged was in his arms.

 


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Alissa Callen headshot

When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Once a teacher and a counselor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives in rural Australia.

 

 

 

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from The Taming of the Bachelor by Jane Porter)

 

auth_JanePorterPlease welcome my friend and author extraordinaire, Jane Porter. You are sooo lucky today because she’s sharing a snippet from her brand new release, THE TAMING OF THE BACHELOR, a Taming of the Sheenans romance. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for Dillon’s story!!!

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Dillon Sheenan refuses to be tamed…

After three years running the family ranch, sexy thirty-year-old Dillon Sheenan has a one way plane ticket out of Montana. He’s eager to put small town life, with its emphasis on brides, babies, and families, behind him as he’s certainly not interested in being a dad, or even ready to settle down.

Beautiful single mom, Paige Joffe, juggles a lot, between running Main Street Diner and coping with her money-pit of a Victorian on Bramble Lane.  She doesn’t have time for anything but taking care of the loves of her life, Addison and Tyler, and working to pay down bills. But one date–and an incredibly hot kiss–with Dillon Sheenan wakes her up and makes her dream again.

Until she finds out Dillon’s already bought his ticket out of town…

Is Dillon about to break the heart of the only woman he’s ever loved?

 


The Taming of the Bachelor

by

Jane Porter

 

“It’s late,” Dillon growled, rising, grabbing the dishes and picking up plates and cups and carrying them to the kitchen.

One of the forks fell midway and she picked it up and followed him into the kitchen. “Just leave the dishes in the sink,” she said, “I’ll do them tomorrow.”

He did as she directed, then turned to face her. “What about you?” he asked, arms crossing over his chest. “What do you need?”

She wrinkled her nose as she counted off a list on her fingers. “New electrical and plumping…a furnace that works. Windows that seal. Floorboards that don’t creak. Not too bad, huh?”

His chest tightened. She was making light of her problems, but it couldn’t be easy. Her life hadn’t been easy. “That’s it?” he teased gently, admiring her more than ever. “That’s all you need? Fix those little things and your life will be a dream?”

“No, but the house would be sorted.”

Her smile never wavered but he saw a glimpse of exhaustion in her eyes and it made him want to protect her. Someone should protect her. “There’s nothing you want for you? Nothing you need?”

She moved past him, squeezing in to turn the water on in the sink, covering the dishes. “I don’t know…I don’t let myself go there.”

He didn’t move, so they were both at the sink, practically standing hip to hip. “Why not?”

She grabbed a scrubbing pad and attacked the dishes. “It’s better not to question. Better to stay focused.”

His brow furrowed as he watched her scour the dishes as if they were baking pans instead of simple dessert plates. “That makes you happy?”

Her slim shoulders twisted and her blonde head dipped, making it difficult to see her face. “It keeps me…focused.”

“Focused?”

“You know….to keep from losing…hope.” Her hands stilled, and for a moment the only sound was that of the running water, and then she drew a quick breath and turned the water off. “Or is it faith?” she added, frowning and reaching for a dishtowel to dry her hands. Her frown disappeared as she flashed a rueful smile. “To be honest, I’m not sure anymore.”

Dillon felt out of his depth here. He hadn’t grown up attending church regularly. His mom was Catholic, and she’d raised her oldest boys Catholic, but stopped going to church regularly when Dillon was in kindergarten. “Your faith was important to you?”

“It was once everything.”

“What happened to it?”

She draped the yellow striped towel on a bar, smoothing it. “Lewis died and I’ve just felt very….alone. Hard to see God in all the struggles.”

He didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure he was supposed to say anything.

Paige managed another small, wry smile. “So now I don’t ask for too much, or want too much. I count my blessings and stay busy, appreciating what I have, rather than thinking about what I don’t have.”

“This is why I’m such a fan,” he said quietly as he reached for her, his arm circling her, drawing her towards him. “You are strong and funny and sweet—”

“Stop there before you call me nice. Because I’m really not all that sweet, or nice.”

He smiled crookedly then carefully brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. Her skin felt so warm and soft. His fingers curled in. He stroked her cheekbone again.

Her lips parted and he felt the whoosh of air leaving her mouth as a caress against his neck, down his chest. She was so beautiful. Need throbbed in him, warring with common sense.

He should go. He needed to go. They were too alone here.

Far too much temptation.

“Should go,” he said, dropping his head, covering her lips with his.

It was a goodbye kiss. That’s really all it was. Goodbye, and closure. The end of a sentence…a chapter. He was closing this chapter, the one where Marietta was home, and Paige owned a piece of his heart. But now he was leaving—Montana, his family, the ranch, her—leaving all of it to start a new chapter.

The kiss was equal parts sweet and bittersweet, and he drew the kiss out, lingering over the sweet fullness of her lips, and the stunning heat of her mouth.

Her lips were softly parted when he lifted his head, her eyes wide, dark, bewildered.

“That was um…” She swallowed, blinked, trying to pull herself together. “Not bad.”

The corner of his mouth tugged. He brushed his knuckles across her lovely flushed cheek. He was hard and hungry but there was no way in the world he’d hurt her. Not when she’d been hurt so badly by others before him. “As long as you’re not disappointed.”

“Don’t think I’m disappointed…well, actually, I’m not sure.”

“No?”

“You might need to do that one more time. Just to know for certain.”

Amused, he drew her closer, her hips against his, his arms locking in the small of her back. “Sounds as if I didn’t get the job done right.”

She tipped her head back to better see him. “No, no. I wouldn’t say that. It’s probably just me. I’m out of practice.”

There were so many secrets in her eyes, secrets and shadows that made her expression mysterious, and yet vulnerable. She was both strong and soft, tough and tender, and maybe that’s what drew him to her—the fact that she was such a contradiction. How could you not admire her?

His head dipped and he kissed her again, drowning out the voices in his head that said he shouldn’t be doing this, that he shouldn’t care. He couldn’t get involved. He wasn’t good for her. He’d never be good for her, or her kids. They needed a father. He didn’t want to be a father. So simple. All of this was so simple.

Except when his mouth was on hers and his lips were parting hers, tasting her, and nothing felt more right, or natural, than her, in his arms.

~~~

For your convenience, here are some buy links:


 Ooooh, how yummy and romantic is that? Thank you, Jane!

And thanks for reading, my friends. I appreciate your interest, your comments and your shares on FaceBook.

We have some great snippets coming up.

See you next week.

Deb

 

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Terri Reed’s “Home For Good” Persimmon Cookies

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Food=love in my books. Today’s recipe belongs to Montana Born Homecoming author, Terri Reed. Welcome, Terri. I’m so glad you’re part of Tule’s great line-up. And I’m excited that we’re both part of the awesome A FALL LOVE AFFAIR contest. Who wouldn’t love to win a $500 VISA gift card, right? (Contest link at the bottom of this page.)

group 11 023 (3)Terri says:

HI Deb, thanks for the opportunity.

This book was born when I was preparing for a workshop on Layering that I did for Rose City Romance Writers, my local RWA chapter.  The project started out with nine lines of dialogue that I then began layering, as I layered Joelle and Matt came to life and stuck with me. When I was asked if I’d like to be a part of the Montana Born Homecoming series I knew I had to write their story. Home for Good is about coming home and following your dream. Sometimes they are one and the same.

There are five books in the Montana Born Homecoming series. 

Book1: Sing me Back Home by Eve Gaddy 

Book 2: Finding Home by Roxanne Snopek 

Book 3: Hometown Hero by Dani Collins 

Book 4: The Long Way Home by Kathleen O’Brien 

Book 5: Home for Good by Terri Reed 

(All five books are now available, including Terri’s which released yesterday, so if you hurry you can grab it for the release day price of 99¢.)

Buy link.

persimmon cookies

Grandma’s Persimmon Cookies
Recipe Type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Terri Reed
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Delicious and healthy for you!
Ingredients
  • 1c sugar
  • 1/2c butter
  • 1c persimmon pulp
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1c rasins
  • 2c flour
  • 1c nuts (we always had walnuts)
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp cloves
Instructions
  1. Mix in order given.
  2. Drop by tablespoons on to greased baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 for 10-15 mins depending if you want them soft or more crisp.

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Excerpt from HOME FOR GOOD, a Homecoming novella from Montana Born Books:

Coming home to say goodbye.

Joelle Winslow halted inside the big red barn that housed her late father’s prized thoroughbred horses and let her eyes adjust to the dim interior.  High wood beams stretched the length of a football field.  Bridles hung from hooks at each metal stall door where thousands of dollars of horseflesh munched away oblivious to the turmoil about to be thrust into their lives.  Her life. 

A frosty breeze coming in from the pasture brought the hint of winter.  In a few short weeks, the crisp, dry fall Montana air would give way to piles of snow and drive the inhabitants of Marietta inside.  But not today.  

On this late September morning, Joelle intended to spend a few moments alone with her horse and her memories one last time before returning to the life she’d made for herself in New York City.  If the day went as she planned, she’d be heading back to her apartment on the Upper Westside by nightfall.

Awareness shimmied up her spine.  She wasn’t alone.  She spun around, her gaze landing on the man emerging from the shadows.  Matthew Locke.

Her heart hiccupped. She hadn’t seen him since the funeral last spring.  Even through her fog of grief, she’d noticed how handsome he’d become over the years, from cute teenager to grown man. That day he’d worn a tailored navy suit that had emphasized the width of his shoulders.  She’d been surprised by his attire since she’d never seen him wear anything but ranch clothes, like he had on today. 

His jeans fit snuggly on his long, lean legs and his wide shoulders filled out the navy flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal muscled forearms, liberally covered with dark hair. Her gaze lifted, bypassing his eyes, not ready to see his disapproval, to the well-worn cowboy hat on his head and the tuffs of dark hair peeking out from beneath.  She’d always thought he had great hair. 

The corner of his mouth twitched, drawing her attention to the hard set of his jaw, emphasizing the unyielding angles and planes of his face. Her heart thumped in her chest, but she ignored the jolt of attraction.  This was not the time or the place.  Never would be.  Not with him.

Her father’s pet project. 

Her childhood nemesis. 

*

 Now available! Buy link:  amazon

Happy reading! And here’s a link to sign up for A Fall Love Affair–12 authors and 2 Tule Publishing imprints: Rafflecopter.

DEB

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Roxanne Snopek’s “Logan’s Favorite Meatloaf”

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Food=love in my books. Today’s recipe belongs to a new-to-me Tule Publishing author, Roxanne Snopek. Isn’t she a doll? And wait till you read her snippet–truly a girl after my own heart. I love it!!

Roxanne MBB-small

Roxanne says:

Debra, I’m totally with you on the food=love idea! We connect with loved ones over meals; we have dinner with new friends who might become lovers; and sharing food, especially feeding each other, can be an incredibly intimate and sensual experience. In FINDING HOME, my hero first cares for my very wounded and guarded heroine by feeding her, and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite scenes! This meatloaf was a household favorite when our kids were small and since my Real Life hero loves it, I figured my story hero would too. Enjoy!

 

 

Oh, we will, Roxanne! We definitely will! Meatloaf! Yum! And your hero sounds yummy, too!

Logan’s Favorite Meatloaf
Recipe Type: main course
Cuisine: American
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Old-fashioned oatmeal 1 cup
  • Onion soup mix 1 package, dry
  • Grated carrots or zucchini 1 cup
  • Ketchup ¾ cup
  • Water ½ cup
  • Eggs 2
  • Salt 2 tsp
  • Pepper ½ tsp
  • Lean ground beef 2 lbs
  • Grated cheddar cheese (optional) 1 cup
Instructions
  1. Stir oatmeal and onion soup mix together. (You can grind the oatmeal in a food processor first, if you want.) Add the grated carrots or zucchini, ketchup, water, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well. Add beef and mix until thoroughly combined. Pack into 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350° for 1 – 1 ½ hours. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven just long enough to melt, if desired. Serves 6-8.

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Excerpt from FINDING HOME, a Homecoming novella from Montana Born Books:

Samara watched with amazement as Mardie set a heaping plate of chicken pot pie in front of her, the gravy still bubbling through the top of the pastry. The aroma, rich and comforting, hit her nose and instantly, her stomach growled so loudly that she pressed her hand into it, certain that the whole room must have heard it.

The waitress wasn’t done. She set down a second plate with salad, then a basket of bread for them to share, then pickles and finally, Logan’s plate.

“Make sure he gives you a taste of his meatloaf,” said Mardie. “It’s to die for.” She winked at Logan and left before Sam could even respond.

“Eat up, honey,” he said, gesturing to her plate. “We’ll talk more once your plate’s clean.”

Honey? Warmth stole over her, completely unrelated to the oven-hot food in front of her.

“This is far too much,” she said.

He looked at her thoughtfully, then speared a small piece of meatloaf and held it out to her across the table.

“Try this.”

She shook her head. “No, no, I’ll have enough trouble eating my own.”

His eyes dropped to her neck, then lower, ranging over everything visible above the table top. Again, like a fiery finger, his gaze scorched every cold part of her.

“Eat.”

She opened her mouth and he put the bite of meat onto her tongue, then sat back and watched, his eyes hooded and dusky, as if anticipating her pleasure gave him even greater pleasure.

Flavor burst onto her tongue. She moaned as the tiny tease of satisfaction made her hunger roar to life. She wanted more, much more.

“Oh my God,” she said when she could speak. “We should trade.”

“I knew you’d like it.” He grinned. “Now try your pot pie. If you still want to trade, fine. Otherwise, we’ll switch orders next time.”

Next time?

“You seem pretty sure of yourself, Logan Stafford.”

He enjoyed another forkful of meatloaf, a satisfied smile on his face.

Samara gaped at the mouth-watering abundance before her, then pierced the flaky crust with her fork and took her first small bite.

And moaned again.

“Don’t tell the meatloaf,” she said, speaking through her food and not caring, “but this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”

*

 Now available! Buy link:  amazon

Happy reading!

DEB