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 Montana Maverick

Sparks have always smoldered between Meg Zabrinski and Henry Firestone, but falling in love with Hank and his ready-made family would mean giving up her dream. Something lone wolf Meg isn’t ready to do until…well, you know. Sometimes one kiss can change everything.

Excerpt © Tule Publishing

She shoved the phone in her pocket and took a deep breath of air. “Smells like snow.”

Her exhale created a puffy white cloud that looped around her head like a halo. “Ken ordered me not to go looking for you last night,” she told him.

“That bastard.” Hank drove his fist into the palm of his other hand. The cracking sound made Rook spin about and race up the steps. He planted himself at Hank’s feet, eyeing Meg suspiciously. “How’d he justify that?”

“Said he didn’t want to have to recover my body, too.”

Rook’s growl matched Hank’s.

Hank leaned down and stroked the dog’s wide flat head. The snow and ice felt like shards of glass against his palm. Slowly, his tension eased. “Thank God you didn’t listen to him.”

She made a sound of pure disgust. “I stopped listening to Ken Morrison a long time ago.”

He could tell there was more to the story. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a memory raised its hand, but he ignored it. Anybody who traveled the backcountry probably had a run-in with SAR’s resident megalomaniac.

“How soon is the next wave supposed to hit?”

She shrugged then stepped closer and put out her hand for Rook to sniff. “A couple of hours. Why?”

“I left a bunch of stuff in Betsy. Dog food, for one. Tools. My log.”

She nodded. “You should take a video of the crash site. Maybe you’ll be able to see what brought her down.”

They were close enough to touch each other, and it took every ounce of willpower Hank had not to pull her into his arms and kiss her. “Wow,” he said, curling his icy fingers tight. “People have always called you brilliant. Now, I see why.”

Her sardonic grin made his heart rate speed up. Had she always been this beautiful? Yes. But business dress and heels were fake beauty. No makeup, messy hair dancing in the cold breeze, a blush of chafed skin from last night’s rescue made her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

Their gazes met and held for one heartbeat…or ten. Something passed between them. A sigh. A hint of possibility. An open-ended question.

Meg was the first to look away. “Just being practical,” she said, taking a step back.

Her voice sounded different, throaty. She reached for the handle of the storm door. “I know Ken Morrison. He’ll try to turn this recovery into a photo op and pin the blame on you. I have a video camera you can use. I’ll make sure the battery is charged while you get ready.”

Video. The GoPro. “We need to finish opening gifts, first. The one I got JJ might be just the ticket.”

He followed her inside. “Are you sure you’re okay with all this? I mean, damn. I drop out of the sky into your nice peaceful life, and suddenly you’re stuck babysitting? That seems messed up.”

She hung her heavy jacket on a hook then spun around to open the cupboard above the washer and dryer. “Yeah, well, normally, I’d volunteer to hike back with you, but hauling all four kids up the mountain sounds like a really bad idea. So, you take this–” She pulled a small black camera-type case from a shelf and turned to face him. “And I’ll bake cookies with Annie and Bravo.”

She reached out and touched his upper arm. “Henry, nobody planned this. We have to roll with the situation. You should hurry.”

She turned to go but he stopped her. He couldn’t help himself. His life was upside down and in the toilet with vultures circling, but Meg made him feel as if everything was manageable. He pulled her into a hug.

“Thank you,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.

She stiffened at first, but gradually hugged him back. “You’re welcome.”

He had no idea how long they stood there. Meg in her pink and gray camoflage-print pajamas, him in sweats and a pair of men’s slippers he’d found in the guest room closet. They were virtual strangers, yet they fit together like they’d done this a million times over the years.

When she lifted her chin to look at him, he kissed her. He couldn’t not.

Her lips were sweet…and minty. The flavor surprised him at first but captivated him, too. He wanted more of this spicy wonderment. As sweet as it was, he wanted to find the flavor of Meg.

When he closed his eyes to take the kiss deeper, Meg stiffened a tiny bit. A badly needed reality check.

He let her go. “Peppermint.”

She nodded. “Annie shared her candy cane with me.”

“Annie’s the most generous soul I’ve ever known, next to her mother.” He stepped back. “I should go.”

“Yes. Quickly. You don’t want to get caught in another storm.”

“I’ll take JJ.”

“Good idea. His feet look about my size. He can use my snowshoes.”

She reached for the doorknob but paused. “What was that kiss for?”

“You…impress me. Most people would be overwhelmed by this situation. Four kids. A virtual stranger. You take charge and get things done. I respect the hell out of that.”

“Oh. Okay.” She slowly turned the knob. “But, for the record, you’re not a stranger. I feel like we have twenty years of history between us. Not easy history, but I always felt like we held each other in mutual respect. Didn’t you?”

“Yes. Definitely. And if I’d known you tasted like candy canes, I wouldn’t have waited twenty years to kiss you.”



Your kind shares are most appreciated. Especially if you’re a reader–or know a reader–who enjoys older heroes and heroines. 





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And, did you know you can read more about Henry and Meg’s journey in MONTANA MIRACLE? It’s true. Don’ t you love connected series?)

Happy reading,



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!!!


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


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.”


“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.”


“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.




FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from His Blushing Bride, by Dani Collins)


Hello, wonderful Deb Salonen fans! I’m so excited to be visiting with you again!

The last time I was here, we had a great time reminiscing about our four-leaf clover searches as kids. This time I want to talk about childhood pets.

First, though, I should explain: All of my Montana Born stories can be read as stand-alones, but like all the Marietta stories, the characters overlap and are often friends and relations of previously published characters.

That’s why I’m giving away a print anthology of Montana Christmas to one lucky commenter. My hero in His Blushing Bride, Sebastian (Bastian) is the brother of Liz from Blame The Mistletoe, which is included in the Christmas anthology.

You’ll see that His Blushing Bride has a dog, Charlie. He’s a composite of all the goofy dogs I have met in my life, not a specific one that I know.

My husband and I are more cat-people and we’ve been horribly unimaginative with names: Tigger-bear, Charlotte, and Buddy. My sister had a dog named after the Maori war dance, “Haka,” which I’ve always thought was a great name for a pet.

To be entered into the draw, comment with the most colorful (or most boring) pet name you or someone you know has given an animal. Have you had a strange animal as a pet? Wanted a weird one? Please share what it was.

Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…

Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?


“Hey.” Bastian’s running shoes appeared in front of her bare feet. He was suddenly a huge wall of masculinity, right in front of her. Her pulse tripped, then galloped when he set a gentle finger under her chin and tilted her face to look up at him. “I think you’re hot as hell.”

She desperately wanted to believe him, but, “You’re just being nice.”

He choked out a short laugh. “I’m not that nice, Piper.”

Maybe not. “No, you’re a player. Aren’t you?” She was inexperienced, not stupid.

His gaze remained steady. “I like to consider myself a connoisseur. Which is why you should trust that I know what I’m talking about.”

Her turn to laugh. “An expert, huh? And you’re…what? Willing to fix me?”

“Why would I need to? There’s nothing wrong with you,” he countered.

“Oh,” she chuckled. “So smooth.” She shook her head in amazement, dislodging his touch. “Seriously, Bastian, I’m tempted. I really am. But I need the training-wheels version of you. Not this…” She indicated all the rippling muscle under tight control that belonged in fire fighter calendars. “There are other women in this town, you know. You don’t have to settle for me.”

His head went back as if she’d taken a swipe at him.

“See, that pisses me off,” he said, tone still casual, but several degrees cooler. “I’m not trying to get laid here. I like you. You turn me on. I think I could rock your world hard enough you wouldn’t give a crap what your old boyfriend ever said and I’m damned sure you could rock mine. If you’re not into that, say so. But don’t act like you’re not good enough for me because that’s something nobody can fix except you.”

She dropped back a step.

“Really,” she breathed. “I turn you on.” Her face was going hot, probably red as the Marietta fire engine. This conversation was killing her, making her chest feel tight, but she couldn’t break away from those piercing blue-green eyes.

“Have a look, sweetheart. I’m already hard and I haven’t even kissed you yet.”


She did.

His fly was decidedly bulged.

Her insides trembled and her bones went weak.

She flashed her gaze back up to his and found his eyelids had lowered so his stare was now a sexy, intent, lazily hungry message of desire. “I really want to kiss you, Piper.”

She swallowed. Her lips began to tingle with anticipation. “Okay,” she whispered.

He didn’t laugh. He stepped closer, so tall and wide he overwhelmed, but even though she nervously brought her hands up, she just rested them lightly on the hard plane of his chest. She started when his hands found her hips, fingers splaying with confidence. She twitched again with nerves when his head dipped and tilted.

Then his mouth brushed hers and she relaxed. Receptive.

His mouth opened, and she let her lips part. A low, gruff noise sounded in his throat and he settled more firmly into the kiss. His stubble lightly stimulated as he slowly rocked her mouth open under his until they were kissing. Then kissing deeply.


Her knees felt weak and her arms went around his neck to hold on. His arms closed across her back, pulling her tight into his solid frame. His thighs were almost too hard against hers, like leaning against steel, but all that firm, warm muscle felt good, too.

They broke away to switch sides and his hand moved to palm her butt. Delicious radiations of pleasure went into her middle and spiked between her legs, making her wriggle closer and rub against him, liking that he was aroused. His other hand started to climb up her waist, over her ribcage. Her breast felt hot and heavy and tight, aching with expectation—

He took a stumbling step into her, scaring her into squeaking out a cry of alarm. He caught her close to steady her as he tried to keep his footing and bit out, “Damn it, Charlie.”

The dog circled and tried to goose the two of them with his nose, making them break away to dodge and catch their balance. Piper brushed the dog away, using the moment to try to gather her composure. Good grief. The man did rock a woman’s world.

“Worst wingman on the continent,” Bastian grumbled, giving the dog a disgruntled scowl.


Amazon: US | Canada | UK  

Kobo | GooglePlay | iBooks | Smashwords


Award winning author Dani Collins wrote for twenty-five years before selling to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. Since then, she’s turned in more than a dozen titles to Harlequin Presents and HarlequinE along with another four sexy, small-town novellas to Tule’s Montana Born. She has even found homes for some of her previously rejected manuscripts, including indie-publishing her single title romantic comedy, Hustled To The Altar and signing with a small press for her medieval fantasy, The Healer.

Dani doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing. Look for Seduced Into The Greek’s World on shelves in June and His Blushing Bride from Montana Born on all digital platforms.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here: | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Montana Born Brides Series

Book 1: The Fairy Tale Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Book 2: His Blushing Bride by Dani Collins

Book 3: Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm

Book 4: Finally His Bride by Maisey Yates

Book 5: Kiss the Bride by Rachael Johns

Book 6: Two Nights with His Bride by Kat Latham

To be entered into the drawing, comment with the most colorful (or most boring) pet name you or someone you know has given an animal. Have you had a strange animal as a pet? Wanted a weird one? Please share what it was.




FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from The Millionaire Daddy Project by Roxanne Snopek)

First Kiss= TUESDAY


The Millionaire Daddy Project

By Roxanne Snopek

Men of the Zodiac Series

 Take one wealthy, driven restaurateur, throw in a four-year old daughter he never knew he had and the uber-efficient assistant he’s never really noticed, put them on a wild, West Coast fantasy island for a month, and what do you get? Sun, surf, steam and heart-clutching new beginnings.

Roxanne headshotThat’s the basis of THE MILLIONAIRE DADDY PROJECT, my friend Roxanne Snopek’s latest sexy alpha-hero novel for Entangled Indulgence’s Men of the Zodiac series.

Roxanne says: “My hero, Dane Bergman, is a total Leo: determined, sensual, generous – and self-centered and oblivious. But don’t worry, there’s nothing like instant fatherhood to challenge a man to find his better self, especially with a suddenly-sexy but determinedly-professional executive assistant pointing out all his flaws. Dane finds love, times two, but I don’t make it easy on him!”


“You think you know what’s best for me, don’t you?” He watched with pleasure as Pam’s pupils widened, making her eyes look as dark as the sea.

She snorted. “Because I do.”

Heat scorched between them as they stood toe to toe, their arms brushing together, their eyes locked.

She didn’t seem the least bit uncomfortable that they were both half naked.

“Maybe at work,” he said. “But we’re not at work now.”

He nudged her arms with his and bucked one thigh forward until it bumped against her hip.

She shook her head, her gaze like a laser burning into him. “Not appropriate, Mr. Bergman.” But she didn’t back down, didn’t take her eyes off his. Instead, she lifted one eyebrow, the barest hint of a smile teasing her lips.

Her nearness acted like lighter fluid to a spark. How long had this been simmering? How could he have worked so closely with her for so long without noticing her in this way?

And what about her? She knew him, knew his reputation, better than most. She knew enough to insist they keep this private, secret.

Their clandestine getaway.

Her blazing blue gaze told him everything he needed to know.

“What if I don’t want to be appropriate, Ms. Atwater?”

He leaned his head down and lowered his voice. “What if I want to sling you over my shoulder and carry you out to the tide pools, where the water is warm from the sun? What if I want to strip off that top and pour handfuls of warm water over your shoulders, letting it trickle over your breasts, down your belly?”

“Definitely not appropriate.” Her voice trembled slightly but she didn’t break eye contact. A light sheen of perspiration had broken out on her forehead that was not due to the summer heat, he was certain.

“What if we both get in the water to cool off, but we find it’s a little too cold, so I lift you up against me and all of a sudden we’re not the least bit chilly anymore.”

He heard her breath catch in her throat.

“Sounds like.” She paused to swallow, but a smoky husk remained in her voice. “Like we might get sunburned in some delicate areas.”

Only the color in her cheeks betrayed what his words were doing to her composure. It was wildly arousing.

“Oh no. Those would all be under water, hidden and slippery, so all anyone could see from the surface would be us kissing. Completely innocent.”

His own voice was hoarse.

She swayed slightly, and touched his shoulder as if to steady herself. “Innocent,” she said.

He uncrossed his arms and put them around her gently. “Just like this.”

He bent down and touched his lips to hers. A quiver jolted through her and he felt the gasp against his mouth. She gripped his neck and pulled him down closer to her, her tongue meeting his, making the kiss deeper, longer, wetter and sweeter than he could have imagined between them.


Available at these retailers:

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble



 Woot, Roxanne! What a great, provocative, heart-thumping scene! I can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for sharing another great kiss on First Kiss=Tuesday. 



kissing image

Roxanne MBB-smallPlease welcome one of my Tule Publishing sisters, the delightful Roxanne Snopek to First Kiss=Tuesday. I’m excited to share two of Roxanne’s connected books this month. Today, you’ll read a darling snippet from THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR (Book 3 in the This Old House series), and releasing in two weeks will be Book 4: CINDERELLA’S COWBOY.

Here’s Roxanne to give you the set up for this scene:

Hello readers! I’m delighted to share with you a brief First Kiss scene from THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR. This is actually a “sort-of” First Kiss scene, as you’ll see soon, but I hope it conveys the push-pull of their growing relationship as well as the humor that runs between these characters.

My hero, Eric Anders, is worried because Jackson, the old dog next door, showed up at his place alone and is now leading him and his own dog, Blue-Girl, out into the pasture, apparently searching for someone.

Night is falling and Eric thinks he hears Leda, the girl he can’t stop thinking about. He fears she’s out here somewhere, lost, cold or hurt.





by Roxanne Snopek


A shiver ran down his spine. Coyotes could sound like women crying, babies crying, too, luring out unsuspecting, curious dogs. A pack of them would make short work of Jackson.

“Come here, buddy, stay close,” he said. The dog complied.

But what if it wasn’t coyotes? What if it was a woman? Or a child?

What if it was a woman, a child, and coyotes?

He stepped up his pace. It could only be Melinda or Leda. And Mel would never do something like that to Austin.

That left Leda. Who had no one looking out for her.

Even if she’d just gone for a walk and gotten turned around, even without coyotes or wolves or bears or jagged rocks and hidden logs to stumble over, darkness would fall quickly and with it, the temperature.

“Hello?” he called. “Can you hear me?”

Instantly, the sound stopped. Then it started up again, changed and very, very recognizable.

Leda. And she was mad.

Unlike her usual Gollum dig-it language, this was the real meal deal. Curses of every color floated over the evening air, creative, expressive and sometimes hilarious.

But definitely the adult version. Nothing sanitized here. Such nasty words to come from such a sweet mouth. The intrigue he couldn’t help feeling around her turned to something else. Something more.

Something dangerous.

She might be spouting r-rated language, but she was just a kid. A kid with a kid, someone he had no business feeling… intrigued… about.

“Go away!”

His heart slipped. She was definitely crying. Crying and cursing at the same time. That was never good.

The words came from a gully to the left of the trail, he thought.

“Come on, Jackson.”

They wound their way along the rocky ground and suddenly, there she was, huddled against a mossy rock.


“Leda!” He was on his knees beside her before he knew what he was doing. “What’s wrong, honey? Are you hurt?”

“Go away!”

She was shivering. He shucked off his jacket and set it on her shoulders, where it hung like a tablecloth.

“I don’t need you,” she said, her voice hitching.

Jackson pressed against her side, nudging her with his muzzle. She put her arm around him and he crept halfway onto her lap. Good. The dog would help warm her up.

Eric sat down on her other side. The rock was still warm from the sun but the ground beneath them was cool. He lifted his face to the sky and took a deep breath.

“Nice out here, isn’t it?” he said.

He could feel her body beside his, her slender thigh running alongside his own leg. She was vibrating.


He adjusted his position and casually slung his arm across her shoulders. He felt like the kid in a movie theater, pretending to stretch so he could get closer to his date. Only this time, he was doing it to keep her warm.

And maybe keep her from bolting.

“The sky. The air. Smells good. And look at those colors.”

“I came out here to be alone, you know.”

“I don’t know. I’m only here because of Jackson.”

She put her face down and kissed the dog’s head. “Sweetie boy. Come here, Blue-Girl. You’re a good girl, too.”

“Oh sure,” said Eric. “The dogs get kissed. I on the other hand, don’t get so much as a civil word. That hurts my feelings.”

She sniffed, but some of the tension left her body.

“You sounded like a pack of coyotes.”

At that, Leda lifted her head. She turned to face him, which put her once more well within kissing range. Inches away, it seemed. Her eyes shone in the light of the setting sun, her lashes damp, her lips swollen.

All very kissable.

“Coyotes, huh?” One eyebrow lifted, as did one corner of her mouth, but she didn’t move away.

“Rabid ones, maybe.”

He moved closer. It would be a shame to waste an opportunity like this, after all. She needed comforting. It would be a comforting kiss, nothing more.

“That might have been safer,” she murmured. Her eyes dropped to his mouth. “For you.”

The dogs squirmed then and knocked against Leda’s shoulder. Her face collided with his, in a cheek-bumping, tooth-clattering connection that was nothing like a kiss.

“Ow!” Leda sat back, and put her hand to her mouth. “You bit my lip!”

“I most certainly did not!” He ran his tongue over his bottom lip and tasted salt. “You bit mine.”

Heat ran through Eric like an electrical current, the touch of her mouth on his like lightning, leaving him smoking and shaken. If that’s what an accidental kiss felt like, what would a real, full-on kiss feel like?

Jackson lifted his head. With one swipe of his enormous tongue, he French-kissed them both and the moment was broken.

A bloody lip will do that.


Amazon UK:

Amazon Australia:

Amazon Canada:

What a kick! French-kissed by a dog. That has to be a first FIRST KISS=TUESDAY. I love it!

Thanks, Roxanne. Now, we can’t wait to see what you give us next. 



kissing image

Dani Collins Headshot

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m so excited Deb invited me to visit with you all today and share my first kiss from The Bachelor’s Baby. I suppose we can call it a Blarney Stone kiss because they certainly get lucky after!

 The Bachelor’s Baby is Book Three in Montana Born’s Bachelor Auction series. Fun Fact: It’s also Book Three in my own series for Montana Born. That’s why my giveaway includes a print copy of the Homecoming series. My first Montana Born novella, Hometown Hero was part of that series. (Blame The Mistletoe is second.)

 Another Fun Fact: My grandmother used to find four leaf clovers while she was gardening. I thought you had to spend hours on the lawn to find one—I never have—but my daughter inherited her talent times a million. She’s one of those people who wanders along for a minute or two then plucks one up with a casual, “Here’s one.”

 Have you ever found one? Did it bring you luck? Leave a comment telling me about your four-leaf clover experience to be entered for the giveaway draw.

Deb Salonen Blog Giveaway Prize



by Dani Collins


Your date with Bachelor #3 includes champagne and chocolate in the limo that collects you, a helicopter tour or Marietta and the surrounding mountains and valleys, and dinner at a five star restaurant in Great Falls. While oil baron Linc Brady wines and dines you, a maid service will completely clean your home.

Who could resist this tempting offer? Meg Canon plans to do just that. She’s only home to clean out her childhood bedroom for her brother’s new step-daughter, then she’s outta her childhood small town and back to her life in Chicago. Then she meets the sexy, renegade millionaire while she’s stuck in the snow. Sparks fly and Meg is tempted to stay a little longer.

Linc Brady is new in town and happy to help a kid in need, but a bachelor auction? Technically he doesn’t owe Meg a damned thing after she sets him up for the auction, then bids on him, but her high-class city polish is his fatal weakness and makes her impossible to forget. When she agrees to come home with him, he makes it clear he’s a confirmed bachelor. This is a one-night thing.

One night that turns into nine months and maybe…a lifetime?



He shifted to face her, leaning his wrist on her seatback so he edged into her space. “C’mere,” he invited.

“What.” A grin tugged at her mouth, but wicked, sexual reactions took her at the same time. Her nipples prickled and her breathing changed. “You want to kiss me?” She wanted him to. Rather badly.

“I do.”

“Is it a test?” She turned her head, aware of how close he was, how he smelled faintly of aftershave and clean Montana air.

“Little bit,” he murmured.

“Gonna leave me here if I don’t pass?” she challenged, trying to sound urbane when she actually felt girlish and shy.

His fingertips played gently against the ends of her hair, coaxing her to lean a fraction closer toward him. “I’m the one making the pass, sweetheart.”

He closed in. Warm male lips brushed hers, giving her a moment to savor the sensation of smooth, sensitive skin rubbing lightly against her own. Then he pressed with more purpose, enticed her into parting her lips and playing her mouth against his in delicious rubs as he gradually settled into the kiss. He stole over her so skillfully, she was caught and held before she realized how completely he owned her.

She thought—

Actually, there were no thoughts in her head. Just his scent and the warm dampness of his strong mouth exploring hers. The tip of his tongue briefly tagged her inner lip. Their breaths hissed quietly as their breathing changed. His cheek was smooth enough not to snag her knit gloves, making her want to pull them off so she could run her fingers into his hair.

She slanted her head, encouraging him to deepen the kiss. Pressing the back of his skull to encourage more pressure.

His free hand settled on the side of her neck, thumb stroking deliciously under her throat while he pulled at her bottom lip, his flagrant sucking making arousal bloom down her front, spiking her nipples into sharper peaks and spearing hot need between her thighs. Oh man did she want to go home with him.

And he was drawing back, making her primal core weep.

“What do you think?” he asked in a voice that was like a velvety summer breeze caressing her naked skin.

She made herself sit straight, breath unsteady and way too revealing of his effect on her. Her fingertips pressed her buzzing lips, trying to calm the rest of her.

“I didn’t realize it was that kind of test,” she said, voice papery.

“It’s not. Come over for a drink if you just want to throw off the shackles for a while. I wasn’t trying to see if you put out. But if we were going to fizzle, I figured here was a better place for it.”

Fizzle? She choked on a laugh, mildly horrified by that phrase ‘put out,’ and even more horrified by how disappointed she would be if he left her here instead of taking her to his place.

“Do you think we fizzled?”

“Ha! No,” he said firmly, making her tuck a grin into her collar.

It was gratifying and flattering, but…

“You do this a lot, don’t you?” she asked in a voice that came out smaller than she meant it to. “Pick up women, I mean.” Silence as he eased back into his own seat, then he sighed. “I’m not good at relationships, Meg. A lot of it was the nature of my job, but the truth is, I’ve never seen myself married with kids and the whole nine yards. But I like women and I like sex.” His jacket shifted as he shrugged and made himself more comfortable behind the wheel. “What do you want me to say? That I’ve never taken a woman home? You’d be the first here. Does that help?”

“I’ve never done it,” she said, then hurried to add, “I mean, I’ve had relationships. Just not, um, such a brief one.”

Somewhere along the way, maybe because she had friends that she respected who sometimes had one-night stands, she had developed a sense that they could be empowering. She didn’t feel embolded, though. She felt insecure. Longing gripped her, like she was wishing for something she would never get.

“That’s not the sort of first I’d like to be for a woman,” he said dryly. “Don’t change your values for me, Meg. Call me the next time you’re in town and we’ll do lunch in Great Falls.” He put the truck into drive.

“No, wait—” She covered his gloved hand with her own, could sense the strength in his firm grip of the stick. This evening couldn’t end with her packing and nursing What If. “I’m really attracted to you, Linc. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t go home with you.”

He studied her in the blue gloom off the dash for a long moment.


“I am.”

He reversed back onto the road.

Amazon: US | Canada | UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Canadian Dani Collins spent twenty-five years dreaming of becoming a romance author, made her first sale in 2012, and promptly won a Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times. Best known for her Harlequin Presents, she has also published a romantic comedy, a medieval fantasy romance, two erotic romances and The Bachelor’s Baby is the third of four novellas for Montana Born. Married to her high school sweetheart, Dani has two mostly-grown children (one of each) and doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



HOW MUCH WAS HER BID? I DEMAND A RECOUNT! 😉  I’m off to buy…wait…already did!…I’m off to read this book!

Thanks for sharing, Dani! And thanks for the fabulous, free book prize, too. Dani will pick the winner on March 22nd. Good luck, everyone! Please share the love.


EAT=LOVE=TOO HOT TO COOK winner & the Summer Escape bundle


Food=love in my books and apparently in my readers’ lives, too. I had some GREAT recipes and cool summer meal suggestions (click back to last week’s blog if you want to check them out). All were too good to compare so I put each entry in the tote and drew the winner of this awesome Tule Publishing Tote Bag.


The winner is:  Christina Fashant.

Chicken Caprese Wraps
Recipe Type: main dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Christina Fashant
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Too hot to cook? Not if you’re motivated to eat well and stay out of your hot kitchen. Thanks to all the entrants for some great summer dining suggestions.
  • 4 Large Flour Tortillas
  • 8 Slices Roasted Chicken Cold Cut
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 chopped Basil
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, cored and sliced
  • 4 leafs Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/4 Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing
  1. Mix sour cream and Italian dressing together in a small dish. Spread on tortillas.
  2. Layer lettuce, tomatoes, basil, chicken, and cheese.
  3. Roll up tightly and ENJOY!

Summer Escape

For the month of August only, Tule Publishing is offering a fabulous 12-book bundle called Summer Escape. Let me tell you why I am sooo pleased and proud that Cowgirl Come Home is part of this bundle.

The Summer Escape Boxed set is dedicated to Heather Ferguson, a Bozeman single mom, educator and book lover who was killed last spring in a tragic car accident that also took the life of two of her children. She left behind three children. Her sister is raising her sister’s children along with her own. The authors have donated their stories for the month and every dollar from this set goes to a college fund for Heather’s three children.  Here is the dedication page of Summer Escape. summer escape dedication

Buy HERE. Even if you’ve read a few of the stories, you can’t go wrong with this “almost free” collection. Think about “gifting” this bundle to friends. Such a great deal for a great cause. Please help a fellow reader. Book girls stick together! Thank you!!!

Happy reading!


EAT=LOVE=TOO HOT TO COOK recipe contest & Sarah Mayberry’s Make-Believe Wedding


Food=love in my books…usually. Alas, today is my first day back in the office after my trip to RWA14. I had a fabulous time in San Antonio, but I must admit, I forgot to set up a blog for today.

Plus, it’s just too dang hot to cook in my part of California right now. 100-degrees F. predicted every day this week. We’re living on tomato sandwiches and salads. Do you have any great suggestions? I’ll send you this awesome Tule Publishing Tote Bag if your cool summer recipe wins. photo-17

 sarahBut luckily, today is the release day of my friend Sarah Mayberry‘s fabulous book, Make-Believe Wedding.

For two days only, you can buy this book for the new-release price of 99¢. Click HERE to buy.

If you haven’t read Sarah Mayberry, you don’t know what you’re missing. I love her writing and her beautifully developed stories.

Make-Believe Wedding is the final installment in The Great Wedding Giveaway series. I’ve enjoyed every book so far, and this one tops the 9-tier wedding cake.


Make Believe Wedding


Deathblow Cover

Also, I’m happy to announce the winner of the free download of DEATHBLOW is Cris Mattingly. Congrats, Cris. 

Happy reading!


Cool Friends/Hot August Snippets – TEXAS SECRETS by Jean Brashear.



My August CONTEST opens up a whole lot more choices of great books to pick from, PLUS, you’ll still receive a $25 gift card from #Amazon, #BN or #iTunes.


To introduce you to these authors and their awesome books, I thought I’d give you “snippets” pulled straight from the stories.


Today’s awesome choice: Jean Brashear’s sexy cowboy romance TEXAS SECRETS. This book is one of the FIVE books bundled in On Fire Fiction’s LOVE ME SOME COWBOY.  So, if you pick that choice, you’ll get to read Jean’s book PLUS four other fab reads!


Up-and-coming chef Maddie Collins finds out that her father’s life was a lie when she is bequeathed a family homeplace she never knew existed–by the husband of the only woman her father ever loved.

Rugged horseman Boone Gallagher arrives back in Texas to discover that the father who drove him away has struck one last blow. The only place he’s ever thought of as home now belongs to a woman who doesn’t want it, and he must keep her there for thirty days–or it will be lost to them both.



“Who are you? What are you doing on my ranch?”

Gray eyes went wary, studying him for a long moment that made Boone’s spine tingle with unease. Fringed with thick dark lashes, a striking black ring around the irises, her eyes softened.

“Are you Boone or Mitch?”

He stared at her. “I’m Boone,” he replied, frowning. “How do you know my name?”

She stuck out one slender hand to shake his, her eyes still soft. Too soft. Almost like an apology. “I’m Maddie Collins. Your father mentioned you in his letter.”

He forgot the extended hand. “What letter?” Boone had only gotten a telegram, and that only after Sam was dead and buried.

“You didn’t–?” Her eyes darted to the side, looking toward the house. “He didn’t…?”

“Didn’t what?” His stomach clenched. “Why are you here?”

The woman named Maddie swallowed, then straightened, shaking her dark brown hair back over her shoulders as if preparing herself. In the sunlight, it glowed hints of red like the sky’s warning of storms to come.

Then her next words wiped out all thoughts of silky dark hair and husky voices.

“Your father left the house to me.”

“He…what?” But even as he waited for her reply, he believed her, this stranger in too-bright gypsy colors who didn’t belong here. He’d been crazy to hope that anything might have changed between him and his father, that Sam had regretted abandoning his sons.

“I’m sorry. I–I thought you would already know.”

Her regrets didn’t help. At that moment, he knew only one thing. He wasn’t through losing things that mattered. He’d been a fool to think otherwise.

Even in death, the man who’d been barely a father still denied him the only place he’d ever thought of as home.

 A wounded hero–my personal fave! And nobody does wounded heroes as eloquently as Jean Brashear. Check her spectacular list of  books at!

Good luck to everyone who signs up for this CONTEST. I hope your friends are as COOL as mine, and your hot August nights are filled with fun and good books! Look for more Snippets all month long.



Cool Friends/Hot August Snippets – LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT



My August CONTEST opens up a whole lot more choices of great books to pick from, PLUS, you’ll still receive a $25 gift card from #Amazon, #BN or #iTunes.


To introduce you to these authors and their awesome books, I thought I’d give you “snippets” pulled straight from the stories. ENJOY!


Today’s awesome choice: Karen Sandler’s sweet romance LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT. This book is one of the three books bundled in On Fire Fiction’s UNSUITABLY PERFECT.  So, if you pick that choice, you’ll get to read Karen’s book PLUS two other fab reads!

Live, Love, Laugh


Chapter 1

STEVE WALKER PLUNGED his hand into the murky depths of his daughter’s backpack. As Corazón regarded him with her coffee-colored eyes, Steve probed past fruit snack wrappers and pencil stubs, fingers encountering a soft, sticky lump.

He dislodged the gooey mess and held it out to his almost seven-year-old daughter. “What might this be?”

“Might be peanut butter an’ jelly.” She leaned closer and sniffed delicately. “Starbaby jelly.”

How many days ago had that particular sandwich taken up residence in the bottom of her backpack? With trepidation, he reached again into the black hole. His imagination displayed Technicolor fantasies of first his arm, then his entire body being sucked into the bottomless pit.

His mouth widened into a slow grin. Real potential here for his next smart phone app. Backpack Abyss. Hapless parents battling globs of bread and peanut butter, skewered by pencil stubs.

Finally, he struck pay dirt. He pinched the edge of the crumpled piece of paper and pulled it free. He held it out to Corazón’s earnest face.

“When did Mr. Harper give you this note?” He tried to be stern, but he wanted to hug her, and feel her thin caramel-colored arms wrap trustingly around his shoulders.

She shrugged, the gesture an imitation of his own. He brimmed with parental pride, marveling at how quickly she’d adapted in the eighteen months she’d been his.

With an effort, he returned to the matter at hand. “The message is from the principal and your teacher wanted you to give me this right away.”

She nodded solemnly. “Yes, Daddy.”

He lay the jelly-smeared sheet on the kitchen counter and picked up a damp rag. “I bet Principal Tipton thinks I ignored this note. She’s probably angry at Daddy. ”

“Ms. Tipton is always mad anyway.”

As Steve wiped the note clean, he had to agree. He’d never met the woman, only spoken with her on the phone after each of Corazón’s spirited antics. The Jell-O in the water fountain, the corn snake in the teacher’s desk drawer… Okay, the haircut she’d given her friend Jenny would take a while to grow out, especially the spot Cora had colored with permanent marker….

But where he saw high spirits and harmless experimentation Ms. Tipton saw signs of budding juvenile delinquency. The woman had no sense of humor. Her tone was judgmental, her attitude unforgiving. Talking to her, he felt the urge to pull on a sweater to keep warm. After a half-dozen rancorous phone calls with her, he was convinced she had snakes instead of hair.

Now there was an idea—Gorgon Schoolmistress. He could program each writhing snake on the Gorgon’s head with different venoms, and the hero would have to find the right shields to protect himself. Maybe Ms. Gor—Ms. Tipton would agree to model for the graphic artist.

When he’d swiped enough strawberry jelly off the paper, he read the appointment time penned neatly on the note. She’d expected him at the school at three o’clock. An hour-and-a-half ago. Principal Tipton would be furious.

“Daddy!” Corazón gasped. He looked up and saw her staring in fascinated horror out the front window. “She’s here!”

Steve moved behind his daughter, settling his hands on her shoulders. “Who’s here?” He squinted through the cut glass of the window, glimpsing the lines of a severe navy suit. The face above the suit shifted and fractured Picasso-like through the ornate glass.

Corazón craned her neck up at him, excitement bursting in her dark eyes. “Ms. Tipton!”

He heard the sharp tip-tap of steps on the porch then the doorbell rang.

“Daddy, what’re we gonna do?”

Even the doorbell sounded angry as it trilled a second time. “We let her in, mija,” he answered, using the Spanish endearment like a talisman. As he sidled to the door, Cora wrapped her arms around his legs.

“Tell her our dog ate the note, Daddy.”

“But we don’t have a dog, mija. Cousin Denny is allergic.”

She gripped him tighter. “Then a time-morpher took it. Came out of the ‘puter and gobbled it up.”

“I don’t think Ms. Tipton believes in time-morphers.”

“What’re we gonna do?” Corazón said again as her tight grip cut off the circulation in his legs.

“I’ll think of something, mija,” he soothed as he gripped the doorknob.

By the time he opened the door, he’d come up with several creative excuses, each sillier than the last. But it turned out not to have mattered. Because when he saw her on his doorstep, her slim ankles in navy spiked heels, the dangerous curves at hip and waist, the milk chocolate brown hair framing a delicate heart-shaped face—all coherent thought fled.

As a tantalizing scrap of red—red!—lace peeked from the edge of her skirt, he realized he was wrong about one thing. Ms. Tipton was no Gorgon. But he was absolutely right about another. She was blazing, spitting mad.

 Ah, yes, a wonderful start. Love the hero already. Poor Ms. Tipton doesn’t stand a chance, does she? Check all of Karen’s eclectic list of books here!

Good luck to everyone who signs up for this CONTEST. I hope your friends are as COOL as mine, and your hot August nights are filled with fun and good books! Look for more Snippets all month long.