Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Helen Lacey


Harlequin Special Edition
ISBN: 0373656483
Equestrian Callie Jones was used to difficult parents at her riding school. But Noah Preston took the cake. How dare he question her teaching abilities, after his headstrong daughter paid no heed to rules—her teacher’s or her father’s?
Single dad Noah was ready to apologize for overreacting. But he wasn’t sorry for the way the stunning American riding instructor made him feel. And he soon learned that there was more to Callie than her smarts, sass and fire: a shattered heart that threatened to splinter even further. Could he make her see that he—and his family—were for keeps?
~ ~ ~
Callie Jones knew trouble when she came upon it. And the thirteen-year-old who stood defiantly in front of her looked like more trouble than she wanted on a Saturday morning. For one thing, Callie liked to sleep later on the weekend, and the teenager with the impudent expression had banged on her door at an indecently early 6:00 a.m. And for another, the girl wasn't anything like she'd expected. Her long black hair was tied up in an untidy ponytail revealing at least half a dozen piercings in her ears, plus another in both her brow and nose. And the dark kohl smudged around her eyes was heavier than any acceptable trend Callie had ever seen.

"I'm Lily," the girl said, crossing her thin arms. "I'm here for my lesson."

Callie opened the front door fractionally, grateful she'd had the sense to wrap herself in an old dressing gown before she'd come to the door. It was chilly outside. "You're early," she said, spotting a bicycle at the bottom of the steps.

The teenager shrugged her shoulders. "So what? I'm here now." Callie hung on to her patience. "I told your father eight o'clock."

Lily shrugged again, without any apology in her expression. "Then I guess he told me the wrong time." The girl looked her over, and Callie felt the burning scrutiny right down to her toes.

Callie took a deep breath and glanced over the girl's head. Dawn was just breaking on the horizon. Another hour of sleep would have been nice, but she wasn't about to send Lily home.

"Okay, Lily. Give me a few minutes to get ready." Callie pointed to the wicker love seat on the porch. "Wait here. I'll be right back."

The girl shrugged. "Whatever."

Callie locked the security mesh screen as discreetly as she could and turned quickly on her heels. She didn't want an unsupervised teenager wandering around her house while she changed her clothes. Dashing into the bathroom, she washed her face and brushed her teeth and hair before slipping into jeans and a T-shirt.

She skipped coffee, grabbed a cereal bar and shoved it into her back pocket. She really needed to do some grocery shopping. But she was too busy. Busy with her students, busy trying to ensure the utilities were paid, busy not thinking about why a recently turned thirty ex-California girl worked twelve-hour days trying to make a success of a small horse-riding school situated a few miles from the eastern edge of the Australian coastline.

Callie grabbed her sweater from the back of the kitchen chair and headed for the front door. Once she'd locked up she pulled her muddy riding boots off the shoe rack, quickly tucked her feet into them, snatched up her battered cowboy hat and placed it on her head. She turned around to find no sign of her visitor. Or the expensive-looking bicycle.

Obviously the teenager wasn't keen on following instructions.

She put the keys into her pocket and headed for the stables. The large stable complex, round yard and dressage arena were impressive. Callie had spent nearly every penny she had on Sandhills Farm to ensure it became a workable and viable business.

Okay kid—where are you?

Tessa rushed from around the back of the house. Still a pup, the Labrador/cattle dog cross bounded on lanky legs and yapped excitedly. Obviously no kid was back there, or Tessa would have hung around for attention.

So, where was she? Callie's intuition and instincts surged into overdrive. Miss Too-Many-Piercings was clearly looking for trouble. She called the girl's name. No answer.

When Callie opened the stable doors and flicked the lock mechanism into place, a few long heads immediately poked over the stalls. She looked around and found no sign of Lily.

Great—the kid had gone AWOL.


Helen Lacey grew up reading Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on The Prairie. These childhood classics inspired her to write her first book when she was seven years old, a story about a girl and her horse. She continued to write with the dream of one day being a published author and writing for Harlequin Special Edition is the realization of that dream. She loves creating stories about cowboys and horses and heroine's who get their happily ever after.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
HELEN: Every time I write one. I’m a real panster and just let the story come out without getting too hung up on outlines. But in saying that, I’m usually thinking over and planning in my head for a few months before I start writing. For instance, I’m currently polishing four in my series to send to my editor for consideration, but I’m thinking about book six while I polish. (Book five is already written) When it comes to reading, I love getting lost in the story.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
HELEN: Black Beauty. I was six years old and got swept away by the tale of a foal who grew into a horse and the journey he took to get there. It’s still one of my favorite books and I have several copies of it on my bookshelf. That book really highlighted my love of horses and they had been a big part of my life since I was twelve years old. My husband and I now own eight horses.
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
HELEN: Do I sound like a schmuck if I say my husband? After many years of kissing toads, I found my frog prince. He has more integrity than anyone I have ever met.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
HELEN: Beauty and The Beast. I love the way the gruff beast becomes putty in her hands.
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
HELEN: Lady from Lady and The Tramp.
ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
HELEN: Meanness.
ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
HELEN: I always have a couple of token songs for my books – if I’m stuck in a spot I’ll switch the songs on and listen to them a couple of times to get my muse going. For Made For Marriage I listen to I Knew I Loved You, by Savage Garden, and When You Say You Love Me by Josh Groban.
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
HELEN: Well I’ve taken to reading on my Kindle, which I just love. I can take it anywhere.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
HELEN: My horses whinnying. The ocean crashing on rocks. The rain on the roof.
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
HELEN: Honestly, both. I love Beauty and The Beast and Cinderella, but equally love Independence Day and Die Hard.
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
HELEN: I was seven and it was about a girl and her horse called Misty. It was sixty four handwritten pages and some really bad illustrations.
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
HELEN: Rebecca
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
HELEN: Easy – Darth Vader. I love how he's redeemed in the end.
ANGI: Be honest, when you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
HELEN: Not when I’m reading, but always when I’m writing.
ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
HELEN: The small town called Crystal Point, where I set Made For Marriage and the next two books in the series, due out fall 2012 and early 2013, is based around the small town where I live. It’s situated at the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef and is a beautiful spot. I’m lucky I can indulge my passion for horses and ride along the beach.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Thanks again for being with us, Helen. Talk about fate… I was skimming Twitter, saw you had a release and contacted you about being our guest. THEN, you reply that MADE FOR MARRIAGE had placed 2nd in the Great Expectations Contest ( when I was coordinator. Wow…such a small world…even with you in Australia!  So I’m going to ask a bit of what happened after that 2nd place in the GE-- Please tell us a bit of what happened after.
HELEN’S GOTTA ANSWER: I’ve never been someone who enters contests, but a few years ago I put aside my fear of feedback and entered The Great Expectations contest. I was delighted to have placed second. It really gave me the confidence to keep entering contests and to try and avoid the slush pile and get onto the desk of the editor I was targeting. A few months after that second place I won another contest and the final editor requested the full manuscript. Through another contests win I signed with my agent. Eighteen months later my agent called to say Harlequin wanted to buy my book. The Great Expectations contest gave me the confidence I needed to keep trying.
Website   Facebook   Twitter: @helen_lacey   Blog
The next book in the Harlequin Special Edition series will be out in fall 2012 and book three in early 2013.
MADE FOR PRIZES  Helen is drawing for a copy of MADE FOR MARRIAGE and at the end of Hellen's blog tour (details on her website) she'll be drawing for the grand prize of a $50.00 Amazon voucher, and for those who like a bit of bling, a fabulous silver Pandora Bracelet with a horse charm.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed INTERNATIONALLY. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me next Wednesday when I host the third installment of Tawny Weber's SEX, LIES & VALENTINES. I need your questions for our lovely author and her characters. Each person sending a question will be eligible for the THREE book set of Tawny's Sex, Lies series. ~Angi

HELEN WANTS TO KNOW: I love spending time with my horses – what do you like to do to relax and unwind?


  1. That's easy! Read these books... oh man, such a great way to pass hours at the beach in summer and the rainy afternoons in winter :)))

  2. Hi Helen
    Am a Die Hard fan too, and Cinderella too, Such a weird mix
    Best wishes for your 1st release and many more of course too


  3. Hi TashNz - yes, reading is the uber way to relax. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi Jane - I love Die Hard (And Die Hard2 - 3&4 I can live without) Thanks for dropping by today.

  5. I like to read, of course. My children are grown and no grand kids yet, so I lavish a lot of my attention on my dog. I have a yorkie, named Roxie. I love to take her to the dog park by my house. I love to watch her play and interact with other dogs. We also have a travel trailer and love to take long weekends and go camping. Long walks, campfires, and the friends we make while there, make it an overall wonderful experience.

  6. I also like to read to relax. (Also listening to music) Made For Marriage sounds great.

    and welcome to GLIAS.

    Waste time?'s been a while. I did have some while I was sick and couldn't concentrate (couldn't read much either) so I watched movies...lots of movies.

    I'm a serious Die Hard fan (Yippie-Ky-Ay) and even liked 3 & 4. Love Bruce. Okay, now I want to re-watch the movies. LOL Seriously, to relax...we have a kazillion projects going on in this house. Either working on improvements or putting together scrapbooks. And then there's the yard work. THAT's soooo relaxing.

    Reading is a scheduled event for me. Part of every day life. Can't live without it.


  8. Shelley B - I'm with you on the reading. My hubby recently gave me a Kindle and I adore it - books and more books at the press of a button.
    Love the sound of your Yorkie. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Hi Tammy - I like to listen to music too. And it's also good for the muse. Great to see you here. :)

  10. Hi Angi! Delighted to be here today. Die Hard fan, yay :) I love the romance in the first two movies. Yard work? Great idea. :)

  11. I read or take a walk to relax and unwind.

  12. Hello Helen! I love to curl up with a good book while my dog Geisha sleeps on my lap. You can't get more relaxing than that. Congrats on the new release!

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  13. Helen, I subconsiously posted a horse on my PICTURE A DAY blog today. :-)

  14. Hi Virginia - I also like to take walks, usually with my dog. Thanks for stopping by today :)

  15. Hi StaciD - wish my dog could curl up on my lap - but he's a 70kg Dogue De Bordeux (French Mastiff) A bit big for lap sitting :) Thank you for stopping by .

  16. To relax I like to listen to a book or go for a walk.

  17. Angi - horses keep my sane. Winston Churchill once said that the best thing for the inside of a man or a woman, was the outside of a horse - I think he was right :)

  18. Hi Chey - books and walks . . . both great ways to relax and unwind. Thanks for stopping by.

  19. To relax and unwind, I read and listen to music.

    ang_1985 at hotmail dot com

  20. Hi Amanda - I love to listen to music too - usually mellow tunes - they can be good for the creativity too. Thanks for stopping by.


    AND Thanks so much for spending time with us.

  22. C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S T A M M Y !!

    You're the winner of Helen Lacey's MADE FOR MARRIAGE!
    Send an email to and we'll get things set up.

    Happy Relaxing!