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New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books.
Brown's books have been translated into eleven foreign languages and fourteen have been reprinted in large print format. Her books have been reviewed in Library Journal, Booklist, Romantic Times, Romance Reviews Today, Publisher's Weekly, Cataromance, USA Today and Romance Reader At Heart. Two of her romances have been published as Japanese Manga books.
Brown writes cowboy romance for Sourcebooks: The Lucky Trilogy, the Honky Tonk Series and now the Spikes & Spurs Series.
She has also written more than forty sweet romances for Avalon which include several historical series as well as contemporary stand-alone romance novels.
Sourcebooks will publish her debut women's fiction novel, The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee, in March, 2013.
Spikes & Spurs
'Tis the season for...
A matchmaking grandma on a long-distance mission.
Mistletoe temptation in every doorway.
A sexy cowboy with a killer smile.
When Gran Presely agrees to sell Creed Riley the Rockin' C Ranch for a song at Christmastime, he can hardly believe his good fortune. There's just one little catch-her tantalizing granddaughter Sage is part of the deal...
GET READY FOR CREED
“It’s about time you came in from the cold,” she said as she turned.
Her hand flew up to her pounding heart and she backed up against the cabinet.
The abominable snowman pushed his way into the house behind something that was either the ugliest dog on the face of the earth or an alien from a far away planet. The huge thing set a galvanized bucket of milk on the table and a basket of eggs right beside it before he stomped his feet on the rug under the coat rack. The dog stopped in the middle of the kitchen floor and shook from shoulder to tail, sending even more snow flying everywhere in her kitchen. When it melted there would be water everywhere and her socks would be soaked.
“Who the hell are you? Get out of here and take that miserable mutt with you,” Sage said.
Creed removed his old felt cowboy hat and pulled off the face mask. His nose was scarlet and his dark eyelashes dusted with snowflakes. And of all the crazy things, there was a spring of mistletoe stuck in the snow on his shoulder as if it had grown there.
“I’m Creed Riley, ma’am, and I reckon if you want to throw your dog out in the snow that’s your business, but I’m not that mean or cruel to animals. And I’m here to stay since I’m the cowboy who bought this ranch. I guess you’d be Sage Presley. I didn’t think you’d make it home in this blizzard. I heard the roads were closed off.”
He was well over six feet tall because Sage had to look up to him. His brown hair was a bit too long and his mossy green eyes were rimmed with black lashes topped with heavy dark brows. His deep voice held a definite Texas drawl.
She backed up to the cabinet and braced herself against it. “Where is Grand? Is she behind you?”
“No, left a day early since the storm was coming in. I expect she’s in Pennsylvania by now where it’s fifty degrees and sunshiny today. Crazy ain’t it? We get a blizzard and the east coast is downright pleasant. At least it was yesterday when she called to tell me that she’d made it fine and to tell you so when you got home. Guess her cell phone’s battery was dead and her sister didn’t have one so she called on a pay phone from the airport.”
Sage rolled her eyes. “You have got to be kiddin’ me!”
“No, ma’am! That’s the truth and that’s really not my dog. I’m bringing my two huntin’ dogs out here soon as we make this sale legal but this old boy just appeared out of nowhere this morning and rushed right in with me. I figured he belonged on the property. He wasn’t none too pretty when he was covered in snow but it was covering a multitude of ugly, wasn’t it?”
Sage crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
He ignored her and started peeling away layers of clothing, taking the time to hang them on a coat rack just inside the back door. He didn’t stop until he was down to jeans, socks and a red and black flannel shirt.
What have you done, Grand? She thought.
The blizzard would end. The sun would come out and melt the snow. Electricity would be restored along with power lines and cell phone coverage. And Sage could have talked her out of the sale a hell of a lot easier face to face than over the telephone — if they ever got service back in the canyon.
This was Sage’s home and it wasn’t supposed to be sold to some rank stranger, even if his green eyes were sexy as hell with snow hanging on the lashes like that fake stuff out of a can that she and Grand sprayed on the windows when she was a little girl.
“Coffee smells good. Reckon it’s about ready?” he asked. “Thank goodness for a full propane tank. Miz Ada told me that she has a standing order with the propane company out of Claude. And you can wipe that mean look off your face, lady. We’re stuck here together until this ends. I’m not real happy about being holed up with you, either but it’s the way it is and we might as well make the best of it.”
Her eyes narrowed and her brow wrinkled.
You want your face to freeze with that nasty look on it? Her grandmother’s words came back to haunt her.
“Number one, Mr. Riley, you don’t tell me how to look or what to do. Number two, Mr. Riley, Grand won’t ever sell you this place, so don’t get too comfortable.”
“Rule number one, lady, I speak my mind so get used to it. Rule number two, I’m settling in and getting comfortable because I think she will sell the ranch to me. The deed will say that you get to live on the ranch as long as you want when the sale is sealed, signed and finished. And back to rule number one, darlin’, if you want your face to freeze like that, then just hold on to that nasty look,” Creed said.
Her face softened but she wasn’t ready to smile and welcome the damn cowboy. Not yet; probably not ever.
“She wasn’t supposed to leave until today.”
Maybe the blizzard was a blessing. He’d see right quick that life in the canyon was too hard and he’d be ready to get the hell out of the place as soon as he could. Sage didn’t mind doing chores. She hated milking a cow but she could do that, too, if the cowboy would ride on out of the canyon as soon as the roads were cleared. Hell, she’d call a helicopter and pay the bill out of her own money if he wanted to get out of the canyon before the snow plow arrived.
“What’s for breakfast?” he asked.
“Whatever you can scrounge up. I didn’t take you to raise,” she said shortly.
He smiled down at her. “Miz Ada said you’d be a hand full and you’d come in here mad as a wet hen after a tornado. She was dead on, but darlin’, I am buyin’ this place. You are welcome to live on it. We can be friends, barely acquaintances or enemies. Your choice and you don’t even have to make it today. But it’s going to be a long three weeks until she comes back and in this storm we’ve got no one but each other so it can be pleasant or pretty damn miserable. Remember as you drink your coffee that this house ain’t very big and we are stuck in it together.”
The arrogance of the man!
He went on. “She left because of the storm and because her sister needs her, not because she was a bit afraid of you. That woman gave me the impression that she could face down the devil and own half of hell before the fight was over. You wouldn’t pose much problem.”
“You got her right but you got me all wrong. I’m ever bit as mean as she is. She raised me,” Sage said.
Creed wiped the snow from his cheeks as it melted from his lashes. “I like my eggs scrambled.”
“I like mine easy over.”
Creed raised an eyebrow. “Who’s cookin’?”
“Not me,” she told him. She wasn’t about to start cooking for him or feeding that dog he’d brought in either.
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
CAROLYN: Every single time I write one or every single time I read a book. If a book (writing or reading) can’t take the reader away into its world, be it Tara in Gone With the Wind or a snowstorm in the Palo Duro Canyon in Mistletoe Cowboy, then something is terribly wrong with it.
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?CAROLYN: Oh, dear, I’ve been reading since I figured out what those squiggly lines under the pictures were all about but I can’t remember the very first book I read. But we didn’t have books in our house until I went to school and found the library there. So most likely the very first book I read was the Bible to my granny because she was blind. The first romance book I read was The Concubine, and then Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Believe me, if my momma had known what I was reading, I would have spent hours reading the Bible to Granny!
ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?CAROLYN: I believe in the three magic words, “I Love You.” But I believe they are worthless without the actions to back them up. Creed knows down deep in his heart that he’s fallen in love with Sage, but he makes sure before he says the words. And when he does, his previous actions have enough power to make her believe him.
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?CAROLYN: On a very personal level, that would be my husband. He’s lived with me for 46 years (did I mention that I got married very, very young) and that darlin’ takes hero qualities. Especially the last fourteen years when he’s been the husband of a writer. It takes a special person to live with an author! And I have to mention my grandson, Specialist Charles Brenton Brown, who is serving in Kuwait right now. The real heroes of today are our military personnel who do all they can to protect our freedoms to read, write and speak whatever and whenever we want.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?CAROLYN: Cinderella! Sometimes I feel just like her, only instead of going to the ball, I get to sign another contract for more books.
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?CAROLYN: Betty Boop! Don’t you just love that tiny waistline and those big eyes?
ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?CAROLYN: Creed O’Riley is sexy as hell. He has a tender spot for ugly dogs and pregnant stray cats. He’s a romantic at heart. He can cook. He can dance. And did I mention that he’s sexy as hell?
ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?CAROLYN: Are you asking about the playlist for the music in the book? I’ve been accused of pimping country music in my books and my answer is, “Yes, ma’am, I surely do.” Country music goes with cowboys like Stetson hats and cowboy boots. There’s even dozens of country Christmas songs. So just put on some country music, Christmas or otherwise, and let it seep down into your soul before, during and after reading Mistletoe Cowboy!
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?CAROLYN: In the car. In the bathroom. In the tub. Curled up on the sofa. In the backyard. Anyplace I am is a good place to read a book. And not nearly often enough anymore but still every single chance I get. The last book I read was Joanne Kennedy’s Cowboy Crazy…mighty fine cowboy book!
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?CAROLYN: Birds singing in the early morning. The purr of my cat while he oversees my writing. But most of all I love country music. I cut my teeth on Patsy Cline, Porter Wagner, Jim Reeves and that era of artists. It was a good week when my momma could pick up the Grand Ole Opry all the way from Nashville, Tennessee in Tishomingo, Oklahoma on her little red radio. When I write, I listen to Floyd Cramer’s piano music and slow country ballads. I love Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Josh Turner, Brad Paisley and the list is never ending.
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?CAROLYN: Fairy tale for sure. I love happy endings!
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?CAROLYN: The title changed daily but I remember the story well. It was a tale about a family who got stranded on the highway out in the middle of nowhere and a motorcycle gang terrorized them. Not at all what I write today, is it?
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?CAROLYN: Steel Magnolias. I loved Gone With the Wind and still do but Steel Magnolias reached a level so deep inside me that it’s not describable with mere words. It taught me so many lessons about writing. I want to touch emotions—laughter, tears, anger…all if it like that movie touched in my heart.
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?CAROLYN: Right now I’m working on the Christmas book for 2013 and the villain’s name is Sonia. She’s a real piece of work, let me tell you, so I’d have to say that she’s my favorite right now.
ANGI: What is your biggest vice?CAROLYN: Donuts with maple icing. I only get one when I’ve done something really big like meeting my deadlines or signing contracts.
ANGI: Is there a “Blooper” in your story (it may have been changed before printing)?CAROLYN: I’m smiling. No, I’m giggling. Not in this story but in a previous Spikes & Spurs, the sex scene ended in something like a crashing crescendo. But, alas, I misspelled crescendo and in my haste when the spell checked it, I didn’t even look at the “corrected” word. So my hot and heavy sex scene ended with a crashing credenza! That became a joke between my editor, Deb Werksman, and me so in Mistletoe Cowboy I gave her a nice hot scene on the top of a credenza. Hope all you readers like that scene!
ANGI: How is it working with hot guys and sexy women all day?CAROLYN: Fun, fun, fun! Until the pesky folks start waking me up at night and telling me that I’ve forgotten several details. Then we have a party in the office and get the story told right no matter what time of night it is.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Hi Carolyn, and congratulations on your RITA nomination. I love a good cowboy story, and man oh man do you have a lot of them. Who--out of all the cowboy heroes you’ve created--is your favorite?CAROLYN’S GOTTA ANSWER: Thank you. The RITA nomination was so exciting and even though I didn’t bring home the lovely lady, I felt like a queen the whole week!
A story: When my three children were teenagers I started getting the old thing about, “You love Lemar more than us girls because he gets to do more stuff.” (He was four and five years older than the girls) Or “You love those girls more than me because they never have to do anything.” (Read the sentence in parenthesis). So I told them that I had to work, keep up a house, make meals and sew their clothing (including three piece suits for Lemar and his father) so I did not have time to love all of them every day. From that day forth each kid got two days a week to be loved and Sunday belonged to their father. And I could change the days to fit my mood. So when one of them started the “You love better” line, I’d just say, “Suck it up, kid, it’s not your day.”
Now the reason I told that story:
My favorite cowboy today is Creed O’Riley but honey, it can change in a heartbeat when I start a brand new story. So bask in your glory, Creed, today IS your day!
ANGI: I sure do wish I’d thought of that when my kids were little. LOL
FINDING CAROLYNContact Website Facebook Goodreads Previous GLIAS features
WHAT’S NEXT for this non-stop author?ANGI: So what does 2013 look like for you, Carolyn?
CAROLYN: I've just signed a four book contract for more cowboys so keep your boots on and your hat ready for more cowboys. The Cowboys & Brides series will debut in June 2013 with The Billion Dollar Cowboy. But the lineup looks like this: Mistletoe Cowboy (Oct. 2012), Hidden Secrets (Nov. 2012), Just A Cowboy and His Baby (Dec. 2012), Life After Wife (Jan. 2013), The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee (Mar. 2013), Billion Dollar Cowboy (June 2013), The Cowboy Seeks a Wife (the finale of the Spikes & Spurs, Aug. 2013), and The Cowboy's Christmas Baby (Oct. 2013). There are two more Cowboys & Brides that will be published in 2014 but the titles aren't set in stone just yet and I'm working on a second woman's fiction book to follow The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee! Life is good!
JUST A COWBOY AND HIS BABYDecember 2012
LIFE AFTER WIFEThree Magic Words #3
CAROLYN HAS TOO MANY PREVIOUS RELEASES TO LIST, please visit her website for different genres and series information.
READY FOR TWO FREE BOOKS? NO? Let’s make it THREE!!!Carolyn has TWO signed copies of MISTLETOE COWBOY to be given away for US residents only. But I’d like to give away an unsigned book from her backlist to International readers (a book available through BookDepository.com). Leave a comment to be eligible--and don’t forget to mention US or International and your email. http://www.bookdepository.com/
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to USA addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. 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 #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join me next week when I host Robin Perini and her latest release. Be sure to come back tomorrow when Alexa hosts Vonda Sinclair. ~Angi
What is it about a cowboy that makes you get lost in a book? Is it his drawl, his swagger or those tight fittin’ jeans and boots? Mistletoe Cowboy is my third Christmas book and I’m working on the fourth (The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby, 2013). I’m wondering if I should keep putting out one a year…give me your opinion, please.