Tuesday, September 27, 2016

E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Kaki Warner Returns with a new release, TEXAS TALL

It's no surprise to me that Kaki Warner has won multiple awards, including the coveted RITA for Best First Book. Her novels are as sumptuous as a fine feast, and the latest one is no exception. 

Today, I have the great pleasure of welcoming her back to Get Lost In A Story as my BEST OF THE WEST guest. We'll be featuring her new release, TEXAS TALL. 

She's giving away 3 signed copies, so be sure to enter the drawing!

Amazon | B&N
Tyree Benton joined the Texas Rangers to enact justice on the men who murdered his parents, but his brutal actions still twist his conscience. Now he’s found a woman he could love, but she deserves more than a man who makes a living getting shot at. Plus, the Frontier Battalion doesn’t take married men. If Ty were honorable, he’d leave her alone. But he can’t seem to stay away….

Orphaned at fourteen, Charlotte Weyland has used her talent for numbers to build enough of a fortune to fund Ty’s dream of owning a ranch…if he’s not too stubborn to accept her help. But when Charlotte’s past catches up to her, she finds herself on one side of the law with Ty on the other. To keep their dreams alive, they’ll have to make compromises, but doing so might cost them everything they have...

Here's an excerpt:

“Miss Lottie?”
Crossing her arms, Lottie turned to confront the man who had been following her. “What do you want?”
“To apologize.”
Why did he look so irritated? She was the one who’d been insulted. “You already did.” She started to turn.
His voice brought her back. “And, to thank you.”
“For what?”
This was the first time they had faced each other while standing and she hadn’t realized how big he was. She was almost five and-a-half feet tall, herself, and it wasn’t often her eyes were level with a man’s shoulder.
“For trying to help me after I was shot.”
“Anyone would have done the same.”
“But anyone didn’t. Only you.”
He had a nice voice. Deep and mellow, with a slow drawl that marked him a Texan, but not enough twang to make him sound straight off the farm.
He shifted his weight, stared down at his dusty, surprisingly large boots. “And I, uh, wanted to say I made a foolish mistake earlier when I thought you were a whore. I’m sorry for it.”
The pretty phrases had a rehearsed ring to them, but Lottie nodded anyway, just to put the ordeal behind her. “Fine.” Again, she started to turn.
This time he stopped her with a hand near her shoulder. A hand that completely encompassed her upper arm. “Could I buy you dinner to make up for it?” Not a very gracious invitation, since he was frowning when he issued it.
She gave his hand a pointed look.
He released her arm.
“No,” she said.
If possible, his frown deepened. “You won’t have dinner with me?”
“Why not?”
Did he truly think she would enjoy a meal spent with a man who didn’t smile, barely looked at her, and acted as if every word he spoke was dragged out of him by force? “It’s not necessary.”
Ignoring her refusal, he pressed on. This time, there was a hint of desperation in his tone. “I hear the restaurant at the hotel sets a fair table.”
“Passable. But as I said, it’s not necessary.”
He let out a deep breath and scratched the whiskers on his square jaw. “Well, that’s the thing. It is necessary if I want to go into the Spotted Dog again.”
And suddenly it made sense—his irritation, the forced words, his inability to even look at her. “Juno’s making you do this, isn’t he?”
“Well . . . he does own the only saloon in town.”
“And brothel.”
At least he had the grace to blush.
She didn’t know whether to laugh or hit him with her reticule. And maybe hit Juno, too. The absurdity of the situation put the devil in her mind. If the ranger was being browbeaten into taking her to dinner then, by God, she’d make sure he had a miserable time of it. He didn’t like talking to her? Well then she’d make him talk by asking him every question she could think of. Then she’d go after Juno.
“Fine. The hotel it is.” Smiling through clenched teeth, she tucked her hand at his elbow. “Shall we?”
He wasn’t a talker, was even worse as a smiler, and wasn’t anything like the handsome hero her imagination had painted him to be. But his arm felt solid and warm beneath her hand, and his sturdy form made her feel almost dainty.

She was glad she’d bought a new dress.

Meet Kaki 

In between her years as a mother, teacher, commercial artist, reluctant collection agent and surly secretary, Kaki fooled around with writing. Finally, after twenty-five years of procrastination, she sent her first manuscript out into world. Berkley bought it and later that year, it won the 2011 RITA for Best First Book, and she was off and running. Now she has nine books in print (number 10 comes out on 10/4), one digital novella, and a story in an anthology (BOOTS UNDER HER BED). She and her husband (of 50 years—Yikes!) are happily retired on a mountaintop in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state, doing whatever they feel like doing—which in her case is writing and enjoying the wildlife, gardening, and thinking up stuff for her husband to do. It’s a grand life.
You can follow Kaki on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kakiwarner/

What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?

In ROMANCE, I’ll be diving into WILD HORSE SPRINGS by Jodi Thomas, and DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL by Tessa Dare, and MIND TAMER by Moriah Densley.

As far as THRILLERS go, as soon as I finish BETRAYAL by Tim Tigner, I’ll probably get another of his books. He’s new to me, and like Jack Reacher (in Lee Child’s books), Tigner’s heroes are men of character, lethal, and take no prisoners. My kind of guys. I’ll probably follow that up with Lee Child’s next one, NIGHT SCHOOL. I might also check into John Hart’s latest. I absolutely loved his debut novel, THE LAST CHILD.

 What has been your most rewarding publishing moment? 

Signing my first contract with PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE was pretty rewarding. As was winning a RITA. But some of my best moments are when I get amazing letters and emails from readers who’ve been touched by my books. That’s validation on the highest level. And I’ll always remember the day I got an email from a man named Brady Wilkins (the name of the hero in PIECES OF SKY) wanting to know how I came up with that name. I couldn’t tell if he was happy or upset but I was shocked that there was an actual person with that name.

Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?

I have to laugh at this one since my task is to take myself OUT of my heroine. In fact, I have a dear friend (who’s more normal than I am…mostly) who reads every word and keeps me on track by saying “She would definitely be crying here.” Or, “No, she wouldn’t do that…she’s not crazy.”  Or, “Make her softer, more empathetic. No one likes a hard ass.” So even though I’d like to put myself in my heroine’s role, I know I wouldn’t fit very well.

What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?

The “last time bell”. I wrote about it in my first book, PIECES OF SKY, when the heroine was trying to mark the “last time” incidents in her life and wished there was a bell that would remind her that certain moments would never come again so she’d best enjoy them to the fullest while she could. Recently, my son said he often thought of that bell as he watched his youngest child grow from toddler to first grader. He said he wanted to remember every moment he has with her since it all passes so fast. 

What sound or noise do you love?

I think the sounds we love change through the years, depending on which phase we’re in. As a child, I loved the sound of mourning doves, cicadas, night crickets and whippoorwills, and the tick-tick-whirr of big hayfield sprinklers. After I married, I was always comforted by the sound of my husband breathing beside me (except when he added snores—then I fantasized about smothering him.) When I had small children, the sound of their laughter always made me laugh, too. (Now it’s coming around again with my grandchildren—YAY!) And now that I’m retired and living a mile past where God buried his socks, I love the sounds of the wildlife around me—meadowlarks, red-winged blackbirds, cows, horses, my hound dog howling when we drive up to the house. No cars, no sirens, no sounds of other people. I guess we’re sort of reclusive.

What does it mean to love someone?

As my DH and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 1st, I feel I’m fairly qualified to answer this. Loving someone means you give up total self-absorption and include another person in your life, warts and all. In other words, it’s not only about you anymore, so get over yourself. It means you accept the other person as he/she is, not as you wish he/she could be. You have to learn to trust, to forgive, to support, and to wisely pick your battles. Keep your expectations real, your demands reasonable, and your promises true. And if you don’t get back the same respect, honor and love you offer, then kick him /her to the curb and move on. Life’s too short and you deserve to have the best one possible.

What do YOU think loving someone means? 

Leave a comment and your name’s in the hat for one of three print books that I’m delighted to give away. And many thanks to Elisabeth Burke for her kind invitation to visit GET LOST IN A STORY today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mary Preston said...

I can totally relate to a "last time bell". Life just races ahead.

For me loving someone means wanting them to be happy. Of course I expect it to be reciprocated. Therein comes the respect, communication, loyalty etc.

teresa fordice said...

OH this one looks fantastic!! Thanks for the chance!

kakiwarner said...

Kaki: Great insights, Mary. And I total agree about the reciprocating. Thanks for coming by.

kakiwarner said...

Hi Teresa! Thanks, and I hope you like it. Good luck!

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I don't think I can improved on your take of loving someone. Respect, loyalty and honesty.

kakiwarner said...

Sounds so simple, doesn't it? But after 50 years of marriage I can tell you it takes work...but the rewards are awesome! Thanks for dropping in.

Regan Walker said...

Hello to my traveling pal, Kaki. Have this on the shelf to read and am looking forward to it. As for what it means to love, I agree with you about getting over yourself. And in a word, love is commitment-- to the other person and to the relationship. Something that took me a long time to learn. Congratulations on the new release. Will share on FB and I Tweeted!

Judy Tucker said...

It means through thick and thin. Good times and bad.

kakiwarner said...

You're the best, Regan. Thanks for the support. And I'm looking forward to your latest, too, KING'S KNIGHT. Looks intriguing.

kakiwarner said...

Well said and on spot, Judy. Thanks for visiting. Good luck!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Ah, I love that excerpt. Sounds like it's just out of a Kaki Warner novel. Have to tell some fans your new book is out, Kaki. And I'm a Tim Tigner fan too. I've read Betrayal (wowza) and Pushing Brilliance. But... back to you. Love the way you do sexual tension. Nobody does it better!

glenda said...

Would love to win this book in print I have never read a book by Kaki Warner

Colleen C. said...

Loving someone... wanting the best for them...
enjoyed reading your post!

kakiwarner said...

Hey, lady! I miss driving around Colorado with you...oh, and the conferences, too. I'm impressed with Tigner...do you think Pushing Brilliance was as good as Betrayal? At any rate, thanks for the kind words. And continued good luck with your "Betrayed".

kakiwarner said...

Glenda, you poor thing! Then I hope you win a copy. Thanks for coming by and good luck!

kakiwarner said...

Great comment, Colleen. And so important in a commitment. Good luck!

Ann Kaumeyer said...

I so can't wait for another one of your books, I am ready for some good reading :)

kakiwarner said...

Thanks, Ann. Glad you came by and good luck winning a copy.

Theresa Rizzo said...

Love all Kaki's books and can't wait to read this one!!
Loving someone means being willing to forgive them when they're less than perfect, as you'd want to be forgiven when you show your imperfect sides. That and compromise.

kakiwarner said...

Perfect, T. Compromise. I forgot about that and it's one of the most important things. Great hearing from you, and I'm so proud of your Honorable Mention for THE LIVES BETWEEN US. Great job!

Sumer Owens said...

This book looks fantastic!!! And as a Texan myself, I think the setting is perfect!!!! :)

Diane Blaser said...

Having been married for 38 years, I believe it's loving that person more than yourself, and being willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy and secure. Thanks for the giveaway! I can't wait to read this book!

kakiwarner said...

Hello to a fellow Texan. And thanks! I hope you win a copy so you can tell me if it feels "Texas" to you. Good luck, Sumer, and thanks for coming by.

kakiwarner said...

38 years! Good for you, Diane. And you're right about doing whatever it takes to keep your loved one happy and secure...as long as he/she feels the same about you. So glad you dropped by and thanks for "liking" my page. Good luck!

bn100 said...


E.E.Burke said...

You have summarized love so well. No wonder you write about it so wonderfully. I haven't caught up with you yet, only 30 years, but I agree that love and marriage is about "us" not "me". Thank you for being here today and sharing your wonderful new book with us. I'm in the midst of reading it now, and it's wonderful!

kakiwarner said...

Thanks for inviting me, Elisabeth. Visiting GLIAS is always a treat. And I appreciate the kind words from a fellow writer that I greatly admire. It's been a fun day.

Unknown said...

We must be kindred spirits! Have read all of your books some more than once. Married to the same man for 42 years and love is what you described. I just wish one time he would plan the next vacation or 'date night'! susanjarsulic@gmail.com

Regan Walker said...

You are most welcome. You know I love your stories. And I so miss laughing out loud together. Sigh.

kakiwarner said...

LOL. I feel your pain, Susan. And 42 years is excellent! Thanks for reading my books. I hope you like this one, too. Hopefully, you'll win a copy! Thanks for coming by.

GingerRing said...

I love westerns so I"m always excited to hear about new ones. To me loving someone means always being there for them in good times and bad, and they are also the first one that you think of when something good happens.

C_Patterson said...

Thank you for the opportunity, Elisabeth! Loving someone, to me, means that you are there to support the person, be kind to the person, don't criticize or demean the person. You have that person's back and they have yours. In good times or in bad, you live together, love together, lose together and grow old together. It won't be easy, but together, you make it work.

Kimberly Rocha said...

Hi Elisabeth and Kaki!! This looks awesome! I cannot wait to read... Kaki, I would love to finally meet you!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the chance to win your book! I'm the last person to talk about love fo I've been married almost 27yrs and I'm the only one that has been working at this marriage so after going for help and he walked out for he feels like nothing is wrong, I'm getting a divorce, it taked 2 people in a marriage! fiorecarole1954@yahoo.com

kakiwarner said...

Great comment, Ginger. I agree...through thick and thin. Glad you like westerns. Good luck winning a copy of mine. Thanks for coming by!

kakiwarner said...

You're right. You've covered it all perfectly. It's certainly worked for me, and it wasn't always easy. But it's worth it to stick it out. Thanks for dropping in and good luck!

kakiwarner said...

Hey Kim! Would love to meet you, too. Maybe at a conference someday. And thanks for all the support you've given me over the years. I really appreciate it.

kakiwarner said...

Wow, Carole. It sounds like it's been rough, but I'm glad you're taking care of yourself for a change. It really does take two people to make a marriage. Sorry you had to do it alone. I'm pulling for you. And good luck!

Page By Page Inside-Out Reviews said...

I would have to agree with you Kaki. It sounds so easy but it really is not. Love is a working relationship! There are times we really don't care for the other, other times we would love to slap each other silly, but at the end of the day I am always glad he is in my corner supporting and loving me.

We have been through some times that haven't always been easy from health to work related to family but through it all we have backed each other given the support the other needs. I would have to say after 25 years of marriage if I had to do it all over again I wouldn't have changed a thing. We love, share, laugh, tease, pick and hold the other through the bad and good times. i just could not imagine having another man by my side. I have the best even when times aren't the best.

Agnes Alexander said...

I feel I've found a new author who I'm anxious to try. This seems to be kind of books I get lost in. Thanks for the post.

kakiwarner said...

Sounds like you've built a wonderful relationship. I applaud your hard work and persistence. I feel the same way, and oddly over the years I realize more and more how lucky I was to find my guy. The real test came last year when I had two knee surgeries and he had to pick up the slack. He was wonderful! I told him I hoped he got sick someday so I could take care of him, but he politely declined, LOL. Thanks for sharing and so glad you came by.

kakiwarner said...

Hi Agnes. I hope you win a copy so you can check out my books. Good luck and thanks for coming by.

Connie White said...

Your book sounds fantastic. Your life does too. The way you described true love is very complete and true. True love means you think of your husband or wife before yourself and are willing to forgive and forget wrongs from the past. You must compromise and understand that neither of you will FEEL that floaty, giddy part of love most of the time (but it does come and go which makes it all the more precious when it's there), but you should care deeply about your mate and make him/her your best friend, the most important person in this world to you. Even your children will be most blessed to grow up seeing the friendship, respect and devotion you have toward your mate.

Connie White said...

Your book sounds fantastic. Your life does too. The way you described true love is very complete and true. True love means you think of your husband or wife before yourself and are willing to forgive and forget wrongs from the past. You must compromise and understand that neither of you will FEEL that floaty, giddy part of love most of the time (but it does come and go which makes it all the more precious when it's there), but you should care deeply about your mate and make him/her your best friend, the most important person in this world to you. Even your children will be most blessed to grow up seeing the friendship, respect and devotion you have toward your mate.