Linda has been writing romance for a long while, and I love her heartfelt stories. I've been chomping at the bit to get my hands on this new series. After reading just a smidgen from the first book, I'm hooked! Nobody writes about Texas with more heart than Linda, and her heroes are the kind of men you hope your daughters marry.
Here's Linda to tell you a little about the new series...
Hi, E.E., I’m so excited to be here again! I want to share my new release that starts this latest series called The Men of Legend. From the very first, this series reminded me of the TV show Bonanza. It just has that big “feel” about it. And the Legend family could well be the Cartwrights.
It’s about a tough-as-a-piece-of-shoe-leather patriarch named Stoker Legend and his three sons—Sam, Houston, and Luke. They own a 480,000 acre ranch called The Lone Star in North Texas. Sam is a Texas Ranger and TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER is his story. He and his father butt heads rather frequently over his choice of occupation. But Sam was born with an obsession to see what’s beyond the horizon and he makes no bones about it. Herding cows and eating dirt isn’t for him. Texas needed men to help make this raw land safe. He answered the call. I hope you’ll take this journey with me and meet these larger-than-life Legend men.
TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER
Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?
Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love for his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.
Here's an excerpt...
Sam’s soothing touch on her hair was so gentle. For so long, she’d yearned to have someone care about her. Was this real or did he merely feel sorry for her?
Sierra opened her eyes and glanced up at his shadowed face. “I was eight the year my ornery brothers decided to play their prank. Sneaking behind, they picked me up. Swinging me by my feet, they hurled me into the icy water of Bear Creek Lake. I couldn’t swim. My heavy clothes dragged me down. I struggled to rise to the surface but the cold water numbed my arms and legs.”
She shuddered, remembering the blackness that closed around, holding her in the watery grave. “When I came to, I was on dry land with my father kneeling over me.”
William Hunt had only set aside preoccupation with his work and jumped to the rescue a handful of times. Mostly he’d been too self-absorbed to spare his frightened little girl a thought. The only attention he paid was in making sure he kept her hidden away...from people and life.
Then when he did, he’d only seen her as an object of scorn.
“Thank you for telling me. Everything is clearer now.” Sam’s soft breath ruffled the hair at her temples as he pressed his lips to her forehead. “Fear isn’t something logical you can set your mind against. It eats at you.”
Except she hadn’t told him the rest. She couldn’t. “It’s silly I know. I’m a grown woman and yet I act as though a foolish child.”
He brushed her face with his fingertips. “There’s nothing foolish about you.” His voice became husky. “And you’re far from being a child.”
“I wish I had your strength. You always seem calm and sure, even when facing danger.”
“You would be wrong, pretty lady.” A layer of velvet wrapped the hardness of Sam’s words. “Back at the cabin, facing Ford and his men, my hands trembled so bad I thought I’d drop my gun. And on the day of my hanging, until they slapped my horse’s flank, I had hope of escape. Once I had nothing but air beneath me and was…” His voice cracked.
How could she have made him relive that terrible time, and how could she have forgotten the horror he lived with? She needed to have her head examined. Maybe she’d spent too many years roaming the wilderness to ever be civilized. She was like some wild animal that had to be taught not to bite.
The angry words her father had flung at her haunted her mind. You should’ve been the one to die.
Tears pricked the back of her eyes. Yes, it should’ve been her.
“Why did you stay so long in the mountains, Sierra?” he asked. “You were miserable.”
“I got stuck with no way out, and no place to go even if I had the freedom.”
“We do tend to get stuck sometimes.” Sam’s arm tightened around her. “Do you mind if I kiss you? I seem to have a great need for the taste of your lips.” His hoarse voice held a strange longing, almost as if he thought he didn’t have a right to ask.
“I’d like that.” Her words came out breathless and quiet. She wasn’t about to admit that her own needs made the yearning for him unbearable.
A smile curved his mouth. He gently cupped her jaw and brought her face toward him. Sierra held her breath as his lips touched hers. The slow kiss was like a caress, reminding her of the way the wind sighed through the tall pines—gentle and scented with nature’s fragrance. Sam’s lips, his tender touch, his gray eyes that saw past her failings, all blended, mixing with the night.
Warmth rushed over her, settling into the cold, frigid parts of her body where terror and despair dwelled. The heated flush swimming through her veins thawed a little of the ice gripping her. A quickening lurched in her stomach as the kiss sent jolts through her. Her heart fluttered wildly.
This kiss was different from those they’d briefly shared. This one shook her to her toes and seared into her memory. Excited tingles swept along each nerve ending as his scent mingled with wild sage, saddle leather…and the desperate hope in her heart.
She’d dreamed of finding such a man, but had long given up. Sam’s tender touch made her feel beautiful and desired. With him, she wasn’t the sad little girl with an absent father and a mother so locked in grief she would rather die than live.
With him, she was welcomed, embraced as someone of value. And with him, she’d never be forgotten.
Sierra laid her hand on his chest, feeling the beat of his heart beneath her small palm. Sam Legend was scarred. So was she. But he was everything she wanted.
She’s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. Her books are often thought-provoking and full of rich historical detail. When she’s not writing, she reads for fun, delves into research, haunts museums and libraries, and indulges in rock collecting. She lives in the Texas Panhandle on land the Comanche, Apache, and Comancheros once roamed. Stories are so thick she can reach out and pluck them from the air.
Visit me at: www.LindaBroday.com
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Why are all your books set in Texas?
Early on, a bestselling author told me to write what I know. That’s why my pirate book is still under my bed. It stunk because I knew zero things about pirates. But I do know Texas and cowboys. I know the plants, trees, landscape and even more importantly how we think. Texans are unique. Most scoff and say we’re nothing but braggers who talk big and carry a pistol on our hip. I beg to differ. Texans are proud of our history. We know where we came from and we don’t mind sharing it. We’re all descendants of Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett—all those early men who fought for the right to live free and independent. Their dream is in our blood. Texans feel they carry the torch for the rest of the world and maybe do in a lot of ways. I love our people’s determination to survive and make things better for everyone. Those are the characters in my books. They have this pride and determination embedded deep in their souls. My characters are these early settlers who paved the way for us. They don’t give up. They work until they achieve their goal. I love this state and I’m so proud to live here. Few other places display their state flag in their homes and yards? Texas isn’t just where I live—it’s inside me.
What do you think constitutes a strong Hero/Heroine?
I definitely think respect is a requirement. They must believe that they have what it takes inside to achieve their dream. They’ll probably get knocked down, maybe more than once, but they pick themselves up and try again. A true hero/heroine will never give up, not even in the face of death. They’ll fight with everything they have, even ride through hell and come out the other side. These people have unwavering values and certain rules they set deep down for themselves. They draw lines that they’ll never cross. They carry love for their country, their family, and for animals. They’re extremely loyal and hard working. These are the people I love reading about.
What is the best thing about starting a new series?
I love that it’s a clean slate. I get to create a new world and the people to occupy it. But what really intrigues me is uncovering their secrets. I often think I missed my calling. I should’ve been a detective. I love uncovering the things that make these people tick—learning their hopes and fears, secret dreams that fill their heads. I snoop until I find every last one. Almost always they have a few skeletons in the closet—lost loves, crime, passion, regret, or maybe secret babies. These emotions can be very powerful in fiction, as well as life. Secrets abound in TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER not only in the sons but the father as well. There’s turmoil and chaos, yet underneath you find deep love and commitment. Blood is thicker than water and when trouble comes, these brothers and their father stand united. Always.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to refill the well?
I’m a movie-holic. I love sitting in a dark theater and immersing myself in the magic happening onscreen. I don’t have to answer the phone, make dinner or even think. I turn everything off and watch the story unfolding on the screen. I always get ideas of some kind or another from watching movies. And I can feed my secret fantasies of carrying on a torrid love affair with the handsome guy on the screen. Which I do. A lot.
What is the hardest part of this career for you?
Social media, hands down. It’s not that I don’t like to do it, the problem is finding time. Another thing is finding something of interest to post. I lead the most boring life of anyone alive. I never do anything fun or interesting and I don’t take very many trips. I don’t have any pets, children or a garden. It’s a huge problem for me. I welcome any suggestions.
Who are some of your favorite TV and Movie fictional cowboys?
Good question. I tell you, my list would stretch from here to the sky. I grew up watching TV and movie cowboys and from them I developed a deep love for these men. At the top of my list (for now) would have to be Little Joe Cartwright (Michael Landon) because he’s most like Sam Legend in this series—both in looks and actions. Except Sam is lots taller. They both have the same code they set for themselves early on and they won’t break it. Clint Eastwood would have to be on here as well as Keven Costner. Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, and John Wayne. And I can’t leave out Robert Duval. He plays a darn good cowboy.
Which of these Men of Legend brothers do you most relate to?
That would have to be Luke. Why? Because he grew up with very little, just like me. I, too, knew what it was like to go bed hungry and never having enough. I know how he thinks, how he feels and the resentment toward the Legend family is totally understandable. His story (book #3 which I’ve already finished) practically wrote itself. He was an interesting character. And you’ll get to read his story in November 2017.
What do you most like about Sam Legend and what do you least like?
I admire Sam’s commitment to his job. Being a Texas Ranger defines who he is. He has this driving need to make the land safe for settlers. And he wants to see justice done. This isn’t just a job with him—it is him.
I least like his stubbornness. I swear, he’d argue with a fence post. I just wanted to shake him and get him to see that Sierra was his one true love. They had conflict, but they could work through that and somehow find a compromise. But he wouldn’t bend. Darn his hide!
GIVEAWAY – 3 copies of TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER.
Linda's question for our readers:
What theme would you like to see more of in historical western romances?