Today is the release day for, Brody's Bride, the first book in Kathleen Lawless' new series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Happy book birthday, Kathleen! Thank you for sharing your series launch with Get Lost in a Story.
SALE ALERT: Brody's Bride is available at a special launch price of .99 for a limited time!
Jacqui: What inspired you to write the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series?
Kathleen: I knew I wanted to write a Western Historical Series that would (I hoped) resonate with readers. I remember watching the short-lived TV series of that name, which had been loosely based on a musical play and decided it made a catchy series name. Since there is no copyright on titles, and no other romance series by that name I adopted it as mine.
Jacqui: How did you come up with the seven brothers' names: Brody, Bradley, Braydon, Blake, Bishop, Barron, Benjamin?
Kathleen: Apparently I like breaking the rules. One unwritten rule of writing is to not have the main characters’ names start with the same letter, as it can confuse the reader. But I loved the alliteration of the Brother’s Brides (all names starting with B), so I ignored the rules. I figure if Nora Roberts can break the rules (she had brothers’ names all beginning with the same letter in one of her books), why can’t I. The brothers are seldom all in a scene together (this is a romance after all) so I’m hoping the readers will indulge me. Despite their names beginning with the letter B, the men are all very different from each other.
Jacqui: Before we jump into Brody and Laura's story, tell us about your free series prequel, Before the Brides.
Kathleen: I consider Book 1 to be a classic reunited lovers, second chance together story. As teenage sweethearts, Brody and Laura are both scarred from their breakup ten years earlier. I wanted the readers to know the story of their cute-meet in the very beginning and the factors that led to their break-up, which in turn leads to their issues when they see each other for the first time years later in BRODY’S BRIDE.
For anyone who signs up for my reader’s list to receive updates and news of special fan pricing sales, you can also download the series Prequel, Before the Brides, which I don’t plan to offer for sale. http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1
BRODY’S BRIDE - BLURB
Brody has his hands full with a murderer next door trying to take over his ranch. Laura broke his heart ten years earlier. Now she’s back, and right in the crosshairs of his sworn enemy.
Laura never stopped loving Brody. And when she learns of his unscrupulous rival’s plan to take his home, she can’t stay away. Even though he rebuffs her help, she is determined to make amends for the past.
Can Brody save the ranch, keep its secrets, extract vengeance and protect Laura? All without losing his heart to her all over again?
BRODY'S BRIDE is Book 1 in the sweet western historical series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers by critically-acclaimed author, Kathleen Lawless.
If you like cowboys, secrets, and intrigue in the wild west, don’t miss this series.
BRODY’S BRIDE - EXCERPT
Copyright ©2019 Kathleen Lawless
Laura’s heart raced nearly as fast as the stage coach traveling the road from Yuma to Bullet. She couldn’t believe she was back in Arizona after ten long years. Let alone in collusion with Brody’s sworn enemy.
She wondered how long until her path crossed with Brody’s.
“Not long till we reach Bullet, Lovely Laura.”
She glanced at her companion, masking her disdain. Little Guy, as she thought of him, rather than by his given name of Jeffrey, had no idea how useful Laura was finding him.
“I’m sure I’ll find it every bit as charming as you said, Jeffrey. And imagine a small town being prosperous enough to build a school.” There’d been no school there ten years ago.
“It was Pa’s idea. Can’t have hooligans running around the countryside with no education.” Little Guy smirked. “Wait till he finds out I brought back a bona-fide school teacher from Los Angeles.”
Laura cast her eyes demurely downward. “I hope he doesn’t find it too presumptuous of me to simply arrive unannounced.”
“Leave me to handle Pa.” She could almost see Jeffrey’s chest puff with importance.
“And who, pray tell, is your sire, young man?” asked their coach mate, obviously a foreigner, judging by the man’s clipped accent and city clothing.
While Jeffrey droned on with glowing attributes to his father, which Laura had already suffered through, she turned her attention to the passing scenery. Arizona’s countryside had barely changed in the years since she had snuck over here from Yuma to see Brody.
Would he even remember her?
Being back still seemed surreal. All because of a random conversation overheard.
Standing in line at the post office, her ears had perked up when Jeffrey spoke of Bullet and boasted to a companion about his father’s exploits there. According to Jeffrey, nothing could stop Hawkes Sr. from taking over every lock, stock, and barrel, including a certain ranch owned by a bunch of rag-tag losers who called themselves brothers.
Her heart twisted with sadness recalling the last time she had set eyes on Brody. Did he still hate her for what she had done?
Determinedly, she had swallowed her distaste for Jeffrey Hawkes and arranged a chance meeting, the first of several. Eventually, she let him ‘talk her into’ going to Bullet with him to teach in the town’s new schoolhouse. She deserved an award for her acting ability as she pretended to be grateful to him for taking her under his wing. She knew, in order to pull this off, to spy on Jeffrey’s father for Brody, it had to seem like it was all Jeffrey’s idea she was here.
Her hair, pale gold originally, had darkened over the years to a rich burnished chestnut color kissed by the California sun and shot through with lighter strands. She wore spectacles, not that she needed them, but she believed it made her look more like a schoolmarm; older than her twenty-eight years.
When they arrived in Bullet and alighted from the coach, she glanced up and down the dust-trodden Main Street, as if seeing it for the first time. “Why Jeffrey, I don’t see a single hotel or rooming house anywhere.”
“There is a rooming house next street over, but it’s too rough for a lady such as yourself. You’ll stay at the Ranch with Pa and I.”
“Oh, I don’t think that would be seemly at all. What might people think?” she said demurely, secretly applauding the chance to get close to Hawkes Sr. Close enough to learn what his evil plans entailed.
“Don’t you worry about what people think. My Pa takes care of all that.”
* * *Seated in the comfy old ranch house kitchen of the Copper Moon Ranch, Brody Mason looked up as his surrogate brother, Braydon, pulled up a chair.
“Got us some new intel on Hawkes,” Braydon said.
Anytime one of them mentioned Hawkes’ name, the other six paid attention. The twins overheard Braydon and joined them first. All the Masons hated the man with good reason, but the Brody and the twins had an especially keen interest in seeing Hawkes thoroughly and irrevocably destroyed.
“Out with it,” Bishop said.
“Waiting on the others,” Braydon said.
One by one the other three ambled in and found seats around the massive scrubbed pine table Brody had made in his youth. Not only did the table dominate the kitchen, it doubled as a work bench, learning desk, or operating table, depending on what the brothers needed it for on any given day.
Brody watched the way Braydon grinned at each brother in turn. The man surely did love an audience.
“Seems Hawkes has hired himself a right comely school teacher for his new schoolhouse, and he fancies her. Hear tell he kicked his boy right out of the running to win her hand,” Braydon said.
“Don’t see what that’s got to do with us,” dark and brooding Bradley said, picking at a sliver in his thumb.
“Remember, piece by piece, no matter how long it takes, we’re taking the man down,” Braydon said.
The others nodded in agreement and Brody felt a wave of gratitude and admiration for the unorthodox family he helped create here at the Copper Moon. These men were his brothers in the soul. He’d trust them with his life.
“Anything and everything Hawkes owns, or covets, slowly gets taken over by us,” Braydon continued. “He sets his sights on the little schoolmarm, one of us needs to woo her away.”
“My vote’s with you,” one of the others said. “You’re the ladies’ man hereabouts.”
“Just because I’m better acquainted with soap and water than you are—”
Brody stepped between the two men before moods escalated. “Settle down you two. The only fair way to decide who woos the fair school teacher’s favor is to draw straws.”
There was a shuffling of feet and a few murmurs of dissent. Brody held up his hand. “We’re in this together, or did you all forget that little detail?”
“Anyone seen her?” Benjamin asked.
“Haven’t got a look at her yet. But she must be something if Hawkes is gunning for another trophy,” Braydon said.
They all fell silent. As if any of them needed a reminder of what Hawkes had done to one of their own. And the trophy he flaunted from that killing.
“Fair enough.” Bishop set to work fetching the straws.
One by one, each of them drew. Brody went last and his heart fell when the short straw was revealed. He narrowed his gaze on Bishop. “You rig this?” Bishop and his twin were professional con artists. He wouldn’t put anything past them.
“I swear,” Bishop said. “Fair draw.”
Brody stared down at the straw in his hand. Wooing a stranger. He hadn’t got close to any females in that way since Laura…. He tamped down the thought. Closed book. Ancient history.
“Looks like I have to do everything around here,” he grumbled.
~ * ~
Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys. Historical or contemporary, cowboys continue to resonate with her today.
One of her heroes, Steele, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was dating on-line and met a man called Steel— Well, he’s not a cowboy but his is an alpha male and her forever hero. Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.
Not that she can ever stick to just one genre. So many stories to tell—never enough time. With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, erotic romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.
Sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter to receive updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers. http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1