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UNRIDDEN (Studs in Spurs Book 1)

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And don’t miss WRECKED in the Studs in Spurs Series

In eBook/Print Aug 18 Preorder Wrecked for $2.99 USD (Reg 3.99)

Readers first met Wade Long and CeCe Cole in SPURRED. Well they’re back in their own book and now this Texas cowboy is about to show one spoiled CEO who’s really the boss, both in and out of bed!

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Beach Reads WRECKED

In defense of Jace EXCERPT #2 Three Weeks with a Bull Rider…

THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER CAT JOHNSONIt’s interesting to sit back as an author and watch readers react to your characters. I’m finding that particularly so with Jace from the Oklahoma Nights series. He’s not perfect. I know. I wrote him that way. There are reasons for his flaws and for his behavior, but you, the readers don’t get to see all that until his book, Three Weeks with a Bull Rider. Some readers of Book 2 complained about Jace as a character. What I would hope is that readers realize that if I can make him bother you in Book 2, I have the skill to turn both your opinion and his character around in Book 3.

In real life no one should judge another person until they’ve walked a mile in their shoes because what we see of each other is only the tip of the iceberg of a complete world that makes up each of us. More than that, not one of us is perfect. George RR Martin, author of Game of Thrones, says his favorite characters to write are the ‘gray’ characters because they are the most true to life, and I think, more interesting. I want to throttle perfect characters. They are cardboard, two-dimensional beings. Real people make mistakes. Real people are capable of great deeds, and even greater mistakes and stupidity.

Jace, on the surface, is a fickle womanizer, a player and a fool. Dig deeper and you’ll find a man who’s tortured, Be Kindwrestling with a past he can’t close the door on, as much as he tries to move forward.

Here’s a never before seen excerpt from Three Weeks with a Bull Rider. It’s a peek into a dark side of Jace’s life, his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. They dated for 7 years and even now, a year after their break-up, she’s still a drug he can’t resist. But just like an illicit drug, she’s toxic to him and he knows it. In this scene he’s given his best friend’s sister a ride home from a rodeo because her car broke down. READ THAT EXCERPT HERE But his ex-girlfriend, who likes to keep tabs on him even though they are broken up, is angry at him for being in the truck with another woman…

EXCERPT

Jace drove to the next block, and then pulled to the side. Letting the truck idle, he picked up his cell phone and dialed Jacqueline. He was tired. Bone deep exhaustion began in his heart and had nothing to do with the competition tonight.

Jacqueline answered on the second ring. “It’s after eleven o’clock.”

“I told you I’d call when I got to Stillwater so I’m calling.”

“It doesn’t take that long to drive from Shawnee. What did you do? Pull over and fuck her?”

“Yeah, Jacqueline. I fucked her nine ways ’til Sunday, right here in the truck. Then I dumped her off with her brother—my best friend—and told him what a great lay she was.” Jace’s heart pounded as hard when he fought with Jacqueline as it did when his hand was strapped to the back of a ton of bucking bull. That kind of stress couldn’t be healthy.

“Then why did fifty miles take you over an hour? I know how fast you like to drive.”

“It’s closer to sixty miles and I was towing her car behind the truck. I had to drive slow. Then I had to take the time to unhitch it when I got to Tuck’s place.” Jace gripped the phone tight and tried to maintain calm.

Maybe she’d believe he was telling the truth. Maybe not. That was always up in the air when it came to Jacqueline. He heard the sniffle and the shaky intake of breath.

“There’s nothing to cry over.” He was safe, back in Stillwater and alone. What the hell more could he offer her? Still, the tears always did him in. It seemed more so now that they were broken up. “Hey, you know what else? I came in second. And even better, I didn’t get hurt.”

Jacqueline let out a snort. “Too bad.”

Jace smiled at that. She’d stopped with the accusations about other women and resorted to insulting him. He knew they were on the upward slope of the fight. “This should make you happy. A young kid riding injured beat me out of first.”

“That’s because you’re old.”

“Pfft. Those young guys don’t know shit. You know that. Now me, I’m old enough to know where everything is and how to use it.” Jace’s voice dipped down, low and suggestive.

“Do you have to work early in the morning?” Jacqueline’s tone had softened.

“No.” He never scheduled jobs for the morning after he rode. There were times he needed the recovery time, or a visit to the hospital. Either way, he didn’t want to leave a customer expecting him and then not show up.

“Can you come over?”

His cock heard the invitation in her voice and immediately rose to the occasion. The damn thing was like his parents’ dog when he was growing up. Buster could be at the other end of the house, hear the can opener and come running, thinking it was time to eat. Like a reflex reaction, Jace’s dick heard Jacqueline’s voice and figured it was time for some lovin’. Truth be told, he hadn’t taken it out for a spin since the last time he’d been with her.

He drew in a shaky breath. “All right. I’ll be there in five minutes.”

Jace had taken his time on the drive from Shawnee to Stillwater, but he didn’t on the way over to Jacqueline’s apartment. He risked a ticket and sped down the dark, deserted streets as the clock on the dash told him it was getting closer to midnight. He wouldn’t stay the night. It would be too painful. How could he hold Jacqueline all night, wake up next to her in the morning in the home they used to share, and then get up and leave to go back to his empty apartment?

This was self-destructive behavior, and yet he was pulling his truck into her driveway, throwing it in park, and heading for the door . . . and her bed. They needed to talk. He needed to stop this. She needed to stop inviting him over. They both had to get on with their lives.

But not tonight. He’d come over tomorrow in the light of day when he wasn’t so tired and needy. They’d talk like adults and agree to be friends.

Jace felt satisfied with his plan as she opened the front door. He was good with it right up until she grabbed his shirt and pulled him inside and her mouth crashed into his. Then all rational thought was lost. He thrust his hands beneath the silky fall of platinum blond waves that hung nearly to her ass. She’d been the local rodeo queen the year he’d met her, and he had no doubt she’d still be able to take the title all these years later.

Yanking her head back, Jace took possession of her mouth. Without breaking the kiss, he backed her inside, kicking the door closed behind him.

Jacqueline wiggled both hands between their bodies. Blindly, she unhooked the buckle on his belt. After seven years of being together and a year of having sex while broken up, it was no surprise she could maneuver his belt as well as he could. She went to work on the fly of his jeans as he anticipated what would be next—her hands on him. Them on the bed. Him inside her.

He tugged the bottom of the tank top out of her pajama bottoms. Sliding his hands beneath the elastic waistband, he felt the bare skin of her ass. He loved how she slept commando. No underwear. Nothing beneath those PJs but his warm, smooth woman . . . except that she wasn’t his. Not anymore.

But for tonight—for the next hour or two—she’d be his.

Jace hoisted her up and she wrapped her legs around his back as he carried her to the bedroom. As he cleared the doorway of the room so familiar to him, he noticed she’d gotten a new lamp and painted the walls. The changes were physical reminders, like a fist to the gut, that they weren’t together. He tossed her onto the bed where she landed with a bounce on the mattress. He followed her down and knew with certainty they shouldn’t be doing this.

Yanking his T-shirt off over his head, Jace tossed it to the floor, realizing it wouldn’t remain there long. He’d put it on after they were done and drive home. In the morning, he’d wake up alone in his own bed. Tomorrow, he’d go back to wondering when the next phone call or text would come from her. When she’d ask him to come over again. And he’d do it, knowing it would hurt like hell afterward.

He didn’t want to live like that anymore.

The knowledge tickled the back of his mind, but the words never made it out of his mouth. Maybe because his mouth was too busy biting her neck, marking her. She raked her nails down his back, likely leaving marks of her own.

Their sex always had been intense. Rough. Passionate. Almost violent, just like their relationship. The worse the fight, the harder the makeup sex. Today’s argument had been nothing compared to their usual, but Jace was too needy, too deprived for too frigging long to not take her hard and fast.

Two fingers thrust inside her told him she was wet and ready. The damn woman always had gotten off from arguing with him. Jacqueline threw her head back, eyes slammed shut from the feel of his invasion. He could bring her to orgasm fast enough. Just a thumb or his mouth on her would do it. He knew her so well, it would take no effort at all, but he was mad and he needed to be inside her. Needed to pound away the emotions.

Jace reached for the drawer next to the bed.

“There aren’t any more in there. You used the only one left last time you were here.”

There’d been plenty of times he had gone without protection with Jacqueline throughout the years, but not now that they were broken up. Especially not after Tuck’s revelation about Emma and Logan’s unplanned surprise. He sat up. “I have some in my gear bag. Be right back.”

“You what? You carry condoms in your gear bag?” Her eyes opened wide.

Crap. He realized his mistake too late. Jace knew that tone, knew that look. He sighed. “Yes, I have a box of condoms in the truck.”

“Why? Who are you fucking at the arena, Jace? Her? The one I heard on the phone tonight?”

“I’m not having sex with anyone besides you, Jacqueline.”

He should lie and tell her he’d picked up a new box because he’d remembered they’d used the stash he always kept in her drawer, but she’d see the box wasn’t new. Some were missing.

He could tell the truth, that he’d started carrying that box around with him shortly after they’d broken up. Since he hadn’t been with anyone else, he’d never used even one. The strip missing were the ones he’d given to Tuck the night he met Becca. But there was no winning a fight with Jacqueline when she got jealous and irrational.

“You’re a pig! You fuck your little tramp and then come here to my bed?” Jacqueline reinforced her accusation by grabbing the phone next to the bed and throwing it at him.

Only his quick reflexes blocked it from hitting him in the face. It bounced off his forearms as he held them in front of him. She threw a pillow next, which was fine. That couldn’t hurt, but when she reached for the lamp—the new wrought iron lamp he’d noticed when he’d walked in—he took a step back.

Jace couldn’t count how many times he’d walked away from a fight with Jacqueline, scratched and bruised. Being a bull rider, he was always hurt, so no one questioned or even noticed a few more injuries. The physical stuff healed. The hurt inside . . . not so much.

Yanking the plug from the wall, she hoisted the lamp over her head and his anger broke through. Jace had never once laid a hand on her. Even when she’d broken his nose, he’d done nothing but try to protect himself from the blows.

No more. He grabbed her forearm and held tight, hard enough to leave bruises from his fingers. The way he teetered on the edge of losing his temper and his control, if she hit him with that lamp, one or both of them would end up in the hospital.

“No, Jacqueline. No more.”

“Don’t you dare tell me what to—”

“No. No more berating me, or jealousy, or hitting me. No more sex. No more phone calls. Nothing. I have never once cheated on you. Never given you cause to feel or act the way you do. I can’t do this anymore. Don’t call me. Don’t text. Don’t come by my house or my work. I’m sorry, but we can’t even be friends. We sure as hell are no good at it.” He managed to keep his voice calm even as his heart thundered.

The hand that held her shook, but still he held tight. He stayed strong. He couldn’t do this anymore. Live in limbo. Hang on to a small thread of a relationship that he knew deep down was toxic to them both. She’d begun to act crazy months after they’d started dating, but he’d lived in hope she’d get over it, that she’d realize he wanted to be with her and only her. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen.

Jace released his hold on her and remained braced to block a blow, but it didn’t come. She stood before him, wide-eyed and shaking, looking small and vulnerable and making him want to do the one thing he couldn’t let himself—wrap his arms around her and comfort her.

This woman drove him nuts. He’d survived two of the rankest bulls on the circuit tonight, but he’d be lucky to get out of her apartment without a concussion or a few broken bones from a hundred and twenty pound woman wielding a bedside lamp.

In the midst of it all, he felt sorry for her. How crazy was that?

Jacqueline was his drug, his addiction, his kryptonite, and because of that, the only thing to do was go cold turkey. Walk out that front door, drive away, and never look back. No matter how much it hurt both of them.

“Good-bye, Jacqueline.” He turned and headed for the bedroom door. Flinching at the sound of the lamp hitting the floor, he kept walking.

“Jace.” The sound of her footsteps followed him down the hallway. “Please, wait.”

He put one hand on the doorknob and turned it, ignoring her plea and the sob that followed it.

Outside, the cool night air hit his face as he strode for the truck.

“Fine. Never come back!” Her front door slammed behind him, hard and loud, the sound cutting through the quiet of the night. With the truck doors locked and the key in the ignition, he let himself glance at the house, half expecting to see her running at him with the lamp, or the baseball bat he knew all too well was in the hall closet. But the front door didn’t open again. He pulled away from the curb. Only then, did Jace let himself breathe freely again.

The first text came before he’d left her block.

I’m sorry. Please come back.

In the past, this would have been where he’d make a U-turn. Spin the truck around, go back, and bury the anger with makeup sex. Things would be fine until the next fight began. He couldn’t do it anymore. Drawing in a bracing breath, he stayed on course for his own apartment.

The second text followed before he’d driven five more miles.

Where are you? Going over to fuck her? Have fun!

Jace shook his head and swiped a palm over the moisture in his eyes.

This Jacqueline—the angry, irrational one—was a hell of a lot easier to resist than the soft, tear-filled one. He hit the button to power down his phone. He knew her. The texts and phone calls wouldn’t stop all night. In fact, there was a good chance she’d drive over, if not tonight, then by tomorrow at sunrise, and bang on his door until he let her in to prove he didn’t have a girl inside. In fact, given the mood she was in, it was almost a certainty.

Crap. He couldn’t go home. The battle would just continue there. Knowing that, he swung a sharp left and headed away from his apartment, toward the practice arena used by the Oklahoma State rodeo team he sometimes helped Tuck coach.

He’d slept in his truck before, and chances were he’d do it again. It was part of life on the rodeo circuit. Sometimes it was easier to pull over and sleep for a few hours rather than get a hotel room for the night. It was sure as hell cheaper. There’d been other times he’d spent the night in the truck in a parking lot, sleeping off a drunk. He didn’t drink and drive, but that didn’t mean he always took a taxi home. The truck was good enough for him for one night at times such as those, and it was good enough now.

Eventually, he’d have to turn on his phone again and go home. He’d figure out what to do about that later, after some sleep and distance.

Jace cut the engine and stared out into the night. Peace and quiet. Nothing but the stars and the empty practice arena. Easing the seat back as far as it would go, he tilted his hat lower, slumped down and closed his eyes. Tomorrow would be a better day. True or not, he had to believe it.

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One Night With a Cowboy All New Excerpt

After being up on Amazon with a lonely grey box where my cover should have been, finally One Night With a Cowboy has a cover image on the pre-order page and NOW I can effectively ‘ho, um, I mean promote the book!

Why start now, you ask? The book doesn’t release until February. Yes, I know, but I’ve gleaned some knowledge while worshipping the false god that is Amazon, but, like with all deities, the truth is always shrouded in mystery. Still, here is what I think might possibly be true…

Preorder sales for a book are very (VERY) important. It’s the sales accumulated during preorder that can drive a book to the best seller lists, we think, possibly, because even though I’m trying to convince a friend a mine to work for Amazon and spy for me she hasn’t consented to do so yet so we’re all just guessing here.

Here is another thing we’re guessing about…it was rumored that books with more Reader Ratings and Reviews, good or bad, get special treatment at Amazon as far as promotion. Things such as inclusion in emails, or the ‘recommended for you’ titles shown when you visit the site. I’ve heard over 20 ratings is the magic number there but of course, just a guess. It’s also now being rumored that the more LIKES a book has, the more it will be promoted by Amazon. Again, for every rumor, there is a person who refutes it. I’ve heard 50 is the magic number of LIKES, but again…yeah, you know.

Then there is my most recent discovery–there’s a Most Wished For Top 100 list in each category on Amazon. I was stalking the Hot New Releases in Western Romance  ranking for my FLANKED and glanced at the right side and low and behold, there was a Most Wished For list and Flanked was number three on it. So of course, I ran over and put the Cleis Cowboy anthology on my Wish List because I wanted to support that book. What a great way to support an author even if you can’t afford to preorder or buy the book right now–just put it on your wish list!

Of course, we could be all jumping through hoops for nothing and none of this makes any difference. So, let’s move on to the fun stuff!!!

Now that I’m ‘ho-ing my One Night With a Cowboy, which is in edits now, how about a lil teaser as Tucker teases Becca? Gotta love a cocky cowboy… Enjoy!!

ONE NIGHT WITH A COWBOY

Oklahoma Nights, Book 1

One Sweet Ride…
Oh yeah. A single look at the leggy blonde in the stands and Tucker Jenkins is ready to buck all night long. It’s time to forget all about his cheating ex and his usual hands off policy.
One Hot Night… 
Becca Hart is an East Coast professor. Not a buckle bunny.  But no degree can prepare her for the moves of the sexy bull rider she hooks up with at her first rodeo … Or the shock of finding him at her first Oklahoma State University staff meeting.
One Happy Ending…
Tuck knows it’s all about holding on, no matter how wild the ride. Now he just has to convince Becca that a rough start out of the chute doesn’t mean they aren’t a smokin’ combination …

Excerpt (unedited)

“I have a room with a king-sized bed available. Will that be all right?”

“Perfect.” Tucker shot her a smirk and she felt her cheeks heat.

How many more embarrassing questions could this desk clerk ask? There couldn’t possibly be any more. He’d pretty much covered everything he could to humiliate her.

Yes, only one night. Yes, the bigger the bed the better. Yes, we’ll be having lots of sex. Thank you for asking.

“Do you need help with your luggage?”

She nearly choked as the hotel employee managed to come up with one more thing she hadn’t even considered.

No, no luggage. Just sex.

“No, thanks. We’re good.” Cool as a cucumber, as he had been through the entire check-in, Tucker picked up the pen and signed the paper the clerk had pushed toward him.

“We’re all set then. Check out is eleven, and elevators are to your right.”

“Great. Thanks.” Tucker slid the signed form back and took the keycard from him. After slipping the small piece of plastic into his back pocket, he took her hand in his and turned toward the elevators.

At least that part of the night was over, but even though she couldn’t wait to get out of sight of the lobby and the front desk, Tucker moved at his usual pace. Something between an amble and a stroll. It would be very atmospheric in an old Western movie. Here and now, it made the New Yorker in her cringe as she fought the urge to sprint—or at least power walk—to their destination.

When they finally reached the elevators and were out of earshot of the clerk, she turned to glance at Tucker. “I’m so embarrassed.”

He frowned down at her from beneath his ever-present cowboy hat. The bad-girl side of her—the one she hadn’t known existed until Emma forced her to go to the rodeo to look for cowboys in the first place—couldn’t help wondering if Tucker normally took his hat off to have sex or if he left it on. It was like a fist to the stomach when she realized she’d know one way or the other very soon. Wow.

“Embarrassed about what?” he asked, knocking the image of him, naked except for his hat, out of her spinning brain.

“He must know why we’re here. What we’re doing.” Even though there was no one nearby, Becca kept her voice as low as humanly possible.

“You mean that we’re checking in to have sex?” He leaned toward her and hissed the last word in an exaggerated whisper tinged with a laugh. “Becca, why would he assume that?”

“Because it’s practically the middle of the night.” She opened her eyes wide. Jeez. It was so obvious.

“So? We could just as easily be two weary travelers looking for a place to rest on a long journey.” The smirk on Tucker’s face told Becca he was enjoying this a little too much. She, on the other hand, was not.

She frowned. “We don’t look like travelers. We don’t even have any luggage.”

“You’re so cute being embarrassed. Just because we don’t have luggage.” He smiled and ran one hand up her arm. “If you want, I can go get my gear bag from the truck and carry it past the front desk so he thinks it’s our overnight bag.”

“No.” She rolled her eyes at his suggestion. “That won’t work.”

“Why not?”

“Because this is Oklahoma, the rodeo state. He’ll probably know it’s full of bull stuff and think we’re doing kinky things upstairs with it or something.” She felt the scowl settle on her face at the thought. Best to leave it alone and cut their losses.

“First of all, Oklahoma is the Sooner State, not the rodeo state. But besides that, I’m trying to imagine what kind of kinky things we could possibly do with the bull stuff in my gear bag.” Tucker raised a brow. “I suppose we could get creative with the tape I use to wrap my wrist. There is the cowbell hanging on my bull rope… Although unless you’re into some really weird kind of role playing, that won’t be of much use.”

He grinned as her cheeks grow hotter.

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RELEASE DAY: COWBOY SHUFFLE

So my mother just called to say “You didn’t put up a new post about Cowboy Shuffle. Doesn’t it release today?”

Yes, it does, and even though it’s all over Twitter, and Facebook, and the ARe Cafe, and Google+, and on my landing page here at the site, and in the ARe Wildfire newsletter, and at the Wild & Wicked Cowboy blog, on top of a few other blogs where the owners were kind enough to feature me, it wasn’t here on my own blog. So yes, Mother, you are right, it should be on here too because there are some, I’m sure, who count this as their one stop shopping for all news Cat Johnson. So here it is, the official announcement that indeed, today is the release of Texas Two-Step:Cowboy Shuffle, which is the sequel to last year’s Texas Two-Step.

Now for the good news/bad news.

No, it’s not coming to Amazon or BN. My apologies. All Romance, who put out the book, decided to make it an exclusive so it is only Texas Two-Stepavailable at AllRomance.com right now, but like Texas Two-Step, it will be soon uploaded to the iBookstore to be read in the iBooks app on iPads, iPod Touches and iPhones. Install the free iBooks App on your iDevice (I just made up that word, works nicely though, doesn’t it? LOL) and then go to the STORE tab, then do a search by entering in the top right field Cat Johnson and all my titles available on the iBookstore will appear. My free read “Cat Snips” is there so you can practice on a free book without fear if you are an iBooks virgin.

The good news is ARe sells multiple formats so books purchased there in ePub can be easily sideloaded onto Nooks or iBooks, PDFs can be read on computers or multiple eReaders, and the Mobi format can be loaded to a Kindle. I also know you can somehow add your Kindle email address to ARe and click “Send to my Kindle” on books in your library at ARe and they will magically fly to your Kindle. (One hint, you may need to turn the Kindle off then on again to see the new books). There are FAQs for all this at ARe, and I have worked personally with the customer service folks there as well, and they are every helpful and understanding.

More good news is that there are NO geographical restrictions at ARe. If you have an email address, you can download an eBook. Unlike Amazon, it doesn’t matter what country you’re in. You can be in the space shuttle, or deployed to Afghanistan, or even living in Canada (shh, don’t tell Amazon, they like to restrict what you Canucks read), but as long as you have internet access and an email address you can sign up for a free ARe account and download both free and paid books from the site.

So that’s it. Your new release post is up. Yes, I was being lazy, Mother was right–but isn’t she always? LOL

Gotta go. Mom is back on the phone confused on how to get the book to her Kindle once again…

“Go to the ARe site, log in, click on the Library tab,  find the book in your list then click Send to Kindle…Yes, Mother, call me back if that doesn’t work.”

Ring, ring

“It’s still not here.”

“Turn it off then back on again.”

“Okay, I shut it off, now back on… nope still not–oh wait, there it is! Thank you.”

“Yes, Mother. You’re welcome.”

What makes a man–and a cowboy–strong?

What makes a man strong?

That’s the question posed to the final 4 heroes battling for the title of Summer’s Hottest Hero at All Romance eBooks this week in Round #4 of the competition.

What’s the answer to this question?

You’ll have to go to ARe and log in to your ARe account to read the 4 heroes’ answers. Once you are logged in, you’ll see the 4 heroes in the 2 match-ups. Click on Wes Griffin’s name and read what he thinks makes a man–and a cowboy in particular–strong in his eyes.

Don’t forget to vote for your two favorites. Voters can vote in each bracket in every round so if you haven’t voted yet in Round #4 which began today, Friday, July 22nd and ends July 27th at 11:59 PM CT, you are eligible to vote and to win $25 in eBook Bucks (your vote is your entry).

It’s going to be a tight competition again this round so go support your favorite hero–and if he happens to be my hot roping rodeo cowboy Wes, even better! The two winners of this round will advance to the 5th and final round next week where one will be crowned the Hottest Hero of the Summer!

Red Hot Ropin’ Rodeo Cowboys…

You know I’ve got a newfound obsession with ropers. I’ve blogged here about how I get all a’tingle at the sight of a tie-down roper, piggin’ string between his teeth, controlling a ton of horse with his legs, and then leaping from the stirrups at a full gallop to throw down a 250 pound calf, all within seconds.

No surprise I planted myself on the bleachers directly behind the roping boxes at a recent PRCA rodeo I attended in Connecticut, and snapped away plenty of photos of the buffet of hot cowboy flesh in front of me.

It’s also no surprise that other women feel the same as I do about rodeo cowboys, as evidenced by my tie-down roper Wes from Texas Two-Step being a finalist in All Romance eBooks’ Summer’s Hottest Heroes Contest. Voting in Round #1 opens today as the 32 finalists compete in head-to-head competition. The winners of round 1 will advance to round 2, and so on until there remains only one hottest hero. The events to come include hottest first kiss and best invitation for a romantic dinner.

Check it out at All Romance and remember you have to be logged into your ARe account to be able to see the competitors and vote. I’m hoping Wes makes it through round 1 since he’s got some great stuff planned for his romantic dinner!

OH!! I forgot to mention that AllRomance will be choosing a random voter in each round to win $25 in eBook Bucks to be used on the site.

Fun with Piggin’ Strings

What the hell is a piggin’ string? I’ll get to that in a minute. Promise. First, you have to sit through my long-winded writerly diatribe.

There is a trend in the erotic romance eBook world–BDSM. They sell like crazy, and I’m probably crazy for not writing a book in that genre. No disrespect to the authors who do write in that genre, but I don’t think I have it in me. Not personally, and not professionally. First of all, I know nothing about the lifestyle, and make no mistake, to people hardcore into it, it IS a lifestyle, and there are rules. Lots and lots of rules, and any author who tries to write a BDSM without knowing those rules is going to get beaten up in reviews and by readers. So that means I’d have to research A LOT.

To spend that much time researching a subject, I have to love it, or at least have an interest in it. Sure I watched about 8 hours straight of bull riding/bull fighting and bronc riding during the recent IFR stock sale, but I love cowboys and animals and find the rodeo interesting. I can’t say that about many subjects, BDSM included. I know I’m speaking from ignorance, but I know in my heart I’m not Sub material–following rules makes me twitch. And I’m not Dom material either–if I wanted to spend all that time spanking someone or telling them what to do I would have had kids, or become a parochial school teacher.

So as I said, I have much respect for all the authors who write that genre, and write it well. I have great respect for all the people who choose to live the lifestyle, but again, to each his own, it’s just not for me and wouldn’t this world be boring if we were all alike anyway?

That said–on to piggin’ strings. What are they and what do they have to do with my BDSM soliloquy up there? A piggin’ string is a thin nylon string, probably about 6′ long, that ropers use to tie calf’s feet together after roping them in rodeo competitions. Doesn’t sound real sexy, does it? Well let’s consider this. Ropers are some of the sexiest men you’ll ever see. They control their horse with leg commands. Sexy. They leap from the stirrups at a full gallop. Sexy. They effortlessly pick up and throw down calves weighing up to 250 pounds. Sexy. AND they carry this looped string in their mouths the entire time they’re doing all this. Very sexy.

So that got me to thinking, I bet that piggin’ string could be used in other creative ways for indoor sports. The idea intrigued me and since I have neither a rodeo cowboy nor a piggin’ string here in NY, I let my characters in Texas Two-Step explore the possibilities. Was this “BDSM light”? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just fun with ropes. Either way, it was fun to explore and I think the subject of everyday people, taking everyday things and using them in creative ways is worth looking into again in a future book. Ropes can be sexy!

Don’t believe me? Check out PRCA champion roper Shane Hanchey and his piggin’ string. Tell me those fast hands and that talented rope work doesn’t get you all tingly.

 

 

Want to read more about tie-down ropers and the women who love them? Take a look at Texas Two-Step

Excerpt from Texas Two-Step–Let’s Dance!

Texas Two-Step

Contemporary, Westerns/Cowboys

Download at ARe ONLY.

Not available from Amazon, BN, Borders or any other eRetailer.

It takes two to tango, but three to do the two-step with these Texas cowboys…

Londoner Maryann Morrissy finds the companionship she’s missing by making friends on the Internet with fellow rodeo fans in the States. Her fiancé Robert doesn’t understand her new obsession. His mocking is just one more thing in a long list that convinces Maryann he’s not the man for her. Perfect timing, because Maryann is flying to Texas where two rodeo cowboys are waiting to show her the ropes.

Annoyed he has to pick up his sister’s British online buddy from the airport, tie-down roper Wes Griffin drags his best friend Shooter with him. Misery loves company until Wes sees Maryann get off the plane. When her sexy accent makes his heart do the two-step, Wes begins to wish he’d kept Maryann all to himself because Shooter is just as intrigued.

After the nasty end to Maryann’s engagement, she’s ready to take both cowboys on, but is Wes willing to share?

EXCERPT (rated G)

“What do you think she looks like?” Shooter surveyed the new arrivals in the terminal, the torn piece of cardboard Wes had made into a sign resting in one hand and propped against his chest.

Wes still couldn’t believe all it had taken to convince his friend to hold that stupid sign was the promise of an extra beer out of the twelve-pack they’d be sharing. The one that Ellen hopefully had already put in the fridge to chill for him while they waited for Brit Chick to arrive.

Shooter’s question was one Wes had already asked himself the moment he’d been assigned this task so he had an image of Maryann Morrissy already firmly planted in his head. “I’m picturing one of those British nannies like you see on TV. You know the ones I mean?”

“No, not really. What kinda television you watching any way? Ain’t no British nannies on the hunting channel, that’s for sure.” Shooter frowned.

“Come on. You’ve seen them. The ones with their hair pulled back into a really tight bun. They wear glasses and they’ve got thick ankles and wear big, ugly shoes. They could be old, could be young, but you can’t tell. They could be skinny, or could be fat, but you can’t really judge that either because they wear dresses that look like they were made outta a burlap sack.”

“Hope you’re wrong, man. I think this British chick is going to be really hot, like the ones you see wearing those corset things in movies about Henry the Eighth. You know those low-cut tops where all the goods are pushed up and out.” Shooter used his free hand to mime pushing up his imaginary boobs.

Wes shook his head. “You’re crazy. Even if corsets were still in style, I seriously doubt she’d be wearing one on the flight.”

His friend shrugged. “A man can dream, can’t he?”

“Yeah, keep dreaming there, buddy, because I’m pretty sure this is her flight and I don’t see any of Henry the Eighth’s wenches in corsets coming through that door.” What Wes did see was a slew of businessmen in suits looking like they were late for something somewhere, a mother with too many kids to handle alone, and a middle-aged women who smiled in his general direction to reveal crooked, yellowed teeth. Was this Brit Chick Maryann? “No corset there, thank God.”

“No corset, but she’s hot enough, she don’t really need one.”

Wes frowned at Shooter. “Hot? Her? What the hell are you talking about?”

Then he followed his friend’s gaze and saw what Shooter had seen. Coming through the other door, also smiling in their direction was a woman about their own age and looking like nothing he’d imagined Brit Chick would look like.

“Hello. I’m Maryann.” The lilt in her sweet voice shot straight through Wes, right down to his groin. Down below, Little Wes woke up to take notice and was apparently enjoying Maryann’s British accent from inside Wes’s jeans.

Shooter’s face lit up with a wide, goofy grin. “Hey, Maryann. I’m Shooter. Welcome to America.”

eBook Exclusively from ARe

Want it on your Kindle, Nook or iPod Touch/iPad? Look for instructions on how to transfer eBooks from ARe onto your reading devices HERE Also available from iBooks.

Modern Day Cowboys at the NFR-Let’s BUCK!

There is something so romantic about the cowboy. Historically, and yes, now in modern times too. So maybe it isn’t as crazy as it first appears that I, a romance writer, decided to co-sponsor Makin’ 8, who is by now in Las Vegas setting up for live interviews with the real life cowboys competing over the next ten days in the NFR (National Finals Rodeo).

Makin’ 8 brings hot cowboys and all the action to you because what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas when you’ve got BlogTalkRadio and Ustream video.

Don’t miss a moment because who knows what will happen or when. That’s the beauty of having a flexible schedule and bosses who consist of your fans.

Tweets. Videos. Radio shows and live UStreams. From cardboard cowboys to spandex pants, ropers, riders and the buckle bunnies who love them, you’ll see and hear it all.

Let’s Buck! And as Scott on Makin’ 8 likes to say, Get a Grip!

“…a smooth talking, woman loving cowboy”

Thank you to reviewer Michele and The Romance Studio for the great new review of BUCKED (Studs in Spurs, Book 2).

(I’m sure you bull riding fans out there will notice the error in the first paragraph and get a little chuckle because of course the main character Mustang didn’t last for an eight MINUTE ride, but rather eight SECONDS!)

” Bucked is a rodeo story featuring Mustang Jackson a smooth talking woman loving cowboy. His fun loving nature is put to the test when he survives an eight minute [second] bull ride to only then discover the adrenaline masked a very serious injury. He is suddenly no longer able to earn an income riding bulls and is put on the injury list for many weeks to recover. Going home to a father disappointed in his career choice has never been appealing to Mustang. And more surprises are just around the corner when he discovers Sage a childhood friend is gown up and ready for her turn on this cowboy. They do not call him Mustang for nothing. Will he stick around for more than an eight minute [second] ride with Sage? And can his heart survive? …Sparks fly in this sexy cowboy story.”

Michele,  The Romance Studio

Read the full review

Bucked is currently available in eBook and will release in print December 2010.