Saturday, March 4th, 2017
A couple of years ago, I was looking forward to the most wonderful summer. At the start of it, my first novel was due out; two months later, my second; and two months after that, my third. A whole trilogy in one year! I was over the moon. One small thing—I also faced an operation. Nothing major but still scary, and guess what? My first ever launch date was the very same day as my op.
But the coincidence preyed on my mind. Weird or what? I have to admit it skewed things. Everybody close to me knew about the op, but I kept my launch date quiet, a secret treat for a tricky day.
Luckily all went well, but it set me thinking. Suppose I’d faced something really bad? And it came at around the same time as a life-changing upheaval of some kind, like a break-up or a death in the family?
And supposing I’d once been famous—a musician, maybe, or a sportswoman, and for some reason I faced another, more personal loss at the same time, that I was too ashamed to admit to anybody because of seeming vain—the loss of all that was left of my skills or my talent?
How big a treat would I need then?
If I had a little cash put by, maybe I’d splash out on some serious pampering—a luxury spa with extras. And if a gorgeous hunk on the staff happened to flirt with me, then hang it, for once I’d flirt right back. I’d take everything on offer, no holds barred. I’d be paying, right?
And my hero? Would he be the usual dark, brooding romantic type, twitching with issues and playing hard to catch? Let’s say he’s blond for a change, a calm professional, paid to please, deft and discreet as a skilled waiter or footman. I’m not dumb. I know he’s paid to be nice to me. But hey, I’m doing the paying, so he better be pretty damn good at it. When I splash my cash I make every penny count. So what he’s a sex object? We all know the score, and for once I’ll let rip and enjoy myself, even if deep down I know that the way I’m treating him makes me and my situation all the more pathetic…
So here comes “The Masseur”, a gentleman and a professional, good at what he does and worth every cent, and my heroine’s extra special treat before she faces something hard in her life. In my story, precisely what she faces is left unsaid—we don’t need to know the detail. We only need to see its effect on her to taste the full sweetness of her final discovery.
I do hope you enjoy it!
From “THE MASSEUR” by Flora Dain appearing in Sex Objects…
Gunder Olsen was tall and blond—well built, well honed and good-looking. When he was around the sun seemed to shine, the ship seemed to steady. He had fair Viking hair that gleamed gold in the sun and blue Viking eyes that darkened to charcoal when he got excited—which wasn’t too often, being on the cool side of Nordic. But when he touched you…
He drew the women like flies. Lily suspected he brought Landales a lot of customers. As a newcomer here she was more than willing to take everything on offer, including all the hidden extras. And if massage came in the form of Viking divinity, so much the better.
“You can turn over now.”
She lingered on his arm as he half lifted, half shifted her onto her back and stood looking down at her, solemn and perfect.
“You’re still very tense. You have a beautiful body.”
Whoa. Did masseurs say that? Her eyes widened. He was smiling as he watched for her response.
“It’s true. You work out?”
“Never.” She wanted to giggle.
“I could put you on a program. Just to tone the muscles here and here.”
She moaned as he touched her lower abdomen, running his fingers over her soft skin, making her tingle. He was watching her intently now, Thor brewing the storm.
His voice deepened. “You permit?”
She nodded and held her breath as his hand moved lower, scooping away her modest towel and searching deep into her groin.
“This arouses you?”
He knew it did. They’d performed this ritual every day since she’d got here. First her arms and hands, then her legs, back and breasts, and now her pussy. It was like he knew how much she wanted it, how much she needed his magic touch to grant her release.
To start with she’d been embarrassed. He’d leaned over her and explained in his rich dark voice and his light foreign accent that she needed to relax and he could smell her, he knew she was aroused. It was nothing to be ashamed of and in his professional opinion she needed relief badly.
She still blushed at the memory.
Now he paused, his fingers already inside her, his eyes dark as graphite. She felt a trickle of juice down the inside of one thigh.
“Is this okay?”
Should she let him do this? Was it allowed? Did it cost extra? She held his gaze, his eyes dark as night now. Was he aroused too?
“It’s wonderful. But—” She broke off, a little pink. She’d thought about this.
His lips flexed like she’d said something funny. “But—what?”
“Only if you want to.”
He grinned. “Know what? That’s the best offer I’ve had all day. Lie still, Lily. Part your legs for me.”
She closed her eyes. She was close already and getting closer, her climax building under his expert touch. She was about to burst into bloom like a cactus in the desert…. With a sob she arched under his hand and gave herself up to his fingers and their glorious gift of release…. “Yes.” She shrieked out loud at the intensity of it and lay entranced, buffeted by its aftershocks, letting rapture lap over her in waves of heat that ebbed away leaving her glowing and content.
She opened her eyes and felt a tear trickle into her hair. “Forgive me, I’m so sorry. It’s just—it’s been so long….”
“Hey. Don’t apologize.” In seconds he’d hoisted her upright and put his arm round her. He folded his other hand around her breast and squeezed gently. It was startling, hot and yet somehow comforting. He laid his cheek against hers and she caught a whiff of his cologne, citrus mingled with something darker, feral.
“I know. I can tell. Don’t cry. If it feels good we do it, okay? If it makes you relax we do it. Whatever it takes. That’s why you’re here.”
She nestled against him, relishing his embrace. Their hour was almost over. Soon another woman would be lying here, moaning for more under his magic touch…. Lily suppressed the thought. Who was she to argue when a Viking god ordered her to come? Why spit in the wind?
* * * * *
Curious for more? Then do read the rest of my story in Sex Objects: Erotic Romance for Women, Delilah’s brilliant new story collection for Cleis Press.
If you enjoyed this, you might like to try some of my other books.
The Wolfe Trilogy is an intriguing mix of thriller, ménage and light BDSM. A teacher-cum-poet forms an intense but tricky relationship with a wealthy, handcuff-fixated CEO whose business is being challenged by her ex.
Suiting Saffina is a trilogy set in Regency times. A willful heiress meets her match when her rakish guardian returns from abroad to take her in hand and find her a suitor. His tastes and his methods are strict and unusual, but her choice of lovers defies all his plans.
Kinky Week, my latest novel, is a light BDSM ménage comedy. A ditzy young sub, eager to please her strict older partner, risks harming his distinguished legal career.
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Flora-Dain-720798664632939
* Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6950358.Flora_Dain
* Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flora-Dain/e/B01N9AB0HY
* Twitter: @Flora Dain
Friday, March 3rd, 2017
As a newly divorced woman, I wanted to do something just for me. So that winter, I rented cross country skis and drove the thirty minutes to Bogus Basin, a small ski resort near my home town. I felt reckless. I worried about my car breaking down on the snowy two lane road. I worried about falling and hurting myself. Who would take care of my son? How would I pay my bills without the income I brought in from my second job waitressing? Why was I even spending my only free Saturday morning doing this stupid thing?
Then I pulled the car over in the cross-country parking lot and stepped out into another world. The air felt cold and clear on my face. I bought my day pass, strapped on my skis, and headed down the trail. All of a sudden, my worries disappeared and all I could think of was the routine of my workout. Left, right, left, right. The pace was slow, but steady and as I wound my way around the mountain, I realized that my new life could be like this exercise. One step at a time. Sometimes, I got to slide down a small hill taking advantage of the ease, then I had to climb another one to repeat the process.
I realized my skiing was a metaphor for life. Sometimes it’s easy, maybe goes a little too fast, and sometimes you have to work for what you get. I loved those mornings when I was able to get away from the day to day of my busy life and experience some joy.
So when I was writing the second book in the Cat Latimer series, I wanted a way for Cat’s retreat guests to learn more about each other as well as find the zen I had found that morning on the ski hill. Of course, fiction never quite turns out the same as the reality it mirrors, so the guests found more comfort and relaxation in the ski lodge bar instead of on the slopes. And that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Have you ever tried something new, just for you?
Fatality by Firelight
Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .
To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.
Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .
The world outside still clung to the previous night, the shadows not quite releasing their hold to the breaking light over the mountain ridge outside Aspen Hills, Colorado. With the first rays of morning, the fresh snow glistened and covered the lawn all around 700 Warm Springs.
Cat Latimer, owner of the Warm Springs Writer’s Retreat, housed in the old Victorian, sat at the kitchen table drinking a mix of hot chocolate and coffee. With a dab of freshly whipped cream, Cat thought Shauna’s winter concoction was just about the most perfect drink ever invented. Her friend, Shauna Mary Clodah, had taken over the role of cook, planner, and manager for the writing retreats. Shauna was a petite, pretty, Irish redhead that cooked like an angel. The small group sitting around the table was drinking the “virgin” version of her mixture. Later, the retreat guests would have the option of adding a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlúa to their cups, an invitation to the muse.
Right now, her guests were tucked in their beds, sleeping. Which was where she wanted to be instead of sitting here in the kitchen. But then she took in the smell of coffee and chocolate mixed together and she sighed in delight.
“I can’t believe you’re taking the group up the mountain. I thought this was supposed to be about writing. They aren’t going to get many words written by spending the day skiing.” Uncle Pete had become a regular at the breakfast table, both when the retreat was in session and when it was just Cat and Shauna milling around the empty house. Her uncle was Aspen Hills’ police chief and Cat’s closest relative.
“It’s part of the Colorado experience.” Cat explained, thinking about her own manuscript sitting on her computer waiting for her to make time to write. The phrase making time to write was a joke. She either wrote or didn’t, and today her word-count chart would show a big fat zero, unless she had the mental energy when they returned from skiing. During the first retreat, she’d managed to get a few pages written—before one of her guests wound up dead in his room. This retreat she’d promised herself that she’d focus on her own work, even when they had guests. Shauna was in charge of the day-to-day activities when the retreat was in session. Cat’s job was to be the resident writer and set a good example as a professional writer. A job that sometimes was harder than other days, especially if she got drawn into a Facebook rotating loop of cute kittens or the occasional photos of hot guys—or worse, one simple question that grew into a research project on the entire history of the Salem Witch trials.
Today was about building relationships and having experiences. Writers needed both.
About the Author
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also pens the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com
Social Media links:
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- Twitter – https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
- Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor
- website – http://lynncahoon.com/
- Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
Can she SURVIVE in a hostile environment…
I had fallen in love with Dara McKinley because she was thrown into a violent, life-and-death environment and had no clue as to how to survive it. Except that the man she was falling in love with, Sergeant Matt Culver, would become her guide, teacher and protector.
Sometimes courage comes in moments of shock, trauma and extreme conditions. Dara is a pediatrician, finishing up her residency, and getting ready to put a clinic for the poor near Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. But all her dreams explode when her vehicle is attacked, leaving her in the harsh winter of Afghanistan, chased by Taliban.
Matt Culver is a survivor and is saddled with a woman who has never been under such duress. He’s fallen in love with her. The challenges are enormous, not only brutal winter conditions in the mountains, trying to keep her safe and knowing odds of living through this, are next to nothing. Somehow, they survive.
Dara needs some down time to recouperate from her trauma. Matt wants to make her dreams come true, and takes her to visit Hawaii. NEVER ENOUGH picks up at this point in their relationship.
But even in Paradise? Things can go terribly wrong. Will their love stand the test of this next challenge or not?
Sequel to Forged in Fire, Book 2
Can a vacation in paradise heal her trauma and allow love to shine through…
Pediatrician Dara McKinley loves helping others almost as much as she loves her golden-eyed fiancé, Matt Culver. They met and fell in love during a dangerous situation in Afghanistan, and both are ready to enjoy some quiet time together in Hawaii.
As Dara and Matt learn more about each other, their love and commitment to each other deepens. But the pair is also committed to helping others and soon find themselves lending a hand at a local Delos safe house for mothers and children. As Dara tends to the sick, Matt does what he does best—finds a way to keep all of them safe.
The aquamarine ocean water was warm and delicious feeling over Dara’s bare feet. Her sandals hung from the fingers of Matt’s left hand. The sea breeze infused her with a peaceful feeling, as did the cries of seagulls sailing overhead. Walking on a golden, sandy beach, ankle-deep in the ocean water, made her feel so alive. Matt had taken off his sandals as well. The noontime warmth of the sun fell over her; the temperature was perfect, in the high seventies. The early January weather in Hawaii was very different from the climate she’d left back home in Virginia!
Every once in awhile, Dara would spot a small shell in the clear ocean water and she would stop, lean over, and retrieve her new treasure. Matt knew that locals here would get up at dawn, come down, and scour the beach for shells that had washed up during the night hours. By noon, the beaches were cleaned of any beautiful, whole shells that had been deposited. But Dara delighted in the pieces of colorful shells that she found, holding them like treasures in her hand. His heart swelled with love for her; she was one of those people who delighted in whatever she was doing.
He stopped her and said, “Why don’t you put your shells in the pocket of your dress?”
Laughing, she opened her palm, showing him the shards. “They’re so beautiful I just want to hold them for a while. Even though they’re fractured and in pieces, I want to collect a bunch of them while we’re here. I’ve decided to put them in a small glass goblet with the sand I’m walking on. Next time we come down here, I’ll bring some plastic bags. I want to bring some of Hawaii home with us where I can see it every day.”
“So,” he said, moving his finger through her many shell pieces, “you’re going to put that glass somewhere you can see it to remember this time?” He melted beneath the joy he saw shining in her eyes, those lips so lush, so kissable, and he ached to do just that.
Dara smiled and nodded. “I’m putting this on the desk in my office at the hospital. On tough days, I can sit there and look at it and remember this time with you.”
Leaning over, he caressed her smiling mouth with his. Matt could taste the salt air on her lips, taste the mocha latte she’d had earlier before they walked down to the beach. Easing away, he rasped, “I’m taking a heart photo of you right now . . .” He brought her gently to a stop, easing her into his body, feeling her breasts pressing into his chest, that low, husky sound of pleasure vibrating in her throat as he kissed her long and well. She was such a sensual, sexual creature, although most would never see it. He sure had when she belly danced at Bagram. And he’d been privileged to go with her to the gym where she worked out and belly danced to stay in top shape. They always ended up in bed after that, each of them turned on by the other.
Dara closed her eyes, drowning in Matt’s cherishing mouth, his arm around her, bringing her into the fold of his tall, lean, hard body. Everything was perfect. Just perfect.
* * * * *
Available: March 1, 2017
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
So, I came back from San Antonio with a bug. I knew it was likely flu because one of my good friends was laid low with it the very first day of conference. Still, I hoped it was just allergies. I wasn’t feeling too bad. Until yesterday. And then the 12-year-old complained of familiar symptoms: headache, muscle aches, persistent cough, sneezing, chills… Today, she went to the doctor. I’m willing to ignore my health, but we don’t ignore the kids’. And sure enough, she has the flu.
She gets the Tamiflu. I’m too far into it for that to do me any good now. So, the question is, what do you recommend for someone who hates to be sick? What works for you?
I picked up some Ibuprofen, Theraflu and some celebrity magazines. I figure if I’m sick, I may as well wallow a bit.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
Dear Readers and Friends,
Well, I’m back from San Antonio! There, I attended the Wild and Wicked Weekend conference this past weekend. I don’t get out much, so it was a little bit overwhelming for my hermit soul, but I really, really loved reconnecting with old friends (both readers and writers) and meeting new people. The booksigning was fun! So was a trip to a local dungeon… I hope to be able to go again next year—to the conference, that is.
My March calendar is packed full of work. Too much, I think, especially since I think I brought back a bug with me from SA. I’m not saying the “Flu” word out loud. I’m hoping it’s just allergies but with my luck…
Anyways, I wanted to let you know that Hard SEAL to Love is completely fixed at Amazon, so if any of you got the too-short version of the book, be sure to let your Kindle support people know. They sent out a message to everyone who purchased the book to let them know the updated story was there! And thanks you so much to everyone who posted a review to help counter all those darn 1-stars from unhappy folks who received that short version in error. You saved my bacon!
Hard SEAL To Love
Uncharted SEALs, Book 9
The bigger they are, the harder they fall…
Former SEAL, “Big Mac” McLane, is sure he earned all kinds of bad karma somewhere when his next mission with Charter Group is to guard the “Love Boat” and a pretty program director. Okay, so the cruise line is sponsoring a special cruise for wounded soldiers and their significant others—a great cause. Mac doesn’t know a thing about spending time with “good” women, but Kylie Hammond is full of surprises. After the initial shock of meeting her, he feels like he has two left feet whenever she’s around. So he’ll do his job, keep it strictly business, fade into the background whenever she’s around, but Kylie seems to have other ideas…
Kylie knows the muscle-bound SEAL isn’t exactly gung-ho for his new assignment, and she isn’t exactly the “princess” he expected, but she can’t be more pleased. The big man’s the yummiest thing she’s ever seen, and coaxing blushes and glares from him becomes her favorite sport. Then someone aboard the ship is killed. The thing her charity most feared—a terrorist attack at sea—appears to be underway. Now, she has to trust Mac and his team to keep her wounded soldiers safe.
Get your copy at Amazon!
Fun with Dick and Jayne
He didn’t know the nightly peepshow was just a naughty invitation…
Seattle cop, Garrett Masters, knows what he’s doing can get him into trouble, but he can’t help himself. Every night as he arrives home, the blonde across the alley gets busy with her boyfriend with the blinds open. He’s spent the past two weeks getting an eyeful and falling deep into lust. But when Garrett sees a man in a black ski mask sneak into his sexy neighbor’s bedroom, he doesn’t know he’ll be the one captured.
Jayne has a nice life with a wonderful lover who sees to her every need, but she’s still drawn to the lonely man across the alley. She’s been sharing her darkest fantasies with him from afar but wants more. When she talks Richard into enacting a dangerous scenario, everything works out as planned. Only Garrett’s not happy about being played. And he’s got reservations, because she already has a lover, and he’s not into threesomes. Now Jayne has to convince him otherwise.
Get your copy at Amazon!
At least, I’m hoping to be done with the next With His SEAL Team installment! If you’re missing the fellas, I included a cameo of Sara and a substantial glimpse of our wounded warrior, Harley, in Hard SEAL to Love.
Plus, I have another refurb project, Begging For It coming in March. If you love BDSM—heavy on the S&M—be watching for it! No cover yet, but very, very soon!
Ah hell, here’s a peek at the art for the new cover….
Monday, February 27th, 2017
Channeling your inner Miss Piggy on Twitter
An anxious author’s meditation – by CM McCoy
Hello. My name is Colleen, and I’m an anxious author.
By “anxious author,” I mean I live with anxiety, which sometimes scatters my brain with worry and ofttimes devours my very last scrap of moxie. Functioning like a normal human requires wrangling that anxiety into submission, and wrangling that ubiquitous beast into submission requires a special weapon.
My weapon of choice in this matter is meditation, which takes many forms. There’s yoga, prayer, showers, toilet time… (Oh please tell me I’m not the only Earthling who gets their best ideas shortly before a flush. (No really, please tell me!)
Thankfully, there’s writing, which, though far from “drafty,” is far more comfortable and far more schedulable. I love meditation through writing: journals, novels, short stories, blog posts, but my absolute favorite writing meditation is the Twitter story.
Twitter stories are great because they force your gray matter into succinctness. You get 140 characters per “scene” to create a mood and move an anecdotal plot forward. They’re a TON of fun! But they require confident snippets of huge character, à la Miss Piggy.
Today I wanted to share 2 of my favorite Twitter stories, 50% of which are almost 50% true.
CM McCoy Twitter Story #1
1) He said: We’re meeting the King and Queen for dinner in Sweden
Him: Yeah, so try not to do that thing you do with your foot
2) Me: You mean dance?
Him: No the other thing
Me: *blink blink*
3) Him: …the one where your foot jumps in your mouth, and you spit it out with an f-word.
CM McCoy Twitter Story #2
1) The neighbors won’t talk to me. They think I’m contagious. (I’m not, I’m just a terrible panic-liar)
2) I weigh 99 lbs. When I go to the base gym, the SEALs side-eye me.
3) Please… I can do your “workout”. <– I don’t say this out loud, but I do set my jaw and grab a dumbbell.
4) Fifteen minutes in, I rename their “Man Town” circuit “Man Down”, drop the dumbbell, and crawl away, humbled by their man-strength.
5) Easter morning, I find someone in the next pew to ponytail my hair, b/c these arms haven’t moved since exercise 6 of 10 in “Man Down”
6) As legs also turn to lead, hot church guy notices a limp & offers his hand, but I can’t take it. (see #4)
7) Me? Sore? Pfft…no… Lame excuse follows, and now hot church guy thinks I’m under Ebola quarantine from a trip I didn’t take to Africa.
Since we’re in church he thinks I’m serious.
9) I wouldn’t consider this a small town, yet when I pull into driveway, neighbors scatter like cockroaches. They’ve “heard”
Author CM McCoy (Colleen) recently interviewed with INSIDE EDITION (airs in Feb or Mar 2017) wherein she discussed writing as a part of healthy living and stress management.
Colleen’s Book, EERIE (YA fantasy with romance)
by CM McCoy
Genre: YA fantasy with romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Omnific
Featured in PEOPLE Mag & on INSIDE EDITION — Hailey must survive her supernatural classes, avoid the pants-stealing campus poltergeist, & live with a roommate from Hell. At Paranormal University, this much is certain: if her classes don’t kill her, the guy she falls in love with just might.
Hailey Hartley has just enrolled in the world’s premier supernatural university. It’s a school she’s never heard of, located in a town called The Middle of Nowhere, and run by a creature that’s not supposed to exist. But at least she got a scholarship…
Hailey’s dreams have always been, well…vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid. When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds only one place offers her answers–a paranormal university in Alaska. There, she studies the science of the supernatural and must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive her otherworldly classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from an evil monster doesn’t decide to kill her himself.
★ Watch the EERIE book trailer: http://tinyurl.com/qzszesl
Buy the Book
AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO | BAM | GOOGLE PLAY | WALMART | GOODREADS
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eerie-C-M-McCoy-ebook/dp/B0176M6MA6
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Eerie-C-M-McCoy-ebook/dp/B0176M19RM
About CM McCoy. CM McCoy has one pointed ear, a 70-pound puppy from Hell, and a very active imagination. She’s well aware nobody can say or spell her real name, hence the pen name. You can call her Colleen. She’s the PR manager for Inklings Literary Agency. When she’s not chatting with her imaginary friends, she’s interviewing with PEOPLE Magazine, ABC’s 20/20, the local morning news show, or INSIDE EDITION, where she promotes writing for mental and emotional health. She also mentors pre-published authors through workshops and contests. Though she’s a retired Air Force officer with a BS in both Chemical Engineering and German, she’s far happier writing near misses and awkward kisses. Some of her off-the-wall talents include speaking in 10-codes (which she learned working with Alaska State Troopers), flying helicopters, and Irish dance. Subscribe to Colleen’s Just North of Normal Blog
Social Media Links:
WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | |INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | AMAZON
Sunday, February 26th, 2017
Even though I’m a city girl, I often write about cowboys and Texas…maybe because I grew up in South Texas where cowboys and ranching loom large. My cousins had ranches and horses they let me ride whenever I visited them in North Texas. I attended camps that had rodeos, so I performed in those rodeos and went to rodeos frequently. My brother and I had toy guns, holsters, ropes and our brooms were our horses. When I grew up and married, I married a man who wore Levis and boots and owned guns and land in the Texas Hill Country. The Texas mythology was as much a part of him as it was of me.
Many of our friends have ranches or grew up on ranches. Two of my neighbors are the heiresses of two huge legendary South Texas ranches. Yesterday I visited a girlfriend out on her ranch, La Mota. Her father once owned a creamery in South Texas that made locally famous butter. He put together a huge ranch (nearly 500,000 acres). But time and downturns in the economy forced the family to scale down. They still have their homestead which was built in a beautiful Texas oak mott.
In South Texas the land is mostly a coastal plain which was part of the sea. Mostly it is just brush country. But every now and again, hundreds of oak trees clump together into a stand of trees we call an oak mott. Many ranchers build their homes in an oak mott to get a relief from the blistering South Texas sun.
Nestled inside gorgeous live oak trees, my friend’s home feels like a bird sanctuary. Inside, the house is filled with ranching antiques, heavy Spanish or German furniture from the 19th century. On the eastern side of her home, she has a lovely high-ceilinged screened porch with birdfeeders hanging from its eaves outside. In a distant pastures hundreds of wild turkeys cackled excitedly as they gathered to get ready to roost in the spreading branches of her oaks for the night. In another pasture sandhilled cranes were landing with a similar goal in mind.
In my 8-book series, Texas: Children of Destiny, I try to make South Texas and its larger than life cowboys and their brides come alive for my readers. Passion’s Child (Book 1) is free.
ANN MAJOR, author of Passion’s Child, Destiny’s Child, and Night Child (Books 1, 2 and 3 of TEXAS: CHILDREN OF DESTINY series) and Love With An Imperfect Cowboy (Book 1 Lone Star Dynasty)
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