UPDATE: The winner of the gift card is Melissa Kendall!
* * * * *
How many of you have had the joy of planning your parenthood and coming up short? And what I mean by that is when you try and try and try and still don’t get pregnant? It’s a very depressing time and oh so joyous when you finally succeed.
For those of you out there who have tried and were unable to conceive, my heart goes out to you. For those of us who have tried, and tried, and tried and finally succeeded, you know the hoops you had to go through to get there.
On my third child, we tried for over a year before we were successful. The fourth child never happened, no matter how hard we tried. Sigh.
In BOOTS AND WISHES, the latest in my UGLY STICK SALOON series, I revisit the relationship of Audrey Anderson and Jackson Gray Wolf from the book that started it: BOOTS AND CHAPS. They are happily married now and want a child, but are having difficulties conceiving. As a busy bar owner, she doesn’t always have the luxury of running home when she’s ovulating, so fun times are running rampant at the Ugly Stick.
*****For a chance to win a $5 Gift Card*****
Leave a comment about your time trying to get pregnant or someone you know. What did they do? (Please not too graphic ;-))
Ugly Stick Saloon: Boots & Wishes Samhain Publishing Coming Dec 2, 2014
The best gift has nothing to do with the size of the package.
Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 8
Married to the love of her life, Audrey Anderson is ready to get this baby show on the road. Except six months of timing sex around her ovaries’ cycle has not only dampened their spontaneity, it hasn’t worked. She’s still not pregnant.
Jackson would love to give Audrey half a dozen children, but he can’t stand the heartache in her eyes as each month goes by with no “plus” sign on the test strip. Hell, he’s ready to call it and concentrate on just being a happy couple.
When a runaway mother arrives at the Ugly Stick with a newborn in tow and needing a job, Audrey, ever the tender heart, takes them in—at the saloon and her home—despite the baby’s presence being a constant reminder of her own empty arms.
Baby Mia turns out to be a blessing in disguise, but just as life settles into a rhythm as pleasant as a cow pony’s lope, the runaway mama’s painful past comes roaring after her with the force of a prairie tornado, threatening to destroy anything in its path, including Audrey and the Ugly Stick Saloon.
Warning: It’s the holiday season at the Ugly Stick and time to wrap the saloon in mistletoe. No need for hot cocoa, there’s enough pull-out-all-the-stops heat between this sexy bar owner and her handsome cowboy to keep every reader warm.
“Hey, cowboy, what say you strap on the chaps and we go for a ride?” Audrey stood in the doorway of the storeroom, wearing chaps over her blue jean cutoffs and carrying a leather whip coiled in one hand. In her other hand was a pair of man-sized leather chaps. They were the ones out of his closet from home. She liked him best in the real deal.
Jackson’s eyes widened and he teetered, almost losing his balance on the ladder he had climbed up to change the bulb in the fluorescent light fixture hugging the ceiling. He held the long white tube he’d been about to install in the slot he’d just pulled the burned-out bulb from. “Now? Are you ovulating?”
“Do I have to be ovulating for you to want to make love to me?” Audrey’s gut instantly knotted and her eyes stung. “Six months ago, you’d have dropped the bulb and leaped off the ladder at an offer like this.” Her shoulders sagged and she sighed. “I was afraid of this.”
Jackson set the new bulb in the slots and climbed down from the ladder. “Afraid of what?” He pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.
“Afraid making love would become a chore.”
Jackson snorted. “Never.”
“Admit it.” She poked a finger at his chest. “Ever since we decided to try to get pregnant, we’ve lost some of the magic and spontaneity we used to enjoy.”
When Jackson started to shake his head, Audrey raised her eyebrows and gave him a pointed look. “Be honest.”
Jackson’s head stopped in midshake and he grimaced. “Okay, so it’s not quite as spontaneous as it used to be. But I love you and never get tired of making love with you.”
“And I never tire of making love with you. But all the effort of timing our lovemaking is taking the joy out of our sex life.” She stepped back and turned away from him, her heart sore. “Maybe we should give up trying. If it happens, it happens.” She bit her bottom lip before continuing softly, “And if it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be. We weren’t meant to be parents. I mean, my life has been anything but role-model material.”
Warm, work-roughened hands curled around her arms and she was pulled back against Jackson’s solid chest. “Sweetheart, it will happen. Most likely when we least expect it. And even if it doesn’t—which I’m not giving up—you would be enough to keep me happy for the rest of my life. And you’re the best role model a kid could have. You’re real, tender-hearted, and you care about everyone you come in contact with.”
Audrey’s heart filled to overflowing. Jackson was the man who made her life complete. Her one true love. He loved her even with her background as a stripper. She couldn’t imagine loving anyone else or living without him. She covered his hands on her arms and leaned back against him. “I love you, Jackson Gray Wolf. That will never change.” Turning in his embrace, she cupped his cheek. His face was so dear to her and made her grateful every day of her life she’d found him. “I want to have your children. I want to see little Gray Wolf boys running around the ranch, learning to ride horses, swimming in the creek and raising hell like I’m certain you and your brothers did when you were growing up.”
“And I want half a dozen little girls with strawberry-blond hair and eyes so blue they make the Texas skies pale in comparison.”
“Nice.” She slid her hands up his chest to lock behind his neck. “When did you become a romantic?”
MYLA JACKSON also writing as NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author ELLE JAMES is an award-winning author of stories including cowboys, intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edges of their seats. With over seventy stories in a variety of sub-genres and lengths she is published with Harlequin, Samhain, Ellora’s’ Cave, Kensington, Cleis Press, and Avon. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.