If you didn’t already know, I’m fast at work on my next Montana Bounty Hunter story, Mica. It’s scheduled for release on February 28th.
I’m having fun with the story, I hope you will too. Naturally, we meet our hero in the middle of a takedown of a skip. I love dropping my heroes and heroines in the middle of the action. Action scenes fly by fast, and there are so many things that can go wrong. I hope you enjoy meeting Mica. He hasn’t met his love interest yet, but she will make a big impression. 🙂
Be sure to get to the end of this post. I have a big ole list of contests you still have time to enter!
Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, Montana — Mica
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS:
DEAD HORSE, MT Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Mica Ford wasn’t one to hold grudges. At least not these days. Grudges required fury and bile, and he’d had his fill of pointless anger and heartburn.
However, he was beginning to get a bit perturbed by the crew of bounty hunters working out of an office in Dead Horse, Montana. This was the third time they’d crept into one of his stakeouts. Twice now, he’d had to withdraw from a takedown and let them score his target. There were just too many of them, and again, he hadn’t wanted a dustup, wasn’t looking for a fight. But this time, he’d be damned if he let them scoop a third bounty right from under his nose.
This time, his target was one Norman P. Rudd. The bounty was high enough that Mica could live off the proceeds for a good four months. According to the bail bond company’s description, Norman had failed to appear before the judge to begin his trial for numerous charges stemming from an incident where Norman had gone “postal” on a neighbor whose political campaign posters didn’t share his flavor of affiliation.
Norman hadn’t stopped at simply pulling up the neighbor’s signs and burning them in a bonfire in the middle of the man’s front yard. No, he’d taken a tree branch, set the end on fire, and then torched his neighbor’s house and RV and then set wood he’d stacked beside a propane tank on fire. The explosion from the tank had rattled and broken windows throughout the neighborhood, including Norman’s. Even before the firetrucks and police arrived, the neighbor had pulled in front of his house, jumped out of his pickup, and the two men had entered into a brawl. The neighbor had been horrified by the damage to his home and belongings, but worse, his favorite blue tick hound had been locked inside the house when it was set on fire.
The house and RV? Mica wouldn’t have bothered to do more than shake his head and collect the insurance—belongings didn’t matter much, and you couldn’t take them with you when you left this world, but he could understand someone goin’ loco over the murder of a four-legged best friend. For that alone, Norman was a piece of shit who deserved to spend the rest of his days in jail. However, since he’d lost his mind and fired up his neighbor’s property, Norman had proven himself to be a bit smarter, evading police and bounty hunters while hiding out in the Absaroka Range. Mica couldn’t guess his intentions, but he suspected Norman thought he could hopscotch through mountains and forests to hide out there for a while until he lost some weight and grew a beard—something to disguise his ugly, memorable features. His mistake had been coming in for a night to shower and sleep in a soft bed.
Mica had tracked him to a motel in Belgrade, Montana. The night manager had just confirmed that someone of Norman’s broad build had indeed rented a room at the end of the building. He’d asked for menus from restaurants that offered delivery, then he’d kept quiet, not budging from his room.
Mica had already walked the perimeter of the building and tried peeking into the room, but the curtains were pulled closed and the frosted glaze on the bathroom window behind the building didn’t allow him to make out anything other than the fact there was a light turned on inside the room.
Before he could bust in the door, he had to know that Norman was inside. So, he’d hunkered down in his truck, waiting for his break, hoping Norman ordered food before the last restaurant closed for the night.
He watched through his tinted windows as another SUV and a truck pulled into the lot. He groaned when he saw the female hunter, Marti of naked-body-shop-video fame, enter the motel office. When she’d come out, she’d scanned the parking lot, and her gaze had locked on his vehicle.
So, she knew someone else was on Norman’s trail. Mica snorted. They might have the advantage of more hunters to enter the chase, but he had the better vantage, parked right in front of Norman’s room while they had to park farther down the row.
A small compact sedan entered the lot. It had a lighted sign on top of it, advertising Papa Ralph’s Pizza. So, Norman wasn’t starting his diet anytime soon. The sedan moved slowly down the row of parking spaces, then stopped right behind Mica’s vehicle. A car door slammed, and a lanky teenager ran toward the door, carrying an insulated pizza delivery bag that looked like it held two pizza boxes. Mica partially lowered his driver’s side window so he could listen as he watched the kid knock on the motel room door.
The lights inside doused. The kid stiffened and backed away a step, his head turning side to side like he was unsure of his safety. Read the rest of this entry »
My new book, The Pepper Peach Murder (from Wild Rose Press), is a cozy mystery—the first I’ve tried. My other books have all been romances, contemporary and paranormal. But to me, cozy mysteries are also romantic mysteries. Or anyway, they should be, as far as I’m concerned.
When I told friends and family that I was working on a cozy mystery, a lot of them asked me what a cozy was exactly. Some things about cozies are easy to explain. Most of them are written from the heroine’s point of view, and a lot them are written in first person. The heroine usually has some kind of interesting occupation: there are lots of bakers, for example, and caterers and crafters and owners of bookstores or country inns. But the image a lot of readers have of the cozy heroine is Jessica Fletcher, a decidedly unromantic lady who wrote mysteries in Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica did occasionally have a date or two, but she was much more into solving mysteries than dancing in the moonlight.
As a romance writer, I didn’t want to limit my heroine that way. I wanted her to have a love life along with her jam making and murder solving because that was the kind of book I wanted to read myself. Donna Andrews’ Meg has her Michael; Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna has her Daniel. And my Roxy has her Nate.
Now since this is a mystery rather than a romance, Roxy also has a murder to solve. But since it’s a romantic mystery, solving the mystery will involve solving Roxy’s love life. She had a bad experience as a line cook in Denver and has come back to her hometown of Shavano, Colorado, to restart. But Roxy has concentrated on getting her jam business off the ground rather than her relationships with men until she meets chef Nate Robicheaux at the local farmers market. The two hit it off immediately. There’s just one problem (other than Roxy’s nervousness about getting back on her feet romantically): another local chef, Brett Holmes, wants Roxy on his arm and in his bed, and he won’t take no for an answer.
When someone kills Brett in his restaurant kitchen, Roxy’s the logical suspect since she and Brett had a shouting match in front of the farmers market vendors. Now, she’s got to clear her name and keep her business afloat while she and Nate discover just how much she’s back on her game again romantically.
There’s a lot on her plate, but Roxy can handle it. After all, she’s the Jam Queen of Shavano County, and she wants her romance to be like her jam: sweet, hot, and very tasty.
Last year wasn’t my most prolific writing year—that’s for sure. However, I did have several releases. Some were re-edited, re-released titles (the Dark Realm stories), but most were new series books, including two Brotherhood Protectors books! Today, I just wanted to provide the list and release dates of the titles in case you missed one. If you’re interested in one of the stories, click on the covers to check them out!
01/07/22 – AFTER DARK, Dark Realm series, short story
01/25/22 – ELI, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT series
02/15/22 – HUNK OF BURNING LOVE, Cowboys on the Edge, short story
03/22/22 – NO TENDER MERCY, Texas Vampires series
04/26/22 – DARK SEDUCTION, Dark Realm series
06/21/22 – VICTORIA’S SIX, Brotherhood Protectors: Colorado series
07/26/22 – GABRIEL, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT series
08/12/22 – WHAT A WOLF WANTS, Dark Realm series, short story,
10/11/22 – GUARDING HANNAH, Brotherhood Protectors: Team Wolf series
2022 Short Stories
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell whether you’ve read any of these stories or which titles might interest you now! Easy, right?
I’m still working on the big plan, but I’m pretty sure about the stories I’m aiming to release this next year.
A few you already know about:
From Montana Bounty Hunters, Mica, which is set to release on February 28 and Jackson on June 16.
Then there are also a couple I’ll write for a new connected series, We are Dead Horse, MT: Hard Knox, which I hope to release in March, and Cold Hard Cash, set to release April 25.
Then there are some I don’t have covers or titles for yet, but I know you’ll be there when I do get them up, two new group-related projects in my sister’s Brotherhood Protectors world to join my previous efforts:
Beyond these? I’m not sure. I have a romantic comedy I started years ago that I’d like to finish called Little Green Dreams, and it’s about, you guessed it, aliens. Maybe another Cowboys on the Edge series story. We’ll see how ambitious I get. This year I slowed way down so far as the number of titles I released. I may not have published a ton of stories, but I’m very happy with the ones I did, so there’s that.
I need to light a fire under my butt. Or have someone give it swift kick every now and then to “motivate” me.
As for other promises? I’ll try to figure out some more fun things to do here on this blog. More guests, more contests, more puzzles? More free reads? A serialized story? More behind the scenes of a writer’s life? You tell me what you’d like to see here and be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Hello, everyone! I want to start by thanking Delilah for letting me come play here with you all again. I always have a good time when I visit.
So, about that title…my countdown to the new year isn’t in hours or minutes yet, but I am counting down the days. I love looking forward to a new year, don’t you? It’s always so full of possibility and opportunity, and all kinds of good things we can’t even imagine yet. It’s almost like getting ready to start reading a new book by a favorite author or seeing a movie you’ve anticipated for months.
I don’t make ‘resolutions’ for the year. I quit that a long time ago, but I do work out goals for myself every year, personal things I want to get done, and writing goals (still working on the new goals as I write this). ‘Resolutions’ seem so…inflexible, I guess, like passing a new law or something. Too daunting that way.
If I call them goals instead, they become something I want to do, not have to do, and I can break each one down, and figure out the steps and time needed to accomplish them. For example, most authors have a general idea of how long it will take them to write a book, so they can break that time frame down—if it usually takes someone three months to write a 90,000-word story, they can figure out how many words they need to write each week, each day to make their three-month goal on time, and if there is an off-day, they can adjust to make up for the words they didn’t get done that day. That sort of goal-setting feels to me more achievable than simply writing a list of resolutions for the year—ie, for the next year, I have to lose X pounds, organize my life, look for a new career, etc.
Besides getting my goals finalized this week, we have a family dinner to start the new year, so while the basics of the meal are always the same, I do need to figure out dessert. Something else I will do to wave the old year goodbye is write down a few wishes for the new year, and then near midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’ll burn that list and send the wishes to the universe. If our weather forecast for this weekend is right, I may have to improvise to avoid the rain, but I have time to figure that out.
I would love to hear how you bring in the new year…do you set goals or make resolutions? What other traditions do you enjoy? Everyone who comments between now and the start of the new year will be entered into a drawing for an eBook copy of one of my three books, winner’s choice.
Happy New Year to you all, and may all your New Year wishes come true!
Lifelong book addict Elizabeth Andrews fell in love with romance novels at an early age and now writes her own, full of sexy heroes and strong heroines. Her stories range from paranormal to contemporary, to who knows what her imagination might come up with along the way, but happy endings are a guarantee!
She is a married mother of two who’s got a room overflowing with her book collection and a garden full of herbs and veggies that needs occasional attention between writing and reading binges.
UPDATE: The winners are…Beverly and Pamela Reveal!
Maybe you only know me through my bounty hunter books or the Brotherhood Protector stories I sometimes write. I’ve been a full-time author for more years than I care to admit, so there’s more on my backlist if you’re interested in checking out my older titles. Plus, if you love a sexier story than I tend to write now, you’ll really dig these. Hot cowboys? Lava-hot sex? What’s not to love? Read the excerpt below and comment for a chance to win a free download of any one of my six Texas Cowboys stories. They’re available in eBook and gathered together in two print volumes.
Following her husband’s death, Maggie McDermott faces the onerous task of running the family ranch. She’s through mourning her husband and the children they never had. The problem? She doesn’t know the first thing about running a ranch, so she knows she needs a capable hand. When Daniel Tynan applies for the position, she’s flooded with guilty memories of the time she tempted the younger man.
Daniel is more than willing to show sweet Maggie the ropes. His gentle ways melt her heart, and his sensual passion burns away her inhibitions. He may be younger, but he’s not without the right kind of experience…
An excerpt from The Cowboy & the Widow…
Danny Tynan was all grown up.
Maggie had noticed that fact right off. She’d hidden in the house like a coward when he arrived that morning, watching him through the curtains as Reggie greeted him with a handshake and a manly slap to his shoulders.
And such broad shoulders they were, too. Something else she’d noticed. He’d been tall as a teenager, all elbows and knobby knees, but anyone looking at him then would easily guess he’d grow into a handsome man.
He’d far exceeded her expectations.
Dark brown hair curled in careless, spiked waves around his head. Thick eyebrows shadowed blue eyes that could melt a woman’s heart in a single glance. Those features hadn’t changed.
What had changed took her breath away. He turned and stood with his back to her, feet braced apart. She took the opportunity that presented itself, letting her gaze embrace the breadth of his shoulders, the narrow indent of his lean waist, the small round globes of his buttocks, and thighs that looked sturdy and powerful…
If she’d thought him distracting when he was young, he was lethal to her peace of mind now.
Not that she’d ever acted on her attraction when he’d stayed at the ranch all those years ago. Although she’d entertained lurid fantasies where she’d played teacher to his youthful sexual education, she’d studiously ignored his adoring glances. Still, she hadn’t been able to resist deepening their connection, by appealing to a young man’s endless appetite…
For food, that is. She’d always loved to bake. Used it when she needed to work out her problems—a kind of “kitchen” therapy that soothed her restlessness when she hammered a slab of steak or kneaded a loaf of bread.
And she’d needed that release during the years of her marriage to Douglas. For while her husband had been ideal in many ways, he’d left her unfulfilled in two.
The man had never given her an orgasm, had never even realized the need to provide her passion. He’d provided her a roof, a purpose, given her a home to transform into her own haven.
Not a handsome man, he’d still managed to impress her when he’d begun to court her. Promising her comfort, protection—family. Something she’d craved since she’d been left alone in the world.
And although he’d tried to fulfill the promise of giving her a family, that was another hole he’d left in her life. He’d been sterile. When they’d discovered the fact, he no longer thought it necessary to use her body. What was the point?
When Danny Tynan came to the ranch, she’d met a good-looking boy, about to be a man, and a very sexual creature—if the state of his bedding was any indication.
Perhaps the hormones raging in his young body had affected her, for she began to feel those stirrings again. The ones her husband’s neglect had buried. She’d felt shame for her feelings, for the yearnings that tempted her to leave open a button or two at the top of her blouse to tempt him to peer inside her shirt, to wear shorter shorts to feel his glance rake the length of her legs.
That was as far as she’d allowed it to go, because she hadn’t trusted herself to do the right thing.
I know; I know. Christmas hasn’t even made it and already I’m writing a post focusing on the New Year. If it seems like my decision is because I’ve fallen into that pit of commercialism, rest assured that it is not. See, goalsetting now may be a diversion from busy holiday shopping and reduce the stress of welcoming the New Year by having a plan. I’m not speaking of a few random resolutions that will begin strong and fizzle out by April. I’m speaking of mapping a detailed agenda of what you want to achieve in the future. Anything worth accomplishing generally is successfully attained by using a thorough and well-designed blueprint. For example, a common New Year’s resolution is weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to shed a few pounds. Okay, but how will one reach that goal?
It’s not enough to want and say what is desired. One must actively pursue it. So, to lose weight, a person may decide to join a gym membership, especially since many gyms discount their fees this time of year. But is this the best choice? Is this something that the person will have time to do? Is the gym located in an area that is not an inconvenience to attend? Will the gym hours work with the person’s hours? Financially, can the person afford the membership fees beyond the initial discount? These are all factors that should be considered. Waiting until December 31 to consider them, a person may feel he/he pressured to begin on January 2 and not skip sorting through options. Studies have indicated that when people are asked why they failed to succeed at their New Year’s resolutions, the response is because the resolution was not well-developed—that other events in their lives interfered and threw them off course. However, the truth is many of the hiccups could have been avoided if they had been considered before starting—being proactive instead of reactive.
Big goals frequently take a great deal of time to complete. This suggests that big goals also require much thought. Instead of sitting down and attempting to hash out a game plan in one go, perhaps what is needed is to consider choices for several weeks. Once one begins planning, he/she may realize that he/she needs to do prep work before setting his/her plan in motion. For example, a friend decided that she wanted to do a vision board to keep her inspired throughout the year. When another friend asked her if she had begun constructing the board, she confirmed that she hadn’t and would do it later in the month. As the other friend continued to acquire about the board, the first friend realized that making a vision board to hang on her wall would take longer than she had anticipated. Yes, she had determined she would download images from Pinterest. However, she hadn’t calculated the number of hours she would need to browse through the site. The sheer abundance of picture options can be overwhelming. She also had neglected to purchase extra ink and paper or the size of the board she would use. While she hasn’t begun assembling her board, she has begun collecting images and trimming them to attach.
However, I’m jumping ahead slightly. Therefore, let me reset and start from the beginning. How does one determine goals for the new year?
Clearly defining the goals. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how vague some people can be in listing his/her goals. For example, the broad statement, “I want to be wealthy?” Ask ten people to define wealth, and one is likely to receive ten different answers. Wealth for one person may mean earning a million dollars. Another person may consider “being wealthy” a lot less expensive at one hundred thousand dollars. Another person may define wealth as financial independence to have all bills paid each month without consideration. Yet, another may define wealth as being spiritually fulfilled. If one isn’t specific about what he/she wants to accomplish, it will be more difficult to obtain it.
Reflect on the past year for a baseline. This does not mean getting so bogged down in the previous year that the person becomes discouraged for the upcoming year. This reflection is an assessment so that person has a baseline to begin. In the losing weight example, the baseline would be the person’s weight and measurement prior to starting any weight loss program. It also probably should include a discussion with a physician or nutritionist regarding safe dieting and health.
List wins and fails. It is beneficial to note if a goal has been attempted previously what actions were successful and which weren’t. This avoids wasting time repeating behavior that does not work and increases doing the things that do. Referring back to the weight loss example, a person may find that he/she is more motivated to swim than do aerobatics. So, why would that person register for an advanced aerobatics class? Studies have shown that many “can’t have diets” fail because the person feels hungry and deprived. Dieters who “limit” (e.g., portion control) but don’t “prohibit” their consumption of certain foods are more likely to be successful. However, this may be a slippery slope for some because once they do not adhere to the “limit.” They argue that the temptation to have a little is too great, and it is better to have none at all. Therefore, to determine a diet plan, the dieter may consider which method they previously had the most success using.
Make a list of challenges and obstacles. What barriers stand in the way of achieving your goals? When a person knows what obstacles he/she faces, he/she is able to devise a strategy to avoid them. A coworker discussed having toxic friends who got into her head whenever she talked of a career change. They convinced her that she was making a mistake and that the situation would improve at her current job. And perhaps for a time, things did get better. However, it would always revert to misery. Months of being sedentary turned into a year. Now, the coworker has reservations about switching careers because of her age. She had this to say. “I think the advice from my friends wasn’t in my best interest but theirs. I think they wanted me to stay because they were staying. They knew I wasn’t happy, and instead of encouraging me to chase a dream, they convinced me I wasn’t being realistic. I can’t blame them entirely because I had no confidence in myself. If I did, I wouldn’t have listened. Instead, I empowered them to allow my fear to stifle my professional growth.” This leads to the next point.
Be confident that the goal can be achieved. If you think you can, you will.
Understand setbacks. Not-so-pleasant things happen. That does not mean it is the end of the road. If appropriately viewed, all setbacks can be learning experiences. Besides, they happen to everyone. If a plan is well-devised when a reversal occurs, all one needs to do is consider the options detailed in the strategic plan to continue moving forward.
Purpose of goal. Sure, the purpose of a weight loss goal is obviously to lose weight. However, why does the person want to lose weight? Is it to fit into a dress for a special occasion? Is it to meet the requirement for a sport? Is it for health reasons? Or is it to impress someone else? Many years ago, a relative who was a nurse who was in her mid-sixties at the time revealed that her dream had been to be a mortician. When asked why she had never become one, she stated that her parents had pushed her to be a nurse because her older sister was a nurse. She adopted the path of being a nurse to please others and follow a path that others had laid for her. This is similar to the situation with the coworker who failed to leave her job. However, in this instance, it wasn’t fear or a lack of confidence that kept the relative from following her dreams. It was her desire for approval from her family. When setting goals, it is important that the person setting the goal actually wants to achieve the goal for himself/herself.
Measurable steps. This is self-explanatory. Any goals set should be able to measure. With a weight loss goal, calorie intake and tracking weight are measurable steps. For becoming wealthy, counting money saved or gaining promotions are measurable steps. Without measurable steps, it’s difficult to determine progress.
Accountability. It may be challenging, but anyone who has goals must weave measurements of responsibility into his/her goal plan. When a plan lacks accountability, it is easy to get off track and stay off. Several years ago, a friend had a goal to stop smoking. Each week, he deposited the money he would have spent on cigarettes into a special account that he planned to use partially to pay for a vacation to Fiji. As a punishment, if he decided to smoke, he had to smoke a cigarette from the pack he’d purchased before deciding to quit. The thing about this pack was that it had been opened, and the cigarettes had started to grow stale over time. Also, he’d accidentally left them outside, and they had gotten wet from the rain. The worse was that one of his brother’s cats had twinkled on it. He enlisted his family to watch him and be sure that if abided by his own rules. (If anyone is wondering, he was successful in quitting, but not before smoking a “cat special” cigarette. He has always said smoking it was so disgusting that he now gags each time he sees a cigarette.)
Have achievable goals. Now listen. The sky is the limit, but at a certain point, the sky turns into space. Many years ago, a professor told the class a story of one of his clients who wanted to be a fireman. This was not an obtainable goal because the person was deaf, and his not being able to hear would make him a liability in a fire that he could not hear his coworker’s warnings and/or have smoke obstruct his view to read their lips or signs. However, the local volunteer fire department founds other ways that he could help (e.g., preparing the equipment and managing the firehouse). It was not a perfect solution, but at the time, it was the best anyone could devise.
With that said, that’s all that I have for today. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree?Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
Get ready. It’s almost time to hit the ice again. Future Goals Coming soon.
When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.