I love my Montana Bounty Hunters. I really try hard to make each of them individual rather than cookie-cutter characters with different names. I also love to dream up unique takedowns for your reading pleasure and to showcase who these men are. One of my favorite scenes was “Animal chasing the bear”, which is part of the Montana Bounty Hunters’ cable TV series lore now. You know what I mean if you’ve read the books! Anyway, I’m sharing that scene today. It’s not long. Enjoy!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
A rough-around-the-edges bounty hunter takes a nature photographer on a wild ride.
Former SEAL, Russell “Animal” Hathcoat, retreated to a remote mountain cabin after leaving the Navy. Haunted by horrific images that replay in his nightmares of his last mission with his SEAL brothers, he intends to renovate the dilapidated cabin as penance and therapy, and to avoid rejoining the world around him. But then, someone who understands what he needs better than he does arrives to offer him a job.
Allie Travers loves the freedom and solitude of being a nature photographer and journalist—until the day she stares through her lens at a charging black bear. With her heart in her throat, she can only stand watching in horror, knowing she’ll never escape in time. But rescue comes in the form of a wild man who risks his life to frighten away the animal.
Once the danger is past, she’s told by his team of bounty hunters that she has more to fear than any animal in the woods. A felon is on the loose, and she has to accompany them to safety. Seeing an opportunity, Allie shadows the team as they hunt their prey deep in a national forest. Much to Animal’s dismay, more than just his protective instincts are aroused by the pretty photojournalist.
Are you all caught up reading the Montana Bounty Hunters?
For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this:
What profession other than bounty hunters would you like to see in future Montana Bounty Hunters—Dead Horse branch, and beyond—stories?
Here are all the Bear Lodge Montana Bounty Hunters!
The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.
They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, and to keep an eye out for any of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out. The rest of the team members grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking Tibbets into Flathead National Forest.
Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.
This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.
They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.
“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden in the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.
Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.
Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.
He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.
A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.
“Where’s mama?” he whispered.
As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A large bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.
He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.
Mama bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.
“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.
“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.
“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.
“You shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping. Didn’t she realize he was trying to draw the bear’s attention away from her?
The bear’s head moved from Animal, to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.
Animal roared and flapped and moved a little closer.
The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.
Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.
Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.
Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.
When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”
“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?
Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.
Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.
Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”
“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.
He ground his teeth as his face heated.
“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”
What happens at a fertility clinic stays at a fertility clinic…unless there’s an accidental switch-a-roo…
Successful author Melanie Jane decided after a very public divorce that she would prove to the world, especially her critiques, that she didn’t need a man to make her dreams come true. So, she wrote a best seller and used a fertility clinic to get pregnant. An accidental switch-a-roo left Melanie curious…who was the father of her baby?
Coop Dawson was still grieving the loss of his twin brother when some lady showed up at the family ranch and announced that she was pregnant by Cade, impossible since he’d been gone for over a year. Coop didn’t have the patience for scam artists. He told her exactly how he felt then made her hit the road. Yet, after reading a letter from a fertility clinic, he realized she’d been telling the truth. Now he needed to turn things around fast before he lost the chance at knowing Cade’s child.
Sometimes tragedy can bring a family closer…and bring unexpected gifts.
Coop needed to step up for the first time in his life and do the right thing for everyone. He promised his brother in a late-night prayer that he’d take care of the child—but what Coop didn’t realize he was already falling for Melanie and he couldn’t imagine life without her. Will she learn to trust him? Or will he screw up every chance he’d been given?
Forbidden love with an ex-fiancé’s brother will have townsfolk of Dove Grey talking. But she either went rogue or lost her heart again.
It had been two years since Cade Dawson passed away from leukemia, but his presence remained strong in small town Dove Grey, Texas. Coming home was probably too soon for many folks, but Annika Tinder hoped people could put the rumors and assumptions aside so that she could open her dream spa in her childhood home. She’d grown a lot since she first left—had a thicker skin now, and she’d need it. So what if people thought she had a sex-capade with the sexiest Dawson brother? She was willing to face the fire to get what she wanted.
Cross Dawson had a plan.
He’d steer clear of Annika so that townsfolk wouldn’t target her with their harsh speculations, and he wouldn’t be tempted by those old feelings he thought he’d buried. The task proved harder than he anticipated. He’d lost himself once—twice, three times—with her, but he couldn’t do it again, not when he had to honor his late brother’s memory. That was the respectable thing to do, right? So then why did every path and sign lead back to her?
Will Annika’s desire for an old flame, and new start, keep her in town? Or will she be chased off a second time? The sexy Dawson brothers and their wild romances keep the townsfolk of Dove Grey, Texas talking. From secret babies, forbidden love, to broken hearts…they’ll keep readers talking too.
She smiled. “I can’t decide if the sour face is because I make you nervous or my food gave you indigestion.”
He dug his spoon into dessert but didn’t feel much up to eating anything more. “The food was delicious.”
“Ah, so I’m making you nervous?” She rolled her tongue along the plump center of her bottom lip.
Yeah, that didn’t help matters in the southern region of his belt. “No. Yes. Hell, I don’t know.”
Her eyes widened and again he couldn’t get past how bright her eyes were. She ran her finger through the condensation on her bottle. “It’s me and I get it.” The higher octave in her tone told him she enjoyed teasing him.
“I just have a lot on my mind I suppose,” he admitted. He couldn’t admit that she was nine-tenths of the trouble occupying his mind. He watched her slender fingers pick up a berry and pop it into her mouth, not taking her eyes off him for one second.
“It’s because I made it clear how I feel. I thought men liked when women were aggressive and made it clear what they wanted.”
“You know, earlier. I feel like we’re denying the truth blasting like a neon sign. We’re sexually attracted to each other.”
Good thing he was sitting because she’d have knocked him right off his boots. He needed to tread carefully down the path where this conversation was headed. He didn’t want to lie to her but telling her the truth could land them both smack dab in a world of distress.
Truth was, they were sexually attracted to each other. But it was more than just a need for sex. He liked her company. He found himself searching for her while he worked, which meant he was behind. Cross didn’t like being behind.
It was mostly her fault. She’d done nothing but flirt with him since he’d started work that morning. He wasn’t the smartest when it came to women and their feminine, magical ways, but there was nothing subtle in the way she looked at him like she wanted to suck the sin right out of his bone marrow. Sucking was always a good thing.
It was a big problem while he was having to keep up with renovations though.
“Yes, Cross?” She batted her lashes. She wasn’t about to make this easy.
“I didn’t come in here expecting…shit.” He blew out a long, agonizing breath.
“You didn’t come in here expecting shit?” She lifted a brow quizzically.
He’d never had a woman turn him inside out so easily. “Annika—”
“Yes, we’ve established that my name is Annika.” Her wicked smile hit him in his gut.
“My communication stinks, so don’t make this harder than it is already.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Look—”
“Oh no. Any sentence that starts with ‘look’ never ends well.” She plucked a strawberry from her bowl and bit into it.
“I think you’re enjoying this,” he said with meaning.
“You just seem…well, hot. Do you need a fan?”
She stood and sashayed over to him, crawling into his lap and wrapping her arms around his neck. “Let’s not fight this any longer. I’m all in. How about you?”
God, what was wrong with him? His dick was hard and he was having trouble swallowing. He’d never been this affected by any woman.
“You’re sweating profusely,” she said with a smile.
“I need to say something,” he croaked.
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“Things are a bit…hard.”
“Oh? Am I too close?”
“I’m burning up.” He tugged at the neckline of his shirt.
“Fine. Say what you have to say and I’ll listen.” She stood and a frown developed over her sweet mouth.
He stood too, mainly because sitting became too unbearable. Cross wanted to say “screw it”, grab her up into his arms, and whisk her upstairs. Unfortunately, why did he feel like he’d be betraying his family? Betraying Cade? Could he trust Annika? What if he gave in to his feelings and she left again?
Cross stopped near the edge of the flower bed, debating his next words. When he finally had his head in order, he turned and snapped his mouth shut. How the hell had she managed to get near him so fast? She was now only a few feet from him.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“Are you okay?” She pressed her hand against his forehead. “You’re sweating even more and you feel a little warm.”
“You look a little swollen.” Concern covered her expression.
Why did his throat feel sore and his lips tingle?
He was beginning to believe that maybe he wasn’t okay.
“Cross, are you having an allergic reaction?”
“I’m not having an allergic reaction.” His stomach ached and his skin itched.
“I know a reaction when I see one.”
“I’m okay. I just want to talk to you about…” Then he felt a tingle in his tongue that quickly spread. He saw her squint and then her eyes rounded in shock.
“Are you feeling prickly and flushed?”
“Yes, but we need to talk. I have something I need to get off my chest.” Ah hell. “Why is it so damn hot?”
Small Town Romance
For those who don’t know me, I’m Rhonda Lee Carver. I’m a bestselling author of contemporary western and romantic suspense, but love to write other genres too. I enjoy stories that keep readers laughing, crying, gripping the edge of their seats, and screaming all in one book…like riding a virtual roller coaster. Whether creating sexy cowboys or tough guys, or sassy, independent heroines, readers are sure to find strong, powerful, memorable characters that are relatable.
By day, I tap into my creative, fictional world but at some point, I transition back into reality where I’m a volleyball-stands cheerleader, homework virtuoso (at least, I think so), amateur nurse to skinned knees, a mediocre chef with some awesome microwave skills, pet-guru (all the strays show up at our house), and a Jackie of all trades for my kids who are the loves of my life. Yoga and chocolate keep me sane. Hallmark movies require cuddling up with tissues because I can be emotional. I add a sprinkle of my own real-life adventures in each story I spin because a little truth never hurt anyone. I wouldn’t give up one thing in my crazy, chaotic, ever-amusing life, except, except I might do magic tricks for the bungalow on the beach I’ve had my eye on (GOALS).
Writing for me is like falling in love and finding a new best friend over and over again. My characters will find a place inside your heart too.
I’m asked a lot where I get the ideas for stories. Finding ideas has never been a problem. I have a storage bank inside of my head overflowing with storylines. I do, however, find hurdles when I’m creating unique characters. After writing one hundred books, I seem to gravitate toward clone characters. They have similar physical and behavioral traits. So, I’ve had to work to make each one exceptional and relatable. I like to create characters from real-life people. Those who triumph when they could easily give up. Like the man with a disability who walks each day on the highway. I’ll see him pushing his cart or carrying a bag of groceries. Sometimes in the rain. Other times in the sweltering heat. He refuses any help. Also, the homeless man and his dog who I see frequently wandering the streets of a nearby town. He has a story to tell—a tragic story of drug abuse and a childhood marked with neglect. A friend of a friend had passed away from Leukemia. He didn’t have children because of chemotherapy. His wife says that her one regret was not having a child with him while he was well. I have intermingled their true stories with the fictional lives of my characters in The Brothers of Dove Grey, and another story I’m currently working on. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll check out my books. With love, Rhonda Lee.
UPDATE: The winners are…Michelle, Arlene Miklovic, and Courtney Kinder!
The Montana Bounty Hunters series located in Bear Lodge is complete. I am four books into the spinoff series, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT,and I’m working on #5. I loved writing the original series, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in writing many more of these heavy-duty, gritty guys in the near future. Have you seen the cover for Cowboy, which will release in October, if not sooner? Yeah. Some of the guys you love from the original series will continue to pop up here and there in Dead Horse—after all, they all work for Fetch Winter. Someday, he’ll get his happy-ever-after, too!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Former Marine “Wolf” Patterson is working with a team of MBH bounty hunters in the densely forested Kootenai Forest to bring in one Reese Tobin, a man wanted for arson, who escaped from jail just before his trial. When Wolf catches up to him, Tobin draws a gun, telling Wolf he can’t return to lock-up or he’s a dead man. Just as one of his teammates is about to lunge toward Tobin to take him down, a shot rings out, and Reese is dead.
Former Army Military Police Officer, now Deputy, Meg Henry, was the officer who arrested Tobin, and nothing about that night sat right since. After hearing he was killed, she heads to Kootenai, hoping to talk to the men who were with him last, hoping Tobin told them something that might help her figure out the mystery surrounding him. Because handsome bounty hunter, Wolf, was the last to talk to Tobin, Meg offers Wolf a ride back to the sheriff’s department. They barely begin their conversation when they find themselves running for their lives. Meg doesn’t know who to trust, but she instinctively trusts the tall, intensely attractive Wolf. Together, they work to unravel the mystery while staying one step ahead of someone who wants them both dead.
Are you all caught up reading the Montana Bounty Hunters?
For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this: Where else, other than Montana, would you like a Bounty Hunter book set?
Here are all the Bear Lodge Montana Bounty Hunters!
Once she arrived home, Meg checked her windows and the locks on every door. Not that she was paranoid, but given what she’d been through, she wasn’t going to be careless. Plus, her house was isolated and five minutes from Amity. While most days, she liked the fact she had no neighbors close by, times like this kept her on edge. When she finished her rounds, she showered and changed, keeping her service pistol always within reach.
She’d hoped standing under the hot spray would relax her, but when she’d dressed again, this time in jeans and a soft tee, she felt restless, so she made herself a cup of coffee and carried her laptop into the living room. With it resting on her lap, she thought maybe she should write her mom a short email, just to tell her she was okay and thinking about her. Instead, she paused, her fingers hovering over the keys.
She opened her browser and typed in a search, inputting the address of the warehouse, and then hit enter.
The first item in the list that appeared was a link to an article in the local newspaper about the fire and Reese Tobin’s arrest. She read the article, but there was nothing there she didn’t already know.
She hit the back key and began searching the other items in the list. She came to one that listed the owner of the warehouse, Bear Claw Industries. She clicked on the blue, underlined company name, and that link took her to an ad in the yellow pages. Bear Claw Industries was a shipping company and a sole proprietor company owned by “Red” Barton, a state congressman.
Not sure where this was leading, if anywhere at all, she typed in “Red Barton, Amity MT”. The list included articles, and one by one she immersed herself in the congressman’s history.
Red Barton was a member of the Methodist church, had a pretty wife, had run for mayor and lost, but won when he ran unopposed for the state congress. He was a supporter of states’ rights and the second amendment. And he’d gotten some flack in the editorial section of the newspaper over the fact he’d spoken at a gathering for a local militia, where he’d given a speech about gun rights and the limited sovereignty of the government. Another link led her to a description of the rest of the agenda for that meeting and a list of those who’d attended. When she read the names, a sick feeling lodged in the pit of her stomach. Reese Tobin and Bennie Jacobs had both been there. They had both been members of the Free Montana Militia.
There was the connection. She quickly scanned the other names, and thankfully, found no deputies among them, but she didn’t know the rest of the men. She sent the agenda with the list of names to her printer, and then remembered her coffee, which had cooled.
She set aside her laptop and bent toward the coffee table to pick up her cup when the silence was disturbed by glass shattering and the dull thud of something hitting the wall behind her.
Meg threw herself to the floor, reached onto the coffee table for her service Glock, and crawled toward the kitchen. There she slid upward to the junction box and turned off the electricity.
Darkness fell around her, and she suddenly realized she’d left her cellphone on her dresser in her bedroom. She was on her own.
In the distance, she heard the deep, rattling hum of a motorcycle engine, but she was more concerned about any sounds she could detect nearer, like the rattling of a doorknob or the shattering of more glass should an intruder try to get inside.
Well, she wasn’t sitting there waiting for trouble. No matter how hard it was to keep her breaths even.
With her weapon held in front of her, she moved out of the kitchen and back toward the living room. She had to be sure that what she’d heard had been a gunshot. Crouching low, she moved toward the window across from the sofa and nudged aside the sheer panel. In the moonlight, she could see the tear in the fabric and noted the round, splintered circle in the glass.
She had to make the call. Alert the sheriff. Then warn Wolf that someone wasn’t leaving them alone. As she moved toward the hallway, a whoosh sounded, like the slide of a window moving upward. But she’d locked them all, hadn’t she? Swallowing hard, she moved toward the sound. It had come from her bedroom.
With her heart pounding in her chest, she felt that rush she always had in combat, when everything around her slowed down and her mind focused on the mission, the goal—the intruder in her house. She set her back to the hallway wall and moved slowly sideways, listening for footsteps, the creak of a floorboard. But there was only silence.
Beside the door, she drew a slow, quiet breath, drew her courage around her like a cloak, and moved inside, again, keeping her back to the wall. She crouched beside the dresser and glanced toward the window. The curtain billowed inward on a gust of wind.
The shadows inside the room were hard to distinguish, but then she saw a movement. One large dark shape moving from beside the window. She held still, not breathing, until the large frame passed her. Then she rose, coming up behind the man who stood in the doorframe, his head cocked.
She pressed the muzzle of her weapon against his ribs.
At his whisper, she drew a sharper breath. “Wolf?” She held her weapon away and leaned against his back as she struggled not to shiver. “What are you doing here?” she whispered harshly.
“Let’s not talk about it now. Two men, I think the same ones who disabled your car, are right outside your house.”
I know that during the pandemic and stay-at-home orders and such, most people have developed fantastic new hobbies, discovered talents they never knew they had, blah, blah, blah. (Me totally jealous) I’ve started working on a degree, so I have no time for anything new between that, work, and writing.
But Spring has come to shine down on me anyway.
Spring is here, and I am so excited. The first bloom of flowers is out. Honestly, I don’t know if they have sprung up or someone had planted them. I don’t have a green thumb at all. I have tried to grow plants, but they all die on me.
Now, you would think that a woman, whose mother had a menagerie of green plants and flowers all through the house when growing up, said woman (me) would know how to at least keep a succulent alive. Sadly, no. In 48-hours, I killed a succulent given to me for Mother’s Day two years ago. It should have been a hint when my daughter started laughing when the event greeter handed it to me with happy day wishes.
When the greeter offered with cheer, “It is almost impossible to kill this plant.”
My daughter answered, “Not for my mom.”
“Oh, ye of little faith.” I shook my head at my daughter as we walked out. Only to hold my head in shame two days later when it was withered, brown, and dead in its little mason jar.
Am I the only one who can’t grow flowers and lush green plants? Please, someone, tell me I am not alone. LOL.
Since I can’t seem to get my green thumb on, I do many clicks with my phone camera when I see flowers around me. It doesn’t matter if I’m at work, or walking in the park, or if they are the plants growing at my neighbor’s house. I wish I knew what the plants were, but I’m not generally concerned about the type only if it is pretty or interesting. Like the picture below that is a cabbage-like-looking plant or flower. I walked by them again a few days ago, and now they look completed different; there’s no pink, not so pretty after they finished blooming, so no new picture.
If you happen to be a ‘blooming beauty’ and know the name of any of these flowers/plants, let me drop me a line. 😊
Claiming Caroline by Yasmine Hyde
Grover Town Discipline Series
Book # 6
Destitute after her father’s death, Caroline Douglas finds herself in a bind when the sleazy, rich business owner wants her father’s debt in full. He won’t take ‘no’ or ‘I owe you’ for an answer. She finds herself dragged to the Harlot and the Hero, forced to work off her payment. When she thinks things can’t get worse, they do. To save her reputation, she finds herself saying ‘I do’ to a sexy, overbearing cowboy. Tired of following the rules of men, Caroline decides to push back. Especially against her sexy, all-consuming husband who’s too quick with his discipline techniques.
Garrett Rand, a dairy farm owner, and brother to the local sheriff, has spent the last six months requesting the hand of one ‘crofters’ daughter. Blocked at every turn, he starts to give up on ever having her, only to discover she’s in the brothel on the outskirts of Grover Town. Willing to stop at nothing to finally claim the beauty as his wife, in his bed, he makes a deal to get her out of the clutches of one of the richest men in town. However, marrying her is one thing; keeping Caroline out of trouble is another. He’ll just have to keep her over his knee until she learns. When danger strikes the area and threatens the safety of his wife, he will do what’s needed to protect her.
I am a product of the “Disney” generation and grew up on stories about Davey Crockett, Wild Bill Hickock, and Pecos Bill. One of my favorite poems, “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” is by Robert W. Service. This is a poem about one ordinary man’s herculean attempt to fulfill a promise to his dying friend. It’s a little bit creepy but very funny. I have always hoped to write a series of books about legendary characters. Some believe that legendary means ‘larger than life.’ I am not in that group. For me, a legendary character is an ordinary person achieving extraordinary things in extraordinary circumstances. Daniel Boone, for all his fame and legends, was really an ordinary man for his time who did extraordinary things.
Here’s the blurb for the first book in my Legends Series…
The Legend of Skinner Robelard: Pampered and privileged then betrayed and disowned, Elise Van Demer hides in plain sight and plots her revenge on the men who destroyed her life. With her goal in sight, she encounters a lawman from her past. Boyd Alvarez could ruin everything, and the last thing she needs is wanting some man who only wants to protect her.
His family dead and without a home, Boyd Alvarez rides the range and hunts bounties for a living. When he stumbles on Elise Van Demer his only thought is to keep her safe. He can outgun just about every man, but can he protect her from her own plans of revenge? Can he teach her that loving a man is a better dream than destroying her enemies?
And a little bit about Rue Allyn (that’s me): Award-winning author, Rue Allyn, learned storytelling at her grandfather’s knee. (Well it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) She’s been weaving her own tales ever since. She has worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of employment. She has lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that her two sons have left the nest, Rue and her husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south. When not writing, enjoying the nearby beach, or working jigsaw puzzles, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at Rue@RueAllyn.com. She can’t wait to hear from you.
If you’re like a lot of people I know, you might be wishing for 2020 to just end—but don’t skip Christmas! It’s a magical time of year that deserves to be savored and enjoyed!
Little did I know when I set out to write a holiday novel during the summer of 2019—which then got delayed—that it would be so important to release this heartwarming Christmas romance this year. But here we are, living in a world that is a completely different place than it was just nine months ago.
SLEIGH BELLS RING features some special sleigh bells that are tied to the main characters, so I was really excited when I ran across a small company called “Magical Bells” that I just have to mention. Yes, such a company really does exist—and if you feel like your Christmas spirit is depleted, you might want to purchase one of their bells to be replenished and inspired.
The company fashions its bells after the iconic “First Gift of Christmas” featured in the movie PolarExpress—and they are faithful in every detail. I ran across Magical Bells when I was searching for a special gift for some of my loyal readers, and these ended up to be a perfect match to go along with the novel SLEIGH BELLS RING. The bells are beautiful, handcrafted, heirloom-quality and you can tell they are truly a labor of love.
I won’t go into detail on the company (you can visit them at magicalbells.com), but it is a family-run business that has a magical love story of its own. Oh, and I may as well mention that they were kind enough to offer a discount to all my readers at the link below. No need to use a coupon, the discount of twenty percent will be taken off automatically when you go to pay.
Back to my novel, which was just released yesterday! SLEIGH BELLS RING is about two best friends growing up who go their separate ways, only to end up on the same ranch at Christmas. It’s a best friend, second chance, cowboy Christmas love story that takes place on a luxury ranch in Montana. If I did my job correctly, it will transport you to a place where holiday traditions are deeply rooted institutions and where love can heal all wounds.
I truly hope that you find things that inspire you and bring you joy during the fast-approaching holiday season—despite the trying times. Sometimes it takes nothing more than to “believe” in a magical bell or to be swept away for a few hours by a book. May happiness and peace surround you!
Here’s to the Magic of Christmas!
Sleigh Bells Ring
Returning to her family’s Montana ranch after a ten-year absence, Jordyn Dunaway pitches in to help her mother create the special holiday magic for which the exclusive ranch is renowned. But when she discovers that her best friend growing up—the man she has never forgotten—is employed as a ranch hand, the holiday season turns into something she never imagined.
Chad Devlin was falling into a deep abyss after being medically discharged from the military. When his old employer invited him back as a ranch hand, he found himself recovering both physically and mentally…that is until he was blindsided by the return of the ranch owner’s daughter.
The rocky relationship of the former best friends takes a back seat as the future of the family-owned ranch is threatened. If Jordyn and Chad don’t put their painful pasts behind them, they might lose the ranch they both call home. Can misunderstandings, mistrust, and lost years be forgotten when the magic of Christmas is in the air?
Find out with the help of beautiful mountain vistas, warm Western hospitality, and the magical meaning of a special sleigh bell that ties both Jordyn and Chad to the past—and the future.
Chad Devlin leaned one broad shoulder against the porch post of the bunkhouse as a limousine pulled through the elegant arched gateway. “Another guest just arrived for the Christmas gala,” he said to no one in particular.
“Another city slicker you mean.” The man standing beside him sent a slug of tobacco onto the dirt near the steps as the car drove slowly up the gravel driveway to the main house about a hundred yards away.
Chad lifted the hat off his brow and scowled at the brown smudge on the ground, but didn’t say anything. Judd had been warned by Mrs. Dunaway about spitting anywhere he pleased, any number of times. It wasn’t exactly the type of thing that wealthy folks wanted to see when they were getting away from it all on this high-priced luxury ranch in the middle-of-nowhere, Montana. And it wasn’t behavior that one would expect from a man who was in charge of dozens of ranch hands.
With his eyes glued on the woman getting out of the car, Chad took a step forward, causing the coffee in his mug to slurp over the top. “Is that Jordyn Dunaway?”
Judd let out a whistle as the long-legged blonde accepted the suitcase handed to her by the driver. “I’ve only seen pictures.” Judd leaned forward and squinted as if to lessen the distance between them. “You know her?”
Chad grew silent and merely shrugged, angry that he’d expressed any emotion and let down his guard. He hadn’t seen Jordyn Dunaway since she’d left for a job in New York City more than a decade ago. Was that really her? Had she really come back home after all this time?
The woman paused on the porch and swept the golden tumble of hair off her shoulders, an action that flaunted a regal confidence and elegant poise. Chad mumbled under his breath as another splash of hot coffee breached the top of the trembling mug, burning his hand.
Trying to slow the pace of his heart, Chad looked away and took a deep breath. Would Jordyn remember their last night together? Would she even remember him after traveling around the world and being away from the ranch for so long?
His gaze went back to the main house, but the door had already closed behind her.
Squeezing his temples, Chad tried to stop the memories. He even closed his eyes in a futile attempt to block the images that were branded in his mind as the best—and the worst—moments of his life.
Book #5 in my Cowboys on the Edge series is here! If you didn’t know, I named the series that odd name because the town of Caldera (fictional!) sits on the rim of a canyon. Lawless is the 5th book, but it can be read as a standalone. Yes, if you’ve read previous stories, you’ll see other people who’ve had their own stories pop up. Plus, you’ll meet people you might want to see get their own stories. If you read Lawless, let me know whose story you’d like next!
These cowboy stories are sexier than my Montana Bounty Hunters. Just so you know. And yes, there’s plenty of humor, sexy times, and a fun HEA at the end. I hope you’ll pick up your copy today!
When a Texas deputy’s motorcycle club trashes a bar with him leading the brawl, the sheriff decides his punishment will be serving as the bouncer/enforcer for the pretty owner while she runs a booth serving bikers during a weekend-long motorcycle club convention.