To be honest, I wasn’t…not until two years ago when my kids asked if I would have a “movie marathon” with them. Having teens, I learned to never turn down an opportunity to hang out because they’re always busy. We started with the first and worked our way through, I think, 25 more. It didn’t happen in one day or week. But over a month or so, we would all come together, with snacks and blankets, and watch the next Marvel. I can’t say that I remember all the timelines, galaxies, characters, etc, but what I will always remember is how much fun it was making memories with my family.
I do have a favorite. Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2. Do you have a favorite movie? Character?
I’m sharing pictures of a road trip my youngest and I took over the weekend and ended up at Cosi for the Marvel exhibit.
All Cowboy & Heart
Excerpt from my latest release, All Cowboy & Heart…
He leaned against the edge of the dresser, savoring her with those alluring eyes, looking mighty fine. “Dusty’s an interesting name for a girl. Is that a nickname?”
“I guess my dad wanted a boy, but instead he got me.” She set the bottle down, cleared a spot on the desk then lifted herself up to sit.
“I have a feeling you gave your dad a run for his money.” One thick brow popped up over those twinkling eyes.
“I certainly surprised him a time or two. He was your traditional male role model. You know the type. A penis makes you a man and a vagina makes you good with your hands in the kitchen.” She lifted the bottle, taking another nip, starting to feel very relaxed.
“Do you cook?”
“Does boiling water count?” She wiped the back of her hand across her lips. “I’m not much for cooking or baking, but then, I never tried. I was a bit rebellious.”
“Oh, you had something to prove, huh? Always doing the complete opposite of what was expected of you.”
“A woman can do anything a man can do, sometimes better.” She crossed her legs and leaned back on her hands. “I haven’t ever needed a man, except for one thing.” Did she hear a low growl from him when she pointedly dropped her gaze to his zipper?
“Ah, come on. We’re good at loosening tight lids on jars and saving beautiful women from bastards.”
“I have one of those handy dandy rubber gadgets. Works like a charm. And eventually I would have saved myself from Griff. You were definitely a bonus though.”
“How about plunging toilets? I haven’t met a woman yet who likes that task.”
“I have the plumber’s number on speed dial. You’ll have to try harder than that, Cowboy.”
“Is that a challenge?” he asked.
“If you see fit. I’ve always liked a challenge myself.” Against her better judgement she took another drink.
His grin widened. “I’m not surprised. So, Dusty…” he said her name with an even drawl that made her toes curl. “What’s your last name?”
“Why don’t we keep some things a mystery.” She found it quite satisfying teasing him. The verbal foreplay was an absolute turn on.
“Now how’s that fair? You know my full name, my brother, and a few of my secrets.”
With a casual shrug, she handed over the bottle for him to drink. In the golden candlelight his eyes were a shade darker, like the sky before a rainfall. “We both know we didn’t come back here to talk, Cowboy.” He passed the bottle again. She licked a droplet of whiskey off her top lip as she pulled it away from her mouth.
Rhonda Lee Carver is a bestselling author of contemporary western and romantic suspense, but she loves to write other genres too. She’s known for writing 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 she’s creating sexy cowboys or tough guys, or sassy, independent heroines, readers are sure to find strong, powerful, memorable characters that are relatable.
By day, she taps into her creative, fictional world but at some point she transitions back into reality where she’s a volleyball-stands cheerleader, homework virtuoso (at least she thinks so), amateur nurse to skinned knees, mediocre chef with some awesome microwave skills, pet-guru (all the strays show up at her house), and a Jackie of all trades for her kids who are the loves of her life. Yoga and chocolate keep her sane. Hallmark movies require cuddling up with tissues because she can be emotional. She adds a sprinkle of her own real-life adventures in each story she spins because a little truth never hurt anyone. She wouldn’t give up one thing in her crazy, chaotic, ever-amusing life, except, she might do magic tricks for the bungalow on the beach she’s had her eye on (GOALS).
Writing for Rhonda is like falling in love and finding a new best friend over and over again. Her characters will find a place inside your heart too.
UPDATE: The winners are Mina Gerhart and Christy Smid!
I’m being lazy! I pieced together this patchwork of covers last week for a contest, and I’m using it again because I’m super busy and don’t have time to be original! Do you care?! LOL!
For a chance to win your choice of one of the books below,
tell me if you have any furbabies/pets, what kind, and their names—and I’d love for you to say what your pets do for you.
Click on any cover to learn more about the story!
Excerpt from Ride a Texas Cowboy…
The house Katelyn Carter had bought sight unseen was kind of like her—weathered by storms and in need of a lot of TLC.
After a quick glance around the empty road, she set her truck into park and stared down the long graveled drive. She let her eyes blur and tried to imagine how the old house must have looked once upon a time before the harsh South Texas sun had baked its exterior. She wasn’t encouraged. Even seen from behind her dirty windshield, she could tell the one-story ranch needed a lot of work, and at the very least, a fresh coat of paint.
A lone tear streaked down her face, surprising her, and she sniffed. One last cry—she deserved that much. Then no more feeling sorry for herself. She had too much to do and a whole new life stretching in front of her.
A loud honk sounded, and Katelyn swung her gaze to her rearview mirror to find that a dusty, older model pick-up truck had pulled up behind her. She swiped away the tears with the back of her hand, and then stuck her arm out the window to wave the driver past.
Instead, the driver-side door opened, and a tall Texan in faded jeans and a cream-colored cowboy hat stepped onto the pavement.
Katelyn cursed under her breath and quickly tilted down the mirror to see whether her mascara had smeared. She didn’t really care what a stranger thought—that was the old Katelyn. Still, some habits died hard.
When boot steps stopped beside her, she glanced up…and found herself trapped by a moss-green gaze that raised the temperature within her cab a notch. The rest of him was just as captivating. Dark brown hair peeked from beneath his hat. His jaw was angular, his chin chiseled. Shallow crows’ feet surrounded those amazing eyes and crinkled when he frowned—as he was doing now. But they were wrinkles caused by the sun, not the weathering of a few years, like hers.
Damn! Here stood the first man she’d met since her separation who made her think of all the steamy possibilities, and he was too young.
She didn’t realize she’d cursed out loud until his soft chuckle washed over her like a silky caress. Her cheeks flamed instantly.
“Women don’t generally cuss me ’til after they know me better,” he said, his baritone voice thick as molasses.
When I was a kid I used to watch an old game show called To Tell The Truth. The curtain came up on three contestants who would claim, “My name is …” The host Bud Collyer would read a mini-bio on the person then a panel of celebrities asked a series of questions to discern which of the contestants was telling the truth. At the end of the round, the panelists stated who their guess was. Collyer then turned to the contestants and asked, “Will the real… please stand up?” This old game show question came to me as I crafted today’s post about Stagecoach Mary Fields.
Mary Fields was a former slave who became the first African American woman to work for the postal service. She was awarded two Star Route mail contracts. These were contracts given to a private carrier to deliver mail for the post office in rural and sparsely populated areas. Despite her nickname, Mary carried the mail with a horse and wagon from 1885 to 1903. She is believed to have been born in 1832 which means she would have been fifty-three when her first contract was granted.
I first learned of Mary in William Loren Katz’s Black People Who Made the Old West. Born in slavery in Tennessee, she made her way West to Montana with her former master’s daughter who’d become an Ursuline nun. Mary worked in the school the Ursulines founded for Native American women. She was six feet tall, dressed, drank, cussed, and handled a gun like a man.
In a 1959 Ebony magazine article, actor Gary Cooper wrote this about her, “Born a slave somewhere in Tennessee, Mary lived to become one of the freest souls ever to draw a breath, or a .38.”
Imagine my shock when I saw a picture of Zazie Beetz, the actress who portrayed Mary in the Netflix film The Harder They Fall. Check out this side-by-side comparison created for this op-ed in the Curvy Fashionista, https://thecurvyfashionista.com/stagecoach-mary-op-ed/, and you’ll understand why that old To Tell The Truth question, “Will the real Stagecoach Mary please stand up?,” came to be the title of my post.
But why should Hollywood’s depiction of Mary be any more realistic than those of other Western women? Does anyone believe Doris Day was chosen to play Calamity Jane because she resembled the real Martha Jane Cannary? Or Betty Hutton because she looked anything like Annie Oakley? Zazie Beetz and Stagecoach Mary are in good company. I’m just grateful Mary is being featured at all. Maybe it will send viewers to learn more about her so the real Stagecoach Mary can not only stand up but stand out.
So for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments about a woman whose story you wish Hollywood would tell.
“The Patience of Unanswered Prayer” by Michal Scott,
A feisty businesswoman about to become the next victim of Post-Civil War revenge receives rescue from an unexpected source…
Excerpt from “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer”…
The cock of a gun hammer turned them both in the same direction. Radcliffe aimed at her and fired. The shot burned its way into her shoulder, knocking her to the ground onto her back.
A second shot shattered the night silence. Through pain-drenched tears she saw Flyte whirl, stumble backwards and collapse with a splash into the creek.
Eleanor lay spent, her shoulder warmed by her blood, her chest no longer tight with fear. Above, the moon shone through a black canopy of leaves. The smell of creek water, crisp and clean, filled her lungs. She’d never imagined where she would die, but a place of beauty like this was as good as any.
Radcliffe’s grin loomed over her.
She stared into the barrel of his gun then closed her eyes as surrender seeped through her.
Father into thy hands I commit my spirit.
A peace descended upon her mind, the peace that passeth all understanding spoken of in the Bible. Although feeling peaceful at this moment made no sense.
Neither did the screaming, cursing and snarling that rent the air.
I’ve had fun building this “world”—my little Montana town called Dead Horse, named after a dead horse that the town’s founders came across.
And there’s a story inside the story about how the town was named and how the hunters became a part of that story. It all goes back to the first story, Cage. All along the way, I’ve introduced the characters who “people” the little town. My favorite is Nadine, the ornery waitress at the Dead Horse Walk-in Diner. The town’s shops all feature that “dead” theme in their names. It’s fun, and makes me smile whenever I play in Dead Horse, writing a new story.
I hope you’ve followed along, because I have more in store for Dead Horse—not just the hunters, but the townsfolk, too. I hope you picked up your copy of my latest installment, Cowboy, or that you’re going back to pick up previous stories to catch up. I promise, they’re all fun, filled with action, sexy times, and people as real as I can write them.
I’ve named some of the businesses in the town: Dead Horse Walk-in Diner, Dead Easy Saloon, Dead Center Guns & Pawn, Dead Heat & Air, Dead as a Doornail Hardware (which is now closed, due to the arrest of it’s owner, so I suppose I need a new hardware store!), Dead End Cemetary, Deadly Delights (the bakery), Dead Horse Realty, Dem Bones Package Store, and the Drop-Dead Gorgeous Salon.
My challenge to you is to name a new business. It can be a competing business, so you can have another hair salon or barbershop, or how about street names? I’ve only named Main Street, but the town could use some more streets! Play for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Cowboy is out! At least, it’s out on Amazon in both print and ebook. In a couple of months, I’ll take it wide, meaning: publish it in all the usual places.For now, if you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s FREE.
I can’t believe I’m already five books into this series. I can’t believe I’m still having a blast writing about bounty hunters, but the secret, for me, has been making sure I have unique characters every time. No cookie cutters.
This time around, my heroine isn’t as confident about her appearance as she would like, especially when she meets the perfectly buff, perfectly handsome Cowboy. It takes a while for her to see herself through his eyes. In the meantime, there’s lots of sexy times, lots of funny shit happening, and of course, we have the Dead Horse crew to add dimension to the excitement.
I hope you pick up a copy. And if you have time after you’ve read it, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a review. Reviews aren’t for me, they’re for other readers who need to know your experience with the story. I can say it’s sexy and fun, but readers believe other readers. 🙂
Cowboy’s out now!
A lonely, bounty-hunting cowboy looking for one last great adventure may have found it in a girl with serious curves…
And in case you were wondering what’s next…you can pre-order Eli’s story! I don’t know much about Eli now, or who his heroine will be, but if you trust me to deliver his story, you can pre-order the book now!
I’m writing my stumpy fingers to the bone to get this book done! I have to load it TOMORROW! But the good news is I’m almost there! I can’t wait for you to read Cowboy and Colleen’s story next Tuesday! They’re a mess. Or at least, she is. And fun and funny! My girl’s a beautiful girl carrying some extra pounds, and Cowboy has his work cut out for him convincing her she’s the only one for him. And of course, you have the entire Dead Horse crew interfering/assisting in their romance. I’m soooo going to hate it when I run out of Dead Horse bounty hunter stories. Maybe I’ll have to write some Dead Horse resident stories after that… I think Nadine needs a man.
Anyways, happy Thursday! Wish me luck. Just a few pages more…
For a chance to win your choice of one of my Montana Bounty Hunter stories, tell me whether you’ve read any of my bounty hunter stories! If so, which was your favorite? If not, why the heck not?
An excerpt from Cowboy…
He was sleeping with the back of his head against the wall and a cowboy hat tilted over his face to shut out the overhead lights. His chair was a curved hard plastic and looked tiny in comparison to his large body. He wore jeans, very scuffed cowboy boots, and a plaid shirt rolled up to his elbows with the sleeves of a thermal shirt stretched to his wrists. The hat shouted that he probably wasn’t from around here, but the thermal shirt in mid-October sealed it.
Colleen Bradley lowered the top of her magazine just a little more to give his body a onceover, knowing she was safe because no one else was around to see her ogling the hot cowboy.
Lord have mercy, the man had muscles on his muscles, a thick chest, tapered waist, thighs like tree trunks. The beard sprouting on his cheeks and chin was dark, maybe black. She wished she could see more of his face so she’d have a reason to lose interest. No way could he be handsome as well or the world would just be too cruel.
A man like that wasn’t meant for a woman with curves too soft and rounded. He’d need a woman with stamina, while she huffed and puffed climbing the stairs up to her apartment on the second floor. Well, it didn’t hurt to look.
Until it did.
Suddenly, he straightened in his chair and tipped back his hat.
Damn, the man was fine, fine, fine.
He stood, removed his hat, and raked a hand through his short black hair.
Darn, he wasn’t bald. Did the man have any flaws? Maybe he had a high squeaky voice. Maybe he was gay—which would be disappointing, but then she’d turn her eyes elsewhere. Maybe he had a horrible temper, was a narcissist—someone as hot as he was might be entitled to think he was the moon and stars and all that…
He turned to peer into the room he sat outside of, his hands on either side of the wide doorframe, which gave her a view of his toned back and ass, and man, she had the sinking suspicion the man really was perfect.
His gaze shot sideways, toward her, and she quickly lifted her magazine to cut off the sight of him. Maybe he wouldn’t know she’d been eating him up with her gaze for a while now. How embarrassing would it be to see him smirk? And again, how disappointing. Then again, if he was a jerk, he’d be a whole lot less fascinating.
Colleen lowered the magazine to find him staring right at her.
“Was I snorin’?”
Shit, was that a southern drawl? “What?” she asked, pretending she hadn’t been watching him while he’d slept.
“You know, that magazine’s upside down.”
Her jaw dropped, and she glanced down at the magazine. It was not upside down.
“You had to look, though, didn’t ya?” A grin stretched across his handsome face, revealing two perfect dimples in his cheeks.