Today I'm showcasing to more talented authors in the Honky Tonk Hearts Series. Jannine Gallant and Lauri Robinson.
Honky Tonk Hearts
Honky Tonk Hearts
Lonely hearts seem to gravitate to the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. A few miles outside Amarillo off historical Route 66, the large wood-paneled structure boasts a large neon star with a single flashing steer riding away from it. Owner and bartender, Gus Rankin, has seen his share of the wandering souls cross his bar and dance floor over the years—he’d even like to think he helped a few find true love along the way.
Nothing But Trouble
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Paty! You asked why I decided to write for this series – two reasons. Honky Tonk Hearts is my second series. I wrote three books for the Class of ’85 series, also with the Wild Rose Press. I had so much fun being part of a group effort and working with the other authors that I didn’t want it to end. The call for HTH came shortly after I finished my last story for the Class of ’85, and I couldn’t resist. Honestly, I tried, since I was in the middle of a different project. But this series had such potential. A honky tonk bar along historic Route 66 is the common element in each book. I kept picturing the opening scene, smack in the middle of the highway outside the Lonesome Steer, and I couldn’t let it go. I’ve included that opening scene below, and I hope it hooks you the way it did me!
Chase Paladin avoids commitment like a patch of stinging nettles. He's seen how love can trample a man, and he doesn’t plan to get hitched—ever. But when Honor Jackson walks into his life, hell-bent on keeping her distance, she turns his convictions inside out.
One look at the too-handsome cowboy with laughing green eyes and a killer smile, and Honor knows he's nothing but trouble. She's come to Redemption,
Texas to help an old friend, not to let
another man charm her into certain heartache.
But every time she turns around, Chase is there, and the closer they get, the more she fears he’ll break her heart. So when anonymous threats make it clear that someone in Redemption wants her gone, Honor is ready to oblige. Only now Chase isn’t certain he can live without her.
Will two wary hearts take a chance on love before it's too late?
Chase Paladin slammed on the brakes and prayed. Momentum, and the heavy livestock trailer he was towing, sent his pickup careening toward the red sports car idling in the middle of Route 66.
With tires smoking, he rocked to a stop inches from its rear bumper. He peeled his fingers from the steering wheel and spared a glance for Bo, who had slid off the seat onto the floor of the truck. The hound shook himself.
“What kind of freaking idiot stops in the middle of the road,” he shouted. Pushing his straw hat to the back of his head with a shaking hand, he leaned out the open window. “Hey, buddy—” The complaint lodged in his throat as the passenger door of the Porsche swung open.
Long, long tanned legs topped by a pair of frayed denim shorts shot out. He dragged his gaze upward as the woman stood. A green-ribbed tank top hugged a slim waist, and thick brown braids dangled over each shoulder. Fists clenched on her hips, she yelled something Chase couldn’t quite hear at the driver.
A pink flowered duffle bag flew through the open door and landed at her feet. She kicked the door shut and flipped the driver the bird. With squealing tires, the car tore off down the highway.
Bending, the woman grabbed the handle of the duffle. Faded denim cupped a world-class ass. Chase let out a low whistle as his pulse picked up speed. She glanced in his direction before dragging the bag toward the side of the road. He edged his pickup forward a couple of yards and lowered the passenger window.
“Need a ride?”
Her eyes were hidden by oversized sunglasses with leopard-spotted frames. They perched atop a short, straight nose covered with a sprinkling of freckles. Color tinged high cheekbones, and a pink mouth with a full bottom lip drew into a tight line.
She bared an even row of white teeth. “Not a chance.”
“You sure? Mornings, there isn’t much traffic along this stretch of highway.”
Her fist clenched around the canvas handle of the bag. “I’m not in a hurry.”
“Look, I swear I’m harmless.”
She eyed him for a long minute. A warm
breeze ruffled tendrils of loose hair, blowing them around her face. Pushing a
strand off her cheek, she frowned. “You look anything but harmless. If I had to
guess, I’d say Trouble is your middle name.”
To learn more about Jannine Gallant and the stories she creates go to: http://www.janninegallant.com/, http://janninegallant.blogspot.com/.
To purchase Nothing But Trouble, go to TWRP Website: http://bit.ly/IbOwjk, Amazon: http://amzn.to/HQrNtk, Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/HQrYVv.
Sing to Me, Cowboy
Sing to Me, Cowboy was a book I’d wanted to write for some time. I knew the characters and the major points of their journey, but since I normally write historical romances, it just sat in the back of my mind, coming forth whenever I’d hear Toby Keith’s song, How Do You Like Me Now. Then I saw the call out for the Honky Tonk Hearts series. The location and repeating characters of the series fit perfectly with my story, however, I wondered about the word count. That turned out to be the toughest part for me, getting Lance and Heather’s journey all told within 40,000 words. After finishing the story, and sending off to my critique partners and beta reader, I sent it off to The Wild Rose Press, and sat on pins and needles waiting to hear back. When more than two months had passed and I hadn’t heard anything, I contacted my past editor from TWRP and asked if she could check to see if it had ever arrived. Low and behold, it was lost in cyberspace. (Yes, that does happen!) I re-sub and heard back within weeks that they wanted to contract it.
Sing to Me, Cowboy was released May 23rd and has been given a five lightning bolt review by Storm Goddess Reviews. (http://stormgoddessbookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/06/review-sing-to-me-cowboy.html?zx=29d79f507dac5cab)
Blurb Sing to Me, Cowboy:
Heather Gibson's past catches up with her one dark Texas night.
Locked in a custody battle with an ex-husband who's looking for any excuse to take her children, Heather doesn't need any more trouble. But when a broken-down car and a dead cell phone leave her stranded at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, she comes face-to-face with the one man who could jeopardize everything—including her heart.
Country-singing sensation Lance Dugan is back in Amarillo for his grandfather's birthday and to take care of a bit of unfinished business—apologize to Heather for leaving ten years ago. Lance has fought hard and won big the last few years, but seeing Heather again makes him wonder if he's been fighting for the right things.
Finding each other again may seem like fate, but one horrible secret, buried deep, could divide them forever.
Here’s a short excerpt from when Heather and Lance first meet—after ten years.
“Hey? Are you all right?”
The shiver that zipped up her spine caught in her throat with the power to strangle the life out of her. There are certain voices one never forgets—and a first love ranked very near number one.
Heather fought for air. It couldn’t possibly be him. He was in
Nashville, where all the famous singers hung
“Excuse me, Miss?”
Her hands trembled as air finally entered her lungs. Could this night get any worse? Could her life get any worse?
Pushing off her knees, she straightened her spine, and wasn’t surprised the strangling sensation came back full force. Her heart—as if it wasn’t already racing—shifted into overdrive.
It was him.
Lance Dugan. From his George Strait-out-of-the-box-hat to his un-scuffed Justin boots.
The last person she’d ever expected to see. The last person she’d want to see in the shape she was right now.
Inhaling until her lungs threatened to burst, she squared her shoulders and wished she was back in her car, sweating to death, being eaten by wild beasts, anything but standing face to face with him.
Lance grabbed the fender of the pickup truck next to him just to stay upright. It was if the ground was rising up to meet him. Few things shocked him, but this did.
“Heather? Heather Childs?”
Her smile could still knock his socks off, even though tonight, in the muted light of the parking lot, her grin appeared strained. The rest of her on the other hand, looked just as good as if they’d graduated yesterday instead of ten years ago. Bits of light caught in her golden-brown hair, making it shine and sparkle as brightly as it had when she’d been cheering the football team on. The shorts that hugged her thighs proved her legs were as long and limber as they had been when she’d worn her tiny cheerleading skirt, which had never failed to catch his eye.
“Yes, Lance,” she answered, with the voice that still haunted him at times. “It’s me. But if you recall, it’s Heather Gibson.”
The name hit him like a cold shower. Needing to keep that reaction well-hidden, he let go of the truck and bent down to pick up the leather bag that sat by her feet. Handing it over, Lance admitted, “Yes, I do recall. How’s Matt?”
The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lauri-robinson-m-175.html
Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Lauri%20Robinson