Paty – Please help me welcome award-winning author Danita Cahill to my blog today. Danita’s talking about her newest release, First Cowboy Kiss, the latest story in her Bellham Romance Series.
Danita – Hi everyone, and thanks for the warm welcome, Paty! I’m so glad to be here.
Paty – Glad to have you. So, tell us about the inspiration for First Cowboy Kiss.
Danita – It’s a funny story. Ideas for books often arrive for me via dreams. First Cowboy Kiss was no exception. I awakened with something a friend’s grandfather used to say resonating in my head: “Never trust a man with little ears” (My friend’s grandfather was a rather large-eared gentleman). The plot, and the heroine’s memories of her late grandfather, came together with that initial one-line, dream-induced prompt. I love it when that happens!
Paty – I love it when that happens, too, though I rarely remember a dream. Tell us about the town of Bellham. And where did you come up with that name?
Danita – The northwestern town was named Bell's Hamlet after Paul and Maude Bell, original 1840 pioneer settlers. The name was later shortened to Bellham.
It's a small, quaint, fictional ranching community in Oregon's fertile and scenic Willamette Valley. Like small towns everywhere, Bellham is filled with quirky characters – including the town mascot, a friendly stray duck named Harvey. There’s also a real feel of community in Bellham, and of the residents being in this life together, helping one another through the rough, bumpy patches. Of course there's plenty of love in each Bellham Romance Series book.
Paty – What made you decide to set your series in a small town?
Danita - I’m a small-town country girl. And I spent a couple of decades as a journalist, working for a dozen northwest newspapers, covering news and events in small towns and rural communities. I've taken that experience, and my love of all things rural, and rolled it all into little Bellham.
Nothing is Sweeter than Love’s First Kiss…
Bellham Romances all interconnect through characters and location, but each can easily be read as a stand-alone book, too.
Meet the Cowboy…
Mia Donovan is lonely. So, her best friend sets her up to meet a cowboy at the local Rodeo. But Mia is shy, and it takes all her courage to approach a good-looking cowboy that may, or may not, be the right one.
Watch the Cowboy Ride…
Bareback bronc rider, Tanner Michaels, is definitely interested in Mia. But first he has a bucking horse to ride. He can’t afford to let thoughts of Mia fill his head until those eight seconds are over.
Mia watches Tanner ride. Her nerves twist in knots when he’s bucked off. How badly is he hurt?
Get Rescued by the Cowboy…
Later that day, it’s Tanner’s turn to worry when Mia, who can’t swim, is knocked into the deep end of a pool. Tanner jumps in and rescues her. But why isn’t she coming to?
Never trust a man with little ears.
That idiosyncratic bit of advice was one of many that Mia’s late grandfather left her with when he passed away eleven months ago. Like this one, most of Papa Pete’s sayings were endearing, if somewhat ridiculous. Funny one of his “wisdoms” should pop into Mia’s head during Bellham, Oregon’s, Valley River Rodeo. At this very moment, too – the exact moment she spotted the cowboy.
He was the cowboy her best friend, Skye had told her about. Wasn’t he? Tall. Muscular build. Red shirt.
It had to be him!
His forearms were propped on the metal rail of a horse pen, one boot firmly planted behind him in the dust, the leg nearest the rail bent and relaxed.
Papa Pete’s advice might seem silly, but as Mia moved closer to the cowboy she couldn’t stop her gaze from sliding along his firm backside, gliding over the powerful round of his shoulder and up the side of his thick neck to land on his lobe – the only part of his ear she could see. His white straw cowboy hat covered the rest.
Good guys wear white hats.
His earlobe was decidedly full and thick. Mia let out a small sigh of relief and forced her new boots to approach the rail and stand nearby. Bright August heat radiated off the metal stock panels. She leaned her arms on one of the rails anyway and fought the urge to jerk back from the scorch of hot steel against her bare skin.
The dense, sweet scent of horse sweat permeated the air, blending agreeably with the coconut-pineapple-scented sunscreen she’d slathered on that morning. Mia’s arms absorbed, and adjusted, to the heat from the rail.
Always let the man speak first.
As antiquated as that piece of Papa-Pete advice was, Mia took it anyway. She remained silent and assessed the eleven broncs mulling about, scuffling and stirring up dust inside the pen. Some were sleek, regal creatures, with the appearance of tame, honest saddle horses – like Lady, the gentle palomino from her childhood. Others had scarred, rough coats, and a rogue glint in their eyes, as though they’d just as soon throw and stomp a rider as look at him.
If the cowboy leaning on the rail beside her was a horse, Mia wondered which sort he’d be. Judging from the shaggy, longish hair poking out from under his hat, the scuffed boots, yet neatly ironed shirt, he’d be a mixture of both.
FIRST COWBOY KISS is available at Amazon as a Kindle Countdown Deal – only $0.99 January 3-9! Or enjoy it for free through Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owners Lending Library.
Scroll down for link to enter a Kindle Fire 6" HD giveaway.
About the Author
Danita Cahill is an award-winning writer and photographer. She lives in the Pacific NW on a small Oregon farm with her husband, sons and their animals, including a horse and a herd of 10 alpacas. Besides running children to and fro and caring for her gardens, critters and family, Danita stays busy working on magazine assignments and dreaming up love stories for her next books.
Visit Danita’s author page: http://www.amazon.com/Danita-Cahill/e/B009NF74I4/
Find Danita on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanitaCahill?ref=stream
Follow Danita on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanitaCahill
Danita is sponsoring a Kindle Fire 6" HD giveaway January 1-7, 2015. Click here: https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/new-year-kindle-fire-giveaway/ and enter for a chance to win.