Patty Sherry-Crew is here to talk about her story in A Cowboy to Keep Anthology.
What do you get when you combine a cowboy with a fireman? One hot hero, that’s what.
I come from two generations of firefighters so when I was invited to be part of a contemporary western anthology, it was suggested I make my cowboy a firefighter. And so Desert Heat was born. Boone Donovan and his brothers, working the family ranch some days and fighting fires on others.
My story in a Cowboy to Keep is the sequel to Desert Heat. I took my new story, Phoenix Heat, to the next generation at the Donovan Brother’s ranch. Boone and Angel’s daughter, Harper, comes home from NYC with her tail between her legs after a broken engagement and failed business venture. When she sees handsome firefighter and cowboy, Frank Flynn, she decides to get back in the saddle--except he snubs her.
In constructing these stories, I drew on my experience of growing up in a firefighter's family. It’s not uncommon for a fireman to have a second job. Not all cities are the same but typically a shift at the station is 24 hours on, 48 hours off. Many of the men my father worked with had businesses they ran in their time off from the station. Even now I see a roofing company and a landscaper around town that were started by firemen back in my father and grandfather’s day.
And, if heroes who run into burning buildings isn’t enough to make you swoon, in my experience firemen are good in the kitchen too. In my father’s day, the department had a nice budget and the men took turns shopping and cooking. My father developed such a love of food, that he’d read cookbooks before bed the same as others read novels. When he was home, he was the cook and we rarely had the same thing twice. Today I smile when I see the firemen in their big coats shopping at the grocery store--even if their fire truck takes up four spaces.
In Desert Heat the hero, Boone Donovan, goes into rapture over food. In Phoenix Heat firefighter/cowboy, Frank Flynn, is hampered by his lack of talent in the kitchen. Lucky for him Harper Donovan is her father’s daughter, and loves food so much she’s become a chef, and like her mother Angel, she knows how to use Rosa’s recipe for cinnamon rolls to bring in her man.
Another aspect of growing up in a family of firefighters is the undercurrent of danger. My grandfather had the police scanner going in the background all day to find out what trouble was brewing. If there was a fire and my father was on duty, My mother would often take us in the car to watch my father and his crew in action (which I now think was weird of her to do).
I tried to imbue Phoenix Heat with that same sense of impending disaster. There is an emergency situation--in fact there are two--but it might not involve the person you expect.
PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews
Harper Donovan thought she had it all when she turned her dream into a reality--opening a restaurant in New York City. But when the venture fails and her fiancé leaves her, Harper has little choice but to return to her family in Arizona.
When she meets handsome firefighter and cowboy Frank Flynn,she decides it's time to get in the dating game again. Except Flynn shows no interest and dodges her, but not before claiming they've met before. Solving the mystery of the complicated Flynn gets under Harper's skin, making her even more determined to seduce him.
When the two finally come together, the smoldering passion ignites into a heat that rivals the Phoenix desert. Now that Flynn has opened his heart, can Harper handle this wounded cowboy who's playing for keeps?
Patti Sherry-Crews lives in Evanston, IL with her husband, two children, a tabby cat, and a puggle dog. She writes historical western and medieval romances for Prairie Rose Publications. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction.
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THE LEGEND OF BAD MOON RISING by Carra Copelin
Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, but when Dinah Horne suddenly returns, can he ignore the passion still burning bright between them?
CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing
Trading horses for subways for two years seemed like a good idea to cowboy Chay Ridgway, but can city girl K.C. Daniels keep a rein on his country heart?
BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey
Archaeologist Audrey Driggs rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.
THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay
Determined to take back what belongs to her, Addison Reed will do anything. Even trust a complete stranger.
HER MAN by Hildie McQueen
Deputy Mark Hunter falls for Eliza Brock during a murder investigation. Is it fate or bad luck, especially when she may be involved?
BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman
Widow Leticia Villarreal wants to establish a horse-racing stable and old acquaintance John Clay Laidlaw offers to help. But can she trust him with her business and her heart?
PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews
After losing her fiancé and her New York City business, Harper Donovan returns to Arizona and meets cowboy Frank Flynn. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?