Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Honky Tonk Hearts Valentine's Hop

Ladies, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking old Gus, owner of The Lonesome Steer honky tonk couldn’t have brought together all the lonely, broken hearts that he did. But I’m here to tell you I have. Not only do I have the pictures of these couples in my office to prove it, but there’s been a whole series of romances written about the men and women who found love at The Lonesome Steer. And just like every one of my couples, each of these romances is a keeper.
The authors of these books have put together a Valentine Honky Tonk Blog Hop, an easy way for you to get a sneak peak at every story. And there are prizes to put a bounce in your Texan Two-Step. To be Eligible, visit each blog link below and leave a comment. The more hop stops you visit and comment on, the more chances YOU have to win a $50 gift card to The Wild Rose Press. In addition, the publisher has provided a second grand prize of a $25 gift card to The Wild Rose Press and a TWRP Mug for a random commenter (Sorry, US visitors only for the mug prize). Some of the ladies will also be giving away their own personal prizes. So whatcha waitin’ for? Happy hoppin’!  
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Thanks for the great intro, Gus! I'm psyched to be part of this blog hop with so many wonderful authors, and I'm looking forward to 'hopping' right along with you! I'm giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card at the end of the hop to one randomly drawn commenter below. Check back here on Sunday to see if your name was drawn! Remember, the more comments you leave on this hop, the better your chances to win, not just over all, but at each hop stop!
The Lonesome Steer is a special place, after all, two of my heroes found love in that very honky tonk. The first one, former Navy SEAL Lt. Commander Finn Brennan traveled to Texas to pick up a package from his twin brother Brett, a deployed Marine. He never expected...well, I should probably let him tell it...

Tell it? Yeah, I can tell it, because I lived it! Ever since we were kids my brother loved to play practical jokes. This time he'd gone to far. This time he'd forced me to travel a few hours--precious hours I could've used to run our co-owned Colorado dude ranch--but no. I had to drop everything to drive down to the Texas honky tonk to pick up a package.  When the package turned out to be the most beautiful, sexy, bombshell of a woman I'd ever seen, I knew I was toast. Burnt toast. Knife scrapping burnt toast. But I didn't go quietly. Hell no. I went like an idiot. Thank goodness Cammie is a former Marine. She didn't put up with my crap. Instead, she gave as good as she all things. *wink*wink* The woman saw past my scars and gruff attitude, and stole my heart. Yeah, I bless the day I walked into the Lonesome Steer to pick up, not a package, but my world. Gus and his honky tonk changed my life. For the better, and I hope it'll change my brother's, too. *chuckles* Payback's a bitch and she has Brett in her sites!
Ranked #19 at Predators & Editors for Best Romance of 2013!
Available in eBook and Print 
Here is how Gus and the Lonesome Steer set the stage for Finn and Cammie: 
The crack of the queue ball breaking the rack echoed through the building as two cowboys played pool to his right. An elderly couple occupied one of the round tables, two bowls of soup and two coffees—the husband liked crackers, the wife didn’t. A lone cowboy sat at one end of the bar that ran the length of the back wall, while at the other end, a pretty, middle-aged woman with silver-streaked, auburn hair was the recipient of owner/bartender Gus Rankin’s fond expression. A smile tugged at Finn’s lips for it was the first time he’d seen the owner interested in more than business.
The lone cowboy turned to check out the newcomers before exchanging a glance with Gus and the woman, a smile cracking his weathered face as he sipped his coffee.
What’s that all about?
“Ah, Finn, Terry, did you have a good trip?”
Gus’s gaze was friendly yet watchful while he wiped the counter with practiced ease.
“Yes, but I’d love a cup of your coffee,” the foreman replied as they continued toward the bar.
“Comin’ right up. How ‘bout you, Finn?” Gus filled a mug and pushed the steaming brew in front of Terry who was lowering himself onto a stool.
Damn it. He didn’t want to linger.
“No thanks, Gus.” He waved the bartender off. “I just want to get my package and get back on the road.”
A snicker sounded off to his right. Finn narrowed his gaze on the older cowboy.
What’s so damn funny?
At that moment he realized he no longer heard the cracking of pool balls. Finn turned to find the two cowboys leaning on their sticks, grinning at him like a couple of sailors on leave.
Something was definitely up. He glanced around again, retaking inventory of his surroundings. Had he missed something?
“Your…ah…package is in the back. I’ll tell my nephew you’re here,” Gus informed.
The man’s handle-bar mustache twitched as if he’d swallowed a secret dying to get out. Alarm instantly erased Finn’s doubt. He set his shoulders and watched the owner closely. Trouble was on the way.
Gus leaned into the kitchen pass-through. “Win, Finn’s here for his….ah…package.”
When the owner turned around there was more than the usual twinkle lighting his eyes.
“I’ll tell ya, my brother never sent me anything like this,” the cowboy informed from the end of the bar.
Another round of snickers echoed through the room. Just what the hell had Brett sent? Couldn’t be a camel; Gus would never keep an animal in the kitchen.
His gaze snapped to his foreman. Did Terry know? The older man sat there, mug half raised, frowning at Gus. No, he was the only one not smiling. In fact, he looked as confused as Finn felt.
“You’re one lucky man,” one of the pool players called out.
“Damn straight,” the other agreed.
“Too bad my daughter wasn’t here.” Gus winked at the woman he’d been talking to earlier.
She nodded and returned his smile. “Yes, Keira would’ve loved to see this.”
“Oh, it’s just like Christmas!” Even the elderly couple was getting in on the action.
Finn turned to find them smiling, delight sparkling in their gazes, easing the lines in their happy faces.
“We can’t wait to see what it is!”
The hinges on the kitchen door creaked behind him, and a second later Terry’s mug hit the bar, sending half his coffee over the edge.
About to ask what was wrong, the words died in Finn’s throat. His foreman’s expression changed from shock to amusement to worry as their gazes met.
Finn stiffened. He knew instinctively he was not going to like whatever Win brought out from the kitchen, and knowing his prankster brother, it could be anything. Silently cursing his twin, he slowly turned around.
His brother had gone too far this time. He blinked, unable to stop his jaw from dropping. Win hadn’t brought anything out. The present walked out on its own.
Standing not ten feet from him was a tall, curvy brunette with a big red bow stuck to her right shoulder. A long braid trailed down the left side of her ample chest and delicate features graced a face worthy of magazine covers. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen...and the very last thing he wanted. Or needed.
The “package” sauntered closer, and his pulse responded with pinpoint accuracy to each individual sway of her rounded hips. She was model-beautiful, but not exactly model-thin. He noted a full bust, teasing him with a luscious line of cleavage as his gaze followed her white tank top to where it disappeared into a pair of skinny, tan cargo pants lovingly hugging a set of magnificent legs. Damn, the woman was hot.
“Happy birthday, Finn.”
His gut rippled as if punched. Of course she’d have a sexy voice to match. Too bad. He straightened his shoulders and told himself he wasn’t interested. He preferred to get his own dates. He didn’t need his brother’s charity.
“There must be some mistake, sweetheart.” He shook his head. “My birthday is two months from now.”
“No mistake, sweetheart.”
The woman had the audacity to grin.
“Yeah, happy birthday, bro.”
It wasn’t until he heard his brother’s voice that Finn realized the woman was holding up a satellite phone. So much for always being aware of his environment. He’d been away from active duty too long; he was slipping.
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Well, there you have it. How Finn met Cammie at the Lonesome Steer. Yes, the fun had just begun. And it continues as I write the sequel to Cowboy-Sexy called COWBOY PAYPACK. Brett deserves a few rough moments and I'm enjoying the torture. :-) If you'd like to stay informed of the release date and my other books, then feel free to head to my website to join my newsletter:
Don't forget to leave a comment below to be eligible to win my $10 Amazon Gift Card. I'll  randomly draw one name and post it here on Sunday, so please check back! Good luck! I'm from the northeast, so yeah, I'm being snowed in as we speak! But that's okay, I have a bunch of cowboys  from this hop to keep me warm! Hope they warm you up as well. :-)  Here are the rest of the links. Get hoppin'!

Honky Tonk Man by Sylvie Kay                               
Those Violet Eyes by Vonnie Davis                           
Lonesome Cowboy by Stacy Dawn                          
The Morning After by Brenda Whiteside                  
 Good luck, and thanks for reading,


Calisa Rhose said...

LOL I love his present! I can't wait to see how Finn pays Brett back. :)

Donna Michaels said...

Thank you, Calisa! Me too! lol

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hot cover! Sounds like a great story.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm with Calisa. I loved Finn's story, so am eager to read how he does it's a doosey.

Michelle V said...

Yay! I loved Cowboy Sexy and can't wait for Cowboy Payback!! :)

michellevasquez2001 @ yahoo dot com

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Brenda!

Jannine Gallant said...

Love the scene. Somehow, I think he'll get over his brother's practical joke by keeping that package!

Sherri Thomas said...

Good mornin'! Great excerpt! Happy Valentine's Day!

Sylvie said...

Uh-oh, practical jokes can only lead to pay back. This is going to get good :)

Donna Michaels said...

Absolutely, Jannine!

jennie McDuffie Nunn said...

can't wait to get the books!!

jennie McDuffie Nunn said...

Can't wait!!!

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Jennie. :-)
You can't go wrong with any of them!

Darcy said...

Laugh-out-loud meeting. A meeting like that has got to lead to a lot of fun and interesting developments. Wonderful work, Donna. Can't wait to learn more about how he gets back at Brett for this.

Stacy Dawn said...

HOT HOT HOT HOT hero! Really, need I say more LOL.

Happy Valentine's Day Donna!

Catherine Lee said...

Not only is it crazy weather in the Northeast...I'm in the Southeast and we've had more "snow days" in the last 3 weeks than we've had in the previous 8 years--combined--that I've lived here! SO, I feel the need to stock up on hot reads in case of inclement weather.

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Darcy!
Oh, yeah, I had fun with Finn! And now I'm having fun with Brett!

Unknown said...

I love Navy Seals. And wouldn't mind finding out more about this one.

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Debbie!
I love Navy SEALs too, and Finn was a treat to write. :-)

Lauri said...

Cowboy Payback! Can't wait!

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Lauri! Me, too! ;-)

Debby said...

These books look fantastic. I want to read them
debby236 at gmail dot com

Margo Hoornstra said...

I'm interested in finding out about the payback too. Great series going here.

Donna Michaels said...

Thank you, Debby!

LaVerne Clark said...

Hahaha - loved this excerpt, Donna! I'm dying to read more about this couple. They've got some serious heat between them :)

Emily's Romance Hangout said...

I can not wait to read Cowboy Payback!

bn100 said...

That was nice

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Donna Michaels said...

Thank you, bn100!

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Oh, I'm so excited to learn you're writing a sequel. Yay! Can't wait.

LaVerne Clark said...

I'm loving the sound of this book. Great excerpt, Donna! I love the characters already :)

Nancy Dow said...

LOVE that cover!! Good story line too!! Thanks Donna :)

Donna Michaels said...

Thank you, LaVerne and Nancy!
Best of luck to you both!