HOME IS WHERE OUR STORY BEGINS & Book Giveaway

Please welcome Lynnette Austin.  Lynnette is filling in for Margaret Brownley, who is attending the Romance  Writers of America conference. Lynnette is giving away a copy of Can’t Stop Lovin’ You.  The winner will be announced on Sunday and can choose either print or eBook.  (Contest guidelines apply). The book is available now both in stores and digitally.

Thanks for having me on Petticoats and Pistols today! I’m thrilled to be here and am celebrating the release of Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, the third in my Maverick Junction series. (BTW, while it’s fun to read the whole series, each book can stand alone.) Entering the drawing is as simple as leaving a comment. So pour yourself a tall, ice-cold glass of sweet tea and let’s chat.

Who doesn’t want to go home? Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey, even Luath, Bodger, and Tao, the three lovable fur-friends in The Incredible Journey fought against heavy odds to make that trip. It’s no different with Brawley O’Dell in Can’t Stop Lovin’ You.

When I started the first book of the Maverick Junction series, Annelise Montjoy, in Somebody Like You, was a sheltered heiress living in Boston. Where did her money come from? Texas oil wells! In a last-ditch effort to save her grandfather’s life, Annelise was forced to return to her Texas roots. She needed to return to the home of her ancestors. Once she did? She fell madly in love with those fields of Texas bluebonnets, the cowboy boots and the men who wore them—especially one very special cowboy.

The characters in our books all have back stories, things that have happened to them and shaped who they are long before we meet them on page one. The same goes for our settings. As I developed the town of Maverick Junction, Texas, I dug deeper into the roots of the oil finds there. Oil and Texas. Inexorably tied together. Yet until January 10, 1901, when the Lucas No. 1 well at Spindletop came in near Beaumont, Texas, the state of Pennsylvania was at the heart of the oil industry. Throughout the second half of the 1800s, it held the title as the leading oil producing state.

Having grown up in the Keystone state and later lived in Wyoming, I’m very familiar with the oil industry. In fact, in the mid-1800s Edwin Drake, the inventor of the process used to extract oil from deep in the ground, hit the first Pennsylvania gusher in Titusville, not far from my small hometown of Kane. This photo shows the early oil wells that sprang up in the fields around Kane in the 1800s. I can’t believe how many there were—and they’re taller than the trees. A veritable oil rig forest.

Even before the Beaumont find really kick-started Texas’ oil industry, it was no secret there was plenty of the black gold there. Native Americans in the area sometimes drank it for medicinal purposes, mainly to cure digestive problems. I wonder how that worked for them! The Spaniards, while they didn’t drink it, put it to good use both as waterproofing for their boots and caulking for their ships in the 1500s.

Until Spindletop, the oil finds in Texas were small and low-producing. With the coming of the big oil fields and refineries, cities like Houston grew from small commercial centers to some of the USA’s largest cities. Oil barrons, Annelise’s great-grandfather among them, became some of the wealthiest and most politically influential men in the country.

When the early settlers made the arduous trip out West, they often could never go home again. They literally gave up everything—and everyone—to go West, even as late as the early 1900s when men travelled there to work the oil fields. In my new release, Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, Brawley Odell moved away from small town Maverick Junction to live in Dallas, the big city. In doing so, he gave up the girl he loved. Now? He wants it all back—the small town, the life, and, most importantly, the girl. But has he stayed away too long?

When you think of Texas, what makes you keep

coming back for more stories set there?

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Hope to see you in Maverick Junction. I think you’ll like it there!

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Maggie Sullivan can’t wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots and well-worn jeans. He’s the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who broke her heart when he left her behind.

Fed up with city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local vet’s practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he’s never been able forget. He couldn’t be prouder of Maggie’s new wedding-dress business . . . until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is with each other.

Excerpt:

Brawley Odell figured his life wouldn’t be worth one plug-nickel the second he stepped foot inside Maggie’s shop. Too damn bad. He hadn’t driven the thirty miles from Maverick Junction to back out now. He was goin’ in.

After all this time, he’d come home…and she was leaving.

He grasped the brass knob and shoulder-butted the oak door. It flew open, the bell overhead jangling. Maggie Sullivan, all that gorgeous red hair scooped into a jumbled mass, stood dead-center in the room. Dressed in a skirt and top the color of a forest at twilight, she held a fuzzy sweater up in front of her like a shield. Those amazing green eyes widened as he stormed in.

“We need to talk.” He ignored the woman at the back of the store who flipped through a rack of tops.

“What the—?”

He held up a hand. “Don’t speak. Not yet.”

Her mouth opened, then closed.

Anger boiled in him, but he needed to find some modicum of control. Taking a deep breath, he held it for the count of ten, then slowly released it. “Did you plan on telling me?”

Her eyes narrowed, but she said nothing.

“You’re invited to New York City for a showing of your new line, and you don’t share that with me? I have to learn about it secondhand?”

“Last I heard this wasn’t about you, Brawley. In fact, my life, my business has absolutely nothing to do with you.”

His jaw clenched. “Anything that affects you is my business, Mags.”

She snorted. “Get real, Odell. You gave up any and all rights years ago.” Her head tilted. “Why are you even interested? You want to attend so you can show off your latest Dallas Cowboy cheerleader? Maybe order her trousseau?”

He shot her a deadly look, one that had made grown men back away.

Not Maggie. She actually took a couple steps toward him. The woman had no survival instincts. Another reason she had no business heading off to New York alone.

She tapped a scarlet-tipped finger on her chin. “Oh, that’s right. There’d be no trousseau for your honey, would there? Maybe a weekend-fling outfit for your date du jour? A one-night-stand set of lacy lingerie.”

“Shut up, Maggie.”

“Make me.” Her eyes flashed.

This time the look in his eyes must have warned her she’d treaded too close to the edge. She stepped back.

“You challenging me, Maggie?”

When she wet her lips, his gaze dropped to her mouth, followed the tip of her pink tongue as it darted out.

“Only one way I could ever get you quiet,” he said.

Her hand shot up. “Don’t even think about it.”

“No thought required. Been wanting to do this a long time now.” He closed the distance between them and dropped his mouth to hers. Fire. Smoke. Hell, a full-out volcanic eruption.

To purchase: Amazon

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LYNNETTE AUSTIN, a recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks, she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger
Updated: July 18, 2017 — 6:13 pm

33 Comments

  1. Good morning Lynette- your book sounds fantastic. Thank you for visiting P & P, I’m from Texas but live in Kansas now. I just recently ( last week) visited Wyoming for the 1st time. Beautiful state. Thank you for sharing some of the history of the oil industry. I had never heard of drinking it for medical purposes, like our native Americans did, that was something very intriguing to me. I did know about using it to rub on things to protect from drying out or waterproofing, but drinking it just blew my mind. As they say, we all learn something new everyday, or at least we should strive too, anyway!!! I love soaking up history.
    You have a wonderful day. Thanks for the opportunity for a chance to win your book. Love & Hugs!!!

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Tonya. Thank Heavens our doctors don’t still prescribe it, right? Good luck!

  2. Welcome to Wildflower Junction Lynnette! It’s a treat to have you here. Your post on the oil industry was fascinating! I don’t know too much about the oil industry. I’m with Tonya–I never heard of people drinking it. Yikes! Your book sounds like a great read! A very passionate, exciting excerpt!

    1. Thanks, Kathryn. This book was truly fun to write. Brawley and Maggie had so much history, and it really got in the way of their present and future.

  3. I have relatives in Texas,, so have visited several times. I am just astounded that the native Americans drank oil. I read stories set in Texas because I enjoy them.

    1. I love stories set in Teaxas, too! I hope that, if you give this one a try, you’ll enjoy it!

  4. I enjoyed your excerpt. I too am from PA but western so I know more about the coal mines. I’ve never been to Texas but I enjoy reading about it.

    1. Thanks, Catslady! Yes, lots of coal mines in PA. In addition to the oil fields in Wyoming, there are trona mines. Baking soda is one of the by-products of that. Mother Earth has a lot of treasure hidden beneath her surface, doesn’t she?

  5. I live in Texas, so I always enjoy stories set here, especially with cowboys. Your book sounds really good. While reading your post, I was stopped in my tracks about the Native Americans drinking the oil. Yuck! I don’t even want to think about how that turned out.

    1. I know, Janine. Can you imagine? Ghastly! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. When I think of Texas, I think of ranches, cowboys and Texas Rangers… thank you so much for sharing with us today… congrats on this latest release!

    1. Thanks, Colleen! Gotta love those cowboys and ranchers, don’t you?

  7. Thank you for sharing your interesting post. I have lived in Texas my whole life…oil, cattle, cowboys, ranches.. their all here!

    1. If you’ve lived your entire life in Texas, Melanie, I have only one thing to say. Lucky you!!!

  8. My grandfather worked for a natural gas company in Texas, and once my mom and her sisters had graduated high school, that company sent him to Penna. and New Jersey to open natural gas pumping stations there! So, the reverse of what happened to many, no? I often say it took seven generations for my family to get from the colonies to Oklahoma and Texas (through most of the Southern states) but just one for my grandfather to get us back to almost exactly where the family had started out.

    1. Interesting, Eliza. Family histories take some interesting jogs.

  9. What a fascinating post. Texas means real men who are cowboys, and rodeos and a place which is land and more space.

    1. And all that is what makes Texas so special, isn’t it, Anne?

  10. Thank you for the giveaway!

    1. You’re so very welcome. Thanks for joining us!

  11. I would enjoy living in Texas since it is a place that has ranches which I would love to live on, wide open spaces and horses which I could ride forever.

    1. A little slice of perfection, isn’t it? Considering the size of Texas, we’d better make that a big slice! 🙂

  12. Lynette, welcome to our little corner on the Internet. We’re so happy and excited to have you. I love your blog and the fact that I live in Texas makes it even better. I just love the title of your book and that cover is really romantic.

    1. Thanks for having me, Linda. I really love the cover, too. The art department outdid themselves!

  13. I have visited Texas many times. Lived there for sum time and now have friends there. This sounds wonderful.

    1. Thanks so much, Debra, for stopping by! Texas is a great place–to live in or visit or read about.

  14. I love the state of Texas! My brother lives there and so does a lifelong friend. It’s a beautiful state with wonderful and friendly people and because of that, I love reading books set in Texas.

    I would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for the chance.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

    1. It is a beautiful state! Good luck, Cindy.

  15. I visited Texas a long time ago, it was awesome & a very big state to drive through.Texas has a history of a lot of things…cowboy, the Alamo & all those wonderful places to eat.
    Thanks for a chance to win & for visiting P&P.

  16. I love visiting P&P! And, yes, it is a huge state ro drive through! ?

  17. I like to read stories set in Texas because the men in the stories seem to be “real” men. Men I would like to meet and associate with. They seem to be dedicated and have a sense of humor. They honor their women folk and their country.

  18. Can’t Stop Loving’ You sounds like it will be a great contest between two very independent and stubborn individuals. Sounds good.

    I think of the states Texas and Texans have the b surest sense of independent identity. Texans have a pride in their heritage and the history of their state. I believe they consider themselves Texans first and Americans second. Visiting Texas is enjoyable. It is large enough to incorporate a wide variety of ecological areas, all of which influenced the people who lived there. From the Hill Country to the Big Bend area to the Panhandle the variety is wonderful and Texans are still Texans.

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