This month I’m celebrating the release of Lone Star Father—the final book in my Cowboys of Stampede, Texas series from Harlequin Western Romance. The stories revolve around three brothers who are doing their best to look after the family ranch and their grandfather, the mayor of Stampede. When Grandpa Emmett’s former high-school flame, Amelia Rinehart, sets her sights on renovating the old pueblo, Grandpa digs his boot heels in. Amelia enlists the help of her great nieces from Wisconsin and suddenly the Hardell brothers are having second thoughts about assisting their grandfather in derailing the town matriarch’s plans.
Reid Hardell never imagined he’d become a single dad or that he’d ever return to his family’s ranch in Stampede, Texas. But for his newfound daughter’s sake, Reid is coming home, hoping his estranged brothers can help him master fatherhood. Life in Stampede has an unexpected perk—reconnecting with gorgeous Scarlett Johnson. Until Reid discovers she’s the new social worker on his custody case.
In working with Reid and his daughter, Scarlett finds a connection she thought was impossible. She wants more than anything to be part of their family, but a relationship could jeopardize their case and her job. How can she turn away from having everything she’s ever wanted—even if it’s the right thing to do?
I’ve written lots of contemporary westerns using different locations for my stories and Texas Hill Country remains my favorite. Even though I love Texas, my roots are planted deep in my blue-collar hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. When I create towns for my stories, I always include bits and pieces of my old stomping grounds. More often than not you’ll find an old Woolworth building in my stories. I have fond memories of shopping at Woolworth with my grandmother and eating hotdogs at the lunch counter. The basement of the old Woolworth store in Janesville sold goldfish and pet supplies. The main floor sold clothing, shoes, health and beauty products along with household goods and gadgets. The third floor sold fabric and sewing supplies.
The fictitious Woolworth store in Stampede, Texas, closed its doors decades ago and now the basement houses the town library. You’ll find other tidbits of my childhood in this series like traveling carnivals, petting zoos, wheel barrow rides, tree houses, and a beautiful Victorian home much like the one I grew up down the block from. And what would a series be without a vintage motel in it?
For a chance to win a signed copy of the first book in my Cowboys of Stampede series, The Cowboy’s Accidental Baby, share something you enjoyed doing as a child with a grandparent or parent. ***The winner will be named in the comment section of this blog post on Sunday June tenth!
Bronc rider Gunner Hardell never plans past the next stop on the rodeo. When he’s home in Stampede, Texas, he’s part-time manager of the run-down Moonlight Motel, to get his crotchety grandpa off his back. Then he meets interior designer Lydia Canter—hired to renovate the motel—and suddenly the gig gets a whole lot more appealing…
Lydia is looking for love, but there’s nothing wrong with some Mr. Right Now while she waits for Mr. Right. But one steamy night with Gunner has unexpected consequences. And she would rather raise their baby alone than give the good-time cowboy a chance to break her heart. When Gunner learns he’s going to be a daddy, he’s determined to prove to Lydia he really is her Mr. Right!