Our Cowboy Christmas

cowboy-christmas1It’s not even October yet, and the cowboys are already gathering under the mistletoe.  Mary’s COWBOY CHRISTMAS made its debut in September. 


In October, another COWBOY CHRISTMAS, the Harlequin Christmas anthology, will be on the shelves.  Pick it up, and you’ll see stories by our own fillies, Pam Crooks and Elizabeth Lane, as well as wonderful Western author Carol Finch.  The book’s already received a great four-heart review from Romantic Times and been featured in the September issue.  Other reviewers have been equally enthusiastic.

Today we’ve come together to tell you a little about our stories:


pub-photo-email.jpgPam Crooks

           It’s always a privilege to be invited to participate in an anthology.  The benefits are enormous for the author–bigger print runs, increased name recognition and joint promotion.  There’s the fun of getting to know my fellow authors, too, and when I found out my sister Filly, Elizabeth Lane, would be with me, I was especially delighted.  It’s been an honor to call Carol Finch a new friend.  With 91 books under her belt, written under 4 pseudonyms, I’m in awe of her career.

            In addition, readers love having three separate stories between the covers.  It gives them more bang for their buck, and when the stories center around Christmas, the book is a festive, fun–and romantic!–way to get in the mood for the Blessed Holiday Season.

            My contribution to COWBOY CHRISTMAS is a novella entitled “The Cattleman’s Christmas Bride.”.  It’s the sequel to my May release, THE CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE.  In that book, Mikolas Vasco and Allethaire Gibson play major roles and endure a good share of suffering.  They needed their own story together to find the happiness they deserved.

            Though I didn’t quite plan it that way, somewhere along the way the original storyline became complex enough to carry into three separate books.  It’s my first trilogy, and in the book I’m writing now, I’ll solve the mystery thread of the stolen library money which has brought six people so much heartache–and eternal love, too. 

            This is Jack Hollister’s story–a hunky, scar-faced lawman-turned-cowboy–who I introduced in “The Cattleman’s Christmas Bride.”

            Here’s a quick blurb:

After Allethaire Gibson was kidnapped several years earlier in the wilds of Montana Territory, she tries hard to put her life back together in civilized Minnesota.  She almost succeeds—until she’s framed for a crime she didn’t commit.  With her reputation in shreds, she flees back to Montana to seek her father’s help in proving her innocence.

Mick Vasco never expects to see Allethaire again, but when he finds her in the middle of a train-robbery-in-progress, he has no choice but to kidnap her—again.  

Together they race against time to find crucial answers.  But during the blessed season of Christmas, they find wondrous gifts of forgiveness and love instead.


carol-finchCarol Finch

I’m so delighted to be doing this Christmas Special with Elizabeth and Pam! They are terrific writers and wonderful women that I’m honored to call new friends.

            In “A Husband for Christmas,” Victoria Thurston backs herself into a corner when she fibs to her overprotective parents and assures them she’s safe in West Texas because she married the city marshal. She doesn’t need the wealthy gentleman her family earmarked for her. Her lie returns to haunt her when the Thurstons send out the royal decree that she and Marshal Logan Daniels will be home for Christmas because her older sister—the Golden Child—with her perfect husband and perfect son will be home, too.

            Victoria hires Logan as her holiday husband—and he turns out to be everything she wants in a man. Now, if only he’ll fall in love with her, she’ll have the only Christmas gift that matters.

            Logan has admired the spirited bakery owner from afar and he accepts her offer. Why not? He’s an orphan and he’s curious to see what it’s like to celebrate holidays with family.  He’s disgruntled to see the Thurstons fuss over Victoria’s sister and don’t appreciate Victoria for the successful, independent-minded and personable businesswoman she is. He boasts about her accomplishments every chance he gets—and means every word he says. Suddenly, charading as Victoria’s holiday husband isn’t enough to satisfy him. He wants his Yuletide bride for real… forever.



elizabethlane.jpgElizabeth Lane

            Working with these two amazing writers has been a wonderful and rewarding experience.  Carol and Pam are the best, and we hope you’ll share our excitement at seeing our book in print.  My story, “The Homecoming” is second in the book.  Here’s a brief summary of what happens.

Rancher Clay McAllister is a man who shoulders responsibility—a man who’d rush into a whorehouse to save his reckless young brother from a brawl; a man who’d serve three years in jail for a death that wasn’t his fault.  On a cold December day, Clay comes home from prison to pick up the pieces of his life.  His Texas ranch is in ruins.  His beautiful wife Elise believes the worst.  His young son Toby barely remembers him.   And Christmas is just a few days off.

            “The Homecoming” is a story about three good people who need to forgive each other in order to forgive themselves.  It isn’t a pretty tale—but then, it wasn’t meant to be.  Clay, Elise and Buck are trapped in a cycle of blame and remorse that can only be broken by one act—the act of total forgiveness and love.  Only then will they be able to heal and move on with their lives.

            Having just read COWBOY CHRISTMAS from cover to cover, I was delighted with the differences in our stories and the way they complement each other.  It’s our hope that COWBOY CHRISTMAS will thrill you, make you laugh and perhaps shed a tear—and that its pages will fill your heart with warm Christmas spirit.

            We’ve saved the best part for last.  COWBOY CHRISTMAS isn’t on the shelves yet, but each of us would love to give away a copy signed by all three authors—a real collector’s item!  All readers who post today will be put into a drawing. 

Let us know if you read trilogies.  Are you willing to wait for the three books to come out?  Or do you prefer to get everything in the story wrapped up in one book?  

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53 thoughts on “Our Cowboy Christmas”

  1. Cowboy Christmas sounds great! I do read trilogies but prefer to read them one after another, if possible. Often I’ve moved on to different books/authors and have forgotten about and/or buried the next book in my TBR piles.

  2. Thanks, Karen. My own series books tend to go on and on. The series that started out as THE BORROWED BRIDE has just become a quartet. Book 3 THE HORSEMAN’S BRIDE will be out in March. Book 4, THE WIDOWED BRIDE is now in progress (there was this woman in book 3 I just had to write about). Good luck in the drawing.
    Off to yoga, but will get back to you soon.

  3. Congratulations ladies on the Christmas anthology!! I love anthologies and I especially love Christmas stories. Having three in one book is wonderful! I’ve hit the jackpot.

    I do read trilogies. Love ’em in fact. And I’m reading the third in one of Lorraine Heath’s series that she wrote way back in the 90’s. Don’t know why I waited so long to find these jewels. Each story has been riveting. I also love Linda Lael Miller’s. I just finished her third in the Stone Creek Series. It’s hard to wait for each book to reach the shelves but trilogies are sure worth it.

    Good luck on book sales!

  4. Cowboy Christmas sounds wonderful. I love anthologies, especially around the holidays. I also enjoy trilogies. I often go back to re-read the previous book when the next one comes out so I can have the characters fresh in my mind.

    How fun to have two Fillies in one book! I’ll be looking for it.

  5. Cowboy Christmas sounds great! And I also love trilogies. When I read a good book, there’s usually a secondary character that captures my imagination and makes me want to read their story. That was certainly true of “The Cattleman’s Unsuitable Wife”. I wondered what would become of Mikolas and Allethaire. Of course, waiting for a new instalment of a trilogy can be difficult. But now that I’m working on the second book in my own trilogy, I know why it takes so long.

  6. ME,ME,ME!!!!I love Christmas books, they are my all time favorite,I read them all year long,they just give me a nice warm an fuzzy feeling that I need an not just at Christmas,an I love,love Trilogies too,I read them too quickly cant wait to find out what happens,I pack books with me when I travel,an have been known to read at the airport in hot July a Christmas book an people give me looks,but I just smile an read on!

  7. I love trilogies! But waiting for the last one is always so interminable, isn’t it?

    And while I normally don’t love anthologies to death, reading Christmas anthos is always the perfect kind to read. Normally there isn’t a ton of time around the holidays, and they are the perfect length. And because the timeline lends itself perfectly to a shorter length, it always seems to work beautifully.

  8. Good morning, ladies! Looks like it’s just about unanimous. Christmas anthologies are ever-popular. Our publishers know what they’re doing, don’t they? 🙂

    I, too, love trilogies. It can be agonizing waiting for book #2 and #3 to come out, but it just isn’t logistically possible to have them come out back to back.

    Unless the writer is super-woman, of course. 🙂

  9. Hi, Jennie! I’m glad Mikolas and Allethaire touched your heart and made you wonder about their future. You won’t have much longer to find out if they’re going to be happy–or not. 🙂

  10. Thanks for chiming in, Pam. Now I’m back with you, too.
    I love series books and don’t mind waiting a while between books. Picking up a new installment is a bit like hearing from an old friend. Nice.

  11. Cowbooy Christmas sounds great. I love anthology’s ecspecailly Christmas one’s. I very much enjoy all holiday books and am looking for ward to reading Cowboy Christmas. I would love winning a copy of this.

  12. I read anthologies and I like to read all kinds of books. Sometimes I find authors I have yet to read in one of these types of books. And I read about Christmas all year long if I can get my hands on it so would love to win one of these.

  13. Joye – good point about finding an author you’ve never read before. We authors have the same fun in *working* with an author we’ve never met before. Getting to know Carol has been such a delight!

  14. When we were picking out titles for my book, uniquely titled Cowboy Christmas, the editor asked if I liked it and I did. I loved it. We toyed with calling it Christmas Cowboy, but somehow, everytime I thought of it that way, I saw the cowboy wrapped in red and green paper with a big red BOW on his Stetson. Not the macho cowboy image I really wanted. 🙂

    I guess LOTS OF US think it’s a good idea.

  15. A great title like COWBOY CHRISTMAS is bound to come up more than once, Mary. Let’s hope both our books do well.
    Love the image of the Christmas Cowboy. Now that would be a fun package to open!

  16. Congrats on the Christmas anthology, ladies! I love Christmas stories, and I read several new anthologies every year.

    I do read a lot of series (trilogies and more). It’s great when the stories can be back-to-back, but I can be forced to be patient if necessary.

    I am looking forward to reading this anthology. All 3 stories sound delightful!

  17. I think y’all will find our stories have a lot of depth to them. There’s pain, despair, hopelessness–but there’s hope, forgiveness and chances to start over, too. All wrapped up in the spirit of Christmas!

    You’re gonna love this anthology!

  18. Yes, I read trilogies (and quadrologies etc etc). Once I find a series I like I stick with it to the end. I like seeing the progression of characters from one book to the next. It makes me feel like a member of the family.

  19. I try not to think about Christmas this early lol. I will buy them though and just wait usually until November to start reading. I like to have all the books to read one after the other so I try to wait until I have them all before I start reading. Of course sometimes I can’t wait so usually series are the only books I reread to refresh myself if there is too much time between books.

  20. I am listening. Quadrologies! Hmmm, I never thought of that. Much more creative than Quartet.
    Thanks for increasing my vocabulary, Jody.
    And Harlequin has been putting out its Christmas books in October for as long as I can remember. As a person who groans at the sight of Christmas decorations before Halloween, I can’t explain it. Maybe for early Christmas shoppers??

  21. Ladies, congrats on this Your book sounds great Its on my list to read now. I will be getting this book along with Linda Broday’s for Christmas gifts Thanks for letting me know

    Walk in peace and harmony,


  22. I actually prefer series because I hate when the story ends in one book. I fall in love with characters and want to see them again. The waiting for the next book isn’t so great, but it gives me something to look forward to, so I suppose it isn’t that bad 🙂 And the fact that this book is about cowboys and Christmas…two of my favorite things in the world, well that’s just great!
    Congratulations and I hope your book does well.

  23. Those of us who write series books tend to fall in love with our characters, too, Kaitlin. Neither of the two series I’ve done was planned that way. I just kept finding more characters with stories to tell.
    Hope you enjoy our Christmas book!

  24. Harlequin isn’t the only publisher to put Christmas anthos out in October. I think pretty much all of them do, with the occasional November releases thrown in.

    It’s a smart move. Waiting until November or–egad–December would be a death wish. Who would have time to read during such a busy time? Besides, the stores themselves would likely forget to put them out.

    What a shame THAT would be!!

  25. Hello my filly sisters, and Carol, I recently read The Bounty Hunter and the Heiress which is a permanent keeper. And I can’t waita for this book. I totally love Christmas romances.

    I also love trilogies. I don’t like to say good-bye to characters and places I love, so reading about them in other books is always a pleasure.

    Hugs to you all, and keep up the amazing writing.

  26. Hello Ladies,

    I do love the trilogies. Each story sounds interesting. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win a copy before release day. Have a great day.

  27. I really enjoy trilogies and I don’t mind them being in separate books if they come out back to back. I hate waiting months for them. When that happens I usually wait to read them until I have them all. I love holiday books and can’t wait to read the stories.

  28. Oh, 3-in-1 I love when I can get more for my money!:0)

    Oh, that’s right its a giveaway. I love those too. Please include me in this wonderful giveaway. Thanks.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  29. I love trilogies, also. And how cool is this, that fillies Pam and Elizabeth are on the same trilogy? I love it!

    And Karen, love the title of your book. What a gift this will be.

  30. The book isn’t on the shelves yet? Bonus! Thanks for thinking of us.

    All three signatures in the book? Another bonus! Thanks for your thoughtfulness!

    Re trilogies: I’ve only read part of one so far (Susan Mallery’s Sweet Spot and Sweet Trouble). No, I don’t look for trilogies on purpose; this was a fluke. Yes, I prefer to have the stories all wrapped up in one book. In this way, I can go back to check information (I’m a stickler for details), and it is quick and easy to do.

    Thanks again for offering such a great blog and giveaway.

  31. Thanks, all of you, Ladies. Back after running an errand ahead of the thunderstorms that are moving in here. If I suddenly vanish you’ll know I had to shut down.

    The three of us are so happy with the way our book turned out, and we love the cover. To get all three signatures, we had to mail copies back and forth, so our winners will be getting a real treat.

  32. Hi Ladies,
    I love trilogies. Now, especially that I have become acquainted with you lovely Fillies. I can hardly wait for your drawing.
    Write on……

  33. I like trilogies and don’t mind some time between stories although I might have to reread earlier books so I know the storyline.

  34. I know what you mean. Sometimes I pick up a series book without having read the earlier ones. It’s a problem if you don’t know what’s going on. I try to write so each story will stand on its own, or at least explain what’s already happened. I owe that to my readers.

    Good luck in the drawing, all of you.

  35. Hello Ladies! I LOVE that cover! Christmas is months away and I’m in the throes of moving, but it made me want to break out the ornaments. It’s lovely. Anthologies are a blast to write and a joy to read. Can’t wait for this one!

  36. I love trilogies but I go crazy waiting for the
    rest to arrive in the store. I love anthologies
    because they work so well when I don’t have time
    to read an entire book.

    Pat Cochran

  37. Hope you’re getting that pod filled and ready to move, Vicki, if you haven’t moved already.

    My mom used to subscribe to those Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, Pat. I loved it that you could just sit down and read an entire story. Maybe you remember them, too.

  38. A Cowboy Christmas Anthology; that’s three for three – I like cowboys (westerns), I love Christmas and I very much enjoy anthologies. I don’t mind waiting for trilogies – anticipation is part of the fun but I won’t turn down a one book trilogy.

  39. I love being able to revist characters that I especially enjoyed in a book so I love trilogies.
    I don’t mind waiting but do enjoy three ain one books especially a Christmas book.

  40. A COWBOY CHRISTMAS sounds great!

    I do love trilogies and can wait for the next installment, although not always patiently. 🙂

    Thanks for the fun contest!

  41. I love anthologies. I’ve found many new authors this way, but this time I’ve already read books by each of you. I have a shelf of christmas anthologies and reread them every year.
    Do I read trilogies, yes. I like a story and characters to develop and sometimes a single book isn’t enough. It is sometimes hard to wait, but a series is always welcome, even if it is more than a trilogy.
    Good luck with the books release.

  42. I love Christmas stories, I really like to have all stories there so I can read one right after the other one. I can’t wait to read this book. Good Luck with the book sales.

    Great contest!!!!!!!!!!

  43. I don’t mind trilogies, especially since these days so many of them come out within a month of so of each other, so there’s not long to wait.


  44. LOVE trilogies…like having a bit more time to get to know the same characters. Enjoy families and friend stories! 🙂

  45. I really enjoy trilogies. Always like reading a story and knowing their will be a longer story arc going through the three books.

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