Welcome Audra Harders & Her ‘Rocky Mountain Hero’

Ever have one of those lifetimes where opportunities tend to turn south just as the golden ring is in sight? That’s the story of Melanie Hunter’s life. Not that she’s complaining. She always seems to come out on top, it just takes a bit longer and she dodges and maneuvers around more curves in her road than the average everyday single mom. Still, she takes setbacks on the chin and continues to pray for a better life for her and her son.

Take for instance, this job opening Melanie has applied for with a research lab in a mountain community in Colorado. It’s perfect. More money, less hours for her; small town, great outdoor adventures for her son. Win-win. Until she takes a detour to avoid highway construction on her way to the interview, which ends in a collision with a large rock resulting in pricey auto repairs…

You get the picture. It’s times like this Melanie wonders what in the world God is thinking??

Excerpt from Rocky Mountain Hero, January 2011, Steeple Hill Books.

“Gabe, look up ahead.”
            Gabe Davidson glanced up from his clipboard. His cousin pointed at a pick up truck along side the road. From where Gabe sat, he’d say the truck wasn’t going anywhere soon. “Don’t recognize it.”
            “Can’t say the truck or the kid or the blonde are from around here.” Hank down shifted and slowed.

            “Fishtailed right into the rock.” Grooved tracks left ruts inches deep. “The boys from county won’t be happy when they have to come up and fix this.”
            The boy waved his arms at them. Hank pulled over and cut the engine.
Gabe checked his watch. The vet closed in half an hour. He fingered the list he’d scribbled on the scrap piece of paper. If he waited until tomorrow, he’d have to take a chance the vet stocked the medication he needed since no one at the animal clinic was answering their phone, or double back and drive into Gunnison.
He glanced at the boy, the angle of the truck and the woman wedged part way under the running board. He ground his jaw as uncomplimentary thoughts of Nick and Zac swirled through his head. Times like this, he really wished his brothers were around to help. Propping the clipboard with his list on top of the dash, Gabe shoved at his door. “Let’s go pull ‘em out.”
            “Hey mister,” the boy called as he jumped. “I think my mom’s stuck.”
            “Are you okay?” Hank took off toward the boy while Gabe headed for the woman. The rock, the crushed front-end of the pick up and the entire backend of the vehicle sat perched at an angle. No telling what the truck would do.
            “Need help?” Mud covered her from head to toe. Gabe stared into blue eyes the color of mountain columbines in full bloom and lashes as thick as the foxtails that grew around them. Blonde hair played across her cheek. 
            “No, I’ve got it.” The palm of her hand sank up to her wrist.
            He bent over and grasped her shoulders, her muscles firm within his palms. A spear of awareness shot through him as he found a grip and began to pull. The mud packed around her like a wallow sucking her hostage. As she began to slide free, she kicked her feet against the embankment.
            The road base shifted beneath his feet. His hold tightened. “Be still.”
            Her last kick must have hit a rock. She pushed up relieving the tension in his pull. Momentarily. The rock worked loose beneath her foot and she sank back into place.
Gabe fought for balance as he teetered on the edge. No use. He tucked his shoulders as he rolled into the mud bog with her. His elbow trenched a rut behind her and she slammed up against his chest.
            Spitting mud out of her mouth, she smeared her face with her hand. “Oh goodness.” She squirmed to the side. “You okay?”  
            His hat lay inverted between them, the crown crushed against her ribs. He followed the line of her muddy T-shirt sleeve to her mud-matted ponytail. Her eyes sparkled wide as he drew close. “I told you to stop moving.”
            “I could’ve gotten out by myself.” Her breathless voice warmed his cheek.
            He swiped his hand down his face as much to wipe away mud as to break his stare. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
            She shimmied up the bank using the top of his boot as a foothold. “The road is in lousy condition.”
            “Yeah, well.” Her smooth arm pressed against his chest making simple thought difficult. “The Gunnison County road crew won’t be happy about this either.”
            She stiffened beside him. “This road is a disaster.”
            “Not if your speed is appropriate for the road condition.”
            She looked at him as if he’d grown another head. “What’s the speed limit for horrendous?”

 I hope you enjoyed the quick meet and greet. Gabe has his agenda, Melanie has hers and the two don’t seem to have a common patch of ground between them. By the time The End rolls around, they find out exactly what the good Lord had in mind.

 My debut novel is set to hit the shelves January 1! I’m so excited. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Rocky Mountain Hero as my Christmas present to you.

I’d love to have you visit me at:

 www.audraharders.com

or drop by:

 www.seekerville.blogspot.com and say hi!

 Thank you to Mary Connealy and the fillies for inviting me here today!

Click on the cover to buy on Amazon

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51 thoughts on “Welcome Audra Harders & Her ‘Rocky Mountain Hero’”

  1. I really enjoyed the excerpt and I can’t wait to read your book. I used to live in Colorado so I have a fondness for the Rocky Mountains. Happy Holidays!!

  2. Audra, no need to enter me. I bought your book and it arrived yesterday. Yippee. Can’t wait to dive in. Since we are supposed to have a major snow storm today, the timing is perfect.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Loved the friction between two stubborn people, Gabe and Melanie! I can so relate to the ups and downs of life. Financially we’ve had a disastrous year. I cross my fingers and pray that 2011 can only head us in a more positive direction.

    I’d love to read Rocky Mountain Hero. Melanie and Gabe sound like everyday people you’d like to know in real life.

  4. Merry Christmas, everyone! What a wonderful opportunity to spend a day with the fillies and all their friends!

    Linda, where did you live when you were in Colorado? I grew up in Boulder and have migrated up and down the Front Range most of my life. The mountains are a great place to visit but not really too crazy about living there. I like appreciating their beauty from a few miles to the east, LOL!

  5. Julie, you luck bucket! Rocky Mountain Hero and a snowstorm. Can life get any better? LOL!

    I live just north of the Denver area and we have yet to have any snow!! Oh they keep promising, but nada. It is definitely difficult to think about decorating for Christmas when the temp is 60 degrees!!

  6. Hi Laurie, I feel your pain. This economy has played havoc with lots of folks and we’re feeling the bite too since our youngest is in his first year of college.

    There are time I’d so like to revert to the barter system for the exchange of goods and livelihood…

    Ha, maybe I should be writing fantasy or time-travel.

    God bless you this season and Merry Christmas!

  7. Good morning everyone. I woke up to a sheet of ice this morning. I wonder if I’d die if I drove to work?

    I’m going to wait a little while.

    I’ve read Rocky Mountain Hero and the real remaining pleasure of that book is one of the best cowboy heroes of all time.

    I loved the heroine, too, but ahhhh that dreamy hero. I can’t think about him without smiling.

    Wonderful book, Audra.

  8. I do love me some cowboys and I can’t wait to read your debut book. I also woke up to a sheet of ice on the ground so it sounds like a good day to stay in and read, shame i don’t have your book right now. I think i could really get into a cowboy right now. I really enjoyed your post and the book sounds awesome. Please enter me.

  9. Welcome, Audra,
    I remember roads like that from our three years in Colorado. Loved it.

    Liked the excerpt. Sounds like this will be an enjoyable read, full of sparks and stubbornness. A good combination.

    Best of luck with the January release of ROCKY MOUNTAIN HERO.

    Have a great Holiday Season.

  10. Enjoyed reading the comments. I like reading stories set in the West and this one sounds really good. I am always looking for different authors ro read.

  11. Good morning, again. I got to work okay, no snow or ice in sight. I’m not supposed to complain, am I?

    Mary, you live out in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think I’d drive out on icy roads either. Stay home and bake cookies or partake in other festive activities!!

  12. Hi Patricia! I’ve driven these roads more times than I can count. Have to say, 4-wheel drive comes in real handy at time, LOL!

    We used to live on a dirt road. Couldn’t keep ahead of the dusting. A friend bought a plaque for me to hang on the way proudly proclaiming, “Dust is a country accent.”

    No truer words to live by.

  13. Joye, I hope you have an opportunity to read Rocky Mountain Hero. I love living in the West and writing about home is just plain fun : )

  14. Hi Audra! Welcome to our little corner of the world. It’s great to have you and hope you come back again sometime.

    Congratulations on your debut book! That’s always exciting. And I love the excerpt. Wow! Love Inspired books are my some of my favorites. I like a good clean story.

  15. So far I haven’t ventured out. But I might get brave here. Surely the highways will be salted and sanded by now. Right? Right?

    If I can get out of my neighborhood, I should be FINE.

  16. Audra, the story sounds great. I’ve been checking the shelves at Wal-mart waiting for your book to appear. I hope it’s there soon so I can get a copy. =)

  17. Hi, Audra! I can’t wait to start reading your new book–the first of many! I envy you your snow (but not ice) and the beauty of Colorado. I’m so glad I finally got there for the ACFW conference.

  18. Thanks, Linda! Aren’t cowboys the best??

    Mary, don’t venture out unless you have to. Just because you can get out of your neighborhood doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get back in.

  19. I appreciate your lookout, Keli. My husband has been watching the romance section, too…

    Astounding considering the guy only reads Field and Stream, LOL!

  20. Hi Cara! I know you’ve had your share of cold when you lived way up north in New England! We get very little ice, and varying quantities of snow.

    I’d love a good snowstorm so I could just stay home and read!

    And decorate.

    And wrap presents.

    And bake.

  21. Welcome Audra and Congrats on your upcoming debut! I really enjoyed the excerpt, thanks for sharing it with us… Happy Holidays!!!

  22. Oh, I’m reading this book right now and loving it!! So don’t enter me. I just wanted to stop by and say howdy. 🙂

  23. Audra, I just finished your book two nights ago. Loved it!!! And as Mary said, Gabe is a very memorable hero–what a charmer! With the glimpses here and there of his brothers’ lives, I was sure hoping their stories might be next on your writing agenda. Can’t wait to see what happens with them!

  24. Oh my stars, I just loved this book! Audra, what a great story of finding God’s path and then having the God-given common sense to take it.

    After the 2 X 4 upside the head, of course!!!

    Loved it. I loved Gabe (oh, yum, and that cover…. be still my heart!) but I loved Melanie’s struggle and how she worked to make it on her own, to be independent. Great characters and awesome setting.

    Home, home on the range…

    Where the deer and the antelope and cute cowboys plaaaaaay…..

    🙂

    Love you, kid.

    Ruthy

  25. Gabe is yummy! And the book sounds great too. Here I am reading about weather troubles when here in Nova Scotia our grass is still green. Of course, we had a fierce rainstorm with category 2 hurricane winds on the weekend. What’s wrong with this picture?

  26. Thanks for dropping in, Colleen. Glad you liked the excerpt. When I had originally written that scene, my characters minced around all the mud and guck. Then a dear friend (hiya, Ruthy!)read it and said, “are you kidding me?? Get’em dirty!!”

    Hee. Everyone needs a compadre who will point out prime opportunities when you’re oblivious, LOL!

  27. Hi Missy, hi Myra! You guys are too sweet.

    I’m hoping SH wants the other two brothers, Myra! I know they’ve been telling me their stories under no uncertain terms!

    Missy? Rumor has it you’re double timing Rocky Mountain Hero with The Rancher’s Reunion?? OMG, I can’t wait to see the hybrid of that review, LOL!!!

    Thanks for dropping in, guys!

  28. Jennie, I’m jealous your grass is green. Ours is brown. And sparse. And bizarre allergies are rising.

    Really, not a pretty picture for the holiday season, despite the lack of need for snowtires!!

    Thanks for stopping by, Jennie!

  29. Thanks, Estella : ) My daughter is majoring in Agriculture Education so if I ever have questions, I know who to turn to!

  30. Hi Tracy, it’s just a liiiittle bit longer…it’s been a long wait from contract to book!! Does it ever get shorter??

  31. I’m a native of the Rocky Mtn. State so naturally I enjoy reading about that area. The book sounds like one I would enjoy. Enjoyed reading the blog today.

  32. Yay, Jackie! I wish I could claim native, but we moved here from Chicago when I was 9. Haven’t left since. Did you move far away?

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post today.

  33. Audra, congratulations on your debut book–and yummy cover. I don’t have any ice to report–except in the freezer.

    I’m looking forward to reading your book. I’m already in love with the hero.

  34. Thank you, Margaret. I hope you enjoy it and more to come!

    I’ve had a blast playing with y’all today. Thanks to Mary and all the fillies for having me! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and all the blessings for the New Year!

    -audra

  35. Hi Audra, I’m late with this comment but do want you to know I’m loving your book. Its keeping me entertained while I sit at the hospital visiting my dad.

    Great cover too btw

  36. Well I’m hopin for a win for myself & my Sissy..she doent read western romance but I’m thinkin that I’m gonna change that!! So if I win she’s gettin the book!!

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