Last year, my editor asked me to represent the Cactus Rose (Wild West) line in a multi-author Christmas fest–The Twelve Brides of Christmas. I was given the theme “Four Calling Birds.”
The invitation came while I was visiting family in Hawaii! Inspiration hit me: why not an American cowboy finding romance in the islands?
Hawaii has such a rich ranching history…
Dear little vintage towns…
Warm breezes and sparkling waves…
Seahorses… (okay, seahorses don’t appear anywhere in the story, but we visited a breeding farm and they’re too darn cute not to post. And well, real horses appear.)
Anyway, everything wound itself together in The Christmas Room. (except seahorses.)
And the fun continues! This Christmas, all twelve novellas are appearing in four anthologies, in both ebook and print formats. My story appears in Volume Two, out this very week. I’m honored to share the spotlight with two other talented authors. And I’m giving away an e-copy today to one U.S. commenter.
Here’s the scoop:
The Christmas Room by Tanya Hanson (Four Calling Birds)
Running from her past in Nevada and healing from unspeakable grief, innkeeper Martita Akala has built a new life on the island of Oahu…until a handsome cowboy disrupts her well-ordered peace.
Having made a deathbed vow he can’t break, a rancher from Lake Tahoe sails the Pacific to find a missing woman. Will spending time in Martita’s “Christmas Room” make cowboy Rooney Lind realize he’s found what he’s been looking for his whole life?
The Mystery of the Claddagh Rings by Kallie Lane (Five Golden Rings)
The Claddagh rings have resurfaced along with the hit men searching for them. An FBI agent offers to protect Fiona in exchange for the rings. Does she trust a mysterious stranger or go it alone and lose everything…maybe even her life?
Agent O’Shea is willing to do whatever it takes to clear his father’s name. He never imagines Fiona will touch his heart. As they join forces to beat the odds, will he be able to keep her safe…or will he surrender to the legacy of the Claddagh rings and let her go?
Six Geese For Monica by Brenda Gayle (Six Geese A’laying)
When her inability to conceive a child ended her marriage, Monica Stevens left her home town. Seven years later she reluctantly returns to run the Mother Goose Daycare while her mother undergoes surgery. Luke Donovan is struggling to balance career and fatherhood to six adopted children.
Initially brought together by the children, Monica and Luke quickly surrender to their growing passion. But Monica wonders if Luke’s interest in her is only as a mother to his children. Is history about to repeat itself or will a Christmas miracle finally give Monica the family she’s always dreamed of having?
So here’s your entry into the giveaway: Where is the oddest place you’ve ever seen a cowboy?
(I’m signing off with a little excerpt from The Christmas Room:)
His lids popped open. Staring at her–eyes dark blue as a midnight without stars. “What happened? Where am I?”
“You had… an accident.” Martita shuddered, recalled his arm hanging from its socket. Like an undone button at the end of a long thread.
“You…you got knocked from your horse in the surf,” she told him. “Getting your beeves to the steamer.” Honolulu had no deep water wharf. Paniolo had to tie cows by the head to the gunwales of small longboats and drag them through the water to load them to larger boats and steam ships.
Confusion wrinkled his brow. “What?
“Your arm got caught in the reins.” She wiped his face gently. “The waves knocked you both about pretty hard. But Doc Howe says he got your arm set back into your shoulder socket correctly.
“Where…where am I?”
“My boarding house. Honolulu.”