Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms & Book Giveaway

Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arm will be released on October 3rd.  Don’t you just love that title?  I’m so excited to be part of the collection, which also includes stories by Leigh Greenwood and our very own Linda Broday!

My story is titled A Texas Ranger for Christmas and I’m giving away a copy (giveaway guidelines apply). So be sure to leave a comment.  Here’s a sneak peek: 

Sadie had just put Adam down for his afternoon nap that second week in December when a hammering sound drew her to the kitchen window.

“Dang that man!” Now the ranger was on the barn roof hammering down shingles. Last week, after he’d spent the day repairing the fence, he’d run a fever and had to spend two days in bed.

Now here he was at it again, overdoing it.

She pulled a woolen shawl from a peg by the back door and stepped outside. The wind was cold and angry clouds crowded in from the north like a bunch of wooly sheep.

Upon reaching the barn, she yelled up to him. “If you fall and break your neck, don’t come runnin’ to me!”

He peered over the edge of the roof. His nose was red from the cold and his hair tossed about like sails in the wind, but he sure was a sight for sore eyes. “I guess I’d just have to wait ‘till your friend Scooter comes.”

She balled her hands at her side. “I’d think you’d have a little consideration for my reputation.”

His eyebrows quirked upward. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.”

“How do you think it looks for a woman to entertain a man that’s not her husband?”

She’d not yet told anyone of Richard’s death. She didn’t want friends and neighbors coming to her door to express condolences until after the ranger was long gone.

He shrugged. “Isn’t it a little late to worry about that?  Some of your neighbors already know I’m here.”

“I told them my husband sent you here to recover from your bullet wound.”

“Your husband sent me? That might be hard to explain when the truth comes out that he’s dead.”

“That’s my problem.”  She tossed her head.   “I mean, it Captain.” She grabbed hold of the ladder and gave it a good shaking. “If you don’t come down, I’ll see that you’re stuck up there for good!”

“Why, Mrs. Carnes, is that a threat?”

She glared up at him. “You’ve already had one relapse and I’m not about to take care of you for another. So what’s it gonna be?”

“Okay, okay, I’ll come down, but only on one condition.”

She straightened, hands at her waist. “What?”
“You stop calling me captain. My name is Cole.”

“Not gonna happen,” she said. Calling him by his given name would only strengthen the bond between them, and she couldn’t let that happen. It was hard enough trying not to like the man more than was absolutely necessary.

“Why not?” he asked.

“I never name an animal I plan on eating, and I sure don’t aim on naming a man who’ll soon be gone.”

“All right, Mrs. Carnes. Have it your way. But could you at least tell me what your Christian name is? I promise not to use it unless you say it’s okay.”

She chewed on a bottom lip. “Sadie,” she said. “And I don’t want you calling me that, you hear?”

“Nice name,” he said. “It suits you.”

She didn’t know what he meant by that and she wasn’t about to ask. “So what’s it gonna be, Captain?” She grabbed hold of the ladder and rattled it. “You coming down or ain’t you?”

“Oh, I’ll come down, Mrs. Carnes.  But only because I don’t want you complaining about me to your dead husband.”

Short stories and novellas are popular around the holidays.  I don’t mind writing short, but I prefer reading full-length novels. Which do you prefer?  Also, has a short story ever inspired you to check out the author’s novels?

What do you call Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms?




Margaret Brownley
Margaret has published more than 46 books and is a N.Y. Times Bestselling author and two-time Romance Writers of America Rita Finalist. She writes historical novels set--where else?--in the Old West! She has written for a day time soap and is currently working on a new series. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.
Updated: September 21, 2017 — 9:39 am


  1. I love to read full-length novels for the most part, but I do find the shorter novellas perfect for when I am sitting somewhere waiting for an appointment. I absolutely love reading anything set during the Christmas season. Thank you for the giveaway and opportunity to win a copy of Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms. I do love that title. 🙂

    Cindy W.

    1. Cindy, I love that title, too, but can’t take credit for it. I also love the cover.

  2. Good morning Margaret- I love both short stories and novella’s, especially when you’re trying to find new authors. You can get a feel of what their writing style is like. But if I have to choose which I love best, then I’d choose full length novels. However I think Christmas is so special & so anthology books like Christmas In A Cowboys arm is a perfect way to expose many great authors to many great readers, who just might find a new authors to add to their favorites list. Congrats on this new book and to all the wonderful authors included in it. Have a wonderful day and a great release day!

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      You are so right Tonya, you summed up my exact likes!

      1. Hi Stephanie, thank you for stopping by.

    2. Hi Tonya, yes, I agree; short stories are a great way to discover new authors. My biggest complaint about writing them is that so many reviewers expect short stories to have all the same story elements as a full-sized novel.

  3. Prefer the linger novels, but totally enjoy a short story that either wraps up a series or starts one.

    1. Hi Veda, that’s interesting. My story actually takes place in Two-Time, Texas. Some might recognize that as the town in Left as the Altar and A Match Made in Texas.

  4. I actually do prefer full-length novels but have read some really good collection of novellas and some great novellas in a series. If it’s an author or a series I enjoy, it doesn’t matter to me the length of the book!

    1. It seems that you’re not alone, MH. I try hard to make a short story “feel” like a longer one.

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    I also prefer full length novels. The main reason is that if I’m loving the story I hate for it to be over anyway so short stories just aren’t enough. However, I do love these short story books that are by multiple authors but the short stories intertwine. I think it takes a group of awesome authors to pull this off.

    1. Hi Stephanie, I’ve done a couple of those intertwined stories and they can be tricky to write. They require hours on the phone with the other authors to get all the little details right.

  6. I would love a chance to experience one of your novels. Have heard great reviews.

  7. I prefer to read longer novels, but also enjoy short stories.

    1. Estella, I can understand that. I compare these stories to a long, leisurely meal and a quick bite. Sometimes, a quick bite is all you have time for.

  8. I actually like both. it depends on how much time I have to read something.

    1. Janine, these collections are tremendously popular during the holidays and I think it’s because of the many demands on a reader’s time. The collections I’ve done during the summer months don’t seem to do as well.

  9. I prefer regular length novels, but adore the shorter ones for weekends or quick trips.

    1. Hi Susan, they’re also nice to read during lunch break and they make great hostess gifts.

  10. I prefer the longer novels you can lose yourself into. I like being so immersed into the story I don’t want to come up for air lol. But then I’m sad when it does eventually end. This collection sounds great! Novella collections introduce me to new-to-me authors. In this collection, you’re the only author I know! It’d love to find new authors I love.

    1. Hi Sally, if you’re looking for new authors, you’re going to love this book.

  11. Most of the time I prefer full length novels but during the holidays it is nice to have some short stories to enjoy during brief moments of downtime. 🙂 This excerpt has convinced that I need to read A Texas Ranger for Sharing. Thanks for sharing your story and thank you for this giveaway.

    1. Drat that autocorrect! Meant A Texas Ranger for Christmas!!

    2. Hi Connie, thanks for taking the time to read the excerpt. Sadie’s father and husband were both killed in the line of duty. Can we blame her for not wanting to let another Texas Ranger in her life?

  12. I must admit I enjoy the longer stories better. If a story is good I want it to go on forever lol. Although when one gets too busy with life, a shorter story can be a pleasant outlet.

    1. Hi Catslady, it seems like you’re in the majority.

  13. I just love to read. The length of the book doesn’t matter if the story is good. I have enjoyed reading some of the other books that you have written and look forward to reading this one. Thank you for this giveaway.

    1. Hi Kara, ah, a true reader! Thank you for your comments.

  14. I enjoy both short and full length.

      1. I love reading.

  15. Although I generally prefer novel-length stories, I also enjoy a well-written novella or short story which are harder to write IMO to pull off a story arc in much fewer words. So when a short story is well done, it’s a real testament to the author.

    I started my obsession with western romances just a few years ago and short stories were one way to find new authors. I also like to read short stories (and every other thing) by my favorite authors too.

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of CHRISMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS, a book I’ve been looking forward too.

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning that “A Texas Ranger for Christmas” takes place in Two-Time, Texas. I too like short stories connected to a series.

    1. Hi Eliza, I agree; short stories can be harder to write. Every word has to do double-duty.

  16. I prefer to read longer novels. I would enjoy reading the rest of the story about Sadie and Cole – sounds fun:).
    Thank you for chance to win.

    1. Hi Mary B, I think Sadie and Cole would enjoy having you read their story, Good luck!

  17. I’m very excited for this anthology — two of my fav authors are in this, and 3 are all new reads to me (you are one of the new ones!). The excerpt you shared definitely has me wanting to read more! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

    I generally prefer full-length (epic long) novels as if they do what they’re supposed to (hook me keep and suck me into the story), I don’t want them to ever end! 🙂 However I do go through short periods where I just don’t have a huge amount of time or the mindspace to get lost in an epic long story and I look for some shorter books/novellas. But the trick with them is that I still want the same emotional connection to the characters, so you really gotta have something special included on the pages to get me to LOVE a short story/novella. There’s a handful of authors out there who have that talent. 🙂 And if an new-to-me author can hook me with a short story — I’m definitely pursuing their other books.

    1. Michelle, yes, I do agree. There has to be that same emotional connection. If it doesn’t touch a reader’s heart, the story doesn’t work and that is as true for short stories as it is for long.

      Thank you for your sharing.

  18. Margaret, congratulations on writing an amazing story! I just loved the warmth you portrayed and it is everything that Christmas is/should be about. I’m overjoyed to be included in the anthology with you and the other fantastic authors.

    Big hugs and wishing us much success!

    1. I’m so glad you popped in Linda, as it gives me a chance to tell you how much I enjoyed The Christmas Stranger. No one will want to miss your sweet touching love story. The Miss Mamie subplot made me cry. I wish my story didn’t come directly after yours. It’s a tough act to follow.

  19. I prefer reading full length novels…but will read anything. Lol

    1. I know your kind, Tonya. People like us who read everything, even get a charge out of toothpaste labels.

  20. This looks so good!

  21. I like to read both and love when a novella starts a good series with background information!!

    1. Teresa, it helps to write a novella based on a series. That way half the work is already done.

  22. Congrats on your new stories, Margaret and Linda! I love that cover. Very pretty.

    Shorter fiction has led me to read more by authors, most recently Jax Garren’s steampunk stories.

    1. Thanks, Trish. I love that cover, too.

  23. I love reading all types of romance books short or long it is a great escape from daily life.

    1. I know what you mean, Debra. With all the problems in the world, it’s nice to curl up with a romance and know you’re in for a happy ending.

  24. I like both long and short novels. the short ones are a good way to discover a author whom you have never read, Im reading a short novel book now about two brothers, when the first part ended i wanted to know more of what happen in the first part, but on to the second part.

    1. Hi Elaine, I agree. It’s a great way to discover new authors and revisit the old.

  25. I love reading novellas, such fun! But, a good book is a good book… long or short… reading is the best!

    1. You got that right, Melanie! Reading is the best.

  26. I like a little of both. IT depends on my mood. Sometimes I want something fast and sometimes I want one that I can really spend time with.

  27. When life is extra busy, I like shorter reads. Sometimes I have looked for more books by an author I really liked!

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