Welcome Tanya Michaels, author of the upcoming release,
THE COWBOY’S TEXAS TWINS!
A DOUBLE SURPRISE
Rodeo cowboy Grayson Cox had no intention of returning home to Cupid’s Bow, Texas. His troubled past was something best left behind. But when he suddenly finds himself serving as guardian to twin godsons, Grayson knows he’s in way too deep to stay away.
Thankfully, not everyone in Cupid’s Bow holds a grudge. Librarian Hadley Lanier remembers Grayson’s rebellious youth, but she also sees how good he is with the twins—and she definitely likes what she sees. It feels like a perfect match, until Hadley receives a career opportunity she’s long dreamed of, leaving her with a tough decision. But how can she choose between something she’s always wanted and the man she’s discovering she can’t live without?
The Lines Between Fact and Fiction
One of the fun parts of being a writer is taking inspiration from real life and blending it with pure fiction. I write a lot of hometown stories, which—for me personally—is the height of fiction because the first part of my life was spent moving around to Army bases. Eventually, though, I landed in Texas, where I went to high school and college. If you’ve read my Harlequin Western Romances, you probably know I set most of my stories in Texas (specifically, the fictional small town of Cupid’s Bow, Texas). What you may not know is that Cupid’s Bow is loosely based on a real town where my in-laws have a farm.
I love the farm. Well, okay, I love most of the farm.
It’s serene and beautiful and there’s nowhere on earth where I’ve ever seen so many stars. There are, however, a few drawbacks. For instance, my kids call the farm The Land Without Wifi. And, after twenty plus years of visiting, I’m still not quite used to the overpowering sulfuric smell/taste of the well water.
Writing my Cupid’s Bow stories allows me to share the best parts of a beloved rural setting…but readers don’t have to deal with the pungent smell of the pasture when the wind shifts or the itchiness of hay. (Am I the only one who can’t enjoy a festive hayride without a few Benadryl?)
As someone who lived in Texas from her teens into adulthood, I have some knowledge about the state but I can pick and choose how I want to use it in my stories. For instance, in the towns where I’ve lived, dance halls are very popular local establishments. This works well in my romances, so I’ve set some of my favorite scenes in dance halls reminiscent of the ones I’ve been to with friends. Ah, fond memories. Some of my less-fond memories of Texas life include fire-ants. So those suckers don’t exist in Tanya’s Texas. Ditto mosquitos roughly the size of condors.
That’s not to say, however, that when I write a book, I don’t include some of life’s difficulties and challenges. Quite the contrary. Although I try to be a nice person in my real life (“try” being the key word), I’m mean as heck to my poor characters. I like to throw obstacles at them that give them the opportunity for growth and improvement. I just don’t think they should have to deal with things like the copperhead snake (!) we once found in our yard (!!!) or the scorpion in the Kleenex box. Confession: Although I’ve loved horse-back riding since I was a kid, I’m not very outdoorsy. If it skitters or slithers, I’m probably afraid of it so let’s not discuss further.
From family to friends, a lot of my favorite people are either from Texas or live there now. I love these people. But fair warning—they can be unexpectedly intense about a few things. Like football. And barbecue. And being Texans. Most of my Cupid’s Bow characters have a lot of local pride, but I played with that idea in my February book THE COWBOY’S TEXAS TWINS The hero, Grayson, hates his hometown; he ran away from Cupid’s Bow the second he graduated high school and vowed never to return. But his life is upended when he gets custody of his twin godsons. He goes home to Cupid’s Bow to ask his favorite aunt’s help. Once there, he’s startled to find himself falling for the town sweetheart, librarian Hadley Lanier. Poor Grayson is going to have to come to grips with his past and make some amends if he wants a brighter future for himself and his adorable godsons.
So what about you guys—do you have a specific hometown? Is it a place you still live/like to visit or a place you were happy to leave in order to see more of the wide world? Post your experience of where you’re from for a chance to win 3 of my Cupid’s Bow books: The Christmas Triplets, The Cowboy Upstairs and the not-yet released The Cowboy’s Texas Twins.
Award-winning, bestselling author Tanya Michaels is living proof of how much you can accomplish if you’re willing to sacrifice a clean house and sleep. Married to a supportive, real-life romance hero, Tanya is the mother of two and the author of over forty books. She’s a six-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award and a past nominee for RT BookReview’s Career Achievement Award. She is also a frequent workshop presenter and event speaker, because what’s more fun than talking to lots of other people who love books?