A couple of years ago I had a dream about five brothers who ran a ranch with their dad. In this dream I saw the oldest brother was a wounded Army veteran returning home, there was a veterinarian, a charmer, a very cynical man burned by love, and a rebel cowboy. I even saw their assorted girlfriends or wives. The only anomaly was that the dream ended with a fashion show in which they all participated. (That was my day job insinuating itself into my cowboy dream!)
The first book in the series about a wounded rancher debuts this month, published by Harlequin. I’m so very excited that “A Family for the Rancher” is finally here. This quote from Pinnochio has been running through my mind all week: “I’m a real boy!” Well, for me now “It’s a real book!”
I’m a fifth generation Texan, so I’ve got the Old West running deep in my veins. I was born and raised in El Paso, which is THE farthest west you can go in Texas. Among my ancestors are a Texas Ranger and a spy for Robert E. Lee. Future stories? You better believe it.
I live in Dallas now, practically at the base of Southfork Ranch. Remember J.R., Bobby, Sue Ellen, and Pam? It’s still a thrill every time I drive by that house, and the theme song runs on continuous loop in my head.
I guess my love of cowboys has been with me all my life. I love sweet tea, bluebonnets, cowboy boots, and western hats. Heck, the Resistol Hat factory is practically around the corner from my house! Cowboys have a code of honor bone deep, one they live their entire lives by. They’re good to their mommas, their sweethearts, and their animals.
Perhaps John Wayne said it best: “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” My Sullivan brothers follow that creed.
For the Cowboys to Grooms series I took the story to Montana. Where else could I write about vast open lands, soaring mountains, sunny summer days, and cold winter days where the hero and heroine are snowbound in a log cabin for days on end?
My husband and I spent some time in Montana a few years ago, and I just fell in love with the whole state. Crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, and cowboys! In fact, the scene in which Kelsey sees a bear while kissing Nash was inspired by my first bear sighting on that trip.
As I write, I have to visualize the characters, so Pinterest is my best friend. If you’d like to see who my inspiration is for each of the five Sullivan brothers, here’s a link to my board: http://tinyurl.com/ycrflp2
Oh, and since I also love weddings, I couldn’t resist writing a little twist into the last scene of each book—it’s what determines which brother’s book comes next in the Cowboys to Grooms series!
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Nash Sullivan doesn’t need help from anyone. Not his father, not his brothers and sure as heck not from a physical therapist—even a darn feisty one like Kelsey Summers. He lost his leg during his overseas deployment and he just wants to be left alone. Besides, the last thing a woman like Kelsey needs is half a man.
Single mom Kelsey knows all too well that the scars on the inside run the deepest. She needs to move on from her own tragic past, but the Sullivan ranch is starting to feel a little too much like home. And she can’t stop thinking about her wounded—and gorgeous—patient. Could Nash be the cure for her own broken heart?
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If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of “A Family for the Rancher” (Kindle ebook or autographed print book – winner’s choice), let me know who your favorite cowboys are (old or new), and why. I’d love to chat with you here on Petticoats & Pistols!