Three of my most beloved novels from my contemporary romance days are now available in ebook format.
The Last Chance Ranch
Barnes and Noble Nook
A full length contemporary romance.
Weary and battered after a stint in prison for killing her abusive husband, Tanya has been dreaming of the day she could renew her relationship with the son she lost. Now cooking at a ranch for troubled boys, she takes the first, tentative steps toward her son…and to his adopted father, Ramon, a man so real and true he might be able to teach Tanya how to trust…and live…again.
Story behind the story:
There was a string of domestic violence cases in Colorado one year. One woman left behind notes to her young sons, and as a mother of young sons at the time, I couldn’t bear it. Another woman was gunned down at Taco Bell right across the street from the domestic violence shelter. Finally, one Easter morning, my street was closed at both ends while an army of police tried to track down the man trying to kill his wife across the street. She had escaped with her daughter out the back door, but my youngest was outside playing when it all happened. I’d finally had enough and decided to write about a woman and child who made it out.
This book won The Janet Dailey Award, a $10,000 cash prize awarded to a romance that best explores a social issue. It was also a RITA finalist, and remains a big reader favorite.
Jezebel’s Blues is a full length contemporary romantic novel.
When the Jezebel River overflows her banks and tries to swallow the small town of Gideon in East Texas, Celia Moon is alone and frightened in the farmhouse she inherited from her grandmother. When a mesmerizing and troubled drifter washed up on her porch, she has no choice but to take him in. As the river rises, the pair retreat to the attic to ride out the storm—and discover a compelling attraction.
The daughter of two artists who were besotted with each other, Celia has always felt the odd woman out. She yearns to find a place she can call her own, a family of her own, a life that has some stability and meaning. Her grandmother’s farmhouse in Gideon has always represented that.
Eric fled his grim childhood in Gideon to find a life as an acclaimed blues guitarist, but that life has been taken from him, too, and he’s back in Gideon with a chip on his shoulder that hides the vast, hunger he, too, feels to find his place, his home, his life. Waiting out the storm with sunny, optimistic Celia, he wonders if maybe there’s a place in Gideon for him after all, in the arms of a woman who might know more than she thinks about acceptance.
A novel as rich and deep as a river, Jezebel’s Blues is both a haunting love story and a tale of finding your way to accepting yourself.
Story behind the story
This is one of my personal favorites. It was my first RITA finalist, and the conference that year was in St. Louis, which was flooding that summer. Mainly, I just loved it, and it helped me explore ideas that would lead to In the Midnight Rain, and to another tale set loosely in the same town during WWII (more as I am able to say).
Breaking the Rules
Mattie O’Neal was on the run. She’d stolen a car, cut off her hair, changed her name and was slinging hash in a small Arizona town. She thought she was safe – until Zeke Shephard walked through the door. His rugged, muscled body set every woman’s heart aflutter – but his probing questions made Mattie weak for another reason.
Still, when the bad guys caught up with her, it was Zeke who rescued Mattie and took her to his own retreat. Zeke who comforted her . . . protected her . . . and loved her. Although Zeke insisted he was just a guy for the moment, could Mattie persuade him to make that moment last a lifetime?
Story behind the story:
I have a weakness for road books. What happens when you disappear and start over–what can you find out about yourself, the world, and a great love? Zeke is a bad-boy with a broken heart, and Mattie is a woman who can heal and transform, both herself and her world.