Summer time!

Her Summer CowboyWow, the living has been easy for me the last three weeks as I’ve jetted from London to Paris back to London and then on to Orlando and San Antonio.  However, jet lag is catching up with me and I’m struggling to get out from under all the work that has piled up since I’ve been gone.  Not that I’m complaining because I LOVE writing and all that travel has got me brimming with ideas for new stories.
I have a new release coming this week from Tule Publishing.  It’s called HER SUMMER COWBOY.  I had so much fun writing this book about the granddaughter of a country music legend (a la George Jones) who is on tour with him for the summer and the sexy cowboy her grandfather hired as a ‘body guard’.
There’s lots of country fair fun, summer heat and passion in this story.  Here’s a little excerpt:
 It was hot and humid on the edge of the large clearing where the summer tour busses were assembled. There was a stale breeze that tepidly tried to stir but really in this heat not much was moving. Hudson Scott sank deeper into the lawn chair he was sitting in under the shade of a big oak tree. From his position he could watch the bus area and the pathway that lead up to it.
 He wouldn’t have though an aging country music legend would have so many determined fans but he must have turned away at least fifteen people already today.
 “Excuse me? Where is Alan Jennings’ tour bus?” a woman asked. She wore a mini-skirt and had a pretty sunburn across the bridge of her nose. She didn’t look like the other women who’d stopped by to try to gain access to Alan. She was about thirty years too young.
 But the heart wants what it wants, he thought. Hudson took in the little auburn haired beauty that asked the question. Her voice was soft, sweet and full of the melodies of the south. She wore a pair of big, black sunglasses that hid most of her face. She had a cute button nose and a mouth that was full and pink.
 She had complemented her mini-skirt with a peasant style short-sleeved blouse and a pair of wedge heels that still only brought her up to his shoulder. She carried a big insulated cooler bag in one hand and a guitar in the other.
 “Who wants to know?” he asked.
 “Just tell me where he is?” she said.
 “I’m his body guard.”
 “You’re his body guard?” she asked, skepticism dripping from her.
 “Yeah. So unless you tell me who you are, I’m afraid this is as far as you go,” he said.
 “You don’t look like a body guard,” she said.
 Hudson was a rambler, a bouncer and a cowboy. He’d been travelling around the country since he’d left home at 18 after an argument with his father that had taken place just after his mother died. So he only got home for holidays and weddings. At thirty-one he knew it was probably time to patch things up and when he’d returned to Marietta, Montana earlier this summer for a family wedding, he’d realized that he didn’t quite hate everything about it as much as he’d thought he had back at 18.
 In fact, he missed his brothers and wanted to get to know the women they were settling down with. And he had two nephews he barely knew. That wasn’t right. His momma, if she were still alive, would never have let him stay gone so long.
 But he was stubborn just like his daddy and being Hudson, he was determined he could outlast the old man. Except when he’d been home in June he’d realized that Jeb Scott really was getting old and maybe it was time to stop running. So he’d taken this job as a bodyguard and horse wrangler for Alan Jennings Farewell Summer Tour. They were hitting county fairs from Tennessee to Montana for the next two months.
 “What do I look like?” he asked.
 “Trouble,” she said. “Like one of the guys my gramps would drink with back in the day. Except, he’s an old man and not a partier anymore.”
 “Would Gramps, the reformed partier, approve of you acting like a groupie to a man who could probably your grandfather?”
 She looked at him like he was speaking Chinese.
 “I’m not a groupie. I’m his granddaughter.”
 “So you are claiming to be Alan’s granddaughter?” he asked. He’d grown up on country music and knew all about Alan Jennings, his talented daughter Maryann who’d gone on to marry Keith Wells. It had been a marriage made in country music heaven that had ended in tragedy.
 “I am. Actually I’m a little bit disappointed you don’t recognize me. Being Gramps’ body guard and all,” she said. “Surely, he told you I’d be stopping by to stock his tour bus before he left. I do it every summer.”
 “You’re a smartass, aren’t you?” he asked.
 “Not normally, no,” she said. “Who are you? Really?”
 He tipped his cowboy hat back on his head and looked over at her with a steady stare that had been known to make even the rowdiest of drunk rednecks back down. “I’m the body guard.”
 She bit her bottom lip and then nodded. “Okay, you convinced me with your scary-stare. Can I know which tour bus is his now?”He nodded. “That one over there.”
 “Thank you. Why does he need a body guard?” she asked. “Is there any danger to him?”
 “No, ma’am. I’m here to wrangle the horse for his show and provide some security for him. I guess his record label just wanted to make sure no one got crazy.”
 “Why would they? In the last few years’ attendance hasn’t been that great. I mean his core fans are getting older just like he is.”
 Hudson realized that she didn’t know that Alan was retiring. Everyone was pretty sure his retirement tour was going to bring out the fans and like Alan’s agent said, maybe a few crazies. So Hudson was here to make sure nothing happened to the old man or anyone else touring with him.
 “He’s retiring,” Hudson said.
 “What?” She almost dropped her bag as she stared at him. And he was glad that he wasn’t going to be on the receiving end of that temper.
 “That’s what I was told. And why I was hired. It’s nice to meet you,” he said, holding out his hand.
 She brushed past him without responding, but he wasn’t bothered. He just stood there and watched her walk away. Her hips swaying with each step she took, the bag in her arm swinging wildly.
 Summer just got a little more interesting.

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