Please welcome guest author Hebby Roman to my blog!!
Good Morning, Romance Readers,
First, I would like to thank Kristy for offering to host our boxed set collection of contemporary western romances, A COWBOY TO KEEP, by spotlighting some of its authors on her blog, “Pathways.”
Our collection of seven authors’ stories has a little bit of everything for a lover of western romance. We have ranchers and rodeos, mavericks and marshals, mysteries and suspense, feisty cowgirls and handsome cowboys, and one story contains strong paranormal elements. (I’ll let you guess which one!) It’s truly a collection of what makes western romance a joy to read.
My story in the boxed set is entitled: BORDER ROMANCE, and I believe it’s the only story in the set that can be termed a “seasoned romance.” Just another bit of diversity for this awesome collection of western stories.
But what exactly is a seasoned romance? It’s a romance between couples older than forty, sometimes called a second-chance at love, depending on the heroine and hero’s past history together.
Personal experience is a big part of the appeal of seasoned romance, and my inspiration for writing my first seasoned romance, TO DANCE AGAIN, came from a very personal situation.
My husband’s cousin, along with his new wife, stayed with us while he went to specialists to investigate possible treatments for a rare eye condition he had, which could lead to blindness.
I was so moved by his courage and his wife’s support, I found myself entertaining the idea of a book featuring high school sweethearts, reunited after twenty years. She’s widowed, he’s divorced, and they both harbor secrets. The hero feels he’s living on borrowed time and can’t share his condition with the heroine because he doesn’t want her to pity him. And she’s kept a secret from him that goes to the very heart of their love.
Experimenting with the mature themes of widowhood, failed marriages, missed opportunities, and even what could be a devastating illness within the framework of a romance, whetted my appetite for more. For me, as an author, that’s what makes them fascinating to write, their inherent diversity and depth. Throw in some grown children who don’t approve of Mom and Dad moving on with their lives, financial struggles, and even grandchildren to consider, not to mention exes of all kinds, and you know there’s a wealth of conflict to tap into before the heroine and hero can reach their happy place.
I’ve also written another series of contemporary romances called, “The Snowbirds,” about mature couples finding love in an RV Park.
Given my writing experience, it shouldn’t be a surprise that my book in this collection is a seasoned romance, too. BORDER ROMANCE is the third in my series called, “On the Border.” The first book in the series is about Leticia Rodriguez, and her early struggles to save her family’s business and find love and happiness after a disastrous divorce. In the second book of the series, Leticia’s daughter, Camila, is featured and her May-December romance with Leticia’s ranching partner, Rusty.
At the end of the second book, Leticia, now widowed, needs help training her charro horses. Charro horses are specially trained “trick” horses, much like the famous Lippizzaner stallions of Austria. They appear in Mexican rodeos, doing tricks and dancing around the arena on their back legs.
Leticia hires Franco Ramos, a Mexican national, for his superb credentials, particularly with regard to training charro horses. When they meet, he reminds her of her late husband, and she’s attracted to him. And that’s where the second book ends.
Thus, the kernel of the story for BORDER ROMANCE was born. What if, Leticia, lonely and grieving for eight years, falls in love with her new handsome horse trainer?
How will they overcome the sticky situation of Leticia being the employer of a macho Mexican national? And even if Ramos falls for her, is he willing to give up his native country, along with his children who still live there? The built-in conflict seemed perfect for a seasoned romance.
But when I started writing the book, it suddenly veered off, going in a very different direction. Leticia’s foreman purchases a Quarter horse who’s been bred for speed, and she considers starting a Quarter horse racing stable. Her new venture brings her into contact with an old boyfriend. An old boyfriend whose high-handed tactics when they were young and both newly-divorced, helped to drive her into her late husband’s arms.
So, who will Leticia choose, her hunky horse trainer or a way-too-handsome millionaire rancher she’s known since high school? I hope you’ll read our boxed set and my story to find out what happens to her.
Includes BORDER ROMANCE
Now available at AMAZON
Only 99 cents
Border Romance Blurb
When Leticia Villarreal, a lonely widow, considers adding Quarter horse racing to her ranch, she finds she has a lot to learn. John Clay Laidlaw, a millionaire rancher and old acquaintance, races Quarter horses and offers to help. But he also cares for her and wants a relationship. Remembering his high-handed tactics when they were young, she doesn’t trust him. But when someone tries to harm her horses and John Clay rushes to her rescue, can she open her heart to him?
Border Romance Excerpt
John Clay swung back into the saddle and said, “You might think that calf is stupid but compared to sheep, she’s a virtual Einstein.”
Leticia threw back her head and laughed.
“But why cattle?” He asked. “I thought your ranch was all about horses?”
“Yes, this is a horse ranch. The cattle are just a sideline. We don’t keep a bull, but for some of the better-bred heifers, we use our neighbor’s Angus bull. Keeps the herd young. We cull the older ones and sell them, of course.”
“I’m surprised you bother.” He inclined his head toward the ranch house. “Must keep you busy, considering you said you’re short-handed.”
“Oh, that, it’s only temporary.” She removed her Stetson and wiped her arm across her brow. The spring day was heating up. “We need the cattle to properly train our horses. Our charro horses are our pride and joy, but we’re just getting back into them. Mostly, we train working Quarter horses, and you can’t train a cutting horse or calf-roping horse without cows.” She pursed her lips.
He slapped the side of his head. “Stupid of me. I wasn’t thinking. I’m all about sheep, except for my racing stable.”
She laughed again. “Hey, don’t get overwrought and knock your hat off.”
“Yeah.” He grinned and shook his head. “Kinda silly.”
And how right she was, he was acting like a goofy middle-schooler, just being around her. “So, your manpower shortage is temporary. Does that mean I won’t usually find you rounding up cattle?”
“No, not usually. I always have plenty of paperwork to keep me from riding out. But today has been a nice break.”
“I like the mare you’re riding; she’s a good-looking horse.”
“Why, thank you, Mr. Laidlaw, how nice of you to say.” She patted her horse’s neck. “Yep, Pearl is a sweetie. Rusty and Camila brought her back from Ponder last year, and she was so good at everything, we couldn’t make up our minds how to train her, cutting horse or calf-roping or…”
She’d moved ahead to a thicket of live oak and ducked her head under a low-lying branch. “My mare, Sally, was getting old, so I decided to keep Pearl for myself.”
He followed her into the thicket, staying behind her horse to navigate the rough, one-horse trail through the trees and undergrowth.
She cleared the thicket and stopped, waiting for him. He could see the ranch house ahead. He drew alongside her. “At least you have the grass for horses and cows. My ranches only support sheep. We keep some milk cows for the ranch hands, but other than that, it’s mostly mesquite and cactus and patchy prairie grass on my spreads.”
She raised up in her stirrups. “Yes, Eduardo chose well. This land is fertile, and we irrigate some, using Las Moras creek to grow our own hay.”
She gathered her reins and smoothed them, half-turning toward him. “But I can’t wait to show you my new charro horse foal. Midnight Princess just threw a beautiful colt a couple of weeks’ ago.”
“I won’t say no to seeing one of your charro horses. I remember how talented Eduardo’s horses were. I was sorry when I heard you’d quit breeding them for a time.”
John Clay gazed at Leticia, and he thought he could see the faintest glimmer of moisture on her eyelashes. It was obvious she was still grieving for Eduardo? Where didthat leave him?
She dropped her head and fidgeted with her reins, smoothing the long ends. “Yes, Eduardo was magic with the horses.” She bit her lip.
He wished he was the one biting her lip, her neck, and lower…
Hebby Roman is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, SUMMER DREAMS, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino romances. And her re-published e-book, SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction. She was selected for the Romantic Times “Texas Author” award, and she won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection. Her contemporary romance, TO DANCE AGAIN, was a 2016 RONE Finalist.
You can find Hebby at the following sites: