Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Honky Tonk Hearts Series

Honky Tonk Hearts Guests by Lauri Robinson

I’m back today with a couple more authors from The Wild Rose Press and their Honky Tonk Hearts Series. The books in this series are centered around the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk located near Amarillo, Texas ran by Gus Rankin, and come in all heat levels. Books released in the Honk Tonk Hearts Series so far include:

Honky Tonk Man by Sylvie Kaye
Nothing but Trouble by Jannine Gallant
Sing to Me, Cowboy by Lauri Robinson
Those Violet Eyes by Vonnie Davis
The Morning After by Brenda Whiteside

Lauri: Thanks, Vonnie and Sherri, for joining us today. Let’s start with you each sharing a bit about yourselves.

Vonnie: I’m a retired technical writer who’s exchanged her tailored clothes for the feathered boa of a romance writer. I’m married to another author whom I met online ten years ago. Two old fogies looking for love on match dot com. Can you dig it? His writing is more literary; mine is more sensual. Still, no wife has a more supportive spouse than I. He is my rock.

I write contemporary, historical and romantic suspense. Most of them have cowboy heroes, I must confess. Cowboys or French government agents. How’s that for a mixture? My debut book, Storm’s Interlude, takes place on a ranch in Texas. It was nominated for Book of the Year at Long and Short Reviews and received the HOLT Medallion Award of Excellence in two categories: Best Book by a Virginia Author and Best Mainstream/Single Title.
You can find me on the web at these locations:
BUY LINK FOR Those Violet Eyes on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/TVEVonnieDavis

Lauri: Match dot com! Vonnie, that’s wonderful! And congrats on your past successes with Storm’s Interlude.   

Now for some background on Sherri.

Sherri: I have always been drawn to the county, but grew up in the city. A few years ago my husband and I moved our four children out to a small fourteen acre farm. I love waking in the morning to the sight of pasture and woods, chickens and horses, dogs and cats. Living here has been a dream come true and has definitely enhanced my experiences, which I hope shows in my writing. I started writing off and on about thirteen years ago but seriously about two years ago. Occasionally, you will find one of my beloved animals in my stories so watch for them.

Lauri: Your small farm does sound like a dream come true, Sherri! Best wishes on your writing career!

Vonnie, tell us a bit about your Honky Tonk Hearts story.  

Vonnie: My tag line is: Falling in love was not on his agenda, until he looked into those violet eyes.

THOSE VIOLET EYES released the end of June. My hero is a wounded vet who lost part of his leg and three of his team members when their Humvee ran over an IED in Iraq. Win’s come back to Texas to heal and find a part of his soul. He has a dream of opening a ranch for children with amputee limbs, but the rundown ranch he’s bought needs a lot of work. To earn a little extra coin and to keep his demons at bay, by staying super busy, he taken a job as a part-time cook at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. Evie hates her life. She wants to escape the work and the dirt of her brother’s ranch. To do so, she works evenings as a waitress at the honky tonk, squirreling away all of her tips. Initially, Win is pretty self-contained. He’s a mass of mangled war debris, but he’s drawn to this spitfire with the mesmerizing eyes. Evie is a keg of dynamite with a short fuse…and Win knows how to strike his match.

Lauri: Aw, a touch of a workplace romance! Nice.  

How about your book, Sherri?

Sherri: My book is LOST MEMORIES.

When your past is a blank, it’s hard to trust the future…

Darcy Brooks, the newest employee on The Matthews Dude Ranch, has amnesia. She woke up in the Northwest Texas Hospital with no family or friends around her, but is determined not to let life pass her by and sets out to create new memories.

Nick Matthews is the oldest of four boys and head of his family’s dude ranch. He takes his responsibilities very serious and blames himself when things go wrong.

Lauri:  Interesting! I recently met a man who had amnesia not once but twice. His wife said the second time it happened, he’d done nothing more than walk in the closet to get a shirt. When she found him standing there, she told me all she could think was, “Oh, no, here we go again.”

So, Vonnie and Sherri, tell us what you like best about your stories.

Vonnie: Besides the chemistry between Win and Evie? I’d have to say it’s the underlying theme of reaching for your dreams. It’s a rather personal theme for me. I knew at the age of eleven that I wanted to write books. Life and self-doubt got in the way, and it wasn’t until I turned 63 that I achieved my dream. So much time was wasted, ladies. So much time… Win wants to help kids, and he’s actively pursuing his dream. Evie’s dream of becoming a teacher was put on hold when her momma got cancer. She came home to care for her and thanks to a promise she made to her momma—to take care of her brother, Dooley—her dream has died. Until Win pushes her to go after it.

Sherri: The way Nick and Darcy are there for each other.  They have some trying times but through it all their friendship grows and becomes so much more.

Lauri: Dreams and friendships, I’d say both stories will tug at reader’s heart strings. Give us some excerpts! (They can include a cowboy kiss if you’d like.)

Vonnie: A brief intro: While Win takes a break from the cooking, a fight breaks out in the Lonesome Steer between two men. When one picks up a chair to throw it, Win steps into the line of fire to keep Evie safe. The chair hits him. Evie returns with ice in a towel and kisses the owner’s cheek, thanking him for being so goodhearted…

Win twisted from side to side and hoped his back muscles wouldn’t cramp up later. Hell, hadn’t he saved her? Hadn’t he moved her out of harm’s way? Where was his kiss? He sucked air when the coldness hit his skin. Win glared at her for a beat. “I’m goodhearted, too, you know.”
“Hunh! You’re more foolish than goodhearted. What made you rush to my rescue like that? I’ve handled fights before.”
“Not any more you don’t. Not as long as I’m around.”
“You’ve got a chauvinistic streak in you, Win Fairchild.” She moved the ice pack further up his back. “I can take care of myself, I’ll have you know.”
He glanced over his shoulder at her. “Tell me, do you ever get tired of being Wonder Woman?”
“Every damn day.” Her violet eyes regarded him for a minute. A slow smile played at the corners of her lips before she leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Thanks, by the way.”
Win turned slightly and wrapped an arm around her waist. Her shocked expression when he pulled her close pleased him. “Surely you can do better than that.”
His eyes locked on hers and he lowered his head to give her a couple of feather-light kisses. Her lips were soft and responsive. She sighed against his lips, and he was a goner. One taste of her wouldn’t be enough. Hell, a thousand tastes would never be enough. He kissed her again, longer, deeper, fiercer.
Hoots and hollers finally broke through the sensual fog of his mind, and he pulled away.
Her hand went to his chest and curled into his shirt. Passion glazed eyes looked up at him. “I…ah…I have to get back to work.” She hurried off with her cute tush twitching in that denim skirt.
Wow, was all he could think. Evie packed one wow of a punch. And the most endearing thing about her was she didn’t have a clue that her punch anchored in the depths of his heart.

  Sherri: Lost Memories unedited excerpt:

Darcy rose onto her elbows. Yuck. Her jeans were caked with mud and who knew what else. Anxious to get out of the stench, she placed her hand in his. Palm to palm, her heart skipped a beat, and she forgot to breath.
He tugged on her arm, pulling her to her feet. Slamming into his torso, his arm went around her waist. The momentum made her step back into one of Horace’s holes, knocking them both off balance.  At the last moment, he twisted, bracing her on top of his hard chest as they landed back in the muck. Air whooshed from her lips. She stared at his mud splattered form in horror.
Oh, God, he’s sure to fire me now.
“I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you? Are you okay?” She yanked her foot to free it, catching her boot on the cuff of his jeans.
“I would be if you’d stop kicking me.”
Ceasing all movement, she stared at him in horror.
She bit her bottom rim to keep from laughing as she wiped the specks of mud from his cheek, making the damage ten times worse. His skin was warm and bristly under her finger. She quickly withdrew her hand.
His chest rumbled beneath her.
A warm, tingling spread through her body. Startled, she levitated herself by placing her palms on his chest.
His lips lifted at the corners before he broke out in a full laugh.
A second later she joined him.
“You should see yourself.”
“Me? What about you?”
His thump wiped a clump of sludge off her check. Nick moved his leg. Every hard inch of him pressed into her flesh, branding her to him. He tucked a stray curl behind her ear.
A spark ignited in her toes and heat worked through her body. His chest rose and fell in a rapid pace beneath her palms, but her own air suspended in her lungs. She fought a wild urge to rake a fingernail over his unshaved jaw.
 She sucked in a breath. This was not right. The way her body succumbed to one touch of his hand was wrong. 
She pulled her knees up in an effort to get to her feet. Large hands encased the back of her thighs in a stilling motion, and she ending up straddling him as he rose to a sitting position. A helpless gasp robbed her of speech and pulled his eyes to her lips.
Her stomach fluttered. Ripples of anticipation churned deep inside and she forced herself to look away. The magnificent body was off limits. He's my employer for goodness sake.
She gave herself a mental shake and swallowed the moan rising in her throat.
 “I-I must look quite a sight,” she commented, trying to escape her own thoughts.
“We both do.” He smirked, revealing a devilish indentation in his left cheek.
When did he get a dimple? She didn’t remember seeing one before.
Muscles flexed under her and the heat of him seeped through her jeans. She glanced away, wondering how to talk her jelly filled muscles into getting up. Failing to persuade her body, her sights returned to his. Green specks highlighted his brown orbs—another new finding to keep the breath from my lungs.
“We, uh, should get cleaned up.”
His voice broke through her muddled brain. Nodding, one by one she convinced her limbs to move and scrambled to her feet before he attempted to help her again.

Lauri: Great excerpts!  Please tell about reviews/what/where you’ll be next promoting your book or other books you have coming out.

Vonnie: Those Violet Eyes has received some lovely reviews. I’m especially thrilled with remarks from a reviewer in Finland. The link to her review is http://bit.ly/QXwKFF .

I have a historical romance coming out October 31st. Tumbleweed Letters is a novella set in 1879 in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. Imagine a solemn widower’s reaction when his two-year-old son lays claim to a scrub woman for a local brothel.

Sherri: On August 22 I’ll be at  http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.ca/
And http://babettejames.com/posts/ on September 10th.

Lauri: Thanks Vonnie and Sherri, so much for being here today, and congrats on the awesome additions to this series. I’ll be hosting another Honky Tonk Hearts author, Donna Michaels, here at Cowboy Kisses August 28th.


Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Lauri, thanks for interviewing authors in the Honky Tonk Hearts series and for having me here today.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I don't know Sherry, but Vonnie is a sweetheart. Nice of you to share your time with them, Lauri. This is such a fun series. But I remember years ago trying to explain what a "honky tonk" was to someone from the East. ☺

Stacy D. Holmes, Editor said...

Both books are great, unique stories with the cowboys we all love!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Aw, Caroline, thanks for your kind words. I'm from PA originally, so have never been inside a honky tonk. Thank goodness Stacy, our editor, described it so well in her submissions call for the series. I imagine them as huge places--this is Texas, after all--full of dynamic storylines one would love to study over a class of beer.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Stacy is so right, ladies. If you love your cowboys, this is a series not to be missed.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm reading Those Violet Eyes right now and loving it. It's the third one and I'm looking forward to all of them. I grew up in AZ so lots of cowboys. Great series. Great blog today.

Jannine Gallant said...

Congratulations on your releases with this terrific series, ladies. I've read Vonnie's book. It was wonderful. I'm looking forward to Sherri's story. Fun interview.

Paty Jager said...

Fun interview and a great series! Keep those cowboys coming!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Brenda. Ladies, Brenda wrote a hoot of a story for the series that had me smiling from beginning to end. Her hero befuddled the heroine at every turn. She'd never met a man like him before...

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

What can I say about Jannine's cowboy in her story? Sigh. Pass me that fan over there and just let me sigh...

Thanks for your kind words about my book. Writing their chemistry was so much fun.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Oh, Paty, I love cowboys, don't you? Even if they're only five-foot-two, they're always larger than life. Must be all that attitude under their hats.

Lauri said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by today! I had a great time getting to know more about Vonnie and Sherri and their Honky Tonk stories, and I'm glad you are too!

Nancy Jardine Author said...

Can anyone tell me how come I can't find the time to get on with all my reading just now? I've got so many lovely books waiting for me-Honky Tonks are getting nearer the top now, though!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Except for 3 authors, I only read WRP authors. We've got a lot of talent in the Garden, as we call it. I know you'll enjoy the HTH series. And I have your book on my TBR list, too. Can't wait!

Debra St. John said...

Mmmnnn. Great excerpts. Gotta love those cowboys and those first kisses. Or those almost kisses. Yum.


Debra St. John said...

Mnnnn. Gotta love those cowboys and those first kisses. Or those almost kisses. Yum.

Sherri Thomas said...

I couldn't agree with Stacy and Vonnie more!! THis is a wonderful series!

Sherri Thomas said...

Thanks Jannine! I love Vonnie's story as well. I will be sure to let everyone know the release date when one is availabe.

Sherri Thomas said...

I too am having a hard time finding time to read, Nancy. I'm hoping the early winter months may slow things down a bit.

Sherri Thomas said...

Thank you again for having us.

Donna Michaels said...

Laurie, thanks for a great interview with Vonnie and Sherri! I'm happy to be a part of the HTH with them.

I loved Vonnie's story Those Violet Eyes and was lucky to have her hero Win grace the beginning of my story. He was in the same unit as my heroine. Oorah!

Now, I look forward to reading Sherri's Lost Memories!! I've no doubt I will enjoy it from start to finish.