Saturday, April 9, 2016

WelcomeLinda Hubalek to Cowboy Kisses

Thanks for inviting me to be on Cowboy Kisses today!
Your blog title makes me think of kissing scenes in romance books. Some stories may have very “steamy” kissing scenes right away in the story, and in others, you might have to wait a while for the couple to finally kiss.
My romance stories feature strong pioneer women and honorable men in the 1800s, tackling real-life problems while slowly falling in love. Problems tend to get in the way of romance, so couples aren’t always quick to get to that step.
(In fact, I finished writing Darcie Desires a Drover and realized they hadn’t even kissed in the book, and I had to go back and add a couple of scenes!)
But the story has to be written as the couple evolve, so each story is different. Here’s the first kissing scene is Rania Ropes a Rancher…and it didn’t go as Jacob planned…

(Excerpt from Rania Ropes a Rancher © by Linda K. Hubalek)
“Good morning, Jacob,” Rania smiled, trying to hide her amusement at his sudden jump when she and King surprised him.
“Hello, Rania. Nice to see you.” Jacob rocked back and forth on his boot heels, not quite sure if Rania saw the package he held behind his back, and what he should do next.
“Uh, this is for you, Rania.” Jacob blushed, not believing how tongue-tied he felt all of a sudden. And then realized he hadn’t handed her the present yet, so thrust it at her.
Rania took the package, now blushing too. “Should I open it now?”
“Yes, please. But be careful, it’s…maybe you should open it on the kitchen table.” Jacob gestured to the front porch, turned the door handle and gestured again for Rania to enter first.
Rania walked in, and glanced back at Jacob as he followed her into the kitchen. He sat down in a chair, folded his hands on the table, and gripped them tightly as she turned the brown paper-wrapped package around and around in her hands.
“What is it?” Rania teased as she probed the paper and watched Jacob grit his teeth while he tried to smile.
She slowly, and carefully, turned the item in one hand and pulled the paper off an inch at a time with the other hand. Jacob released his held breath in relief as Rania gasped and smiled at the vase she held in her hand. “This is beautiful, Jacob. Is this really for me?”
“Do you like it?” Jacob was so happy with her surprised explanation; he felt seven feet tall instead of six. He rose, and took her hand, “How about we take a walk and find some pretty flowers to put in your new vase?”
When Jacob got to the front door, he reached for his hat that he usually put on the wall peg when he came into her house, then felt his face flush when he realized his hat was still on his head. He hadn’t taken off his hat when he came in. Good grief. He needed to calm down, or he’d never be able to ask to court her.
The sky was blue, the wind calm and Jacob had never seen so many wildflowers in his life now that his world was looking rosy. Rania flitted from one bunch of flowers to the next, barely containing her excitement at filling her new vase with fresh flowers. Jacob felt like a hero, following Rania around with his pocket knife, cutting the stems she pointed at, and felt like a prince when he handed the cut flower to her outstretched hand. Her arm was full of so many flowers when they walked back to the house that he wished he could have bought a crystal bucket to hold the bouquet instead of a little vase.
“I think I picked enough flowers for several arrangements. I’ll put the best stems in your pretty vase to view from the kitchen table, and put the rest in a pitcher to set on my bedroom dresser.” Rania looked so happy right now that Jacob knew it was time for his big announcement. But first, he’d try for a kiss—after she got her flowers arranged like she wanted them.
When Rania walked back from the bedroom Jacob stood and took her hands. “Like your gift?” He returned her big smile and changed his hands to hold her waist. “Maybe enough to give me a little thank-you kiss?” Jacob teased.
He felt Rania tense up a moment, but then relax. “I like that you’re tall, Rania. I can look you straight in the eye instead of having to bend down. And it’s so handy to kiss you, too.” Jacob softly touched Rania’s lips for a second, and then backed off to look in her eyes. Why were they squeezed shut? Then Rania opened her eyes and leaned up and touched her lips to his, making him forget his worry.
Jacob felt elated as Rania’s arms wrapped around his shoulders, pulling him against her chest. This was what he wanted, a passionate woman he could share his life with. The kiss felt so right between them and he wanted to continue savoring her lips forever, but he forced himself to stop and pull Rania away at arm’s length. It was time to talk.
“Rania, I’ve already talked to Dagmar and asked his permission.” Rania looked confused, so Jacob took a deep breath and smiled to calm her worried face. “I think you’re very special and I have a question to ask you.” Jacob took another breath before continuing, “I’d like to court you in hopes that you’d agree to become my wife.”
Her shocked look, then crumbling face was not what he expected at all. “Rania? What’s wrong?” Rania was starting to hyperventilate until she got herself under control.
“I…I have to tell you something, Jacob. I’m honored that you asked me but…”
“But what?” Jacob asked warily as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. This wasn’t the reaction he thought he’d get from Rania.
“I think I’m pregnant.”
Jacob stepped back like she had just slapped him. “What did you just say?”
Rania looked like she could faint, but his arms weren’t about to catch her.
She wouldn’t look at him when she said again, “I’m pregnant.”
Jacob’s shocked silence caused Rania to lift her eyes to meet his. Tears streamed down her face but she didn’t lift a hand to wipe them away, and neither did he.
Jacob spun on his heel and stormed out the door, forgetting he had hung his hat on the peg by the door this time.
“Jacob, please let me explain…” Rania called after him, but Jacob didn’t stop his rapid descent from the porch.

Hmm…might take a while before they kiss again, but you know they’ll get their happily ever after eventually. This first book in my Brides with Grit book is free, so you can read it now to find out! Enjoy!

Many thanks—from the Kansas prairie—and for having me on Cowboy Kisses today!

Linda Hubalek

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Susana said...

Okay, now I'm intrigued.

Who the heck got her pregnant?
Don't tell me it's an immaculate conception?

I guess I'll have to get the book to find out.

Linda Hubalek said...

Hi Susana,
Something happened along the cattle trail from Texas to Kansas...and yes you'll have to read the book to find out why Rania's expecting. (Don't worry, she has a very happy ending with a sweet rancher.)