Friday, March 28, 2014


 Cinderella stories still exist, and characters still find their fairy tale ending. HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME, Texas Home series book one, is a modern day Cinderella story with a happily-ever-after ending that (I hope) will leave you sighing and wishing for the next in the series. Two more books in the series will be released this summer, unless life plays dirty tricks on me—again. 

I’ve just recovered my rights to this book. When an author recovers rights to a book, the rights don't include the cover, which was produced by the previous publisher.  I love the new cover created by Ramona Lockwood. She's also doing the covers for the next two in the Texas Home series, FINDING MY TEXAS HOME and BACK TO MY TEXAS HOME.

HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME is a sweet contemporary set in West Texas near where I grew up. My uncle and cousins were farmers who also sometimes raised cattle. Can’t keep all your eggs in one basket, right? My husband had several uncles who were ranchers and farmers, and some of his cousins still farm. Both Hero and I grew up in Lubbock, called “the Hub of the Plains” by their Chamber of Commerce.

A cotton field near Lubbock, Texas
On Highway 84

To raise money to build their new house, my father-in-law raised cotton on a field at the edge of town and my husband had to help. Hero remembers clearing hundreds of tumbleweeds from the land and burning them. Needless to say, he hates tumbleweeds. After several years, the family had saved enough cash to buy a lot and build on it, with my father-in-law as contractor and doing some of the work himself. Once they’d saved enough to build the house, that was the end of their cotton farming. My husband was grateful. I suspect his father was even more so.

Not threatening singly, but tumbleweeds tend
to collect on fencelines and in fields.

When Hero came in dirty and tired from working in the field, his mom would tell him that if he didn’t go to college, he’d be doing work like that forever. He didn’t know what his degree would be in, but he knew then that he was going to college so he’d never have to farm again. 

He went from college to work in Dallas. But later we moved to a rural acreage for over 20 years so he could raise peaches and vegetables in addition to his rocket scientist job. Life does play funny tricks on us, doesn’t it? We sold our acreage and home last summer and moved to our current snug home in a Fort Worth suburb.

Hero just can’t get farming out of his blood, though, and has a nice garden at the back of our current property. We have a lovely yard with lots of large trees. We’ve placed roses in the areas where there’s enough sun. But I digress.

About the time my future husband was burning tumbleweeds and “chopping cotton,” as hoeing weeds is called, my family moved to Lubbock so Dad could buy cotton. We had spent three years in small rural areas where my dad managed a cotton gin. 

Although we didn't know Hero or his family at the time, my dad chose our house at the same edge of town as where my husband lived. We were so pleased to have our own new home. Dad had built houses when we lived in California when I was small, but the house he was building for us always ended up sold because he and mother couldn’t turn down a tidy profit. 

Anyway, we were happy to finally own one similar—though not nearly as well built—to those Dad had built in California. Our first year in Lubbock, cotton plants came up in our flowerbeds because the housing development was carved from a cotton farm. 

You can see that a book about that area might be close to my heart. Here’s the HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME blurb:

Courtney Madison has battled poverty her entire twenty-five years but is determined to make a safe and happy home for her teenaged brother after the recent death of their mom. Her mom’s illness left Courtney with a mountain of hospital bills, her formerly sweet brother Jimmy is now cutting class and hanging with a rough crowd, and she’s just learned she’s being downsized in two weeks. Hanging on by the threads of a fraying rope, she learns she’s inherited two million dollars from a kind elderly man she befriended when he was in the hospital across the hall from her mom. She thinks her inheritance in West Texas is the answer to all her prayers--but Courtney learns that while money improves her life, it doesn’t guarantee happiness. This modern Cinderella encounters problems even a fairy godmother couldn’t imagine.

Rancher/entrepeneur Derek Corrigan has incredible instincts for flourishing in the business world. With women, not so much. In fact, his friends bemoan he’s King Midas where money is concerned, but his judgment of women is pathetic--evidenced by his late wife and now the flamboyant woman he’s been escorting of late. As far as Derek is concerned, all he wants is to be a good dad to his children Warren, aged 8, and Meg, aged 5. Derek suspects the worst of his new neighbor and vows to fight his attraction for her. The only way he can protect his children and himself is to keep his private life very private. Besides, he knows what women do to him--they always leave and take chunks of his heart with them. He's been there, done that, had the vaccination and is cured. Isn't he?

Set up: Derek surprised both he and Courtney when he asked her to the Winter Madness Ball held at the local county club.

They joined the others circling the room and Derek pulled her into his arms. He looked down at her while they twirled to a waltz. His beautiful cobalt eyes held passion and tenderness. She sighed and rested her head on his shoulder.
His arm tightened, snuggling her to him. His lips brushed her hair and she thought he murmured her name. Contentment washed over her, sending her encounter with Janelle far away.
          A samba followed. He put both hands on her hips and she rested her hands on his shoulders. They moved as one to the rhythmic beats. Erotic fantasies invaded her mind. Tropical isles, sun drenched beaches, surf gliding gently over their entwined bodies.
          In the middle of the next number, a fox trot, Derek guided her to the edge of the ballroom floor and out into the lobby. Gently, he pulled her into a shadowy corner before he pressed his lips to hers. For Courtney, they were alone in the universe.
          He pulled her closer and she melted at his touch. She slipped her hands inside his jacket and wound both arms around him to knead his back, oblivious to anyone else in the world.
          As he slowly raised his head, she felt herself pulled into those deep blue eyes.
          Her senses reeled from his kiss and she struggled to maintain at least a shred of her sanity. “You’re a prominent person here, and this is a public area.”
          “You’re right, but I couldn’t wait a second longer to kiss you.” He pulled her head to his chest. “Let me hold you a few moments longer.”
          With his arms gently caressing her, she rested against his chest. When at last she raised her head to meet his gaze, he exhaled in resignation and brushed his lips across hers. “I know, I know. We should rejoin the others.”

HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME is available in print and e-book from Amazon and in e-book from other online stores. I hope you’ll give it a read and let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!

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