Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Kari Lynn Dell | Difficult Pasts Lead to a Happy Ever After: Ambitions, Dreams, and Overcoming Adversity
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

For about the first ten years of my writing career, I collected rejection slips like normal people collect photos from their family vacations, souvenirs of an extended stay in an alternate reality. Most of those nopes had a distinct theme: love your writing, love the rodeo action, but your characters are just too nice. Or as one editor told my agent, “She needs to rough them up.” I am embarrassed to say that I resisted for a very long time. I wanted my heroes and heroines to be smart and sensible, someone I’d like for a friend. I didn’t want to let them make dumb mistakes and bad decisions. But finally I realized that even smart people do dumb things. Life inflicts damage on pretty much everyone, and none of us is as together as we’d like the world to think. As Grace McKenna tells Hank Brookman in Mistletoe in Texas when he complains that his brother-in-law is too perfect, “Wyatt is as much of a mess as all the rest of us. He just looks better doing it.” But why are we so drawn to flawed characters? The easy answer is that the harder the battle, the more satisfying…

Nicole Helm | The Long Good-bye or is it?
Author Guest / September 11, 2018

Back in early 2014 I first conceived the town of Blue Valley, Montana—the setting of both my Big Sky Cowboys series, and my current Navy SEAL Cowboys series. From the very beginning, it was a rough-and-tumble town inhabited by rough-and-tumble people. Most of the cowboys weren’t your traditional sort—a disgraced hockey player, the town screw up, and then a trio of Navy SEALs with physical and emotional scars. It’s that trio that makes up my Navy SEAL Cowboys series this year. It’s been a truly amazing experience to write about three injured SEALs coming to Blue Valley to build a ranch that will act as a foundation for wounded veterans such as themselves—those who need a place to feel useful again, to engage in some therapeutic horsemanship. And in the case of Revival Ranch’s three SEAL founders, fall in love. Coming to the end of a series is never easy. It’s a bit like moving away from home. For four years, I’ve spent a lot of time in Blue Valley, and for the past two I’ve been building Revival Ranch right along with my characters. I’ve spent hours there, imagining what it looks like, sounds like, and sometimes even smells…

June Faver – Do or Die Cowboy
Author Guest / September 4, 2018

Texas is a big state, and a great many of our male citizens wear cowboy boots and a Stetson or other brand cowboy hat. That doesn’t mean that man is a cowboy. Texas also hosts some huge and amazing rodeos, so especially during rodeo season, everyone togs up in western wear, as though they know which end of a horse is which. So, when I say REAL COWBOY, I’m talking about the men who actually work on a ranch, ride horses, shovel out stalls, plant crops, raise cattle and have a whole different way of looking at life than the city fellows. A real cowboy is generally down to earth, would do anything to help a neighbor, and they have a certain inner confidence that comes across. Gotta love a Real Cowboy. 1) Real cowboys know how to treat a woman. If you have ever loved and been loved by a real cowboy, you wouldn’t have to ask. <g> 2) Real cowboys do not wear baggy, saggy pants, and they do know how to fill out their Wranglers 3) When a Real Cowboy walks into a room all the women know there’s a man in the room…and so do the…