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Triple Crown Fever and a #Free book

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago? California Chrome ran a perfect race – just off the pace until the last furlong, but then in perfect position to push through to the finish ahead of everyone else. He won by a length and three quarters.

Here’s what one analyst says about how this colt races: “It wasn’t just that California Chrome was running fast, but how he was running fast that so impressed me. He ran completely relaxed, no wasted energy. Then, when it was time, the colt, with one devastating move, ended his races” (Daily Racing Form, May 7). You can catch photos of the race at this LINK.

What hubs and I especially love about this year’s Triple Crown race is the rags-to-riches story behind this colt, so much like our heroine’s dad, Tug O’Hanlon, in Cassie’s Hope (Riders Up, Book One). California Chrome’s owners, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, bought the dam for only $8,000. When they decided to breed her, they were told only a “dumbass” would do that. They boldly named their racing stable “Dumb Ass Partners” and their racing silks sport a donkey on the back.

They bred the dam into a line we’ve been following for years – the sire, Lucky Pulpit, is a son of Pulpit, out of AP Indy. We wrote those bloodlines into Cassie’s Hope. Early on, Clint tells Tug, “The Pulpit and his lines should add some vigor to your foal crops. Could give you some interesting nicks in the future.”

So you can bet we’ll be pulling for California Chrome and thinking of Tug O’Hanlon when the starting gates open at this week’s Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

To celebrate, Book Two in our Riders Up series will be FREE all day Saturday, the day of the race. Be sure to stop by this LINK on Saturday May 17 and pick up your copy!

Heat-Wave-ebook-webHeat Wave
Riders Up Book Two

BLURB

During an oppressive Iowa summer of drought and farm foreclosures, widowed Maggie Anderson makes a bold decision: She’ll merge her love of horses and her family’s three hundred and twenty acres into a horse farm and try her hand at nearby Prairie Meadows Race Track, where racing purses have just been augmented by the recently added casino gambling.

Down on his luck after being falsely accused in a racing scandal and banned from training, former Arlington Race Track trainer Ed Harrington has skulked home to Des Moines to drown his sorrows and wait for the dust to clear. He’s unprepared for the piercing robin’s-egg-blue eyes of pint-sized Maggie Anderson, who finds him at a flophouse and offers him a job. Can he pull himself together and meet the challenge?

As the two forge a tumultuous working partnership, they soon discover someone is out to get Maggie’s farm and will stop at almost nothing to force her off the land. Can they find and stop the culprit before someone is killed? Can they survive the far greater danger unleashed by the raw passion simmering just beneath the surface of their relationship?

REVIEWS:

Five stars at Amazon:

Heartfelt with mystery and hope…made me cry. Spot on interplay between the main characters…well written and extremely enjoyable to read. Donna H.

I felt like I was on a roller coaster reading this story! Laughing one second, then felt like crying the next, always on the edge wanting to know what is going to happen next. Amy B.

BUY LINK

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JZ6GW6G
FREE all day Saturday, May 17, to celebrate the running of the Preakness Stakes!

EXCERPT

Maggie couldn’t get away from him. He was too close; too much a man. They’d worked side by side for two weeks refurbishing the barn, making plans for purchasing horses, and developing a vision for the long term growth of Anderson Stables. Harrington had proven to be a good teacher.

Though he could be gruff and sparse with words, he exhibited much more patience with her than she had imagined possible. His knowledge of thoroughbreds and what was required to turn them into competitive race horses was expansive. And her pulse quickened when his eyes caught fire with the awe and thrill he clearly felt for the challenge of horseracing. There was no question she’d hired the right man for the job.

But she couldn’t get away from him.

Snap! “Shit,” Maggie blurted, examining the spatula she used for scraping dishes. She avoided glancing at Harrington, who was sitting at the table finishing his last cup of coffee, oblivious to her turmoil.

As was part of the original agreement, he ate his meals with her family. But he also slept in the same house and used the same bathroom. Hers was a farmhouse, not some expensive home in the woods built by people trying to escape the city for fresh country air.

His scent invaded her space; it was as simple as that. Not that they were unpleasant smells, but they were man smells, and they were undeniably Harrington smells.

 

Get Hooked on Heat Wave!

Welcome to another week of Book Hooks, the weekly meme hosted by the MFRW Authors Blog. Here’s a chance each week for readers to get hooked on a new book! Authors share a short excerpt from their books. If you enjoy the sample, consider purchasing the full book through their buy link.

This week I’m featuring Book Two in our Riders Up Romantic Suspense Series. Heat Wave was just released at Amazon this morning! Book One, Cassie’s Hope, is #FREE at Amazon today through Satuday, May 3.

Heat-Wave-ebook-webBLURB

During an oppressive Iowa summer of drought and farm foreclosures, widowed Maggie Anderson makes a bold decision: She’ll merge her love of horses and her family’s three hundred and twenty acres into a horse farm and try her hand at nearby Prairie Meadows Race Track, where racing purses have just been augmented by the recently added casino gambling.

Down on his luck after being falsely accused in a racing scandal and banned from training, former Arlington Race Track trainer Ed Harrington has skulked home to Des Moines to drown his sorrows and wait for the dust to clear. He’s unprepared for the piercing robin’s-egg-blue eyes of pint-sized Maggie Anderson, who finds him at a flophouse and offers him a job. Can he pull himself together and meet the challenge?

As the two forge a tumultuous working partnership, they soon discover someone is out to get Maggie’s farm and will stop at almost nothing to force her off the land. Can they find and stop the culprit before someone is killed? Can they survive the far greater danger unleashed by the raw passion simmering just beneath the surface of their relationship?

BUY LINK

Amazon

EXCERPT

Maggie stared thoughtfully at the curious man while her daughter climbed the stairs to her room. Her stomach muscles tightened. She needed his help desperately. But she hadn’t counted on her body acting like that of some giddy teenager.

She feared her heart was doing more whispering than her bones. Ed Harrington was still thin, but there was a blurring of pain and challenge and mystery in his face that pulled and scared her at the same time. His hair was still shaggy, but it had been washed. His face, with its distinctive roman nose, reminded her of a shattered mirror. Was haggard handsome a decent way to describe a man? And his hands. He had long fingers. And they were steady.

MFRW Authors Blog

 

California Chrome, The Kentucky Derby, and Us! #free book

What do these four items have in common?

California Chrome
The Kentucky Derby
Los Alamitos
Adriana Kraft

It’s a bit of a stretch, but stick with me here: California Chrome is far and away the favorite for the running of this year’s Kentucky Derby May 3. He’ll try to be the first Cal-bred horse to win the Derby, and where does he train? Not at Los Angeles’ premier thoroughbred track Santa Anita, but at mid-level Los Alamitos, which runs both thoroughbreds and quarter horses.

The link to Adriana Kraft? There are two, actually. We’re huge racing fans. We’ve been to the Kentucky Derby twice, the Belmont Stakes once, and three L.A. area tracks: Hollywood Park (now closed), Santa Anita, and Los Alamitos. But here’s the kicker – we once owned a thoroughbred mare who raced and won at – guess where – Los Alamitos! Here’s a photo of Fali Kay crossing the finish line for her win several years ago.

Fali Kay Los Alamitos

The characters in our upcoming release Heat Wave aren’t handling Kentucky Derby contenders – yet. Maggie Anderson is just trying to establish a solid race horse stable and breeding program so she can succeed at her local Iowa track, Prairie Meadows. But the trainer she’s found to help her get her start is a Derby quality trainer down on his luck, so who knows where the future might take them?

Here’s the cover, blurb and an excerpt when they run their first race at Prairie Meadows, the (fictional, of course) Inaugural Stakes.

Heat Wave, Book Two in our Riders Up series, will be available at Amazon April 30.

FREE BOOK

Book One, Cassie’s Hope, is FREE at Amazon today through Kentucky Derby day, May 3, at this link: http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B00GDWTUGY/

 

Heat-Wave-ebook-web

BLURB

During an oppressive Iowa summer of drought and farm foreclosures, widowed Maggie Anderson makes a bold decision: She’ll merge her love of horses and her family’s three hundred and twenty acres into a horse farm and try her hand at nearby Prairie Meadows Race Track, where racing purses have just been augmented by the recently added casino gambling.

Down on his luck after being falsely accused in a racing scandal and banned from training, former Arlington Race Track trainer Ed Harrington has slunk home to Des Moines to drown his sorrows and wait for the dust to clear. He’s unprepared for the piercing robin’s-egg-blue eyes of pint-sized Maggie Anderson, who finds him at a flophouse and offers him a job. Can he pull himself together and meet the challenge?

As the two forge a tumultuous working partnership, they soon discover someone is out to get Maggie’s farm and will stop at almost nothing to force her off the land. Can they find and stop the culprit before someone is killed? Can they survive the far greater danger unleashed by the raw passion simmering just beneath the surface of their relationship?

EXCERPT

Maggie stared so hard at the starting gate her eyes hurt. At last the gate sprang open and the horses were racing. She was surprised at how quickly Capote’s Dream raced to the front of the pack. Front running horses had won nearly every race that day. Crossing her fingers, she urged her horse on. He entered the backstretch four lengths in front. This was a critical juncture in the race. Would he maintain his speed around the turn? Or would the closers pass him by?

Maggie stood and screamed encouragement along with her kids and Cassie. Not able to see around the burly man in front of her, Maggie stood on her seat in time to see the finish.

No one would catch Capote’s Dream this day. He continued to stretch his lead, crossing the finish line six lengths in front of his nearest competitor. Maggie’s ears went temporarily deaf from her children’s screams and her own. She hugged herself and then her kids. This couldn’t be happening. But it was. It most definitely was.

“Hurry,” Cassie shouted. “We have to get to the winner’s circle. Follow me.”

Cassie led them to the winners circle. After their picture was taken with Dream, Carolyn protectively carried the yellow and blue Inaugural Stakes blanket in her arms. Johnny couldn’t stop jumping up and down. And Maggie felt like she could spend a week in bed without ever waking up.

 

 

 
© 2017 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.