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A Piece of Ourselves #RomanticSuspense #Giveaway #MFRWAuthor

Our autographed print giveaway this month is Heat Wave, Book Two in Riders Up. Contest details below, after the excerpt.

There’s always a piece of us in any story we write, but I suspect there are far more than usual in our Riders Up series. You already know both my husband and I loved horses long before we met, and you might know that as adults we were finally able to own or partially own six horses, one or two at a time. Five of these were racehorses; the sixth was not, and we’ve saved him for the final book in the series, Detour Ahead.

So it goes without saying we’ve poured what we learned about caring for and training race horses into this series, but there’s more. Just as Cassie’s Hope (Book One) drew on our ancestor’s family farms in McHenry County Illinois, Heat Wave draws on early family history in rural central Iowa, somewhat north of Des Moines. It’s set in the year 2000. Iowa farm values had dropped precipitously during the 1980s and were beginning to recover, but many family farms were still struggling and went under, especially as corporations moved in to purchase them. We used this knowledge to place our widowed heroine’s family farm in danger and force her to make a bold decision.

Our hero, Ed Harrington? We ourselves have never been horse trainers, though we co-owned our racehorses with a local trainer. But Ed has struggled with alcohol, and Heat Wave focuses on his recovery journey – a journey we’ve walked alongside some close family members. They helped us out with those sections of the book for authenticity. We hope some of the depth, struggle, and love from our own journey shines through as Ed and Maggie come together to save her farm.


Ed didn’t blink, staring at the single shot-glass of whiskey and a stein of beer sitting on a tiny, circular table.

He gripped its pedestal between his knees. The darkened corner of Mel’s Tavern in Beaverhill provided a welcome hiding place. Almost as good as a cave.

He’d driven for hours after leaving the farm—after running as quickly as he possibly could from that menacing woman. That night had been spent in his car…

He ran a finger around the rim of the shot glass. Long moments dragged by while his mind resembled a blank slate. He knew if he drank enough, he could make those blank periods last longer. Blackouts—they enticed him and terrorized him. He would be able to function, but not remember. Was that bliss, or a coward’s way out? It wouldn’t take long, if he only had the courage to take that first drink.

Hah. So many people in those meetings he’d been attending talked about the courage necessary to avoid that next drink. Here he was asking himself if he had the guts to lift a single glass to his lips and let the stinging, hot whiskey glide down his throat. He could practically feel the familiar burning. So why didn’t he just gulp the damn stuff down and get on with it?

He could leave them all behind. No Maggie harping at him, wanting more than he could give. No worrying about which kid was going to get injured next. No wondering when they’d all figure out he didn’t measure up—that he was some kind of fake, a figment of their imagination.

Ed glanced furtively around with renewed awareness. His senses sharpened. How long had he been sitting like that, gawking at his future? The waitress and bartender were staring at him as if he were an alien. He scratched the two-day growth of beard. He swore inwardly at the booze. He swore at the memories.

Why couldn’t he just walk away from her? He didn’t owe her anything. Not anymore. He’d paid his debt. But she wanted more, much more.

The bouncy, buxom waitress stood in front of him. “Listen, Bud, if you’re gonna drink, drink up. We’re gonna be closing soon. And don’t forget my tip.” Leaning over, jiggling huge breasts, she whispered, “Or maybe you’ve got something else in mind. You’ve got possibilities. I can see that.”

She withered under his icy glare. “Okay, I get the message, Bud. Why don’t you just get out of here? You give me the willies. Any man who buys whiskey and beer and then just stares at them for more than an hour can’t be much of a man in my book.” The waitress brushed back curly brown hair and then flounced off to serve other customers.

Ed hardly knew she’d left. He wet his lips. Trying to steady his hand, he reached for the whiskey glass. Lifting it, he paused, and then slammed it down, splashing its contents over the scarred table.

He might be able to run from all of them, but he knew he’d never be able to run from himself.

Pushing his chair back, Ed stumbled getting up. He threw some coins on the table and rushed toward the exit.

Outside, Ed gulped for air. His hand shook like some ancient reminder of what used to be and could so easily have been again. He placed a hand in his pocket and curled his fingers around the ninety-day chip.

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Too much pain…#Sunday8 #wewriwa #SundaySnippet #MFRWAuthor #Contest

Our giveaway of an autographed print copy of Heat Wave lasts all month – of course, you can always read it free at Kindle Unlimited!

Be sure to visit Weekend Writing Warriors to check out the rest of today’s exciting excerpts!

Contest details after our Sunday Snippet:

Last week we watched as Ed Harrington arrived on Maggie’s front porch. That wasn’t the first time they’d met – as the book opens, she’s chased him down in Des Moines on a trusted friend’s recommendation and offered him a job. Here’s the reader’s first glance at his reaction:


Harrington glanced away from Maggie Anderson’s penetrating blue eyes. They reminded him of robin’s eggs. He grimaced. He hadn’t seen a robin’s egg since he was a kid. But that wasn’t the reason he’d looked away. The woman was carrying too much pain; he already had more than enough pain for any one human being. He sure didn’t need to borrow any of hers.

Hang onto the land – but at what cost? Feisty widow hires ace racehorse trainer to salvage her family’s heritage. Can they survive escalating threats to life and limb?

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Curl Up with a Book #Giveaway from N. N. Light @NNP_W_Light #MFRWAuthor #Contest

Invitation from N. N. Light

As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, my inner bookaholic rejoices because that means there’s more time to read. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. N. N. Light has gathered both new releases and backlist in this giveaway that’s sure to please any booklover. Free e-copy, print and audio books are just waiting for readers to indulge in. You can even enter one of mine. Enter below and good luck! The list is long and personally, I’d love to win myself but alas, I can’t. So, I’ll just live vicariously through the lucky winners. If there’s a particular book or prize you’d like to win, be sure to say which prize you want when you enter via Rafflecopter. Enter below and good luck!

– N. N. Light

N. N. Light’s Book Heaven runs this contest every month! Here is the list of December prizes, including our entry, an autographed copy of Detour Ahead (Riders Up, Book Four).

Prize List

autographed print copy of A Phoenix Rising by Vivienne Brereton

autographed print copy of Pushing the Limits (Holiday-themed contemporary romance) plus swag generously donated by Nancy Fraser (US/Canada only)

autographed print copy of Detour Ahead by Adriana Kraft (US/Canada only)

e-copy or print copy of winner’s choice of one of C. C. Bolick’s books

print copy of Six Months by Mona Sedrak

e-copy of Debriefing the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell

5 e-copy of Road to Armageddon by Clabe Polk

e-copy of Lie to Me by Christine Kirchoff

e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred by Judith Sterling

e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie

e-copy of Fortune’s Folly by Cat Dubie

autographed print copy of Harnessing Light by S.B. Goncarova (US/Canada only)

e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of Kiss of the Virgin Queen by Sharon Buchbinder

e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan

e-copy of Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

e-copy of Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton

autographed print copy of Dante’s Gift by Aubrey Wynne (US only)

e-copy of Pearlman by David Russell

e-copy of Palace of the Stars by Karina McRoberts

e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour

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