Work in Progress-Balancing The Books

Here's an excerpt from one of the books I'm working on. Hope you enjoy it.
Glancing over her right shoulder, she backed onto the street. Right into a very solid something. The impact snapped her head forward. Instinct jammed her foot on the brake. She leapt at the falling flowers. Her hands closed around the vase, her elbow hit the cup holder, and her coffee painted the inside of her car espresso brown.
As she lay across the seat with the vase in her hands, coffee dripping from the dash, she heard a tap on the side window, and looked up to see a policeman standing beside her car. 
By the time he’d walked around the front, Ellie had grabbed the flowers, jumped out and was standing beside her car with the vase in her hands and water dripping down the front of her blouse.
At least the coffee had missed her. It had only doused most of the interior. She glanced into the car and thought of the sticky, sweet drink flowing into all the crevasses of the dash. I really needed that caffeine.
Her gaze moved from the mess inside to the man in front of her. She tried to smile, but her lip just trembled at the sight of this small town policeman wearing a stern cop expression like he’d been born with it.  
When Ellie looked over her shoulder and saw the rear end of her car, she knew why. She’d backed into the police cruiser. Less than one hour in town, and she’d become an enemy of the law. She took a deep breath then let the air out slowly. Maybe that was blowing things out of proportion.
Turning back, with every intention of apologizing, Ellie froze. She’d calmed down enough to look at him again and recognition dawned. The words she’d prepared to say stuck in her throat and refused to move. Realizing her mouth hung open, she snapped it shut. Her really-bad-luck day had just become the worst.
Not only was she in trouble with the law, the law in Unique, Idaho was Damien, the devil, Quinn.


Cowboy and the Trophy Gopher

Being a good farmer takes a certain type of personality. 
I don’t have it.
My cowboy and I have raised cattle and hay for the last thirty years usually with seventy or more acres of hay. I tend to be rather laid back when it comes to farming. The water will eventually get to the bottom of the field. Most of the hay will grow. What’s so hard about this?

On the other hand, the cowboy has an elaborate set of farming rules. We argued about, uh, discussed our differing opinions for several years until I found a job in town, and he farmed to his heart’s content.
One of the scourges of growing that much alfalfa is a small rodent called a gopher. It moves into a perfectly nice field, has tons of babies and each digs holes at an unbelievable rate. As the irrigation water runs down the field and into a hole, it disappears. The area below the hole dries out, and the hay dies.
The cowboy has waged all-out war on these burrowing invaders for years, checking his traps daily, spring, summer and fall. During this time, he’s tried repeatedly to convince me that since my hands are smaller, it would be easier for me to set the traps in the narrow little holes.
I’m proud to say I didn’t fall for this con.
The county pays two dollars a tail and with three hundred gophers a year, this is a nice little side line. He’s saved the tails and cashed them in and the bodies were…well, let’s just say our dog Cindy was a gopher gourmet.
Three years ago, he checked his trap line and found a trap was stuck. When the cowboy finally worked it free, there he was, Humongo-Gopher. It was the biggest gopher he’d ever trapped, maybe the biggest gopher in the world.
He told his friends about Humongo, and they scoffed. He was forced to take the body in for a farmer viewing and was proved right. All agreed it was the biggest rodent they’d seen.
It was a fact. We had a trophy gopher.
Now how many people can say that?
Since it was a trophy, we couldn’t feed it to the dog, so it went into the freezer to be preserved for posterity.

The problem is I don’t have much of a memory. If it isn’t in front of my face, I tend to forget it exists. Because of that, I’ve spent the last three years calmly going to my big freezer to get meat for dinner only to be confronted each time I opened the door by long yellow teeth and curved claws. Humongo looked like he could leap off the shelf and attack. The only thing that kept me from jumping out of my skin was the fact he was enclosed in a Zip Lock bag. Still, it was a shock.
Humongo finally went to the big gopher heaven in the sky this fall, and I no longer have to fear my freezer.
The cowboy suggested we have a taxidermist mount Humongo and put him in the trophy room (TV room) with the Elk and Deer antlers. That’s where I put my foot down. I guess in the cowboy’s mind a trophy is a trophy but really, Humongo was just a super-sized rat. If he’d had his way, I would be jumping every time I wanted to watch TV.
Have any of you had this problem?


Evernight's Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Congratulations to Magic5905 on winning 
my author prize of a $20 GC 
and e-book copy of Sugarwater Ranch

The Book Boyfriend Blog Hop is back and better than ever! The authors of Evernight have a brand new team of swoon-worthy book boyfriend candidates. A sexy assortment of cowboys, Doms, detectives, millionaires, royalty, vampires, soldiers, and shifters are just a click away.

Get ready to find your next book boyfriend...

Click here  Evernight Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Hello Evernight Readers,

I’d like to introduce you all to Sean O’Connell, the hero of Sugarwater Ranch and his best friend and Catherine’s cousin, Ray “Junior” Silvera.

             Sean was raised in a rodeo family in the small ranching community of Dalhart, Oregon. He's spent the last ten years doing just what he wants, following the rodeo trail, riding bulls and partying with his friends. If you ask Sean, he'd tell you there is no better feeling than climbing on a hard bucking bull.

For the first time in years, he's landed back in Dalhart, in the middle of the winter, forced to take a job on a local ranch. And the funny thing is, he kind of likes it.
 Stephanie: I’d like to welcome Sean O’Connell and Junior Silvera to my blog today. Gentlemen, please tell us a little about yourselves.
Sean: Well, I’m pretty ordinary. I work on a ranch babysitting a bunch of mama cows.
Junior: Sean rides bulls.
Stephanie: That doesn’t sound ordinary to me. Riding bulls isn’t something most men do. How did you get started?
Sean: My dad and granddad rodeoed. Dad rode saddle broncs and granddad did everything. I was riding horses before I could walk and started riding steers in grade school.
Stephanie: Those bulls are big and mean. Aren’t you scared?
Sean: Nah, I love the rush. There’s isn’t a better feeling in the world than getting in the chute, nodding my head and going head to head with a powerful animal. But that’s just a sport. Junior here is the special one.
Junior: Oh, Sean.
Stephanie: It looks like Junior is a little shy. Why do you say he’s special, Sean?
Sean: My buddy Junior has the ability to see beyond a person’s faults and find the good in everybody, and let me tell you, he had to look some to find my nice side.
Junior: Sean’s my friend and Catherine’s, too. He takes me out to the ranch.
Stephanie: Which ranch is that?
Sean: The Quarter Circle A. Old man Aguirre needed help, and I needed a job. I guess I needed the job more than Ben had need for a ranch hand, but we get along just fine.
Junior: Sean takes care of the baby calves, and he lets me help.
Sean: Junior is my right hand man.
Stephanie: It sounds like we’ve found out what you like. What do you dislike the most?
Junior: Orange
Stephanie: Orange? The fruit?
Junior? The color. Orange is the bad people’s color.
Stephanie: Sean?
Sean: I told you Junior’s special. He sees auras around most folks, can tell things about them by the color they are.
Stephanie: Really? That’s amazing
Junior: It’s okay if you don’t believe me. Nobody but Catherine and Sean do.
Stephanie: What color am I?
Junior: Colors are secret. I’ll tell you when everyone isn’t listening.
Stephanie: What about you, Sean? What do you dislike the most?
Sean: Oh, I don’t dislike much of anything. Maybe green beans.
Stephanie: You sound like you’re pretty happy with your life.
Sean: What’s not to like? I’ve got the best job in the world, riding bulls, and I mostly do what I want the rest of the time.
Stephanie: If you got to spend the day with anyone, who would it be?
Sean: Probably Ty Murray, one of the greatest cowboys ever to ride a bucking horse or bull. Yeah, Ty or Larry Mahan.
Junior: I’d go with Sean.
Stephanie: Who’s your favorite musician?
Sean: That’s easy. George Strait, the King of Country. He sings rodeo music.
Junior: I like all, music, except that rap crap. That’s what my papa calls it. *smile*
Stephanie: We’ve got time for one more question. What do you want most out of life?
Sean: To make it to the PBR Finals.
Stephanie: Anything else?
Sean: Don’t tell Catherine, but I’d like to figure out what makes her tick.
Junior: I’m going to tell. (with a grin)
Stephanie: Before the wrestling match starts, I’d like to say thanks for visiting with me today.
Sean: Adios.
Junior: Bye bye.

Sugarwater Ranch Blurb:
Sean O’Connell is the ultimate free-spirit. Riding bulls for a living, following the rodeo trail then partying with his friends in celebration, is the perfect life. That is, until the parties affect his riding, and he’s left too broke to head south for the winter circuit.
As she closes her Uncle Ray’s Sugarwater Bar just outside of Dalhart, Oregon, Catherine Silvera drives the perimeter before heading home.  In the parking lot sits a solitary pickup containing a very wet, very drunk cowboy. The temperature of an eastern Oregon night in January is way south of frozen. The next morning, instead of finding a grateful man, she’s stuck with an arrogant cowboy who riles her like a yowling tom cat at midnight. The only good part of this whole situation is the way Sean fills out his Wranglers.

Book giveaway

I have a free e-copy of Sugarwater Ranch and a $20.00 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble to give away to one lucky person who leaves a comment. Please leave your email addresses.
Available on

What’s up for grabs?

• One lucky hopper will win a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate sponsored by Evernight Publishing.

• Plus, each author is giving away their own unique prize! So visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.

How to enter? Answer this question in the comments below…

If you could interview any cowboy, real or in a fictional character, who would you want to talk to? What questions would you ask?

Be sure to leave the answer and your email address to be eligible to win a prize. Each comment gives you an entry for the grand prize (one per blog hop stop).

Click here  to return to the Evernight Book Boyfriend Blog Hop and find more book boyfriends.

Keep hopping to the next author or blogger. After you’ve met each hero click here to vote for your favorite book boyfriend. You’ll earn an extra grand prize entry!

You’re one step closer to meeting your next Book Boyfriend...