A COWBOY’S PROMISE (Val’s story)

Cowboy's Promise-flatHi! It’s been busy in Anna’s world. I had two releases within two weeks, one from spicy Isabella and the other from sweet Anna. Today, let’s talk about Anna’s latest, A Cowboy’s Promise. This is book two in The Promises Trilogy. A bit of back story, when I wrote Remember Our Promise in 2012, it was intended to be a stand-alone. But after its release, in August 2013, several readers asked that I make it into a series, so I decided to write a trilogy. I spoke to my publisher, Rebel Ink Press, and E agreed that it was a good idea. It took a while for me to work it into the writing schedule, but finally book two took shape and was released on January tenth!

In the first book, you met Valerie Kennedy, who was Lily’s assistant at the publishing house she worked for in New York City. Now, some years later, Val is having some issues of her own, and takes a vacation to visit her old pal, Lily, in Texas. You guessed it, she meets a guy!

Here’s the blurb for A Cowboy’s Promise:

Valerie Kennedy is feeling restless. Bored with her life in New York City, she finds herself searching for something more. She dreams of peace and serenity. Love has eluded her until she decides to pay a visit to her old friend, Lily Black, in Texas. There she is introduced to hot cowboy, Levi Ridgeway. Her first impression of him isn’t good, but as she spends more time with him she discovers that Levi and Texas might just hold the key to her happiness. The pot is sweetened by an offer to join Lily as a partner in her publishing company.

When one crisis after another forces Val to stay in New York and put important decisions on hold, will she let her dreams fade away and give up the only man she’s ever loved?

What kind of crisis is holding her back? Why can’t she make up her mind? You’ll have to read the book to find that out, but here’s a little snippet of Val’s first date with Levi:

“What made you decide to become a cowboy?” she asked.

“Become a cowboy?” he repeated with a grin. “Well, as a boy I helped out on a friend’s family ranch and I really enjoyed it. I’ll admit it often makes for a long, hot day, but I enjoy the out of doors. I like horses, I like all animals really. It just seemed like the perfect job for me.”

“If you like the outdoors, how will you adjust to working inside full-time when you make the break into your graphics?”

“I’ll be able to make my own hours and I’ll always make time for a ride in the fields or a day of fishing by the brook.”

“I see. I guess growing up in New York, I didn’t get the country outdoors so much but I did spend time at the beach every summer. I took riding lessons for a few years. I loved to ice skate in the winter.”

“You took riding lessons?” he asked with interest.

“Yes, I did.”

“So if you can ride, say on Sunday afternoon, how about you and I take the horses out? I know a great place for a picnic.”

“You have horses?” she asked. “Silly question, of course you do. You’re a cowboy.”

“I have one and my sister has one I’m sure she’d be willing to let you ride. She’s a gentle horse, you’ll be safe enough.”

“You’re on, cowboy. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden but it’s something I’ve always loved to do.”

“I’ll pick you up at one,” he said with that lopsided grin he sported so many times when he looked at her.

“Sounds great,” she said. “Oh look, the band is setting up.”

“Yeah, it’s a local group. I’ve heard them before and they’re pretty good.”

Val watched in fascination as the members of the band quickly finished setting up and adjusting the sound. She was looking forward to hearing a Texas country band. Although she’d grown up with the ballet and classical music, she enjoyed listening to modern country on the radio occasionally. Lily had done that to her during the time she had lived in New York. Lily had taught her a great many things. Just as the other girl had often said Claire was her mentor, Val had to admit that Lily was hers. She loved her like a sister.

The band started out with a fast-paced country tune. Several couples were on the dance floor along with a group of young girls who seemed to be celebrating a bride-to-be. After a few more of the same, line dancing was in full mode. Val watched with interest.

“See, you could do it. Lily and I could give you lessons.”

“Lily does that?” she asked.

“On occasion when she’s out with the girls,” he replied. “David only does slow dances but she can cut a rug given the chance.”

“Cut a rug?” Val asked.

He chuckled and explained, “Old time term for dancing.”

When the mood turned romantic with a slow song, he looked across the table and held out his hand. “I believe this is our song.”

Val allowed him to lead her to the gleaming wooden dance floor as if she were in a dream. He took her in his arms and pulled her close. The musky male scent mingled with his cologne and she sighed. He pulled her even closer. They were barely moving on the floor but the smell coupled with his touch was doing strange things to Val. She was experiencing a feeling she’d never felt before. It was a feeling of excitement, almost a tingly feeling, but most of all she felt safe and content in his arms. She was feeling an intensity with him that was a new sensation for her.

Levi leaned down and kissed the top of her head. It sent shivers down her spine. When the song ended, he didn’t release her immediately. It was as if he’d felt the same feelings she had felt, like he didn’t want to let her go. She could have stayed on that dance floor in his arms forever but the band had other ideas as they moved into another fast number.

“I guess that’s our cue to go back to our table,” he whispered as he released her and took her hand. He led her back and pulled out her chair for her.

Neither of them spoke for several minutes. When they did, they both tried to talk at once.

“You go ahead, ladies first,” he offered.

“I was just going to say that for a cowboy you’re a pretty good dancer.”

“Why, thank you, ma’am,” he said in an exaggerated drawl.

“Now what were you going to say?” she asked.

He threw his head back and laughed heartily. “You won’t believe this but I was about to say that for a city slicker, you don’t do so badly on the old dance floor.”

She laughed with him. “Well, I guess now we know we both can dance and we both can ride.”

“I wonder what else we have in common,” he replied seriously.

I hope that interested you. The third book in the trilogy will feature Claire, Lily’s mentor, friend and former boss. At the end of book two, you’ll find out that her life isn’t perfect and in book three that trend will continue as she struggles to reunite with a lost love. A Forgotten Promise will have you in tears as you watch the recent divorcee and the love of her life, recently widowed, with four children to raise, find their way back to each other.

20130815-031916.jpgRebel Ink PressBestof2014

 

Buy Links for A Cowboy’s Promise:

http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Promise-Anna-Kristell-ebook/dp/B00S1PRIPQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1422150246&sr=1-1&keywords=anna+kristell

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cowboys-promise-anna-kristell/1121019763?ean=2940150148826

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-acowboy039spromise-1721896-149.html

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THE HIGHLANDER’S CURSE by Isabella Kole

The Highlanders Curse_500x755Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted recently, but it’s been a whirlwind, what with writing, editing, releases and the holidays! My spicy side has a new release. It’s called The Highlander’s Curse, from Blushing Books, and is my very first paranormal, time travel romance. It’s very steamy and romantic and I am pleased with the way it turned out. Author Isobelle Cate offered some assistance with the Scottish parts, Author Alta Hensley “dared” me to go hotter and my awesome editor, Staci Taylor pushed me just a little bit to add more spice. A friend and former co-worker, Lucy, has been after me forever to write a book about a Scottish ghost in an old castle. Well this may not be exactly what she had in mind, but as the story developed, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. I’m going to treat you to the blurb and a little tidbit from the book to whet your appetite. We’ve also got a release party going on over at Facebook right now so I’ll post the link at the end and feel free to join us for a lot of fun and some great prizes!

Blurb:

A beautiful castle in the scenic Highlands of Scotland, a sassy, stubborn modern girl from Cincinnati, Ohio and a would-be Duke cursed by a witch two-hundred years before set the stage for a love story that could forever change history. Ian Galloway has come back to claim what is rightfully his and to find his soul-mate. Amanda Brown has just inherited his castle. When the proper Highlander Duke meets the willful, modern girl, he decides she is the one, but before she can cross the portal with him and become his Duchess, she must be tamed. He makes it clear that her sharp tongue and disobedient ways will not go unpunished.

Will she give up everything to go back in time with the man she has fallen so deeply in love with, or will her fears of the unknown keep them apart forever?

Excerpt:

The year was 1814 and thirty-year-old Ian Galloway stood in the field beyond his home and gazed at the large castle. Galloway Castle had been in his family for many years. Ian was to become the next Duke of Galloway and it had been strongly suggested he find a young woman to become his Duchess. In all his travels over the vast Scottish countryside the handsome young Duke hadn’t been able to find the woman with whom he’d choose to spend his life with. His golden hair blowing in the wind, the plaid kilt rustling around his muscular legs, he looked around once more at the lush green countryside. His land, the property his sons would someday inherit. But first, he must find a mother for the sons he planned to sire. Of course every young woman in the villages that surrounded Galloway Castle wanted to be the next Duchess of Galloway.

One beautiful young woman in particular had her sights set on the young Duke. Her name was Bridget MacCloskey. Some said she was a witch. Ian had scoffed at the idea. Bewitching she may be with her long golden locks and full bosom but witches didn’t really exist. It was folklore. He had been seen squiring the luscious young woman around the village but he had not asked for her hand in marriage. In fact, he had decided to end things with her that very night. But first, he needed to return to the castle. There was business to be dealt with.

As he entered his majestic home a few moments later, he was told by a servant that his father wanted to see him immediately. He wasted no time finding the elder Duke.

“Father, ye wish tae see me?” he asked as he entered the library.

“Where have ye been all afternoon? Whiling away the hours daydreaming?” his father said in a booming voice.

“I was surveying the land, Sir.”

“The war is over. It is time tae think about the future of our land. We have to see that the farms begin tae thrive. Yer soon tae be taking over and ye have yet tae find a suitable wife. What say ye for yerself, lad?”

“I refuse tae chain myself tae the wrong woman for eternity.”

“Ye have a high opinion of yerself.”

“I will continue tae search.”

“Time is running out, my son. If ye are not married by the summer, yer step-brother and his wife shall be the Duke and Duchess of Galloway.”

Turning on his heel, Ian stormed out of his father’s library. He walked swiftly down the vast hallway and out the massive front doors of the castle. He walked to where his horse was lazily feasting and untied him, mounted him and took off at a gallop, thundering down the lane.

As he came to the clearing below the castle gates, a carriage approached. When it came to a halt, Ian yelled, “Whoa,” and stopped his steed beside the carriage. As he looked at the driver he asked if he could be of assistance.

“The young lady wishes tae speak to ye, your Grace,” the driver said.

The door to the carriage opened and Ian saw that the lady in question was none other than Bridget MacCloskey. He jumped down from his horse and held out his hand.

As the beautiful buxom blonde took his hand and gracefully emerged from the carriage, she said, “It’s so good tae see ye again.”

“What might ye be doing out on this beautiful day, my lady?”

“I feel the time has come for us tae speak about our future.”

“Is that so?” Ian asked with a raised brow.

“My father is of the belief ye have no intentions tae make a life with me. Is that so, your Grace?”

“Milady, I have thought long and hard on this very subject. It is true I must find a Duchess before I can assume the duties as the next Duke of Galloway. And though I have seriously considered a match with ye, I have come tae the difficult decision that it cannae be. I am sorry if this distresses ye. My sincere apologies,” he replied as he kissed her hand.

“Why, ye are the most reprehensible creature I have ever known. Ye shall pay for this, Ian Galloway. I curse you…”

Ian looked at the driver and said, “Please take her away. Our business here is over.” He jumped onto his horse’s back and galloped away, never looking back.

That evening when his son did not return home, the elder Duke sent his men to search for him. They searched far and wide, over the countryside, in the forests and hills and the nearby villages but there was no sign of the young Galloway heir. No one had seen him.

For weeks, they searched. The weeks turned into months, the months into years. Ian’s father finally succumbed to a broken heart. His stepbrother reluctantly took over as the Duke of Galloway. Ian’s mother and stepbrother never gave up the search.

Ian Galloway was never heard from again…

How about some buy links and the link for the event going on as we speak?

Buy Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-curse-blushing-books/1120995108?ean=2940150030398

http://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Curse-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B00RPYZRCU/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420326363&sr=1-5&keywords=Isabella+kole


Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/324505084418950/326107357592056/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

Stop by for some fun!

Love,

Anna/Isabella