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Monday, January 14, 2013

Memories, Cowboys, & A GIVEAWAY with Kristina Knight...

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My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys!

I grew up loving cowboys and no, I didn't grow up in Texas, Arizona, Colorado or Wyoming. I grew up in farm country in the middle of Missouri. One of my grandfathers was a farmer (soybeans, corn, things like that). The other had a small cattle ranch and horses.

I lived for weekends visiting him and my grandmother - days spent riding my horse (a little pony called Beauty) or snuggled up with him watching an old John Wayne flick. He always smelled like sunshine, as I recall, and smoke because he was basically a chain smoker. He talked and walked like those old cowboys - he was kind of rough, direct and you knew when he was mad. Or annoyed. Or just couldn't take one more reading of Dr. Seuss or Richard Scarry. He was also the gentlest man I've ever known, whether with animals or the people he loved.

His favorites were the early John Wayne movies - McClintock and The Quiet Man were favorites...but he wouldn't turn his nose up at the post-Civil War Texas flicks like Rio Lobo or The Searchers.

Cowboys played a big part in my growing up I supposed it's no surprise that cowboys are my favorite character to write as a grown up. In books, whether I'm reading or writing, I can escape into cowboy-land where men like my grandfather populate the early - they're loud and direct. They know what they want. They go after it.

In my new book, What a Texas Girl Needs, Vanessa finds herself pitted against the last kind of man she thinks she needs: a cowboy. A man committed to his job, who loves the great outdoors and is quite content to never leave Texas. But knowing what he wants is also a big draw for Vanessa. Can she take the heat?

Blurb: What a Texas Girl Needs

Vanessa Witte is ready to finally claim her life. The middle of three daughters born into the Witte family - a powerful Texas name - she’s been content to float through life. Being dumped by her shady ex? A blessing in disguise. Having a one-night-stand with Matias Barnes? Not one of her more stellar moments. But she’s back in Lockhardt with a secret and a reason to start fresh: A baby.

Matias Barnes knows all about society women - it’s part of the reason he left his wealthy family behind and took a job on a ranch. He doesn’t like the endless string of parties, the inane conversation, or the gold-digging tricks those women have perfected. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting Vanessa Witte. Mat knows she’s so not right for him, but with her back in Lockhardt, can he resist her charms long enough to really let her go?


"I'll take the bill, Vern," she said, holding out her hand. It was about time she started paying her own way. One tank of gas wouldn't exactly repay the family, but it was a start. Added bonus, paying her own bills might help overhaul the character she'd found so seriously lacking in the last few months.

            "It's easier for ol' Mitch to keep his records if I just add it to the ranch total."

            "I'm not a ranch employee. This isn't a ranch vehicle. I'll take the bill." Vanessa couldn't remember ever paying for a tank of gas here. Come to think of it, unless she was trying to impress someone, she had rarely paid for anything to this point in her life.

            Vern handed her the receipt. Fifty bucks? Holy crap, how much did gas cost? Stupid question, Van, obviously it costs fifty dollars. She reached into her bag for her credit card and then remembered that was part and parcel of the Witte upbringing. Paying with Grandfather's credit card? Not character building. She pawed through the baby blue Coach bag but only came up with two twenties and some loose change.


            "Just charge it to the ranch, Vern." Mat Barnes's voice echoed under the station's overhang, chilling Vanessa. "The Double Diamond will cover it." We always cover her bills, his tone implied.

            Vanessa squeezed her eyes closed and swallowed. Her fingers closed over another bill. Please let it be a twenty. Or a ten. She opened her eyes.

            Three twenties. Triumph!

            "I've got it Mr. Barnes, thank you," she said, chilling her voice as she handed the cash to Vern. He looked from Mat to Vanessa, obviously confused over what was going on between them. Vanessa held his gaze for a moment. Vern took the cash and hurried inside.

            "I think we're past the 'Mr. Barnes' stage, don't you?" Mat watched her from beneath the tipped-low brim on his cowboy hat, his coal-black eyes boring straight to her soul. Yes, they were past the Mr. or Miss stage, technically, but not calling him Mat helped her keep her distance.

            The way her heart raced at the mere sight of him she desperately needed that space.

            She looked away, crossing her arms over her chest. Her gaze caught on the frayed edge of his jeans—which were worn in all the right places, she noted—and today's tee, tight across his shoulders, read, 'Chicks Dig Scars' over his well-muscled chest.

            Who was she kidding? Calling him Mr. Barnes didn't keep her from noticing just how delectable Mat was. Nothing could do that. Not in broad daylight. Certainly not the twinkling fairy lights during Kathleen's wedding reception.

            "I don't think a night spent in my grandfather's hayloft makes us best buddies," she said, hoping against hope he would just leave her alone.

            "Ahh, but what we did in that hayloft is another matter." He lounged against the side of her Porsche as if he might stay there forever.

Buy Links:
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Author Bio:
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police--no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she's never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Happily ever after.
Find Kristina online:
First I'd like to thank Kristina for joining us today. I love a good post were I can get to know an author a little more, and hey, it doesn't hurt that I absolutely love myself a great cowboy romance. *winks* And, it looks like my ever growing TBB pile has gained a new entry.
Kristina has offered a chance to win an e-book copy of What a Texas Girl Needs to one lucky commenter. So please leave her a comment with your email address' and if you feel inclined to do so I'd love for you to follow this blog.

Kristina will be announcing her winner on Thursday, Jan. 17th.
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~


  1. I love cowboys myself. John Wayne does a great job. Thanks so much for the excerpt and the post.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. I also grew up in central MO in the middle of farm country! I do live in TX now, though! :) I would love a chance to win!

    Michelle V
    michellevasquez2001 at yahoo cot com

  3. I LOVE cowboys-- I write western romance novels too- I hope you sell tons!!!! Lake Erie- lots of snow I used to live by lake Ontario

    Kathleen Ball

  4. I LOVE cowboys-- I write western romance novels too- I hope you sell tons!

  5. I live in Iowa, so I know what you mean about the country. I used to stay with my aunt & uncle and they had a farm. I loved the smell of the farm and loved helping take care of the horses and even had my own pony when I was there. I would stay on the weekends and then most of the summer for quite a few years. I love cowboys and horses. I also do love a sexy cowboy hat, boots, and nice worn jeans. YUMMY. Thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

  6. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I love cowboys. I think they are hot and I love romance.

  7. I live on a ranch and work at a Nursing home and for me cousin's who breed, raise and race horses. I love the smell in the barn. Call me nuts, but there's just something about it I love. I also love cowboys. Thanks the the giveaway.

  8. Thanks for sharing the wonderful excerpt, seems like a great read...


  9. Love me some hot Cowboys!

    Thanks for sharing!
    mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com

  10. thanks for visiting me, here, everyone! Cowboys are some of my favorite people and I hope you fall in love with my cowboys just like I did!

    The randomizer has done its job...and Michelle V ~ you're the lucky lady! Check your email!


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