Thursday, September 13, 2018

On Sale, With a Whole New Look



The digital version of Reckless in Texas is on sale for $1.99 and sporting a whole new look. Why? The keyword is sporting. Many readers have commented that my books are sports romances as much as westerns, and many who say they don't read westerns change their mind when they meet these intensely athletic men and smart, savvy women who aren't afraid to throw a few elbows to make space for themselves in a man's world. 

Damn, I do love me some competence porn.  

The challenge is getting those "No thanks, ma'am" readers to look past the cowboy hat on the cover and discover for themselves that these aren't your Mama's westerns, so my publishing company decided to do an experiment. For the time being, the cover on the ebook has been changed, and I gotta say, as much as I love my cowboys, THIS is how I picture Joe Cassidy, except with more of a long-haired surfer vibe. As Violet thinks when she stumbles over him sans shirt:

Dear sweet heaven, that was one beautiful body. Like the yellow Corvette, designed specifically for impressing the girls and taking the curves way too fast. This close she could smell the clean sweat from the clumps of damp hair straggling around his face. His eyes were green. The color of luck, and money, and the other side of the fence. They gleamed with the same arrogant light as his smile.

So if you're like me--and like Violet--and you're a sucker for a man in motion who has some serious moves in and out of the arena, give Joe Cassidy a gander. I think you're gonna like what you see.  

The sale lasts through September 24th. You can find links to your favorite e-tailers (and the original cover) here: Reckless in Texas

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Limited Time Offer - Pre-order Signed Copies of Mistletoe in Texas



Yes, I am getting slightly more organized! 


I've made arrangements in advance this time. Place your order before September 5th and get a personalized, signed copy of my newest release, Mistletoe in Texas, on or about the official release date of September 25th. Depending on where you live, it could even arrive early. How that's for holiday treat!


Place your order via LatigoandLace.com and don't forget to put a name and any requests regarding the inscription in the ordering instruction box.


(This offer is open to anyone regardless of where you live, but I fear that the shipping will be atrocious for international readers and we can't make any promises on arrival dates.)


And keep us in mind for Christmas gifts. Along with all kinds of gorgeous western decor and artwork, Latigo and Lace has all of my paperback books in stock, including a very limited number of copies of The Long Ride Home, which is now out of print. We will be doing another special order of signed books in November, paired with western Christmas ornaments or handcrafted wooden bookmarks for the perfect holiday duo. Keep an eye on your email for ordering dates!


Also, I have been told that copies of Mistletoe in Texas should be arriving on my doorstep any day. The first will be the Advance Reader Copies printed just for reviewers so I only get three of those, but I'll be putting one up for grabs. And when my author copies of the official book arrive later in September, I'll draw for five more copies for lucky newsletter subscribers. So go to KariLynnDell.com to get signed up and remember to check that inbox! 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Christmas is coming very early this year!

Available September 25th!




"Dell takes you on a fun, wild ride!" --B.J. DANIELSNew York Times Bestselling Author

He's always been the black sheep: the troublemaker.
But this Christmas, the prodigal cowboy returns.


Rodeo bullfighter Hank Brookman was headed straight for the top. But after a single misstep resulted in devastating injury, he disappeared under a mountain of regrets. Now he's back, ready to face the loved ones he left behind-starting with the one girl his heart could never forget.

When Hank stormed out of Texas, he left Grace McKenna picking up the pieces...and struggling with a secret that changed everything. He may be back looking for redemption, but after everything they've been through, how can she admit what he really walked away from all those years ago?

Hank always knew persuading Grace to trust him again would be a tall order. Convincing her they deserve a happily ever after? That may take a Texas-sized Christmas miracle.

Preorder links:  B&N | Indie Bound | Books a Million | Amazon | iBooks



Thursday, April 19, 2018

So Very Tangled


Several reviewers have commented on how Fearless in Texas is much more focused on the relationship between Wyatt and Melanie, and their interactions are more intense than in the previous books. Believe it or not, I did that on purpose.

With each book I try to do something a little different. For whatever reason, Tangled in Texas seems to get the least attention, but for me it has the most complex layering of relationships and emotions and in some ways was the hardest to pull off, because I not only took one of the antagonists from the first book--Delon--and made him into the hero, but turned the hero and heroine of Reckless into HIS antagonists. (You can't imagine how thrilled my editor was when she read the synopsis and realized what I was going to try to pull off.)

It all started with a comment from my sister, who taught elementary school for 30 years. We were talking about dealing with divorced parents, and she said, "It doesn't matter how friendly the divorce was or how much they vow to be civil, the minute one of them gets involved with someone new it gets ugly." So I sat down to write Delon and Violet as if they were that amicably divorced couple whose happy arrangement starts coming apart at the seams when Joe gets dropped into the mix. And then it gets worse when I bring Tori in, who has a justified and deeply rooted hostility toward Violet.

May I just say that there's a reason most romances with single moms or dads find a way to get rid of the other parent? Having to constantly shuffle Beni from place to place and account for why he was with Violet versus Delon at every moment was a real PITA.

On the flip side, one of the greatest joys of writing this book was the relationship between Shawnee and Tori. If they were guys you would call it a bromance. I not only wanted to explore the unique kind of friendships that evolve between uber-competitive, hard-headed cowgirls, but also to have two women whose conversations are almost never about men. I took that idea one step farther in Fearless, with the man ban scene early in the book. Yes, we do all like to talk about boys, but I wanted to write a best friend whose entire role wasn't to be a sounding board or to give advice about love.

I also loved writing Delon and Gil, watching them work through all the pain and anger they'd kept stuffed in their pockets for too long. And now I've circled back to them as I'm writing Gil's book, taking their relationship to a new level as Gil (tiny spoiler) suddenly gets custody of his son and has to look to his brother for support and advice on how to be more than a weekend father.

If you haven't read Tangled, I hope this all intrigues you enough to give it a go. And if you have, I hope I've given you reason to take another look and consider some of those nuances. As always, questions and comments are welcome, our version of online book club.

And if you want to check out Tangled in Texas, you can find an excerpt and order links on my website:  http://karilynndell.com/tangled.html

***

Monday, April 09, 2018

Grannyed Up

*

As a few people have probably mentioned, winter and spring north of the Mason-Dixon line have kinda sucked. But finally, the latest storm is gone. The sun is shining. It's forty degrees and the wind is virtually nonexistent. You would think we'd be done dragging newborns into the barn for a while, but alas...



There is a thing with cows that we call grannying. It's when a cow that's just given birth (Cow A) is too close to a cow that's in labor (Cow B). Cow B's maternal instincts are already red-lined, and she gets confused and latches onto Cow A's baby. Nine times out of ten, she'll go ahead and have her own calf and just walk away from it to go try to steal Calf A. This is one of many reasons that calving in close confines is much less desirable than out in the wide open field, weather permitting.

But since weather has not permitted, we've got to drag Calf A into the barn and lock him and his mother up, then chase Cow B over to the other barn where she can't see or smell them anymore so she'll claim her own kid when it's born.

Yeah. The good times just never end.

**

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

THREE WEEKS TO GO--AND ANOTHER EXCERPT



Twenty days and counting until the release of Fearless in Texas, and the early reviews have been awesome, including a coveted star from Publisher's Weekly, who said, "Chock full of drama, romantic angst and magnetic supporting characters, Dell’s latest is not to be missed."

RT Book Reviews raved, "There is such a raw vulnerability in these characters that readers will be hard pressed not to scream, cry and cheer right along with them ... Fearless in Texas will leave you feeling worthy of attaining your own happy ending."

My job this week is to pick out a handful of excerpts for our online promotional tour, and while I'm at it I thought I'd share one of my favorite scenes. As Melanie says about her tendency to hold a grudge, "Every girl needs a superpower."


~~~~~~~~

Wyatt mutilated another lump of the slime-coated goo the café called apple pie filling , then pushed the plate away in disgust and checked the time on his phone. Five thirty-seven. If Melanie was going to commit an act of retribution, surely she would have done it by now. And he still had no idea what he could do to stop her.

“You know she won’t listen to me,” he’d warned Violet. “Why don’t you go sit on her?”

Violet had grinned, cocking her eyebrows. “Friends don’t let friends’ wives get arrested. And if worst comes to worst, you won’t have to borrow money for her bail.”

Yet another perk of being a trust fund brat, along with perfect teeth and generations of ruthlessly wielded rich, white privilege. And since he was already here, he might as well give Melanie until sunup before calling this stakeout a bust.

A flash of yellow caught his eye as a taxi pulled to a stop across the street. In a blink, Melanie was across the sidewalk and into the back seat, a swift-moving shadow clad, like Wyatt, in skulking clothes—dark jeans, a black hoodie, and a baseball cap, with a backpack slung over her shoulder. Hell. That didn’t look good. Wyatt fumbled for his wallet, tossed a twenty onto the table, and charged out past the startled waitress, but by the time he got to his rental car, the cab had disappeared around the corner. He made an educated guess as to her destination and was rewarded when he saw the taxi several blocks ahead on the four-lane avenue.

He could follow. Or he could attempt to cut her off. He chose the latter, passing on the left in the generic sedan he’d rented for the occasion, and parked under the hotel’s portico just ahead of the taxi. Then he waited, braced to do whatever was necessary…and hoping she didn’t do any permanent bodily damage.

The yellow cab sailed past the entrance of the hotel and around to the side lot. Wyatt bailed out of his car and started for the front door, intending to meet her at the rear, but instead of heading for the hotel, she hopped out of the taxi at the far end of the lot and paused for an instant to reach under the rear bumper of a Ford pickup. Before he could change directions, she’d climbed in and fired up the engine. Wyatt ducked behind a bush as she roared past and onto the street.

Oh hell. Her version of Don’t get mad, get even was going to involve $60,000 worth of prime American steel. What was in that backpack? Too small for a Louisville Slugger, but there was plenty of room for a can of lighter fluid. Or dynamite.

His crappy rental didn’t even have enough oomph to lay rubber when he jumped in and hit the gas. He spotted her immediately, driving well within speed limit, but he had to hang back several blocks, thanks to the deserted streets. They headed for an industrial section on the edge of Amarillo and…Westwind Feeds? He swore as she jumped out, unlocked the single bar that barricaded the entrance to the parking lot, and swung it aside, her movements as swift and precise as a covert operative on a well-planned mission. Before Wyatt got within a block, she was inside—and he was locked out.

He swore again, then made a left to circle around the block opposite Westwind, killing his headlights as he pulled into an alley between two warehouses. He left the car halfway down and made like a ninja, creeping through the shadows until he had a clear view of where Melanie had pulled the Ford into a slot marked Executive Parking, next to one of the Westwind company pickups. Wyatt paused, then gagged when he made the mistake of inhaling. He pulled his T-shirt up over his nose to filter out some of the dirty-diaper and rotting-fish stench of the nearby Dumpster. If tonight was any indication, it was just as well he’d crossed undercover cop and spy off the list when he’d decided against Yale Divinity and gone in search of a less holier-than-thou career.

Across the road, Melanie was crouched beside the pickup, scrawling blocky neon-green letters all the way down the side of the Ford with a can of spray paint.

She finished, stepped back to admire her work for a second, then grabbed her open backpack and circled around to duck out of sight between the vehicles and go to work on the Westwind pickup. Well, hell. Once again he’d failed miserably, because once again he had badly underestimated her.

A hard lesson Michael Miller was about to learn. You didn’t mess with Melanie and stroll away whistling.

Wyatt flattened his reluctant smile and contemplated the situation. The damage was already well in progress. The best he could do now was to get her out of here as quickly and quietly as possible. He looked both ways and, seeing no sign of life in either direction, sprinted across the street. The hissing of the spray can stopped. He eased up and peeked over the tailgate of Michael’s pickup as she pulled a long security cable from the backpack. Heavy duty, impervious to bolt cutters. Damn. She had thought of everything. She threaded an end through the front wheel of each pickup and wrapped it twice around the Executive Parking sign, anchoring both vehicles in place.

As she snapped a padlock through the looped ends, Wyatt said, “Your P is running.”

She yelped, snatched the nearest paint can, and spun around. Only Wyatt’s superior reflexes kept him from getting a blast of orange square in the face.



AVAILABLE, APRIL 03, 2018
Pre-Order Today!
AMAZON  |  B&N  |  INDIE BOUND  |  IBOOKS

Audio
B&N  |  BOOK DEPO

Saturday, November 18, 2017

FEARLESS IN TEXAS - EXCERPT

Somebody had a little too much rodeo fun this summer to keep up with the blog, but now that winter has settled in, I'm gradually catching up. Book Four of the Texas Rodeo series, Fearless in Texas is in the final editing process, due for release on April 3, 2018. Here's a sneak peek.


FEARLESS IN TEXAS

He’d step in front of a bull to save a life
But even he’s no match for a girl this Texas tough

Rodeo bullfighter Wyatt Darrington’s got it all figured out. The perfect car, the perfect job, the perfect looks—the perfect lie. He may be on the fast track to the Hall of Fame, but he knows he’ll always be an outsider to people like Melanie Brookman. Texas-born and bred, with the arena in her blood, Melanie’s come to see Wyatt as her personal enemy, and that suits him just fine—this way, she’ll never realize the truth.

He’s been crazy in love with her for years.

Melanie’s always been a fighter. Fiercely independent and tough as nails, she’s stood up to everything that got in her way—including Wyatt. But now her infamous temper’s got her on the ropes, and there’s nowhere left to run but toward the man she swore she’d never trust…and this time, there’s no denying just how hot he makes her burn.



CHAPTER ONE

The instant Wyatt’s fingers came to rest on Melanie’s bare skin, they both cursed—a mutual, almost silent hiss, too quiet for any of the crowd encircling the nearly empty dance floor to hear over the music. Their steps didn’t falter. They didn’t blink. But he didn’t pretend he couldn’t feel the jolt at the inevitable, unavoidable contact…and neither did Melanie.

He smiled—a generic, just making conversation smile that would fool anyone besides the woman looking him directly in the eye. “Well. This is inconvenient.”

“Extremely,” Melanie agreed.

He didn’t bother to move his hand. The cut of her emerald-green halter-top bridesmaid dress left him with no alternatives other than her exposed back or her satin-covered butt. Her long, straight chestnut hair had been pinned into a tousled updo with tendrils that trailed down her neck, begging a man to twirl them around his fingers.

Damn Violet for being the one woman on earth determined to make her maid of honor look as hot as sin.

As they circled the floor, eyebrows were raised and glances exchanged. He was aware of the picture they made—him blond and elegant, at ease in the tuxedo that made the other cowboys tug at neckties and fidget with cummerbunds; her following his lead as effortlessly if they’d been dancing together for years. They were sleek and athletic, glowing with the pheromones that had been accumulating, molecule by molecule, over the enforced proximity created by two days of the standard pre-wedding hullabaloo.

Wyatt flicked a glance toward the bride and groom, so wrapped up in each other they wouldn’t have noticed if their attendants had broken into a tango. “Joe is the closest thing I have to a brother.”

Even though he did have a male sibling.

“Violet is my sister,” Melanie countered. “Her family is my family.”

Even though her own parents were sitting at a table only a few feet away, pointedly ignoring each other.

He studied the circle of faces that surrounded them, let his gaze settle for a beat on Joe and Violet, then focused on Melanie again, his voice hardening. “I’m not giving them up.”

“I was here first.”

Which was why his position was so much more precarious. He had only just found this weird and wonderful extended family that was more about loyalty than blood. Melanie’s ties to them were forever. His connection was new and perilously fragile.

“So this”—his fingers flexed, creating a slight, dangerous increase in pressure—“would be incredibly stupid. Especially for us.”

She tilted her head in question.

“You don’t like me. You certainly don’t trust me,” he said.

“Depending on the circumstances. You are a good friend to them. If you hadn’t forced Joe to come to Texas in the first place, he’d still be in Oregon instead of over there trying not to fall face-first into Violet’s cleavage—which is pretty damn impressive in that dress.” Melanie smiled fondly at the two of them, then brought her gaze back to meet Wyatt’s. “I’ve seen you risk life and limb for him in the arena.”

He shrugged. “I’m a bullfighter. You do what it takes to make sure the cowboy and your partner walk away.”

He didn’t have to explain. She’d been on the rodeo trail long before she took her first steps, and her brother was also a bullfighter. But she shook her head. “You’d do the same for a complete stranger in a back alley. If I ever got caught in the middle of a convenience store robbery, you’d be the person I wanted standing at the Slurpee machine.”

“But not sitting across the breakfast table.”

She pursed glossy red lips as she considered the question. “It would be too crowded with you, me, and whatever agenda you’re currently working. I’d have a hard time deciding where I fit into the scheme of the day.”

“Says the woman who makes a living parting the unsuspecting public from their hard-earned dollars.”

“Ouch.” But the edge in her voice was more amusement than offense. “I’ll have to tell Human Resources to add that to the job description.”

“And this conversation is a perfect example of why we would be a disaster. Despite this.” He traced a featherlight arc across her skin with his thumb.

She let her lashes flutter lower, to match her voice. “We could sneak off for a single night of depraved sex. Get it out of our systems.”

For a moment, the possibility hovered between them like a heat mirage. They both inhaled sharply, then exhaled slowly.

“Been there, tried that, have the divorce papers to prove it.” And he would not let his dick lead him into that steel-jawed trap again. Not when he had so much more than a simple broken heart on the line. He flashed a smile, bright and lethal. “I have it on good authority that you can—and will—hold a grudge.”

“Every girl needs a superpower,” she said with an equally toothy grin.

“Yours could make future Thanksgiving dinners a little awkward, don’t you think?”

Her eyes narrowed. “I think I am both reasonable and mature enough to handle myself.”

“History begs to differ.”

Color flared in her cheeks, a visible gauge of her rising temper. “Are you trying to irritate me?”

“Yes.”

She blinked. Then laughed in disbelief. “You really think that’s going to help?”

“Can’t hurt. And it comes so naturally to both of us.” He twirled her, then pulled her close again, nearly eye to eye with her in heels. “We can’t be friends.”

The song was winding down. One more chorus, and he would have to step away to dutifully tap the father of the bride on the shoulder and cut in for the traditional dance with the bride’s mother.

“We also can’t avoid each other completely,” she said.

“Close enough. I live in Oregon; you live in Amarillo. I visit a few times a year, and even when I am here, you’re usually working. It’s been over a year since Joe and Violet got together, and we’ve barely crossed paths, except at holidays.”

“Then we should be safe. I’ve had plenty of practice behaving myself at Miz Iris’s house.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Also not what I’ve heard.”

“Hey, it was all at least half Violet’s fault.” Her soft laugh was laced with affection. Then her eyes narrowed again. “So we agree on one thing.” She dragged a fingernail lightly down his neck on the pretense of flicking off a speck of the infernal glitter Violet’s son had blasted them with upon arrival at the reception hall. “This—”

“—is not worth the risk.” Wyatt kept his voice cool, despite the hot pulse of his blood.

“And we swear never to speak of it to any of them.” Her gaze sharpened on his face. “Ever.”

He curled his lip. “Would you like to spit on our hands and shake to seal the deal?”

“Sunshine,” she drawled. “If I decide to swap spit with you, I guarantee it’ll get a lot messier than that.”

He gave a strangled laugh, dropped his hands, and took a step back as a passing waiter shoved plastic champagne flutes at them for the latest in an endless series of toasts.

Ignoring the drunken ramblings of some distant cousin, Melanie lifted her glass. “Here’s to no lovin’ between this man and this woman.”

“For as long as we both shall live,” he agreed mockingly.

They tapped their glasses together, and both tossed back the champagne.

She handed him her empty glass before sauntering over to join Joe and Violet. Wyatt rocked back on his heels, appreciating the view…as he was sure she had intended. He took two full steps in pursuit before he caught himself, turned, and walked in the opposite direction.

A decision he would live to regret for a very, very long time.