An Excerpt from His Last Rodeo by Claire McEwen

Claire McEwen His Last RodeoTitle: His Last Rodeo (Sierra Legacy #4) by Claire McEwen
Release date: May 1, 2017
Published: Harlequin Superromance


Back in the saddle again… 

Tyler Ellis catches Kit Hayes completely off guard when he swaggers back home and into the bar she manages. Since high school, he’s been a champion rodeo star…a notorious playboy…and now, apparently, a bar owner. She accepts his offer of a hefty bonus and helps him transform the place because she’s desperate to escape their tiny town in the Sierras. She doesn’t expect him to work this hard beside her. Where’s the cocky cowboy he’s supposed to be? Instead, she discovers he’s still the sweet, genuine young man she once knew. And so much more…including a threat to the adventurous life she craves.

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Kit glanced at his towel in horror. “Use the lint-free kind.” She handed him a towel from the stack on the shelf over the sink. “Jeez, you are green, aren’t you?”

“Green at this,” Tyler admitted. “But rumor has it I’m a pretty quick study.”

“Well, I guess we’ll find out if the rumors are true,” she teased. “It’s your first Friday night, isn’t it?”

“It sure is.” He tried to smile, but it felt a little weak. “I’m looking forward to it. But I’ve got a few nerves.”

“You should. You have no idea what you’re doing.” Her intoxicating combination of sass and mischief had the glass slipping out of his hand, so he had to hustle to catch it.

“Nice reflexes,” she murmured. “Maybe there’s hope for you yet.”

“If you help me out tonight, there is. I can pour a pint—”


“—and measure out a shot. But if I get anything more complicated than that, I’m toast.”

“You don’t know your cocktails?”

“Don’t drink ’em myself. I’ve been reading recipes, but I’m more of a hands-on learner.” A nice way of saying that half the words he read made no sense. He glanced hopefully in her direction. “I just need a good teacher.”

“You want me to train you? You won’t be embarrassed?”

“When you rodeo, you learn by falling on your ass in front of hundreds of people. This can’t be more humiliating than that.”

She studied him from underneath her thick black lashes. “What’s in it for me?”

“A boss who’s not totally incompetent?”

Her slow smile could melt metal. “But that could be kind of fun to watch.”

“No shit-show is fun to watch for long. Plus I saw you with those customers. You pretend to be all tough, but you have a soft spot for the lost and lonely. I’m part of that club right now.”

“You?” She laughed, soft and bitter. He’d give a lot to know what put that resentment in her soul. “Not the words I’d ever use to describe someone like you.”

“Someone like me will pay you a training stipend. A hundred extra bucks each night.”

“Now you’re trying to buy my help?” She scrubbed the pint glass in her hand with extra vigor. “Not everything can be bought, you know. Loyalty, for example.”


10 Fun Facts About Rodeo Cowboys by Darlene Panzera

10 Fun Facts About Rodeo Cowboys by Darlene Panzera

Darlene Panzera Montana HeartsIn my new release, Montana Hearts: True Country Hero, rodeo champion Jace Aldridge comes to stay at Collins Country Cabins and meets Delaney, a beautiful, sweet, single mother of a two-year-old. He needs her to help heal his injured horse. She needs his endorsement to save her family from financial ruin. Jace also hopes to win her heart, but Delaney isn’t too keen on rodeo cowboys. She thinks they have large egos to match their over-sized belt buckles. Can Jace convince her otherwise?

As an author I’ve had so much fun writing about cowboys in this series. How many of the facts below did you already know?

  1. The term “rodeo” comes from the Spanish word “rodear” which means ‘to surround.’
  2. Rodeo is a competitive sport that originated from the techniques cowboys used on the ranch to round up cattle when an animal required medical attention.
  3. Rodeo clowns aren’t just in the arena to entertain the crowd. They are highly skilled athletes whose top priority is to distract the bull when a cowboy falls so the cowboy can escape unharmed.
  4. William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, organized the first U.S. rodeo and wild west show in Nebraska in 1882.
  5. Another term for steer wrestling is “bull dogging.” Some claim the event started in the 1930’s when Bill Pickett, a Wild West Show performer is said to have caught a runaway steer by wrestling it to the ground. Others say he developed the idea after watching cattle dogs work with feisty animals.
  6. Human skin is 1mm-2mm thick, horsehide is 5mm thick, and bull hide is 7mm thick.
  7. The harder a bull bucks, the higher the cowboy’s score, with 100 points being the highest.
  8. A cowboy’s belt buckle is for more than just holding one’s pants together. It is usually a trophy they win in competition to show off their accomplishments. Before the 1920’s most cowboys wore suspenders or a type of belt that did not require a belt buckle.
  9. The first realcowboy hat was created by John B. Stetson in 1865.Thishat, with its high crown and wide brim, was called “Boss of the Plains,” and could protect one’s eyes from the sun’s glare. The hat could also be used as a cup to scoop up water, or as a pillow, if folded over.
  10.  Cowboys often sang to the cattle they guarded at night to keep them calm. They worried about the danger of stampede from thunder and lightning or other unexpected noises, and singing calmed jittery cows.

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Author Victoria Vane discusses reader reviews

Victoria VaneAs most authors know, there is no amount of paid advertising that can equal the power of word of mouth for selling books. Book reviews are one of the very best ways to generate this kind of interest, but there truly is a good, a bad, and an ugly side to reviewing. Here are some thoughts from an author’s perspective.

Positive Reviews:

When I receive a great review, I’m always elated that my story resonated with my reader, but I am particularly thrilled when a reviewer refers to a favorite scene or quotes a snippet of dialogue. This tells me that they really “got” my story. These kinds of “quotable” reviews are the most helpful to an author as they can also be used as promotional tools on future books and web sites.

Dealing With Negative Reviews:

When I submit my work to a reviewer, I always hope for a stellar review, but I also know after six years and twenty-two titles, that I will never be able to please everyone all of the time—even my die hard fans.

When I read a negative review, I try to view it constructively if possible, and then move on. I never dwell on the negatives, mainly because many negative reviews are not constructive. Although these can sometimes be hurtful, criticizing someone [for] a review is a very bad move—everyone is entitled to their opinion.

While no one loves negative reviews, I knew when I began writing that I would have to grow a thick skin. As an author, it’s important to understand and accept that fact. And while we all endeavor to write great books, some stories are going to be better than others and some will touch readers in unpredictable ways—either good or bad.

Recently I have seen some humorous Youtube videos of bestselling authors reading some of their bad reviews. I’m not sure I would do this personally, but it is rather funny.

A Brief Word about Spoilers:

Nothing is as disheartening to an author as reading a review (even a great one) with plot spoilers! What’s the point in reading a book if you already know what’s going to happen? Instead of focusing on plot, a great review should hone in on the reader’s feelings about the story and the characters.  Are the characters well developed and sympathetic? Did the author do a good job in explaining their motives? Is their character growth in the story? Is the romance compelling and believable?


The very best way to support your favorite authors is to post reviews of their work (preferably with snippet quotes and no spoilers) on e-book retailers sites (Amazon, B&N, etc..) as well as high visibility review sites such as Goodreads, Booklikes, LibraryThing, personal blogs and social media. This is form of book advertising is invaluable and very much appreciated. If you love a book, please review and spread the word! Continue reading