Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cowboy Lovin' Day 10: Marie-Nicole Ryan


We're kicking off Week 2 of Cowboy Lovin' here at The Cozy Page with author Marie-Nicole Ryan, author of Seducing the Sheriff! And she brought both a giveaway and an amazing excerpt! Take it away, Marie....

I’m thrilled Amber is celebrating that great iconic character, the American cowboy. To celebrate my recent historical western release, I’m offering a $10 gift certificate from Amazon or Samhain Publishing to one lucky commenter who comments to this post. You’ll need to watch Amber’s blog in order to see if your name is picked, and then e-mail me at marie AT marienicoleryan DOT com with your real name and details so that I can award you the prize.

Seducing the Sheriff is my first historical western and while we’re at it, I’ll warn you it’s an erotic romance as well. So if you like your cowboys hot, this one’s for you. My interest in the cowboy dates back (and dates me as well) to watching Roy Rogers movies at the drive-in. I can’t name the number of cowboys, but they were many and all admired by this impressionable young girl.

Now fast-forward to today. I live in Middle Tennessee and I couldn’t ride a horse if my life depended on it. I tried it once, when I was eighteen, and it was NOT a successful encounter. More like stressful. However, I did live in Arizona the year I was five and that’s when my love affair with the cowboy started. Today I like my cowboys a little on the dirty side and more realistic. I plead guilty to being a rabid Deadwood fan. In fact, I cancelled my HBO subscription when they canceled Deadwood. I loved the bad language and the less-than-squeaky-clean characters. It was gritty and real—to me anyway—and it served as a major incentive to try my hand at writing some shorter pieces set in the Old West.

Two things I learned in the editing process from my wonderful editor, Linda Ingmanson: horses don’t have thighs, they have haunches, and you can’t just leave a horse with reins running loose while the hero goes and has some illicit fun with the heroine. Thank goodness she’s a horse person.

If things, meaning the writing, goes well, there’ll be two more stories in my Loving Lawmen series. Pleasuring the Pinkerton is next, and I hope to follow that one with something like Marrying (or Mastering) the Marshall.

So without further meandering, here are a blurb and an excerpt from my recent release.

“Seducing the Sheriff” by Marie-Nicole Ryan
Buy from MBaM!
Available at
Amazon
Read An Excerpt Online
Genre:
Historical Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 978-1-60504-846-8
Length: Category
Price: 4.50
Publication Date: December 15, 2009
Cover art by Angela Waters


Blurb:

Half dressed and going for naked…

Starlight Tyler needs to lose her virginity, as in yesterday. With her mother, a Pinkerton, and a wealthy man she doesn’t love on her tail, there’s only one place to cut their cruel intentions off at the pass—get herself back into the arms of long-lost love Cordero Tate. Pronto.
She never expected to be tripped up by someone else’s past.

Sheriff Cordero Tate is a haunted man on a mission. Come hell or high water, he’ll round up every member of the gang responsible for the deaths of his wife and unborn child…and make damned sure he never puts his heart on the line again. As in never impregnating another woman. One look at Star, though, and all the old feelings come back in a rush. Worse, she’s just as determined to brand him as hers as he is to keep her chaste.

Their exploration of ways around that impasse leads to three nights of unbearable sensual pleasure. Until her past catches up to her…

EXCERPT: PG-13 © 2009 Marie-Nicole Ryan, All rights reserved, Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Star’s hands shook, but she kept them in front of her so Cord couldn’t tell how much seeing him after four long—damn long—years affected her. He was a man grown all right, in every sense of the word. Four years older than she, he was a good head taller. His craggy face was darkened by the sun, but the warmth of his dark eyes hadn’t changed since the time he teased her at the age of six and dropped a mess of earthworms in her lap in the town’s one-room schoolhouse. And sadly enough at one time, he and her half-brother had been the best of friends.

Now they were on the opposite sides of the law.

More important, this Cord Tate with his double six-shooters was nothing like the lecherous lawyer with sweaty hands and unyielding mouth her mother tried to marry her off to back East. Her mama’s re-entry into polite society and Star was the price. It’d taken Mama four years to find a man with the right setup—respectability, money, social position—who was willing to take an old maid daughter off her hands.

No indeed.

An unfamiliar stirring of emotions hit her from the moment Cord identified himself. While she might’ve had a schoolgirl’s crush before her mother dragged her along to Boston, what she felt now didn’t feel very girlish. Her feminine core clenched at the sight of his long legs and muscular thighs while he cared for his horse before filling his canteen. A man who took good care of his horse would treat his woman with respect, too. But was it respect she wanted?

Never mind what she wanted. She needed a husband and needed one fast before they dispatched someone else to bring her back. And Cordero Tate fit the bill on both accounts.

“I’m glad you came home. Never dreamed you would.” His tone was deep and soft. The richness of it resonated deep within her, turning her into a warm pool of…need? Was there even a word that described how she felt at seeing him again? More than anything she wanted to surrender to impulse and throw her arms around his neck.

Anything to erase her lingering revulsion of Teddy Darwin. She shook her head in an attempt to erase the memories. But none of that emotional stuff mattered. What mattered was keeping to her plan of seducing and marrying Cord as soon as possible. She’d only been home three days. His showing up uninvited and unexpected was an omen. And every minute counted.

She fluttered her lashes. “My mother—”“

How come she let you come back? I would’ve thought with her family’s connections, she’d marry you off to some rich fellow.”

“She tried.” She averted her gaze, remembering how the oh-so-upright Theodore Darwin’s clammy hands felt on her thighs when he tried to force them into her underwear. She shivered again. Barely an hour after her mother informed her she was engaged to the middle-aged lawyer, he’d tried to force himself on her. Randy old goat—had to be forty if he was a day. Still, she bet it’d be the last time he tried to force a woman without her say-so.

Tears sprang to her eyes as she met his gaze. “I ran away.” Twice. “And I’m not going back. You can’t make me.”

His dark gaze softened. “Darlin’, nobody’s gonna make you go back there. You’re home now.”

If only it were that easy.

His strong arms surrounded her. She gave in to his warmth and relaxed in his embrace. Her entire body twitched, and all she cared about was the sandpapery touch of his warm, callused hands caressing her. Quite a contrast to the way old Teddy made her feel. By damn, she’d never let another man make her feel like a cheap whore again.

Cord was her answer. Better than she could’ve ever hoped. And why shouldn’t he marry her? They were in love before she left. Nothing had changed. She could see heat in his gaze. And she’d make him a good wife.

She gazed into his warm brown eyes. “I’m yours, Cord. Why do you think I came back? We were always meant for each other. Make me your woman.”

He dropped his hands and stepped back. His eyes widened, and shock scrawled in uneasy lines across his handsome face. He ran his fingers through his hair, blue-black as a crow’s wing, a gift from his Mexican mother.

“God-amighty, woman. Have you no shame? Is this how decent women in the city talk?”

The heat of embarrassment flushed her entire body and flooded her cheeks until they were so hot they must’ve been fiery red. What was it her mama said? Desperate times called for desperate measures.

She stiffened, scowled and dared him to interrupt. “Seems like making me your woman was exactly what you had in mind the night before my mama jerked me onto that eastbound train. Guess you’ve changed your mind.” She whirled and ran for the house.

“Hold on!”

She reached the door first, but he clapped a hand on her shoulder and whipped her around to face him. “Lot of water under that bridge. You got no idea.”

Tears threatening to spill down her cheeks, she glared at him. A burst of fury and a mixture of fear drew her innards into knots. Her heart thundered loud as cattle stampeding headlong toward a sheer cliff. “No idea? You’re the one with no idea. You could’ve claimed me then. Stopped mama from taking me away. If you’d just stepped up and said the word, I’d have been yours these last four years.”

“What and let you pass up the great life you were supposed to have back East? Your ma said—”

“What’d she say?” Star clenched her fists, but at the same time a curl of hope flickered in her belly. “Did she actually stop you…?”

“Yeah, she did. Said I was selfish to keep you here in this backwater. Said I didn’t really love you ’cause I was too young and stupid to know the difference between a lady and the half-Mex son of a rancher.”

“My mama?” Star straightened her spine and hissed, “In spite of her family connections, we were treated like poor relations. So she tried to barter me off to the highest bidder like a prize heifer. It was her big plan to regain entrance into polite society. I was supposed to marry this despicable man…a lawyer…and he was old.” In spite of her best efforts to remain in control, the last came out as a wail.

She rested her head on his chest and sniffed. Against her ear, his heart pounded almost as loud as hers. “I didn’t know she talked to you. All I did know was that you didn’t so much as come to the train station to say good-bye.” She paused and gazed into his eyes. “I cried all the way to North Carolina until she threatened to slap me silly if I didn’t stop.”

Gently Cord nudged up her chin until her gaze met his. “Darlin’, I didn’t think I deserved someone as sweet as you.” He dipped his head and kissed her full on the lips. His mouth was warm and tender, nothing like the lawyer’s.

Cord’s every touch felt so right. Her body grew heavy with desire. Her knees weakened until she thought she might faint. His tongue swept inside her mouth, and his hands splayed down her back until he cupped her bottom and pulled her close to his hard c**k.

Her body grew rigid. She tried to pull away. So, he wanted her, too. But she needed more than a quick roll in the hay…although turning down his overtures didn’t have a lot of appeal at the moment. After all, she’d come home to trap him into marriage. It was the only way to keep her mother and old Teddy Darwin at bay.

If she were safely married, this time whoever Darwin sent after her would have no choice but to return to Boston empty-handed.

“So…you want to be my woman?” His tone was raspy and breathless, his breath hot on her neck. “I can’t marry you.”

“You can’t? But you have to. I-I need more.” What the Hades was the matter with him? What had she done wrong? Dammit. His hard member was pressing into her belly. She hadn’t done anything wrong…yet.

He scowled down at her and adjusted his crotch. “You need more than this, darlin’?”

She scowled up at him. “Yes, dang it. I’m talking something more serious than the size of your…your Johnson.”

Happy New Year to everyone!

Marie-Nicole Ryan
http://marienicoleryan.com/
http://facebook.com/marienicole.ryan
http://twitter.com/marienicoleryan
http://lovinthelawman.blogspot.com/

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm making a special trip to Samhain today to purchase Seducing the Sheriff! Thank you, Marie-Nicole, for sharing! Readers, you have until Thursday, January 14th to enter her contest. I will announce the randomly-drawn winner next Tuesday, the 18th so please check back in to see if you have won! Chances of winning depends on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Tomorrow I welcome a special guest to Cozy, a western romance editor who's bringing her love of cowboys to the party'! Be sure to drop by for the scoop from an industry insider of the genre....

58 comments:

Linda Henderson said...

Yes, I've got to know what happens with this one. Can't wait to read it all.

PhyllisC said...

I love cowboys. This story sounds interesting. I am going to buy it right now. I want to see if she "gets her man". =)

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Sorry, there was a bit of confusion. Anyone who comments will be entered into my contest, but I can't give a GC to "anyone who comments."

You'd think a writer could be more specific.

Thanks Linda and PhyllisC for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

Judy said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt!! Thanks. Oh, I grew up watching Roy Rogers and all the cowboy shows on TV. They were not as "hot" as your Cord is, but when you are young that is not on your mind (thank goodness) :)

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks, Judy. I agree with you. Hotness wasn't a factor back then. It was a matter of the story and entertainment, and in hte long run that's still the case, although the hot factor definitely factors in now.

Thanks for dropping by.

Julie said...

I'm loving your alliterative titles. :D Thanks for the excerpt (I really want to know what happens next) and for the chance to win. :)

clynsg said...

Some would thing that the love affair with cowboys would be limited to Americans, but from what I understand, there are wannabes all over the world!

clynsg at yahoo.com

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Hi Julie. Thanks for dropping by and reading. I'm you like the titles.

As for the titles, one of the more humorous (not actually planned for a story) is Diddling the Deputy. That one always brings a giggle when I think of it or mention it at my local MCRW meeting. I don't know if I have more than three historical westerns in me. One just never knows what will pop into ones head.

Incidentally I hope the stories bring a giggle or two as well.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Clynsg,

Hi. I don't know if cowboys are that popular all over the world or not. The word on the market is that Europe loves the Native American romances, but not the cowboy. Internationally which has to include Asia as well, I'm not sure about.

"They" say that the historical western market is soft and Beth Williamson mentioned it as well yesterday in her post.

I hope not because I've found a new group of readers by branching out.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments and the blurb. This book sounds so good I have added it to my TBR list.
Joy
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Joy. Seducing the Sheriff was a hoot to write. I hope you'll enjoy it.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Marie-Nicole! Enjoyed your post today and the cowboy lovin'! Glad there are more hot cowboys to come! Will their stories be related to Cord and Star's?

--Fedora

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks, flchen. They'll be linked only by secondary characters. The Pinkerton hero in the next story appears in Seducing the Sheriff, but the story takes place in NE New Mexico later that year. I have an idea that the seamstress, a secondary character in Seducing the Sheriff, will be the heroine of the third story. I have a feeling the seamstress has a somewhat checkered past.

Debra St. John said...

*sigh* I just love the way a coyboy says, "Darlin' " in his soft, southern drawl.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

I love that "Darlin'" too. Only man with a southern or western accent can do it justice.

On the other hand, British and French accents can drive me crazy too. Maybe it's just a man with an accent... LOL

catslady said...

I enjoy Indian and cowboy books (they don't know what they're missing :) Great excerpt.

catslady5(at)aol.com

Eva S said...

Great excerpt! I love cowboys, will look for this one!

lastnerve said...

First I have to say that I love your writing, and am a huge fan. Seducing the sheriff looks so incredibly good. I can't wait to read it. About as country as I got growing up was Dallas. Does rich country even count as country? I loved Bonanza too.

Val Pearson
lastnerve2000@gmail.com

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

I'm falling behind! Catslady, I'm with you. They don't know what they're missing.

Eva-Thanks so much. This one is only in e-book since it's just a bit under what my publisher requires to go to print.

Val--You are so sweet. I'll have to remember your words whenever I run across a negative review. I don't know if Dallas counts, but to my way of thinking it DOES!

Leni said...

Did you always want to write a historical western or did your idea just draw you to this time period?

Alicia said...

Sounds like a great read!

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks, Alicia. I'm certainly enjoying spending the day here. Now if that cowboy would just knock on my door...

escondita (aka Julia) said...

Hey, Marie! I wouldn't worry about a "soft market"; I think whenever there's a good story, there will be a readership (and I think you have a good story!).

BTW, how about Consorting with the Constable? *g*

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Julia, that's a great one. Constable though sounds British to me. Maybe he'll be an immigrant. Who knows? LOL

Donna B said...

Sounds great! I'll add this one to my wish list!

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks, Donna.

More titles:
Riding the Ranger or
Rogering the Ranger (but the latter has sort of a British connotation, too.)

Mary Ricksen said...

I think a good story will usually find it's niche.
Another I gotta have it story!

Lisa G said...

I had already added "Seducing the Sheriff" to my TBR list, but reading your excerpt, moved it way up on the list!

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Leni,

It was more the idea of writing a sort of bawdy Deadwood style story that brought me to the genre. Most of the time I write romantic suspense (pretty spicy) andI found I had to include a bit of a suspense element in this story, too.

Hi Mary, That's so nice of you to say.

Alicia--Thanks. I guess that's the general idea--*wink* I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Amy S. said...

Seducing the Sheriff sounds great! I have it on my tbr list. I love cowboys!

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Good to hear, Amy. Thanks for dropping by.

Becky said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and now what to know what happens. I had added this one to my list of books to get.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks, Becky. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

suehussein said...

Hi, thanks for sharing the excerpt!! This has been a week of new authors for me. I LUV my western reads and now I have a list of new ones to pick up. Good luck to you with the next two books. I really enjoy a good series!! Thanks, Sue

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Sue--That's so great. Amber had a great idea when she thought up the Cowboy Lovin' Event, didn't she?

I've found new authors to read, too.

Caffey said...

Hi Marie-Nicole! When I saw you had this cowboy book out, I wasn't going to miss it. I so love reading cowboy reads and have enjoyed your books already! But too love to find a historical one too!

I rode a horse only ONCE, LOL. I was working at a summer camp with children who were deaf and one requirement was to experience first hand the activities the children would be involved in. So I enjoyed the bow and arrow (I can't remember what its called! LOL) and the arts and crafts. I was excited about experience riding a horse and I actually did pretty good (except trying to get on it) and then I was so sore that I pretty much was walking a 'split' for a few days after! Thanks for the huge peek into the book!

I'm looking forward to the cowboy week here!

cathiecaffey(at)gmail(dot)com

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Hey there Cathie. Thanks so much for your kind words. The bow and arrow thing is called archery. I have a friend who teaches horseback riding at a camp in upstate NY. She goes up there every summer and lives in a trailer without TV, phone or a computer.


Have a good rest of the evening Cathie.

Beth said...

The old west is the only kind of historical that I enjoy reading. Those cowboys just have something about them. Makes you want one of your own.

Brenda said...

I love reading the old west types of books! I love cowboys!

dancealert at aol dot com

robynl said...

hi and welcome; I loved Roy Rogers, Bonanza and such movies. I love my cowboys and their stories. Thanks for sharing your book and I look forward to reading it.

yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Brenda,Beth and Robynl--
It's so great to hear there are cowboy lovers out there. Thanks for coming by and reading my excerpts. This has been a cool experience.

zina lynch said...

Marie-Nicole,
I too love cowboys and grew up watching Westerns movies Sat. morning and the Shirley Temple movies on Sunday. I loved watching any John Wayne movie and loved the Lone Ranger. Your next two titles sound good, good luck with the third title.
Zina

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Zina,

We all have that watching early cowboy thing going on. It amazes me how that works. ;-)

Karen H in NC said...

I grew up with all the westerns on TV in the late 50's and early 60's. Loved them all...still do! I especially love DEADWOOD too. I don't have HBO so I had to wait for DVD release. I am now the proud owner of all 3 seasons.

When I first started reading historical romances way back in the early days of paperback novels, most of the books were set in America. But now I read historicals set mainly in the Regency and Victorian eras. I've heard/read somewhere that interest in historicals set in the American Old West is waning. As authors of books set in this time period, do you find that to be the case?

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Karen,

Yes, that's the conventional wisdom historical western sales are soft. There are too many vampires and shifters taking up those slots.

But there is a solid audience for the historical western, but we seem to be the same generation and our buying power isn't as respected as it should be!

This is my first historical wester, BTW, so I don't have a lot of experience in whether or not future books will sell. I think the erotic element helped sales at my particular publisher.

mamasand2 said...

Great excerpt Marie-N. I loved this book and recommend it highly.

I'm really hoping to see you turn this into a series.

Sandie

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Sandie--Thank you so much. You've always been very supportive and I really appreciate you taking time to come over here to comment.

Turning these historical westerns into a series is the plan. They even let me name the series, so once I finish the RS I'm working on, I'll work on the next book. It's started, but I don't do well trying to work on more than one thing at a time.

Cat Johnson said...

Can't believe I missed the first 10 days of cowboys!! I loves me some cowboys. LOL. I'll have to go back and catch up.

Cat Johnson

Cherie J said...

Wow! That blurb just left me wanting more. Talk about a teaser.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Yeah, Cat--Lots of great cowboy stories. Thanks for coming by.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

CherieJ--Yeah, I'm just a teasing kind of gal! Glad you enjoyed it.

Diana L Smith said...

I have always loved cowboys and enjoy watching alot of the old cowboy movies and TV shows. I grew up with Bat Masterson,Maverick,Rifleman,Roy Rogers and Dale Evans etc. I read all of Louis L'Amour's first books so am glad to find an author I can enjoy again writing about cowboys. thanks for the excerpt.
Diana

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

You're so welcome, Diana. I had a lot of fun writing that story.

BTW, have you read Beth Williamson? She does great cowboy stories. She was here several days ago, so I definitely recommend you check her out too.

pams00 said...

I just wanted to stop by and say that I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to all! I don't read very many cowboy books but this one really caught my attention from the beginning! The chemistry between the hero/heroine was tangible. The added drama a nice touch. Looking forward to more from you :)!

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Pams00,

Thank you so much! That's such a nice thing for you to say and do!

And as soon as I complete my current RS WIP, I'll get to work on the next book in the series.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new release Marie-Nicole. It looks like a good story.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks for checking it out, Maureen. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

CrystalGB said...

Your book sounds great. I love cowboys. :)