Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cowboy Lovin' Day 24: Stacey Joy Netzel

It's the final week of Cowboy Lovin' and the guest authors keep on coming! Today I'm pleased to welcome Stacey Joy Netzel, a fellow author of The Wild Rose Press's Yellow Rose imprint. Take it away, Stacey!
Amber, thanks so much for the invitation to join you today. Looks like you and the other wonderful authors have been having QUITE the month! *grin* I have enjoyed a few of the featured books, as well as Blackest Heart, and now I'm looking forward to an afternoon on the recliner with a hot cup of tea and Bluest Heart on my Nook someday soon.

A man on a horse in jeans and boots is about the sexiest thing I can think of. So, while CHASIN' MASON might be the first 'western' romance I've had published, it's not the first time a good-looking cowboy has ridden through the pages of one of my books. See, I spent two summers working at The Aspen Lodge Ranch Resort and Conference Center in Estes Park, Colorado after high school, which is where I met my first true blue cowboy and heard a genuine Texas drawl. (Funny enough, the drawl didn't belong to the cowboy, but instead a fellow children's counselor, named Robert Foster.) I'd grown up with horses and applied to be a wrangler to guide trail rides through the beautiful Rocky Mountains, but checked children's counselor as a back-up job. Considering I was a young graduate at 17, I got the back-up position. I did, however, get to guide a half-hour children's ride with my 'kids' two times a week and loved it.

Anyway, I completely fell in love with the mountains, and my first three romance manuscripts were set right out there in the Rockies with a cowboy on a horse somewhere in the mix. The only thing that doesn't quite trip my trigger is the cowboy hat. Not sure why (maybe it's the hat-head when they take them off) but I prefer my cowboys in boots, soft faded blue jeans and chaps, a worn plaid cotton shirt rolled to the elbows to expose sinewy forearms, and hair that tumbles rakishly over their forehead. I know, I know, the hats serve a practical purpose, but since they're my stories, hats are optional for this writer. :)

Having said that, Tripp and Reggie both wear hats in Chasin' Mason--because it makes sense in the hot Texas sun. See? I'm not completely illogical.

Before I share an excerpt from my book, I'd like to do you like your cowboys? (remember, PG-13)

***One winner will be drawn from the comments for an e-copy of CHASIN' MASON.***
When his father announced his engagement to a gold-digger with a lying, scheming fourteen-year old daughter, seventeen-year old Tripp Warner left Warner Ridge Ranch and never looked back. Until the day he got the phone call that his father had died unexpectedly.

Reggie Reed lives with her guilt every day but can't quite work up the courage to track down the son of the man who raised her as his own. When Tripp shows up at his father’s funeral eleven years later--and a hell of a man to be reckoned with--he has no interest in her too-late apology. Worse, they’ve inherited half shares of the family ranch—but only if they work together to catch Mason’s Gold, the stallion a young Reggie let escape and made sure Tripp took the blame for.

Tripp proposes a secret competition to the beautiful witch who stole his life: whoever catches the stallion first gets the ranch all to themselves. It sounds simple, but once they’re out on the range, tempers and passions flare in the Texas heat and nothing goes as either of them expects.

She should apologize to Tripp right now for stealing the life he should’ve had, but, impaled by the icy shards of his blue eyes as she stared up at his impressive height, the words stuck in her throat with a thick coating of guilt and shame.

Instead, she averted her gaze and murmured, “I should get back to the house or Grandma will start to worry.”

When she started to walk past, a strong, calloused hand clamped over her arm, halting her mid-stride. Startled, she jerked her chin up to find his eyes narrowed accusingly.

“You don’t get to call her that,” he ground out. “She’s not your grandmother.”

Despite the warmth of his fingers burning her skin, and the fact that she was more intimidated than she’d ever been in her life, she forced herself to hold his gaze and show some backbone.

“She helped raise me since I was fourteen. It was her idea, not mine.”

His lip curled. “You wormed your way in nice and tight, didn’t you? I bet you and your mother can’t wait for the reading of the will.”

A discreet attempt to pull free only succeeded in making him tighten his steel grasp.
“My mother’s not here.”

“That explains why I haven’t seen her, then. What, did she take a shopping trip to celebrate her new status as a wealthy widow?”

She frowned, momentarily accepting his hold without resistance. Did he not know? Loretta, in fact, had called yesterday from her new yacht in the south of France to offer insincere condolences before bragging about the size of the rock her fourth husband had bought her—a wedding Reggie hadn’t even known about.

She did her best to ignore the sharp bite of bitterness that always surfaced with any thoughts of her mother and simply replied, “They never did get married.”

The slackening of his grip and genuine surprise on his face told her he hadn’t known. His expression quickly hardened again. “Leaves more for you then, doesn’t it?”

“I’m not the same person I was back then, Tripp.”

His fingers tightened. “And that’s why you were smiling during the service, isn’t it, because you’ve changed so damn much.”

“You were there?” Reggie flushed with the realization that he’d seen her bittersweet smile earlier.

“It’s not my fault you were too busy figuring out how to spend the money to notice.”

“That wasn’t it at all.”

“Well, then, please, tell me what was so amusing when my father’s body was being lowered into his grave?”

In truth, the shock of seeing the casket disappear into the dark hole in the earth hit home with a finality she hadn’t even imagined. In desperation, she’d looked away and focused on the antics of the foals in the pasture below the hill.

“I was only remembering how much Judd enjoyed watching the newborn foals every spring,” she whispered. “He used to love it when they—”

Tripp’s fingers bit into her skin, effectively cutting off the rest of her sentence. His eyes darkened for a few seconds before he subjected her to another sweep of his chilling gaze. “You took everything from me. You and your gold-digging mother. You can dress all respectable and shed some of your well-timed tears, but we both know you’re nothing but a conniving stepsister in Cinderella’s clothing.”

Thanks again to Amber, and to everyone who stops by today! CHASIN' MASON received a Night Owl Reviewer Top Pick and was voted a LASR Best Book of the Week. It's available from TWRP! and you can read a different excerpt and the reviews at my website:

Have a wonderful day!

Oh ~ one last bit of fun trivia: While writing Chasin' Mason, this picture of Matthew McConaughey was my inspiration for Tripp (yes, hat and all *grin*). A few months after contracting the book with TWRP, I watched MM in the movie Failure to Launch, in which his character's name is...Tripp.

Woot! Thank you, Stacey - very much ;) - for sharing here at The Cozy Page today! I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Chasin' Mason. And thank you for the compliments as well. They mean the world to me!

Readers, be sure to check out Stacey's website. Her backlist - Welcome to Redemption, Dragonfly Dreams, and If Tombstones Could Talk - are all great reads! As for her giveaway, it will run through January 28th. The winner will be announced the following Tuesday, February 2nd. Please check back in to see if you have won. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. Entrants must be 18 years or older.


Christie Craig said...

Do I love cowboys?

Hmm... I live in Texas for a reason. LOL.

Great post, Stacey.


Carol Ericson said...

Great excerpt. I like my cowboys with nothin' BUT a hat! ;)

Anonymous said...

I like my cowboys strong,sexy,witty,and loving.

Paty Jager said...

Fun getting to know you, Stacey! And a great excerpt.

Amy Atwell said...

What a wonderful excerpt and book trailer--Stacey, you are multi-talented and you clearly have a winner here with Chasin' Mason.

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful Western authors with us, Amber!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Christie, I hope to get down to see that beautiful state one of these days.

Carol, I have a feeling many women like their cowboys just like you. ;) Especially the heroines in your wonderful McClintock series with HQ.

Leni--well said! Any man with those attributes, cowboy or wallstreet, is a keeper.

Paty--thanks; glad you liked the excerpt!

Amy--thanks to you, too! Though it was work, I had fun making the trailer.

I appreciate all of you stopping by!

Sandy said...

You lucky girl getting to spend the whole summer in Estes Park. I love it there.

I like my cowboys with a hat. Smile.

robynl said...

a cowboy can wear a hat as long as he takes it off at certain times, lol.

Yeah for cowboys. Loved the interview.


Becky said...

I enjoyed reading the post. I loved the excerpt and book trailer for Chasin' Mason. This sounds like one hot read.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Stacey Joy,
Ooh, I might be an Aussie but I love cowboys, and your excerpt was rivetting.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Well, I may be partial, but I think Chasin' Mason is one excellent read!

And you'll find out how I like my cowboys tomorrow, right here on The Cozy Page. *grin*

hotcha12 said...




Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Sandy--I miss those days mostly for the beauty of the place. And, yeah, I'll admit a little for my younger years, too. :) (I'm currently reading Addiction on my Nook)

Robyn--very true! Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy some of the books featured this month.

Becky--thanks for checking out the trailer! I peeked at your profile and have to mention my Christmas anthology is set in Pulaski, WI, about 8 miles from where I live. :)

Margaret--you've got your share of cowboys down under, don't you? (Enjoyed Holly and the Millionaire, btw!)

Donna--cp's are allowed to be partial. Looking forward to your post tomorrow! Golden Opportunity is a "Don't Miss!" read.

Again, thanks everyone for stopping by!

Julie said...

I love it when the hero and heroine start out hating each other. :D Thanks for the chance to win!

Carol L. said...

Hi Stacey,
Wow I loved the excerpt and the trailer. You're a new to me Author and I sure am glad I found you here. Looking forward to Chasin Mason. I love them cowboys. :)
Carol L.

Carol L. said...

Hi Stacey,
Great excerpt and trailer. Can't wait to read this one. Love them rugged cowboys with or without those hats :)
Carol L.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Julie--I do too, and like to come up with plots that foster that.

Carol L--I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and trailer, too. If you don't win and decide to pick up a copy, I'd love to hear from you after you're done reading.

Glad you both stopped by and have a great day! Happy reading!

Linda Henderson said...

I like my cowboys in tight jeans, boots and a stetson. I enjoyed the excerpt very much. I'd love to know how it turns out.

Andrea I said...

I love rugged and handsome cowboys.

I enjoyed the excerpt.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Hi Linda and Andrea! Tight jeans, so long as they're not TOO tight. Rugged with a 5 o'clock shadow sounds just about right. :)

Nice have you two stop by!

PhyllisC said...

I love cowboys - so much that I married one. :D

I enjoyed the excerpt. I look forward to reading this one.

flchen1 said...

Stacey, that was a terrific excerpt--I'm thrilled to learn about Chasin' Mason, and am looking forward to reading that! Cowboys are irresistible heroes!

SiNn said...

Stacey ur books rock I love reading your work ty for that

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Linda B--somehow I missed your comment. I'm sorry! Glad you stopped by. :)

Phyllis--good for you! Living the dream, hey? Hopefully it's just as romantic in real life.

flchen1--any hero with a true heart is irresistable--and doubly so if he's a cowboy.

SiNn--thank you so much! That made my day. *grin*

It's almost the weekend--everyone have a great one!

misskallie2000 said...

I love cowboys. They are hunky, rugged, tough, tender, smart, wise, rough, sexy, gentle and loving. LOL Give me a cowboy. But alas, none in my area..LOL
Loved the excerpt and trailer. WOW..

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read Christine Columbus's new book! I'm also looking forward to the book signing party. Way to go, Christine!

Carol Z

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

missKallie--I will hope your cowboy rides your way soon!

Carol--Christine's book does sound really good!

Happy reading everyone!