Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Launch Day Dive: BET IT ON MY HEART

Title: Bet It On My Heart
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Will Be Available In: Ebook

Series: Wayback, TX - Book III in the Ridge family trilogy

Cover Artist: Tamra Westberry

Keefe Ridge's bronc-busting days are nearly over. Despite that and the fact that he is slowly making his dream business venture a reality, Wayback's wildest cowboy doesn't see any reason to settle down. He is even willing to bet that marriage isn't in the cards at all for him.
Agent Calli Morlani came to Wayback on a mission: to bring Stella Ridge back to Hollywood. When Stella refuses, she dares Calli to take in some local color and see what Wayback has to offer. Whether that includes Stella's devastatingly charming brother becomes irrevelant once Calli finds herself in bed with him - in more ways than one…
Will it take a tough city girl to make the Wayback playboy finally fall long and hard? Or will Keefe give Calli a reason to stay? Place your bet!

Concept: For this final edition in the Ridge saga, I wanted to mix thing up. First of all, it was going to take a very wise and take-charge woman to tame the wild Ridge beast in the oldest Ridge brother, Keefe. In both Book I (Blackest Heart) and Book II (Bluest Heart), the hero is a cowboy and the heroine is a cowgirl. For Bet It On My Heart, however, I decided to bring in an outsider. Not just to knock Keefe off his pedestal - I wanted to show western life through the eyes of an urban character. You can't get anymore city than Calli Morlani. Born and raised in the heart of NYC, the daughter of an Italian chef and a Jewish barber, Calli moved to Hollywood to get into the talent business. When we first meet her in Bet It On My Heart, she's a successful agent and is coming down to Texas to talk former client and friend, Stella Ridge (heroine of Blackest Heart), into coming back to LA. Those who read Blackest Heart may recognize her ambiguous role in the opening scene of Book I:

"Stella, I understand you need some TLC. No one’s going blame you for one second. But let’s be serious here, sweetie. Texas?"

Stella Ridge rolled her eyes as she strolled through the bustling airport toward the nearest exit, suitcase rolling noisily behind her. She’d known how her agent would react to the news of her impulsive departure. "It’s home, Cal. Just because I abandoned it doesn’t mean it’s fallen off the map."
"Is it really even on a map?"
Stella bit back a retort, exasperation edging her words. "Sure it is. It’s not that far outside Abilene."
"Who’s Abilene?"
She sighed. "I’m going to have to let you go. I’ve got to rent a car."
"Listen to reason, sweetie." Cal’s voice sounded urgent over Stella’s phone. "If you walk out of that airport, you’ll be making a huge mistake."
"This is something I need to do. Please understand."
"I have a fantastic idea! Why not hop on the next flight out to Fiji? You can spend a month at that resort you love so much."
"I don’t want Fiji. I want home. I want family."
"There are plenty of resorts back here in LA. You haven’t seen that dusty town in almost two decades. This is your home. Your family’s here. What about me? I’m your family, Stella."
"Be careful, Cal," she said in the sultry voice that had sold millions at the box office. "You’re very nearly whining."
"Remember that script you love? They want you for the part."
"You’re bluffing," she said, spying the car rental sign up ahead. "Hanging up now."
Cal huffed out a frustrated breath. "You’re taking the coward’s way out. What’s so great about Wayback, Texas?"
"It’s normal." She ended the call before Cal could reply.

Little did I know, this conversation would echo through Book III....

Hero: Keefe Ridge

Hero Occupation: Ridge Range ranch hand/cattle driver, heir to Ridge Range, retiring bronc rider

Hero Description:
The cowboy told the host about his ride, hands planted on his hips, feet spread in a confident stance. The smile on his face was sly and smooth, the lines of it fit to charm any filly of his picking. He had a great face, a marketable build and body. Too bad he’d chosen the dusty arena over fame and fortune.
Hero Stunt Double: Timothy Olyphant
Hero's Greatest Strength: His protective instincts surrounding his family, home, and business. (Blackest Heart fans might remember how well his rival Judd's relationship with Stella went down with big brother Keefe. For those who don't know, fists were thrown and noses were broken.) He also has a surprising streak of decency, which introduces itself in a scene with Calli in Bet It On My Heart.
Hero's Greatest Weakness: His long string of casual relationships has made his already independent streak a mile wider. When his relationship with Calli takes a more serious turn, he turns broody.
Hero's Astrological Sign: Aries (This sign is: Aries likes to be first in everything! A natural-born leader, the fearless Ram is able to get things going in an instant and is willing to try anything, although this sign sometimes takes on more than can be accomplished.... Dynamic and energetic, and they have to constantly keep busy. They are also a very charismatic sign, with the ability to easily attract others with their personal magnetism.)
Heroine: Calli Morlani
Heroine Occupation: talent agent (One of my favorite aspects of writing Bet It On My Heart was watching Calli not just fall in love with Wayback but find her niche in the dusty, podunk town. Calli's not the type of woman to settle into the housewife role. It was fun rolling that into a fitting conclusion for both her and a returning secondary character.)
Hero Description:
She looked so out of place in the rustic setting, she might’ve wandered out of an alternate universe. Her toothpick heels sunk into the sod. He raked his eyes over shapely calves left bare by a knee-length skirt. She carried a matching jacket and had already sweated through the thin, almost translucent tank underneath. Perspiration shined on her face, arms, and shoulders. Her eyes were dark, deep and irritable. He was instantly intrigued.
Heroine Stunt Double: Marissa Tomei - Calli was inspired by this actress's role as Ashley Judd's friend in Someone Like You. You might even recognize a few turns of phrase. ("Mazol tov!")
Heroine's Greatest Strength: Calli's strength is just that: her strength! She's a strong, working woman who's paved her own way and can go toe-to-toe with any man in the business world. What's interesting about matching her up with a man as strong-willed as our cowboy, Keefe, is seeing how she goes toe-to-toe with one in a fiery relationship.
Heroine's Greatest Weakness: Her preconceptions about simple country life. She almost has an elitest view of Wayback. I loved how all those stereotypical views were slowly broken down as her feelings for Keefe progress.
Heroine's Astrological Sign: Gemini (This sign is: Mentally gifted and very intellectually inclined. Very well informed; they always try to gather as much information as they can, which in turn helps them to more easily adapt to any situation. Quick-witted and very smart, quickly become the center of attention in any gathering. At the same time, Gemini can be very moody.)
What Sets This Book Apart: The cityslicker comes down to Texas and fumbles her way through two weeks of western life. Also the playboy meets his match and ends up falling long and hard!

Favorite Scene: There are so many moments that were entertaining to write. I think my favorite, though, is Calli's first trip to the Blue Bug Saloon. (Read a clip below in yesterday's post.)

Familiar Cameos:
Judd Black
Stella Ridge Black
Casey Ridge
Josie Brusky Ridge
Leland Ridge
Jake Serrano
Sherrie Porter Serrano
Teensy Belle Griffin
Sam Howard
Daisy Porter Howard
Katherine Holloway
Max Porter

Be the first to read Keefe and Calli's story today at The Wild Rose Press! See the launch of the book trailer below....

No comments: