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BLOOD OF CHAMPIONS
The Bloodline Series Book 4
BY LYNDA REES
Rose Casson falls for retired Navy Seal, Calvin Coldwater, who is working for the Madison family training a racing contender for the Kentucky Derby. Believing Cal is cheating, Rose lashes into party mode, picks a fight with a tattooed female punk, lands in danger, and discovers damming evidence that sends a killer targeting her.
Widower and tavern owner, Justin Henderson is falling for his childhood friend, CEO of Adele Industries, Corrie Parrish-Morgan; but Justin has nothing to offer a wealthy heiress like Corrie, who he believes has set her sights on someone in her social circle. Corrie’s teenage daughter, Madison is livid about the divorce and about being dragged to rural Kentucky to live on a farm. Missing his deceased daughter, Justin bonds with spunky Madison and adores her.
The big race begins. The killer decides to end things. Who walks away a champion?
INTEREVIEW WITH CHARACTER, ROSE CASSON
ROSE: Thanks for inviting me here today, Karen. It’s an honor to be on your blog.
KAREN: You’re welcome. My readers want to know how you ended up in such a mess.
ROSE: I fled to Sweetwater as a terrified runaway at age sixteen. The charming horse farm community in rural Kentucky seemed a safe place to start a new life.
KAREN: Don’t your gothic-style clothing and a radical hairstyle keep folks at a distance? Looking tough in a country burg could make people wary of you; although, I like the purple streak in your bias-cut hairdo.
ROSE: Thank you. You’re right, to a point. I guess I wanted space, at least until I figure out he lay of the land. I could tell Sheriff Wyatt Gordon wasn’t fooled. He’s quietly watched over me since I arrived, but respectfully kept it to his self. Lemon Sage Gordon moved to town from New York, so I didn’t scare her. She took me under her wing and has been like the older sister I never had.
KAREN: What about your love life? I understand you’re seeing that hunky horse trainer from Mane Lane Farm.
ROSE: (Rose turns almost as purple as her hair.) Yes, Calvin Coldwater and I met shortly after he moved to town after retiring from the service. Cal was a Navy Seal, you know. My garb didn’t fool him. He recognized something in me akin to his own issues. We’re both outcasts searching for a place to belong.
KAREN: He’s an exotic looking male. Why is that?
ROSE: His ebony hair and dark, bronze skin comes from a part Irish, part Choctaw Indian heritage. His height stems from his grandfather, and his swoon-worthy frame is due to brutal workouts he’s addicted to from his military career.
KAREN: Surely family is looking for you. Don’t you want them to know you’re doing well?
ROSE: (Rose pales and hesitates.) Dad died when I was five. Mom died when I was sixteen. So no; I don’t have anyone I care for—except in Sweetwater.
KAREN: I see. So things have gone perfectly for you and Cal?
ROSE: I wouldn’t say that. It was amazing at first. Then I saw him with a shady female and allowed jealously to get the better of me. I pushed him aside and inadvertently put myself in danger.
KAREN: Speaking of danger, I understand you’ve had several close calls in the last couple months.
ROSE: True. I seem to be accident prone. Hopefully the phase will pass.
KAREN: I understand Cal has a stake in the biggest race of the year.
ROSE: Yes; his horse, Dakota Maiden, is racing for the roses. I’m thrilled to watch her run.
KAREN: Be careful in that crowd. You never know what danger lurks—with you being accident prone, you know.
ROSE: (Rose shivers.) Thanks for the warning. I’ll keep my eyes open.
KAREN: You’re mysterious and in nearly all books in The Bloodline Series. Correct?
ROSE: Yes, but I’m a supporting character. I play the heroine in Blood of Champions, Book 4.
KAREN: Awesome. Thank you for the interview. I understand you’ve brought us an excerpt from Blood of Champions.
ROSE: Yes, Here you go:
Rose slipped silently away unobserved in the organized chaos of the moment. She walked quickly. What could be so urgent Sage would ask to talk at such a time? Entering the vacant barn lined with stalls, a chill ran down her spine.
She instinctively reached for the weapon normally concealed beneath her breasts. It wasn’t there. Weapons were not allowed in the facility. As she eased through the quiet breezeway searching for Sage, Rose felt naked without her protection.
“Sage, it’s Rose. What’s so urgent? Are you alright?” Glancing in each unoccupied stall Rose passed, she made her way through the stable.
Finally approaching the end, an animal shower occupied the left section. Hair on Rose’s neck stood at attention. It seemed odd Sage chose to meet in the last stall on the right, the only place left to look. Rose’s eyes darted about, searching for signs of danger. Approaching with caution, listening intently, she neither saw nor heard any sign of her friend, as she reached the door.
Someone snatched Rose by the arm and slung her into the stall. Hitting the side wall inside, she backed away.
A wild-eyed stallion tied on the far side huffed, snorted and pawed the floor. This was no beast to tangle with.
Rose kept her back against the opposite end, hoping he wouldn’t break free to reach her. The frenzied animal appeared crazed and panicked. He would stomp her, given the chance.
The horse had not pulled her inside. Her attention swung toward the doorway. It occupied a face she hadn’t seen in ages—except in nightmares she’d experienced for years.
KAREN: I understand you’re giving prizes to five lucky readers this week. Tell us about it.
ROSE: Yes, we’re giving a five FREE audiobooks of Blood of Champions. And I brought three special recipes to share with readers. Here they are. Enjoy!
BLOOD OF CHAMPIONS SIGNATURE COCKTAIL
1 oz. vodka
1” thick cubes Watermelon
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. Simple syrup*
Mix together in shaker. Pour over ice in cocktail glass. *For simple syrup recipe, see Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary & Wine chapter.
CHAMPION SAURKRAUT BALLS
Cook 1 lb. Sausage with 1 chopped onion until onion is soft and sausage is brown. Drain. Add 1 can sauerkraut, 2 TB fine bread crumbs. Mix. Combine 8 oz. soft cream cheese, 1 TB. parsley, 1 TB mustard, l/2 tsp. garlic salt, dash pepper. Add to sauerkraut mixture. Mix well. Chill 1 hour. Form into balls. Coat each with flour. Coat each floured ball with a stirred egg. Roll them in fine bread crumbs. Deep fry in hot oil until brown or back on parchment paper on cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 20 min. Serve hot. Can serve with Dijon mustard or horseradish.
KENTUCKY BLOODLINE BURGOO
1 Length of polish sausage, sliced in l/2” pieces
4 pork loin chops cut into bite size pieces
1 small round steak cut into bite size pieces
2 chicken breasts deboned, deskinned, cut into bite size pieces
Salt, pepper, garlic salt
2 cans tomato chunks
1 can beef broth
Splash of Worchester sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 large onion chopped
1 bay leaf
Toss everything into huge pot and fill with enough water to cover. Simmer covered on low for 2-3 hours until everything is falling apart tender, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to keep saucy. 15 Minutes prior to finished cooking toss in 1 cup rice. Great served with cornbread.
Lynda is a storyteller, an award-winning novelist, and a free-spirited dreamer with workaholic tendencies and a passion for writing. Her dreams come true, blessing her with a supportive family. Whatever crazy adventure Lynda congers up, her loving Mike is by her side. A diverse background, visits to exotic locations, and curiosity about how history effects today’s world fuels her writing. Born in the splendor of the Appalachian Mountains as a coal miner’s daughter and part-Cherokee, she grew up in northern Kentucky when Newport prospered as a mecca for gambling and prostitution.
Published in romantic suspense, historical romance, children’s middle-grade, advertising copy, and freelance, Lynda is an active member of several professional writing organizations and judge of professional writing events.
Enjoy my work. I hope we become life-long friends. Time for Romance!
Links to Lynda’s website, blog, books, etc.
Love is a dangerous mystery. Enjoy the ride! ©
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RITA FINALIST, GOLDEN HEART AWARD
Historical Conspiracy Romance
Sweetwater Publishing Company
Thanks, Lynda, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!