KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
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UNDER TEXAS BLUE SKIES by DEBRA HOLT
Reading a good romance was a means of escape for me from my regular daily routine for many years. As countless readers have done, I would finish the book and then think to myself, “I can write a book like that.” Of course, I never actually did put pen to paper…at that time. Fast forward many years into the future, and I am having lunch with my dear friend, Jan. Out of the blue, she asks me a question: “If you could be doing anything you want right now, what would it be?” I responded without hesitation, “I would be in the mountains in a cabin, writing my books.”
Her response was quite simple. “Why aren’t you?” Well, I had to look at that question and before I knew it, I had gone home and sat down in front of the laptop screen. By the end of that weekend, I had put 30,000 words on screen. There was no turning back after that. The stories began to pour forth. Once the first one was completed, the next step was to do something with it. After much thought and research, I decided that the best thing for me was to find an agent who might take me on. Long story short, after 8 months of working with one on the manuscript…edit and re-edit…I was offered representation.
I still have my regular ‘day job.’ The difference is that every spare moment is spent writing yet another story that just won’t stay out of my head. I also made the decision to stay true to a very important caveat in writing. ‘Write what you love to read’…so very true! I love to read contemporary western romances and that is what I write. I grew up with those handsome cowboys and in Texas, females are feisty and have minds of our own! What better combinations for a great read?
Under Texas Blue Skies came about one day as I was thinking about all the great times I had listening to country music and going to those old country dance halls. J.D. Sterling was typical of a young cowboy, with little prospects but lots of talent…most of all, a big dream. He also knew that his only chance was to leave the small Texas town and go after his fortune. The only thing holding him back was the fact he had fallen hard for a girl…Mandy Lawson…with eyes the color of the Texas blue sky and a heart she had given to him almost the moment they had met. Vows of love forever and dreams of a perfect life together soon fell into ashes. J.D. never returned to her, even when he achieved the stardom he sought. Mandy grew up the hard way and put a wall around her heart. Then, one day, J.D. strolls back into town intent on one thing…finding the heart he left behind. Except time changes people and tragedy can strike anyone. Love lost may never be found again.
UNDER TEXAS BLUE SKIES
By Debra Holt
J.D. Sterling, country music’s sexy superstar, has come home again. He has achieved his wildest dreams and did what he set out to do when he shook the dirt of the small Texas town from his boot heels a dozen years before. Now, he’s returned for the final piece of the puzzle to completing his life….the girl who holds his heart. Mandy.
Amanda Lawson has grown up. From sheer heartbreak to struggling to survive to becoming a shrewd businesswoman, she has taught herself to never look back. She survived once before the wild, green-eyed cowboy with only a guitar to his name and a pocketful of dreams. He took her heart and so much more when he left her behind with his hollow vows.
Mandy was his muse…J.D. was her dream. Despite tragedy, can they find their way home to each other again?
UNDER TEXAS BLUE SKIES
By DEBRA HOLT
J.D. Sterling’s heartbeats were thumping loud as a bass drum at the sight of the red sedan as it pulled into the circular driveway, stopping just behind the other realtor’s Hummer. He had purposely seated himself in a corner of the wide porch, away from the glare of the noonday sun, where climbing vines and shade would enable him to be concealed from the woman’s line of sight. He didn’t want her to know he was there, at least not right away. J.D. needed to see her first, to get his feet under him. At least, that’s the excuse he’d given himself. For someone who always planted his feet solidly in the middle of any situation, this was one time the spotlight was not what he sought. His pulses were racing as he saw the driver’s door swing open, and two slender ankles encased in gray high heels became visible as they touched the ground.
The woman stood up, one hand pushed her sunglasses further up on the bridge of her nose, and then she closed the car door behind her. She slung the straps of her leather bag over her shoulder and moved around the hood of the car, her heels making soft crunching sounds on the pea gravel along the drive. In the early afternoon stillness of the ranch, those sounds seemed to be amplified.
The eyes in the shadows drank in the features of the woman as she moved toward the house. Nowhere in sight was the country girl he had last seen. The vision that approached was confident in her stride, her head up and shoulders resolute. The girl he used to know was just short of being painfully shy and always hesitant to stand out of any crowd. Sunglasses concealed her eyes from view so he couldn’t see if they were still the amazingly vivid blue he remembered and had even immortalized in song once. They had filled his dreams on many a night and gotten him through some really hard times. It was those eyes he would see when he closed his own as he sang across the bright lights into the dark recesses of some huge arena, packed with screaming fans and loud music. He would sing to the girl in his dreams…the one he had left behind but never left out of his heart.
Maybe the girl he had carried in his memory didn’t exist any longer? That thought unnerved him more than he wanted to admit. Had he left things too late? No, it couldn’t be too late. Not for them.
“Hello, Mandy,” he spoke softly from the shadows.
Amanda’s head swung in its direction. Her eyes sought to focus on the tall figure that stepped from darkness into light. She went to take a quick breath but found she couldn’t. In fact, for some reason, the light was receding, and the darkness was swallowing them all up.
Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and owning a wedding planning business (ah, romance!).
Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs… to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.
The Seymour Agency represents Debra and she is soon to have two contemporary romances published by Spencer Hill/Tulip Romance and Astraea Press. Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at email@example.com.
Links to Debra’s website, blog, books, etc.
Courtesy of Gallagher Author Services Blog Tours