This is so exciting!
I’m thrilled to welcome one of my favorite authors to the blog today, Jesse Hayworth. Jesse writes contemporary western romances set in a fictional Wyoming town (filled with smart, strong women and hunky cowboys) and is a true farm girl. When I asked her what put her over the moon, she certainly surprised me with her answer.
What has sent me Over The Moon recently? Well, I’m almost ashamed to admit the truth, as it’s super farm-girl geeky. I should probably say I found the cutest pair of shoes on sale in just my size (or, since this is me, replace ‘shoes’ with ‘Lucchese boots’), or that I got into my skinny jeans (ha! not). But, really, I’m obsessed with a shiny green new pitchfork.
To clarify, currently horseless-by-choice, I volunteer a couple of days a week at an equine rescue. (I would’ve volunteered at a cat shelter, but if I did that, I would want to bring them all home—with the horses, this fortunately isn’t an option.) The farm rescues horses, donkeys and minis from auction, animal control seizures and private surrender, then rehabilitates and trains them until they’re ready to transition into new homes. In the meantime, there’s poop to scoop … lots and lots of poop.
There’s really nothing more annoying than trying to clean pens with a pitchfork that’s got a loose, wiggly head or broken teeth that let the you-know-what fall through. Okay, sure, there’s plenty of stuff that’s more annoying in the world—like the sound of a dental drill (or the dentist suddenly saying, “Oops!”) or figuring out after you’ve inserted your foot that Kitty hocked a hairball into your favorite slippers—but for us poop-scooping pros, the pitchfork thing is up there. So imagine my delight when a recent donation meant new pitchforks for all!
Green, shiny, non-wiggly, and with all their teeth intact, they have polished handles and pretty stickers that extoll their virtues. And they sent me Over The Moon … almost as much as getting to wave goodbye to one of our little mini-donks the other day, as he left for his new home.
About Jesse’s place, Mustang Ridge
Mustang Ridge is located in beautiful northern Wyoming, where the mountains hunker in the near distance and the wild mustangs roam. The ranch has been in the Skye family for more than two centuries, and for most of that time, it’s been a top-notch cattle station. But the times they are a-changing. Six or so years ago, fresh-out-of-college Krista Skye went up against her grandfather, Big Skye, and swung the family vote to transform the cattle ranch to a high-end dude ranch that offers guided trail rides, roundups, Gran’s down-home country cooking, and a whole lot of hunky cowboys to round out the package. And with Krista, her twin sister Jenny, and a whole lot of single ranch employees and guests coming and going, there’s no shortage of potential for romance!
The series leads off with Summer at Mustang Ridge, Winter at Mustang Ridge and Harvest at Mustang Ridge, with more coming in 2015.
Harvest at Mustang Ridge reunites ranch boss Krista Skye with the college boyfriend who broke her heart eight years ago. Sure, it’s water under the bridge, but are they really ready to team up to train a wild mustang for a prestigious ride-off? Krista might tell herself that off-the-charts chemistry isn’t enough to make a relationship work, but when she gets to know Wyatt again after all these years, the lines blur, sparks fly, and all bets are off…
Excerpt from Harvest at Mustang Ridge:
Oh, help. It was all Krista could think as she was confronted by an acre of tan skin and rippling muscle, and surrounded by the scent of freshly showered male and a hint of spicy aftershave.
Her boots nailed themselves to the porch and the picnic basket threatened to slip from fingers that were suddenly itching to touch the line of sparse hair that began at his nipples, met in the center and traveled down, thickening as it went. Don’t you dare, she warned her libido, wishing desperately for a flash flood, a lightning strike or for the couch behind him to spontaneously combust. Something—anything—to send her running.
She had seen his body before, granted. But it hadn’t looked anything like this. Pull yourself together, she chastised. He called the sparks leftovers. Like old broccoli or something. “Here.” She shoved the basket at him. “Gran didn’t want you to starve. I told my family who you are, and they’re trusting my judgment on hiring you.”
“Good to know.” Expression shuttered, he took the basket and set it aside, then looked over his shoulder to where two leather duffels sat on the couch, open and partway unpacked. Nearby, a sleek little laptop rested beside a half-finished beer. “Come in. Or wait here, whichever. I’ll put on some clothes.”
“I’m not staying.” She didn’t move, though, and neither did he. And after a nanosecond pause, with her brain clamoring no-no-no-don’t-do-it and feminine insult cheering her on, she added, “But before I go, there’s one more thing.”
Pretty sure that this was one of the stupidest things she had ever done but unable to fight the urge to make her point, she grabbed the ends of the towel he wore around his neck, went up on her toes, and announced, “I’m nobody’s old broccoli.” And she kissed him.
Jesse will be giving away copies of her two previous Mustang Ridge books to a lucky commenter. Winner’s choice! Contest closes on Wednesday, August 20th at 6 PM EDT.
Keep up with Jesse on the web: