Tempting the Cowboy
by Elizabeth Otto
After personal tragedy and taking a job on a quiet Montana dude ranch, ex-cop Rylan Frederickson finds herself surrounded by unbelievably sexy cowboys. Too bad the one she’s attracted to is her boss...and the single dad of a four-year-old. It doesn’t matter anyway; there’s simply no more room in her heart.
Letting a new woman into their lives is the last thing Cole Haywood wants for himself and his daughter, Birdie. But as Rylan’s presence at Paint River Ranch breathes new life into his family he can’t ignore his growing attraction.
When the sparks between them turn into fireworks in bed, Rylan’s torn between the family she’s lost and the one she may have found. Now she must decide if something that feels this good is worth the risk.
“What the hell?” Cole turned to fully face her, grumbling something about a man not even being able to get drunk without work interrupting. His snug shirt dipped into the lines of his chest, creating a tempting outline of firm pecs, narrow waist, and tight abdomen. A thick leather belt with a square silver buckle set the tone for the well-worn jeans clinging to his long legs. Rylan hitched an eyebrow. At least there was one good thing about this trip—the hype about cowboys being sexy as hell was true.
More than a little irritated with how her lust was playing tennis with itself, Rylan crossed her arms. “Hell is appropriate, actually. Now down the drink, and give me your keys.” She had one hand on her hip—habit, she supposed, from reaching for cop toys to make jerks like Haywood behave. His eyes fell to her lips again and stayed there.
“You were supposed to take the bus to Greenbrook. Tomorrow.” His tone implied she was an idiot.
“Right, well, sometimes things just don’t work out the way they’re supposed to.”
His hand cupped the beer glass while he studied her. Rylan stared right back, wishing the butterflies would take a hike. What was this reaction about? Cooped up too long with too little interaction with the outside world, she guessed. Her body was reacting to the first enticing man she’d seen in too damn long. Good thing Cole was her boss so she wouldn’t be tempted to act on her brain’s internal “look at the pretty cowboy” jumping and pointing.
Cole pulled his lower lip between his teeth and narrowed his eyes. “You’re a little ornery.” He reached one hand to her shoulder and flipped a chunk of her hair.
Rylan’s breath ran away as the back of his hand brushed over her collarbone. A shiver raced over her body, warm and sweet. She leaned away from him. “Excuse me?”
He shrugged, a slow smile crossing his face at her reaction. “That’s okay. Ornery is good.”
Her lips parted to sling an insult, but she refrained. No sense in wasting perfectly good angst on a drunk who wouldn’t remember it in five seconds. “I’ll play along. Why is that good?”
Cole took a slow breath, his eyes darkening. “Because you’re pretty. I like pretty. But I don’t like ornery. So we should be just fine.” He nodded as though he’d just made a deal with himself and was quite pleased about it. Before she could even think of a response, he shoved his beer away, untouched, and moved from the bar.
As an author with self diagnosed “book idea problem,” I’m always (and I mean always) coming up with another idea for a story. Truthfully, I’m grateful for this because not every writer has a constant stream of ideas for new material. In fact, I went through a one-year long dry spell in which no solid story idea would formulate. I’d get a lot of little ideas, or half-ideas, but nothing that really sparked me to turn it into a full-fledged novel. The constant stream of ideas didn’t come naturally—I had to learn how to nurture it. And since I have the patience of a two-year old and the attention span of a squirrel, this was no small feat.
It was during that dry spell that I took a really close look at what started sparking these little ideas in the first place. Where did the inspiration come from and what could I do to keep them coming and make them really bloom? Here are three ways I find inspiration.
1. I came to terms with the fact that not every idea is meant to be a novel. It may just be a creative short-circuit where my brain is just throwing around random tidbits because it’s stuffed too full and has to make room somewhere. I tell my kids it’s like cleaning out the attic. Your brain needs to get rid of random things so it can make room for the things that are meant to stay. I used to write down all passing story ideas in lieu of letting them flash and die off. If the idea flashes, and flashes again, and keeps knocking around in my head, I’ll jot it down for later. But only if it’s persistent!
2. I pay attention to the news. I know many mystery and suspense writers who follow the news like it’s a religion. What better place to get ideas? Because I’m a romance and paranormal writer, I pay more attention to how people react on the news. When they interview the widow, or the parent who saved their child from injury—how does their facial expression change? What’s their body language like? In addition to watching people, I pay attention to news or stories that might prove to be a good plot twist or story line. You’re going to watch the news anyway—might as well see if a story sparks along the way.
3. Pinterest! Oh man, Pinterest is my playground. I’m so visual and so deeply invested in ascertaining how people are feeling—what they are thinking—by their expression and body language, that I can spend hours on Pinterest studying all the people pictures. I use images of people, alluring places, quotes and even recipes as inspiration. Any image that makes me think, “what if,” works the best. What if…the greatest word combo ever! You can follow my Pinterest boards if you’d like to see my visual inspirations.
So there you have three ways I find inspiration for my sexy cowboys, hot firemen, fierce shifters and kick-butt demon hunters. Do you write? If so, where do you find inspiration?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Elizabeth Otto grew up in a Wisconsin town the size of a postage stamp, where riding your horse to the grocery store, and skinny dipping after school were perfectly acceptable. No surprise that she writes about small communities and country boys. She's the author of paranormal, and hot, emotional, contemporary romance, and has no guilt over frequently making her readers cry. When not writing, she works full-time as an Emergency Medical Technician for a rural ambulance service. Elizabeth lives with her very own country boy and their three children in, shockingly, a small Midwestern town.
Connect with Elizabeth:
Elizabeth will be awarding a $25 gift card to either Amazon or B&N and a boutique river stone bracelet to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour
Leave a comment to enter