People often wonder why readers are drawn to stories set in Texas. There’s such an allure here.
Size—it’s difficult to imagine a place that takes over eleven hours driving time straight across it and still not leave the state. Once a visitor to Houston asked me to meet her for lunch. When I explained that Texas Panhandle is 530 miles away, she was dumbfounded.
Rich History—every man, woman and child knows the history because they teach it in school. That history is ingrained into my heart and soul. So many brave people have shed blood for this flag with its large single star, which stands for unity as one for God, state and country.
Living here fills my heart with great pride. Each of us share the rich heritage. We don’t take lightly the price that was paid by men such as Sam Houston, William Travis, Davy Crocket and countless others.
John Steinbeck once said, “Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.”
(Side note: For ten years 1836-1846 we were our own country, with embassies abroad.)
Cowboys—these men are a special breed. They’re extremely tough, dedicated, loyal. They work hard and love just as hard. There are no half-measures with these guys. They'll ride straight through hell for a cause...or person they believe in.
From the time I began writing, with the exception of one, all my stories have a Texas setting. It’s what I know and what I love. Texas requires strong men and women characters, the kind who might bend a little, but never break. The kind who will fight to the bitter end, risking everything for a chance at happiness. They're born of grit and steel and cussed determination.
When I began my Bachelors of Battle Creek series, I knew the perfect setting was the real, historic place of Battle Creek, Texas. There is actually no town there—just a granite monument in honor of the men who died in a massacre. Twenty-five government surveyors were attacked in 1838 by a force of 300 American Indians. The battle lasted three days. Seven surveyors survived. I knew this was the perfect place to set three stories of conflict—three very determined brothers who fight with every ounce of strength they have for the people they love.
I’m so excited that book two of this series, TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE, is out! This one features the middle brother, Rand Sinclair. He risks his name, his heart, his life for Callie Quinn and two children who have no one. He finds a love so deep it shakes his very soul.
I hope you’ll take this journey with me. Come and find out for yourselves why Texas stories have this huge feel about them and the characters larger than life.
Linda Broday now resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado. At a young age, she discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up! A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She blogs regularly at www.PetticoatsandPistols.com.
Praise for Linda Broday:
“Broday understands the West and its lure. Without stinting on the gritty reality of a rough Texas life, she brings strong characters and deep emotions into a very realistic western romance that pulls no punches.”—RT Book Reviews, 4 stars, on Redemption
“Linda Broday is a wonderfully talented author, who has a knack for bringing the west to life.”—Roundtable Reviews
“Broday’s style of storytelling is captivating; readers become emotionally involved in her stories, and are not disappointed with the outcomes.”—The Best Reviews
“A compelling tale... sure to touch western romance fans seeking a sentimental love story.”—RT Book Reviews, 3 stars, on The Cowboy Who Came Calling
Series: Bachelors of Battle Creek #2
Author: Linda Broday
Published: May 5/15 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: historical western romance
Back Cover Blurb:
“Running away won’t change that. Trust me with your secrets. There’s no reason to hold back any longer.”
She knew he was right. It was time to come clean.
“Start with your name,” he said.
Left with emotional scars from his time in an orphanage, Rand Sinclair has vowed never to marry. But when he discovers Callie Quinn and a small orphan boy hiding on his ranch, he can’t help but open his home to the desperate runaways.
Callie has been betrayed by every man she’s ever known. While she’s grateful for Rand’s incredible kindness, she knows it’s only a matter of time before he shows his true colors. But she needs this safe haven—maybe the outlaw on her trail won’t find them here. Yet as Rand slowly uncovers her secret fears, they each come to realize that the only way to keep her safe is for Rand to risk everything to offer her the protection of his name…and his heart.
“Hi, pardner.” Brett ruffled Toby’s dark hair. “I brought you something.”
“What is it?”
“Your very own tepee.”
“To keep?” Toby’s eyes widened and his big grin spread.
“Maybe. We’ll see how it goes. If you mind your elders, you can keep it. If not, I’ll have to take it back.”
“I’m the best boy in the whole world.”
Brett’s grunt seemed to say that time would tell as he arranged twelve long poles on the ground and began tying the tops of three together with a length of rawhide. “Where do you want to put this, Rand?”
“Let’s move it over by the woodpile, where it’s out of the way.” He was going to be the only white man with an Indian tepee on his ranch. How had this sorry state of affairs come to pass? But he wouldn’t say no. It meant too much to Brett and to Toby.
Callie came from the house looking fit to be tied. “Hello, Brett. I hope this isn’t what it looks like.”
“Miss Callie, I wanted something special for Toby to play in, that’s all. If you draw the line at him sleeping out here, that’s all right. It’s up to you to decide when and how often you want the boy to use it.” Brett gave her a smile. “I’d never undermine you.”
“This could be very magical to a child,” Rand said gently.
“Please, ma’am?” Toby begged. “I wanna be an Indian.”
Biscuit gave a loud whine and spun around in a circle as though she too was adding her two cents’ worth.
“Please?” Toby persisted.
When she lifted her eyes to Rand, he gave her a lopsided grin and a wink. Getting tangled up in her warm whiskey gaze could be quite pleasurable, he found.
“Oh, all right.” Callie threw up her hands. “But I won’t have you sleeping out here, young man. You’ll play in it only when I give you permission. And you’ll have chores to do each day before you can play. Understand?”
“It’s too dangerous out here at night anyway, with that mountain lion hanging around,” Rand said. “I’ll keep an eye on him during the day. I don’t want you to worry.”
Toby hugged Callie, then threw his arms around Brett’s waist. “Thank you. I’m glad we came here.”
Brett returned Toby’s hug, then knelt to rub Biscuit’s head. “Now tell me where you got such a fine-looking animal.”
Rand stood watching the pint-sized squirt relay what little facts he knew. He already loved this little kid. Whatever had happened to them, it made him happy that he could help bring a light to the boy’s eyes. He remembered how dull they’d been when he’d first found them in the run-down bunkhouse last week. His mind turned back time to the days following his, Cooper’s, and Brett’s escape from the orphan train. To avoid detection, they’d slept during the day and traveled by the light of the moon, eating food whenever they found some or managed to kill a rabbit or squirrel. Cooper was always the one to watch over them and fight when things called for it. He’d once tried to kill Tolbert Early in a bathhouse for attacking Brett.
Toby had that same protective instinct. Rand only prayed he could help the boy stay a boy a while longer. Once you became a man, you could never go back.
“Where are you, brother?” Brett asked.
“Just thinking that you’d best explain what we need to do.”
With Biscuit supervising and pretty much getting in the way, they all pitched in erecting the tepee, which was made from buffalo hide.
Working side by side with Callie proved the best part. Each time their hands touched, a current ran up Rand’s arm. He couldn’t imagine what might happen if the touching involved a bed and the scent of night around them. He’d probably just explode faster than a load of nitroglycerin. Likely find pieces of him three states over.
The haunted look had begun to fade from her eyes a little, and she wasn’t as tense and anxious as when they first arrived.
Maybe, just maybe, the fear would be gone soon.
And then he intended to kiss the daylights out of her.
Of course he’d go slow. He closed his eyes and watched it play out in his head.
He’d start by kissing each eyelid, then move to her shell-like ears and trail kisses down her long slender throat.
Tiny nibbles at the corners of her mouth.
Trace the seam with his tongue.
Breathe her fragrance.
Whisper tender words.
Only then would he press his lips fully against hers and take all that she wanted to give.
It took a minute to sink in that someone was trying to get his attention. “What?”
“Where did you go?” Brett asked. “I need you to help me get these sewn buffalo hides around this tripod and cone I’ve made. Of course, if you’d rather take a nap—”
“Just show me what to do,” Rand snapped.
As they worked, Rand’s gaze kept straying to Callie’s soft, round curves. The woman was going to be the death of him yet.
Even so, he was realizing he’d die a happy man if he could only get a taste of her lips.
Broday’s writing style suits her storyline very well. She verges on poetic at times, capitalizing on the true romance between her characters. At other times, the nitty gritty shines through, showing just how ruthless outlaws can be. Everything serves to heighten a reader`s immersion into the storyline. Broday really takes readers back into the Wild West, allowing them to get a feel for the lives of her characters.
Rand`s caring, honest outlook on life melted my heart, even if he couldn`t always see how worthy he was. Callie`s desire to protect others at all costs was equally endearing. Surrounded by their rag-tag family, readers can`t help but fall in love with these two. Also, 0tThe dialect and drawls definitely shine through, giving you a deep feel for the characters. The way that they present themselves is just as important as the way that they view themselves. This created the perfect balance for well-rounded characters.
Broday`s second instalment in her Bachelors of Battle Creek series was even more captivating than the first. Suspense and danger rule the day and romance is ever present. This is definitely a must read (and re-read) for all lovers of western romance.
And, be sure to enter this fantastic tour wide giveaway!