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Latest News – Riding Rodeo Now Available in Audio

I’m very excited to announce that Riding Rodeo, narrated by talented Kellie Kamryn, is now available in audio at Audible and Amazon and is coming soon to iTunes.

Riding-Rodeo-AudiocoverThe last person Amanda Goodson expected to walk into her bakery was Sean Cassidy, the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left without a good-bye the next day.

A nasty hang up ended Sean’s career and left him with nothing but time to contemplate his past sins—the most damning one being walking out on Amanda, the one woman he couldn’t forget once outside the bedroom. Searching out Amanda to right the biggest mistake of his life, he finds he has competition. Never one to back down from a challenge, he offers to fulfill her fantasy of riding two cowboys.

At the end of the night, will Amanda decide riding Rodeo is worth the risk to her heart?

Latest News – Riding Rodeo Now Available as Single Title

RidingRodeo300For those of you who’ve been waiting for the re-release of my cowboy menage, featuring bakery owner Amanda Goodson and the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left her wanting more, well, it’s here.

On sale at All Romance Ebooks for $0.99 for the next couple of weeks.

It will also be available at Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Smashwords (I’ll update the links as they go live.)

Blurb:

The last person Amanda Goodson expected to walk into her bakery was Sean Cassidy, the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left without a good-bye the next day.

A nasty hang up ended Sean’s career and left him with nothing but time to contemplate his past sins—the most damning one being walking out on Amanda, the one woman he couldn’t forget once outside the bedroom. Searching out Amanda to right the biggest mistake of his life, he finds he has competition. Never one to back down from a challenge, he offers to fulfill her fantasy of riding two cowboys.

At the end of the night, will Amanda decide riding Rodeo is worth the risk to her heart?

Excerpt:

A callused hand appeared in front of her nose. Her gaze traveled from the hand, up a muscled forearm to a bulging bicep emphasized by the cuff of a white, form-fitting T-shirt stretched tautly over sun-bronzed skin, and then skimmed across broad shoulders to focus on a pair of sparkling gray-blue eyes. Her laughter trailed off.

“Let me give you a hand.”

His deep voice rolled through her. A tingle zipped through her veins. “I know something else you can give me.”

Brittany snorted while Courtney choked. “Gawd, Mandy. That’s disgusting.”

Lord! Did I say that aloud?

With a mental shrug, she pasted on a big smile and accepted his hand. He hauled her to her feet without any assistance on her part, but she was still breathless. He may only have topped her five feet four inches by half a foot or so, but his shoulders were wider than a barrel-racing drum. She resisted the urge to explore his broad chest with her fingertips and determine if the muscles were as hard as the granite they appeared etched from.

Dusting her hands on her jeans even though there were no bits of gravel left, she said, “Nice muscles you’ve got there, Rodeo.” She had seen him ride bareback earlier but couldn’t recall his name. Though she enjoyed watching the competition when at the fair, she was no buckle bunny and didn’t know one rider from the next.

“Thanks.” He brushed a hand across her butt, the fine hair of his arm teasing her arm with each stroke. “Nice ass you’ve got there.”

Why I Remember

black_and_white_1944_world_war_iiIt’s impossible to be who I am and not remember. I wake up every day and look in the mirror. I see I’m the child of an American G.I. and a Vietnamese civilian, a couple who never would’ve met if not for a war half a world away.

Politics aside, I wouldn’t be here if not for that war. And as I grew and learned more about politics and the military and the government and all the roles that people play in life, well, I figured out the men and women who serve in our military, no matter their reasons, are there to do a job. Right or wrong, good or bad, whether they believe in the cause or not, they have a job to do, and they do it even in the face of unimaginable pressure and sometimes danger.

I took my dad to see the traveling Vietnam Memorial and had the sad honor of seeing the real one in Washington D.C. as well as the World War II Memorial right after its completion–memorials erected to remember the sacrifice of military service men doing their jobs. The memories of those trips resonate deep inside me, strengthen the fiber of who I am, a child of a veteran, a man who lost more than most can imagine–a wife, a child, innumerable friends–in a war half a world away. How could I not remember?

Thank you to all the men and women who serve and protect this country. Thank you for your many sacrifices and those of your family and friends. You are appreciated. You are thought of. You are remembered.

 

Battlefield Memories–The Good, The Bad, and the Funny

american_flagAs a child, I remember my dad’s night terrors, brought on by memories of the Vietnam War. For years he didn’t talk about the war. When he finally did, the first memories he shared were the funny ones. He talked about he and his squad being chased by the Viet Cong into a gold mine in the mountains of Vietnam and how he wished he could take another trip to that mine, wherever it might be, and he talked about one of his friends being physically put in place by my little slip of a mom. When we’d go visit our Uncle Ray, who served in the Marines in the Pacific Theater in World War II, he and my dad would sit around talking about the hooch and the antics of friends–it was amazing that though decades separated the two wars, the people and the stories were always similar. When I got older, my dad started sharing the hairier tales. My husband’s grandfather served thirty years in the Air Force, starting when it was the Army Air Corp, and his experiences and stories are full of the same camaraderie, hint of danger, and inflection of sadness that seem to accompany the recollections of all the military men in my life.

The stories of my dad, uncle, and grandfather-in-law probably aren’t all that uncommon from the tales of other soldiers. There are stories of love and loss, friendship and fire that surround all the men and women of our military. However, if you never take the time to stop and listen, to talk and ask questions of those who have served, you’ll miss out on sharing the good, the bad, and the funny. You’ll miss out on appreciating the inner strength and beauty of these individuals who go about the daily duty of their lives, often without recognition, not even expecting or asking for it really.

But this weekend is about taking a moment and remembering them, so thank someone who has served or is serving our country, remember they are people with colorful lives and rich histories, people who have stories to tell if you’ll just take a moment to listen.

 

The Call to Duty

euphonium_brass_instrument_instrumentGiven this country’s history of drafting, it’s not unheard of for people to have served only because they were called to duty. Nothing wrong with that. However, my family has a proud tradition of volunteering, though for various reasons.

My grandfather enlisted in World War I. Why? Can’t say for certain since he’s not around to ask, but given that they changed his family name from Schmidt to Smith, let’s go with pure patriotism because I do know why that name change happened–the family didn’t want to be associated with Germany given the country’s behavior.

My dad enlisted after he graduated from high school. When asked why, he said his options had been oil, Army, or minor league baseball and the talent of the other players in the minor league (and major) scared him. That was after the end of the Korean War and before the Vietnam War, but when the Vietnam War started, he volunteered for duty. (I’ve shared this story on Facebook before, but he volunteered on the chance that it would keep someone from going. He did it five times.)

My dad spent 20 years in the Army and when his niece asked him what she should do for a career, he told her she should enroll in college, sign up for ROTC, and go into the Air Force; and she did. She put in 30 years and made it to the rank of Colonel then retired and promptly took civilian jobs with the government. He also encouraged his son, my half-brother, to enlist. My brother chose the Navy and saw the bombings in Beirut. He chose to not re-enlist, but the things he learned in the Navy laid the foundation for his current career.

Patriotism, duty, or just a job, people answer the call of duty for more than one reason. Some make it a lifetime commitment. Others serve their terms and leave. All realize the important role they played in serving our country.

Now you may wonder why I never entered into the service, given my family history, and I was tempted. I talked to my dad about ROTC when I enrolled in college. Right or wrong, he thought he knew what was best for me, as parents are want to do, and he told me he didn’t think I had what it took emotionally to even make it through boot camp. Though I’d like to say he was wrong, at that time in my life, he was right. The military isn’t for everyone, but I honor those who have the strength and determination to see the duty through.

 

Battlefield Memories

american_flagIn honor of Memorial weekend, I’ll be sharing some stories shared by family members who have served in the U.S. military. This first one is from my grandfather and shows how the actions of one can affect many…

As my grandfather lay injured on a World War I battlefield, a representative of a volunteer organization came by and robbed him of all his valuables. Because of that individual, he thought for sure he was dying. Why else would this person take all his stuff. Then, just as he was sure he would never see his family again, the Salvation Army appeared and got him the care he needed. He returned to his family and lived another forty-odd years, though he passed away before I was ever born.

How did I learn this story then? Well, my family has never had much, but that certain volunteer organization was doing a fundraiser when I was in high school (so fast-forward another two decades and some change) and I asked my dad if we could donate anything. His answer was an adamant, “No.” Surprised by his vehemence–he’s normally soft-spoken–I asked him why not, and he shared that story. He concluded that if I still felt the need to be charitable, I should think of something to do for the Salvation Army.

There’s no right or wrong here, really. That unnamed organization does much good in the world, but for me and mine, because of the actions of that one person on that battlefield on that day, we support the Salvation Army. And not only do I remember the people who have served this nation over Memorial Weekend but also all those men and women, family and friends, support groups and charities who support our military.

 

 

 

Latest News – Riding Rodeo Releases as Part of Bring on the Heat Boxed Set

Dear Readers,

For those of you who have been waiting on the re-release of Riding Rodeo, it’s here. (Has been since the 6th, but I got lost in work.) And, it, along with 9 other stories by 9 hot authors, is $0.99 for a limited time only.

All Romance Ebooks | Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Sony

BringOnTheHeat300

Don’t remember my bronc riding cowboy and the sweet woman he’s got his eye on? Well, here’s the blurb.

The last person Amanda Goodson expected to walk into her bakery was Sean Cassidy, the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left without a good-bye the next day. 

A nasty hang up ended Sean’s career and left him with nothing but time to contemplate his past sins–the most damning one being walking out on Amanda, the one woman he couldn’t forget once outside the bedroom. Searching out Amanda to right the biggest mistake of his life, he finds he has competition. 

Never one to back down from a challenge, he offers to fulfill her fantasy of riding two cowboys. At the end of the night, will Amanda decide riding Rodeo is worth the risk to her heart?

Latest News – Star-Taken Series Releases

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Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Star-Taken series. Each full-length story contains a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending while the bridge stories, indicated by .5 on the book number, introduce characters who play a significant role in the next full-length.

As a reader, I’ve long been a fan of serials and epics, which allow me to journey through a range of life events with a cast of characters. That is what I strive to deliver in this series.

I hope you enjoy the Star-Taken series as much as I have enjoyed developing and writing the stories.

Happy reading,

Emma Lai