Are Bull Riders the Hottest of all the Heroes?

Good news! You did it. Your nominations put my professional bull rider hero, Luke Carpenter, from HOOKED (Studs in Spurs, Book 4) in the All Romance eBooks’ Hottest Hero contest. What perfect timing too because although it’s been available as an eBook, Hooked releases this week in paperback!

Better news! Voting opened yesterday in Round 1 and you all are eligible to win a prize just for voting. You can vote for one hero in each matched one-on-one pairing in each round for the 5 rounds, and each time you vote you are entered to win a $25 gift certificate from ARe.

Here is the breakdown of the first two rounds. Only if Luke beats his competitor in Round 1 (meet the heroes which is things such as occupation & a quote) does he advance to Round 2 (best kiss). The breakdown is below.

Thank you to everyone who nominated Luke and who takes the time to check out the contest and vote for their favorite heroes in round 1!

Cat


Hooked (Studs in Spurs Book 4)ARE’S HOTTEST HERO CONTEST
ROUND 1 – Meet the Heroes – Aug 1 – Aug 7
32 Hero’s will be divided into 16 pairs.
Readers will get to vote for 1 Hero in each pair. The winner of each pairing will advance to the next level
PRIZE AWARDED: One random voter will receive a $25.00 gift certificate
*****************
ROUND 2 – First Kiss – Aug 8 – Aug 14
16 Hero’s will be divided into 8 pairs.
Readers will get to vote for 1 Hero in each pair. The winner of each pairing will advance to the next level
PRIZE AWARDED: One random voter will receive a $25.00 gift certificate

NOTE: I believe you must be logged into your free ARe account to see the voting page and the hero match-ups. CLICK HERE for the contest page.


Teasing You with Some Tidbits

I’m at that point where I’m bogged down in the soggy middle of this work in progress. If I can get over the hump, the ending will fly, I’m sure, but until then each and every word feels like it has to be pulled out of me like a large headed child. So…let me tell you a little bit about this WiP in hopes that getting you excited about it will get me excited about it, because my little sidebar status meter, though helpful, just isn’t doing it for me right now.

A good indication about what’s in a book is what research the author does to write it, so for FLANKED (Studs in Spurs, Book 5) I have looked into the following topics…

Body Piercing (specifically nipple, clit & hood)

Tattoos

Marriage License Laws in various states in the US

Centrifugal Force in bull riding

Building a Tree Stand for deer hunting

Shoulder injuries requiring surgery in bull riders

Health insurance

The sports medicine crew in the arena at bull rides

So, does that give you some kind of hint as to what Garret James, the hottie pro bull rider from my Studs in Spurs series, might be up to in his upcoming book? I hope so! Now, back to writing. About 19K left to write to finish this big-headed baby up and send it away to my editor. Now THAT is exciting.

Cat

GET HOOKED!!

Hooked (Studs in Spurs Book 4)

It seems like I’ve been waiting forever (or at least ever since I finished writing it back in December 2010) for the release of the next Studs in Spurs series novel, HOOKED, but the wait (for the eBook anyway) is finally over and the timing is perfect because guess what was chosen as SERIES OF THE MONTH by the MENAGE READERS group on Goodreads? You got it–my Studs in Spurs, and I couldn’t be more excited.

HOOKED (Studs in Spurs, Book 4 )

His last eight seconds could lead to the longest, most satisfying ride of his life.

Annie Grant is at the top of her game as an on-air interviewer for the pro bull-riders tour. In all those years standing within microphone range of thousands of sexy cowboys, she’s never been tempted…until now. Now that respected veteran Luke Carpenter is no longer with his longtime girlfriend, he’s back on the market. And Annie is buying.

Luke knows his days are numbered. Every year the rookies get younger, the bulls get ranker and, like it or not, the time is coming when he’ll be hanging up his spurs. After a sizzling hot night with Annie, he realizes that maybe this old dog can learn some new tricks. But quicker than a bull can spin, things get complicated.

A tragedy forces Luke into a no-win decision: hang onto the tail end of his career, or retire early for his family. Either way, he can live with his choice. Question is, can he live without Annie?

Warning: Contains knock-your-boots-off cowboy lovin, some up close and personal interviews of the oral persuasion, and a happy ending…cowboy style.

New to the series? Each book is standalone but with continuing characters.For those who like to read series in succession, here’s the:

SERIES READING ORDER

UNRIDDEN (eBook & Print now)

BUCKED (eBook & Print now)

RIDE (eBook now, in Print Nov 1)

HOOKED (eBook now, in Print Summer 2012)


Let’s Buck for Charity

LET’S BUCK TO CURE CHILDHOOD DIABETES

Each year NY Times best selling author Brenda Novak hosts an online auction to benefit Diabetes Research. This year my donation is the Let’s Buck ballcap I personally had signed by the PBR riders at the Built Ford Tough Series Mohegan Sun Invitational in October 2010, along with a signed copy of UNRIDDEN (Studs in Spurs, Book 1) and winner’s choice of a canvas “I Heart Cowboys” or “I Heart Bull Riders” totebag.

BIDDING IS OPEN NOW 

Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction Lot

View from the Chutes~my weekend at the NBR Finals

What did I do last weekend? Well, on a spur of the moment impulse I packed the car full of roadtrip food and headed South to Raleigh, North Carolina for the NBR Finals to see the rider I sponsor, Brian Conzett, compete and to hang out with Makin’ 8 as they broadcasted the event live from the arena. I expected it would be a good time. What I didn’t expect was how amazingly incredible it would be, from night one when I got to meet everyone I’d only talked to before, to night two when I got to spend the event literally next to the bucking chutes, to meeting new fans in person, and visiting old friends from home. Here is a retrospective in photos.

Brian Conzett at the NBR Finals

Brian Conzett, one of the bull riders I sponsor, before his ride Saturday night

 

The bulls were bucking this close to us and the Makin' 8 broadcasting equipment

I got to enjoy all sorts of dressing and undressing activity directly behind me. This is a bull fighter who'd stripped off his protective gear during the break.

 

This was my view for the night. I realized exactly how close I was to the action when the gate opening clanged loudly just inches from me and shook the platform we were standing on.

 

The bulls were penned directly behind me and apparently this was the 'bad' pen because every bull put in there during the night misbehaved. This guy kept eyeballing anyone who walked by and did not take kindly to the gear being stored on his rails.

On the other hand, this particular bull spent all night waiting for someone to scratch his back. I clucked at him and he came running over to me to get scratched. I disappointed him because I was afraid the stock guys would kick me out from where I wasn't really supposed to be.

So that was my great adventure. If you want to watch the action, the videos are archived.

NBR FINALS ROUND 1

NBR FINALS ROUND 2

NEWS FROM THE BUCKING WORLD…

Tomorrow, before dawn as all proper road trips start, I will be heading to Raleigh, NC for the National Bull Riders (NBR) Finals. Two nights of bucking bulls, and meeting in person friends from my cyber world. Most notably I’ll be graced with the live and in person presence of Scott Mesick, the voice of Makin’ 8 as he reports live from the arena.

Tune in Feb 11th & 12th to the Buckers Now live event center for video action and the interaction in chat room where riders, fighters, fans & more gather. I know the bucking begins at 7:30 PM Eastern time though Scott will likely start the show early. I’ll be there close enough to see the bull snot, just the way I like it. And who knows, there’s a good chance Scott will let me make a guest appearance on air so you better tune in Friday and Saturday night and see!

The second person I’m most excited to meet live and in person is the bull rider I sponsor, who’ll be wearing Let’s Buck on his sleeve and vest, Brian Conzett. Wish him luck and let’s hope the Let’s Buck brand brings him as much luck as it’s brought me. Look for more on Brian on my Bull Riders page.

Let’s Buck!

Cat

My PBR Weekend Round-up & More

Sunday was the third and final day of my PBR weekend in Uncasville, CT. The day started earlier than Friday and Saturday, but it was no less eventful. I arrived at the Rider Relief Fund booth at noon to help sell raffle tickets and brought with me the items I’m donating to be auctioned off in Vegas to help raise money to aid injured bull riders. It was pretty much the same items I donated to the Brenda Novak Juvenile Diabetes Auction, and to the Authors After Dark auction to help the animal shelter–basically a custom printed “I Heart Cowboys” canvas tote bag, a “Let’s Buck” baseball hat, bumper sticker, fridge magnet, journal and pen, a cowboy boot charm bookmark, a Cowboy Corn Salad Recipe Card, and a signed print copy of Unridden (Studs in Spurs, Book 1).

I told the women running the auction how romance readers usually take the canvas bag and get it signed by their favorite authors, and how it would probably go for a lot more if some of the riders signed it. She took the whole thing downstairs to some mysterious PBR room and the next thing I know, she’s back telling me that Flint, one of the bull fighters who doubles as an entertainer/announcer, is reading passages from Unridden aloud to everyone in the room, and someone else wants to buy a copy. Sooo long story short, I had my box of author copies in the car and ended up selling 5, which is about what I sell at a good book signing at a Borders or Barnes and Noble after it’s been planned in advance and advertised. Though I can only imagine what Flint was reading aloud–I’m just gonna go ahead and assume it was the dirty parts because men have the uncanny ability to be able to flip immediately to those–I am a little concerned about what the people listening were thinking. There is also the concern that I wrote that book probably 2 years ago, when I was still learning about the sport and there is a good chance the pros will find inconsistencies in it, either things I changed because I needed to for my plot line, or things I just plain messed up. But so it goes in writing. Nothing I can do about it now. In the meantime I hope they keep in mind I write to entertain readers but a side benefit is that it exposes romance readers to the sport. If one more person discovers the sport and becomes a bull riding fan because of reading my book, it can only be a win-win for everyone.

bull rider autographs

So after the eventful prelude to my afternoon, the bull riding championship round did not disappoint either. From having one rider hanging on the fence right in front of us to avoid the bull, to watching the heart-stopping moment another was knocked out cold and had the paramedics scrambling until he hopped up and walked out under his own power, it did not disappoint. Our seats were once again one row back from the dirt and almost directly behind one of the judges.

THEN after it was all over, I got brave and stood along the rail with a few other fans and had the bull riders sign one of my baseball hats. Unlike the person next to me who felt they should critique each and every rider’s performance because apparently they know so much, I simply said thank you and was grateful to the ones that took the time to come out and meet us, which they are not required to do. And it was no hardship to get up close and personal with them. Yeah, they are all painfully young compared to me but phew…are they hot! Dirty jeans and all.

Then it was back home where I logged into my email and found the next big surprise–a fellow author saw my book in print on a shelf in Barnes & Noble. 2 copies! It doesn’t seem like much but it’s a huge deal for someone at my level to get unsolicited shelf space at a big chain bookstore. I’ve had 2 dreams in my career kind of come true so far. The first was that I wanted to walk through an airport and see someone reading my book and my Army consultant Sean saw that exact thing last year on his way from his garrison in Germany to leadership training at Fort Benning, GA. The second was to walk into a bookstore (one that I didn’t arrange a signing at and ask–or beg–the manager to order in my books) and see my books on a shelf and that is what my author friend Stephanie Julian found. Though both of these things have happened, the experiences have been second hand, but it is a step in the right direction and I couldn’t be happier!