With: Claire McEwen
Congratulations to "Alysa P.", the winner in Claire's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!How much would you be willing to risk for a cause that you really believe in? Would you risk your career? Your freedom? Your ideas about what is right, and what is wrong? Those are big questions, but they found their way into my new book, Wild Horses.
My hero, Todd, is passionate about wild places and wild things. So he’s devoting his life to trying to protect the wild mustangs being rounded up from the high desert east of the Sierras. He’s risked a lot for his beliefs in the past and he’s risking a lot now, but he feels, so strongly, that he’s doing the right thing.
But Todd’s beliefs get challenged when his actions to save the horses almost kill the woman he’s loved since college. He’s forced to face the hurt his ideals have caused in the past, and the damage they could do in the present. And it’s a big inner struggle because the fate of the horses, and his future with the love of his life, are both on the line.
And while Todd is all about taking big risks for what he believes in, my heroine, Nora, is all about playing it safe. Her life is uneventful and full of hard work, and she likes it that way. She’s a scientist who sticks to the facts and avoids big emotions —especially since college when Todd left her and broke her heart. Everything she’s been clinging too ever since is challenged when she meets Todd again… and when she starts to see the wild horses through his eyes.
Here is an excerpt from the book, where Nora takes a risk. It’s literally a leap of faith off a rope swing, into a lake. Todd talks her into doing it, hoping to ease her worries about her brother, Wade, who is going through a really difficult time.
She looked skeptically at the rope dangling over the water.
“I’ll bring it back to the rock for you,” he called.
He saw her answer in the way she squared her shoulders. “Fine, I’ll do it,” she told him. And marched out of the water and down the lakeshore.
He swam to the boulder and clambered up the rock, rope in hand. When she arrived, he reached out instinctively to help her climb up, but she ignored him, of course.
“How do I work this thing?” she asked once she was standing beside him. She put tentative hands on the rope.
“Hang on to the knot up here.” He pointed just above her shoulders. “And sit on this big knot here. And be ready to jump off when you get out over the deeper water, otherwise you might hit the boulder or the tree on your way back.”
Her brows rose. “And you consider this fun?”
“You don’t have to do it. I didn’t mean to pressure you.”
“Are you kidding? If you can do it, I can.“ She set her jaw at a stubborn angle. But he could tell she was nervous. He’d bet that jumping off things just wasn’t in her DNA.
“I’m sure you can.” Inspiration struck. Maybe he could offer fun and a little healing, too. “But I forgot to mention one thing. It’s Benson tradition that you take your first leap off this rope swing in honor of someone you love.”
“Really?” She eyed him suspiciously.
“Absolutely. You yell their name as loud as you can, right when you let go of the rope. Just shout it out over the mountains.”
She rolled her eyes and adjusted her grip. “If you say so.”
He gave her a quick kiss on her sun-warmed shoulder, because he couldn’t resist. “Have fun,” he told her.
With one last exasperated look, she jumped off the rock, clinging tightly to the rope as it carried her out over the sparkling lake. Just as she let go she yelled, “Waaade!” And then hit the water with a loud splash.
Todd waited, fingers crossed, hoping she came up exhilarated. Or at least, unhurt.
Her head popped up and there she was, slicking her hair back, with the huge smile he’d hoped for. “I can’t believe I just did that!” she gasped.
***Big risks, big emotions, they make romance novels rich and wonderful. What are the causes you are passionate about? What are the things you will take risks for?
To celebrate my new release, I’m giving away a signed copy of Wild Horses! And since reading is so much more fun with a warm beverage and a snack, there will be a $10 Starbucks card along with it!
This wild stallion can't be tamed
Todd Williams is still the naive idealist he was in college. Only now he's endangering lives—Nora Hoffman's to be exact. Nora hasn't seen Todd since he decided that saving the rain forest was more important than their relationship. Until the night she's nearly crushed by the stampede he causes. Now Todd is determined to make amends, for everything.
She may not agree with his methods, but even Nora can't deny the importance of his fight to save the wild horses. With the attraction between them still sizzling and the fate of the horses in the balance, Nora must decide just how much she's willing to risk.
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