Thursday, July 7, 2016

Love’s Magic Moments


Congratulations to "Julie O.", the grand prize winner and  "Norma", "Natalija", "Dee" and "Laney4", the e-book winners in Leslie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!


            On June 9th, 1973, a thoroughbred named Secretariat shattered records as he won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths.  While that may seem an odd detail in a post about love, it really isn’t—the Belmont Stakes was the first time that my husband-to-be and I watched television together. Cruz and I both worked at a Texas dude ranch, where prejudice was still rife. He was in the country illegally, and my father didn’t allow his children to associate with anyone anyway. The dude ranch owner and my father would later take drastic action against our relationship, but at that particular moment—we shared a once in a lifetime experience from opposite ends of one couch. Love has many magic moments, but that became our first.
   
         Thinking back, I wonder if my life-long fascination with cowboys (okay, and horses) made falling in love with someone whose language I had to learn easier than it might otherwise have been. I grew up with crushes on men from Roy Rogers to Dean Martin (in Rio Bravo) and everyone in between. Granted, Cruz worked thirteen or fourteen hours a day and seldom rode, but the one trail ride I took with guests, he rode on as well. Neither of us fell off, and I’m sure the ranch’s real cowboy, Noe, didn’t find our horsemanship skills remarkable, but he smiled more than usual that day. Maybe he thought back and remembered one of his own magic moments in time.
            Lives and passions change over forty years. Cruz and I wound up in Laredo, Texas, horseless and working in jobs that provided different paths than a dude ranch in the Hill Country had. I have written from the time I was six, but as I matured, my writing focused more on romance than creating a Phantom Stallion series to make Walter Farley turn green. Moments of love fascinated me—not just those sizzling, lust-driven moments of love, but the simple, seemingly unrelated incidents that actually become the glue holding lives together.
            Romantic moments—like the friend’s husband who filled her bedroom with rose petals for one anniversary, and for another secretly invited her closest friends out to an elegant dinner. We teased her about how we envied her, but we were genuinely happy for her—she found a man who really loved her.
            A friend’s daughter planned a birthday celebration for her man—someone she hadn’t immediately felt ready to marry. There, in formal wear and surrounded by friends, she got down on a knee and proposed to him—a heartwarming, magic moment in the lives of her many friends, especially those who knew her from childhood to womanhood.
            But in writing  A Cowboy’s Magic, a different idea of the magic—and strength—of love came home to me when I met a retired Marine, a young woman who loved her country, and wanted to serve, but who also loved her husband and children. The strength she took in pursuing both passions blew me away. I’d thought often of the sacrifice military families make, but never knew that service members with children give up custodial rights during training and deployment. Nothing she faced, she told me, was as hard as signing away her parental rights when she enlisted. Thankfully, she returned home safely to her family. She serves her communtiy now as a teacher, but her outlook, compassion and courage are remarkable. Those moments in love can touch any of us.
            Cruz never has been the horse nut I have, and for many years, we haven’t watched races together. Recently, the years have affected our memories, and he’s struggling sometimes to remember our early years. But I was touched this June when he came to my room and told me to come watch “our” race, the Belmont, with him. That he would fish for another moment meant the world. Love lives on in our ability to find illusion and hope through the years. Love lives on magic.
            Please share some of those magic moments you’ve lived. Love comes in so many forms and touches us so uniquely—I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
                                                    
                                                     Excerpt from A Cowboy’s Magic       
Alex wanted to say something, but what? He hadn’t known about her existence back then. And if he had…he’d have been at college or the nearest rodeo. She was right about that.
Doozie flushed slightly. “Not your fault, boy,” she apologized after a moment of awkward silence. “We’re not kin and you don’t owe me. I gotta quit hittin’ out at folks who don’t follow the paths I think they should.”
A door creaked, interrupting them.
“Good Lord, Magic Lynne Holmes, what in the name of Hades’n’hell happened to you?”
The stench hit him before he heard anyone answer, and he fought to keep from fishing out his bandana and covering his mouth and nose. Slowly he turned, wondering if Doozie had a hog with a name as strange as her own.
A woman stood there, covered from head to toe in what could charitably be called mud; judging from the smell, though, he would bet that Doozie did keep hogs. He didn’t know if the newcomer was pretty and he couldn’t guess her age. The filth covering her and the stench around her were overwhelming, even though he’d landed face down in bull shit more than once.
“I—” She suddenly noticed the stranger and straightened a little. In spite of the stinking mess, he could tell she was fairly tall and probably had long hair under the strands of gunk hanging down from her head.
“You get your butt outside and hose yourself down good, girl! I mopped a bit ago and there you are…” Doozie stopped in mid-rant. “You lost Sweetie again, didn’t you?”
“She’s not lost,” the woman returned calmly. “She ran your hogs out of the wallow. I tried to stop her.”
“So I see.” Doozie nodded matter-of-factly. “Well, go on. You’re not going in my bathroom covered in that!”
The woman turned and headed toward the door without speaking.
Doozie glared at him. “What are you waiting for, boy? You get out there and help hose her down! You got any idea how hard it was to get the floor clean after the rains last week? As is she dripped and I gotta go get the mop. Go on! Go! And don’t you come back in ‘til she’s clean and you’re both dry!”
He’d been brought up to obey elders, so he did an about face, realizing that Stella was right. Doozie didn’t have a sane brain left under her sparse white hair.
He hurried out the door and toward the string of expletives and banging noises somewhere behind the house.

COWBOY TIME 
(Cowboy Up Book 4)

Spend some Cowboy Time with the bestselling authors who brought you Cowboy Up 1 and 2. 

A book bundle by some of the hottest Western authors around. Each story is unique… from sweet to sizzling with a story sure to please fan of Western Romance. 

Happily Ever After, Cowboy by Allison Merritt 
She’s planning the wedding of her dreams with a pretend groom and a fake ceremony. What could possibly go wrong? 

A Cowboy’s Magic by Leslie P. Garcia 
Every cowboy needs a little Magic in his life… 

A Pigskin Cowboy by Melissa Keir 
Being financially secure is Charley’s biggest dream. Clearing his name is Kane’s. When the media comes looking for the big story, will Kane and Charley’s relationship survive the drama or will the football player run again? 

Keep Calm and… Cowboy by Autumn Piper 
Everyone knows his area of expertise falls squarely between the sheets, but nobody knows his best friend just asked him for a crash course in all things sex. 

Sadie’s Fantasy Cowboy by Sara Walter Ellwood 
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; that is until the heart is involved… 

Lily’s Summer Cowboy by D’Ann Lindun 
Friendship turns to passion …but can they heal one another?


Giveaway:

Leslie will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry. She will also be giving away four copies of Cowboy Time to 4 lucky commenters. 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 8th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

45 comments:

  1. Hi, Everyone. Thanks for dropping by. We--D'Ann, Melissa, Allison, Autumn, Sara and I--are so excited to release Cowboy Time. You'll find a lot of literary "magic moments of love." But would you share some of your personal moments? We'd love to hear them!

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  2. I love cowboy reads. Thanks for sharing your story, Leslie. So glad to hear things turned out so well for you! I don't have any special moments but I look forward to them!

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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  3. Thank you for coming by, Ada! Your moments will come--and, too--there are those magic moments when we just love life itself, right? Good luck in the drawings!

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  4. I love a good cowboy story. Thanks for sharing your story...it's lovely and it sounds like there's a romance novel in it. Especially since you got your happily ever after. I love when gifts from a significant other aren't extravagant, but are meaningful. Something that reminds you that they really do know you.


    Goldgirl149 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Laura, thank you for coming by! I agree with you on gifts--they don't have to be extravagant. Sometimes, it's just someone knowing you well enough to know what would be perfect in a particular moment. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  5. I love a happy ending in a story - or at least a happy for now. Living in the present world with so many ugly news got me exhausted in hearing, reading or watching bad stuff. Sometimes, happy ends on some books might felt too forced or rushed, but I'd prefer that all the way! Genre doesn't really matter for me, I read contemporary, historical, steampunk, urban fantasy, space opera, romantic suspense, humorous and whatevers as long as I can dive in and the story entertain me! :)

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    1. Dee, thank you so much for dropping by and sharing--I love how widely you read! I generally prefer happy endings, too, and the beauty of a book is that writers and authors together can sort of choose the ending that works for everyone. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I'm looking for happiness in any story I can get! ;-))
      Forgot to add my email on my previous comment, it's: puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com
      Much thanks for the post (and the yummy cowboy stories!! *winks*)

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  6. Leslie - your excerpt made me laugh aloud at the line "what could charitably be called mud." No giveaway entry for me please, but thanks for the giggle and best of wishes on your newest release.

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    1. Thanks, Lola--if I made you laugh, you made my day! We appreciate your taking the time to come by!

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  8. For our 25th anniversary, we drove an hour away (holding hands in the car), took a ferry to a nearby island (while I read in the car, he walked around outside), drove slowly around the island (often smooching on the side of the road like teenagers), stopped for lunch (enjoying my homemade brownies in the car later for dessert), drove slowly some more around the island (still smooching), took the ferry back (with more reading for me and walking for him), stopped for supper (enjoying my homemade butter tarts in the car), then another ferry (with same reading and walking), a stop for ice cream cones, and home 12 hours later, safe and sound, but, more importantly, sweetly satisfied and content. Soooo enjoyable.
    This weekend is our 35th wedding anniversary. We've booked a hotel 2 hours away and plan on checking out local points of interest (and possibly visiting a friend) while there. Very much looking forward to our alone time....
    Maureen has my email address....

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    1. I have a confession, Laney4--nothing hits my heart like lasting love, and I cry for joy when I hear about it! Thank you for sharing your very magic moments and congratulations--enjoy your 35th just as much!

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  9. Oh my gosh, Leslie! What an amazing post. Good luck with your bundle!

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    1. Awww, thank you Lynn! We appreciate you coming by!

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  10. Excellent post, Leslie! May you have continued success with these wonderful boxed sets. Your novels always touch my heart.

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    1. Thank you, Deborah! I love having you drop by!

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  11. Ooh another cowboy box set!!! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Colleen! Thanks for coming by. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  12. I love book bundles, even more if they feature cowboys. Definitely adding this to my TBR list. Thank you for the giveaway!

    natalijaDOTshkomareATgmailDOTcom

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    1. You're very welcome, Natalija, and thank you for coming by and for your kind words! Bundles are great values, right? Good luck in the giveaway!

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  13. HI Leslie! Congrats on your new release. I loved your post and wish you great sales.

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  14. Nancy, hi! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  15. Love cowboy romances. One of my favorite gifts is a story written and illustrated by my nine year old niece.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi, Taurus! Thanks for stopping in to visit. What a magic gift--a story by your niece! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  16. fun

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi, bn100. It's always nice to have you drop by. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  17. I love your stories, both true and fictional so much!

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    1. Thank you, D'Ann! <3 Means a lot to me!

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  18. I can't wait to read this box set, the others have been fantastic.

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    1. Robyn, hi! Thanks so much for coming by and the kind words. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  19. Congratulations on new release!
    Thanks for the great post :)

    bubacka07(at)outlook(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Bube! I'm glad you enjoyd it. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  20. Looking forward to reading this set! Thanks for sharing your story, Leslie!

    thebigbluewall77 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thank you, Anita. I'm glad you dropped in. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  21. Great post, Leslie! You gotta love a cowboy story. This looks like an awesome collection.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I appreciate it! Best of luck in the giveaway.

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  22. I love a good cowboy! :)

    RLR888 @ aol.com

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  23. So do we, LynnB! Thanks for coming by, and good luck in the giveaway!

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  24. I love your love story! Plus, we have something in common... I met my husband through a horse story. He rode his horse into the country tavern where I was bartending. He went back out when I carefully beat him, not the horse, with a broom. :) He came back in, on his own two feet, and sweet talked me into a date.
    This book bundle looks amazing. Congratulations

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    1. Oops...
      blameitonabook@gmail dot com

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    2. Oh, you know I LOVE this comment, Julie! Way to a man's heart is a broom, and you know about girls and horses--lol! Best of luck in the giveaway, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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  25. Mrs.Leslie Garcia is a great author! Her stories will keep you reading and wanting to know more! She truly captivates through the beautiful love stories and characters.
    Best of luck with all your books Mrs.Garcia and continue with all the great work!
    normaflores_02@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh, thank you normaflores_02! I appreciate your dropping by! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  26. Thanks to everyone who came by!

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