Sweet on Texas Blog Tour and Giveaway Featuring Christie Craig and Laura Drake

This morning I’m excited to be part of Forever’s Sweet on Texas blog tour!  I have interviews with Christie Craig and Laura Drake, excerpts from their latest releases, and even an awesome giveaway!  Grab a cup of coffee, make yourself comfy, and let’s kick off the fun!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Christie!  Can you please describe yourself in five words or less.

[Christie Craig] Short, sassy, sensitive, southern & quirky

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Christie Craig] “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KFAa40kZ30 (I love this little video, beautiful and powerful.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Christie Craig] My sense of humor. (I need it to deal with Texas drivers and, most recently, those manic holiday shoppers.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on desk right now.

[Christie Craig] Wow, I don’t know if I should be honest or lie. Honesty is the best policy, right?

A bottle of Poo Pourri—Not because I need it, mind you! LOL. I’m giving one away on a blog. But have you seen the video? http://www.youtube.com/user/poo?v=b38JALqnEKk

A dilapidated pink plastic loofah that my dog thought was a toy and shredded. (Bad doggy!)

A pair of fetish designer cuffs. (I can explain this, I promise! I needed to chain my past editor, Chris Keeslar, to his chair. Wait, that doesn’t sound good. You see, they were a photo prop I used to make a video that my editor and agent appeared in. Well, I recently moved and found them, and I haven’t decided what to do with them. I’ll bet someone could give me a few ideas. LOL!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name some books that you enjoyed recently.

[Christie Craig] Secrets Collide (Bluegrass Brothers) by Kathleen Brooks

Voodoo on Bayou Lafonte by Susan C. Muller

The Go-Giver by Burg, Bob and Mann, John David

Wounded Wings (Cupid Chronicles, #3) by Shauna Allen

Somebody to Love by Lori Wilde

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Christie Craig] Sip wine with my friends and try to figure out the meaning of life. (I think I’m getting close.)

Walk—I’m trying to keep my butt smaller than the chair.

Shoot things. With my camera, not a gun.

Answer emails. It takes a couple hours a day.

Soak in a tub . . . this is where I do most all of my brainstorming.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Christie Craig] I love to hear from my readers! They can reach me through my email at: christie (at) christie-craig.com, my website and blog: www.christie-craig.com, or via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christiecraigbooks) and Twitter (@christie_craig.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


“I’m not going to the hospital,” Austin said.

Kiss her.

Don’t kiss her.

His willpower kept switching on and off so fast, he was surprised he didn’t blow a mental breaker switch.

Kissing her would be so easy. Slip his hand around her waist and pull her an inch closer. Her lips looked sweet, moist, ready. He was ready. His gut said she wouldn’t refuse him. Said she’d lean into him, let him taste her lips, and who knows where it would lead.

As if she’d read his mind, and knew her own willpower, she dropped her hands from his head and took a step back.

“What do you do?” When he didn’t answer, she continued, “You have a scar here, too.” She pointed to his brow but didn’t touch him; that’s when he knew he was right. She’d felt it, the lure, the temptation. “What do you do that gets you beat up so much?”

He had to clear his head to answer. The truth was he’d gotten a few on the job working for the force, the few others while doing time in prison. He couldn’t tell her either of those.

“I’m a day trader.” He told her the lie he’d already planned out. Which was only a partial lie. “And a financial advisor.” Dallas, Tyler, and now their wives came to him to help make their investments. It was something he was good at besides being a cop. Hell, he’d earned more money day trading than working as a PI.

“What brought you to Heartbroke?”

He had this one worked out, too. Another lie, but if it took that to get what he needed, it was justified. “I have a client here. He’s making some big investments and wanted me close for a few months.”

“So you’re just here temporarily?” she asked.

Until I learn the info I need. “If I like it, who knows.” He didn’t want that to keep her from chumming up with him.

She frowned. “That doesn’t explain getting hit in the head four or five times.”

So she’d figured that out. He had to think quick. “While starting the business, I worked as a bouncer for a club. Things got crazy.” That was true, too. He’d worked a security gig for a club.

“Good thing you got out of it. A couple more licks and you could have hid your own Easter eggs.”

He laughed. “Good one. Tyler would . . . like that one.”

Shit! Why was he talking about Tyler?

“Tyler?” she asked.

“A friend. He’s always quoting things.”

“I don’t know if it’s original, but my aunt said it. She was brilliant and a hoot at the same time.”

Her tone told him her aunt was important to her. He wanted to ask, but wasn’t sure how. Then the opportunity seemed to fade.

She bit down on her bottom lip and looked at his mouth. Was she still thinking about being kissed? He sure as hell was.

“Okay, so no police. No hospital.” She picked up the two bags of frozen vegetables.

That was still too easy. She didn’t want to call the cops. Why?

“But you stay here for a couple of hours so I can keep an eye on you. If you slipped into a coma or died, I’d feel guilty. At least a little bit.” She smiled.

If he’d known it was this easy to get her to spend some time with him, he’d have had someone hit him over the head the first day.

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM by Christie Craig (January 28, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)

The last thing veterinarian Leah Reece needs is a man in her life.  They’re nothing but trouble-and not even the fun kind.  But when her apartment is broken into and Leah suspects Rafael, her dangerous half-brother, of foul play, she can’t deny she could use a little help. She just never expected that help would come with twinkling blue eyes and a sexy smile…

All PI Austin Brook wants is to nail Rafael DeLuna, the man who framed him for murder. He’ll do anything for information-even lie about his identity to charm Leah, DeLuna’s half-sister.  But her sweet dimples and fiery spirit soon make her more than just his only lead.  Leah becomes his every desire. As Austin closes in on DeLuna, it’s clear he won’t go down without a fight. Now the only way Austin can protect Leah is to reveal all of his secrets and risk losing her for good.

About Christie Craig:

New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she’s still fascinated with lightning bugs and mostly wears shoes, but focuses on rescuing mammals and hasn’t kissed a frog in years. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog-who has a bad habit of eating furniture-a son, and a prince of a husband who swears he’s not, and never was, a frog.

If Christie isn’t writing, she’s reading or just enjoying laughter with her friends and family. As a freelance writer, Christie also writes nonfiction books, including the humorous self-help/relationship book Wild, Wicked & Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You’re in a Romance Novel, as well as paranormal young adult romances under the pen name C. C. Hunter. 

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Next up is Laura Drake! Please give her a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Laura!  Welcome back to the Manga Maniac Café.  Can you please describe yourself in five words or less.

[Laura Drake] Extroverted, optimistic, thrill-seeking, coffee-swilling klutz.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Laura Drake] Constant Craving by k.d. Lang

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Laura Drake] My DVR recorder. You never know where inspiration will hit. I even take in my jersey on my bicycle rides – I get some of my best ideas there!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on desk right now.

[Laura Drake] Dinosaur poop (it’s a long story), coffee, an alabaster heart paperweight, thesaurus, and a PBR pin (bull riding)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name some books that you enjoyed recently.

[Laura Drake] Shoveling Smoke, by Austin Davis – a cross between Grisham and Carl Hiassen – hysterically funny

Coyote Dream, by Jessica Davis Stein – a scrumptious romantic read

Dr. Sleep, Stephen King – Danny from the Shining, grown up? I’m there!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Laura Drake] Ride my motorcycle, watch bull riding (TV or in person), fly fish, knit, sew, read

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Laura Drake] Website: http://lauradrakebooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PBRWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraDrakeBooks

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!



When he looked up, the brightness of the barnyard almost blinded him, but there was no mistaking the sleek feminine line of those long legs.

“Can you tell me where I can find your manager?”

He had to give her credit. Though she avoided the reeking mess in the aisle, she neither minced steps nor held her nose, glancing into each stall she passed.

Creamy skin and high cheekbones spoke of good bloodlines. Curly hair the color of a chestnut’s mane floated around her shoulders. Damn, red hair wasn’t a dominant gene. So why did it keep cropping up in his life?

Sweet Jesus. He winced. When he realized he was staring at the angry scar on her graceful neck— and noticed that she noticed— he moved on to the fancy Saturdaynight-go-to-town shirt. He propped the pitchfork against the stall door and wiped his hands on the seat of his jeans.

“You found the manager. Are you here about boarding your horse?”

“No, sorry.” She pulled a folded newspaper from her back pocket. “I read you were looking for a groom,” she said in a perky interview voice.

In that getup? He gestured to the corridor. “As you can see, we need one.”

She put out a slim hand. “Aubrey Tanner.”

“Max Jameson.” Taking her hand, he let his eyes roam from the shiny new boots on up. “It’s not a job you’ll want.” This is a waste of time, but I need a break. The scent of fresh lemon drifted to him. And she smells a damn sight better than manure. Besides, he could use this as practice for that kinder- and- gentler thing. “Sorry. Strike that. Let’s go sit.” He turned and led the way to the doorway in the center of the building.

They had to cross the tack room to get to the office. Dusty saddles straddled sawhorses, and more lay sprawled on the dirty tile floor. A few bridles hung from pegs, but he didn’t even want to know what was in the pile in the corner, a snake’s nest of dirty leather.

The office wasn’t much better. He lifted a stack of battered Western Horseman magazines from the folding chair beside the WWII- era metal desk. He gestured for her to have a seat and then walked behind it.

“Our last groom ran out on us. Literally.” The torn leather chair let out an alarming squeal when he dropped his butt in it.

She perched at the edge of the metal chair. “I worked as a groom at an English riding stable on the outskirts of Phoenix for four years.”

“This is a working cattle ranch as well as a boarding barn. Our groom fills in as a cowhand during branding, castrating, and such. It’s not a job for a woman.” Especially another good- looking redhead. The last one about did me in.

She leaned forward, her back fence-pole straight. “I can handle myself around animals, and I’m stronger than I look.”

His interest caught on the frayed-wire undertone of desperation in her voice. Why so twitchy and nervous for a job as a stable hand? While she recited her skills, he studied her. Those smooth hands weren’t kin to manual labor. Her delivery was straightforward, yet she was clearly hiding something. She dressed like a rich client, yet she wanted a groom’s position. The red hair reminded him of Jo, but nothing else did. A trickle of interest seeped into a tiny crack in his wall of chronic vexation.

She finished and sat looking at him, chin thrust forward.

“Okay.” He lifted himself from the rickety chair. “Let’s see what you can do.”

Her brows scrunched. “Okay.” She stretched the word like warm taffy.

NOTHING SWEETER by Laura Drake (January 28, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)

Aubrey Madison is starting over. Leaving Los Angeles and everything behind except the scars of her ruined past, Bree sets out for cowboy country. Now she has a new home, a new job-and a new worry: the ruggedly sexy rancher who makes her long for things she shouldn’t . . .
Rough and tumble cattleman Max Jameson has broken wild stallions and faced angry bulls. Yet the redheaded city cupcake who turned up at the High Heather Ranch might be his undoing. Bree has a plan to rescue the ranch from foreclosure that’s just crazy enough to work. But will Max gamble his future on a beautiful stranger?

About Laura Drake:

Laura Drake grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit, though her stories are set in the west.  A tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into Pintos and moved to California. There she met and married a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie and her love affair with the West was born. Laura rides motorcycles: Elvis, a 1985 BMW Mystic, and Sting, a 1999 BMW R1100.
In Texas, Laura was introduced to her first rodeo, and fell in love. She’s an avid fan of Pro Bull Riding (PBR,) attending any event within driving distance, including two PBR National finals.
Laura now lives in California with her family.  She is hard at work on her next novel.

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Winner will receive copies of NOTHING SWEETER by Laura Drake and TEXAS HOLD ‘EM by Christie Craig, plus some other goodies! US addresses only, please.

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12 thoughts on “Sweet on Texas Blog Tour and Giveaway Featuring Christie Craig and Laura Drake

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Congrats to Christie and Laura on the new release!! These look like soo much fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    They sound like great books.

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you so much for having us and for the fun interview! 🙂


  • January 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Fun interview

  • January 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    @Christie – Thanks so much for stopping in!!

  • January 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Mmmmm… “warm taffy words” does sound sweet. 🙂 I enjoy Laura Drake books and will have to try Christie Craig books since she’s an Alabama gal like me. Roll Tide!

  • January 30, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    The books sound great! Thanks for the chance to win.

  • January 31, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Loved the interview, and I’m looking forward to reading both books. 😀

  • February 1, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I always perk up when there’s a new contemporary romance set in Texas!

  • February 2, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I have never been to Texas but I do enjoy reading stories set there and hopefully I will be able to visit someday.

  • February 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Christie’s books always make me feel good when I read them. Congrats and thanks for the giveaway!

  • February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Love how cute they sound and do love the cowboys 😀 great new releases! congrats!

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