Saturday, January 18, 2014

#NewRelease The Widow's Heart by Linda Broday in HEARTS & SPURS #western #valentinesday #romance

The Widow's Heart
a short story in

Nine days—nine stories from nine veteran western historical romance authors
Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Romancing The West welcomes talented author Linda Broday, a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of three full-length western romance novels and seven short stories. She feels a deep obligation to preserve the history and spirits of the men and women who followed their dreams and came to settle the west. Through her characters, she shows their courage and deep determination to survive despite the odds.

She lives in the Texas Panhandle on the Llano Estacado, land the American Indians and comancheros once roamed. She’s a grandmother, avid rock collector, and member of the Panhandle Professional Writers’ Association as well as Romance Writers of America. When she’s not writing, she’s scouring the internet for little-known tidbits about the frontier to add to her stories. Writing and research are her passions.

RTW: What intrigued you to write The Widow's Heart?

Linda Broday
LB: I wrote The Widow's Heart simply because I had no other choice. Skye O'Rourke wouldn't let me alone. Every time I close my eyes I saw her as clearly as if I was watching movie. I saw her alone out on the Texas prairie. I felt her loneliness and heartache and the depth of her yearning to be touched, to be loved, to feel like a woman again. She wouldn't let me sleep. To get some rest, I finally had to put aside the full-length book I was working on and get her story down on paper. This was a story where she told me what to write. I was only the typist. This hasn't happened too often in my life but I love it when a story comes along that is that strong. I hope my readers will enjoy Skye's special love with Cade Coltrain.

About The Widow's Heart

Skye O’Rourke thinks her imagination is playing tricks on her when she sees a man emerge from the shimmering desert heat. No one would willingly take a stroll under the scorching sun with a saddle slung on his back. She’s shocked to discover it’s Cade Coltrain, a man she once gave her heart to only to have him give it back.

Can she trust him not to abandon her this time? Yet, trusting each other is the only way they can survive. And love might just save them if they believe...

The Widow's Heart
a short story in
Hearts and Spurs
by Linda Broday

Skye O’Rourke gazed into the startling blue eyes that once made her dream, made her yearn, and made her want to move heaven and earth to have him lying next to her.

God help her! They still had that power.

But Cade had abandoned her, urged her to marry his brother. What kind of man did that? She’d not give him a chance to hurt her again. She’d learned a valuable lesson.

A sweeping glance took him in. She saw no hint of the soft gentleness in the man she’d once given her heart to beneath a full moon. A hardness as unyielding as the cold piece of iron in his holster had settled over him now, from his chiseled jaw and piercing gaze to the deep lines in his face.

Hard and frightening.

An ache spread across her chest. Cade had died as surely as her husband Matthew had. They just hadn’t buried him yet.

“It’ll only be for a few days,” he said quietly. “Then, I promise I’ll be out of your life. Just let me rest up.”

A few days could be an eternity when tempted by his nearness and her need to be held again by strong arms. Skye shoved the thought aside. It would destroy her. He’d made it clear he wasn’t going to stick around.

“Where will you go?” she whispered.

Cade shrugged and worked to get to his feet. He spoke in a flat, dead voice. “One place is as good as the next, I reckon. Learned a long ago not to get too comfortable.”

“What happened to you?” She needed to know, to understand.

“I’ve done things.” He spread his legs as though bracing himself for a blow that would knock him to his knees.

“Had to become someone else. I answer to Cade Coltrain now. In certain parts of the country the name strikes fear.”

“But why? Why do you want people to be afraid of you?”

“Didn’t seek it. Never. Just happened. You ask a lot of questions, Skye,” he said softly. “Be careful. You might not want to know the answers.”
♥ ♥ ♥
RTW: The Widow's Heart is a wonderful beginning to the Hearts and Spurs anthology. I enjoyed your story immensely, and all the others, too. So what else do you have for us to read?

Coming January 2015!! 
The first book of an exciting western romance series, The Bachelors of Battle Creek releasing with Sourcebooks Publishing. Three brothers who’ve dug in their heels and refuse to get hitched. Three mighty determined women who can make them see the error of their ways. The West will never be the same!

Book One, The Texas Mail-Order Bride will hit the shelves and online January 2015! Watch for it.

Thank you, Linda, for joining us today at Romancing The West!

♥ ♥ ♥
How do you capture a cowboy's heart? Hearts and Spurs is a collection of nine stories by some of western romance’s best—just in time for Valentine's Day! Following up their Christmas collection Wishing for a Cowboy, these ladies have done it again with new stories of handsome cowboys and the women who captivate them in Hearts and Spurs.

The Widow's Heart by Linda Broday
Skye O’Rourke thinks her imagination is playing tricks on her when she sees a man emerge from the shimmering desert heat. No one would willingly take a stroll under the scorching sun with a saddle slung on his back. She’s shocked to discover it’s Cade Coltrain, a man she once gave her heart to only to have him give it back.

Can she trust him not to abandon her this time? Yet, trusting each other is the only way they can survive. And love might just save them if they believe…

Guarding Her Heart by Livia J. Washburn
Julia Courtland was on her way west to marry a man she had never met. Henry Everett, the marshal of Flat Rock, Texas, was the grandson of her uncle's best friend. It seemed like a good match for both of them, and the wedding was scheduled to take place on Valentine's Day.

Grant Stafford thought the young woman who got on the stagecoach at Buffalo Springs was the prettiest thing he had seen in a long time. She wasn't too friendly, mind you, but she was sure easy on the eyes. Not that Grant had time to worry much about such things. He was the shotgun guard on this run, but more than that, he was an undercover Texas Ranger on the trail of the vicious outlaw gang responsible for a string of stagecoach robberies.

Fate threw Julia Courtland and Grant Stafford together on a cold February day in West Texas, but it also threw deadly obstacles in their path. A runaway team, a terrible crash, and bullets flying through the air threaten to steal not only their lives but also any chance they have for happiness. If they're going to survive, they will have to learn to trust each other...and maybe steal their hearts back from fate.

Found Hearts by Cheryl Pierson
Southern belle Evie Fremont has lost everything — except hope. When she answers an advertisement for marriage to Alex Cameron who lives in the wilds of Indian Territory, she has few illusions that he could be a man she might fall in love with — especially as his secrets begin to unfold.

Ex-Confederate soldier Alex Cameron needs a mother for his two young half-Cherokee sons more than he needs a wife — or so he tells himself. But when his past threatens his future on his wedding day, he and Evie are both forced to acknowledge their new love has come to stay — along with their Found Hearts.

Open Hearts by Tanya Hanson
To honor her brother’s last request, Barbara Audiss takes on his identity. Letting loose her secret will land get her arrested. But keeping it prevents her from giving her heart to handsome sheriff Keith Rakestraw.

Furious at “Judge Audiss’s” latest verdict, Keith discovers she’s a fake and consequences seem easy: toss her in jail. Instead, he finds himself eager to give her his heart.

Hollow Heart by Sarah J. McNeal
Madeline Andrews is a grown up orphan. Sam Wilding made her feel part of his life, his family and swore he’d come home to her when the war ended, but he didn’t return. With the Valentine’s Ball just days away, the Wildings encourage Madeline to move forward with her life and open her heart to the possibilities. But Madeline is lost in old love letters and can’t seem to let go.

A Flare of the Heart by Jacquie Rogers
Celia Valentine Yancey has no illusions she’ll ever enjoy wedded bliss, so chooses marriage over spinsterhood even if she has to marry a man her father picked. On the way to meet her groom, she endures armed robbery, a stagecoach wreck, a dozen hungry baby pigs — and an incorrigible farmer. 

Ross Flaherty retired from bounty hunting to become a farmer but now Celia has brought his worst fear to his door — in more ways than one. A ferocious wolf-dog and a dozen piglets are no match for this determined lady. 

Which is more dangerous — the Sully Gang or Miss Celia Yancey?

Coming Home by Tracy Garrett
Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true.

When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family…

Former U.S. Marshal Jericho Hawken should have been shepherding a wagon train to new territory, but he unwillingly left them vulnerable to a vicious raider. The murder of the settlers he was supposed to be guarding is the hardest thing he’s ever had to face…until he meets the sister of one of the settlers.

…finds a woman who has lost everything…

Instead of a joyous reunion with her brother, Maryland Henry has come to River’s Bend to take responsibility for her three orphaned nieces. Fired from her teaching position and with no other family on whom to rely, Mary believes Jericho Hawken is responsible for all her woes. Or is he what she’s been searching for all along?

It takes a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together their dreams can come true.

Tumbleweeds and Valentines by Phyliss Miranda
When Amanda Love finds a tumbleweed lodged against her fence with an invitation to a Valentine Day dance stuck to it she thinks someone must be playing a joke. No one would invite her. No one ever had. Besides, she has no time for such things. She has a candy store to run. Curiosity gets the best of her though. Finding her name scrawled on it as bold as can be sends ripples of surprise through her. As she embarks on a quest to find the sender’s identity, she examines herself and the secret dream she harbors of having a husband and children.

Maybe, just maybe, someone had seen the yearning in her heart. But who?

The Second-Best Ranger in Texas by Kathleen Rice Adams
His partner’s grisly death destroyed Texas Ranger Quinn Barclay. Cashiered for drunkenness and refusal to follow orders, he sets out to fulfill his partner’s dying request, armed only with a saloon girl’s name.

Sister María Tomás thought she wanted to become a nun, but five years as a postulant have convinced her childhood dreams aren’t always meant to be. At last ready to relinquish the temporary vows she never should have made, she begs the only man she trusts to collect her from a mission in the middle of nowhere.

When the ex-Ranger’s quest collides with the ex-nun’s plea in a burned-out border town, unexpected love blooms among shared memories of the dead man who was a brother to them both.

Too bad he was also the only man who could have warned them about the carnage to come.

♥ Hearts and Spurs ♥


  1. I know I'm going to like your story, Linda. I love the name Skye O;Rourke. It sure must be nice to see a sexy man walking into my life out of nowhere--except for that part where he rejected her in the past. I like the set-up for The Widow's Heart.
    All the best to you Linda.

    1. Sarah, I'm glad my story intrigues you. I hope you'll like it. I confess I haven't read your story. I'm sooooo far behind on my reading. But I intend to get to it soon. Thanks a bunch for coming over. I appreciate the support.

  2. Linda, Cade is entirely yummy, and Skye is one tough cookie. Readers will cheer for these two to find their HEA. I know I did!

    I graduated from Texas Tech out there on the Staked Plains. Nothing for miles and miles but miles and miles of miles and miles. :-D I don't know when I've seen such flat country. And the wind! When it really gets to blowing, all the red dirt it picks up turns the sky a strange mauve color. The Llano Estacado is a unique environment -- a perfect setting for stories of desolation, although the area possesses its own macabre beauty.

    Hugs to you, sweet lady!

    1. Hi Kathleen! I'm so glad you liked Skye's and Cade's story. I didn't lie when I described the way the premise gripped me. There was no way to get out of writing their story. They were so insistent. Yes, this is pretty desolate country but like you said there's a certain beauty in the starkness. The wind definitely blows and blows and blows. My granddaughter is attending Texas Tech. She's a junior. All my kiddos live in the Lubbock area. I moved up here to Amarillo last year and love it.

  3. Linda, congratulations on the story! And on your upcoming series!!!

    I know Cade doesn't stand a chance--Skye will teach him a lesson for leaving her the first time. :)

    1. Hi TracyG! Thanks for coming over to chat and for the congrats on my upcoming series. I appreciate your support. I was really tickled when I knew I was going to be in this anthology alongside you. I've always loved your stories.

  4. Linda, I just loved The Widow's Heart. Your passion for the story really showed through! Great characters, and great plot. I'm so glad they found each other again. So glad you decided to contribute to H&S--I just put another call out for stories for our summer anthologies on the loop before I make it public--hope you'll have time to contribute to one of those, too!


    1. Thanks so much, Cheryl! Your compliment means so much more coming from a fabulous writer like you. I'm so glad you liked it. About the upcoming anthos, I can't commit right now. I'll have to see how my schedule is and how much time I think I can devote to another short story. I'll definitely give it some thought.

    2. That's okay, Linda. I know you're very busy, and there will be others. Just wanted to be sure you saw it. Deadlines are the 15th of April. I have one just burning to be told, like your Skye and Cade! LOL

  5. "The Widow's Heart" was such a powerful story and I could picture the characters with your vivid descriptions. What a struggle they both had and I'm glad that Skye chose you to write her story! Well done, sister!

    1. Hi Jan! I'm so glad you stopped by to comment. I know you're so busy with your own story these days. Thank you for the compliment. I'm really glad you liked my story. Have a fun time in New Orleans!! YAY!

  6. Linda, I loved The Widow's Heart. And everything else you've written...I wish you tons of success with your Texas Mail Order Bride. Oh, I love MOB stories, sigh. Love you my friend! xoxox

    1. Hi Tanya! I'm thrilled that you liked my story. From the very first it had such a strong grip on me. Skye was a very determined character. She wouldn't take no for an answer.

      Wishing you tons of success and love back!!

  7. So sorry I'm late to the party. I understand what you went through with Skye. That just happened with my current wip. I was writing another story, but this hero and heroine just wouldn't let me continue. Pushy people. :)

    Your story sounds wonderful, Linda. I just love how you instantly pull a person into the story and we don't leave that world until "the end" then wish we could go back.



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