That’s the title of my new book, which will be released in six days, on January 21, 2020. I love, love, LOVE that title, for more reasons than one. (I’ll get to that.)
Country Strong is the first novel in a trilogy of contemporary Western romance, set in the fictional town of Painted Pony Creek, Montana, and featuring three close friends–Cord Hollister, J.P. McCall and Eli Garrett and the women who are strong enough and smart enough to win their wild cowboy hearts.
Cord Hollister, the hero of Country Strong, is the best kind of cowboy, a man who lives by the classic cowboy code of honor: do the right thing, no matter how hard it is. Cord is world-renowned for his horse-whispering skills; he uses kindness, patience and bone-stubborn persistence (the kind of grit a person needs if they’re going to be country strong) to win over the animals who have been injured, abused or neglected. And since I care passionately about critters of every kind, I’m especially sweet on Mr. Hollister. His life is going along pretty smoothly until two females come out of nowhere to turn his world upside down and inside out–the first is a mysterious teenager, the spitting image of a woman Cord loved years ago, and the second is Shallie Fletcher, an old friend from high school days.
Shallie is out to reinvent herself, and to do that, she needs to tie up a few loose ends–like finding out why her mother abandoned her as a very young child, for instance, and putting her love for Cord Hollister to rest, once and for all. Cord might remember her as just a friend, but her feelings were a lot stronger. In short, she’s never really gotten over that early crush and, if she ever wants to find a real and lasting love, she needs to get over a certain hot cowboy…
I truly love the stories in this trilogy, and hope you’ll come along for the ride. Remember, Country Strong will be in stores on Tuesday, January 21, though, of course, you can pre-order online at any time.
The last couple of years, as some of you know, have meant riding a few rough trails, to put it mildly. Of course, there have been happy times, too–my dogs bring me great joy, as does my kitty, Mr. Wickle Pickle (aka Wiki), and I’ve developed several new (for me) interests: acrylic pouring, an art form I learned on YouTube, raising orchids, gardening and now canning and preserving food. My nephew, Dustin, and I are experimenting with hydroponic gardening, and we’re growing kale, green beans, beets and tomatoes in my very large basement. And since I want to keep canning, and to grow as much of my own produce as possible, I’ve taken up yet another hobby–I am raising earthworms, also in my basement. I have about 10 bins now, and really enjoy my growing population of tiny recyclers. Come spring, we’re going to have plenty of worm castings to fertilize the containers and raised beds.
What makes me sad is that we–Jerry, Sally, Pam and I–lost our mom on December 22. She was nearly 91, she’d lived a good, long life, and she was ready to go on Home and see all those who had gone before. She would have been the first to say, her death was not a tragedy, and her final days were passed in comfort and love, but still. She was our mom, and we miss her.
Trying my best to be country strong.