MONTANA HEARTS: HER WEEKEND WRANGLER by Darlene Panzera (on-sale 10/6, Avon Impulse)
Darlene Panzera returns with a sweet new Western series perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber's heartwarming romances
Bree Collins has finally come home to Fox Creek, Montana, to manage her family's guest ranch. She knows she can handle any challenges that come her way, but when the infuriating Ryan Tanner reappears in her life, Bree suddenly has doubts about her ability to stay professional—and away from the handsome cowboy.
Ryan Tanner is in a bind. He needs to train a young foal for the upcoming show but its mother would rather bite his hand off. Just his luck the cute cowgirl from his past arrives back in town. Bree just so happens to have a reputation for taming animals of this nature. Ryan is willing to make a deal with her, but he has no intention of being swayed by her sweet smile or the tenderness she shows his young son.
Yet when fate brings them together, falling for one another becomes the easiest thing in the world. Ryan might just want to wrangle this cowgirl's heart…but will Bree give him the chance?
She walked over and tugged on Puzzles and Games, a newer book wedged tightly between the thick, dusty jackets of The Secret History of Yellowstone Country, and Ranching Ain't What It Used To Be. And the entire book case leaned toward her.
Catching the frame of the shelves with her hands, she spun around, and used her body weight to shove the burdensome book beast back into position. But every time she stepped away, the case threatened to fall. Somehow the bottom had become unbalanced. She glanced at the clerk behind the counter and opened her mouth to call for help. Then Ryan Tanner walked toward her and she involuntarily jumped in place.
They'd grown up together, riding the same school bus and sharing the same classes day after day right up through the twelfth grade. But after high school she'd relocated to New York to attend college. Then she put her business degree and love of fashion together to snatch the assistant managerial position at the Manhattan branch of Silvain's, a national fashion retail conglomerate which specialized in hip clothing and accessories. Over the years she'd run into Ryan only briefly during her occasional visits home.
And she had no desire to see him now.
Ryan was the kind of guy a girl dreamed about but could never have. At least not exclusively. He was a charmer who took the opportunity to flirt with every female he met. And he'd tried to charm her the night of their high school senior prom, the night her horse died, in an attempt to delay her from getting home too soon...and saying goodbye.
Of course, they were adults now, both almost twenty-seven, she with her glowing resume and he with a seven-year-old son. She thought she'd forgiven him and let bygones be bygones.
She was wrong.
1) When the moment hit to write what was your first thought?
I stayed in a cabin at a western guest ranch and thought it would be a great setting for my new Montana Hearts series. I loved the rustic charm and my first thought was...What kind of trouble could happen in a place like this, both with the characters themselves and the ranch as a whole? The possibilities seemed endless.
2) What gave you the idea to add in a little mystery/suspense to your story?
My stories have always contained an element of suspense. In Bet You'll Marry Me, the characters were racing against a time deadline to avoid foreclosure and the wrath of some unsavory villains. The Cupcake Diaries series had a lighter, humorous tone but each book held a little mystery/suspense like - Who is the Cupcake Bandit? In my new series, Montana Hearts, the Collins family must discover who has been working with their crooked ranch managers to steal their money and scare away guests. But the added twist of suspense isn't the core of the story. Montana Hearts: Her Weekend Wrangler highlights the romance between Bree Collins and Ryan Tanner, and their relationships with their families. That's what the story is really about.
3) Who, as an author, has been your biggest inspiration?
I have met so many people who have helped me to get to the place where I am today, that I would need to write a book just to name them all. But the two who have had the most influence are Terri Valentine, my mentor early on in my career from The Writer's Digest Advanced Novel Writing School, and Debbie Macomber, who later selected my novella to publish with hers in Family Affair.
4) Do you have a book that no matter how many times you read it you just can't say no to reading again and again?
I think one of my favorite books of all time is Paradise by Judith McNaught. It's fantastic each time I read it because the characters are so vivid and the emotion is so real.
5) Do you have aspirations of writing other genres or will this be an ongoing genre we can look forward to?
I write sweet, fun-loving romance no matter where the story is set, no matter how little or how much mystery/suspense is added, and no matter what the genre. I may dabble in some different genres in the future, but the 'sweet, fun-loving' aspect of my writing will never change.
DARLENE PANZERA writes sweet, fun-loving romance and is a member of the Romance Writers of America’s Greater Seattle and Peninsula chapters. Her career launched when her novella “The Bet” was picked by Avon Books and New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber to be published within Debbie’s own novel, Family Affair. Darlene says, “I love writing stories that help inspire people to laugh, value relationships, and pursue their dreams.”
Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her family and her two horses, and loves camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake.
Join her on Facebook or at www.darlenepanzera.com