Sparks fly when a city girl who thinks she’s learned how to handle men in her male dominated career comes up against a rancher who has very different ideas on how women should behave.
When Chance O’Callaghan picks up his insurance estimator at the Phoenix executive terminal, the last thing he expects is a hot young lady in four-inch stilettos and a short, tight leather skirt. His insurance agent promised to send his best estimator, Harry Sloan. Turns out Harry is actually Harrie – short for Harriet. A city girl doing what commonly is a man’s job. Determined to make the best of the situation, they get in Chance’s small six-seater single-engine plane and head for his ranch.
A massive dust storm forces them to land in the desert and what should have been a short, one hour flight becomes a five day trek through the hot wasteland with limited water and virtually no food.
Can their strong mutual attraction become more than just a casual thing as they make their way to Chance’s ranch, or will their budding love burn out in the hot Arizona desert?
Publisher’s Note: This adventurous romance contains elements of domestic discipline, and explicit scenes.
Holla: What did you really think when you realized Harrie, a woman, was your estimator?
Chance: To be honest, I wanted to wring Frank Sloan’s neck. He told me he was sending me his best estimator and I expected a man to show up. What the hell could a woman know about ranch equipment and buildings? I was pretty sure I was going to be royally screwed on my insurance claim. I mean, what else could I think when this girl shows up in the middle of an Arizona summer in a leather mini-skirt and stiletto heels? Who comes to a ranch dressed like that?
Holla: You really took issue with Harrie’s habit of swearing so much and you weren’t willing to cut her any slack considering she’s doing what’s traditionally a man’s job.
Chance: Doing a man’s job doesn’t make you a man. Women should be women no matter what kind of job they’re doing. I know women who can outride a man, rope a steer, castrate and brand a calf. And you’ll never hear a cuss word come out of their mouths.
Holla: Don’t you think that’s just a tad old-fashioned?
Chance: It probably is to you city folk. But out here everyone chips in to do a job no matter if they’re a man or a woman. Just try and imagine a man doing what’s generally a woman’s job. And then picture him acting like woman.
Holla: You’re sounding pretty sexist right now, Chance.
Chance: I’m not sexist. I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman if you can do the job. Have you heard Harrie’s mouth? My regular hands don’t swear like she does. Course, she won’t be doing as much of that anymore.
Holla: Let’s change the subject. I have one more question for you. When did you know you were in love with Harrie?
Chance: (chuckles) That’s easy. That first morning when I woke up in the plane with a, well, ah, you know. There she was, pretty as could be in the morning light, not even fully awake yet. But when I couldn’t help myself and kissed her, she said ‘F-word me, cowboy’ and that did me in. I wouldn’t allow that kind of language anywhere else, but there’s nothing hotter than naughty talk in a bedroom situation. I didn’t admit it right then, but later, thinking back on it – that’s when I fell for Harrie. (chuckles again, and blushes a deep red)
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I never thought it was possible to be a ‘real’ author. By real, I mean published. There are so many stories about how hard it is for new authors to get published. I just wrote what I wanted to write and never even dreamed something I wrote could be published. Once I heard about self-publishing on Amazon I started doing that. After I read a couple of the Corbin’s Bend books, I had a few ideas and wrote two books for that series. Blushing Books published those and I can’t tell you how wowed I was that my books were accepted for that series. I now have over 20 books published, some self-published and Monsoon Heat is the third one with Blushing Books as the publisher.
What is your favorite genre?
I guess I’d have to say romance is my favorite. But I also go through periods where I read mysteries, legal thrillers, and some sci-fi. But I always come back to romance. And I love western/cowboy romances.
If you could travel to any time, what time period would you like to explore?
I’d have to say the period between the gold rush days and up to about 1900. So many new things happened then. The possibility of striking gold, getting 160 free acres, joining a wagon train and making your way west, railroads being built and making traveling across the country easier. And the danger! Indian wars, shoot-outs at high noon, cattle drives and stampedes! I could go on and on. It was a hard life, but the excitement would be worth it.
How much research do you typically do on a novel?
As much as I have to and more. Monsoon Heat was pretty easy since I have a pilot’s license (though I don’t fly anymore). I know the lingo and the radio protocol. Technology has changed instrumentation in planes, but I was able to keep it simple. I live in Arizona so I know how the temperature can fluctuate 40 degrees or more between the high and low in one day. I’ve driven through more than one huge Haboob, also known as a big ass dust storm. I did have to research how to find food and water in the desert, what plants you could eat, and what would make you sick.
Do you have any hobbies?
More hobbies than anyone should! I’m a very crafty person. I do embroidery, needlepoint, and crochet. I make jewelry – beading and chain maille. I have my very own woodworking shop in the backyard and I’ve made a prairie style sofa and chair, my kitchen table, occasional tables, and numerous other things. I weave Navajo rugs, do genealogy, and photography. I restore old photographs on Photoshop and am busy scanning all the old family slides and negatives onto DVDs. There are other things I’m interested in, but I have to put the brakes on.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Tea or Coffee?
Chocolate! I love chocolate, especially milk chocolate! I hate coffee. How can anything that smells so good taste so horribly bitter and yucky? I’ve tried it every way possible wondering what the heck I was missing out on, but the only way I like coffee is in the form of Kahlua. Don’t like tea much either, though I can drink iced tea. I guess I don’t really like hot drinks. Except hot chocolate. With Kahlua.