As promised, here’s the newest artwork for the Taggart Brothers Series. DESPERADO is available now; RENEGADE WILL BE AVAILABLE in January, 2016!
Woo hoo! It’s finally here! Release Day has arrived and my little baby has been sent out into the world. Thanks to everyone who has helped me to get to this point: to my family, who let me disappear into my office and away from reality when it’s time to write; to my friends, who have supported me along the way; to my wonderful agents at Browne and Miller who have helped to ensure that everything is perfect; and to my editor Leis and her assistant Bethany, for bringing all the hard work to fruition.
This day wouldn’t be complete without a special giveaway. So with summer so close, I figured that one lucky reader needed a complete “getaway bag.” Whether or not you have a vacation planned, you can always “leave town” with a really good book. So I’ve assembled an autographed tote bag complete with DESPERADO and as many backlist books as I could gather up. I’ve also included a package of the goodies I’ll be giving away at the upcoming RWA Convention in New York where I’ll be part of the Literacy and Berkley book signings, and the Reader’s Luncheon, where I’ll be hosting a table.
To enter, go to my author page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/lisabinghamauthor) then “tag” someone you think isn’t already a follower of my author page. Then comment one of my posts or send me a message saying “I tagged someone!” One winner will be chosen Sunday, June 7, midnight MDT. They will be notified the next day by private message.
One more day before the release of my western contemporary romance novel DESPERADO, with Berkley Books. I can hardly wait! As a teaser, here’s one last excerpt!
* * *
As Elam eased his Dodge Ram into a parking space, every nerve in his body was telling him he’d made a mistake by coming to Vern’s tonight. Already, he had an itchy, anxious feeling, as if he were being watched. Judged.
Bliss was his home, and in many ways, the people were his family. He’d graduated in a class of little more than a hundred, and between that, the close-knit network of farmers and ranchers, and a community that took care of one’s own, there weren’t many strangers. Which was comforting…as well as a damned nuisance. Everyone knew everyone’s business most of the time, and he wished to hell that they didn’t know so much of his.
He appreciated how everyone had rallied around him after Annabel’s death. And the way they’d given him a hero’s welcome when he’d returned two years later, after his stint in the hospital, had been gratifying. But Bliss was a small town, and nothing fueled a small town more than gossip. It had taken only one trip to the grocery store for him to hear the whispers.
…out of the country at the time…
To think that his life had become fodder for tongue-wagging had been more than he could take. So, soon after his homecoming, he’d kept to the ranch or his cabin site. If he needed supplies, he got them from the Big House or drove to Logan.
What would the busybodies say once they heard that he was re-entering Bliss society by entering the very public Wild West Games? As soon as folks realized he would be competing as the partner to a woman as flamboyant as P.D. Raines…
Elam sat in the truck for several minutes, a muted country music station urging him to “Do the Dew” and his heart pounding in his chest much harder than the situation warranted.
He’d diffused bombs in Afghanistan, IED’s in Iraq, and harbor mines in Yemen. He’d been in armed combat more times than he could count, and suffered through the devastating effects of a missile attack which had finally sent him home for good. So why was he so nervous about walking into a restaurant and talking to P.D. Raines?
But even as he acknowledged his misgivings, Elam sat with his fingers drumming on the steering wheel and his “going-to-town” hat sitting on the console beside him.
He couldn’t help wondering who P.D. Raines really was and what she meant to his brother. Bodey had introduced her as “his friend,” but most of Bodey’s ex-girlfriends were “friends,” damn him. With that body of hers, she was Bodey’s type. His younger brother liked his women on the voluptuous side, and P.D. definitely qualified. But Elam had no clue if Bodey had already pursued the woman or if he was patiently circling her, waiting to cut her from the herd of females that invariably flocked around him.
Damnit, not that it mattered. Elam wasn’t about to put the moves on P.D. Raines—or on any woman for that matter. He merely wished he knew the score. The Taggart males didn’t infringe on another brother’s woman. Ever. Even if she was an ex.
Realizing that he was only avoiding the inevitable, Elam killed the engine. The resulting quiet after the rumble of the diesel motor was nearly overpowering. And silence of any kind hadn’t been his friend for a very long time.
Sliding from the truck, he jammed his hat on his head, hit the lock button on his key fob and shoved his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket.
The last time he’d been to Vern’s, it had been a sleepy Mom and Pop diner—the perfect spot to grab a hamburger and a made-from-scratch milkshake. But judging by the vehicles crowded into the parking lot and the faint pound of music, P.D. Raines had made some real changes.
His boots crunched against the gravel as he crossed to the front door. Years of training had him automatically sweeping the shadows. But in the assortment of flashy pick-ups, dented farm trucks, mini-vans, and sedans, he saw nothing more threatening than a stray tabby cat packing a squirming kitten toward the privet hedge that separated the parking lot from the new dollar store next door.
Elam was nearly to the front entrance when the noise from inside filtered into his brain and he realized what he was hearing. Bluegrass. P.D. Raines had brought Bluegrass music to Bliss, Utah. Granted, the folk around here were usually into Country music–and pure Bluegrass was its mother genre–but Elam was still astonished. Especially since the lack of free parking spaces made it clear that the place was popular.
For several minutes, he gripped the door handle, an exuberant melody seeping into the cool night air. There was something about the melding of its boisterous accompaniment and soulful harmonies that pulled at his emotions, enveloping Elam in a wave of something that felt very much like…
With only the door separating him from conversation and laughter and human companionship, Elam suddenly realized how long it had been since he’d spent time with anyone other than himself. Occasionally, he’d run into his brothers, or waved to someone as he barreled down the road on his way to the hardware store, but usually, he kept to his own self-imposed exile. It had been so much easier that way.
But tonight, it felt lonely.
Maybe his brothers had been right when they’d hinted that it was time for Elam to rejoin the real world…
* * *
Come back tomorrow for a special launch day unveiling! I’ll be announcing a new giveaway and unveiling the cover art for RENEGADE, the second book in the Taggart Brothers Novels.
If you’d like to pre-order DESPERADO from Amazon, use the link below, or check with any of your favorite booksellers.