What’s in a Name by Melissa Keir

What’s in a Name?

Many people ask me where I come up with the names I use in my books. Fortunately, I only have to look around me to find the perfect name!

Michelle Alt is the heroine in Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart. While she was also in two other of my cowboy books, we didn’t know more about her than her last name, which came from a teaching partner of mine. The year I wrote my first cowboy book, I taught kindergarten at a Michigan Charter School with a wonderful teacher across the hall. We each had our own rooms, but shared many a day planning and lessons. Our students became one big family as we often went to each other’s classrooms for activities.

Michelle’s first name came from my own sister. I needed a name for this wonderful character who was strong and opinionated… and my younger sister came to mind. She is all that I’m not.

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Let’s not leave out the hero… Preston Hall. Doesn’t he sound like he’s from a wealthy family? The name Preston was the name of one of my students last year. He was always a quiet child but when he’d open up, he’d shine. Like Preston from my book, my student Preston had a dream. He wants to be a helicopter pilot. If you mention anything about helicopters, he will talk and share all his knowledge. I knew that my cowboy Preston had that same drive and determination.

His last name was a throwaway one…I needed a name to go with Preston and felt that another long last name would be too much. Besides Hall sounded more prestigious.

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For the title of this story, I relied on a little help from my friends. I posted the question on my facebook page and everyone jumped in with helpful and not so helpful titles. My only criteria was that it had to have Cowboy and Heart. Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart jumped out at me…

How do you come up with names? Do you like when the names fit what you think the characters look like?

Cowboys Forever

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Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart

Melissa Keir

Even broken souls deserve a second chance at love…

Elementary Teacher, Michelle Alt’s faced untold trials in her life, yet she continues to do what’s right to make things better for the next generation.

Cowboy Veterinarian, Preston Hall has lost everything in order to follow his dreams and return to his grandfather’s small town practice.

These two broken souls recognize each other’s pain and come together to heal, but fear and misunderstandings send their blossoming relationship into a tailspin. Will they be able to put aside their pain to find the love of a lifetime?

EXCERPT:

With her floral shoulder bag hanging from her arm, Michelle Alt approached the dead raccoon. The smell overwhelmed her. Pinching her nose, she took deep breaths through her mouth. The full moon illuminated the intersection across from her school. People should learn to drive slower on this street. This time a raccoon, someday a child.

She squatted and dumped the contents of her purse on the asphalt. Removing the cheap dollar-store clothespin from her purse, she dealt with the smell and closed off her nose. The spring had just enough strength to press her nostrils together without hurting. With her hands free, she selected a yellow pair of sunglasses from inside her bag and slipped them on the raccoon’s face. A smile flitted across her lips.

“That’s a start.” Looking at the pile of junk sitting at her side, she removed a couple of more items, setting a red plastic cup with a paper umbrella next to the raccoon’s hand. Last, she inserted a small bottle of sunscreen between his arm and body then cleaned up the remaining materials, stuffing them into her bag.

It’s perfect. He looks like he’s resting in the sun. Another day at the beach for Mr. Raccoon. She glanced at her watch. Crap, I need to run. I hate asking Mom to watch my daughter for these little acts of willful disobedience. Thank goodness, she’s more than happy to watch Connie, even for, in her words, ‘a waste of time’. But I’m so thankful to have her helping me. I’d never be able to do it all alone. Standing, she slipped her bag over her shoulder, glanced down the street—no one in sight—and dashed off toward home.

 

A deep sigh escaped her lips. The porch light glimmered in the distance. Almost home and no one the wiser. I can’t wait to see what people think of this roadkill art. All caught up in her fantasy, she bumped into a brick wall. “Umph.” Michelle raised her gaze and locked on the fullest lips she’d ever seen. Are they as soft as they look?

“I’m sorry,” the wall spoke. “I didn’t see you.”

 

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About Melissa

Melissa Keir has always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver. Her love of books was instilled by her mother and grandparents who were avid readers. She’d often sneak books away from them so that she could fantasize about those strong alpha males and plucky heroines. In middle school and high school, Melissa used to write sappy love poems and shared them with her friends and still has those poems today! In college her writing changed to sarcastic musings on life as well as poems with a modern twist on fairy tales and won awards for her writing. You can find many of these musings along with her latest releases on her website and blog.

As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America, Mid-Michigan RWA Chapter, and EPIC. She is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars.

Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a movie reviewer, an owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature happy endings and is often seen plotting her next story.

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  | Facebook Page  |  Amazon  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

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A PART OF COWBOYS FOREVER

Cowboys Forever

Six Women—Six Cowboys Forever

Six Cowboy Love Stories by the best-selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up 1&2

 

Marry Me Again, Cowboy by Allison Merritt

An unlikely match made in Texas…

Greer Daily is happy running the ranch she inherited from her father until a resort opens up next door and unruly guests terrorize her livestock and destroy her fences. After she confronts two of them and the situation gets sticky, she finds herself venting her fury on sexy resort owner Guy Carter. But the smooth-talking cowboy isn’t getting out of this mess easily. She wants reparations for her trouble.

Guy’s first initial meeting with Greer could’ve gone better, but he hopes to placate her fiery temper by making amends for the fences. When a judge calls them out for being irresponsible and self-absorbed, then orders them to marry, Guy’s whole world is upended. Their choices: Six months of marriage or a month of jail time. How bad can a few months with the queen of the cattle range be? Heaven if he can get her to bend, hell if she maintains her starchier than pressed jeans attitude.

Just as something deeper than friendship blossoms between them, Guy’s personal assistant throws a wrench into the marriage of inconvenience. If Greer and Guy can’t overcome that particular pothole, they have more to lose than their freedom–a lifetime of love.

 

 

Cowboy Apocalypse by Leslie Garcia

Can a former Marine and a Hollywood diva facing apocalyptic changes in their lives salvage new beginnings together?

When Stone Winters joined the Marines, he always meant to come home. A woman’s impossible dream kept him away so long that he doesn’t think there’s anything left—especially not when he meets Price Adams, a film star with another impossible dream. He just doesn’t think he’s up for that again.

Price Adams traded in a childhood on her grandparents’ ranch for Hollywood glitz in spite of being a teenage mother. Torn between the stardom she won and full-time custody of her daughter, she accepts one last role—in Cowboy Apocalypse, an inane movie about zombies being filmed on ranches around deep south Texas. Burned by men more times than she can remember, Price doesn’t want a man in her life—especially not one who looks down on her career and the courage she needs to let it all go.

 

Rock-n-Roll Cowboy by Autumn Piper

Never judge a rock band by its cover song.

A cowboy leading a rock band? Logan gets an earful from his dad every time he leaves the house to perform. His rock persona destroys his ranching cred with the old-timers, and sticking to the cowboy life instead of running off to Hollywood cost him his girlfriend. Yet, he dreams of success in both worlds, and he’s determined to find a way.

Melody agrees to run a publicity campaign for a local rock band, fully immune to the sexy lead singer’s magnetism—she had childhood experience with a rocker’s absences. Still, Logan is charming, and vulnerable. And persistent…

Logan can tell Melody’s PR plan is his passport to popularity. He has to keep his hands off her, or he just might blow his one shot at making it big.

 

A Cowboy’s Princess by Sara Walter Ellwood

Oil and water don’t mix…neither does Texas oil royalty and an ex-Navy SEAL turned rodeo cowboy until danger forces them together.

All retired Navy SEAL turned rodeo cowboy Justin Tanner wants is to get to his next rodeo when a vision in a pair of tight fitting jeans walks up to him and hands him his deepest desire on a silver platter—the deed to his father’s ranch, land her grandfather had swindled him out of.

Lacey Mackenzie is true Texas oil royalty, but when her grandfather dies and leaves her the keys to the kingdom, she finds herself with more enemies than friends and only Justin’s name as the one who can protect her, but can he after she discovers only the oil under his promised ranch can save her company. When her enemies attack, he’s duty bound to save her, but can he give her the one thing she wants after a hot night of passion—his heart?

 

Ride, Cowboy, Ride by D’Ann Lindun

Can they find freedom together?

A locked up heart.

After imprisoned in a federal penitentiary for ten years over a woman’s betrayal, the last thing Lyle Landry is looking for is love.  A quick tumble?  Sure.  A cold beer?  Absolutely.  And then he’s on to the rodeo circuit to reclaim his title.

Broke, busted and blue.

After her ex-husband leaves her high, dry and dead broke, another man isn’t high on Sarah Reed’s list. Especially a sexy ex-con who makes it perfectly clear he’s not interested in more than a one night stand. But his determination to make something out of himself impresses her more than she wants to admit, and she falls hard for the cowboy.

Other Cowboy books by Melissa:

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Cowboy Dreamin by Starla Kaye

GenCowboyDreamin_200re: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT, gay romance, ménage, western romance

Heat Rating: 5

Page Count: 66

 

AUDIO BOOK  BUY LINKS

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Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Dreamin-1Night-Stand-Book/dp/B017224RM0/

ITunes:  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/cowboy-dreamin-1night-stand/id1052883423?mt=3

 

SOUND CLOUD Sample:  https://soundcloud.com/decadent-publishing-audio/cowboy-dreamin-by-starla-kaye-audio-book-sample

 EBOOK BUY LINKS

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BLURB

Kendra spends her days and nights running a business, sculpting, and leading a Tahitian dance group in Kauai. She can’t squeeze anything else into her life, but she dreams of cowboys. Sexy, hot cowboys in tight jeans, low-tipped Stetsons, and dusty boots. Men who know all about how to please a woman. She enjoys her fantasies, but can’t imagine ever settling down. But one night with one would be so nice. Surely that would get her dreams of a white knight cowboy sweeping her off her feet out of her system.

Because of an accident that Shane believes left him “less of a man,” he doesn’t see a wife and children in his future. Carson, his ranching partner—and sometimes lover—thinks Shane is wrong. Carson refuses to let Shane settle for a life of rodeo bunnies who only want a romp in bed with a bull rider. Shane deserves more than that. He manages to sign Shane up with a matchmaking service to, hopefully, meet another kind of woman, maybe someone who will appreciate Shane for the man he is. Except Madame Evangeline expects both of the cowboys to go on this special one night date. It doesn’t take long for either cowboy to realize that one night with the purple-haired, hip-shaking beauty in Kauai might not be enough….

EXCERPT – PG13

“I can’t do this!” Kendra moaned and glared at Alexis in the dressing room mirror. She had one boob in a coconut cup and one boob that refused to go in the other bra cup. “I can’t!”

Alexis walked over and calmly pushed Kendra’s hands out of the way. She lifted the problem coconut shell cup and gently guided the uncooperative breast into place. “Situation resolved.”

Tears threatened and Kendra’s stomach churned. “That was only part of what’s wrong.”

She’d been stressed ever since learning about this arranged meeting between her and the two cowboys from Kansas. She’d been dreaming about a fantasy, sexy cowboy for so long. But two at the same time? What if neither of them met her visualization? Would she be soured on all cowboys? Would her fantasies be ruined forever? She didn’t have time in her harried life for more than the occasional fantasy. She needed it.

She exhaled deeply, wincing at the slight movement of the rough shells over her tender breasts. She still hadn’t gotten around to replacing the felt lining and she would pay for that negligence today. “My fantasies are all I have. If this goes wrong…. If they are—”

“This could be far better than those dreams of yours,” Alexis chastised with a frown. “It’s two cowboys.”

Kendra paced away and fluffed out her skirt. “Could be being keywords.”

A tear trickled down her cheek and she dashed it ruthlessly away. Then her shoulders slumped and she mumbled miserably, “I should never have agreed to any of this.” She glowered at Alexis. “You pushed me into it, all of it. Agreeing to spend some kind of night with two cowboys is bad enough. But you accepted this dance show without discussing it with me. And they are supposed to meet me here.”

She paced across the small room again, fluffing the sides of her grass skirt again. “First impressions are a big deal, you know. And here I’ll be shimmying my ass around wearing a pink skirt made of fake grass and bouncing my boobs in a really dumb coconut shell bra.”

To her disgust, Alexis laughed. “They’ll think themselves the luckiest cowboys in the world.”

 

2013 Starla-Prof 1 5x5ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Starla has been writing and publishing in different romance sub-genres and lengths for twenty years. Her first published book, Tug of Love, was a “sweet” romance published with iUniverse. Currently she mainly writes edgier romances with an erotic or slightly naughty focus.

She enjoys writing about strong-willed, independent women who butt heads with equally determined, self-confident, and slightly domineering men. Her belief in relation to her heroes is to find them their perfect match, but make him really work for the happily-for-now or happily-ever-after with the woman who wins his heart. Of course, she likes her heroines to be challenged as well. Love isn’t easy.

To date she has published 20 novels, 38 novellas, 8 anthologies, 3 audio books, and 18 short stories. Starla writes for Decadent Publishing, Black Velvet Seductions, and Blushing Books.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://starlakaye.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/starla_kaye

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarlaKayeWriter

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/starlakaye/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Starla-Kaye/e/B002ZH8K3U

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5494986-starla-kaye

Authors Den Page: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=151725

 

Printable Book List: http://starlakaye.com/my-books/my-complete-book-list/