Blurb: For the book overall:
Work hard, play hard, love hard…
Nothing is sexier than someone who knows what they want and has the confidence go after it. This anthology is crammed full of hot romances featuring those kinds of rough-around-the-edges alpha personalities–stories about the kind of men and women who ride horses during the day and their partners at night, who speak few words but mean every one of them, and who would never break their own personal code of honor. We're talking about cowboys... and cowgirls.
This anthology contains seven romances with a Western theme that run the gamut from sweet to sizzling.
Jump Without Looking by TJ Dodd
TJ Dodd is a frequently sweary, occasionally inappropriate former teacher and acknowledged black sheep of her family. She’s okay with that. She shares her home with her pit bull named Piddles, who outgrew the habit but got stuck with the name. She’s made up stories her whole life and thought it might be fun to try to get some of them published. So far it has been.
Jackie has a veterinary practice, her family’s ranch, and a habit of avoiding men. The last thing she needs is a giant, blonde cowboy who tears down her fence and rattles her nerves. Russ has no job, a beat-up old pickup, and a rundown ranch he just inherited. He needs everything except the beautiful, angry neighbor who turns him on and then runs him off. Can one pregnant cow, two horses that love to jump, and three long kisses prove them both wrong?
Not that his thoughts were angelic. In fact, they’d send him straight in the other direction. Jackie O’Neill was exactly the kind of woman who turned him on: spirited, strong, and sturdy. She was more of that kind of woman than anyone he’d met, so much so that she may have just become his definition of that kind of woman.
He wondered if she felt what he did, something like two magnets pulling them together. He wondered if her skin was as soft as it looked, and if it would dimple between his fingers when he held her thighs and kissed her full round breasts. They wouldn’t bruise each other, that was for damn sure. He’d fit right into her cushioned body.
Sitting next to her was a gift.
Is there a message in your story that you want readers to grasp?
I hadn’t thought of it until this question, but most things I write look at different forms of strength and how strong doesn’t mean flawless. Strong means respecting the strength in others and honoring their weaknesses. With the right kind of love, people can strengthen each other.
Was there an Author who inspired you to write?
No, I read everything I could get my hands on as soon as I had a grasp of the written word. I wrote because I had stories that needed telling.
How did you come up with the characters in your books/stories?
I haven’t actually attempted to publish a book yet, but I’ve written a few and have a few in various stages of the process. I don’t always know where the characters come from, they just show up in my head with pieces of their story and grow from there. I’ve been inspired by reimagining old myths and legends, by questioning my own past choices, and by settings that have stories hiding in them.
What are your current projects?
Oh goodness. Well, I’m working on the second draft of a paranormal romance that will eventually become a multi-book story because the characters are very long-lived, so why not? I have a third of a modern romance with the working title ‘Peg Leg Pete’ written, and I’m almost done with the first in what could become a series of books set in a fictional area of the Midwest. Working title ‘Love Makes You Stupid’. My son and I are putting together another book in that series, no working title yet but the main characters are shaping up nicely and we have our basic plot outlined. He’s told me that I will be doing the actual writing.
Do you see writing as a career?
No, I don’t see writing as a career. I like my day job. Writing is my sometimes obsession, my escape and my pleasure. Who knows how much I’ll even get published? I just love to write.
Do you ever picture yourself and one of your heroines? If so, which one?
My heroines have aspects of me but I don’t see myself as any of them. I just live vicariously through them!
Do you have a favorite heroine/hero from one of your books/stories? If so, who?
Yes, but I’m not mentioning her by name because she may never see the light of day for anyone but me and a few of my friends. Let’s just say she’s a kickass immortal shapeshifter who plays with fire.
What kind of research do you do for your books/stories?
Only as much as I need to. That’s not true, I always end up learning more about a subject than I need to, then don’t use nearly everything I learn. The internet is my friend.
What is the hardest part of writing your book/story?
Letting it go. Calling it finished. I want to keep fussing with my stories forever.
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
I hope you smile while you read my story. I hope you remember something about it later and smile again. Life is better with smiles, and so is reading.
What is your favorite Genre and why?
I grew up loving mysteries. I love to read mysteries. But these days I need romance in my reading, and I hate that romance as a genre is belittled. Look at the history of literature, at the great works that draw us to them centuries later, and you will find love stories at the center of so many of them! Pull the books off the shelves that have at least one love story in their content and you have slim pickings to choose from. I’m a defender of the romance genre because a great love story can include mystery, suspense, comedy, the supernatural...you get my point, right?
Do you prefer to write alone or do you like to collaborate with other authors?
Alone! I’m too possessive to play well with others.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
I get writer’s block sometimes. I get through it by rereading the story I’ve gotten done so far, or writing ahead of where I am, to another part that I already have shaping up nicely in my head. Or I walk away and write something else for a while, clean my brain of the mess that’s bogging me down and come back to it later.
When you are reading a book, who is your favorite author?
I don’t have a favorite author. I was an English and literature major in college and an English teacher. I spent years reading and researching tons of works from British and American literature. I came away with several favorite authors and poets and a strong sense of what I don’t like. I don’t like grim books or stories with harsh characters and unhappy endings. But a Shakespeare tragedy on the stage? Bring it!
Do you come up with the cover or does someone else do it?
I’ve never had this situation.
If you could change anything in your writing what would that be?
I would be less enamored of my characters and less indulgent of them, so my stories would be more tightly structured.
What book if any would you want to be made into a movie?
Not a book, but I read a story called ‘Dromtsiirin at the Tiki Lounge’ by Nicole Blackwood in Demons, Imps, and Incubi, an anthology of romance stories, and the whole time I kept thinking, “Damn! I’d pay money to see this on the big screen!” It is just so beautifully drawn and vivid, with unique characters, a very earthy setting, and a juxtaposition between image and reality that I love.
Who would you want to play the hero/heroine?
I can’t even. Um, Tom Hardy for the male lead. Christina Hendricks for the female lead.
Everyone uses computers, tablets, phones and no one uses handwritten form or typewriters, what do you prefer to use?
I only write longhand if I’m in a doctor’s waiting room or something. Otherwise it goes straight onto the laptop and into a cloud drive so I don’t lose anything if I have a system crash.
Is there a ritual you do everything before you begin your book?
I have no rituals.
What do you do when you finish your book and turn it in to the editor?
This has never happened. I finished the story ‘Jump Without Looking’ and turned it into Cori Vidae, the editor for Rough Edges. I think I celebrated with a cup of coffee and some dark chocolate. I’m a wild woman, what can I say?