Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the fabulous
In our final post, we're going to take a look at the Timing series, and we also have our Q&A with Mary. Plus, all the way at the bottom, is one more chance to win!
First up, Timing
Stefan Joss just can’t win. Not only does he have to go to Texas in the middle of summer to be the man of honor in his best friend Charlotte’s wedding, but he’s expected to negotiate a million-dollar business deal at the same time. Worst of all, he’s thrown for a loop when he arrives to see the one man Charlotte promised wouldn’t be there: her brother, Rand Holloway.
Stefan and Rand have been mortal enemies since the day they met, so Stefan is shocked when a temporary cease-fire sees the usual hostility replaced by instant chemistry. Though leery of the unexpected feelings, Stefan is swayed by a sincere revelation from Rand, and he decides to give Rand a chance.
But their budding romance is threatened when Stefan’s business deal goes wrong: the owner of the last ranch he needs to secure for the company is murdered. Stefan’s in for the surprise of his life as he finds himself in danger as well.
“Oh, look at this.” Tina was in awe as she got out of the car. “There’s a huge porch and a swing…. Is this where you grew up, Char?”
“Yes, it is.” Charlotte inhaled the scent of wildflowers, grass, and freshly cut wood, just like I did. For whatever reason, the ranch always smelled good, everything mixed together on the breeze. “Don’t you just love it?”
“I do,” Kristin chimed in. “I love it. The huge porch and the swing and… oh….”
It was the long, drawn-out oh, said with such absolute, breathless wonder, that caught my attention. As the other cars began to roll up around us, parking wherever they stopped, I watched, along with everyone else, as Rand rode toward us. He was doing it on purpose, and I didn’t appreciate it.
“Wha… ha… oh,” Kristen gurgled out beside me, one long string of vowels emanating from her mouth, which she seemed unable to close.
“Oh my.” Tina caught her breath.
“Holy shit, I almost forgot,” Alison whispered fast.
“What?” Charlotte asked her.
“That your brother is a cowboy, and a damn fine sexy one at that.”
“Are those chaps?”
“Dear God in heaven, the man is beautiful.”
There was no argument to be made; the man was absolute fantasy material come to life. Up on his horse, riding in from the range, he was as close to heaven as most of us were ever going to get. As he dismounted, my eyes mapped every line of his massive frame. He looked amazing in the boot-cut jeans that hugged his long, muscular legs and ass, the brown leather chaps, and the weathered cowboy boots. The belt buckle was huge and drew your eyes to his groin, and between the flannel shirt, the white T-shirt peeking out from the open collar, and the cowboy hat, he was mouthwatering. And it wasn’t just me noticing.
The sly, sexy way he smiled, the dimple in his chin, the veins in his hands, the way the shirt stretched across his wide chest, and his bright, glittering eyes… I needed to be dumped into a pool of ice water. When he reached us, leading the beautiful Appaloosa mare, I felt my mouth go dry.
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Second in the series, After The Sunset
Two years after riding off into the sunset with ranch owner Rand Holloway, Stefan Joss has made a tentative peace with his new life, teaching at a community college. But the course of true love never does run smooth. Rand wants him home on the ranch; Stef wants an exit strategy in case Rand ever decides to throw him out. Finally, after recognizing how unfair he's being, Stef makes a commitment, and Rand is over the moon.
When Stef gets the chance to prove his devotion, he doesn’t hesitate—despite the risk to his health—and Rand takes the opportunity to show everyone that sometimes life’s best surprises come after the sunset.
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And third, When The Dust Settles
Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.
Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.
“I can ride,” I assured him, getting ready to sit up.
His hand on my shoulder kept me where I was. “Just lie there for a bit longer. We’re settled in for the night already. We can’t push these folks like we can our own.”
That made sense, but I would have argued that I needed to get up and help do whatever, but he reached out and pushed my hair out of my face. I had no idea something so simple could make my heart race and my pulse jump, and even though both of those sensations, reactions, were brand new, they also made total sense. While half of me had always been on the lookout for a man just like Stef—small and delicate and beautiful—the idea of Mac throwing me up against the side of the barn and having his wicked way with me had been just as, if not even more, appealing. I was afraid of submitting, but there had never been any doubt to whom I would consider going ass up for. I had thought about Mac’s hands all over me many a time.
“Is Rand pissed at me?” I managed to get out.
“Actually he’s madder at himself for leaving you alone. I think we all thought someone else was back there with you.”
His hand was so warm, and the thought hit me that I wanted it much, much lower. “Maclain?”
He grunted softly.
“You know you’re touchin’ me, right?”
“I do,” he whispered, and his easy grin made me catch my breath.
This was so dangerous. He was trouble for me and I should have gotten up and run. The smart thing to do was to put a lot of real estate between me and the gorgeous sexy man with the sinful mouth and wicked glint to his eyes, but holy God, he smelled good. How did a man smell like that after a full day in the saddle? Like leather and smoke, a trace of soap and sun on his skin. I wanted to inhale him, press my face to the side of his neck and taste him even as my brain screamed at me that it was a mistake. He didn’t know what he was doing, by allowing this present communion, because he had no clue what was really going on in my head or what I truly wanted from him.
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1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?
Anything can get me writing like a song or a seeing a movie that prompts me to write something in response. I saw the ad for Gucci Homme II with Mathias Lauridsen and wrote 730k of AMOT just like that. So when the inspiration hits, anything could happen.
2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?
I am what's known as a pantser so my process consists of naming characters that is a long, arduous process where I live with each name, write it in dialogue, shorten it and see how it feels, and then once that's done, I just write. I've tried to write a timeline and I've blown it out of the water in a day.
3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?
My favorite character is Sam Kage because he's a fixer. He gets things done, he protects the people he loves and he doesn't wait, he's quick to act.
4. Which character is your least favorite, and why?
My least favorite is probably Breckin Alcott from Floodgates because he is a serial cheater. Even though a transgression can be forgiven, there is no way to every rebuild the trust so in fact the cheating cannot be forgiven. Peter Church is a close runner up because turning your back on a small child who thinks of you as a grandfather is just vile.
5. If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?
I wouldn't change anything in my books. At the time, the decisions I made while writing, I could never second guess. I think, just like anything else, that you get better at something the more you do it so as a result things I write now would be better crafted than something I wrote five or six years ago. But no, no changes.
6. What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?
Currently I am about to start the third book in my hitman trilogy that began with A Day Makes. This third one will be Marko's book.
More about Mary:
Mary Calmes believes in romance, happily ever afters, and the faith it takes for her characters to get there. She bleeds coffee, thinks chocolate should be its own food group, and currently lives in Kentucky with a five-pound furry ninja that protects her from baby birds, spiders and the neighbor’s dogs. To stay up to date on her ponderings and pandemonium (as well as the adventures of the ninja) follow her on Twitter, check out her website, connect with her on Facebook, and subscribe to her Mary’s Mob newsletter.
Thank you for celebrating this fantastic author with us all month. We hope you found a few new books to add to Mount TBR, and learned some fun facts about Mary Calmes.
Until next time, happy reading!