Thursday, February 13, 2014

Honky Tonk Hearts Blog Hop!

Ladies, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking old Gus, owner of The Lonesome Steer honky tonk couldn’t have brought together all the lonely, broken hearts that he did. But I’m here to tell you I have. Not only do I have the pictures of these couples in my office to prove it, but there’s been a whole series of romances written about the men and women who found love at The Lonesome Steer. And just like every one of my couples, each of these romances is a keeper.

The authors of these books have put together a Valentine Honky Tonk Blog Hop, an easy way for you to get a sneak peak at every story. And there are prizes to put a bounce in your Texan Two-Step. To be Eligible, visit each blog link below and leave a comment. The more hop stops you visit and comment on, the more chances YOU have to win a $50 gift card to The Wild Rose Press. In addition, the publisher has provided a second grand prize of a $25 gift card to The Wild Rose Press and a TWRP Mug for a random commenter (Sorry, US visitors only for the mug prize). Some of the ladies will also be giving away their own personal prizes. So whatcha waitin’ for? Happy hoppin’! 

Nothing But Trouble by Jannine Gallant                    
Honky Tonk Man by Sylvie Kay                                
Those Violet Eyes by Vonnie Davis                            
Lonesome Cowboy by Stacy Dawn                           
The Morning After by Brenda Whiteside                   

I hope you’re having a good time visiting all the blogs and reading excerpts from the stories! I loved writing Sing to Me, Cowboy, and have truly enjoyed the other stories in the Honky Tonk  Hearts series! Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win!

Heather Gibson's past catches up with her one dark Texas night.

Locked in a custody battle with an ex-husband who's looking for any excuse to take her children, Heather doesn't need any more trouble. But when a broken-down car and a dead cell phone leave her stranded at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, she comes face-to-face with the one man who could jeopardize everything--including her heart.

Country-singing sensation Lance Dugan is back in Amarillo for his grandfather's birthday and to take care of a bit of unfinished business--apologize to Heather for leaving ten years ago. Lance has fought hard and won big the last few years, but seeing Heather again makes him wonder if he's been fighting for the right things.

Finding each other again may seem like fate, but one horrible secret, buried deep, could divide them forever.



A roar of clapping and stomping echoed over the parking lot as Bubba stepped out the door. “You’re up.”

The call of duty tore at Lance’s insides. This wasn’t the first time he’d played at The Lonesome Steer, but the other ones had been impromptu performances. This time Gus had advertised the event, and Lance couldn’t let the honky tonk owner down. However, right now there was something he wanted to do more than sing.

Frustrated he didn’t have a choice, he took Heather’s hand, flipped it over, and laid the cell phone in her small palm. “I’m sorry, but I gotta go. Use my phone to find the number and call.”

“How will I get it back to you?”

He shrugged, but it was an act. Deep down he wanted to beg her to stay, watch him perform. Learn he had made something out of himself. “You can hang around. I’m only singing a few songs. The tow truck probably won’t be here by the time I’m done.”

A smile shot across her lips like a falling star, here for a moment and then gone.

“All right. Thanks, Lance.”

He gave her a nod, and then slapping Bubba, his right-hand man on the arm, walked through the door. The crowd was chanting his name, and as usual, his heartbeat increased. He loved performing. Loved singing his songs for people, and here, in his hometown, he loved it even more.

The performer in him burst forward—a good thing since the man in him was still outside. Making his way across the dance floor, he nodded to folks he knew, and some he didn’t. In a single bound, he jumped onto the stage and lifted the guitar balanced against a speaker.

“Hello, again!” he shouted. When the noise died down, he added, “I had to step outside for some sweet Texas-night air, and I gotta tell ya…damn, it’s good to be home!”

The roar could have lifted the roof off the Lonesome Steer like a twister had done a few years back. Gus had to pay a big company out of Amarillo to put a metal roof on the weathered and well-used building. The man now loved to claim not even a Texas tornado could put him out of business.

Strumming the strings, Lance turned to Joey on the drums and Frank on the bass, two of his band members who didn’t mind playing hometown gigs for free. “She’s My Angel,” he said.

They both nodded, and simultaneously, started playing the intro. The words flowed over Lance’s tongue as automatic as a wristwatch ticked away minutes. There was no need to think. The music overtook him, made his toes tap, his fingers strum, and his hips sway. The crowd started to sing along, and he played it up, nodded to someone in the front row and then another, as if they had his full attention.

They didn’t.

His mind was still in the parking lot.

Would she wait? He didn’t have a right to, but he certainly wanted a few more minutes of Heather Childs’s time. Heather Gibson. That’s right. She’s married, and Matt’s home with the kids. A boy and a girl if his sister’s grapevine was right.

The song ended, and he flipped the guitar under his arm to take a bow.

“Lance! Sing Riding Across Texas,” someone shouted.

“Yeah! Riding Across Texas,” others agreed.

“All right. Don’t ever let it be said Lance Dugan doesn’t give his fans what they want.” He turned to Joey and Frank again, waiting for their signals, and then finding the right notes, sang his current number one song. It had been on the charts for the past thirty-six weeks, nineteen at number one. Nature once again took over. It was his soul that sang. His body was just a host. This time, he tried to keep his mind in the room, and off Heather, but as he looked over the crowd, his gaze linked with an unforgettable pair of blue eyes in the back of the room near Gus’s office. Her hair was pulled back in a single ponytail, and the neon lights behind the bar lit up her white tank top like a glow-in-the-dark poster.

He gave her a nod, just a gesture to say, I see you, but what she did in response almost stopped his heart.

Holding up his phone, she then set it on the bar, and disappeared into the crowd.

Here are the links to the other stories one more time:

Nothing But Trouble by Jannine Gallant                     
Honky Tonk Man by Sylvie Kay                                 
Those Violet Eyes by Vonnie Davis                            
Lonesome Cowboy by Stacy Dawn                            
The Morning After by Brenda Whiteside                   


Brenda Whiteside said...

Good morning, Lauri. Nothing like a singing cowboy!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Lauri. I hope you get lots of blog visitors on our HTH's blog hop.

Calisa Rhose said...

I don't have this one yet, but after this excerpt, I'm off to get it. I need to know what happens next! :)

Sherri Thomas said...

Good morning Lauri. Sounds like another winner! Happy Valentine's Day all!

Jannine Gallant said...

Ah, she can't leave now. They're just getting started!

Sylvie said...

I have a feeling, she'll be back :) How could she resist him!

Donna Michaels said...

Great excerpt, Lauri! Lance has to work hard for his love!

Darcy said...

I love the fact that you've so brilliantly captured the way his need to sing the songs that are so much a part of him war with the other human part of him--the desire to be out there with Heather. Great stopping point too, because now I've just got to find out what happens next!

Stacy Dawn said...

This was a heartwrenching read--and the subject wonderfully handled. (I may also have a little thing for singing cowboys LOL)
Happy Valentine's Day Lauri!

Catherine Lee said...

Thanks for being part of the Honky Tonk Hop!
Happy Valentine's Day.

Debbie said...

Sounds interesting. I think I'll have to check out the Honky Tonk Hearts series.

Lauri said...

Sorry I'm late getting to the blog hop, all! I had a gala to go to after work today. Thanks to all for stopping, and I hope you are enjoying the blog hop!

Debby said...

I love cowboys that sing. It is so amazing. But it should be around a campfire.
debby236 at gmail dot com

LaVerne Clark said...

Love this excerpt, Lauri. There is something so sexy about a man who can sing!

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Mackenzie Crowne said...

This was such a sweet story, Lauri. Great excerpt too.

Nancy Dow said...

Darn, posted comment but it didn't show...loved this!!

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