Victoria Vane's Blog

February 11, 2018

[image error]Just gather all the hero names and enter them in the rafflecoptor on Elizabeth Rose's page. Care to guess who my Valentine hero will be? Start here and find out: 

 


 


 


 



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Valentine hop links

1) Elizabeth Rose


2) Victoria Vane


3) Lily Baldwin


4) Vonda Sinclair


5) Cathy MacRae


6) Amy Jarecki


7) Meara Platt


8) Lana Williams


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Here is my prize pack for the hop!

SIGNED COPY OF THE SKEIK RETOLD,


A SET OF PEARL AND RHINESTONE HAIR PINS


A PHOTO KEY CHAIN


AND A COFFEE MUG!


The post Hearts and Heroes Valentine’s Hop! appeared first on VICTORIA VANE.

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Published on February 11, 2018 07:17

January 27, 2018

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THE BASTARD OF BRITTANY by VICTORIA VANE
(World of De Wolfe Pack Wolves of Brittany #3)

 


Gwened of Poher has a legacy to protect, but duty has left her in a loveless marriage without children. Aside from the artistry of her needle, her life is unfulfilled. Until a Norseman offers to show her the kind of passion that she never knew existed.


Bjorn Vargrson blames himself for the tragic deaths of his wife and son. Prayers and sacrifices have done nothing to ease the weight of the burden he carries—the gods have abandoned him.


But when he’s offered a chance at a new life, he joins his brothers on a quest to conquer Brittany, only to find his heart is at stake. For if a man takes, he must also give, even if it means surrendering to love.


Buy now for $1.99 or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

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Published on January 27, 2018 11:25 • 3 views

November 10, 2017

Hi Everyone!


I have recently returned home after an EPIC three week trip that included two fabulous conferences and ended with a RONE award for BEAUTY AND THE BULL RIDER! I had such a great time. 


My trip began in Spokane, Washington at the HISTORICAL ROMANCE RETREAT. This reader-centric conference, hosted by Delilah Marvelle and Renee Bernard is unlike any other and not to be missed by any lover of historical romance and historical clothing!  It included a historical gaming night, movie night, afternoon tea, multi-author book signing and a grand ball.


Here are some photo and video highlights that I hope you will enjoy!


HISTORICAL ROMANCE RETREAT













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Published on November 10, 2017 09:10 • 1 view

September 15, 2017

 Immerse yourself this weekend in a compelling Medieval Scottish romance!

 


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A man without a past… 
Abandoned at a monastery as a young child, Alexander serves two masters—God and the fading memories of his past life—the one he never got to live. As he nears the day to take his vows, he’s sent on a last sojourn into the real world, but what begins as a test of faith becomes a journey to manhood. 


And a woman who doesn’t know her own heart… 
Born from the line of two kings, Lady Sibylla Mac William is abandoned by her sire as a child and then ruled illegitimate. Though she lives a happy life under her uncle’s protection, Sibylla craves something more, but never could she imagine losing her heart to the would-be monk who unexpectedly arrives to tutor her brother.


Together, they will forge the future of a kingdom…
When dark secrets from the past come to light, Alex and Sibylla’s fates become inextricably entwined. Will Alex choose the safe and secure path he knows, or will he reject holy orders to embrace his true destiny… and the woman he loves?


 
Buy now for $.99 or read FREE on KU
 

 



EXCERPT

Twilight made a rapid descent on Cnoc Croit na Maoile, cloaking the forested part of the path in deep shadow and making the way difficult. Twice, she stumbled and a short while later, caught her foot on a root that sent her sprawling to the ground.


Alex was there swiftly to help her back up. “Are ye a’right, lass?”


“Aye. I’m nae hurt,” she lied.


He could clearly see that her face was scratched, her palms were scraped, and her tunic had been torn by a limb. He gently brushed away the dirt and tenderly kissed her palms before entwining his fingers with hers. “’Tis best if I lead ye now.”


Although the rest of the way was easier, Alex was reluctant to release her hand.


“Ye still havena told me what troubles ye, Alexander,” she said, breaking the silence.


“I’ve learned some things about my family since coming here,” he said.


“Aye?” She stopped to face him. “How did this come about?”


“Yer uncle recognized my sgian-dubh. He says he kent my faither.”


“He did? How? What did he tell ye?” she asked.


Alex drew a great breath into his lungs and released it on a sigh. There was so much he wished to confide, but what could tell her? How much did he dare to share? “Only that my faither was an enemy of the king.”


“The king has many enemies,” she replied, “especially in Moray. Did ye ken my máthair’s faither was a king in his own right? His lands stretched from one sea to the other, but his son, Angus, forfeited everything when he rebelled against the crown.”


 “My faither found himself in a similar situation,” Alex said. “There was substantial… property… that should have come to him by right through his faither, but the king disagreed.”


“’Tis the Cenn Mór way to do such things,” she said.


“Dinna ye also carry Cenn Mór blood?” he asked.


“Only a quarter,” she corrected. “And I dinna regard that part of me any more than my sire regarded his Scots blood. He was a lowlander by birth who chose to be Sassenach. I, on the contrary, choose to be a Highlander.”


Her answer evoked a chuckle.


“Ye should do that more often,” she said.


“Do what?” he asked.


“Laugh. ‘Tis the first time I heard ye laugh.”


“Monasteries dinna encourage much laughter,” he said dryly.


“But yer nae there anymore, are ye?”


“I am nae.”


“Then ye need to laugh more freely,” she insisted.


They’d emerged from the forested path, Alex halted and turned to face her. “If ‘twill please ye,” he said. “I will try.”


“Aye,” she said. “But ‘twould please me even better if ye would kiss me again.”


Alex instinctively leaned toward her, wanting to give her the kiss, but knowing where it would lead. “I canna, Sibylla,” he said, stroking her cheek. “This should ne’er have happened between us.”


“But it did,” she said. “Do ye regret it so much, Alexander?”


“Regret? Nae.” He shook his head. “I only regret that it canna be.”


He’d gone to the promontory seeking solace for his distressed spirit, and found balm in Sibylla’s kiss. He knew it was far more than carnal lust, but it was futile to think they could ever be together. “I am no one with nothing,” he said. “This can go nowhere.”


“But things can change Alexander,” she said. “I believe our destinies lie in our own hands.”


“Ye do nae have faith in Divine Providence?” He wondered again at her lack of piety.


“I do. I believe God sets many things in motion but the choices we make, for better or for ill, are ours alone. I believe ye came here for a reason, Alexander. I believe our meeting was meant to be.”


Alex, once more, recalled the eerie words of her grandmother. “Lady Olith said as much.”


Her eyes grew wide. “My grandmother spoke of us?”                  


“Aye.” He hesitated to say more, but found himself compelled to ask, “Is she right in the head?”


“She’s a seer, Alexander,” Sibylla answered. “She has visions.”


“Have they ever proven true?” he asked.


“Many times. She kent her son, Angus, would be killed in battle. She also kent that Domnall and I would come here… what did she say to ye?”


“I dinna remember it well,” he lied. He remembered every word but speaking more of it would only give credence to what he could not, would not, believe.


“Surely ye recall something of her words,” she insisted, “else ye would nae have spoken of it.”


“Sibylla!” A shout startled them apart before Alex could respond; it was Domnall galloping toward them. “What is this!” He flung himself down from his mount with an accusing stare. “Where have ye been, Sibylla? The entire clan is looking for ye.”


His gaze darted from Sibylla to Alex and back again, and then narrowed in suspicion as he took in Sibylla’s torn gown and scratched face.


He took a step toward them with his hand on his sword. “What were ye doing with my sister?”


“Nae, Domnall!” Sibylla quickly interposed herself between them. “’Tis nae what ye think!”


His gaze narrowed. “I ken what I see.”


“Alex did nothing amiss,” she said. “I fell out of a tree.”


“Ye fell?” He snorted in disbelief.


“Aye,” she insisted. “I was in the great oak at the standing stones when Alexander came and—“


His raised a silencing hand. “Enough!” Domnall pierced Alex with a challenging look. “What have ye to say about this, monk?”


“I dinna dishonor yer sister,” Alex said. “I give ye my sacred vow.”


Domnall considered him for a long, tense moment. There was no sign of their earlier camaraderie in his expression. Would he draw his sword? Alex fingered his sgian-dubh, praying he wouldn’t be forced to defend himself.


“In my experience, a vow is only as good as the man who makes it. And I still dinna ken what to make of ye. Come, Sibylla,” Domnall commanded. “Ye will ride back with me.”


“I’m sorry,” she whispered to Alex as she passed, her gaze downcast.


Alex warily watched as Domnall lifted her onto the horse. Of all the sins he’d committed in his life, some might be worthy of mortal punishment, but a kiss certainly wasn’t one of them. Then again, if he had perished under Domnall’s sword, he could never regret meeting death with Sibylla’s sweet kiss still lingering on his lips.


 


Buy now for $.99 or read FREE on KU

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Published on September 15, 2017 18:11 • 36 views

August 8, 2017

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A BRIEF WORD ABOUT THE SERIES:

 


 


I’m so excited to announce the start of a brand new historical series! The SONS OF SCOTLAND represents a whole new direction for me with the kind of stories I have been wanting to write for years!


It all began about a year and a half ago through some personal genealogy research in which I traced my Scottish Clan Ross roots all the way back to the 12th century Highlands. The rest, as they say, is history!


This series will be exclusive to Amazon with print copies also available.


Pre-order VIRTUE now for only $.99!

A man without a past… 


Abandoned at a monastery as a young child, Alexander serves two masters—God and the fading memories of his past life—the one he never got to live. As he nears the day to take his vows, he’s sent on a last sojourn into the real world, but what begins as a test of faith becomes a journey to manhood.


And a woman who doesn’t know her own heart…


Born from the line of two kings, Lady Sibylla Mac William is abandoned by her sire as a child and then ruled illegitimate. Though she lives a happy life under her uncle’s protection, Sibylla craves something more, but never could she imagine losing her heart to the would-be monk who unexpectedly arrives to tutor her brother.


Together, they will forge the future of a kingdom…


When dark secrets from the past come to light, Alex and Sibylla’s fates become inextricably entwined. Will Alex choose the safe and secure path he knows, or will he reject holy orders to embrace his true destiny… and the woman he loves?


The post SONS OF SCOTLAND Coming September 15th, 2017 appeared first on VICTORIA VANE.

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Published on August 08, 2017 16:55 • 32 views

March 27, 2017


 


AMAZON   iBOOKS   B&N  KOBO

 


Hi Everyone! I have been quiet lately but very busy! April 18th is the release of the much anticipated FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDS Anthology, a collection of stellar authors that you don't want to miss! This limited time set will only be available for six weeks and then will be gone forever.



 


My contribution,THE MAIDEN OF MORAY, is a story that sprang out of my personal geneaology research that began a little over a year ago when my husband decided we should to do the DNA test from ancestry.com. Although I knew I was of English and French descent, I had no clue about my Scottish and Irish ancestry that comprises 44% of my DNA!  After this discovery, I was on fire to learn more of these ancestors I knew nothing about. My research, thus far, has taken me all the way back to the origin of the clan Ross in the 12th century Scottish Highlands! Furthermore, it has inspired me to write an entire Scottish series that will span six centuries!


THE MAIDEN OF MORAY also serves as a prequel to my upcoming SONS OF SCOTLAND SERIES that I will be writing under my original pen name of EMERY LEE.I am be excited to share much more about this series as soon as the pre-order links are available!


 


 
THE MAIDEN OF MORAY  by VICTORIA VANE

He’s a man without a past… Abandoned at a monastery as a young child, Alexander serves two masters—God and the fading memories of his past life—the one he never got to live. As he nears the day to take his vows, he’s sent on a last sojourn into the real world to test his faith, and possibly his manhood. But one playful kiss in a moment of weakness awakens a dangerous desire.


She’s a woman who doesn’t know her own heart… Born from the line of two kings, Sibylla is abandoned by her sire as a child and then ruled illegitimate. Though she lives a happy life under her uncle’s protection, Sibylla craves more. But the hot-tempered beauty never imagines her fate lies in the hands of Alex, a would-be monk who hardly embodies her idea of a pious man of God.


When dark secrets from the past come to light, and their destinies entwine, will Alex choose the safe and secure path he knows, or will he reject holy orders to embrace Sibylla and the life he was meant to live?


AMAZON   iBOOKS   B&N  KOBO

 



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Published on March 27, 2017 13:19 • 9 views

October 17, 2016

Hi everyone! I have just returned from a fantastic three week trip which began with the incredible HISTORICAL ROMANCE RETREAT in Spokane, Washington on September 23rd, and ended with the RONE Awards at the IND’Scribe conference in Burbank on October 9th. Hubby and I rented a car and drove from Spokane to Seattle, Vancouver, BC, took a day trip to Victoria, BC and then drove south again with stops in Oregon, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Pismo Beach, and then Burbank. We drove 2,200 miles and took almost 2,000 pictures! I also made a short shipping trip to the L.A. garment district where I loaded up on some beautiful fabrics for more historical gowns. I’m exhausted but also ready to dive into some brand new projects to include an epic new historical series I will be excited to tell you more about as it progresses.


For those of you who follow my dressmaking, I was thrilled for the chance to wear my own creations as well as to see some that I have made for my fellow authors (pictured left to right wearing the gowns I made- Victoria Vane with authors Julie Johnstone, Alanna Lucas, and Myra Platt.)



Rescued from the dragon at the fabulous IND’Scribe Kick off party!


Two Smiling Victorias! (Victoria Vane with Victoria Zak at IND’Scribe)  I also made her Cinderella gown!


You can follow my RENAISSANCE TO REGENCY facebook page if you’d like to see the new historical gowns I am working on.


Now for some steamy reads to warm you on a chill autumn night!

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A COWBOY’S MIDNIGHT KISS: ROMANCING GRIFFIN STONE

She lost her drawl and traded her 501s for Roberto Cavalli, but she’s still a simple Carolina country girl at heart. 


Cassidy Cantrell sacrificed her own dreams to become the wife of a world renowned heart surgeon. But eight years later, she knows it’s over. Divorced from the man of her mother’s dreams – Cass has to face up to the fact it’s time to move on. Looking to get away to a place where she can reclaim herself, she accepts an invitation to spend the holidays at a posh ski resort. But almost the minute Cassidy lands in Jackson Hole, she breaks a boot heel, sprains her ankle, and gets swept off her feet by a smoking-hot, blue-eyed Rancher.


He never could have imagined his soul mate walking into his life in stiletto heeled boots…

Jilted by his fiancée a couple years ago, Wyoming rancher Griffin Stone splits his time between a family ranch and managing investment properties in the ski resort town of Jackson. But something is missing. After placing his own desires on hold to look after his military brother’s family, Griff longs for happiness of his own. But a rich, city girl from Florida who sprains her ankle after her heel breaks? He thinks he has the city girl all figured out, but the more he learns about her past, the more he believes she just might be the woman of his dreams.


This holiday novella releases on October 17 and will be On sale for $.99 until October 31
Get your copy now at  Amazon  B&N   Kobo  or  iBooks

 




EXCERPT: A COWBOY’S MIDNIGHT KISS

The drive from St. John’s Medical Center to the condo complex at the base of Snow King Mountain took less than ten minutes. Cassidy gazed up at the rugged peaks, carpeted in white and casting a great shadow over Jackson Town Square. “Wow. It really is gorgeous here. And the sky is so much bluer and clearer than back home. It’s almost always hazy in the Smokies.”

“You’re gonna love it here, Cass,” Liz said, “Even with the sprained ankle.”

Liz dropped Cassidy and Mandy at the front of the building. The condo unit was on the second floor and the twenty some steps were a bitch to manage on crutches even with Mandy’s help. Throwing the crutches over the guardrail with a curse, Cassidy grabbed the banister with both hands and tried unsuccessfully to hop up the steps.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” The rumbling baritone struck her senses like warm brandy and sourwood honey. Cassidy turned her head to face a pair of riveting blue eyes shaded by a wool Stetson hat.

“Thanks for the offer,” she replied. “But I’ll manage.” She gingerly shifted her weight onto her right foot with a gasp of pain. The next thing she knew both her feet were off the ground as he swept her up into his arms. “What are you doing?” she protested.

“Carrying you,” he replied.

“I don’t need to be carried!”

“If Griff wants to play Sir Galahad,” Mandy chimed, “you should just let him.”

“So you know this guy?” Cassidy asked Mandy over his broad shoulder.

“Yeah.” Mandy grinned. “He takes care of the place for us.”

“Oh. You could have told me,” Cassidy said, feeling embarrassed.

“Which apartment are you staying in?” he asked.

“Number? I don’t know. Mandy?” she called over her shoulder. “Which one are we in?”

“Two twelve. She’s staying with us, Griff,” Mandy answered.

“This really isn’t necessary,” Cassidy protested. “I can manage on the crutches now.”

“What crutches? The ones you threw over the rail?”

“They’re awkward as hell,” Cassidy grumbled. “But you really can put me down now.”

“I could at that,” he answered and kept walking. “But I’m more inclined to take you inside.”

“Are you always so autocratic?” she asked.

The cowboy flashed a dimpled grin that made her pulse skip a beat. “Usually only with my six-year-old nephew.”

Cassidy glowered. “Are you comparing me to a child?”

“If the shoe fits… He cocked a brow. “Speaking of which…” He glanced down at her single remaining stiletto-heeled boot. “You might want to reconsider your footwear.”

“I already threw the other one away,” Cassidy replied. “The damned heel broke off. That’s what landed me in the E.R. I paid a fortune for those boots too,” she lamented.

“Sweetheart, heels like that are only good for one thing…and it sure ain’t walkin’.”



BEAUTY AND THE BULLRIDER (Hotel Rodeo #3) by VICTORIA VANE

beautyandthebullrider_hires_comp2WHEN BEAUTY WANTS A BABY…  Championship bull breeder and former Texas beauty queen Delaney McCall was having a heck of a time finding a daddy for the baby she craved. A failed marriage left her with no desire for another husband, but finding the right stud to satisfy her needs presents a bigger problem that she could have imagined.


AND THE BULLRIDER WANTS BEAUTY…After hanging up his spurs, bull rider Zac McDaniel wants nothing more than to fulfill Delaney’s dream of having a family. After all, his best friend’s ex has been his fantasy for years. Zac, however, has no desire to be seen as just a means to an end. When Zac insists on doing things the “old fashioned” way, their passion explodes like a bull out of the chute.


SOME BUCKING IS BOUND TO HAPPEN…While insisting it’s all just a passing fancy, the more Delaney sees the softer side of the rough and tumble cowboy, the harder it is to keep her emotions corraled. Zac, meanwhile, is more determined than ever to prove he’s what she really needs, and will do whatever it takes to tear down the mile high fence around her heart…


 


This is the third book in a series but reads fine as a stand alone. It is also on sale for $.99 until October 31.


Get a copy now at   Amazon,   GoogleKobo,  Nook , iBooks


 


 


 


 



LATEST HISTORICAL ROMANCES
Breton Wolfe by Victoria VaneBRETON WOLFE BY VICTORIA VANE – 2016 RONE AWARD FINALIST
She swore to defy him to her dying breath… But passion blurs the line between love and hate…

The bluest blood and the hardest heart… at least when it comes to marriage… The daughter of a duke and granddaughter of a king, Adele of Vannes was bartered at birth in a marriage treaty for the sole purpose of producing a royal heir. When her philandering husband is slain by Norse marauders, she is coerced to wed again in order to protect her home and her people. Adele knows that her beloved Brittany needs a strong hand to survive, but how can she ever reconcile her bitterness and hatred with the desire she feels for her mortal enemy?


She’s the jewel he seeks for his Breton crown…A Barbarian bent on building a dynasty, Valdrik Vargr, ‘the Norse Wolf,’ is renowned for both his bravery in battle and shrewdness in statecraft. Setting his sights on claiming the kingdom of Brittany, he knows that siring sons from royal blood would solidify his hold, but the woman he would claim as his queen refuses to have him. Will he fuel her hatred by taking her to his bed, or will the man who strikes terror in the hearts of men be reduced to wooing his bride? 


BUY NOW FROM AMAZON $1.99

 


IVAR THE RED Victoria VaneIVAR THE RED (The Wolves of Brittany#2) World of De Wolfe Pack

A WARRIOR NEVER SURRENDERS… HER HEART


As the epic struggle to rule Brittany continues, Ivar the Red unexpectedly finds himself in charge of the Norse army after his brother, Valdrik, is severely wounded. Intensely loyal, Ivar is prepared to do everything to see their victory through—except taking a Breton wife. Nevertheless, Lady Emma of Quimper fascinates him more than any woman he’s ever known. Although her highborn status protects her from bondage, Ivar vows to claim her as his own.


Lady Emma of Quimper is determined to defend her home as fiercely as any knight, until she opens the gates to save an old friend from the clutches of the Vikings. But her trust has been misplaced, and she finds herself at the mercy of a bloodthirsty heathen—Ivar the Red. Pride keeps Emma from fully surrendering to the conquering lord of Quimper, even when she realizes he’s not quite the devil she imagined.


Ivar has always enjoyed a challenge, especially one from a beautiful Amazon with the heart of a warrior. Though she defies him at every turn, Ivar deals gently with Emma—until she betrays his trust and escapes. Refusing to be made a fool of, Ivar sets out to recover his captive who is determined to return to Quimper at the head of an army. When Ivar finds her in the clutches of death, he suddenly realizes she matters far more than his injured pride and sexual desire. He will do anything to save her and give up everything to make her his.


$1.99 ONLY AT AMAZON
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Published on October 17, 2016 06:00 • 79 views

June 7, 2016


Award-winning author Victoria Vane lets loose the fourth in the Hot Cowboy Nights series

WILD HORSES COULDN’T BRING THEM TOGETHER… With exceptional talent and looks, cowboy “horse whisperer” Keith Russo once had the world at his feet – until his career was unwittingly destroyed by an aspiring filmmaker. After being rejected by his family for exploiting his Native American heritage, Keith has no choice but to turn back to his humble beginnings as a wild horse wrangler.


BUT MAYBE THEIR PASSION CAN… Miranda Sutton always dreamed of making films, until wild mustangs captured her heart. But turning her grandmother’s Montana ranch into a wild horse sanctuary proves harder than she thought. She needs someone who knows wild horses. Keith and the mustangs need each other. And while working together to save the herd, Keith and Miranda discover a passion as wild as the mustangs they love.


Praise from PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY!

Saddle Up graphic


“Sparks ignite when a horse whisperer meets an aspiring filmmaker in Vane’s fourth Hot Cowboy Nights contemporary (after Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy)… Vane’s in-depth knowledge of wild mustangs adds realism to this novel, with its beautiful portrayal of the wilds of the desert as a parallel to the ever-changing but scintillating relationship between Miranda and Keith.”


Praise from RT Book Reviews

“Vane’s fourth Hot Cowboy Nights novel is an interesting character study that features some particularly refreshing insight and development…Vane keeps the bar high by forcing her headstrong protagonists to confront who they truly are and what they want from each other, giving them room to grow and making their happy ending feel well-earned. Fans and newcomers alike will enjoy a satisfying reading experience.”


AVAILABLE NOW in print and E-book: AMAZON  BARNES&NOBLE  KOBO  iBOOKS
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Published on June 07, 2016 04:00 • 70 views

May 2, 2016

Saddle Up Victoria Vane


Award-winning author Victoria Vane lets loose the fourth in the Hot Cowboy Nights series

WILD HORSES COULDN’T BRING THEM TOGETHER… With exceptional talent and looks, cowboy “horse whisperer” Keith Russo once had the world at his feet – until his career was unwittingly destroyed by an aspiring filmmaker. After being rejected by his family for exploiting his Native American heritage, Keith has no choice but to turn back to his humble beginnings as a wild horse wrangler.


BUT MAYBE THEIR PASSION CAN… Miranda Sutton always dreamed of making films, until wild mustangs captured her heart. But turning her grandmother’s Montana ranch into a wild horse sanctuary proves harder than she thought. She needs someone who knows wild horses. Keith and the mustangs need each other. And while working together to save the herd, Keith and Miranda discover a passion as wild as the mustangs they love.


SNEAK PREVIEW:

Miranda’s pulse raced with adrenaline as the herd approached. The rhythmic whop-whop of the rotor blades was soon joined by a thunderous echo of galloping hoofbeats as the horses picked up speed.


“Look over there.” Beth pointed to the end of the wings. Miranda zoomed in tight on a horse that was stomping and tossing his head. “He’s the Judas horse. His job is to bring them in.”


Beth indicated four wranglers positioned in pairs behind the jute wings. “When the horses enter the trap, the wranglers’ll jump out and shut the gates. Once the horses settle down, we’ll sort and load them into the trailers. The whole process usually takes only a couple of hours if nothing goes wrong.”


Breaking into a contagious canter, the horses produced a ground-quaking reverberation she could feel even from her perch on top of the truck, and raised a cloud of dust large enough to obscure her view of the mountains. As the front of the herd approached the wings, Mitch’s radio squawked again, but Miranda couldn’t make out the words over the stampede. A moment later, the high-pitched buzz of a twin engine plane joined the chaotic cacophony of galloping horses.



via GIPHY


“Shit!” Mitch kicked the ground. “It’s happening again.”


“What’s wrong?” Miranda asked.


“There’s a Beechcraft Baron on Trey’s ass. This is all about to go FUBAR.”


Miranda zoomed in on a photographer leaning out the plane window, snapping pictures as it swooped down in front of the horses, a maneuver that effectively split the herd down the middle. She quickly panned back to the wrangler who’d released the Judas horse. The fretful animal bolted, charging to the front of the fractured herd in an attempt to lead it into the catch pens, but only half of the herd entered the trap, while the others galloped wildly past.


The plane dipped low to the ground and flew past the trap. The pilot flashed a triumphant smile and gave the crew the one-finger salute.


“Son of a bitch!” Mitch cursed. “I hope you got that on film.”


“As a matter of fact I did,” Miranda replied. “What are you going to do?”


Mitch gave a fatalistic shrug. “The damage is already done. There’s nothing we can do now but report the license number.”


The scene that followed was pure pandemonium. The captured horses reared and rammed themselves against the steel panels in an effort to join the runaways, and a few tried to climb over the top of the pen. One, a black stallion, even made it halfway up. Miranda cried out in alarm as he crashed backward onto another horse. “Can’t you stop him?”


“There’s nothing we can do,” Mitch said. “That plane’s interference has put their fight-or-flight instincts into high gear.”


“Won’t they hurt themselves?”


“Hopefully not,” Mitch replied. “All we can do now is try to control the chaos.”


The same horse made another attempt. This time with a running start that sent him soaring over the six-foot panel. “Holy crap!” Miranda cried, thrilled that she’d still had her camera going and had caught it all. “I can’t believe he cleared it!”


Mitch sighed, watching the horse’s dramatic escape with a bemused look. “Most of them don’t want to run anymore, but there’s always an outlaw that’ll fight for his freedom.”


“Will you go after him?” she asked.


Mitch shook his head. “No. That renegade’s not worth all the trouble he’ll cause. He’s a fighter. He’ll be okay out there on his own. As for the rest of this bunch, they’ll calm down pretty quick once that plane’s gone. Mustangs are smart. They usually figure things out fast. As a rule, they don’t waste their energy once they know they can’t get out. We just have to wait it out.”


“What about the ones the plane chased off? Are you going after them?”


“We’ve got no choice,” he replied. “There’s almost no water left for at least fifty miles, and very little forage remaining where the water is. It’s going to be really hard on the oldest and youngest ones, because they’re the weakest. We’ll have to try and bring them all back in.”


“What’ll happen to them if you can’t?”


“It’s real simple, Miz Sutton,” Mitch said. “If they don’t come back, they’ll die.”


***


“Easy, brother,” Keith soothed the restless animal. The agitated gelding tossed his head and jerked on the bit in his growing anxiety to join the galloping herd. The rising dust obscured Keith’s vision, choking him as he watched everything fall apart. He shook his head on a curse as the horses began scattering helter-skelter. For a few seconds he debated joining the wranglers that were mounting up to flank the runaways, but it was just no good. At this point they’d only be able to catch up with the ones that were too weak to keep up with their herdmates. No, the only way to gain any control would be to take command as the leader.


“C’mon, little brother. I’m counting on you.” Squeezing both heels into the horse’s flanks, Keith urged his horse forward. The animal hesitated only a millisecond before diving straight down the near-vertical drop.


***


“I thought you said you didn’t use any riders for the horse gather,” Miranda remarked.


“We don’t,” Beth replied with a puzzled look. “We only use the Judas horse to lead the mustangs in.”


“Then I guess your Judas horse has found himself a rider. Look up there.” Miranda pointed to a lone horseman poised on the bluff overlooking the trap. Seconds later, he came charging straight down the cliff to join the runaway band, just like the iconic scene from The Man from Snowy River. “Oh. My. God. Do you see that?” she exclaimed. The rider was crouched low over his horse’s withers and riding hell for leather after the runaways, eating yards of ground with every stride.


“I’ll be damned,” Mitch murmured from behind. “It’s Keith.”


Her pulse accelerated as he began to gain on the lead horse. She’d never seen anyone ride like that. Well, not quite. She’d seen only one person ever ride like that. Miranda zoomed in on the wrangler and did an instant double take. It can’t be. Her racing heart skipped a beat. But it had to be. It’d been well over a year since she’d seen him, but she’d recognize him anywhere.


 


Praise from PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY!

“Sparks ignite when a horse whisperer meets an aspiring filmmaker in Vane’s fourth Hot Cowboy Nights contemporary (after Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy)… Vane’s in-depth knowledge of wild mustangs adds realism to this novel, with its beautiful portrayal of the wilds of the desert as a parallel to the ever-changing but scintillating relationship between Miranda and Keith.”


Praise from RT Book Reviews

“Vane’s fourth Hot Cowboy Nights novel is an interesting character study that features some particularly refreshing insight and development…Vane keeps the bar high by forcing her headstrong protagonists to confront who they truly are and what they want from each other, giving them room to grow and making their happy ending feel well-earned. Fans and newcomers alike will enjoy a satisfying reading experience.”


 


AVAILABLE JUNE 7, 2016 in print and E-book: AMAZON  BARNES&NOBLE  KOBO  iBOOKS

 

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March 13, 2016


 


Thank you so much for stopping by my virtual table today! Be sure to take note of my featured title while you watch my video. You will need to enter it along with all of today’s featured titles into the grand prize rafflecopter. Do this each day for your chance to win the $60 Amazon gift card! Each day a fresh list of stops will be posted so be sure to stop on the event page every day.  The rafflecopter can be found on the event page as part of the description: https://www.facebook.com/events/985711548142414/


 



If you would like to order signed copies of any of my print books you can do so here. I have copies of SLOW HAND, ROUGH RIDER, SHARPSHOOTING COWBOY, JEWEL OF THE EAST and THE SHEIK RETOLD. The cost is $10.00 including US postage or $15.00 for international. I am also happy to offer autograph bookplates free of charge if you already have a book you would like signed.  I accept payment through PAYPAL. Send to: victoria.vane@hotmail.com

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PARTICIPATING AUTHOR’S IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:

MARCH 13, 2016


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