Happy Valentine’s Day and a warm welcome to the Blog Tour for Huckleberry Ridge Romances (Book 1: A Country Kind of Love + Book 2: Big Love in a Small Town) by K.T. Raine! I am so delighted that I can be part of this tour + on Valentine’s Day even, eep! These book sounds really sweet and fun and I hope to read them one day~
For today’s post I got a guest post from the author, plus an excerpt + book/author information + a very fun giveaway. Yes, this post is filled!
Ready? Let’s get this tour started~
Second chances … and the secrets that sabotage them.
CeCe Bixby’s life is in flux. After being abandoned by her husband six years earlier she’s managed to cope by focusing on her work as a reporter and on being a good mom to her young son. When her name is leaked in connection with a dangerously controversial story, a fresh start in small town Huckleberry Ridge, Idaho feels safe … until she meets her new landlord, a handsome widower who just may wield the key to her tightly sealed heart.
Shane Wickham is shackled with regret. Ever since playing an unintentional role in his wife’s death, he’s denied himself a second chance at happiness. But once he meets his attractive but fearful new tenant, he feels compelled to help her, and his firm resolve to keep his distance begins to crumble.
Despite an undeniable attraction to Shane, CeCe is terrified to lower her guard and expose herself and her son to the risk of more heartbreak. And though Shane secretly longs to put yesterday behind him, his guilt won’t allow him to pursue the possibility of new love.
Can they find a way to forge a future together, or will regret and deception doom the chance to repair two damaged hearts?
A Country Kind of Love is the heartwarming first book in the Huckleberry Ridge Romance series. If you enjoy clean, feel-good stories with relatable heroines and swoon worthy heroes, then you’ll love K.T. Raine’s tender tale.
Buy A Country Kind of Love for your happy ever after today!
Buy this book here (now 99cents til the 17th): Amazon
Why does starting over have to be so hard?
Sweet and gregarious Penny Barron was just sure handsome Gus Amherst was finally “the one.” But after his protective streak evolves to controlling and then abusive, she decides enough is enough. When her childhood friend CeCe gets in an accident and needs some temporary care, Penny figures this is her opportunity. She leaves Gus a goodbye note and flees Boise for small town Huckleberry Ridge, Idaho, to be near CeCe and make a fresh start.
When Gus decides he’s not ready to let Penny go and shows up in Huckleberry Ridge unannounced, CeCe’s neighbor, police officer and confirmed bachelor, Josh Wickham, comes to her rescue. Both are surprised by the spark of attraction that steadily grows between them. But Penny is carrying a secret guaranteed to wreck any new relationship … which is exactly what happens when she finally reveals it to Josh.
Is there still a chance for love to bloom? Or has Penny’s deception ruined her second chance forever?
Book 2 in the Huckleberry Ridge Romance series.
Buy this book here: Amazon
About the author:
Okay, so I admit it, I’m a true romantic at heart, and I’ve always been a sucker for a good, clean love story with a happy ending. My favorite stories involve spunky but sweet heroines, strong, swoon-worthy guys who aren’t afraid to take charge … oh, and a dog in the mix never hurt either. So guess what? Those are the type of stories I write! Just in case you’re curious, I live in the beautiful mountains of North Idaho with my hubby of 30 years and our adorable Beagle mix Stella, one of the many rescue pups I’ve adopted over the years.
When I’m not reading or plotting my next novel, I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening, going for hikes, or soaking in my hot tub–hands down the best place to read–print anyway. I do housework when I must and laundry when we run out of clean underwear. So enough about me. If you want to know more visit my website at www.ktraineromance.com. Want to be notified of new releases? Sign up for my once-a-month Dog-gone Short and Sweet Newsletter, which is indeed short and sweet and always contains a picture of a dog guaranteed to make you smile. In the meantime, pick up one of my books and get your swoon on!
Do you have any advice to offer new authors?
I’ve given this question a lot of thought and I think the first thing I would encourage new authors to think about is their ultimate goal. Are you writing just for the sheer love of putting words on paper (or computer)? Are you writing to share a special story with friends and family? Or are you writing with the intention of becoming a well-known author with a body of published work? If it’s the third one, as it is for many new authors, realize that you’re embarking on a long, challenging, sometimes rewarding, but often heartbreaking endeavor. The bottom line is, the writing industry is darn tough, the competition is fierce, and the sooner you realize this, the better.
There is a never-ending supply of writing and publishing advice, suggestions, and do’s and don’ts out there. Some of it is very helpful, some won’t apply at all, and a fair share of it is totally worthless. This is mainly because the road to becoming a published author is unique to every writer out there. But after thirty years of experience, here are some evergreen tidbits of wisdom that I wish I would’ve known when first starting.
The best writers are those who love to read. So read widely, not only in the genre you want to write but in other genres as well. It’s surprising how much you can improve your skill by reading the work of others.
A book that you swear is finished and ready to be published seldom is. One of the biggest mistakes new authors make (and some not so new) is rushing a story into publication. Revision is your friend, so edit, edit, and edit some more. Then put your manuscript away for at least a month and start on your next book. I know it’s hard, but when you return to your original with fresh eyes, you’ll be amazed at how many things still needing improvement will jump out at you. Critique groups, either in person or online, can also be super helpful. Your mother or your spouse may read your story and point out basic things like typos or a passage that’s not clear. But to really benefit, you need other authors who understand the craft of writing to read your work. The more successful and experienced these authors are, the better. When you do receive a critique, listen with an open mind and give the advice careful consideration. Only then should you decide whether to accept it or not.
Understand that becoming a successful author is a looong marathon and not a sprint. This is especially true if you’re seeking a traditional publisher. My first book required ten years of querying agents and editors and enduring countless rejections before finally being published. Many times I wanted to throw up my hands and quit, but my love of writing kept me going. Self-publishing is much faster, of course. But all the time required to write and edit your novel, have it formatted, and have a professional cover designed can still feel like forever. Then there’s the marketing, a whole other monster.
Finally, never lose the joy that writing brings you. Repeated rejection and discouragement can make you question your ability to write and make you want to give up. On the toughest days, cut yourself some slack. Take a walk or a bubble bath, buy yourself a latte. Get your mind on something else for a while. When you get back to writing, things won’t seem quite as bad 🙂
Big Love in a Small Town–Excerpt
The moment Penny caught sight of the flashing red and blue lights in her review mirror she started to laugh. By the time she’d pulled to the side of the road and the officer climbed out of his squad car, her whole body was humming with the hilarity of it all. How could this be happening? It was downright crazy. Stressful situations always triggered her impulse to laugh, but this time her amusement seemed fully warranted. She’d just driven 400 miles across the state of Idaho without a hitch, only to be pulled over one ridiculous mile from her destination. What were the odds?
Not that there was anything especially amusing about the prospect of a ticket, but it still felt wonderful to laugh. There had been so few opportunities lately. Penny watched the officer approach in her side mirror. Fairly tall, nearly all in black, on the youngish side. Of course, now that she’d passed thirty, the concept of young had become a bit more muddled.
She drew in a shuddery breath, wondering what she’d done wrong. She was confident she hadn’t been speeding through the little town. Well, semi-confident anyway. Maybe Gus had discovered her note and been upset enough to report her to the police on trumped-up charges. The ridiculous notion sent her into a new round of laughter. She pressed her lips hard. Okay, okay. No need to come across as a complete loony bin.
Her fingers trembled ever so slightly as she turned down the volume on her 80s rock playlist. The officer had nearly reached her door so she lowered her window, the sudden rush of cold air making her shiver. The November sunshine was downright deceptive up here in the north. Something sure smelled good, though. Like greasy French fries.
“Hey, officer,” Penny greeted. “How are you? I’m sorry if …” Her words faltered as she met with a pair of icy blue eyes set in a very attractive face. Holy cannoli! If she had to be pulled over, at least she’d hit the jackpot. Too bad she’d sworn men off. Her gaze instinctively shifted to the name lapel above the pocket of his dark jacket—Joshua Wickham. She gave a small gasp. “Oh. My goodness. Are you … the Josh Wickham?”
He angled his back to the sun and stooped to peer in at her with a wary expression. A questioning smile played on his lips revealing a sliver of white teeth against a dark five o’clock shadow. “Hello there, ma’am. Sorry, but I don’t believe we’ve met.”
Penny touched her nose and giggled. “No, we haven’t. But I recognize your name. I’m here to visit my best friend, CeCe Bixby, and she rents from your brother.” She hesitated. “At least, I’m guessing Shane might be your brother. She told me he has two. I can’t remember the other one’s name. But … yeah, pretty sure one was Josh.”
His smile widened as she rambled. “Ah,” he said. “Yeah, I’m that Josh, and you must be CeCe’s friend from Boise.”
Penny felt all her apprehension drain away. She clapped her hands. “Yes, yes that’s me. Penny Barron. I’m here to help her out for a bit, you know, after the accident.”
“Gotcha.” He rested a hand on the door frame of her Subaru and Penny tried not to stare. Hands always did it to her for some weird reason. Guys’ hands at least. He hitched his chin toward the passenger seat. “And who’s your little friend there?”
Penny forced her gaze from his hand, reaching over to caress the silky head of her King Charles spaniel, who took in the scene with calm, trusting eyes. “This is my bud, Barlow. He rides shotgun for me.” She nibbled her bottom lip, wondering if the reference might be inappropriate for the situation. “Only figuratively speaking, of course,” she added. “I don’t really let him handle guns.”