Hey, everyone! I know, I know, this is normally the day you get to meet a “new-to-you” author and learn about fabulous new books. But today, I am doing something a little bit different. Oh, it’s still and interview, as you can see, but it’s an interview with Amanda, one of the characters from A Convenient Risk. I have included the particulars about the book below and I am offering a giveaway this week as well (see details farther down).
Because of this unique situation, I will put the book details before the interview. Enjoy!
A Convenient Risk
A widow with a young son is in trouble.
Amanda Haynes must put aside her grief and do something to take care of her son. Marrying a struggling rancher who wants her dead husband’s herd appears to be her only choice.
Only…she’s never going to love again. No one can replace the only man that ever loved her.
Butting heads over managing the ranch, her frustrations seem insurmountable. What has she gotten herself into? Is there any way out?
You’ll never put down this marriage of convenience romance, because everyone has hope.
Enjoy an Excerpt
CHAPTER ONE ~ Beginnings & Endings ~ Scene Six
Brandon fidgeted with the cuffs of his best Sunday jacket. Moisture beaded on his forehead. Was it warm in here? He shot a glance at the preacher. The man seemed fairly comfortable in his jacket.
Perhaps it was something else then. He gazed up at the ceiling and took some deep breaths. Was he truly that nervous? Why? It wasn’t as if this was a real marriage. Though it was the only one he would ever have.
He never had such silly notions as love. That was a grand idea, but did those marriages ever work out? His parents had been matched for better reasons and they seemed well suited for one another. Surely that was wisdom enough to seek a more logical process for choosing one’s life partner.
And what he knew of Amanda Haynes, though little, did not put him off. She was pleasant enough to gaze upon. Everyone that spoke of her told of what a good wife she was. The only criticism Cook had ever heard tell of was that she kept to herself. He could find no fault in that. That may even be a trait that earned her admiration in his book.
A hand landed on his shoulder. He turned toward its source. Reverend Mason looked at him.
“I’m certain she will be here any moment.”
Brandon nodded. How long had it been? Was she late? He glanced over at Uncle Owen and Cook, seated in the first pew. Uncle Owen gave him a nod and a smile.
Was he doing the right thing? No doubt he did the prudent thing. For this poor widow and for his own ranch. But did he preclude her from finding love again? That is if she put such stock in these things.
The door to the small church opened, breaking his thoughts. Amanda stepped in, holding her son’s hand, straggling behind. As she walked down the aisle toward him, her eyes remained glued to the floor. But his were on her. Would he remember how she looked this day?
She wore a cream colored shirt trimmed in lace fabric. Her skirt was smooth and pink. Perhaps her best church outfit. Had he expected a white dress? No, that would not have been appropriate for a woman who had…well, who had already been married.
Her long blonde hair had been pulled back and up in an attractive style with curls piled on top. She had even adorned the right side with flowers which matched the bouquet she carried.
The boy did not seem aware or pleased at the circumstances. He fairly scowled as his mother pulled him along behind her. As she neared the front of the church, she set him on the front pew opposite Uncle Owen and Cook. She spoke some words to him in hushed tones. He whined in protest, but soon quieted. Then she pressed a kiss to his hair and he leaned back, folding his arms across his chest.
What was Brandon going to do about the boy? He hadn’t considered how the youngster would feel about a new man in his mother’s life. And so soon after his father’s death. But nothing could be done about it at this point. Sometimes very adult decisions had to be made regardless.
Amanda turned and faced Brandon, smoothing a hand down her skirt. Then her eyes were on his. And his breath caught. She was quite a sight up close. Her cheeks were flushed and eyes bright from the slight exertion. That only served to highlight her features.
“Sorry I’m late.” Her words came out in a breath.
Brandon opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. So, he closed his mouth and simply nodded.
“If everyone is ready, we can begin,” the preacher stepped closer to them.
Amanda nodded, licking her lips and grasping her flowers. Did he see a slight trembling in the delicate buds?
“Yes, Reverend,” he said, swallowing against a dry mouth. He shifted to face Pastor Mason and sensed Amanda do the same.
The preacher spoke words about the institution of marriage, but Brandon had a difficult time listening. He found himself stealing glances at Amanda. What was she thinking? Did she have second thoughts? Regrets?
Still, they moved through the ceremony, responding in turn when they were asked to.
Amanda spoke the words that would bind her to Brandon seemingly without hesitation. Should it surprise him? It did.
“Now it is time for the presentation of the rings.” Reverend Mason turned toward Brandon. “Do you have the rings?”
Brandon reached in his pocket and produced the circlets of gold.
“Will you take the smaller ring and place it on your bride’s finger and repeat after me?”
Brandon spoke the words after the preacher as he took Amanda’s smaller hand in his underneath the bouquet. Sliding the ring on her finger, which seemed impossibly smaller than his, he was surprised when he encountered resistance. Her other wedding band.
His eyes shot to hers.
Hazel eyes widened and slid closed.
Reverend Mason, having paused, spoke in that moment. “Is there a problem?”
Brandon slid his wedding band off of her finger.
Amanda pulled her hand out from under the bouquet.
The preacher’s brows shot up. “I see.” He eyed Brandon. As did Amanda.
Everyone seemed to be waiting on him with baited breath. What was he to do? Was it his place to remove Jed’s wedding band? Surely that was something she needed to do. But everyone looked at him as if he were to be the one to act.
So, he reached for her hand once more. Her eyes flitted between his and the wedding band on her finger. He gently grasped it and pulled. It wouldn’t come. Twisting a little, he felt it budge. From there, it took little work to get Jed’s wedding band off.
His face warmed. Why did he have to do that? It just wasn’t right. To remove another man’s claim on his wife. She should have been the one to do it.
But he held fast as he slid his wedding band onto her finger.
Reverend Mason let out a sigh and continued, instructing Amanda to place the other wedding band on Brandon’s finger.
He held out the wedding band to her, but he now held Jed’s wedding band and the one for him in his hand.
As her fingers reached for the band, they hovered for just a moment over her former band. Perhaps no one else would have noticed. But Brandon did. And why shouldn’t she? It had been on her finger for years. She must be loathe to part with it, perhaps one of the last pieces of her husband she had left.
Still, she picked up the band for Brandon and slid it onto his finger, releasing his hand as soon as the ring was securely on.
Brandon continued to watch her face, but her eyes shifted toward the preacher soon after. Was she afraid? Embarrassed? He had not meant to offend her.
But he turned his attention toward the preacher as well for the remainder of the simple ceremony. It wasn’t long before Reverend Mason spoke the final words and declared them husband and wife.
“You may now kiss your bride.”
Brandon looked over at Amanda. She didn’t meet his eyes. Her gaze caught on his chest. Why had he not thought about this particular part of the ceremony? The woman seemed so scared, so vulnerable.
She needn’t be, he decided. So, he leaned forward, tilting his head down and pressed a kiss to the side of her face before pulling back.
Then she met his gaze, eyes wide. Did she wonder at his simple contact? He wanted nothing more from her than what they had discussed. If she feared differently, than she was mistaken.
All he wanted…needed was that cattle. He needed it desperately. Now it was his. And that was all that mattered.
Hello, Amanda, I hope you are well. I understand that you have recently lost your husband. I am sorry to hear that. But congratulations are also in order, I suppose as you have remarried as well.
It’s not like that. My son needed…we needed…it’s not as you make it sound.
I apologize. I did not intend to “make it sound” any way at all. Merely making conversation.
Alright. Perhaps we can just get to these questions, since we are off to such a great start 🙂
No. I came from further east.
Care to elaborate?
Listen, I do apologize if I offended you. I meant nothing by it. Honest. I do hope we can put it behind us and make the most of this interview.
What is your earliest memory?
Probably of my mom. She was unwell a lot. So, I remember playing in her room, by her bed while she slept.
(Pauses) Hmmm… Interesting. What about school? Did you enjoy school growing up?
Yes, very much. I was quite good in school. I always did well.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, there aren’t many prospects for women during this time. Teacher…mother…nurse…that’s about it.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
My son, Samuel. He is my light, my sunshine. The reason I keep going.
What is your greatest fear?
To be a burden on anyone…especially on him, my Samuel.
I write romances, so my readers would probably like to know if you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love?
But you are just newly–
Okayyy…moving right along then…
Tell us about your family.
My family growing up or my family now?
Well, as you know, I recently married into this rancher, Brandon Miller’s, ranch family. Samuel, of course, is still with me. And there is Cook, who takes care of the house and cooking. Uncle Owen who seems to be an adviser of sorts to Brandon. I think he used to work a ranch when he was younger. Then there are the ranch hands. They’re nice fellas.
A ranch!? Is there a dog? Tell me there’s a dog!
Oh yes, there’s Daisy. Samuel is rather taken with her. I worry because she is older. I don’t like the idea of him becoming too attached.
That’s understandable. Pets are such a blessing in a child’s life!
Mother to mother…HOW do you deal with stress!?!
I may not be the best person to ask. But I’ll give it a try.
I try to stay calm and remember that whatever Samuel is doing is just him being a kid. That gives me good perspective.
Oh my! Our time has gotten away from us! I have time for one more question: what is the best thing that ever happened to you?
My first husband, Jed. He married me and took care of me. I very much needed someone to love me and give me some purpose, you know? But it was different than I’d always expected.
Oh? How so?
Just…you know, not as…warm…I guess, as I’d always thought the companionship of love would be.
Hmmm… What about with Brandon?
I do have these stirrings…more like sparks. But there is heat. Still, I am more wary of it than anything else.
Intersting…well, we’ve run out of time, Amanda. Thanks so much for sitting down with me today. I look forward to seeing how everything turns out for you 🙂
You can follow the rest of Amanda’s story as well in “A Convenient Risk”.
More About the Author
I’m a coffee lovin’, word slinging, Historical Romance author who’s super power is converting caffeine into novels. I love those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires me. Well, that and a good love story.
But of all the love stories I have read, mine is my favorite. I live happily with my own Prince Charming and our gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning.
Connect with Sara and her books
YouTube Channel: Sara Turnquist
Two (2) individuals will be selected via Rafflecopter to receive ebook copies of both books in the Convenient Risk Series.
This includes A Convenient Risk and An Inconvenient Christmas. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter.