Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Promo: COURTING THE COWBOY by Carolyne Aarsen

Cowboys of Cedar Ridge - Book 1
Harlequin Love Inspired
ISBN:  978-0-373-62256-6
February 2017
Inspirational Series Romance

Cedar Ridge, Alberta, Canada - Present Day

Ella Langton’s life has been on the skids for some time, ever since she lost her marriage and her child.  Now, she has an unprecedented job offer from a prestigious art gallery and school in Montreal.  If they like her newest works, she’ll be able to teach, something she has longed to do, but only if she can find the inspiration to paint again.  Somehow, her muse has gone astray, and the most she gets for her efforts are a few lines and splotches of color on the canvas.  Frustrated and at the breaking point of frustration, Ella rents a cabin in the Porcupine Hills of Alberta, packs up her Malamute, Pablo, and together they move into the small house for the next six months.  All she wants is peace and quiet so she can concentrate on her painting.

Instead of peace, Ella is bombarded when her neighbor's nanny knocks on her door and rushes off, leaving Ella with three children.  Ella is so shocked all she can do is hug herself tightly while six- year-old Suzy and seven-year-old Paul make themselves at home in her living room.  And to her horror, Ella is also left to mind little two-year-old Oliver, who is now sitting on her floor ready to cry.  She can tolerate the older children, but the baby brings back too many dark memories for Ella, and she's nearly shaking with fear.  But, just in the nick of time, the children's father arrives to take charge of his offspring.

Rancher Cord Walsh lost his wife, Lisa, two years ago, but he still blames himself for her death.  Now, he’s attempting to take over the work she was doing when she died:  helping the Cedar Ridge Rodeo join the Milk River Rodeo Association as part of their event circuit.  But the too many meetings and time consuming projects are taking their toll on Cord; he’s away from his children too much, and now, he has no nanny, and the kids are out of school for spring break.  Even so, Cord feels he needs to carry on with his wife's work, but whether it's to commemorate her memory or just assuage his own guilt, he doesn't know.

Ella is determined to stay far away from Cord and his kids.  The kids melt her heart, and Cord, well, too many feelings she doesn’t want to explore erupt in his presence.  Cord is just trying to find more time to spend with his children and organize his life, but he's beginning to like the way he feels around Ella when she's near.  His kids are not helping the situation, however.  After Suzy persuaded Ella to help them with an art project, Ella has been spending lots of time in his home cooking dinner and cleaning his kitchen.  Cord likes having Ella around, but he's troubled by her obvious dislike of little Oliver, clearly she does not like babies, and he's wondering why.

COURTING THE COWBOY is a heartwarming romance featuring dynamic characters amid the story of two lost and hurting people who find each other through friendship and faith.  Ella's marriage was abusive and dark, leading her to paint bleak, but wildly popular canvasses which sold well.  Now pressured by her mother to create a new and even darker portfolio of paintings, Ella cannot find the inspiration to begin.  What she finds instead, is sunshine in the smiles of Cord's children, all except little Oliver, who only brings dark memories to mind that she is unable to face.  Cord, meanwhile, is dealing with the guilt of losing his wife to an untimely death and the uncertainty of maybe falling in love again.

COURTING THE COWBOY is the first novel in a planned series of four connected books, but I was unable to find out when the next release is due.  Check the author's website,
for updates.  Meanwhile, grab a copy of COURTING THE COWBOY, it's a great book!

Diana Risso

COURTING THE COWBOY by Carolyne Aarsen

1)      How did you come up with the relationship between artist Ella and rancher Cord?
a.       The first picture that came to me was a woman with three kids standing on the deck of her house, looking at her like they are supposed to help her out and she is reluctant to. Then a truck comes on the yard and here comes the father. This was how the book starts and this was the first idea that came to me. So then I had to figure out why the woman didn’t really want to help the kids. Why the father was so upset at her reaction. And because I knew I needed them to be forced together, I had to delve into that. I knew my heroine was an artist trying to find solitude so I came up with the idea that the kids, once they found out she was an artist, finagle her into helping them with an art project. The hero is trying to protect his children and knows that she is uncomfortable around them but also that they really want this to happen.
3)      What is your favorite part about writing Courting the Cowboy?
a.       The interacation with the kids and Ella. I have two precocious granddaughters and a chubby loveable grandson and they became my models for Suzie and Ollie. Paul was a composite of my other grandson and a nephew’s son. It was fun bringing them to life.
4)      How is it different to write about children than adults?
a.       Kids say what they think and aren’t scared to ask the hard questions. They aren’t scared to satisfy their curiosity so that makes for some interesting and fun conversations. Plus they don’t overthink so what you see is what you get. Adults spend more time debating and questioning  and filtering what they say so it’s a different dynamic.
5)      How did you pick a cabin in Alberta as the backdrop for the book?
a.       I loved the idea of seclusion and the mountains and a ranch. It created a sense of coziness that appealed to me. I wanted my heroine to be apart from her usual support system so that she was a bit vulnerable when the kids came barging into her life.
6)      What was the first book that made you cry?
a.       The Outsiders. I remember sitting under one of those dome, homestyle hairdryers, my hair in curlers as the hot air blew over my head, reading the book and my tears drying on my hot cheeks as I read how Johnny died. Such delicious sadness.
7)      How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
a.       I often say I’m always researching stories and books. I gather information and hoard it, store it away for when I can use it. So it’s difficult to say. I love ranching life and the lifestyle and my husband has his horses and cows so, like I said, I’m always trying to find ways to write what I know into my story. As for the other stuff, like the art references in this book, I have a niece who’s an artist and I’ve listened to her talk about shows and galleries so I drew from that as well. Then, whatever I don’t know I fill in as needed either by phoning or going on Google.
8)      How do you select the names of your characters?
a.       I actually have a master list of names of hero’s and heroine’s that I’ve used in the past and for future books so I don’t make the mistake I did previously of having two hero’s named Logan. I usually pick names that sound strong, masculine for my men and a bit softer for my women. And that’s about it. For secondary characters I rely on a little tool in Scrivener that gives ideas for names. I’ve used it often.
9)      If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
a.       Take pictures and edit them. Make covers for books and learn how to properly use the gradient tool in Affinity. Sometimes I think I would like to work in a store with other real people instead of the fake people I spend so much time with. (though they become very real to me). But the truth is I really can’t imagine not being a writer. I’m always coming up with stories.
10)  Do you believe in writer’s block?
a.       Not really. I think it’s often resistance to do the hard work that keeps me from writing. For instance I’m supposed to be reworking a book right now that I’m struggling with so it’s much easier to fill this out than to work on it. But I will go back to it and keep plugging. I know, for me, when I shut the internet off, the distractions cease and I have no choice but to work. I can’t really say that I’ve had actual writer’s block. Resistance to do the hard work, yes, but not writer’s block.
11)  Are you excited for Valentine’s Day?
a.       I know I’m supposed to say yes, but Valentines Day is often just another day here. If I’m in town I’ll buy some Lindor Chocolate for my husband and I and we’ll have them with tea as we have our devotions after supper. My dear husband is not a romantic so it’s often a non-event. I don’t doubt my husband’s love for me and I’ve learned, long ago, that birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day should never be a test of that love.

Courting the Cowboy
by Carolyne Aarsen

Looking for inspiration, artist Ella Langton rents a cabin in the isolated Porcupine Hills of Alberta, Canada. She didn’t count on having neighbors, but rancher Cord Walsh and his three children are just a stone’s throw away. 

Still healing from a tragic accident, Ella has no plans of reaching out, but she’s having a hard time keeping them out of her yard—and her thoughts. And when little Suzy ropes Ella into helping her with an art project, she can’t help her growing feelings for the girl’s rugged daddy.

With three persistent children, Cord and Ella may find their fenced-off hearts opening up sooner than they thought!

CAROLYNE AARSEN lives in Northern Alberta where she was born, raised and married and has raised four children and numerous foster children. Her writing has been honed between being a stay-at-home mother, homemaker, gardener, crafter columnist and business partner with her husband in their cattle farm and logging business.

by Carolyne Aarsen
Love Inspired; January 17, 2017
$5.99U.S.; 224 Pages

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