BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

EXCERPT & INTERVIEW: Kickin' Up Dust by Em Petrova

EXCERPT, INTERVIEW, Kickin' Up Dust, Em Petrova

Em and I 'met' when we both worked at Astraea Press in their editing department. We've both moved on but Em has been a guest here several times and I'm delighted to have her back.  

Em Petrova lives in Backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises 4 kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to find an old pickup and travel small-town USA, meeting new people. Her heroes are hardworking–in bed and out–and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.

She also writes lesbian romance as Hallie Knight.

Find Em online:

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How did you come up with the idea for this story?

Authors like to inflict pain in our characters and bring them to their knees. What’s worse than a group of soldiers coming home without one of their best buddies? Returning to find their homes flattened by a tornado, that’s what. Brodie’s story is all about rebuilding his life from ground zero—and finding some good moments along the way.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

My inspiration comes from music and things I see. At times, I can create a whole story around seeing an object. For instance, a dog sitting in front of an open barn door inspired one of my past books.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

They say that easy reading is damn hard writing. I spit out my first draft and then go back and try very hard to smooth and make easy and flowing stories.

What are your current projects? 

Currently I’m enjoying some hot rodeo guys who happened to land themselves a reality TV show. Unfortunately, the spotlight isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. And I’m about to start another fireman series. My heroes are hardworking—in bed and out!


Three solid days of rain. Danica had been wet to the skin again and again while doing ranch chores, which she didn’t mind. It was the mud she hated.

The thick black earth stuck to everything. And dammit, these were her last pair of dry boots.

Using a stick, she worked to clean off the bottoms. When Crow barked, she looked up to see a figure crossing the field despite the soaking rain. Her heart skipped—Brodie. She’d know that rolling gait of his anywhere.

Watching him walk was like eating double chocolate fudge ice cream—decadent as hell. She savored every step he put down and the way his arms swung so naturally at his sides. His hat dipped so low over his eyes she couldn’t see them until he mounted the porch steps.

“Brodie.” Her voice was a little breathless, but she had a naturally raspy voice. Maybe he wouldn’t notice.

“Are you catching cold in the wet?” Oh, he’d noticed, all right.

She shook her head, and droplets scattered over her shoulders. “I’m a country girl, remember? We don’t catch colds from rain.” She knew better than to be interested in a guy like Brodie. Unless he’d changed, he charmed everything with tits.

And she wasn’t that kind of girl. Or was she? She had slept with Wayne on the first date. But that was different.

“Hmmph.” Brodie took a seat next to her, and the old wooden chair creaked under his bulk. “Looks as if you’ve been making mud pies.” He did a chin-nod toward the stick in her one hand and the boot in her other.

Her libido went into overdrive. Did the man do anything that wasn’t sexy? She turned her gaze from his brown eyes to his chest.

Damn, that was worse. He wore a faded denim shirt with pearl buttons. Rolled to the elbows, for the love of moonshine. She couldn’t help but note the change a few days had made. He wasn’t even wearing his dog tags.

“Nothing better to do than make mud pies on a rainy day.”

He arched a brow, and her belly fluttered, low.

Dear Santa, I’ll take a Marine…

“Your momma will skin your hide if you go in muddy,” he drawled. For the first time since he’d come home, she saw him smile—a real smile that reached his eyes.

She swallowed hard. Giving up on the boots, she tossed the stick into the yard.

Brodie laughed. The sound rolled through her like thunder, shaking everything she knew about herself.

Apparently she wasn’t really as content to be alone as she claimed.

“Crow didn’t even go after that stick.”

“Well, he’s five years older and he’s taken an aversion to the rain.”

He laughed again, the sound so rich and full she could barely form a thought. “A cattle dog who hates the rain? Things really have changed around here.”

His statement hung between them. “Yeah, they have,” she said quietly.

He pushed to his feet and started pacing. She watched his long legs eat up the length of the porch several times before she caught his hand on the way past.

Scorching heat danced up her arm into her shoulder and threaded all the way through her. She forgot about her damp clothes and dripping hair. “Want to go inside for coffee?”

“Yeah, that’d be nice.”

He was wet too, so in the kitchen, she handed him a towel. She squeezed the wet ends of her hair into the terrycloth, watching him pat rain off his shoulders and the brim of his hat.

Their gazes met.

There it was again—that low, dark heat.

She dropped her towel and he leaned against the counter.

“I didn’t come here to stare at you, Danica. I’m sorry.” What to say to that? She didn’t have time to formulate a reply because he went on, “I came to make you a proposition.”

So. Much. Worse. Visions of his hard mouth on hers as she tore off his wet denim shirt did a mad jig through her mind.

Before she said or did something stupid, she pushed him aside to get at the coffeemaker. “What sort of proposition?”

Was it her imagination or did his gaze lick over her backside? She didn’t dare turn her head to see. Instead, she dumped two heaping scoops of coffee into the machine and added water. When she turned, he gave a small, nervous smile that quickly vanished.

“I have an idea.”

“Just the one?”

“Hold your tongue, girl.” His teasing lilt was returning—the one she’d missed so much when Matt and his friends had gone away. He leaned against the counter beside her. With only a foot separating them, she could feel heat radiating from the man.

“I’ve been thinkin’ these past few days. Not much else to do with all the rain and my momma coddling me. Anyway, our ranch isn’t doing too well, and from what I gather from your father, yours isn’t either.”

She gave a simple nod. “That’s true.” She’d seen the books herself. Lots of red ink there.

“The way I see it, we’re neighbors and neighbors help each other out. Between us, we’ve got three hundred head of cattle. I’ve got a lot of cows that need calved. Our ranch was always a cow/calf enterprise, and we don’t have a way to keep that going without bulls.”

A thread of excitement wove through her. “And we’ve got bulls.”

He nodded.

“I don’t know why our fathers haven’t done this before.”

“Shell shock,” he said as if it were obvious. “The storm, having cattle wiped out, the town gone. They’ve been just surviving.” Their other loss hung between them, but he didn’t voice it.

“I think you’re right.”

“I’m finished with just surviving, though. I’m ready to start living, and that means fixing our ranch first. And yours in the process. After we’ve got them up and running, I think we can hire some hands, bring blood back into Los Vista.”

She blinked. It was a good idea. Better than good, actually. Exciting. “What do you want me to do?”

“Come with me to talk to your pa. If he’s even up for talking.”

“I don’t know. He hasn’t spoken a word since you were here the other day, Brodie.”

His throat worked. “I’m sorry I had to do that, Danica.”

“It was necessary. My parents have been different since… Well, c’mon. Let’s go talk to Pa anyway.”

An hour later, with a plan hammered out and another pot of coffee drunk between the three of them, she walked Brodie to the door. He fingered the brim of his hat in farewell. “Rain’s supposed to clear tomorrow. I’ll be up to work.”

“We can start on that fence.” The east side of her family’s ranch had been touched by the high winds, and the fence was broken or falling over.

With a smile teasing the corner of his lips, he reached out and tweaked her ear. She yowled for show, but her body reacted to the touch as if it were a caress.

“Do you need anything before I go, Danica?” His warm eyes wore concern along with the usual strain she saw there.

“Got it covered, but thanks. Tomorrow bring your sledgehammer, Pup.”

“Will do.” His smile flashed far too briefly. He walked out the door, crossed the porch, and then walked across the field back to his ranch. She folded her arms over her chest, too aware of how he affected her. Wondering if Matt might forgive her if she accidentally slipped and landed right on Brodie Bell’s c**k.

She gave a small giggle. Before Brodie dropped out of sight, he turned and waved. She waved back. And started praying for the rain to let up so she could spend the next day with him.

Copyright © 2016 Em Petrova - All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication


This Marine follows the rules. This cowgirl is all about breaking them.
Operation Cowboy, Book 1
After losing his best friend and CO, Matt, in combat, Brodie Bell didn’t think his spirits could sink any lower. He was wrong. One look at his and Matt’s storm-flattened hometown nearly levels him.
Los Vista needs a leader, and as Brodie takes the weight of the world on his shoulders, he comes up with a plan. Merge the two ranches left standing, pray for a good calving season…and keep his hands too busy to get busy with Matt’s sexy little sister.
Danica was in pigtails when Brodie and Matt went off chasing glory. Now she’s a woman with a broken heart, but if Matt knew of the depraved cravings Brodie ignites in her body, he’d haunt her from the grave.
As they work to mend miles of broken fences, Brodie fights to ignore Danica’s tiny cutoff shorts and mile-long legs—and to ignore the “weapon” that’s locked and loaded in his Levis. Because the last thing he wants is to dishonor his friend’s memory by ravishing the sweetest little cowgirl he’s ever laid eyes on.
Warning: Involves a sweet and sassy ranch girl who knows her way around a rope, and a Marine turned cowboy who’d like to tie her down and spank her until she begs for more.

Series: Operation Cowboy #1 
Publisher: Samhain
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Formats: ebook, paperback
Buying Links: Amazon* | Are* | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks* | Google Play
* associate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

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