Friday, May 17, 2013

Laura Drake: Romance, Bull Riders, And A Giveaway

I am delighted today to welcome a ‘new-to-me’ author that combines
her passion for romance and an acquired interest in bull riding into a fun loving, tug-on-your-heartstrings series that will lead to many hours of enjoyable reading entertainment.

Author Laura Drake, a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, joins us today to talk about THE SWEET SPOT, the first installment in her bull riders series. Thanks to Laura and Marissa at Grand Central Publishing, two lucky visitors will win a copy of THE SWEET SPOT

Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines.
You don’t have to be a fan of bulling riding to enjoy this charming tale of romance and second chances. Here’s a quick look at THE SWEET SPOT

    A Love as Big as Texas . . .
    Charla Rae Denny was the perfect wife with a perfect life, content to keep the home fires burning while her husband, JB, competed as a champion bull rider. Then their son died in a tragic accident-and everything fell apart. Divorced and saddled with a hill of bills and a failing ranch, Charla must now cowboy up to put her life back together.
    James "JB" Denny doesn't stay where he isn't welcome. So when Charla shut him out of her grieving heart-and their home-a year ago, he took comfort where he could find it. Now after seeing beautiful Charla again, he wants it all back. She can't work the ranch alone, and deep in his heart he knows he can be the man she needs. But after so much history and heartbreak, can JB convince Charla to take a risk and give their love a second chance?

Mason - How does someone who grew up near Detroit, Michigan, come to write westerns? And why write about bull riders?

I know, it’s a stretch, right? But I married a Texan. I fell in love with the West from the back of a motorcycle the past 25 years. I aspire to earn the title ‘honorary country girl’ before I die! 

While visiting Texas, I attended my first rodeo, and was hooked. Imagine how excited I was to find out that bull riding was on television every weekend! There’s something about the hubris of a man who straps himself to two thousand pounds of attitude that wants to throw him in the dirt and dance on him – the drama sucks me in every time! 

This year, I’ll be signing THE SWEET SPOT at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas – An odd dream maybe, but one that’s come true for me!

Mason - What can you tell us about your couple, Charla Rae and JB, that we won't find in the book?

Their first date was a Sadie Hawkins dance, in high school.Cover - The Sweet Spot Because JB lost his mother when he was young, he never learned to dance. Charla had to teach him, that night!

Mason - When you began writing THE SWEET SPOT, did you know it would be the first of a series or did that develop as you wrote?

It’s interesting, because THE SWEET SPOT was actually the second bull riding book I wrote. The first was NOTHING SWEETER, which turned out to be the second in the series! I was unpublished, and just writing what I was passionate about. Selling in a three book deal was beyond my hopes!

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you.

The second book in the series, NOTHING SWEETER, will be out in December. Here’s just a taste of the characters:

     Aubrey Madison is guilty. But not of the crime she’s been pardoned for. She knew it was her responsibility as controller to turn her customs-cheating boss over to the law. It just doesn’t seem like her problem until she learns of a much larger scheme--one that has her name all over it. She’s still reeling when Federal agents show up to arrest her.     
     Eight months later, reveling in freedom and determined to put shame behind her and start over, Aubrey hits the road with a new last name, a hideous scar on her neck, and bad case of claustrophobia.
     Max Jameson has big problems. His father has died and his gay half-brother, Wyatt, has returned to the family cattle ranch outside Steamboat Springs. An old-fashioned cowboy, Max wants only to remain a rancher, but the High Heather is bleeding red ink. His father taught him that a man fixes things, but there’s not enough baling wire and duct tape in Colorado to fix this.

Laura, thanks so much for joining us today and giving us a look at how this fun series came to be. The characters in the next installment sounds as fascinating as Charla Rae and JB.

As you can tell from Laura’s writing she never grew out of her serious cowboy crush either, which makes for delightful reading for us. She resides in Southern California, though she aspires to retirement in Texas. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write, full time. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

For more on Laura and her writing, visit her website at, find her on Twitter, or check out

To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win THE Sweet Spot.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of THE SWEET SPOT is 8 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, May 25.

Thanks everyone for dropping by today. Are you a fan of bull riding? Have you ever attended a bulling riding competition or rodeo?


  1. Laura, thanks again for visiting with us. It's funny that your first book became the second in your series and the second the first. Wishing you much success.

  2. Hi, Laura & Mason! Always a pleasure to visit "Thoughts in Progress"--one of my favorite blogspots! Laura, I love the sound of your "Bull Riders" series--it has so many elements that I love as a reader. You can't go wrong with cowboys and second chance romances. The story line for "The Sweet Spot" sounds poignant and involving--just right to satisfy a romance-lover's soul.

    Bull riding is an intense sport--so much preparation for such a brief, explosive ride--must be quite an adrenaline rush for the riders! The family and friends, and fans, must hold their breath while hoping for the best outcome!

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Laura.

    Laura - I like it that you've chosen a sport like bull-riding. It's a little unusual (or maybe that's just me) and it's intense. It sounds like a good story that mixes solid characters with interesting backstories and an interesting context.

  4. Thanks for having me today, Mason!

    Virginia, I love watching, but if a loved one of mine was riding, I don't know if I could. The wives and mothers of these men are tougher than I!

    Margot - I'm nothing if not unusual - A motorcycling grandma? That sounds weird, even to me!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.