A big “thank you!” to Fran for inviting me to visit the blog!
I’m happy to be here and thrilled to share a peek at my latest release, The Rancher’s Family. This sweet/clean contemporary romance is part of the Hitching Post Hotel series and my first book from Harlequin Heartwarming.
From the back cover of The Rancher’s Family
“Are you my new mommy?”
She certainly hopes so…
After a devastating loss, Cara Leonetti’s dreams of a husband and children are on hold. But Cowboy Creek’s local matchmaker thinks otherwise! And Cara finds herself unexpectedly entangled in the day-to-day family chaos of widower Wes Daniels and his two small children. She’s falling hard, but the strong, silent rancher doesn’t trust in love. Can Cara put her own fears aside and show Wes that they’re stronger together?
An excerpt from The Rancher’s Family
Wes scuffed one foot on the floor, wanting to kick himself for blurting out that remark about charity. Why give the woman ideas?
“The Garlands are good friends. And I imagine Andi’s plans are on the level,” he admitted, “but I wouldn’t put it past Jed to… Never mind.” He would see Jed himself. From the time he was a child Mark’s age, he’d looked up to the man. That wouldn’t keep him from calling him out on his interference. Jed had a reputation for knowing everything that went on in Cowboy Creek. Not one-hundred-percent true. There were things his old friend didn’t—and would never—know about him.
“I’ll show you Patty’s craft stuff before I head out,” he told Cara. “We’ve got a spare bedroom. Patty converted it into her office and stored everything there. It’s at the far end of this hall.”
He hesitated at the office doorway. It had been more than a year since he’d set foot in here. If he had his choice, he wouldn’t enter it again. Coward.
As though someone had shoved him between the shoulder blades, he shot through the door and didn’t stop till he reached the center of the room.
When Cara followed, he gestured toward the multiple storage chests and dressers, the stacks of boxes, the closed but—as he well remembered—overflowing closet. “Everything’s packed full. But I don’t know much about what Patty stockpiled in here.”
Her eyes widened. “This is all inventory she’d planned to sell?”
He nodded. “As I said, she spent a lot of time on her crafts.”
“I can see that. Mind if I browse?”
“That’s why we’re here.” He leaned against the doorframe, watching her check out the contents of half a dozen boxes and bins.
“Amazing. If all the rest is like this, Andi should be thrilled to have it for her start-up stock, if you’re interested.”
“Great. Then once I finish up in your bedroom, I’ll start making an inventory in here. It’s going to take time, though less of it if I can work from an existing list. I’d guess your wife made one.” She glanced around the room. “Do you have a computer?”
“Not me. Patty did. A laptop. I’ll get it out when you’re ready for it.”
“Since you said you’ll be gone most of the day, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a look at it before you go. The sooner the better, don’t you think?”
“You read my mind,” he said truthfully. Just as he’d read the look in her steady gaze. Her eyes held the same sympathy they had the night before. He’d seen too much of that from too many people this year.
Somehow, last night, he’d imagined he could accept her help. That with her being a stranger, her sympathy wouldn’t bother him. Now he wished he’d never opened the door this morning.
Find The Rancher’s Family
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too! Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.
Have you always written in your current genre?
I started writing when I was nine, and at that point, my stories were all in the mystery genre, because that’s what I loved to read. My favorite series were Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, and Encyclopedia Brown. But when I wrote my first novel—in eighth grade—both my female protagonists had major crushes. : ) Ever since then, I’ve written romance, usually sweet and what I call “sweeter” books, as even those with brief love scenes focus on the characters’ conflicts and emotions.
Do you get inspiration for your characters from real life?
I put characters together the way pieces fit into a jigsaw puzzle—a mannerism, a quirk, an occupation, and so on, all working together to form the whole picture. My characters are usually the sum of so many different pieces that, though they come to life for me and my readers, they’re no one I’ve ever met in my own life.
Who has been your most challenging character to write?
So far, that would be Lianne Ward, the heroine of Rancher at Risk, one of my Flagman’s Folly books. Lianne is deaf, and I wanted to show her as a woman like any other woman, who just happens to be deaf. I was thrilled when a fan wrote to tell me she has many deaf family members and that I “got it right.” Lianne makes her debut appearance in the first Flagman’s Folly story, A Rancher’s Pride, along with her four-year-old niece, Becky, who also is deaf.
What are you currently working on?
My next Harlequin Heartwarming and another book in my sweet/clean Snowflake Valley series from Entangled Books.