Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kari Lynn Dell as she visits with us to celebrate the upcoming release on February 7 of her newest book Tangled in Texas, the second book in her Texas Rodeo series. Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of the book (US only).
Sometimes it’s a headline or a news story. I always knew Tori was going to be a widow, but I didn’t realize how her husband died until one morning as I was trying to drag myself out of bed and the deejays were talking about an incident in northern Alberta (yes, I live so close to Canada those are the only radio stations I get) where a man in a Hummer deliberately pulled out in front of a speeding car to stop it from mowing down a group of kids in a crosswalk. In real life, the man was uninjured. In Tangled, Tori’s husband is killed and becomes a huge local hero, putting her firmly back in the spotlight she left her rich family in Texas to escape.
Over time, I have also become more intentional about what I write. When I first started I just wanted to tell a story and show people what the west is really like. Since then, I’ve become much more aware of how fictional characters can affect and inspire readers. I’ve also, through social media, gotten to know a lot of women—both writers and readers—from all walks of life. We live in a world that places disproportionate value on a woman’s appearance and the shape of her body. Every female I know struggles with those issues at some point, but I find that it’s more pronounced among my urban friends. It’s depressing how many of them view their bodies as simply a display rack for clothes. I think those of us who live on ranches or compete in rodeos (or any sport, for that matter) have the advantage of being valued for what we can do as opposed to simply how we look. (For example, my husband is a big fan of my ability to pitch hay bales and pack a fifty-pound bag of cattle mineral. Or ten.)
Given that understanding, I make a point of writing strong women who are not the prototypical gorgeous heroine—a trend that is happily growing throughout romance in general. Everyone should be able to open a book and find themselves inside. My women aren’t afraid to get dirty, they don’t expect any man to carry their water buckets or saddle their horses, but they also like to break out the make-up and jewelry and their fancy clothes now and then, just because it makes them feel good. I hope some readers absorb that attitude and carry it with them into the real world.
I’ve also learned that sometimes the best thing I can do is make someone laugh. My favorite fan email was from a woman who told me my book got her through the wait for some very scary lab test results for her son. And in the past few years, a slew of writers have saved my sanity at times. If I can take someone else away from this world and let them live in a happier place for a few hours…well, I don’t even have words for how much that means.
It took 32 seconds to end his career.
But it only took 1 to change his life.
Thirty-two seconds. That’s how long it took for Delon Sanchez’s life to end. One minute he was the best bronc rider in the Panhandle and the next he was nothing. Knee shattered, future in question, all he can do is pull together the pieces…and wonder what cruel trick of fate has thrown him into the path of his ex, the oh-so-perfect Tori Patterson.
Tori’s come home after her husband’s death, intent on escaping the public eye. It’s just her luck that Delon limps into her physical therapy office, desperate for help. All hard-packed muscle and dark-eyed temptation, he’s never been anything but a bad idea. And yet, seeing him again, Tori can’t remember what made her choose foolish pride over love…or why, with this second, final chance to right old wrongs, the smartest choice would be to run from this gorgeous rodeo boy as fast as her boots can take her.
About the Author: Kari Lynn Dell is a ranch-raised Montana cowgirl who attended her first rodeo at two weeks old and has existed in a state of horse-induced poverty ever since. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in her parents’ bunkhouse along with her husband, her son, and Max the Cowdog, with a tipi on her lawn, Glacier National Park on her doorstep and Canada within spitting distance. Her debut novel, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2015. She also writes a ranch and rodeo humor column for several regional newspapers and a national agricultural publication.
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