Hi Linda and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Texas Rebels: Quincy!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Please share your favorite line or quote from this book:
“Whatever we had was good and we both clung to it because it made us feel better. But that’s not what real love is. I know what it is now. And when you’re in love, you want to be tied down.”
Please share a few FUN facts about this book…
Most of you probably don’t remember a TV show from the 1960s, Bonanza (love old Westerns), but the character Little Joe rode a paint horse. I loved that horse and when I was fleshing out Quincy’s character I knew his passion would be paint horses. This was my inspiration through the whole story, and it’s what draws Quincy and Jenny together. Quincy has a paint stud named Red Hawk.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
Quincy is every woman’s ideal man. He’s loving, trustworthy, responsible, and a hunky cowboy. It was hard to find a flaw in Quincy because he puts everyone in the family before himself. Until he did the unthinkable: he fell in love with Jenny Rose Walker, the girlfriend of his brother.
Jenny is every man’s dream. She beautiful, smart, funny and has a soft spot for anyone in need. As with Quincy, it was hard to find a flaw in Jenny. Until she realized she had feelings for two brothers.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
A lot of research on the Internet about paint horses, even had the chance to speak to a couple of people who raised them. I bugged every nurse I know about head trauma. Good thing I have patient friends. The ranching information came from personal experience of growing up on a ranch, even the bull with the maggots.
The First kiss…
She moved closer to him. The dazzling moonlight and the serenade of crickets combined with her nearness wove a hypnotic web. “Well, Quincy Rebel, is that an apology?”
She touched his face with her hand, stroking it lightly. His thoughts became jumbled and he felt sure he was dreaming.
“I like you, Quincy.”
“I like you, too.”
“Let’s stop fighting, then. Kissing is so much better.” She reached up and touched his lips with hers and the night faded into a moment of pure fantasy. His fantasy. His arms encircled her waist and he drew her closer and closer, not even thinking about his arm or the pain. All he thought about was her and her touch and the moment he first kissed the woman he loved.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and his lips took hers in a kiss that rivaled the heat of a blazing fire. All of his feelings came to the surface as his lips tasted her sweetness. She opened her mouth and he deepened the kiss to a level he needed. The kiss went on and on and there was no one but the two of them in the whole universe.
Slowly, she drew away and he felt empty and lost. She swung into the saddle and rode out of the corral. He looked after her and thought that maybe she was a mirage. That he was really dreaming. But dreams were never that good.
Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others?
(When Quincy breaks up with Jenny for good. Or so he thinks.)
Sometime later, he rode back into the barn, unsaddled Hawk and rubbed him down. As he led the horse to his stall, Jenny walked in. Quincy’s heart lifted at the sight of her. He hated he had doubts. He loved her and that was all that was important.
“How’s your dad?” he asked, as she went into his arms.
“Much better. We’re taking turns sitting with him. Lindsay’s with him now and I have the whole night free. I’ve been calling and calling to tell you that, but you haven’t answered.”
“I was giving Hawk a workout.”
She moved away, eyeing him. “Something’s wrong. You’re tense. Why?”
He sat on a bale of hay and she took a seat beside him. No touching. No smiling. The temperature in the barn dropped a few degrees. “Paxton didn’t come home for Thanksgiving.” He glanced at her then and saw the flash of guilt on her cheeks. “But you know that already, don’t you?”
“Yes.” She clasped her hands in her lap. “He called me. He and Lisa are having some problems and he’s under the impression that I could help him.”
“Phoenix mentioned he’s been calling you.”
“I wasn’t trying to hide it. Does that bother you?”
“I thought it wouldn’t and it has surprised me that it does. I’m not proud of that and I’m struggling to handle it.”
“Why? I told you I don’t love Paxton anymore. Why don’t you trust me?”
“I’m trying to figure that out myself. I think it has to do with the fact that you and Paxton have a history of getting back together. Somehow I just can’t ignore that.”
“Paxton’s a charmer. He’s charmed you many times. If he breaks up with Lisa and then says he still loves you and wants you back, can you honestly say you know your answer?”
She tossed back her hair. “You’re not going to believe anything I say. You said you trusted me, but you don’t. You have doubts and that’s not love, Quincy.” She got to her feet, her dark eyes glittering like bits of hot charcoal.
He stood, too, feeling a load of guilt pressing on to his chest. “Be honest, Jenny. You have to see Paxton face-to-face to know what you’re really feeling. You say you’re friends, but it might be different when you see him. I love you and I’m trying to—”
“You said you would fight for our love, but this isn’t fighting. This is giving up.” She ran out of the barn, her dark hair flying behind her.
Quincy sank onto the bale of hay and buried his face in his hands. His insides caved in and he fought to draw a breath. What had he done? He’d just lost the most important person in his life.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include and why?
(Where Jenny first realizes she has feelings for Quincy)
In an easy-moving sort of way, he made his way to her. He was tall, probably the tallest of the Rebel brothers. And lean—there was not an ounce of fat on his body. Not that she knew that personally. He reminded her of the actor Gerard Butler, with a steel-like demeanor wrapped around a softness that was undeniable. Quincy had a big heart and he was easy to talk to, easy to be with and—
Her thoughts skidded to a stop. She’d never thought of Quincy in that way. They were just friends. She must just be emotional and upset.
He sat beside her and suddenly the stoop was too small. She was never nervous in Quincy’s presence, but today for some reason she was very aware of him as a man. He raised his knees and rested his forearms on them, not saying a word.
Finally, he asked, “How you doing?”
He clasped his hands together and she noticed for the first time how big they were, with long fingers that were strong and capable. Calloused hands. Gentle hands. She’d seen him break a horse with the softness of his voice and the gentleness of his touch.
“I want to apologize for what I said on Friday. I didn’t mean for you to stay away from Rebel Ranch forever. I just wanted to save you the pain of seeing Paxton with Lisa.”
“I can take care of myself, Quincy.”
He looked at her then, his eyes dark beneath the rim of his hat. “Yeah, I’m known for sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong and I really should have stayed out of it. It was none of my business.”
“I know you had good intentions, but it did hurt when you told me not to come around anymore.”
He placed his hands on his knees. “Let’s make this official and permanent. You’re always welcome at the ranch whether you’re dating Paxton or not.”
“Well, as my dad would say, that old dog ain’t gonna hunt no more. Paxton and I are over. For good. And I won’t be coming back to Rebel Ranch, but thanks for the invitation. That means a lot.” It meant more than she could tell him, because deep in her heart she knew her friend hadn’t let her down. Her chest suddenly felt lighter.
“Paxton and Lisa won’t always be there. I think they’re leaving at the end of the week.”
She reached out and touched his arm and wished she hadn’t. Solid muscle and bone vibrated along her fingertips. All male. It was tempting and a little disconcerting she’d noticed that, and she drew her hand away as if she’d touched something hot. Something hot in a good way.
“That doesn’t make any difference. I’m rebuilding my shattered life and I can’t step back into the past and do that.”
“How’s that working out?”
She made a face. “It’s still the same old life. If I dyed my hair blond, do you think it would make a difference?”
“To moving on. Lindsay says there’s a hot new intern at the hospital and I might just try my luck with a new look and a new beau.”
Dusk settled in and the heat of the day loosened its grip. From the porch light, she could see the chiseled lines of his face clearly and the frown that marred it. “To get back at Paxton?”
“No. To regain my confidence.”
“Jenny, give it some time and you’ll land on your feet.”
“Not always. You remember that time you were breaking that horse and I was sitting on the fence watching? You said to slip onto her back so she could feel the weight of a rider, which I did. She bucked me right onto my butt.”
“But I was there to catch you.”
“Yeah.” Quincy was always there and suddenly the breath in her lungs felt heavy and she had trouble breathing. Quincy was always there with his gentle hands and loving spirit. Quincy was always there. She cleared her throat as emotions she didn’t understand swamped her.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
That the good guys don’t always finish last.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2015?
Quincy was the last book for 2015. In 2016, I will have more Rebel books. Jude (April), Phoenix (August) and Paxton (Dec).
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: 2 ebooks of Texas Rebels: Quincy by Linda Warren. US and Internationally
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Quincy knows he loves Jenny, but it takes Jenny time before she knows she really loves Quincy. When you met you spouse or significant other, did you know it was love? Or did it take time?
Excerpt from Texas Rebels: Quincy:
His eyes darkened and the sound of the horses faded away. It was just the two of them alone with their feelings. She wanted to be kissed. Badly.
“I hope your grandfather is busy tonight.” The words came out breathless.
“He’s eating at Falcon’s,” he replied, his eyes, simmering with awakened passion, never left hers. The one lightbulb the barn made it cozy and perfect. Even the smell of manure, alfalfa and dust was enticing.
He picked up a towel and rubbed her hair, then looped it around her neck and pulled her forward, his lips meeting hers in a passionate kiss. She scooted closer, wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down into the hay with her. This is how she wanted to be with Quincy. As close as possible. As close as lovers.
His lips trailed to the corner of her mouth, to her cheek to the warmth of her neck, and desire, as strong as she’d ever felt, hummed through her in quest of the perfect melody that would rock her world.
The buttons on her shirt came undone easily with the touch of his fingers. Then his lips trailed down to her aching breast. Just when she thought the world would spin away, a cell phone buzzed.
Ignore it. Ignore it. But the sound was persistent.
Quincy lay back on the hay. “I think that’s your phone.”
“Yeah.” She sat up and reached for her cell on top of the small ice chest she’d brought in.
“Hey, babe,” was the most annoying sound she’d ever heard in her life. Why now?
“What is it, Paxton? Why are you calling me?”
Quincy stood up and walked away and she wanted to cry. Everything was perfect and now…
“We’re on the road headed to Oklahoma and I just wanted to hear your voice.”
“Well, I don’t want to hear yours. Please stop calling me.” She clicked off and threw her phone into the hay. Damn!
Quincy came back and sat on a bale, facing her.
“Quincy.” She tugged her fingers through her tangled wet hair.
“We have to stop. Now.”
“Yes, before this goes any further. You and Paxton have a connection. That’s never going to change. You’ll forgive him eventually, like always.”
“He’s engaged. Have you forgotten that?”
“Little by little he’ll charm his way back into your life. Lisa is just a fling, like all the others. Maybe a little more serious, but it won’t last.”
“You don’t think much of me, do you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You think I’m so weak that I’ll continue to let Paxton treat me that way.”
“It’s a pattern, Jenny, and it’ll never change.”
She wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. But she did neither as she listened to her world crumbling around her once again. All the lovely feelings she had for Quincy were tarnished by her past. And Paxton. She should’ve known there was no future with Quincy. But she kept hoping. Now she knew that hope was in vain.
“Paxton is my brother and in his own way he loves you, and I won’t do anything to cause a rift within the family.”
“I see.” She pulled the shirt tighter around her and buttoned it with shaky fingers. Her skin still felt warm from his touch. Couldn’t he see how much she loved him?
“It’s difficult for me to go against my principles and loyalty to my family. You’re Paxton’s girlfriend and to me you always will be.”
She bit her lip to keep from screaming at him. If he wasn’t willing to fight for her, what did they have? Nothing.
Daylight was ebbing away into dusk and the paints neighed a lonely sound that echoed through her heart. She stood on wobbly legs and gathered her wet clothes in her arms.
“Where do we go from here?” she asked in a forlorn voice.
“Nowhere,” he replied. “But you’re always welcome to come here. I should have never told you otherwise.”
“Goodbye, Quincy.” She ran from the barn, unable to say one more word. He’d broken her heart and this time she didn’t know if it could be repaired. But as she swung into the saddle and the light breeze cooled her skin, she had to admit there was a grain of truth in his thoughts. Paxton still had a part of her heart.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
A Heart Divided
Quincy Rebel lives by a strict code of honor. Family first. Which means Jenny Rose Walker, his younger brother’s ex-girlfriend, will never know how deeply and devotedly he loves her. The woman of his dreams is off-limits…until his brother gets engaged to someone else.
Jenny is ready to sever all ties with the ranching clan who has been like a second family to her. Even if it means giving up working with her best friend, Quincy, who she helps train paint horses. Quincy…the tall, masculine Rebel who’s always been there for her. Is she developing feelings for him? Or are they headed for a rebound romance that will leave them both brokenhearted.
Meet the Author:
A two time Rita® nominated author, Linda Warren has written thirty-eight books for Harlequin and has received the Reader’s Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, The Bookseller’s Best Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Golden Quill and Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award. A native Texan, she is a member of Romance Writers of America and the West Houston Chapter. She lives in College Station with her husband and a menagerie of animals, including a Canada goose named Broken Wing.
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