Spotlight & Giveaway: Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep by Donna Alward

Posted March 5th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight, _Harlequin Romances / 34 comments

 Today it is my pleasure to welcome Harlequin Romance author Donna Alward to HJ!

Donna for all of my readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

DAI’m a small town Canadian girl. I currently write for Harlequin and Samhain Publishing and sold my first book in 2006. This is my twenty-fifth book. My Harlequins tend to be small town westerns, which make sense because I’m really a farm girl at heart. My other books give me a chance to explore something new – I’ve done a winery, a veterinarian, and a series of novellas about First Responders. J I generally split my time between writing and cook and chauffeur duties for the family. J

What are the five best things about being a writer?

1) Being able to come up with stuff in my head, write it down, and have it be my job. It’s awesome.
2) Working in my PJs and/or yoga pants
3) My boss is me and my coworkers are my dog and cat
4) Being able to adjust my schedule for appointments, sports, and whatever else crops up
5) No commute

One book you read in the last 6 months that has left a lasting impression and why?

THE BIRTH HOUSE by Ami McKay. She’s a Nova Scotia writer and the book is brilliant. The setting, the dialogue, the unique characters and situations…It really deals with women and how they struggled to convince the world – and sometimes each other – that they know their own bodies in a time where talking about “that sort of thing” was really taboo.

What are you currently working on? What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently working on the second book in my Cadence Creek holiday duet. If things go right, they’re out in November and January. I’ve got a number of other projects “in development” as I guess they’d say in the movie world. J

Let’s talk about your new release ‘Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep’, If you had to sum up the book for the reader here…


Avery Spencer’s sister died shortly after giving birth, leaving Avery as guardian to her niece. Avery and her sister grew up without a dad, so Avery truly believes that the baby’s father deserves to know she exists – even though telling him may threaten her custody of Nell. At first it seems pretty clear that gruff and grouchy Callum Shepard doesn’t want anything to do with his daughter. Problem solved. Except Callum does finally accept that Nell is his, and he asks Avery to stay just a little longer so he can spend some time with his daughter. Of course, spending a few weeks in such close proximity means that Callum and Avery get closer too – and the more they learn about each other, the harder it is to say goodbye.

What sparked the idea for the book?

Anson Mount. Seriously. I just had this picture of him (with kind of the long hair/scruffy look of Bohannon on HELL ON WHEELS) opening the door to find a woman and baby on his doorstep. Rough around the edges for sure. But with a squishy middle.

If you had to pick your favorite scene from ‘Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep’ and why?

I really like that opening scene, actually. I had a lot of fun with it. There’s another one where they’re having a beer on the porch in the dark – it’s the first time they really “talk” and start to get to know each other.

Who would play Avery and Callum in the movie version of your book? And why?

Well, as Anson Mount inspired the hero, I guess he’d do!

LOL As for Avery, maybe Jennifer Finnegan?

AnsonMount1      21432_Jennifer_Finnigan_EW_2011_Pre_SAG_Party_006_122_681lo

Giveaway:  One winning answer will get an e-copy of Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep!

To enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment to this Q: When I was planning this book, my husband and I snuck off to Niagara Falls for some “research”. I’d never been there before and it was so much fun – we did the Maid of the Mist, a wine tour, went up in the Skywheel…What was your latest getaway?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An excerpt from ‘Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep’

He snorted. “I like that about you, Avery. You’re not a pushover. You look all sweet and innocent but you’ve got a spine of steel.”
He thought she was sweet? Innocent?
And strong. She thought she perhaps liked that best of all. Sometimes she wondered. She didn’t feel strong. Most of the time she felt like she just had to keep pedaling to keep up.
“So why the sudden turnaround and baring of souls?”
He shrugged. “I guess I just figured that if we’re going to make this work – me being a part of Nell’s life and all – we need to make things civil. Friendly. Saying I was sorry and explaining my behavior seemed like a good start. I’m not usually so, well, rude.”
He looked away from her, over the fields that spread out from the house. That same muscle ticked in his jaw again, and Avery got the sneaky feeling that there was more he wasn’t telling her. But that was fine. They hardly knew each other. He had a right to his secrets.
“I think so too,” she answered softly. But the something else in the air, the something electric she couldn’t quite define, made her wonder if it would ever be truly possible to be simply “civil” and “friendly” with him. He wasn’t the kind of guy that screamed platonic. He was too…
Too tall, handsome, strong, enigmatic…
Oh boy.
“I do remember you, you know,” he admitted softly. His voice had lowered even further, and it was as smooth as silk but with just a hint of texture that made it ride deliciously over her nerve endings.
“Remember me?” Why on earth did her voice come out all breathy-like? She took a deep breath and told herself to get a grip.
“From the wedding. On the boat you were off to one side, taking pictures instead of crowded around the railing. The poncho came down past your knees and the hood wouldn’t stay up. And afterwards when everyone was going to the casino, you wanted to stay back and walk through the Queen Victoria Garden.”
She nearly swallowed her tongue. All this time she thought he didn’t remember her. He’d pretended not to at first – to protect himself, she realized now. But he had noticed and she wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“You remember all that?”
His dark gaze locked with hers. “I remember all of that. And thinking that I’d much rather spend a few hours walking with you in the fresh air among the trees and flowers than spend it in a loud, crazy casino.”
His face seemed awfully close now, so close that her chest started to constrict and her stomach began turning nervous somersaults. Her gaze dropped to his lips…they were quite fine lips now that she examined them so closely. A puff of breeze ruffled his hair. “Why didn’t you say so?” she breathed.
“Because I took one look at you and I knew,” he replied, sitting back a bit, putting the tiniest bit of distance between them. “I knew that you weren’t the kind of woman a man could flirt with and walk away from. Face it, Avery. You’ve got lifer written all over you. With you I would have been playing with feelings.”
He stood up. “I don’t play with feelings, Avery. And you were simply too complicated for a man like me.”
With those parting words, he went inside and shut the door.


About the book


Harlequin Romance: March 2013

AmazonHarlequinBarnes and Noble

Little Cowgirl makes three…

For Avery Spencer, the sight of rugged, sullen and dangerously sexy Callum Shepard is enough to set her pulse racing. Too Bad she’s only on his ranch to tell him that her adorable baby niece is his daughter!

Reclusive rancher Callum is shocked to discover he’s a father. But now Callum must learn to believe he does have what it takes to become a dad, and convince Avery that both she and baby Nell belong on the ranch – with him!

Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at, visit her facebook page, or Twitter: @DonnaAlward


34 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep by Donna Alward”

  1. Suzanne (@suzyrph55)

    We went with our motor home gambling, then seeing a quilt museum, in Indiana. Glad you liked Niagara Falls, I am originally from Buffalo. I got to see the day they turned off Niagara Falls- what a site not seeing the water going over.

  2. Sharlene Wegner

    Not all that exciting, since we live on LI, but we went out to Montauk for the day & hiked around a little & had lunch over the summer. Good luck with the new book!

  3. Marcy Shuler

    Last getaway was a mini family reunion with my hubby’s family. They try to plan one every summer and one family member will host it. Very casual and fun.

  4. Kai W.

    Last getaway I went on was the trip to China. I went off on my own on the Great Wall of China. No one has mentioned about earning a medal for walking to five towers on the Great Wall or that the stairs are steep and very steep. The stairs are also very slippery. I can’t believe how the Chinese soldiers assigned to the tower watch duty, could run without slipping. I was trying very hard not to slip while walking there.

    • donnaalward

      That sounds amazing! I’ve done very little international travel… isn’t it funny how we think of the big things but not the little details?

  5. Winnie Lim

    My last getaway was to New South Wales, Australia with my husband. We did many exciting activities there. The two most exciting things we did were hang-gliding and climbing the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge. We also went horse-riding, winery tours, explored caves and did lots of sight-seeing. Had a ball of a time there.

    • donnaalward

      Hang gliding? Oh my stars. I’m terrified of heights, so that makes me a little dizzy just thinking about it. Though I did go zip lining this year and LOVED it! Now the horseback riding and winery tours? I’m so there.

  6. Pennie M

    My latest getaway was with my daughter to San Diego for my son’s graduation from Marine boot camp. What a great experience!

  7. Evelyn

    My last get away was two years ago when my sister and nieces spent a weekend in Vegas. It was an all girls trip and we had a great time just being together.

    • donnaalward

      Evelyn, I liked Vegas a lot, though we’re not much into Casinos. We went as a family and stayed at the Excalibur. We only had 3 days, so we had a day at the pool/shops and went to the show that evening, then spent another day out at Hoover Dam and did the tour which was great! We went to Red Rock Canyon, too.

  8. booksaver

    I haven’t had one in so long I can’t remember. Probably 8 years ago when I went out of town for my daughter’s wedding.

    Linda Henderson


    Sorry to say, we haven’t had a getaway in a long time. Looking forward to reading your new book. Thank you for the giveaway! 🙂

  10. Christine Merritt

    My latest getaway… to Universal Studios and Venice Beach over winter break. I was with my husband, teen daughters and their favorite Aunt (who is my best friend, not really related). I am looking forward to a getaway without teenagers soon really really soon…

  11. DebraG

    We went up to New Hampshire and took some old trains trips. One uses a cog system to keep from slipping as it goes up the side of the mountain.

  12. Rebe

    I honestly can’t remember my last getaway! Most of our travel is limited to work or family. The hubs and I did go to Argentina in 2007, which was amazing, but that was a work trip for me, so it wasn’t all that relaxing.

  13. Leanna H

    Not exactly a vacation but I drove from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Austin, Texas where I now live.

  14. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    Boston in the fall. We went for a little pre-bday trip for the both of us.

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.