Spotlight & Giveaway: The Cowboy’s Claim by Sinclair Jayne

Posted June 19th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 15 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Sinclair Jayne to HJ!

Hi Sinclair and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Cowboy’s Claim!


To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:

The Cowboy’s Claim is the final book in a series about Special Forces soldiers who lose their team leader weeks before he was retiring and going home to his family ranch in Marietta, Montana. He had a list of plans and amends, and to honor him, each soldier picks a slip of paper with the task out of Jace’s McBride’s helmet. The rules are:
The tasks are randomly chosen.
No discussing or sharing until the task is complete.
Everyone has a year to complete their task.

Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:

“Now you’re worried about my virtue, J?” He stared at her. “Bit late.”
She puffed her cheeks out. “I’m sorry.” She squirmed a little on the chair. “I had no idea that you would become a patient.”
“That makes two of us,” he tried to smile. “I feel in very safe hands, J—examine away.”
“This is not funny,” she hissed. “It’s unethical. I’m your doctor.”


What inspired this book?

The Cowboy’s Claim is part of a series The Montana Coyote Cowboys, and the series was inspired by me purchasing a poppy from veterans at a grocery store. I always do whenever they are there, and I think how easy it is to thank a vet for their service, but how hard that service can at times be for them and their families. That got me thinking about comradery and pushing yourself to rise up and do your best even when circumstances seem impossible. I’ve read that less than one percent of Americans are or have been part of our armed forces, though I have a father and uncle who served in the army and a brother who made the Navy his career for twenty-five years.


How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

The Cowboy’s Claim is part of a series The Montana Coyote Cowboys, and the series was inspired by me purchasing a poppy from veterans at a grocery store. I always do whenever they are there, and I think how easy it is to thank a vet for their service, but how hard that service can at times be for them and their families. That got me thinking about comradery and pushing yourself to rise up and do your best even when circumstances seem impossible. I’ve read that less than one percent of Americans are or have been part of our armed forces, though I have a father and uncle who served in the army and a brother who made the Navy his career for twenty-five years.

I’ve always loved reading military themed romances, but other than writing a book featuring a sniper hero, I hadn’t indulged my curiosity much. I’m not sure why, but that afternoon holding the poppy and twirling it between my fingers, the longing to explore the comradery, determination, rigid rules, high-skills sets, and larger than life alphas who comprise a team snagged my attention. What took a while was to figure out what tasks I wanted to give them to do for their fallen team leader. The tasks had to be something that might appear simple, but would end up being quite challenging for each hero.

Calhoun Miller comes from an obscenely wealthy and connected family in California. He has been actively estranged from them since he attended West Point on a lacrosse scholarship. Because of his emotionally abusive and toxic upbringing, he has avoided romantic commitments. He feels he doesn’t have the bandwidth to have a healthy relationship, and also he worries if he marry and have children, he’d be carrying on his family’s toxicity or they would try to make inroads in his life again and hurt his family. What surprised me as I wrote Calhoun was how charmed he was by Jory. She too has very little experience with relationships that aren’t work-related, and so it’s like the blind leading the blind, and yet Calhoun, a natural leader, but also very set in his mind, is the first to blink and think, ‘this might work.’

Jory Quinn has spent most of her life hiding in one way or another. She was small and imaginative as a child and eclipsed by her more charismatic brother. Her brother was the golden one for her parents and when her dad and brother disappeared, her mother emotionally retreated, leaving Jory to often cope on her own to practically raise herself. She focused all her energy in school and learning and excelling correctly reading that education was the only way out of poverty and Marietta and to finally have control over her life. She’s wary of people and loves being a traveling hospitalist because she doesn’t have to try to make connections because she’ll be moving on in a month or two. What surprised me about her, was her inner fierceness. I had pictured her as being swept up by Calhoun, and yet when she suspects that his ‘quest’ for Jace might be related to her father and brother’s disappearance, she will not let him take point. She stands her ground with him, and I loved her strength.


What was your favorite scene to write?

It’s hard to pick a favorite scene from a book—not because I am so gifted and they are all super fabulous, although that is an aspiration, but because they are all tied together, so I don’t feel like they really stand up alone without context. I enjoyed the flirting scene with Jory and Calhoun in the bar, especially as they were keeping it anonymous, and Jory’s never done anything like this in her life, but she has a little defiant spurt and shoots for the moon with Calhoun. But I also loved when she’s on the first day of her job and she realizes who her first patient is, and it’s such a disaster, and she pictures her life and career ending in a blaze of shame and impropriety and Calhoun and his Coyote Cowboy friends think it’s totally hilarious, and she just can’t process how they can be so comfortable with hook up sex and the potential awkwardness afterwards.

Calhoun as Patient…

Wound. He’d been wounded. He plucked at the stiff cotton covering him. What the hell was he wearing? He tugged harder, heard a small pop and the scratchy material was gone, only now his ribs screamed in protest, and he could hardly catch his breath.
“Mr. Miller.” She was back in his face again. “You cannot be naked in the hospital.” She marched to a tall cabinet, opened it and pulled out another torture garment.
His life was coming back to him now. He did know her. Her scent was familiar—lemon and something, and he knew that small, firm touch of her hand.
“Let’s put this on.”
“Fine you put it on.”
Her expression was so shocked and outraged, and everything slowly clicked into place.
“You weren’t so determined to clothe me last night.”
“Oh.” She sat down on the chair beside his bed looking quickly at the partially closed door.
“I’m sorry about that.” Her skin had a dusky rose undertone.
“I’m not.” He poked at the small incision. His ribs were black and blue. “But what happened? Why am I here? Why are you here?” She was wearing a white coat or blazer like an office drone.
“I’m sorry,” she said stiffly, again looking at the door like somebody was going to bust it open and arrest them.
“Stop saying that. Tell me what happened?”
“Ah…Mr. Miller.”
“Calhoun,” he snapped.
She was looking more distressed, and the accident was coming back in pieces. He tried to swing his legs off the bed, but everything hurt.
“Stop, you’ll reinjure yourself. Stay.”
Jory covered him quickly with the blankets and tried to work his arms through the holes in the hospital gown, but he was having none of that.
“Don’t give me one-word commands. I’m not a dog.”
“You were hit by a truck. You are not being released tonight, and you are getting dressed because there’s no one else here to help you.”
“I don’t need help. Who made you boss?” He was shocked at this side of her. “You playing nurse, J?”
That was his J. Quick comeback.
Not yours.
“Even better,” he murmured. “But the game’s gone on too long. I hate hospitals. I want out.”
“You’re injured, O…I mean Calhoun.” She flushed a prettier pink under her olive skin that distracted him enough that she got the hated gown tied in the back. “And I’m going to get a nurse to ensure that everything is done with proper procedure because I am your doctor, which is inappropriate considering but there is not another hospitalist on shift, but I assure you I will not take advantage of you.”
He stopped trying to get out of bed and pulling off the blankets, even though he still itched like fire ants were crawling all over him.
Was she for real?
“Now you’re worried about my virtue, J?” He stared at her. “Bit late.”
She puffed her cheeks out. “I’m sorry.” She squirmed a little on the chair. “I had no idea that you would become a patient.”
“That makes two of us,” he tried to smile. “I feel in very safe hands, J—examine away.”
“This is not funny,” she hissed. “It’s unethical. I’m your doctor.”
“You weren’t last night,” he reasoned, surprised he could find humor when he felt like crap. “You’ve seen it all,” he said. “Though in a bit better condition last night.”
“I could be brought up before the medical board for this.” She stood up and started to pace. “I should call Dr. Gallagher, your surgeon. Maybe she can…”
“You’re overreacting,” he said. “It’s not like I’m going to announce that we bounced last night.”


What was the most difficult scene to write?

My hero is Calhoun Miller a K9 military dog handler who’s tasked with solving a mystery from Jace’s childhood—did his grandfather hit someone on a ranch access road while driving drunk. He claimed it was an elk, and Jace, a young teen at the time, had been asleep. That, along with some loose coordinates, is all he has to go on.

My heroine, Jory Quinn, grew up poor in Marietta and is now a traveling hospitalist, reluctantly accepting the temporary position in Marietta so that she can clear out the last of her family’s thing from their homestead. She meets Calhoun at the Graff and has a rare fun evening and an even rarer hook up, but in the morning they both say goodbye, and Jory thinks ‘that’s that.’

But it’s only the beginning…a freak accident briefly hospitalizes Calhoun putting him once again in Jory’s orbit, and when they realize they might be trying to answer the same question, they become investigative partners with benefits, giving them each a view of a life they never thought they’d have.


Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?

The Cowboy’s Claim is totally on brand for me in one way—small western town, characters looking to reinvent themselves, angsty backstory, but fiercely determined to carve out a life on their terms, but it’s also a departure because I had been building up to the mystery that Calhoun had to solve. So, in each book I teased something or layered in a piece that would mean something later. That was fun but challenging as I have never written a mystery before, though I love to read them and have contemplated writing a mystery series. I was nervous I didn’t have the mental organization as I have a tendency to chase flights of inspiration as I write, so I needed to have discipline to follow the course and not do something that wouldn’t fit with the book or books before it.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

What I’d like readers to take away from this book, is first, entertainment. I love to escape into a book and walk in a character’s shoes. But also most of my books deal with reinvention of transformation. I feel that all it takes to change or improve your life is that first step, and then another, and so most of my books show characters on the cusp of something transformational or challenging or a new path that they are tossed down or they choose to walk, run, creep or stumble.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

Currently I am writing the last chapter of Christmas for the Texas Cowboy. This book takes the new, temporary team leader of the Montana Coyote Cowboys, home to Texas for the holidays. He plans to visit his mom, and his sister, now living in Marietta and hoping that he’ll join her there and work for the new Survivalist Adventure Camp the other Coyote Cowboys are starting to build. But he had promised Jace that he’d “see” his biological half-brothers, who own a massive legacy ranch in Last Stand Texas.

He’s never met them and though Wolf knows Jace meant meet them, try to be accepted as family, he’s planning to take ‘see’ literally, which he knows is a cop out. Instead, in the opening scene he’s not only thrust literally into their midst, he’s reunited with his ex. I love reunion romances, and secret baby tropes, so of course I melded them. I’ve also thought about this story for a long time in the abstract because I’ve wanted to add on to my Texas Wolf Brothers series for a long time, but I didn’t have the right man. But as I started crafting my series, I knew I’d need a team leader to take over for Jace, but much of the team would be peeling out in a year and so I was like “Ha! I got me my Texas Cowboy.”


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: Winner will receive one ebook copy of THE COWBOY’S CLAIM plus one additional ebook of the winner’s choice from Tule Publishing.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Has there been a time in your life where you took a step that led you down a path where much of your life was transformed with time and effort OR if you could wave a magic Glinda wand over yourself, what would you change—career, new adventure, where you live—imagination’s the limit.

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Excerpt from The Cowboy’s Claim:

Chapter One
The sirocco tore at the corners of the airplane hangar screaming vengeance. The howls matched the way Otis Calhoun Lael-Miller V’s soul shrieked as he watched his best friend’s bloody helmet make the rounds through the large, capable hands of his Coyote Cowboy brothers. Like most of his team, his head was bowed as if in silent prayer, although he knew none. It was far too late anyway.

Using peripheral vision, he watched the helmet’s progress as each of his teammates drew a slip of paper out of the helmet. Jace’s amends. Or vows. Plans that he’d never get the chance to complete.

Calhoun’s throat squeezed, and his chest felt crushed. His eyes burned.



Not tears. Millers didn’t cry. They tamed land. Ran cattle. Built towns and then cities. Racked up architecture awards. Had Emmy-award-winning shows based on their lives. The Lael side of his family crafted award-winning wines in several different states and two countries. They launched fashion houses and brands that were global and every celebrity It Girl’s wet dream.

If either side of his ambitious, famous, and extravagantly wealthy family was asked—and he doubted they had thought about him in years—he would be the underachiever.

By design. He’d walked away at eighteen, dumping Otis and Lael and the Roman numeral and any stake in the empire.

His family wouldn’t consider that not dying in the desert or jungle or mountain pass in a country few Americans could find on a map counted as an achievement. Ditto for saving the lives of people who weren’t and never would be shareholders.

Calhoun had built his own ladder of success until it had crashed down on him because he’d gone with instinct, not training. When his team had received faulty intel or had been compromised, and the mission had spun south, he’d run to protect his military dog instead of his team leader.

Seeing Duke take two hits, he’d slithered into his lizard brain, sprayed the field with returning fire and launched himself into Duke’s position, slapped two pressure field bandages on him, picked him up and called for an emergency extraction before he realized Jace and Huck had been hit. Pinned down because he’d given their enemy a clear shot at their position with his Spider-Man leap, Calhoun—whispering reassurances to Duke—had dug in and kept returning fire while Huck worked on Jace, and Rohan crept to higher ground to pick off the two nests of snipers so Huck could retreat with Jace.

They’d had to shoot their way out to the extraction point. Duke had made it. Jace hadn’t. And Huck never said a word about it to command.

Another team had completed their mission, a first for the Coyote Cowboys unit.

And Calhoun would have to exit his prestigious service career with that stain on his soul, if not his record.

He’d planned to muster out along with Jace McBride, one of the best friends a man could have. But Jace was gone, and Duke’s career was over—though he’d survived the two surgeries that might save his life.

It was touch and go, and despite the gravity of this morning’s situation, Calhoun kept looking at his phone for updates from the vet’s team.

He dragged in a ragged breath and out of the corner of his eye saw Wolf Conte, the new temporary team leader, focus on him. Damn. He angled his shoulders back, spine rigid. He was a sequoia standing vigil for centuries, unbowed by fire, earthquakes, storms or anything else God or fate wanted to toss at him.

Wolf didn’t speak. He rarely did. Only when necessary. Calhoun waited, pretending to be at ease.

Wolf inclined his head, pivoted and walked outside the hangar while the other Coyote Cowboys finished their beers and waited for the plane carrying Jace to finish preparations for takeoff.

Calhoun followed.

Dr. Jory Quinn stripped off her scrubs, peeled off her cotton body suit, balled it up into a small, webbed bag that she tucked into her gym bag to hand-wash when she got home and then slid her feet into her Oka-B silver flip-flops with the frivolous flowers—one of her few financial splurges in life—and stepped under a cool shower.

She closed her eyes and pictured herself at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at night in the open-air shower by the pool. She imagined she could hear the rhythmic roar of the ocean and the soft calls of the birds settling in for the evening. The soft, cool pulse of the water flowing over her head and down her goose-bumped skin washed away the smells, pain and demands of work that puddled at her feet and swirled down the drain. She sighed and visualized the last warm kiss of the sun as it tucked behind the horizon of pinks, oranges and purples.

She held tree pose for thirty seconds with her left foot and then thirty seconds with her right. Jory then stretched her arms over her head, palms together and back arched, counting down from thirty. Then she did warrior II pose on both sides for thirty seconds each before bending forward and placing her palms flat on her feet. She kept her eyes closed, feeling her body in the space of the hospital locker room shower. She still held the image of the velvet sky, tiki torches glowing, the long lap pool, crisp water gleaming and beckoning her to swim the length, surrounded by swaying palms to the end, and contemplate the mercurial Pacific.

Jory quickly used her L’Occitane lemon verbena body wash, shampoo and conditioner, rinsed and turned off the water. She was shivering by the time she scrunched excess water from her curly bob and quickly blotted water from her skin with a towel before smoothing lemon verbena body oil over her taut olive skin.

“Mahalo,” she murmured as she reluctantly opened her eyes.

Jory Quinn had never been to Hawaii. And as for the Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai where basic rooms started at thirteen hundred a night on the website, that wouldn’t be in her budget for years—probably never.


She was sick of Montana winters. They were marrow-sucking cold, and the snow wasn’t done with the fools who lived here well into April, sometimes beyond. She’d looked at the temperature and knew, just knew, she’d be scraping ice off the windshield of her ancient but reliable Subaru.

“Like always,” she muttered resentfully, thinking of the one inch she’d had to scrape off yesterday morning after the end of her shift, but she loved working nights because she hated being home alone at night.

It was April and her need for sun and warmth was primal, and working nights allowed her mornings, and a stolen late-afternoon hour or two to absorb what little sun the universe would gift her. Walking into the day—work complete—had become her routine since finishing residency, and the mostly rural hospitals in Montana needing locums hospitalists always jumped to sign her up because she took night and weekend shifts without complaint.

Because she was meeting briefly with the chief of the medical staff this morning, she added a soft pink lip gloss and swipe of mascara. She didn’t need foundation or blush or contouring for her clear, olive skin, thick dark brows, large dark eyes and ethnically ambiguous high cheekbones and strong nose.

“Where are you from? What are you?” had been nosily asked as long as she could remember.

“I’m me,” usually shut them up.

In a professional setting and at college and medical school she’d learned to soften the shut-down a little with a smile and shrug and say her family had deep roots in Montana’s Paradise Valley.

Not that Paradise Valley and the small town of Marietta were eager to claim any Quinns, nor did Jory particularly like Montana. And as soon as her commitment to the state was complete, she was driving southwest and never looking back. Yes, she’d still have her medical school loans, but working in rural hospitals for a four-year commitment had halved her loans, and frugal living had allowed her to pay down her debt ruthlessly while still helping her mom and her oma finally sell off the last little bit of the Quinn land and start over outside Lodi, California.

No more Quinns in Montana. No more dark family secrets. No more poor Jory Quinn whose daddy was in and out of jail before finally taking his son and leaving his mom, wife and daughter behind for good.

No one had been surprised. The sheriff hadn’t even sent a deputy to take a statement because her father and brother didn’t matter. Her family had been considered lowlifes. Losers. Although only highly civically engaged Carol Bingley had been willing to say the quiet part out loud: ‘Good riddance.’

The Quinns, landowners for well over a century, had never fit in with the good churchgoing people of Marietta. And Jory, despite her stellar grades and long hours working at Monroe’s Grocery Store, had still been side-eyed with suspicion like she was a shiny apple hiding a rotten core.

Jory stuck her tongue out in the mirror at her past and turned away to catch up with Akil Chopra, the head of medical staff at the hospital in Helena. Tonight was her last shift as a locums hospitalist, and she was planning to take a week or two break to visit her mom and grandma and see how they were settling in before the next contract with her locums company.

She’d used up most of her savings for the hefty down payment for the few acres and small ranch house for her family. The low-rate doctor loan made it feasible that she could still pay the small mortgage for her mom, along with her medical school loans. And in another month, escrow would close on the final parcel of Quinn land, along with the tired-looking farmhouse, and for the first time in their lives, her mom and oma would have financial security when that money was banked.

She zipped her gym bag shut after rolling her damp towel in a waterproof bag and went to find Dr. Chopra to say thank you and goodbye and probably get a job offer she wouldn’t take. And then she’d head home to her suite at the Comfort Inn and call her mom and then the locums agency to book her next Montana placement. At least the late spring and summer wouldn’t involve any snow, but with Montana, she crossed her fingers. You never knew.

Calhoun kicked at the slick snow on the sidewalk outside Grey’s Saloon where he was supposed to meet his Coyote Cowboy brothers for a welcome-home beer. Not that Marietta, Montana, was home. Nor did it appeal, particularly. It looked unbearably cute—western-movie-set vibe. He didn’t do cute. And he was sick of snow. In April. No, this town was no longer his final destination without Jace, and he was shocked that his brothers were still here. And ashamed to face them. He should have helped with Jace, even though Huck had grimly shrugged off his apology months ago with a growled “no one could save him.”

But maybe if the two of them… He broke off from his dark, unprofitable thoughts. Time to focus on his last mission. He was here hopefully for a day or two tops to discover if Jace had or hadn’t seen a murder or accidental death when he’d been a kid. At least that was Calhoun’s takeaway from Jace’s cryptic scrawl on the to-do task he’d drawn from Jace’s helmet. He wondered what his brothers’ marching orders had been and if they’d succeeded yet.

He felt keyed up. Ryder had collected a now healthy Duke, who, at the advice of the Last Stand–based former soldier, Chance Rafferty, who rehabbed and retrained military working dogs on his family’s ranch, had been renamed Kai. Calhoun couldn’t wait to be reunited with his buddy. Tonight, he’d do some research after the reunion, and then tomorrow he and Kai would take a drive and hike along some access roads over Rohan’s family ranch and play Sherlock Holmes. But maybe—he regarded the double saloon-style doors with wry amusement—he should consider himself Walt Longmire. No, those books were based in Wyoming, another snow-littered landscape he hoped to avoid.

But he couldn’t return to California like his ultimate betrayal of his family had never happened. Burning those bridges had been a conflagration likely visible from space.

Where did he want to settle? After Jace had died, Calhoun hadn’t thought about the void of his future beyond adopting Kai and giving him the best life he could. He’d never intended to leave the army until his friend and team leader Jace had asked him to.

He ran a hand through his sandy-colored hair that he intended to grow long now that he was stateside and checked that his dark Wranglers and dark blue T hadn’t rumpled from the long drive from the base in Washington. He laughed at himself. Kai wouldn’t care how he looked.

But will he remember me?

Calhoun hadn’t seen Kai since July when he’d been sent for life-saving surgery. His recovery had been several months, and then Calhoun had paid a hefty donation to the nonprofit in Last Stand for Kai to stay and recover from any emotional wounds and retrain to enter civilian life. Calhoun had also asked for Kai to have the opportunity to train for search and rescue because even though his future was uncertain, he knew he and Kai would need a purpose.

No office for him.

No big city.

Again he looked at the double doors of Grey’s Saloon. All he had to do was open them.

But all the Coyote Cowboys would be in there waiting. Did they know what he’d done? Had Huck finally told them?

Would he face welcome or judgment?

Judgment had loomed and shouted his entire life because he hadn’t lived up to the Lael or Miller names in any way. After fifteen years away from his home, a prestigious military academy, years serving his country, he shouldn’t care what anyone thought.

Except my brothers.

But Kai was inside. And this was the first step into his future.

Calhoun grabbed both doors and swung them wide.

Marietta. Montana. Snow.

Jory glared at her reflection in the elegant bathroom mirror with the vintage sconces on either side of the vanity. Dark eyes, olive skin, poofy lips that had been an object of rabid teasing when she’d been a kid and now looked like she’d had one too many squirts of filler. Dark, arched brows that were also natural and a thick, curly bob. Her hair and her brain were the two things she liked best about herself.

But she knew being self-critical was a spiral into a deep hole she’d spent much of her life crawling out of. She’d hated her family’s reputation growing up. She’d hated being poor. She’d hated how everyone had felt free to comment on her ‘exotic’ looks and lack of height like she was a piece of furniture they’d decided not to buy.

She smiled at herself in the mirror. “Be kind.”

It was something that she’d often said to herself—self-care even before self-care had become a bragged-about movement.

She was lucky. She was smart. Hardworking. Healthy. Her body was strong, petite at five two and one-hundred and five pounds. And so what if she looked like a ‘doll’ with her small size and wide-spaced dark eyes. She was achieving her goals—except she was back in Marietta—temporarily.

Jory turned off the lights and sat in the dark on the edge of the bed in the beautiful hotel room at the Graff Hotel, still stunned that she’d been assigned to the hospital in Marietta. Her mother and aunt had said a visit now wasn’t convenient and that they didn’t need help settling in. With nowhere else in mind to go, and not wanting to spend the money for a real vacation, Jory had contacted her locums company and been stunned to silence when they’d assigned her to Marietta. Her inability to speak had unleashed a torrent of pleas as the hospital was desperate, and then a rather large bonus was tacked on for taking the two-month position and starting immediately.

Jory never had turned down work or money so here she was.

Back where it all started only in much swankier digs. But she didn’t want to spend her bonus on the Graff. She’d have to find something cheaper and very temporary.

Tired of her thoughts and her own company, Jory stood up.

This was it. A chance to take charge of her life in a different way. She had the education. The career. She was close to the financial security. Now she had to pursue…happiness? That sounded like something stuffed in a fortune cookie or on a fridge magnet.

“Be the change you want to be,” Jory mocked the turn of her thoughts. Still. She didn’t intend to hide in her room for two months, only coming out at night to work. She wasn’t a vampire.

“New rules to a new attitude.” She bounced up off the bed. She’d go for a walk. No. She’d go for a drink at Grey’s Saloon. Her daddy had often disappeared in there for hours, drinking and swapping stories with friends. She’d always been curious, but since she’d left town at barely seventeen for college, she’d never been inside.

She’d give herself a makeover, the same as the town seemed to have had since she’d left for college. Take the Graff. When she’d been a kid, it had been a derelict building, empty, falling apart and inspiring stories about ghosts. Now it had been restored by another long-time local family, the Sheenans who’d managed to hang on to their land, family and money.

According to the glossy brochure in her room, Marietta was now a travel destination boasting of restaurants, a chocolate shop, a brewery with music, dude ranches, adventure companies, seasonal outdoor activities and more. Tourists visited the town year-round now, not just for a brief photo stop on the way to Yellowstone.

Maybe if she thought of herself as a tourist—not Jory Quinn the forgotten daughter, the one who never fit in, the problem—she could have her own personal renaissance.

She kicked her feet into her plum leather ankle boots—the one western-style thing in her entire wardrobe. And slid her arms into a pink cardigan, leaving it unbuttoned over her white tank top.

She paused. Should she wear a bra? Not that she needed it, and she didn’t imagine the cowboys who’d steered well clear of her in high school would swivel around on their barstools now for more than a cursory look.

Still, her first college roommate had insisted that ninety percent of success was attitude. Jory thought it was more determination, goal setting and hard work, but Lisa had had confidence and charisma that wafted around her like a cloud of perfume, and while it hadn’t rubbed off on Jory, she had observed Lisa’s bouts with destiny.

Marietta had changed, and she could too. Tonight she’d channel a little of long-ago Lisa’s swagger and bubbly personality and walk into Grey’s and order a drink. She was no longer the socially awkward woman who’d finally had sex in medical school when she’d been twenty-three, not because she wanted to, but because she’d been embarrassed by her virginity.

The sex had been a disappointment, and an experiment she hadn’t put much effort into since, but that could change.


“Yeah, you go, Cowgirl,” she mocked herself and scrunched some product on her curls to tame the frizz.

She looked at the results of her primping.

She was a long way from the sad, hungry, anxious but determined teen she’d last been in Marietta. That had taken will, not luck. And she had will in abundance.

“I will have fun tonight,” she told her reflection.

Jory squared her shoulders and firmed her glossy lips. She was walking into Grey’s Saloon and drinking a cocktail and dancing if they had dancing. She vowed she’d strike up at least one conversation and not with the bartender. She’d be fun, flirty, and maybe even seduce a cowboy, which had been a secret fantasy in high school and college.

Why not? She was an adult. Successful. A doctor. She’d never see the cowboy again. Besides it was a waste to enjoy the Graff’s thread count alone and unconscious.

Was it safe?

Probably. This was Marietta. Besides, she knew how to wield a syringe. She made a gunslinger move in the antique mirror near the cherry mission-style wardrobe and swiped her hotel key and purse off the quilt folded at the foot of her bed and then she hurried out of the room before she could change her mind.

The door clicked shut behind her.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

“No strings,” he said….

Ex-special forces soldier and military dog handler Calhoun Miller is lucky to be alive. He wouldn’t even be in Marietta but for a vow he made to his fallen team leader to solve a mystery that spans decades. Spending a sexy, magical night with a beautiful woman isn’t part of the plan, but he’s never felt more compelled to seize the moment. And then a freak accident hospitalizes him, risking his mission to honor his friend.

As if returning to her hometown of Marietta isn’t awkward enough, hospitalist Dr. Jory Quinn is blindsided when her sexy, anonymous hookup becomes her patient, possibly derailing her career. She begs him to keep their secret, but when Calhoun reveals he’s in town to solve the long ago disappearance of her father and brother, keeping her distance, hands, and secrets to herself is beyond challenging.

Not to mention she might be…pregnant?

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Meet the Author:

Sinclair Sawhney is a former journalist and middle school teacher who holds a BA in Political Science and K-8 teaching certificate from the University of California, Irvine and a MS in Education with an emphasis in teaching writing from the University of Washington. She has worked as Senior Editor with Tule Publishing for over seven years. Writing as Sinclair Jayne she’s published fifteen short contemporary romances with Tule Publishing with another four books being released in 2021. Married for over twenty-four years, she has two children, and when she isn’t writing or editing, she and her husband, Deepak, are hosting wine tastings of their pinot noir and pinot noir rose at their vineyard Roshni, which is a Hindi word for light-filled, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Shaandaar!
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15 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Cowboy’s Claim by Sinclair Jayne”

  1. psu1493

    I would wave the Glinda wand and go back to school to get a couple of degrees and start my own business that allowed me to travel.

  2. debby236

    We adopted a handicapped girl from Poland. At the same time, I quit my job and returned to school to change careers. That changed so much.

  3. Kathleen O

    I made a big move 23 yrs ago to move from the city of my birth, to a place where I knew know one for my job. It turned out to be a good move for me.

  4. glendamartillotti

    I took a temporary job transfer halfway across the country. I met my husband of 32 years at the job.

  5. Bonnie

    If I could change one thing in my life, I would have traveled more when I was younger.

  6. Amy R

    Has there been a time in your life where you took a step that led you down a path where much of your life was transformed with time and effort OR if you could wave a magic Glinda wand over yourself, what would you change—career, new adventure, where you live—imagination’s the limit. yes, when I moved to a new town

  7. Patricia B.

    I made a decision in high school after hearing President Kennedy’s speech and aimed for the Peace Corps.It took years, finishing high school and college but I left for three years in The Peace Corps 4 weeks after graduation. It was a life changing experience and helped me become “myself” separate from family identity and expectations. It also allowed me to me a friend I hadn’t seen in 7 years which led to marriage, and the new adventure in my life.