Shannon here: Myra Johnson shares insight into her characters’ romance from her latest Contemporary Romance, Her Hill Country Cowboy. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Sept 16th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Myra:
Thank you for inviting me back for another visit, Shannon! Today I’m delighted to introduce Seth Austin and Christina Hunter, the hero and heroine in my September release, Her Hill Country Cowboy, a contemporary romance from Love Inspired.
And who doesn’t love a cowboy! Seth and his grandparents operate a small guest ranch in Juniper Bluff, Texas, not far from Fredericksburg in the scenic rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country. Seth is a single dad trying his best to parent and protect his two precious children, Joseph (9) and Eva (6), who have had a difficult adjustment after losing their mother.
Christina is a child-and-family social worker on extended leave from her career after an automobile accident that left her traumatized both physically and emotionally. She’s aided by her faithful service dog, Gracie, a golden retriever who sometimes seems a whole lot smarter than the humans in her life. As a stepping stone along her path to recovery, Christina accepts the housekeeping job at Serenity Hills, expecting it will be only temporary . . . until the romantic sparks start to fly!
- Christina, you obviously didn’t go to Serenity Hills Guest Ranch expecting to fall in love. What’s so romantic about the place?
Besides Seth, you mean? Okay, okay, let me try to describe it for you. The ranch is small, just a few guest cabins overlooking a lake nestled between rocky hills dotted with cedars and live oaks. Some of the most precious moments Seth and I have spent together are sitting beside the lake to enjoy the sunset. Sometimes we take a picnic supper down to the lake, and for a really special treat, Seth’s grandpa might bring his guitar to serenade us. On a clear night, with a million stars twinkling overhead and a moon climbing over the horizon . . . it just doesn’t get more romantic than that!
- A picnic under the stars sounds lovely! Are there any other places that are special for you and Seth?
In a small town like Juniper Bluff, Texas, the dating venues are rather limited. But one special place for us has always been Casa Luis Mexican Restaurant, because that’s where we first began to really get to know each other. Seth had some real hang-ups about my career as a social worker, so we had quite a bit to work through before true friendship and trust could happen.
- Seth, we understand it took some time for you to let Christina into your heart. How soon after meeting her did you know she was the one?
Truth is, I was attracted to Christina the first time we met. But that was before I found out my grandmother had hired her as the guest ranch housekeeper—before I realized Christina and her service dog would be living at the ranch. See, awhile back a big dog gave my little girl, Eva, quite a scare, and I had no intention of letting Christina’s dog get anywhere close to Eva. So I was all set to send Christina packing without even giving her a chance. It was only after I started getting to know her that my defenses began to crumble.
- What was it about Christina that finally melted your heart?
Well, that would have a whole lot to do with how sweet she is to those kids of mine! They lost their mother a few years ago, and it was real hard on both of them, especially Eva, my youngest. But Christina has such a special way with Joseph and Eva. Whenever anything’s troubling them, Christina always seems to know just what to say and do to make things better. And her service dog, Gracie—I’ve already admitted I had my doubts at first, but I’m telling you, that dog is the smartest thing I’ve ever seen!
- Christina, what is the most caring thing Seth has ever done for you?
As you might expect, a big, strong Texas cowboy like Seth likes to pretend he’s a real tough guy. But I could see from the day we first met and he rescued that turtle crossing the road that there was tenderness beneath his “strong, silent type” façade. So when he stayed by my side to hold and care for me following one of the scariest days of my life, I realized how much he loved me . . . and how much I loved him.
- Seth, who said, “I love you” first, you or Christina?
Pretty sure it was me. See, I was scared to death Christina would decide to head back to her life and career in Little Rock, and losing her wasn’t an option. I’d fallen so head-over-boot-heels in love with this woman that I’d have done just about anything to get her to stay. Hey, I hope y’all will read all about our very special romance. It’s in a book called Her Hill Country Cowboy.
About Myra: Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction, and winner in the Inspirational category of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered doggies who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They have also inherited the cute little cat (complete with attitude) their daughter and family had to leave behind.
About the book – Her Hill Country Cowboy: Single father Seth Austin will do anything for his children. So when he discovers the new housekeeper his grandmother hired for their guest ranch is a former social worker, he plans to keep his family far away from Christina Hunter. Seth once almost lost custody of his beloved kids because of an overzealous social worker. Problem is his children adore Christina and her sweet service dog—and he’s starting to fall for her, too. Recuperating from an accident, Christina is determined to slowly ease back into her old life. But the more time she spends with them, the more she realizes that her future might be with the cowboy and his family.
Question for Readers: Have you had personal experience with a service animal—your own or that of a family member, friend, or someone you’ve encountered in your daily life? Share your thoughts!
Come back Sept 8th for Lindsey Brackett!