Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Racing Hearts Anthology - Blog Tour

Hi folks, I am thrilled to be the first stop on the 'Racing Hearts Anthology' blog tour. I am starting it off with a wonderful post from author Bailey Bradford all about being part of the Racing Hearts Anthology from Pride Publishing.

Being a part of the RacingHearts Anthology
Bailey Bradford

I am thrilled to be a part of the Racing Hearts anthology along with Helena Maeve, Ethan Stone, Molly Ann Wishlade, LM Somerton, and Morticia Knight. It’s always fun to do something to help others, and in this case, we’re helping Sue Meadows, who is an amazing person and a fantastic editor.

I had the privilege of working with Sue on my What’s His Passion books, Unexpected Places and Unexpected Moments. She made my stories better, and did so with professionalism and humor, both major wins!

And writing about horses—Well, I was one of those little girls who had Breyer horses all over the place. My first one was Lady Phase, modeled after the real Lady Phase, a beautiful horse I’d seen when I was five or so at the San Antonio Livestock and Rodeo when Lynn Anderson, owner of Lady Phase, was there performing. When I unwrapped that box and found Lady Phase’s mini-her in it on Christmas morning, I thought it was the greatest gift ever. And it was just the start to over a decade of collecting. I don’t have Lady Phase, but I do still have a now-34 year-old Breyer Budweiser Clydesdale that stands on a shelf not too far away.

Real horses rocked, too. We had friends with horses, some family, too, so I got to ride and just be around horses somewhat regularly. My husband used to rodeo, so his family was steeped in horses, too.

Now days, I’m never around any horses, and I miss that. Writing a story for the anthology gave me a little bit of my horse fix back.

In fact, I’ve been looking at some Breyer models and thinking about starting my collection up again. There’s just something majestic and beautiful about horses.

I hope y’all enjoy reading the stories in the Racing Hearts anthology as much as we enjoyed writing them. :D

About Racing Hearts:
Totally Entwined Group editor, Sue Laybourn, sadly lost her husband Peter earlier this year, after a brave battle against cancer. In tribute to Peter and to show their support for Sue, these six Pride Publishing authors got together to write this anthology of short stories called Racing Hearts. These stories surround the world of horseracing, a sport which Peter and Sue passionately followed together.

Pride Publishing will be donating its royalties to charity. Proceeds will be going to Cancer Research UK and Prospect Hospice, where Peter was a patient.

Find out more about these charities here:
Cancer Research UK: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

About Bailey Bradford

A few things about me…

I am a married mom of four who spends most of the day writing, either on stories or at the blog. I love to write as much as I love to read. I am generally quiet and laid back, choosing to let things slide off me rather than stick and irritate me.

And it’s really hard trying to think of descriptions for myself, so I’ll just let y’all e-mail me at itsbaileybradford@yahoo.com or comment at the blog, www.baileysplayroom.blogspot.com if there’s something specific you’d like to know, and spare you from reading a boring bio.

Connect with Bailey Bradford:
Twitter: @BaileyBFun4Me

Racing Hearts blurb:

‘The Lonely Ones’ by Bailey Bradford

Marshall’s all city, and Rex is all cowboy, so it’s no wonder sparks fly when they meet.

Marshall Evans never wanted to inherit his grandfather’s Thoroughbred horse ranch. He doesn’t know much about raising and training racehorses, and he knows even less about the man who left him what he sees as a burden. His grandfather wasn’t a nice man at all, and he left the ranch to Marshall more as a fuck you to the one person who did want the ranch, who had tried to buy it, and had put up with years of verbal and at times, physical abuse, only to have his home yanked out from under his feet. Rex Martinez had only ever had one home, and that was the ranch. Now he was about to lose it.

Marshall arrives in the small town of Erring, NM, only to be confronted by this silently furious man, and together, they’re going to have to work out what to do. The will stipulates that Marshall can’t sell the ranch to Rex, because Allen found out Rex was gay. Rex didn’t know he knew, but the old man had no idea about Marshall since Marshall hadn’t been raised anywhere near him.

It’s not as simple as selling the ranch, either. Marshall thinks it will be, but no. He can’t put Rex out of a home so easily.

‘Racing for Home’ by Morticia Knight

Groom Charlie loves the Piedmont Farms horses—but not nearly as much as the man he can never have, Edward Piedmont.

At the age of twenty-two, Charlie has lived at Piedmont Farms—the largest race horse breeding facility on the east coast—for eight years. For five of those years, he’s been desperately in love with Albert Piedmont’s oldest son, Edward. At one time, he believed Edward’s declarations that they’d be together forever. It was a brutal slap in the face when Edward married a local heiress and moved away to live with her on her family estate. Only his love of the horses, including one in particular, has kept him from complete despair.

Edward knows that horse groom Charlie must hate him after being abandoned when Edward married Alice, but he’d thought he was doing the right thing at the time. After three years of a sham of a marriage, Alice has found someone who she really wants to marry, and Edward is free to divorce her. Edward moves back to Piedmont, desperate to get Charlie back, even if they would still have to hide their love.

Charlie wants to believe that Edward still loves him and that he can believe in him once again. But love between two men in 1912 America is even worse than love between someone of a higher and lower station. Charlie fears that it would never be possible for them to truly have a life together.

Edward’s father, Albert Piedmont, is also hiding. However, his secrets pertain to the possible loss of his once wildly successful horse breeding farm. When everything begins to rapidly crumble, Edward has to make a desperate move to secure a future for him and Charlie before it’s too late.

‘The Secret of Delville Wood’ by Helena Maeve

A handsome, naked man in his bed is the kind of surprise Silas lives for. The dead body hanging outside his window, not so much.

In the shadow of the Great War, three soldiers made a fortune on racetracks either side of the North Sea. Their families thrived with the clandestine passions of youth, wanting for nothing while whole nations suffered the scarcities of peace. By their grace and generosity, Axel, a young man once forced to sell his body, became a champion.

Yet the lure of fast money hides many dark deeds and Pia Eckdahl’s manor on Lake Sågträsk is no exception. Hired to cleanse the Swedish socialite’s house of evil spirits, Nigerian-born Silas doesn’t care much for horses, racing or the affectations of the nouveau-riche. But he does care for Axel. Caught between peddling his heritage for an extortionate sum and investigating a suspicious suicide, Silas soon finds himself delving into a decade-old family secret that could well destroy his lover’s racing future.

‘Keeping the Luck In’ by L.M. Somerton

Since when was a squirrel crossing your path bad luck?

Like his father before him, Rory Ironstone was born and bred to be a blacksmith. Standing six feet five in his socked feet, he’s built like a barn door. He loves his job at Camworth Racecourse forge, tending to the beautiful racehorses and creating ironwork art in his spare time.

Pip Ryder is a summer stable hand and newly qualified vet who longs for someone to love him as much as they do his four-legged charges. He admires Rory from afar, but is too shy to admit his interest goes beyond the anvil.

When the horseshoe above the forge door is knocked off, Rory believes his luck has fallen out. Pip comes to the rescue but when Rory shows more than a platonic interest, he bolts.

Rory is convinced that the only way to re-fill his horseshoe with luck is to get Pip back and keep him.

‘Just my Luck’ by Ethan Stone

Appearances can be deceiving.

Kieran Jones is as used to short jokes as Sam Shaw is to being teased for his height. When they meet at a nightclub there’s an instant attraction, and not just because of the stark difference in their bodies.

After a passionate night, Sam sneaks out, positive he won’t see the hot guy again. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he’s in town to do a job and he doesn’t need a distraction. He never imagined that growing up on a farm and knowing all about horses would help with his career, but it has and he can’t let anything get in the way.

However, jockey Kieran is connected to Sam’s mission and Sam has a tough choice to make—use Kieran to get it done or walk away. It could spell the end of the relationship before it’s even begun, but a life or death situation makes Sam realize just exactly how much he cares for Kieran and how much he wants a future with him.

‘Horses and Harleys’ by Molly Ann Wishlade

Life’s not just about horses and Harleys, but sometimes you have to get back in the saddle if you want to go along for the ride.

Henry Lockhart is a rich, successful businessman but life at the top can be lonely, especially as he vowed never to fall in love again after a painful bereavement.

Alex Castillo grew up in a small town where small minds made his life a misery. A disastrous love affair with a married man and the recent death of his mother led him to flee his hometown in search of a better life.

When their worlds collide after Alex takes a job as a groom at Henry’s stables, they both know that life will never be the same again.

But they’ve both been hurt, they’ve both suffered loss, shame and regret.

Can they find a way to be together, or will they both ride off into the sunset alone?

Excerpt from The Lonely Ones by Bailey Bradford:
Instead of hanging around and waiting for Rex to come out of the bathroom, Marshall left, not even bothering to enter Allen Evans’ house. There wouldn’t be anything of sentimental value in there for him. When he and his mother had left years and years ago, she’d taken all the photographs and mementos that had held any meaning for her, having had the foresight, or enough knowledge of her dad’s violent behavior, to have packed them up beforehand. And when she’d died, Marshall had inherited them. Marshall closed his eyes against the pain of her loss. It’d been almost three years since she’d been murdered, and it still hurt almost as much as it had at first. Sometimes he still had nightmares about that, about finding out she’d been killed. The nightmare was always factual, an exact memory of what had happened that day in September. He’d opened up his door to find a somber police officer standing on the other side of it, and Marshall’s insides had turned to ice—jagged, freezing pieces that made him ache and his eyes sting before the officer ever spoke. Then the crushing blow, to learn that he’d lost her, the one ally he’d always had, the one person in the world who loved him, gone because some criminal had wanted her Escalade.
Maybe he’d have some kind of closure if her murderer was ever found, but that wasn’t looking likely.
Marshall forced his mind back to the present, and the meeting he was about to have with
Ed Rogan, Attorney At Law, as his sign proclaimed. After taking a steadying breath, Marshall was ready to meet with Allen’s lawyer. He got out of the car and immediately began to sweat. The New Mexico heat was enough to almost make Marshall get back in his rental car and drive home. For one split second, he considered it—just saying fuck it and letting Rex deal with the ranch however he wanted to. As tempting as the idea was, Marshall wouldn’t do it. He tried to be responsible, and for whatever reason, Allen Evans had left the ranch to him.

Pride Publishing December blog tour competition!
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