GUEST AUTHOR: My Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield

Today I am thrilled to be joined by Z.A. Maxfield as part of her blog tour for My Cowboy Promises. I love this series and it was great to have a chance to ask ZAM some questions.

 

My Cowboy Promises

(The Cowboys Series, Book #4)

By Z.A. Maxfield



Blurb:

A real man needs a real love…

To become the man he’s meant to be, one cowboy will have to be the man he never wanted anyone to know he was…

Ryder Dent is a true-blue cowboy. A devoted son, husband and father, but one who is living a costly lie. When they were both young, Ryder and his closest female friend Andy thought they’d found the perfect solution to both their problems—she was single and pregnant, and he was secretly gay—so they got married and raised Jonas together.

When Ryder gets hurt at a party, his son’s new pediatrician comes to the rescue. The connection between Ryder and Dr. Declan Winters is sudden, powerful, and undeniable. Ryder loves Andy and the family they’ve created together—but they both need more. Can they pursue their hearts’ desire without destroying the life they’ve built and losing the son they love?

Available for purchase at
            

Interview

Thanks for stopping by today, ZAM, and for agreeing to answer some questions. I love your Cowboys series and I’m really looking forward to My Cowboy Promises. It’s pre-ordered and should hit my Kindle on 16th June. I know what I’ll be doing that day! 🙂

I found the earlier books in the series were about love and family. The stories were heartwarming, tender, and emotionally charged. What can your readers expect from My Cowboy Promises?

ZAM:  Thank you so much for having me here today! In one sense, this story is more of the same. I generally hit the home and family notes pretty hard. I guess that’s because it’s what I enjoy reading.

On the other hand, this story is different in that Ryder already has a home and family he’s made with his best friend, Andi, and her son Ryder. He’s happy, but it feels a little like a lie to him, and he has no clue what he’s missing out on with regard to sex and romantic love, so when an attractive gay man comes into the picture—a man who seems to be interested in him—it throws him.

Can you share any secrets about the story, something beyond the blurb to tease your readers?

ZAM: I can tell you it’s not just Ryder who grows in the story. Andi has dreams too, and part of the story is about Andi coming in to her own.

Personally, I enjoy stories featuring kids but I’ve heard some authors find it difficult to write stories with children. Do you find it challenging to write younger characters?

ZAM: I actually really enjoy writing kids but it’s difficult. My biggest pet peeve is when kids seem too perfect and since my kids are so perfectly well adjusted *shakes head NOT* I just write what I know!

Kids in romance are a mixed blessing, anyway. People either love them or hate them. I just try to write a kid who doesn’t always say or do the convenient thing. A kid whose problems aren’t always solved by the words of an oh, so wise adult. You, the reader, are my best barometer of what works, and of course by the time you’re talking, it’s a little too late for me to go back and fix anything.

Of course if you find the kids in my books adorable, they’re patterned after mine.

I’d love to know about your reading habits. What book is currently on your bedside table? Anything interesting you would recommend.

ZAM: I just finished Tibby Armstrong’s No Apologies, and Barbara Ellsborg’s Falling. Both were excellent. My Audible is full of Jordan L. Hawk and Jordan Castillo Price and Charlie Cochet. There are a lot more books in the queue, and they’re not all m/m because I enjoy suspense and mystery and het romance, but those books are what was going over the weekend.

What are you currently working on? What can your readers expect from you next?

ZAM: Right now, I’m editing the third in the Deep series, Deep Deliverance, and I’m working on two different projects, One is a revision of Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost, which I plan to expand into a series of books in which a pair of meddlesome ghosts help folks find love, and I’m working on a new series, set in a fictional agricultural/tourist destination town in California. We’ll see how that goes!

Thanks again, so much for having me here. I am so grateful to bloggers and readers like you who keep the whole ball rolling!

Excerpt

 

The
hottest guy I ever saw was playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” on the piano while
fifteen cagey preschoolers circled fourteen chairs. My father-in-law’s annual
Fourth of July shindig—the biggest event of the year—was a family picnic. We’d
set aside a play area for the littlest kids and I’d volunteered to supervise,
but the piano man blindsided me and I nearly missed an outrageous hair- pulling
incident.
Like
a too bright pair of headlights on a moonless night, he was all I could see.
Mayor
Calder Hamilton—a cartoon bear of a man with a white handlebar mustache—snuck
up on me with one of those painful backslapping man hugs.
“Ryder
Dent, you son of a bitch. Which one is your boy?”
“That’s
Jonas.” I pointed out my son. “Blue plaid shirt, cowboy hat. Crass determination
to win?”
“I
know that look, I see it every day when I look in the mirror. But how can that
be him? Last time I saw him he was half that size.”
Why
do people always say that? Is it some rite of passage? Am I going to be
surprised kids grow someday too? “We had to buy him a new pair of cowboy boots
just last week.”
“He’s
a fine-looking boy. Where’s Andrea?”
“She
doesn’t come to these things to hang around with me.” I glanced toward the
windows. “You’ll find her wherever there’s dancing.”
“She
leaves you in charge of Jonas?”
“Gosh,
yeah. Andi’s the social one. She likes to kick up her heels and I don’t mind if
she wants to have some fun.”
“So
have you met our new doctor yet? Isn’t he something? I have never seen anyone
play piano like that.”
That’s Doctor Winters?” The doc had started playing “Pop Goes the
Weasel” like a Russian folk dance, all the while yelling Hai! Hai,! Hai! Hai! The music stopped and the chaos
started. Jonas ended up on another chair.
“Go,
Team Jonas!” I pumped my fist like a goofball.
“Yeah.
Go, boy, go!” Hamilton was already tipsy enough to be unaware he was shouting
right in my ear. It didn’t matter; I was going deaf from all the kids squealing
anyway. “I’d like to ask your help with something.”
“Sure
thing, Mayor. Shoot.”
“I
need you and your family in a campaign ad”
“My
family?” Good grief.
Bitterroot’s founding fathers would shit in their graves at such an idea.
“I don’t think we’d make a very
good ad.”
“C’mon.”
He punched my arm. “You and Andrea are both attractive. Jonas is a cute kid.
You had to make some tough choices in the beginning, but look where you are
now.”
“Uh
. . . I don’t think—”
“I
need a family exactly like yours to represent my
campaign to the twenty-somethings. I need them to believe they’re important to
me.”
Me and
Andi?
My
stomach did a full 360, front to back, as if I was on a Six Flags ride. Mayor
Hamilton wanted some picture-frame perfect family, and we were not it. Plus, we
hadn’t exactly voted for him. “I’ll ask Andi about it, but—”
“Andrea’s
dad just told me he’s backing me all the way again this next election.”
“Is
he?” That figures. Her dad
likes politicians to owe him.

“So you just tell her you’re
doing it, okay?”
“Sure,
I’ll mention it, but—”
Hamilton’s
wife, Sally, came up to collect him. “C’mon Cowboy. There’s someone I want you
to meet.”
She
grabbed his hand and, after a good-natured tug-of-war, they left together. I
breathed again. Andi’s dad ran one of the most successful ranches in the area.
If he wanted to see my family on a billboard, I’d have to figure a way to get
out of it or learn to say “cheese.”
It
was pretty hard to say no to Sterling Chandler. I’m not sure he understood the
word.
Shit.
The
new doc managed to make “Pop Goes the Weasel” sound like a funeral dirge and
the children all lurched around like little zombies. Then he turned it into a
raucous honkytonk song.
Who
was this guy?
Jonas
got eliminated fourth from last but he wasn’t crushed by the loss. His
attention shifted right away to the buffet, where the cater-waiters had
installed several trays of Texas-sized cookies, all colored with red, white,
and blue sugar crystals in honor of the holiday.
Musical
Chairs, the Survivor edition, came down to two particularly crafty-looking
femme fatales. One wore a jeans skirt, cowboy boots, and a pretty white blouse,
and the other had on a daisy-printed sundress with lacy socks and jelly shoes.
Lacy socks girl won by body-checking white blouse girl out of the way and
pouncing on the last chair. She gripped the seat so tight with both hands no
one could get her off it.
The
new doc consoled the runner-up with a box of big-block Legos and gave the
winner a play set with pink and purple Ponies but it seemed she thought she was
getting the chair as her prize. Eventually her mom pried her up and they all
wandered off to join the party outside.
Doc
Winters was left to tidy up. I figured I ought to help, being family and all.
Plus, it might get me out of small talk outside.
But
the doc was the best looking man I had ever seen up close. I was bound to mess
up and say something super stupid, and Andi was going to hear about it, and
then she was going to tease me for the rest of my life, because she was just
waiting for me to lose my shit over some guy.
And
Doc Winters, M.D., The Yankee Doodler?
He could
be the guy.

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The Cowboys Series
About the Author
Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.
If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
You can find ZA Maxfield at 
            
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