10 Favorite Authors and Why
Listing my favorite books or authors is like choosing which one of your children is your favorite. Each author has a unique writing style and personality and I love them as much for their differences as their similarities. And when I discover a new favorite? I don’t love the others less, I just have more reader love to go around! Still, even though it’s so hard for me to do it’s nearly impossible, for you, my beautiful, wonderful readers, I will try.
10. Heather Killough-Walden: I love Heather for so many reasons, not the least of which the fact she’s so active with her readers on facebook. Her books are amazing, original and I’m continuing to be surprised with how much I love her male lead characters.
9. Robert Jordan: My relationship with Jordan started in high school when I picked up The Wheel of Time. The series is an epic fantasy that personally I put on par with The Lord Of the Rings. His way with words and descriptions forces you to submerge into that world and connect with the characters. It was a tragedy when he passed away from cancer, but luckily for all of us avid readers the saga has been continued by Brandon Sanderson, another author I’m beginning to love.
8. Kate Johnson: Johnson is a new love of mine. She’s from the UK and her books are set there as well and, even though I find myself using Urban Dictionary to muddle through the ‘language barrier’, I love getting that glimpse into the British culture. Her Sophie Green books are funny, quirky and very entertaining.
7. Anne McCaffrey: I fell in love with her works when I was in Jr. High and have read and re-read them ever since. An icon in Fantasy, her books truly do transport you to another world, with whimsical dragons and relatable characters. Love her!
6. Jeaniene Frost: Only recently discovered, Frost has quickly become one of my favorites. Her main characters, Cat and Bones, just work their way into your hearts with Cat’s tough, kickass-ness and Bones superior, arrogant sarcasm.
5. Jeff Lindsay: I discovered Lindsay before Michael C. Hall was playing the emotionally detached serial killer we all love, Dexter. The simple fact that he can create a character so inhuman and yet so amazingly likeable should be enough to make you go out and buy one of his books.
4. Karen Marie Moning: Good Lord I love her. What Mr. Darcy did to ruin men for the women of the world, Jericho Z Barrons ruined fictional leading men for me. How can I go back to the emo, whiny sparkly boy when I’ve had the Dark, sometimes-bastard, sexy man with questionable motivations? *sigh*
3. Patricia Briggs: Briggs is amazing. I adore her Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is kick ass, self-sufficient, oh, and did I mention she changes into a Coyote? This is by far my favorite Paranormal Romance series and I eat up everything she writes.
2. Jane Austin: Come on, I wouldn’t be a girl if I didn’t say I loved her. I’ve read and watched Pride & Prejudice so often I can almost quote the entire thing. I relate so much to Elizabeth Bennet and wish all men were like Darcy.
1. Terry Pratchett: I love to laugh. If a book can get me to giggle aloud as I’m reading, it scores major bonus points. Pratchett’s sense of humor and clever wit endeared him to my heart forever. But he’s not all laughs (well, mostly), the satirical nature of his books poke fun at the inane hypocrisies of our world.
So there they are, my top 10. Check them out and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
By Cait Lavender
Bawling cattle tore Shelby Flint from her bed. With lawyer fees to pay in her struggle to keep her ranch from the clutches of her greedy cousins, she couldn’t afford the loss of even one calf. When she sees a large wolf circling her cows, she aims and fires. While the wolf escapes, Shelby can’t seem to get away from her troubles when a marijuana grower sets up shop on her land, sabotaging her property and eventually coming after her.
Adding to that, a handsome game warden is poking his nose into her business and working his way underneath her skin. Shelby will have to fight harder than she ever fought before to keep from losing her heart and everything she ever loved.
Shelby Flint is a self-sufficient cowgirl and cattle rancher, but when a wolf goes after her calves, a man is murdered on her land and someone is sabotaging her property she can’t do it by herself any longer. In walks a handsome game warden, poking his nose in her business and working her way under her skin. Shelby will have to fight harder than she ever has before to keep from losing her heart and everything she ever loved.
“Hey, have you heard anything about—wait, what? The fuzz is after me?” I sifted through my recent actions, but couldn’t remember doing anything illegal that would put a cop on my tail. “Wait, you’re not talking about Tyler, are you?”
One of her husband’s favorite pastimes was making me pull over without cause. I was always tempted to pull a stunt like I was on Cops and lead him in a high speed pursuit. But since I’d gotten out of a few speeding tickets by dropping his name, I guess it was a wash.
“What, Tyler? No, I wish he was this hot.” She leered. “The game warden stopped by about five minutes ago asking all about the girl who lives on the Flint ranch.” She waggled her eyebrows at me.
It was Jesse’s mission in life to set me up with a man. It was the bane of her existence that I’d sworn off cowboys. A cowboy hadn’t worked out too well for my mom, and that was pretty much all there was around Raymond. It was probably the only lesson I’d learned from my mother.
“I have to say, Matt Albert wasn’t a fan of Mr. Warden asking about you. Gave me one scary glare when I told the hottie where you live.”
“Oh geez. You haven’t told Matt I’d date him again did you? The guy’s dumber than a box of rocks!”
The Albert clan was huge in Raymond. Half the population was related in some form or another, and Matt had his eyes on me since grade school. I’d always chalked up his infatuation with me to the fact we weren’t related. Kissing cousins were so Alabama.
Matt liked to get drunk at the rodeo and pick fights. The one date I had gone with him I ended up with four glasses of Coors on my shirt and a bruise on my cheek where the other guy had elbowed me to get at Matt. That had been four years ago. He was either tenacious to the extreme or stupid, and I leaned toward the latter.
“Of course not. Especially if you’ve got Hunky McWarden in the wings!” I rolled my eyes at Jesse’s outrageous nicknames. It was never a good sign when she waxed poetic.
“Why do you keep saying that? I thought the game warden was an octogenarian?”
“Yeah, that was Bill Freedman, and he retired last month. Officer Hotstuff must be his replacement. Lucky for us! Lord knows we need an infusion of new blood around here.”
While that was certainly true, I wasn’t in the mood to play ‘The Dating Game’ with Jesse. “Oh quit it. I’d better get home if there’s a popo waiting for me. Wish me luck!”
I walked back to my truck and looked down at Reggie.
“Sorry, I forgot your hot dog. I guess I owe you one.”
He hopped in the back, forgiving as always and off we went. I wondered why the warden would be looking for me. I hadn’t hunted or fished in years, not since grandpa’s health went downhill. I hoped one of my cows didn’t get out. That could be a nightmare if it ruined property or someone hit it with a car. Great, that’s all I needed right now.
I saw the warden’s forest green Silverado when I pulled in, but no sign of the warden himself anywhere. I lowered the tailgate of the Blazer to let Reggie down and he took off toward the barn. I trusted his instincts and followed him and found an image I could use to warm the lonely, cold nights. On the trailer of alfalfa was a 6’4’ Adonis. The man, or god, who I assumed was the warden, had his shirt off while he was unloading hay. His fantastic shoulders were bare and rippling as he unloaded bale after bale of hay. His biceps flexed as he squatted to pick up another and bless him, I had a front row seat to his fantastic rear.
The warden couldn’t have been any older than late twenties or early thirties, and his golden skin just added to the Greek god effect he had going. Something stirred in me while I watched him work, something I had never felt before. Pure unadulterated lust. I wanted that man more than anyone in my whole life.
Irritated with my surging libido, I tamped down my unwelcome feelings as much as I could. I definitely didn’t need that kind of complication in my life right now. He bent over and picked up another bale and I had to bite the inside of my lip to keep from moaning. No man should look that delicious. I nodded my head in agreement with myself and continued to gawk. His shoulders were nearly twice as wide as mine, and his broad chest narrowed to flat, rippling abs and a trim waist.
In the ten minutes I supposed he’d been there he had almost the whole trailer unloaded, and it didn’t even look like he’d broken a sweat. If I’d unloaded that much I would have been a puddle of exhausted goo. I stood there, staring at all his assets, for a few minutes longer before I climbed on the trailer and started helping.
When I came up behind him, he stopped working and stared at me. His nostrils flared wide, but he didn’t seem surprised at my arrival. Unnerved a bit by his piercing gaze, I picked up a bale. He just shrugged and resumed unloading, maintaining a silence the whole time we worked. In between bales he brushed his dark brown hair off his forehead to reveal two eyes the brilliant blue of sapphires.
He looked at me for a moment, and then unloaded the last bale of alfalfa. I hopped off the trailer, suddenly needing distance from his cobalt stare. Without the hay bales to occupy my hands, they were itching to touch the ripples of all six of his abs. I stared at the ground, shifting from foot to foot.
“Thanks. I really appreciate the help. If I was by myself, this would have taken hours.” I handed him his uniform shirt that was hanging off the side mirror of my truck and glanced at the name tag. “Officer Newcomb.”
“It’s warden Newcomb, but you can call me Cash.” He put his uniform back on and I couldn’t help feeling a sense of loss. The fabric covered a spectacular chest with just a judicial smattering of curly brown hair that drew together in a fuzzy line that lead south. Talk about a happy trail.
About the Author:
Cait Lavender is a twenty five year old wife and stay at home mother of one in Central California. Living on a cattle ranch and raising her daughter doesn’t afford her much leisure time, but when she has a spare minute or two she loves riding horses, baking and reading everything she can get her hands on. She grew up loving the written word and creative writing and finally decided to work on her dream of becoming a published author.
She has a short story, Cowboy Moon, and a full-length novel, Hunter Moon, both available on Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She’d love to hear from you on her Facebook author page, @caitlavender on Twitter or on her blog, www.caitlavender.com
Cait is giving away 5 print copies of Hunter Moon and a $25 Amazon gift card just go here to enter ->