Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: The Texas Cowboy by Linda Nightingale 💕 Guest Post, Freebie Offer and $10 Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Western Romance)

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Texas Cowboy by Linda Nightingale 💕 Guest Post, Freebie Offer and $10 Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Western Romance)

He makes feelings she thought long dead awaken.

When Ash Colter was twelve, his mother divorced his cattle baron father and whisked him away to raise in her native England. Sixteen years later, when his father dies, he inherits Marathon Ranch. Running a 1,000-acre spread famous for the best Black Angus cattle in the great state of Texas is the biggest challenge he’s ever faced…until he meets a pert, pretty, and sassy ranch hand who seems to have her own agenda for his ranch. Unfortunately, she makes his spurs go jingle-jangle-jingle like no one else ever has!

Trish Owens is a real cowgirl, a loner, and, though she’d never admit it, a little lonely. When the “English Cowboy” appears on the scene, her entire way of life is threatened, not only her job, but her beloved Quarter horses. She’s sure he plans to import his thoroughbred horses from England. Worst of all is the chemistry sizzling between them. He makes feelings she thought long dead awaken.

Can these two unwilling allies set aside their differences to put Marathon Ranch in the Winner’s Circle…and to fall in love?

When people speak of horse racing, most would immediately say the horses were thoroughbreds. So, we have thoroughbred racing, but did you know that, over short distances, there is a horse that has been clocked faster than the thoroughbred?  Over a straight course of a quarter mile (hence the name). the American Quarter Horse has been clocked at 55 mph. We can easily imagine that speed in our car, but a horse has no windshield.  Races of 550 yards or less are run on straight courses; one or part of one turn may be used in the lengthier (“hook”) races.

Are Quarter Horses really faster than Thoroughbreds?

 Quarter Horses averaged faster speeds than Thoroughbreds even when Thoroughbreds were raced at a distance (402 m) similar to Quarter Horse races. ... In short races, both breeds accelerate throughout the race. Arabians, despite being known for endurance, had slowed by the end of the race.


Information on tracks can be found here.

It’s essential to know the six types of Quarter Horse races.

  1. Stakes Races

  • These races offer Quarter Horse racing's largest purses.

  • They are races in which the purse consists of nomination, and/or starting fees, plus money added by the track or sponsor.

  • These races generally attract the highest quality horses and are abbreviated by the name of the stakes. For example: Allamerfut 1 meaning All American Futurity (G1).

  • Graded races are the premier stakes races, whereby a Grade 1 (G1), Grade 2 (G2) or Grade 3 (G3), designate the class of horses participating.

  • The size of purse, amount of added money and the historical significance of the race also are determining factors in the grade status.

  • Grade 1 (G1) is the highest designation.

  • Some stakes races are restricted to horses bred in a particular state or to horses by participating stallions.

  • Some restricted races are graded, whereby a restricted Grade 1 (RG1), restricted Grade 2 (RG2) or restricted Grade 3 (RG3) designate the class of horses participating.

  1. Handicap Races

  • These races feature better-quality horses to which the racing secretary or track handicapper assigns weights designed to equalize the winning chances of entrants.

  • The better horses get higher weights to enable a horse with a lesser record to have a chance at winning. The designation HDCP is utilized.

  1. Claiming Races

  • Claiming races are the most common, constituting approximately 70 percent of all races run.

  • In these races, horses are entered for a specific price and can be purchased or “claimed” by any licensed owner at the track for that price.

  • This tends to equalize the class or competition in these races.

  • An owner who has a $25,000 horse is not going to put him in a race with a field of $5,000 claimers for fear that someone would claim his horse at a greatly reduced value.

  • These races are designated by the claiming price (5000). A “C” in front of the claiming price in the past performance line means the horse was claimed in that race.

  1. Allowance Races

  • An allowance race is a non-claiming race for better quality or more lightly raced horses.

  • These races generally offer higher purses than claiming races.

  • Eligibility requirements and conditions are similar to those of claiming races, and weight allowances are given based on winnings and/or number or type of wins in a given time.

  • These races are designated by ALW plus the purse (ALW12500).

  1. Maiden Races

  • Maiden (MDN) races are limited to horses that have never won a race.

  • There are two types of maiden races: “Maiden Special Weights” for better horses and “Maiden Claiming,” which is designated by the claiming price (MD5000).

  1. Trial

  • A trial (TRL) race is designed to determine the qualifiers for a final, based on the fastest qualifying times or order of finish.

  • A TRL might be run as a purse race, or it might be run without a purse.

The Triple Crown of Quarter-Horse Racing is a series held at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. The series includes the Kansas Futurity (June), Rainbow Futurity (July), and All-American futurity – where purses are worth up to $1 million.


In The Texas Cowboy, Ash (the hero) returns to Texas after being raised in England. He finds that his father has been breeding racing Quarter Horses. Trish (the heroine) is passionately devoted to these horses, and she’s afraid that Ash will sell the quarter horses and bring his thoroughbreds from England. Speaking as a horsewoman, I know what a big conflict this is, but I’m not sure people who aren’t devoted to them will see it.  Do you think that this is a big deal between a woman and a man?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Trish ignored his joke about taking care of her. “Well, thank you, Miss Whatever-your-name-is.” When she shot him a glance, he saw the sadness in her eyes before jealousy evaporated it like the morning dew. He couldn’t allow Trish to think he’d made love to her last night, knowing Dorothy would arrive today. Or thinking he’d sleep with the other woman tonight. Embarrassed as well as annoyed, he flushed to the roots of his hair.  Dorothy leapt into his hesitation, offering Trish a handshake.

I’m Dorothy Applewhite.” The Duchess stared down from her superior height of five-six. “I arrived with the horses, more or less.”

I’m Trish. Nice to meet you.” Nothing could sound less like the truth.

He looked from one woman to the other. “Dorothy, how did you happen to arrive minutes after the horses were unloaded?”

His ex-girlfriend winked, squeezing his arm against her breast. “Trev mentioned the name of the transport company. I rang them and, using your stable name, was told the shipment would arrive this week. You’d given me the name of the town. I consulted my travel agent and here I am. I wanted to surprise you. I’ve missed you, Ash-Dahling.”

Ash-Dahling has been busy managing this big old ranch…” Trish batted big innocent eyes and continued in a honeyed voice, “I imagine, that is.”

Dorothy simply stared at the other woman, probably trying to decide if the cowgirl in a red Marathon shirt and figure-hugging jeans was competition. Not Trish’s usual barn clothes. Had she dressed to impress him? Maybe before the horses were unloaded and the duchess arrived. Now, she only wanted to impress one thing upon him. Go to hell.

Trish cast a meaningful glance at Ash, then attacked her opponent with fine-edged sarcasm. “Your white studded jeans are just the thing for the wild west.”

Thank you.” Dorothy smoothed a hand down her shapely hip. “I ordered them from an American western wear store just for this trip. The shirt, as well. Do people really wear these small string ties?” She flipped the ends of the Bolo, and Ash almost choked trying not to laugh.

Must be hysteria. This was no laughing matter.

I don’t personally.” Trish leaned closer, pretending to admire the pearl snaps on Dorothy’s western shirt. “Yeah, really nice.”

I haven’t seen a lot of people—in fact, not even one—wearing a Bolo.” Ash shoved his hands into his pockets. He felt naked, exposed, and a feeling he hated–vulnerable. “Maybe Sunday for church.”

Church?” Trish barked a laugh.

Frowning, he suggested, “A country and western bar?”

I prefer dives, sir. Country music, with or without a worn flag painted on the floor, lots of beer, and the Texas two-step.” Trish was no longer laughing, nor did she look very sassy. Was she angry enough to cry…or hurt enough to be angry?

You two don’t get in an argument about my little tie. You may have it if you like.” His former girlfriend slid a possessive hand around his elbow. “I have Ash here. Dear, my bags are in the boot. Will you ask someone to take them to your room?”

Ash squared his shoulders. “I’ll ask Danita to prepare a guest room.”

Are you still redecorating the Master Bedroom?” Trish was digging his grave deeper with a guileless smile.

She did not mean the redecorating question to be helpful, but he could turn it around on her. Though after the funeral, he’d moved into the Master Suite, he’d been too busy to make many changes. Marathon was a jealous lover.

I am.” He looked from one to the other. “Still redecorating.”

The two women frowned. Each one affixed her chilly gaze to him.

Ash wanted to squirm, but a good rabbit knows that any movement only incites the hawk. “Let’s get you settled. Trish, if you need anything, call me. As I said, you’re very welcome to stay here.” Please.

Will do, Ash.” Trish placed warm emphasis on his name, but the look she leveled at him gave him frostbite.

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Linda Nightingale is an award-winning author, writing across the genres in romance from vampires to androids to angels. Among others, she won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award for Excellence (the Maggie) and the SARA Merritt award. Her vampire books have been called the Anne Rice of paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she bred, trained, and showed the magnificent Andalusian horse and owned a national champion stallion, Bonito.


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  1. Happy Friday! I absolutely love the cover and synopsis, this is a must read for me. Thank you for sharing the author's guest post and book details

  2. Thanks, Bea. Happy Friday to you! I sincerely hope you enjoy The Texas Cowboy. Because of the character's personalities, this was a really fun book to write.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, bn100. It was an interesting book to write because I didn't kn0w if non-horse people would understand what a big deal selling Quarter horses and importing THoroughbreds would be to the heroine. I had to think of other conflict and I was halfway through the book!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, he is. He's got a wicked gleam in his eye! Does he remind you vaguely of Pierce Brosnan?

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