Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Contest! Read Murphy's Law and win two ebooks!

My new mainstream romance, Murphy's Law, went on sale Tuesday. This story is very near and dear to my heart because it brings the reader into a world I'm lucky enough to know -- the world of horseracing. It's also a three-time finalist in national writing contests. I couldn't be prouder of this book.

Just for BookStrand readers, I am having a contest. Any BookStrand reader who buys Murphy's Law and emails me offline ( to tell me they saw this post and give me the name of the two-year-old stakes horse Katie is given to take Seth under her wing will be put into a drawing to win an ebook of my first book, Turning Thirty-Twelve, and a copy of the Murphy's Law sequel, Free Falling, when it releases in April. This contest only runs through 6PM EST on Monday. From all the emails with correct answers, I'll draw a name at random to receive the ebooks Turning Thirty-Twelve and Free Falling. Be sure and cut/paste your receipt for your purchase of Murphy's Law into your email.

I'm posting an excerpt for Murphy's Law. I hope you enjoy it. :-)



Murphy's Law ~ Ebook link:


Seth Remington had a fortune at his fingertips, but something was missing in his life. Purpose.
Knowing he has one last chance to redeem his son, terminally ill Sterling Remington rewrites his will. To earn his inheritance, his son Seth must labor as a groom for a horse trainer.

Katie Murphy's orderly existence is turned upside down by Sterling Remington's will. Raised on hard work and dedicated to her harness racing stable, Katie agrees to take Seth on as a groom. How can she ever fulfill the challenge of instilling a work ethic in Seth and still keep her faltering stable running?

Kept at arm's length by the strict terms of Sterling's will, Seth and Katie are forced to struggle with their growing attraction until a devastating racing accident forces them to take a hard look at their relationship. How much is he willing to risk for her love?


All Seth could do was sit and stare at the blank screen as a mixture of anger and grief twisted through his mind. The Old Man had really done it this time. Sure, he'd threatened before. Lots of times. But he'd damn well done it this time.

Arthur's voice finally worked its way through Seth's mental haze. "Seth, it's not so bad. You just have to be like everybody else for a while. Not long. Just a season."

"How... how long's a season?" Seth asked even though he wasn't really certain he wanted to know the answer.

"We're training for it now. We race from the beginning of April to the middle of November," Katie answered even though her attention didn't seem to be directed toward Seth.
She appeared to be every bit as disturbed by the turn of events, but instead of becoming catatonic, she busily flipped through the pages of the packet Arthur had handed her. She'd drawn her lips so tight, they were nothing but a thin line. "I don't get it," she said each time she turned to a new page.

Ross finally took Katie's packet off the table. He turned to a specific page, put it back in front of her, and pointed out an important passage. She read it. "So that's all I get for doing this? That's it?"

"That and the weekly stipend," Ross replied.

She'd piqued Seth's curiosity. "Well? What does she get?"

"A horse. A stakes horse," Katie responded. Her eyes slowly scanned Seth from his head to his feet. "A two-year old Indiana-sired stakes horse. I'm not sure you're worth it."

"What the hell is a stakes horse?" Seth asked. If it was some multimillion-dollar champion, at least it would make him feel as if his life had some value.

"It's a horse that's paid up to race in special races. But it's a two-year old. It might not even make it to the track this year. Or ever," she explained, still flipping through the papers.

Even though he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know the answer, Seth had to ask, "What do you mean about not making it to the track?"

"Some two-year olds aren't mature enough to race well. You spend a lot of time getting them ready, and all you get for your effort is massive frustration," Katie replied. She looked as aggravated as he felt.

"Beautiful. Just beautiful." Seth used his fingertips to massage his now aching forehead.
Katie didn't appear much happier. Perhaps his father had insulted her when he implied she was the kind of woman whose common sense and business practices could be influenced by a handsome face.

Ross leaned toward Katie, put a hand on her shoulder, and said, "Katie, it's a really good horse. Sterling knew you wanted to stay in Indiana, so he had some of his people check around for one of the best two-year olds out there. He probably paid more for the animal than it's worth to get it for you. Plus, you get a new groom you don't have to pay."

"That's it? I still don't get it. Why me? Why'd he pick me?"

"Sterling called you `quality.' It was the highest compliment he'd give to anyone, trust me," Arthur replied.

"A whole season? What if he doesn't work hard? What if he's not good with my horses?"

Although he understood Katie's concern about the impact this would have on her stable, Seth cared more about what was happening to him. Thoroughly pissed off at the whole proceeding, he scoffed a laugh. "What if we just pretend I work for you? No one would have to know anything." Once said aloud, the ridiculous suggestion didn't sound so farfetched to him. Then he realized he was grasping at proverbial straws. His father's will had left no wiggle room.

About the time it appeared everyone had mercifully ignored him again, Katie spoke up. "There are no secrets in the barn."

"Excuse me?" Seth asked. This woman seemed to have a language all her own, and he hated realizing she could make him feel so ignorant.

"Everyone would know. There are no secrets in the barn," she answered as if that explanation should suffice.Ross arched an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

Katie's heavy sigh conveyed her frustration. "I know you don't get it. You guys have never been in racing. Everyone at the track always knows everybody else's business. We're together almost twenty-four seven. If you were around a track, you'd understand. It's absolutely impossible to keep anything a secret."

Arthur chuckled. "Reminds me of this office."

Ross smiled and nodded at Arthur. He turned back to Seth. "Can we get back to the business at hand? It's entirely up to you, Katie. When it's all said and done, you get to decide if he's earned his money."

"I don't want that kind of responsibility," she replied, shaking her head.

"You don't have to take him, Katie, but this is a fantastic opportunity for you. Let's go talk in my office." Ross pulled her chair away from the table. Katie stood up, grabbed her papers, and trailed him out of the conference room without a backward glance. Seth's eyes followed her closely as she walked past the glass walls and disappeared.

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