Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cue the Marching Band

You’d think that I’d be used to it by now. After all, Rodeo Daughter is my third book for Harlequin American Romance. Yet, I can’t deny it. When I open the front door and see a box from Harlequin on the porch, I get goose bumps. Truly. Goosebumps. I only wish I'd known the books were on their way. I'd have hired a marching band to accompany the UPS man on his way up the sidewalk.

Opening the box, pulling that first copy of a book—my book!—from it. Well, that makes my tummy all a-flutter. What’s the first thing I do? Yes, I know. I should start contacting reviewers and sending them advance copies--that's why I get these books ahead of time, after all.

But for a few minutes, I can't resist. I fan the pages and inhale deeply. There’s nothing like the smell of a freshly printed book. Especially when you’ve poured your heart and soul into it, the way I did with Rodeo Daughter.

I guess that’s because Amanda and Mitch’s story included so many aspects of my own life. No, I’m not a lawyer. Or the divorced single parent of a four-year-old. But growing up on Florida’s east coast, I looked forward every year to the big Silver Spurs Rodeo in nearby Kissimmee. I spent the intervening months mucking stalls at a local riding stable. Each weekend, I plodded down dusty trails on horses that wouldn’t know what to do in a barrel race. But at night, I dreamed of becoming a rodeo star.

Rodeo Daughter is the closest I’ve come to achieving that dream. The heroine of this book, Amanda Markette, rode her way to a gold buckle in Las Vegas before walking away from the professional rodeo circuit to earn a degree in family law. After spending years performing in one arena after another, Amanda longed to put down roots. She swore that, if and when she ever married, home and family would be her number one priority.

His career is lead prosecutor Mitch Goodwin’s number one priority. He stands on the brink of achieving all he’s ever wanted when the DA plans to name Mitch as his successor. But the last person Mitch expects to represent his ex-wife in a custody suit for his adorably head-strong daughter is none other than Amanda Markette, the girl he fell head-over-heels for one summer at rodeo camp. And when a playground mishap forces Mitch and Amanda to spend time together they walk an ethical tightrope as old feelings come to the surface again.

I hope you enjoy reading Amanda and Mitch’s story as much as I loved writing it. Rodeo Daughter is slated for release in early June.


Amanda Renée said...

I'm excited for you! Looking forward to reading Rodeo Daughter :)

Leigh Duncan said...

Thanks, Amanda! And major congrats on your DOUBLE TROUBLE sale to Harlequin American!!

CJ said...

Congratulations Leigh--Rodeo Daughter sounds like a terrific story.

And I agree, it's always exciting when a box full of your books arrives on the doorstep!

Leigh Duncan said...

CJ--you have a new book out, too, don't you? The Gift. Love your Superromances and bet this one is wonderful, too.

linda s said...

Looking forward to your new book. I can feel your goosebumps. One of my friends in high school was the National Barrel Riding Champion. A lot of dedication to reach such heights.

Anonymous said...

I love the cover. I'd be more than happy anytime to read one for you. :-) It is on my to be read list.

Sara said...

It is such a great feeling to open that box of books...Congrats!

Looking forward to finding it on the book shelves soon...

Anonymous said...

Late to the party - CONGRATS! on book 3 and getting the books in the mail.

If I saw the UPS truck pull up in front of my house and saw the Harlequin box, I'd run out and scare the heck out of him!