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I have some great memories of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in years past, but none very recent. 🙁 So, I thought I’d share a snippet that takes place at next hero Sam O’Neal’s annual fundraiser at the Rocking M ranch. (This appears as an epilogue in HER COWBOY VALENTINE and will also serve as the prologue in HER TWINS’ REAL FATHER (to make it a true stand-alone book, as well as a continuity series.)

St. Patrick’s Day
Rocking M Ranch
Whiskey Ridge, California

       Sam O’Neal tapped the toe of his cowboy boot to the beat of the Irish band Josh somehow procured at the last minute. Sam’s regular D.J. wasn’t too happy to be sitting out this annual event, but by the looks of the happy faces all around him, live music was the one thing that had been missing from his St. Patrick’s Day barn dance.
       “Great party,” someone shouted over the music. Sam nodded his greeting to TJ Huey, who looked dapper in a crisply pressed black shirt with a kelly-green western string tie.
       Sam motioned for TJ and fiancé Paige Jackson to follow as he stepped around one of the pyramids of hay bales that helped absorb the sound and provided a place to sit when your feet got tired of dancing.
       “Thanks. I don’t know where Josh found these guys, but they’re really good.”
       He shook TJ’s hand and smiled at the pretty woman at his side. “Nice to see you again, Paige. Doc’s been singing your praises. How are the wedding plans coming?”
       The lovely blonde held up both thumbs. “We’re all booked. It really helps having a local on the ground in Vegas.”
       “Especially a local with a platinum credit card,” TJ put in.
       Paige’s laugh warmed Sam’s heart. He couldn’t have been happier for his old friend, who’d been through lot of disappointments and heartache over the years.
       Haven’t we all?
       Out of habit, Sam scanned the crowd for his brother. Is he over-doing? Drinking too much? Alcohol was sugar, and sugar fed cancer cells. Josh’s doctors may claim his last scan proved he was cancer free, but Sam heard that before where his late stepdad was concerned.
       His tension eased when he spotted Josh and Jenny talking beside the smorgasbord of classic Irish dishes—or the Americanized version of them. Jenny didn’t appear happy. No surprise. She and Sam had one thing common--they both worried more about Josh’s health than Josh did.
       “So, have you two been dancing?”
       Paige blushed. “I never really learned. Always had my nose in a book, I guess. But the music makes me want to learn.”
       Sam made an ushering motion toward the dance floor. “Aw, just dance. Nobody will judge. I promise. We’re all just here to have fun and let off a little steam after a long winter.”
       TJ and Paige exchanged a look that said things mere words couldn’t.
       Envy—not something Sam often felt—pricked the thick shield around his heart. Of course, it was hard not to be a bit wistful around Josh and Jenny. Even though he couldn’t be happier that his brother found his soul mate—Josh’s words, not Sam’s—Sam knew it unlikely that he’d wind up with that kind of relationship.
       He’d heard it said a person can’t miss what he’s never known, but Sam didn’t think that was true.
       He’d have given anything to share the kind of love he knew existed between TJ and Paige and Josh and Jenny. But some things just weren’t meant to be.
       “I should play host and check on the food. You guys have fun. I’ll see you in Vegas, if not before.”
       He watched them melt into the crowd before turning to thread his way through the revelers. The closer he got to the buffet table the clearer it became the lovebirds were arguing about something.
       “I’m gonna ask him.”
       “Don’t you dare. We have still options.”
       “This is the best one.”
       “It’s not right.”
       “But it’s not wrong, either.”
       “Hey, you two, what’s up? Why aren’t you dancing to the great band you found, little brother?”
       Josh—the kid Sam always thought had the looks of a movie star—dropped his chin and gave his wife a look that clearly warned he was about to say something she wasn’t going to like. “Hello, Sam, we were just arguing about you.”
       “Well, your sperm, actually.”

Copyright © Debra Salonen ~ All Rights Reserved

May the luck of the Irish be with you! "Sláinte!" (Pronounced slawn-CHA, in case you wondered. 😉)

Remodeling update:


This is a huge leap forward, even though the guys still have the gable ends to finish. But, as Paul says, “The hard part is done.” Honestly? It’s all hard.

PLUS, the master bath is rocked! So proud of these two!

Last week's Q&A was: Have you had your Covid vaccine shot?

Thanks to all who answered. It was really interesting to hear from other parts of the world. Italy: very limited supply going to healthcare workers and people over 80. Trinidad and Tabago: limited supply spread between other island nations, with some vaccine donations from neighboring mainland countries. (Can you imagine being away from home when the pandemic started and not being able to return to your home for over a year? Apparently, this happened to a number of residents in T&T. So grateful to Judith for sharing.) Canada: appears to have four vaccines in use.

Nearly everyone was either one shot, both shots, or eager to get in line. A few said they didn’t plan to get the vaccine. I’m getting my second shot next week and plan to celebrate with an RV getaway. I can’t wait to share the pics with you.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Connie Toler
Joan Harris

(Connie and Joan congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&ADo you sleep with a light on? Yes or No?

Our youngest granddaughters spent the weekend with us and we left a light on for them. I woke up once and was so confused. LOL. Guess you can say I prefer the dark.

Speaking of the girls, here’s a pic from our playtime at a neighborhood park. It was a perfect spring day. Our dog, Jessie, was so happy to be included.

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.

Stay well, my friends, and happy reading,


Next week: DST strikes again!

Debra Salonen's Book List

Montana Blueprint for Love
Meet Me in Montana
All the Stars in Montana

Her Forever Cowboy
Never Say Never
Caleb's Christmas Wish
A Baby After All
Love, After All
That Cowboy's Forever Family
Forever and Ever, by George

Prince Charming Undercover
The Daddy Gamble
Risky Baby Business
A Match Made in Vegas

Montana Secret Santa
Sweet Summer's Kiss

Black Hills Baby
Black Hills Billionaire
Black Hills Bad Boy
Black Hills Bachelor
Black Hills Native Son
Black Hills Outcast
Black Hills White Knight
Black Hills Rancher
Black Hills Stranger
Black Hills Legacy

Montana Cowgirl
Montana Cowboy
Montana Darling
Montana Maverick
Montana Gift
Montana Miracle

Her Hero to Love
Her Rogue to Tame
Her Rebel to Kiss



Copyright © 2021 Debra Salonen