Friday, October 12, 2018

Hero Profile & Excerpt ~ THE RANCHER TAKES A FAMILY by Paula Altenburg

The Rancher Takes a Family (Montana McGregor Brothers, #1)
by: Paula Altenburg
Series: The Montana McGregor Brothers
Genre: Western Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 11, 2018
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Rugged rancher Jake McGregor wrangles cattle better than kids, but when he's suddenly saddled with three grieving children, he's determined to step up. His sister's kids shouldn't pay for her error in judgment in naming him guardian. Problem is, he doesn't have a clue what he's doing. And the woman who attempts to help with his every fumble is the one woman he wants to steer clear of...

Lacey Anderson loves a challenge, but Jake's already broken her heart once. When his tall shadow darkens the doorway of her classroom, she's ready to shut him out - until she meets her new students, and sees the desperation in Jake's eyes. Emotional intelligence is so not his forte. But she's done banging her head against that wall.

Jake, however, is finally ready to learn how to love and Lacey’s the teacher he wants. Is she willing to risk her own heart again to teach him?

Jake has green eyes, not blue.
Name: Jake McGregor

Age: 33

Date of birth: May 3rd

Physical Description: Tall and broad, dark hair, green eyes that really stand out.

Occupation: Rancher

3 likes in no particular order: Easy. Lacey, teaching Lacey to fish, and drinking lattes with Lacey—in that order.

3 dislikes in no particular order: Crowds, nosy neighbors, and my brother Zack’s weak stomach. I’m pretty sure he uses it as an excuse to get out of changing diapers.

Drink of choice: Lattes. I like to support the local dairy producers.

Favorite food: Lemon custard pie. Lacey remembered it’s my favorite and did a pretty good job on the one she made especially for me. It’s the thought that counts most, but it was also tasty.

Favorite song: The Sound of Silence by Disturbed. Lacey sometimes complains that I can be too intense and I can’t say she’s wrong.

Choice of transportation: It’s a toss-up between my horse and my truck. I like riding out into the badlands behind the Wagging Tongue Ranch so I can be by myself and think, but there’s something to be said for quiet conversation in the cab of my truck with Lacey, or my ten-year-old nephew Mac. You learn a lot about what kids are thinking when you’ve got them trapped and they have no one else to talk to.

Favorite way to spend an evening: Babysitting with Lacey. Hands down. The kids are tucked in bed and she’s snuggled up on the sofa with me. Life doesn’t get any better. Being with her reminds me of the things that are important.

Best memory to date: My first date with Lacey when she was sixteen. She was the prettiest girl in school and I was the luckiest guy.

If you could have a do over, what would you do differently? I’d make sure that the important people in my life know how much they mean to me because you never know when it might be too late.

Is it possible to survive tragedy and find happiness again? I have to be honest. I’ve been so busy making sure my niece and nephews are looked after that I haven’t really had the time to deal with my own feelings about losing my parents and sister. And my brother-in-law. He was a good guy. But as far as happiness goes, I’ve definitely found that with Lacey. I wouldn’t have made it this far without her.

Most romantic gesture: One I’ve made, or one that was made for me? The romantic gesture I’d planned for Lacey the night of my senior prom blew up in my face, so I’m not much of an expert. And as far as romantic gestures Lacey makes… All she has to do is smile at me, and I’m hers.

Words to live by: “Chin up, chest out.”

He peeled the youngest child off his thigh. “Here, Mac,” he instructed the oldest in a whiskey-soaked voice that set her backbone on fire despite her lack of interest in both hard liquor and cowboys. “Walk Finn to his classroom. He’ll be fine with Mrs. Penney.”

Lacey couldn’t take any more. The playground was teeming with tiny observers, and this wasn’t the kind of first impression these boys needed to make. They’d be eaten alive. MacKenzie, the older of the two Williams children, would be her student next year. Since Jake couldn’t figure out a better way to manage this situation, she’d have to step in.

She straightened her shoulders, lifted her chin, and summoned her brightest, let’s-all-get-along smile reserved for her most difficult parents and approached them. “Mr. McGregor.”

Jake looked up. Surprise, along with the morning sun, glinted off thick, jaw-dropping black eyelashes. Whether the surprise was caused by the sight of her, or from being called Mr. McGregor, she couldn’t be sure.

He slow-blinked. “Lacey. I didn’t know you taught here.”

His obliviousness stung. Population-wise, Grand didn’t live up to its name. She’d been away for a decade, yes, but word got around. Everyone knew she was back. At the very least, her name would have been on the staff roster included with the welcome packet when he registered the boys. If he hadn’t made the connection, then she’d broken the wrong nose way back when.

She upped her smile’s wattage. Her friend Mara would have warned him to run.

Instead, he smiled back.

And… it was her turn to blink. He might be hard. He might be out of touch with his feelings. But he was also so, so incredibly hot. Her hormones reminded her of why he was the first boy she’d ever allowed to reach second base. If he’d taken her to that prom, no doubt he’d have crossed home plate, too. She’d given it plenty of thought.

Teenage girls were so stupid.

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Paula Altenburg grew up in rural Nova Scotia knowing that at some point in her life she was likely to be a fiction writer. Swapping Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey books with her father guaranteed she wasn’t going to be the next Jane Austen, much to the dismay of her English teacher mother.

A degree in Social Anthropology from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, again meant writing was the logical (meaning only) career path for her, although it did confirm her belief that learning is a life-long experience. She’s taken business courses, writing courses, and physiology of aquatic animals courses, all at the university level and all for fun.

She has worked in the Aerospace industry, although now makes writing her full-time career. Happily married, with two terrific sons, she continues to live in rural Nova Scotia but makes a point of traveling as much as she can.

She reads in all genres, but fantasy and contemporary romance are her writing loves.

Places to find Paula Altenburg:


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