Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday: A Cowboy to Keep


“Hey, kid!”
The boy jolted straight up, turned, and lunged for the fence.
“Wait! Hold it there.” He slammed the gate shut, raced through the corral, and grabbed the running boy by the sleeve of his jacket, jerking him around. The boy writhed like a garden snake, but Cody refused to let go. Finally, the kid ceased moving.
“Let go of me.”
Cody held his sleeve tighter. “Not until you tell me what you’re doing hanging around here. Why are you in the corral with a bunch of bulls? What are you, some kind of fool?”
“I’ll tell you when you let me go.” The kid jerked his arm.
Keep hopping:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Melody in My Head

Welcome back to Harmony's Echo, Texas.....

Melody Roland is on the run from the one person she trusted completely. One who hid a dark past she could never have imagined. When a pregnant woman on the bus she's fleeing on goes into labor, Melody rushes to her aide. Now she finds herself stranded in a tiny remote town just off the highway, with no way to her original destination. 

She's alone, on edge, and unsure who to trust. Her instincts scream to get far away and fast. But how and where?

Jameson Grant struggles through the roughest year of his life. Suffering from the loss of his father, one grief stricken night, he made a mistake. One which cost him the only woman he's ever loved. Each lonely day he's faced with the constant reminders of how quick things can change. Throwing himself into the one thing he has left, his music, helps dull the pain he fights to keep hidden. His last salvation begins to crumble as things spiral out of control and he has no choice but to face the 'music' of his past. 

The last thing he needs or wants in his life is a woman with more trouble on her heels than the best of country music lyrics. But Melody sings a sirens call within him that can't be ignored.

Jameson and Melody bond in ways stronger than either could have imagined, but one dangerous person from her past may threaten it all...

If she doesn't flee before he can convince her to stay, and that some love songs last an eternity.


The door shut softly behind them. Jameson grabbed the lantern from the porch and held it out to Melody. Here. Hold this. We'll need a little bit of light. She took it hesitantly from his hand. Jameson turned away and smiled.

            Carefully holding the guitar case, Jameson climbed the ladder resting on the ride of the house. He should take it down, but until now, he'd forgotten about it. He set the guitar case at the edge of the roof, then glanced down at Melody. Okay, hand me the blankets and the light. He called to her. Stepping down a few rungs, he reached for the requested items.  Once on the roof, he peered back at her again.  Come on up!

            Jameson, what are we doing? But she was laughing. When her head appeared at the top, he held out a hand to her, helping to ease her up onto the roof. He'd already set one blanket down for them to sit on. The other he brought for her in case she got cold.

            Getting a great view of the stars. Jameson pointed.  One of the things he loved about living in a small town was being able to see the sky at night. One of the best views ever.  Melody settled next to him on the blanket, staring at the same direction.

            It's beautiful. I can't remember the last time I just stared at the stars.

            It had been awhile for him, too. But he knew when the last time he'd been up here. 

            Jameson set the lantern at the edge of the blanket and turned on the light. It was bright enough for them to see, but not too bright to ruin the view of the stars.  Are you cold? If you are, I have an extra blanket.  He pointed to it, next to the guitar case.  The only thing I forgot to grab was something to drink.

            Melody laughed. I'll forgive you, you thought of everything else.

            He enjoyed the sound of her laugh. 

            Jameson shook that thought away and reached for his guitar.

            Do you do this often? Come up on the roof late at night with your guitar?

            Not in some time. Jameson held the guitar, pulling a pick out of the case and strummed a few chords. Sometimes, I need a different environment other than the garage, you know? Nice thing is, there aren't a lot of neighbors nearby, so I'm not disturbing anyone.

            It is nice. Melody mused, lying on her back. She crossed her arms behind her head.

            Jameson started to play the chorus to a popular Taylor Swift song. He even sang along, raising his voice a few octaves to mimic the sound. Melody turned her head and laughed.

            I'm not sure that song fits your voice, she teased. She rested her head on her elbow, now interested in watching him.

            Jameson stopped mid-play. No? Damn. Here I thought I was being all cool.

            That got another giggle out of her. You are cool! Just...sing a different song.

            All right, all right. I'll find another song, since my Taylor impersonation isn't appreciated. Jameson pretended to pout, which made Melody laugh again. He was on a roll, and his plan worked. The mood had been lightened.  Okay, how about this?  He started to play and sing an older Shania Twain song.

            Melody sat up, covering her mouth with her hand. He could see her body shaking as she tried to hold in her laughter. You know, Jameson, that don't impress me much, either.

            Pretending to be hurt, he put the guitar down. What am I doing wrong?  Is my singing that bad? That's a first. Usually, I win them all with these songs.

            Oh Jameson. You're so funny.

            Okay, one last time, and hopefully third time will be the charm. Are you ready?  Reaching for his guitar again, Jameson watched her as he started a new tune. This time, he played the tune to the song he'd been working on with her.   Even in the dim light, he noticed her face light up as he sang the first few lines from her song.

            You win, the third time is the charm. Now that fits your voice. Brava! She clapped her hands.

            How about you sing it with me?

            Oh, no. I don't think so.

            Oh come on. Let's serenade the stars. Maybe we'll catch one falling. He pleaded. It's your lyrics. I'd love to hear from coming from your lips.  As he started over on the guitar, he shot her what he hoped was his best pout.

            You're relentless! Melody exclaimed, raising her hands in defeat. She still smiled, though.

            When Jameson got to the chorus, Melody chimed in. He had to force himself to keep going as he listened to her voice. She was pretty good! She had this soft, gentle ease about her voice. It didn't ring out with a lot of power backing her up, but she had a sweet sound that radiated into his mind. He lowered his voice a little bit to let her shine. He couldn't keep his eyes off her as he watched her lips move, and heard the words.

            When they stopped, it was his turn to applaud. You have a great voice. You sounded really good, Melody.

            He wasn't sure, but he thought she was blushing. Melody turned away from him for a second.

            Thank you, Jameson. I'm not one for the spot light, but that was really neat to sing my own lyrics.

            You know, we're still looking for a song or two to add to our demo. I like this one a lot.  What would you think about  putting the finishing touches on it and playing it for the band? As shy as she was about these things, would she even go for that? The words really were great, and he liked the melody he'd put to her words.

            I- are you serious? She sounded caught off guard.

               Jameson nodded, setting his guitar down once again. I am. I like the way it's progressing.  And when you sang with me just now, I liked the idea of having a back up on it. It would be a great addition.

 Baby Stetson Blurb:


Baby Stetson

Love and Music in Texas, Book One


In small Texas towns, strangers come and go...

Left in a Stetson hat, on the steps of the local bed and breakfast, Avery Callimer came into the world on a wing and a prayer. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she's never lacked for love...only the knowledge of her past.

By day she works the Inn, but by night...Avery comes alive as lead singer in a band. Life was good...stable, until new guests blew into town. 

Some strangers come with secrets and lies.

Lucas Bennett is one such stranger. Drifting from one mess to another has left him jaded. Doesn't matter the dramas are never his doing. Giving it one last shot to make a fresh start lands him Harmony's Echo, Texas and smack dab in front of the tantalizing Avery.

Despite his best efforts to ignore the burn Avery's ignited within, he's intent to keep his distance. Secrets have followed him. Secrets he doesn't want Avery to know.

Each time they're near the other things heat up like a brushfire on a dry Texas prairie.

But maybe, after the dust settles and the smoke clears, love can bloom with a fresh start.


Add this book to your goodreads list!






Barnes & Noble:



Other books by Nikki Lynn Barrett
The Secret Santa Wishing Well
Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade. The Secret Santa Wishing Well is her debut book. You can visit Nikki's site at: for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at
@Stormgoddess925 on Twitter

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hot and Deadly blog Hop!

Hot and Deadly Blog Hop

Welcome to the Hot and Deadly blog hop! The grand prize is a $53 giftcard! My prize is a $5 Amazon giftcard.  Leave a comment with your email to qualify!
In my book, Mississippi Blues, Jace Hill has been wrongfully accused and convicted of murder…


Five years ago Trey Bouche found his best friend - with blood on his hands - standing over a body. Although Trey wanted to believe in his friend’s innocence, he was forced to testify in court, and Jace was sent to prison for life. Trey returns determined to prove he was right. Even if it means losing the woman he still loves.
Summer Hill cannot forgive Trey, or his father, the chief of police, for the wrongs she feels they did to her family. When her brother escapes from Angola, Summer vows to keep her brother safe, no matter the cost. Falling back in love with Trey again isn’t an option.
Now, five years later, the past begins to unravel. Reluctantly thrown together, Summer and Trey follow a twisted path that lead them to the truth - Jace didn’t kill anyone and an entire town’s ugly secret is unveiled. But more importantly, can Trey and Summer rediscover the love they lost?
             Something tangible sizzled in the air, an undercurrent of high tension.
            Jace Hill shot a glance around. All the other cons seemed normal, so he pinched his lips together. The last thing he needed was to draw any attention to himself. Angola guards were quick to use their clubs first and slow to ask questions later. Most were overly eager to put anyone in the hole who looked at them the wrong way.
            Jace figured out a long time ago it was safest to keep his head down and his mouth shut. After five years behind the prison’s unforgiving walls, he’d learned the art of living an invisible life. Like a ghost, he moved about praying no one saw him. Keeping low was how he’d survived so far and how he planned to keep on surviving. To the guards, the cons, anyone on the inside, he had no name, no identity beyond the number stenciled across the back of his orange jumpsuit–20010.
               Someone yelled, and the driver tromped on the gas shooting the bus forward. Whether from its unusual speed, or the deep ruts, the vehicle whipped from side to side. One tire dropped into the shallow ditch lining the road, tipping the bus still rolling on two wheels. Shackled to a steel pole, Jace’s arms screamed a protest when the movement jerked him sideways. His limbs stretched so hard he feared them being pulled out of their sockets. The floor seemed as if it were going to fall from under his feet. Shouts and curses filled the air. 
            For a moment, it felt as if the bus would right itself. But instead, it flipped, sliding down an incline. The chains anchoring Jace to the pole broke in half, and he flew like a basketball. Someone’s fist or foot hit him in the face, his ribs slammed into solid metal. He grabbed for something solid, but caught only air. The squeals of tearing tin sounded like a dying animal. Or maybe he only heard his own cries mingling with the others.
            His head crashed into the ceiling and the world went black.
            Gradually the world came back into focus. Jace’s left cheek rested against cool Louisiana dirt, and he tasted blood, dirt, and gasoline. When he gingerly touched the back of his skull, his fingers came away clean. By some miracle, he didn’t have a bashed-in brain. His head hurt worse than the time a guard hit him with a shovel for mouthing off about the shitty food.   
            One at a time, he tested his fingers, arms, and legs.
            All worked, though he hurt like hell.
            He pushed up to a sitting position. His wrists and ankles still wore iron bands, but the force of the wreck had broken the chains. He turned his aching head and saw the other men laying in bloody tangles of flesh and clothing. Snake Wilson lay a few feet away, his sightless eyes staring at the blue sky. Lucky bastard. Jace wished they could trade places.
            The driver hung half in and half out of the shattered front window. Easing his pounding head the other way, Jace looked for the two guards. One lay sprawled in a twisted heap a few feet away, but there was no sign of the other man. Maybe he’d been squashed under the bus. Jace couldn’t muster up any sympathy for him.  
            Completing his perusal of the area, Jace saw something that made his pulse jump. The wreck sheared the razor sharp fence surrounding the perimeter of Angola.
            A chance to escape.


For the other hoppers, click below: