Love Bytes is delighted to reveal the brand new cover to Tory Temple her upcoming Dreamspinner Press release “Down in the Dirt”.
Tory shows the cover, shares an excerpt and also brought along a giveaway for our readers 🙂
Hello everyone! I’m Tory and I’m really, REALLY happy about this cover reveal! This is an old novel of mine that’s been edited and polished and has a brand new name! Down in the Dirt was formerly published as Tabula Rasa, but after an extensive re-read, I didn’t feel that really told much about Teagan and Cash’s story. If you’re a cowboy fan, a rodeo fan, or just a fan of two strong, stubborn men together, you’ll enjoy this one!
HERE WE GO!!
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover artist: Maria Fanning
Rodeo cowboy Teagan has inherited his father’s ranch, and it’s in a bad way. To pay his bills, he’ll have to work the rodeo circuit hard, and for that he needs a partner. Team roper Cash is just the ticket. He’s not the friendliest sort, but he has a good seat and a better roping arm, so Teagan takes Cash on. As they get to know each other, things heat up fast. Maybe too fast.
When Teagan finds out he’s not the only one Cash has in the saddle, he thinks they’re over for good. But then Cash has had an accident, and Teagan cares too much about Cash to abandon him. But how will he deal with a new Cash, one with no memory of being a bit of an asshole—or of a relationship with Teagan? And how will Cash react when he realizes Teagan has been less than forthcoming about their past together?
It was easy as that. Teagan blinked and pushed himself off the rail, wandering down a ways until he neared the end of the line. A lean-looking cowboy stood a little farther apart from the others, a strand of alfalfa between his teeth and a booted foot on the fence.
Teagan moved to the man’s left side, away from the rest of the guys. Word would get out soon enough that he was looking to coerce Cash into roping with him, but Teagan was trying to tamp down the gossip for a while. Cowboys were worse than anyone when it came to rumors and chitchat.
He didn’t receive so much as a sideways glance from Cash. Teagan wondered briefly if the guy had taken a hit or two from Don’s fists last night. It would be a shame if one or both of those pretty eyes were swelled shut.
“You a bull rider?” Teagan asked, even though he already knew the answer to that. A head shake was the only response Cash gave him.
Teagan thought for a moment. There were two types of cowboys: the ones who hung around in packs and gossiped like chickens in the henhouse, and the ones who prided themselves on being the exact opposite. The strong, silent type, to coin a phrase. The fact that Teagan himself didn’t actually fit into either of those categories was not lost on him, but he kind of liked it that way. He got information when he needed it and was left alone when he didn’t.
He tried again, tentatively. “Haven’t seen you in Pine Bluffs before.” Lame, but where the hell was he really supposed to be going with this? “I’m Teagan.”
Cash did turn to look at him then. “I know who you are,” he responded, turquoise eyes flashing from under the brim of his battered black Stetson. “You’re Alex Rafferty’s kid.”
Teagan’s gaze landed first on Cash’s cut lip and then on his bruised cheek. Yep, the guy had taken a punch or two. “Ain’t been a kid for nearly twenty years. But yeah.”
Cash shrugged and turned away from him again. The alfalfa straw in his mouth moved slightly as he spoke. “If you’re talking to me, then you know who I am. Might as well tell me what you want.”
A flash of unexpected shame told Teagan that he wasn’t going to be able to bluff his way out of it. Clearly the man was used to being ignored, so much so that he was suspicious of anyone who tried to make a friendly overture. “I want to know what kind of rodeo you ride, if it ain’t bulls.”
“Rope steer” was the curt answer.
“Ever been a team roper?”
“Not much of a team player. That’s what I been told.”
“That isn’t really what I asked you.” Teagan pressed his luck a little bit. He had nothing to lose at this point. Cash would either say yes or tell him to fuck right off. Desperation was Teagan’s motivator, especially since now the Pine Bluffs rodeo was twelve days away, and then it was on to Cheyenne after that, and then up to Butte… there was no damn time for Teagan to dick around.
“Yup,” Cash finally said, eyes on the grazing bulls. “Long time ago.”
“Head or heel?” Teagan asked him.
“Both, when necessary. Was better at heading. S’why I rope steer nowadays.”
Well, that was more information than Cash had offered in the past five minutes. Teagan’s confidence was bolstered. “Can I buy you a beer?”
“Nine in the morning.” If Teagan knew the man slightly better, he might think he detected a faint trace of humor.
“Cup of coffee, then. And possibly some of Tiffy’s biscuits and sausage gravy.” He was hoping his impatience didn’t show.
Cash pushed off the rail and turned to study Teagan. “You wanna buy me breakfast?” One pale blond brow was arched nearly to his hairline.
“I want to talk to you. If it involves breakfast, then yeah.”
Tory Temple lives and works in southern California where she happens to spend a lot of time around firefighters. It makes for excellent storytelling, so Tory definitely uses that to her advantage! She is guardian to three pit bulls who only attack with kisses, two snobby cats, as well as other assorted friends from the animal kingdom. (Husband included.) Her fondest wish is to be a stay-at-home dog mom. You can tempt her with promises of cheese and/or Mexican food. On Saturday nights, she is usually watching Netflix and thinking about how to get the newest firemen in her head to hook up. Tory loves reader e-mails and looks forward to hearing from anyone who wants to drop her a line.
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