Jen: Today we welcome Barbara White Daille to Romancing the Book. Barbara, will you share a short bio with us?
Barbara: Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny U.S. Southwest, where they don’t mind the lizards in their front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
A writer from the age of nine and a novelist since eighth grade, Barbara is now an award-winning author with a number of novels to her credit.
The first book in The Hitching Post Hotel series, The Cowboy’s Little Surprise, has just been released (April 2015) and will be followed by A Rancher of Her Own in July and an as-yet-untitled book in December.
You can find info about Barbara and her books at the following locations:
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Barbara: The latest release debuted just this week! The Cowboy’s Little Surprise is book one in a series, The Hitching Post Hotel, in which a matchmaking grandpa wants to find mates for his three granddaughters. The idea was a sort of chicken-and-egg story, meaning it’s hard to tell which came first.
The idea of the matchmaker came to me initially but was followed almost immediately by a glimmer of the first book. As I plotted the series, I bounced back and forth between the two.
The Cowboy’s Little Surprise tells the story of Jed Garland’s youngest granddaughter, a single mom whose life is turned upside-down when her former high-school crush returns to town and discovers the secret she has kept from him.
This blurb from the book itself probably says it best:
THE LONG WAY HOME
A guy like Cole Slater is hard to forget. Tina Sanchez should know—for years since high school she’s tried to bury the pain of Cole’s cruel betrayal. But it’s impossible to ignore the man she sees reflected in her young son’s eyes now that Cole is back in her life—and about to meet the child he never knew he had.
Returning home to New Mexico, Cole is determined to put his playboy reputation to rest. Especially now that he knows there’s a little boy looking up to him. And seeing Tina again reignites all the feelings Cole ran from as a teen. Despite his fear that he can’t be the man Tina deserves, he’s determined to try. For his son’s sake—and his own.
In the Hitching Post’s dining room, Tina looked from the pot of coffee in front of Cole to his comfortably sprawled position at the table. Both told her he wouldn’t be in a rush to leave.
He gestured to the empty chair across from his. “Join me?”
“I’ve already eaten.” She clamped her hands around the order pad. She had work to do. A long list of reasons to stay away from him. A longer list of reasons to take Robbie out of this room. She had an even more pressing need to find out what Cole was up to. “Robbie is only a four-year-old,” she said, speaking softly but struggling to keep her tone even. “You can’t just walk in here out of nowhere and turn his life upside-down.”
“You really think that’s what I’ve come to do?” He waved as if to brush the question away. “No, don’t answer that. I think I already know.”
“Then what is it you’ve got in mind?”
“Take a seat and you’ll find out.”
At the end of their conversation at his truck the other day, she’d wanted only to get him off the ranch.
Now he was here again and pushing her, she wanted to push back. But that could turn the situation into a custody battle, a fight with them on different sides and her son caught in the middle. She couldn’t risk that.
After a glance at the corner table where the boys sat engrossed in noisy play, she took the seat across from Cole. “What is it you want?”
“To spend some time with my son.”
“But I told you, no one here—” She cut herself off, again unwilling to finish the thought ringing inside her head.
No one here on the ranch knows you’re my child’s father.
Saying it aloud would make it more real—and make her feel somehow more vulnerable to any retaliation Cole might have planned.
Jen: Most romantic date?
Barbara: Dinner at a restaurant near an ocean, followed by something decadent and chocolate for dessert, then a long (slow!) walk on the moonlit beach.
Jen: Favorite picnic food?
Barbara: Cold fried chicken and macaroni salad. And of course, something chocolate for dessert!
Jen: Favorite outfit?
Barbara: Flannel p.j.s and a warm afghan—only because that means I’d be sitting curled up with a good book.
Jen: Song that you put on replay.
Barbara: We’ve Got Tonight by Bob Seger
Jen: Decorating style?
Barbara: Southwestern minimalist (I may have just invented that.)
Jen: Most surprising item on your bucket list?
Barbara: A visit to Jupiter.
Jen: Print or ebook?
Barbara: Both, but more often print since I’m looking at a computer screen most of the day.
Jen: Fries or onion rings?
Barbara: Onion rings.
Jen: Favorite gift ever received from a fan?
Barbara: A card with a beautiful note about my books and a box of…do I need to say it? : ) …chocolate.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Barbara: I’m working on revisions for the third book in the Hitching Post Hotel series, which has no title yet but will be out in December. This tells the story of Jed Garland’s middle granddaughter, the one he knows will be his biggest matchmaking challenge.
Andi is a recent widow with two small children. Mitch is an L.A. cop recovering from an on-the-job trauma. When he returns to his hometown of Cowboy Creek to recuperate, he discovers the girl he’d once fallen hard for is visiting again, too. Andi had broken his heart one summer when she left her grandfather’s ranch without a word. The conflict between them forces them apart—but her matchmaking grandpa is about to bring them together.