Feature – A Cowboy’s Christmas Promise by Maggie McGinnis

A COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS PROMISE – On sale November 18, 2014

About the book

In a captivating novel spiced with holiday magic—perfect for fans of Rachel Gibson, Susan Mallery, and Molly O’Keefe—a rugged Montana man mends a Northeast girl’s jaded heart.

Boston veterinarian Hayley Scampini tends the city’s pampered pets but dreams of the rural life of a country vet. She’s single and determined to stay that way, convinced that love isn’t permanent enough to trust. Then a vacation to the Whisper Creek dude ranch introduces her to Daniel McKee, a sexy single dad who runs the kind of veterinary practice she aspires to—and rattles her conviction to keep men at a distance.

Managing a thriving practice, coping with the loss of his wife, and fighting a custody battle with his in-laws over his twin daughters, Daniel couldn’t be more overwhelmed. Hayley is a godsend, accompanying him in the field and winning over his girls. It doesn’t take Daniel long to realize he’s falling for this woman, hard and fast. So before Hayley returns to Boston, he extracts a promise: that she will return to Whisper Creek for Christmas. It’s the perfect time and place to show Hayley that the promise of a beautiful life together is something she can believe in.

“So she came back lame last night?” In a roomy stall at Whisper Creek Ranch, Daniel kept one hand on Sky Dancer’s withers while he skated his other down her front leg.

His friend Cole paced the stall, muttering. “We let a Chicago gal take her out alone yesterday. She denies anything happened, but that leg says otherwise.”

Daniel shook his head. Whisper Creek might finally be turning its first profit, but week after week, inexperienced riders arrived in Montana thinking they were going to be bona fide cowboys and cowgirls by the time they left. Cole and his brother Decker had their hands full keeping their horses safe from the city yokels.

“Poor girl.” Daniel kept one eye on the horse and one on the twins, who were at the other end of the stable, checking out the goats. Sky Dancer flinched as Daniel got to a tender spot, but he kept his voice low and his hands steady as he checked her out. “So how’s business this week? Looks like you’re full up, even with the wedding next weekend.”

“We’ve been booked all summer, thanks to that damn website Ma put up. I just wish they were here as much for the horses as they are to score a cowboy fling.”

Daniel laughed. Cole, Decker, and their mother were joint owners of Whisper Creek Ranch, but everyone knew Ma held the proverbial reins. “What’d you think was going to happen when she put those sunset-cowboy shots up on the site?”

“In my defense, we didn’t even see her take those pictures. And I never thought we’d end up listed as one of the top ten girls’ getaway places in Montana.”

“Cole, those pics practically have a Come to Montana—Do a cowboy caption.”

Cole socked him in the arm. “Enough.” He rubbed Sky Dancer’s nose. “So what do you think?”

Daniel straightened up and palmed a carrot nub into the horse’s mouth. “I think this gal gets a vacation for a few days, but she should be fine. Light exercise, no riders, and I’ll check her at the end of the week. Sound good?”

“That’s what I figured, but I wanted your eyes on her.”

Cole led the way out of the stall, then called to Bryn and Gracie. “Hey, girls. Want to see something?” He beckoned toward a stall at the other end of the barn, and the girls leaped up to follow him.

When they got to the last stall, Cole lifted them both up to peer over the top, and they both squealed their little-girl shrieks.

Daniel came up behind them and watched as Bryn and Gracie took in the foal that had been born just days ago. Bryn’s mouth was a perfect O, and her eyes were shining. “Is it a boy? Or a girl?”

“A girl.”

Gracie nodded. “Good. What’s her name?”

“We haven’t decided yet. Do you two have any ideas?”

Bryn wrinkled her nose in concentration. “How about Ariel?”

“Or Jasmine?” Gracie added.

“Rapunzel? She has pretty hair!”

Cole raised his eyebrows at Daniel, only half-suppressing a smile. “Movie week again?”

Daniel shook his head as the names flew out of his girls’ mouths, evidence that they’d spent way too much time in front of the television yet again this week. They were kids’ shows, but still. Guilt clawed at him every time he turned that damn TV on so he could finish his paperwork at night or answer a call from a concerned client.

As if he’d conjured it, his phone started ringing. He cringed, though Cole laughed when he heard it. “Your mother-in-law had better never find out you assigned her that dun-dun-dun-DUN ringtone.”

Gracie picked the phone up from the shelf before Daniel could grab it and send the call to voice mail. “Hi, Nana! Guess what? We’re at the barn, and there’s a baby horse! We’re going to name it Jasmine!”

“Rapunzel!” Bryn muscled in.

Daniel heard Evelyn’s shrill voice, but couldn’t make out the words. She was about two years shy of admitting she needed hearing aids, so in the meantime, she just made like a megaphone and accused everyone else of speaking too quietly.

“Yup! Daddy’s here. Do you want to talk to him?”

Daniel grimaced as he took the phone and headed away from Bryn and Gracie. With the girls, Evelyn was syrupy sweet. But for him, speaking with Evelyn was like chipping at an igloo three miles thick. She’d thawed a bit for the six years he’d been married to her daughter, but after Katie had died and he’d decided to move Gracie and Bryn back to his Montana hometown, the ice walls had thickened considerably.


About the author
Maggie McGinnis is the author of Accidental Cowgirl and Driving Without a License, which was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award. A former high school English teacher, an accomplished musician, and a certified black belt, she lives in New England with her family.

Where to find the author

Where to find the book
Barnes and Noble

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3 Responses to Feature – A Cowboy’s Christmas Promise by Maggie McGinnis

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today!! 🙂


  2. Thank you for hosting today!


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