Widowed rancher Wade Darland freely admits that Tess Vega’s way of thinking has him scratching his head. He believes in shipping old barn animals off to auction, whereas she’s just set up a sanctuary for abused and abandoned horses. He can’t let a day go by without tucking in to some meat, whereas she hears the word and it sends her fleeing.
And then there’s the matter of Wade’s childrenespecially Wade’s young daughter, whose motherless childhood is so similar to Tess’s own.
Tess’s interference in the Darland family circle arouses Wade’s ire, and he implores her to say no to Macy when the little girl starts hanging around.
But after a few more encounters with the spunky redhead, Wade is soon begging the cowgirl to say yesnot just to Macy but to him, too.
About the Author
She soon became interested in junior rodeo and received her first horse - a beautiful palomino quarter horse mare that she named Starfire - at the age of 16. Mott trained the mare herself for rodeo events such as barrel racing and pole bending, and she went on to compete in rodeos and gymkhanas for a number of years. As an adult she moved to the country and has lived on a small farm or ranch (for the most part) ever since.
In the early '80s Mott combined her love of horses and writing, and she began penning nonfiction articles for Horse&Rider magazine and its sister publications. She also wrote numerous short stories in the horror genre under a pseudonym and had a few of them published in pulp magazines.
A short time later she tried her hand at writing romance fiction. After working hard on over a dozen manuscripts and receiving enough rejection slips to wallpaper a house, she finally got "The Call" from Paula Eykelhof, then Senior Editor for the Harlequin Superromance line. (Ms. Eykelhof has since been promoted.)
"I was stunned. I'd waited 15 years to get that call. I still pinch myself, ecstatic that my dream has finally come true."
A Colorado native, Mott left her home state in the spring of 2002 due to the rising cost of land there and because of the massive development going on in Colorado.
"I hate the growth. I know it's inevitable, but that doesn't mean I have to like it."
She relocated her family to eastern Tennessee where they made their home on 10 acres deep in the woods. "Our land rests on the bank of a river, completely surrounded by mountains. Very secluded and peaceful, not to mention breathtakingly beautiful. The perfect place for a writer to work!"
Mott is married to her longtime friend and high school flame, David, and together they own five horses, two goats, eight cats and a dozen dogs.
"There is no animal shelter in our county. Sadly enough, people often dump unwanted dogs and puppies off on the back roads near our home. We take them in and either find them good homes or keep them. I get attached very easily. With my two children grown and out of the house, now living in other states, I'm suffering deeply from empty nest, and it helps to know that these animals need me, though it breaks my heart to see an animal abused or mistreated. It also makes me furious beyond words. I wish more people would spay and neuter and realize that an animal is a lifetime commitment."
Mott often includes horses and other animals in her stories and generally uses a rural setting. "Write what you know is basically the main rule I live by."