Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My extremely expensive book cover picture by Devon McKay || He's a COWBOY ON THE RUN #western #romance @WildRosePress

 Running from a final fight with his drunk and abusive father, Nate had never planned to return to the town where the only good thing had been a brunette beauty with more compassion than he deserved. But finding himself on a ranch for boys facing the same issues not only taught him how to be a man, it taught him that there was more to life than running.
Nate Walker always did know how to make an entrance, once again turning Jessie Calhoun's routine life upside down. Unfortunately, he'd also had the same impact when he left her mending a broken heart in a cloud of dust and taillights.

But this time would be different.

No longer that gullible, naive girl he left behind, she'd be a fool to fall under his spell again. Especially now that she had more at stake--two very important reasons.

ISBN: 978-1-62830-253-0 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-1-62830-254-7 (Digital)

Buy links:

  While writing Cowboy on the Run I was on the quest to find the perfect cover to portray my book. I didn’t want the typical bare chested hunk embracing a half-dressed beauty. Not that there is anything wrong with those covers. In fact, I quite like them. I was simply consumed with what I considered to be the perfect picture…a rugged cowboy hat and a worn pair of cowboy boots. I had the hat and the boots, I just needed the ideal backdrop. 

For me that happened to be an old, three railed wooden fence. Easy to find, right? Wrong. Frantic, I talked my husband into joining me on the search. It was a costly endeavor. After buying a camper so our beloved dogs, Daphne and Maggie, could ride comfortably and not be left behind, we then had to purchase a diesel pickup to haul the home on wheels. 

Three hundred miles later, and several stops along the way, I found the fencing I had envisioned in Gettysburg PA. An adventure in itself. The city happened to be hosting its 150 year battle reenactment. As a girl fascinated with history, I couldn’t believe our luck. 

Photo by Devon McKay
Needless to say, there was never the necessity to use any of the pics I took. As with all of the talented cover artists of The Wild Rose Press, Tamra Westberry did an amazing cover for my book. I absolutely love it.

And my husband and I had a wonderful week visiting battlefields, shops and museums. Our adventure went quite smoothly, although that is not often the case which is something I addressed in my book. Everyday isn’t a pleasant vacation across the country.

Cowboy on the Run is a Contemporary Western about first loves, lost love and secrets to big too hide. It’s about everyday life in a small town and family. A modern twist on the knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel in distress. In this case, it’s more like a tarnished shell. And the damsel? Not so distressed. 

Although, I have to admit, a man coming back to reclaim his first and only love and refusing to take no for an answer certainly makes my knees weak. Finding out he’s a father to a twin boy and girl gives the story an interesting twist. 

Nate, however, is flawed. There is no doubt about it, the man is screwed up. Oh sure, he’s sexy as hell with steely blue eyes and a devil may care attitude, but he comes with baggage. Raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, Nate learned at an early age how easy it was to run from problems. It takes him a while, but he figures out running isn’t the solution. Even with this newly found insight, he’s far from perfect. And the itch to run never goes away. It is always just below the surface. 

Jessie has grit. Endurance. No matter what knocks her down, she’s able to somehow pick herself up and face the world again. Such a hammering doesn’t come without a price. She’s extremely guarded. There’s few people she trusts and defends her family with the fierceness of a lioness. Whereas Nate struggles with the urge to run, Jessie is the opposite – stubbornly fighting until the bitter end. She’s resilient. However, beyond her tough exterior, lies a vulnerable girl harboring a broken heart.

 I identify with these characters and I hope that my readers will also. My dream is for my stories to inspire others. Neither life nor love is always easy or pretty, but sometimes you have to fight for a life worth living and a love worth having. I believe in happy endings and wish the same for those who enjoy reading my stories.  


Even after all these years, the sound of his deep, raspy voice still gave her chills, and she hated herself for this lack of control. Her breath caught in her throat as his nearness caused a surge of excitement to course through her veins, overcoming the last little bit of her perseverance.

            Sinfully, Jessie allowed herself to relish, only for a moment, what they once had. She caught herself inhaling his manly scent – a distinct mixture of leather and masculinity. The heady fragrance rekindled faded memories she’d tried like hell to forget.

            Flashes, like scenes from a movie, of a time when they had been inseparable. Nights spent holding hands and staring up at the stars in the back of his beat up pickup, the dreams they’d shared, the hay barn, the creek…

            “I’m not leaving here without you,” he stated, leaving no room for argument.

            As if she could. The thought filtered away as quick as it appeared, replaced by the blissful heat of his mouth scorching the tender flesh of her neck. She closed her eyes as the longing she’d denied for years returned full force.

            A shiver of anticipation ran down her spine and she abandoned all thoughts. He reached for his hat, his body leaning into her and pulling her out of the lust-enhanced stupor.

            She opened her eyes, drawn to a bouquet of small, purple flowers in the spot where the worn Stetson had been. A forgotten memory jilted her senses as she stared at the wildflowers, unsettled by such a romantic gesture.

            “Not this time,” he said huskily, interrupting her thoughts and seducing her with his words once more before making his way out of the bar.

Devon McKay Bio:

Devon lives on a farm in Ohio with her very supportive and patient husband, not so patient teenage son, two dogs, three cats, horde of long horned steers, flock of chickens, and a trio of pygmy goats. When she’s not rising with the sun to take care of the daily chores, she’s settling down with a good book or in her writing den. Currently, she’s working on Staking A Claim – her soon to be released novel with The Wild Rose Press.

Contact information:

and can be followed on Twitter under @devonmckay2014


  1. Great excerpt, Devon. Your cowboy sounds so sexy

  2. Great excerpt Devon. Best of luck with Cowboy on the Run!

  3. Wonderful excerpt. I love the book cover and the book was a great read.

  4. Thank you so much for your kind comments and taking the time to visit Melissa's blog. Special thanks to you Melissa for being such a great host.

    1. Devon,
      Welcome to the Snarkology! Thank you for sharing your story with us today. More than one place discovered while on a trip has inspired me, so I really identify with this. :-)