Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jacob “JT” Whitloch, Defending Her Heart by Laura Haley-McNeil @laurarmcneil #Cowboy, #Music World, #Western Romance

Jacob “JT” Whitloch, Defending Her Heart by Laura Haley-McNeil @laurarmcneil #Cowboy, #Music World, #Western Romance

I’d like to welcome JT Whitloch of Defending Her Heart by Laura Haley-McNeil

RW:   What's your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

JTW:  Back story isn’t something I want to discuss. No one needs to know why I came to Crystal Creek. That secret should remain buried and would have, but then my entire past erupted and came to life in that petite bombshell who rocks the stage with her sultry voice and fathomless dark eyes.

RW:    Can you tell us about your heroine

JTW:  I can tell you she’s interrupting my life. She’s not who she pretends to be. The more I find out about her, the more I don’t like. The more I try to stay away from her, the more she interferes, stirs up memories and stirs up the past.

RW:    What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?

JTW:  If I knew the answer to that, I’d have some peace in my life. That’s why I came to Crystal Creek—to find peace. What I wouldn’t give to have one night of restful sleep, but instead every time I close my eyes, the nightmares come full-blown.

RW:   Do you expect your heroine to help or is she the problem?

JTW:  She’s definitely the problem. She waltzes into town with more money than God, or at least more money than the Whitlochs have, and starts buying up the place. She wants the ranch, she wants the show horses. She’s putting down roots and she’s making it clear—she has no intention of leaving.

RW:    Where do you live?

JTW:  In the bunkhouse on the Crystal Creek Ranch. A far cry from my European estate, but I won’t stay in the place that turned my life upside down. Crystal Creek offers me peace and quiet. Or it did until she showed up.

RW:    During what time-period does your story take place?

A.                    Now.

RW:    How are you coping with the conflict in your life?

JTW:  If I could remember what happened that night, that would be a start, but it was a typical night at my estate—the parties, the beautiful women, the drinking. You can guess the rest. I must’ve blacked out or fallen asleep, but when I came to, the authorities were there pummeling me questions. I couldn’t answer them because I couldn’t remember. I still can’t remember.

RW:    City life or country life? E-Book or paperback? Zebras or elephants?

JTW:  I used to jet around the world to some of the most exotic place on the planet. My every whim was granted. I lived the life of luxury, until the night everything changed. Now the country offers more riches than all the money in the world.

Not that I have time to read, but I’d be happy to hold a dogeared paperback any day.

Zebras or elephants—that reminds me of the safaris my personal assistant used to schedule for me. The massive size and the intelligence of the elephants I’d see always appealed to me.

RW:    If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

JTW:  Stay away. You don’t want to be a part of my world. There’s no peace here. And if you get dragged into my nightmare, I can guarantee you you’ll never escape.

RW:    Party life or quiet dinner for two?

JTW:  A few years ago, it would’ve been the party life. It WAS the party life, now it’s dinner for one. I’ve already ruined the life of one innocent person. I’m not about to drag anyone else into my nightmare.

RW:    I'm always ready for (fill in the blank).

JTW:  I can’t say no to peace and quiet and solitude. Every chance I get, I’m on my horse and riding over the ranch. Colorado is a beautiful state and no place is more perfect than the Crystal Creek Ranch.

RW:    Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

Laura Haley-McNeil


Laura Haley-McNeil is an award-winning author of romantic suspense and women’s fiction in novel length and in short stories. Her work has been featured in several women’s magazines. She has studied piano and ballet and has been a board member for two community orchestras. She and her husband reside in Colorado. When she isn’t writing, she jogs, bicycles and crochets.

Book 6 of the Crystal Creek Series

The Plot

JT Whitloch can’t close his eyes without seeing the body of the woman who drowned in his swimming pool two years ago. He doesn’t remember that night but blames himself for her death. He walks away from his affluent life and moves to Crystal Creek, but still he can’t find peace.

Then Gretchen Moore moves to town. She stirs up his desire and his past with a secret so deadly it could destroy her.

Gretchen wants nothing to do with JT. Because of him, someone wants her dead. The terror from his past forces them into an alliance that soon ignites their passion. Fighting these feelings leads them to the secret of the woman floating in JT’s swimming pool, but the knowledge doesn’t ease JT’s inner turmoil. Instead, it reveals an answer that could destroy him and Gretchen. His own destruction he could accept, but he’ll defend Gretchen to his death.

An Excerpt:

Chapter One

JT Whitloch sensed the woman the moment he set foot inside the auction stables. Through the scent of anxiety-ridden horses and a mass of humanity floated the fragrance of delicacy and wealth. A wave of disappointment dropped over him. He’d been twenty-three years old when he’d walked away from that life two years ago. He thought he’d suppressed his urges for women—at least that kind of woman. The desire pumping through him was a quick reminder—he’d failed.

The brim of the woman’s cowgirl hat cast a shadow over her I’m-a-celebrity sunglasses. Two words popped into his mind—elegant and stunning—as elegant and stunning as the Arabian stallion they both eyed.

Behind her glamorous exterior he sensed something else—cool strength and determination. She may be used to winning but if she planned to bid on the stallion, she’d learn she was no match for Rose Whitloch, JT’s stepmother. What Rose wanted, Rose got, and she wanted to add this horse to her Crystal Creek ranch stable.

The stud’s whinny rang in JT’s ears. It was a refined timbre practiced to receive immediate attention. And it demanded freedom.

That was what JT wanted—freedom from these urges pouring through him and freedom from the past.
The past didn’t let go.

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