Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Authors Julie Miller, Dana Marton and Paula Grave are with us today!




by:  Julie Miller, Dana Marton & Paula Graves

Harlequin Intrigue
ISBN: 0373696582



VIRGIL    by USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Miller
Detective Virgil “Bull” McCabe hadn’t been back on the J-Bar-J Ranch in more than a decade. What he finds is his family in turmoil and his childhood friend, Tracy Cobb, all grown up…and more beautiful than ever.

MORGAN    by Dana Marton
It took a lot to bring ex-soldier Morgan McCabe home. But when his brothers sent out a call for help, that was all the incentive he needed. Once there, though, it’s his former flame, Dakota Dayton, and her toddler son who might just convince him to stay.

WYATT     by Paula Graves
Sheriff Wyatt McCabe has faced a lot of criminals, but none as ruthless as the one holding his sister hostage. Now, forced to work with Elena Vargas, Wyatt has to ensure his family’s safety without giving in to his burning attraction to the gorgeous agent.


The 3 McCabe brothers were recently interviewed.  Want to get to know these hunky heroes better?   Read on.


        QUESTION:  Public service seems to run in your blood. Who inspired you to serve in the military or law enforcement?

VIRGIL:  God, good genes and years of hard work on the ranch made me a big, bad S.O.B. There’s got to be a reason for that—protecting people and taking down bad guys seems to work for me. Besides, I saw and endured enough trouble growing up that I’m motivated to keep any innocent from suffering the
way my brothers, my mom and I did.

MORGAN:  The older brother of my best friend who was a Navy S.E.A.L.   He was tough, didn’t take bull from anyone. He would defend the weak and stand for our country. He was the first real life hero I met.  Before that, I thought heroes were people in history books.

WYATT:   Both of my older brothers went off to be heroes. What was I going to do, sit at home on the ranch while they were off being cool and all? And as much as I love Serpentine, Texas, this wild and wonderful town where we grew up, I couldn’t think of a better town to protect.

          QUESTION:  What’s the first book you remember reading?

  Um… That I’ll admit to?  I remember Mom reading SMOKEY, THE COWHORSE to me as a kid.  I liked it. And Tracy Cobb, my neighbor and best bud, got me through American Lit our junior year.  TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one I actually own a copy of now.

MORGAN:  The James Bond series. He had the gadgets, the cars, always got the girl. <shrugs> What’s not to like?


          QUESTION:  What’s your favorite “love” word?

VIRGIL:  Blue Eyes

MORGAN:  I rather show love then talk about it. And I definitely won’t talk about what happened in the upstairs hallway closet. A gentleman doesn’t… kiss and tell;-)

WYATT:  What kind of sissy question is that? Did one of my brothers put you up to it? Oh, all right. I guess I like the word “adore.” What’s not to like about “adore?”
       QUESTION:  What’s your idea of a unique date?

VIRGIL: My favorite date is to ride out to a remote corner of the ranch with a picnic basket and some cold beers. Long talks, fresh air, moonlight. Depending on the company, I’d pack a blanket or sleeping bag, too.

MORGAN:  Tandem skydiving. Get a girl’s knees shaky and it’s easier to sweep her off her feet.;-)I already have a date scheduled for you know who. Don’t tell her.

WYATT: I don’t know if it’s really unique, but a girl who finds the romance in going bass fishing on Lake Amistad is what I’d call a keeper.

          QUESTION:  Who’s your favorite action hero?

VIRGIL:  Ben Grimm in the Fantastic Four (btw, Morgan is Reed Richards—well, he thinks he’s Mr. Fantastic—and Wyatt’s gotta be Johnny Storm—Flame on, pipsqueak!) We do Adam, Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright, too. (Well, about 20 years ago we did.)

MORGAN:  Lara Croft.  I like strong, smart women.

WYATT: Detective John McClane. Yippy Ki Yay.

          QUESTION:  What’s your favorite cartoon character?

VIRGIL: Elmer Fudd

MORGAN: I’m not admitting. My brothers would never let me live it down. Sorry, folks.

WYATT: Bugs Bunny, because he’s chock full of attitude.

     (Special thanks to Intrigue Author Angi Morgan for conducting the interview!)
Now it’s time to meet the authors! 


        QUESTION:  What was the most challenging part of writing Virgil’s story?

JULIE’S ANSWER: I had the brother angle on this story down pat. But I will confess, I’m a Marine Corps brat/city girl, so creating authentic ranch life with a hero who’s a former rodeo bull-riding champ required a little research. Fortunately, my CP (author Sherry James) raises horses and lives on a ranch, so she let me ask her all kinds of questions. Plus, she won a dinner with a group of rodeo champs when the
National Finals for bull riding were held in Grand Island, Nebraska—and she took me as her guest! I met a real “Bull”—a stock manager from South Dakota who provided bulls for the event.

He’s soooo stubborn. He never did what I wanted him to do. Dakota had the same trouble with him. Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether to kiss a guy or strangle him. He was that guy.  I’m pretty sure he gave me gray hairs. Thing is, he’s worth the trouble.

PAULA’S ANSWER: Trying to get the flavor of South Texas right. That part of the state is very different from where I live in Alabama — flat, dry and expansive rather than hilly and damp — and I really wanted people to get a taste of the terrain, since my characters spend a lot of time out in it.  Fortunately, I minored in Spanish in college, so I was able to sprinkle the story with a little bit of Spanish, especially helpful since my heroine is Latina.

QUESTION:  What movie or TV show is your favorite cowboy inspiration?

JULIE’S ANSWER: For me, it’s THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. The movie, the tv series—any incarnation. I’ve always loved the story idea of a group of individuals—each with unique skills, talents and personal baggage—coming together as one unit to defeat the bad guys. They find a useful purpose for themselves, regain honor and find loyalty among true friends. Plus, there’s something about having a hero to suit whatever mood I’m in.;)

: Deadwood.  Loooooved that series!

PAULA’S ANSWER: I always loved The Rifleman. I liked that Lucas McCain was a tough guy who could handle a fight, but he tried to avoid conflict when he could, and he was a decent and honorable man. He was a good father, and watching him raise Mark to be a decent, honorable man absolutely melted my heart. Plus, he was one of those lean, rangy cowboys who make my heart flutter.

              QUESTION:  And what’s next for our three talented authors?

Julie Miller, TACTICAL ADVANTAGE,  March 2013

Paula Graves, CODE NAME: WILLOW, available NOW!

 Dana Marton, DEATHSCAPE, available NOW!!!


Who are your  favorite cowboy heroes?  Real or from movies/TV/books?  Or who are your favorite brothers from the world of fiction and   entertainment or real life?


Petit Fours & Hot Tamales would like to thank these three ladies for giving us such a great interview!  But that’s not all!   Since the Christmas season is all about giving gifts, Julie, Dana and Paula each came with one for a lucky person who leaves a comment today.

THREE lucky commenters (one for each of our heroes!) will each win one of the following prizes:

1) A print or e-book from Julie Miller (winner’s choice).

2) An e-book from Dana Marton.

3) An Amazon or B&N gift certificate from Paula Graves for one book (winner’s choice).

Julie Miller is an award-winning, USA TODAY bestselling author of breathtaking romantic suspense–with a National Readers Choice Award and two Daphne du Maurier’s among other prizes.  In 2009 she earned an RT BookReviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Suspense. For a complete list of her books, monthly newsletter and more, go to
Dana Marton is the author of over thirty novels published in a dozen languages around the world.  She is the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and a Rita Award finalist.
As a child, award-winning novelist Paula Graves’s favorite books were Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries and Harlequin Romances. When she realized there were books that featured both romance and mystery, she knew she’d found her calling. Now Paula writes romantic suspense novels and novellas, where she gets to play both matchmaker and murderer and has a blast doing it. She loves to hear from her readers, who can reach her by clicking the contact button on her website,



Jane - December 5, 2012 - 12:28 am

Congrats on the new release, ladies. I don’t have any favorite cowboys, but my one of my favorite westerns is “The Quick and the Dead.”

Marilyn Baron - December 5, 2012 - 12:35 am

Wow, what a great interview. Your book sounds wonderful. I also enjoyed learning more about the authors. The character interviews were very entertaining. This has to be one of our best guest posts. Thanks for blogging with us. I guess my favorite fictional brothers would be Julie Garwood’s McCabe brothers – not sure I got that name right. They were in the FBI or Nora Roberts’s brothers in her series in Virginia, can’t think of their names but she writes great male characters.

Mary Preston - December 5, 2012 - 4:16 am

What a fabulous post.

One of my favorite books is LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry. He wrote some of the best cowboys, or ex-Texas Rangers, ever. Larger than life characters.

Sandy Elzie - December 5, 2012 - 6:39 am

Hi Ladies,

I haven’t read a Texas cowboy story that I didn’t enjoy. There’s just something about a strong male in jean and a snap-front shirt that makes me sigh. :)

I can’t wait to read The Three Cowboys. (It’s on my Christmas List for my kids who say they never know what to buy for me…especially when it comes to books)

Thank you so much for joining us today and I wish you fantastic success with this book & the ones coming to us in 2013. Come back to visit with us then!!!

maxine - December 5, 2012 - 7:01 am

Loved the post, ladies! And I do love cowboys – all types. One of my first great reads was The Virginian. And, of course, what’s not to love about all Louis L’Amour books?

Pam Asberry - December 5, 2012 - 9:17 am

What a great way to start my morning, with three hunky cowboys! I was an Adam Cartwright fan myself. Thanks for blogging with us and best of luck with your latest writing ventures!

Julie Miller - December 5, 2012 - 10:24 am

Thanks for having us! The interview with our heroes was fun to do. And again, I want to thank Intrigue Author Angi Morgan for coming up with the questions for us–btw, you can find her at

Julie Miller - December 5, 2012 - 10:27 am

Mary–I loved the LONESOME DOVE miniseries (sorry to say I have read the book). But I’m a huge Tommy Lee Jones fan–and you can’t go wrong with Robert Duvall in a Western, either. Great supporting cast, too–Chris Cooper, Danny Glover, Diane Lane… It was a rare event for me–where I scheduled my commitments around when a tv show was on.

Julie Miller - December 5, 2012 - 10:28 am

Hope your kids are listening, Sandy! ;) And thanks for coordinating the guest blog here! Hope you enjoy the book!

Paula Graves - December 5, 2012 - 11:25 am

Pam Asberry, Adam Cartwright was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Pernell Roberts was just so dark and handsome!

Funny bit of personal trivia – when I was a kid, my favorite Barkley brother was Jared. I liked them clean cut, urbane and well-educated, apparently. But now that I’m older, I have a real thing for scrappy, leather-wearing Nick. It’s like I’ve regressed to naugthy, rebellious adolescence in my old age!

Julie Miller - December 5, 2012 - 11:47 am

Apologies, gang–I made a typo when I was putting together today’s blog post. :shock: Dana Marton’s book, DEATHSCAPE, is out RIGHT NOW! December 2012, not 2013. In fact, it’s the #1 selling romantic suspense ebook on Amazon right now.

Ah, the power of one little number. I think I must have been obsessing over the number 3. THREE cowboys. THREE brothers. THREE heroes.

At any rate, please check out Dana’s book this month! Not next year. And check out THREE COWBOYS, too, while you’re there. ;)

Karen Pietrusinski - December 5, 2012 - 12:25 pm

Thank you ladies for blogging with us. I enjoy your books. Merry Christmas to you all.

Gayle Cochrane (@GayleCochrane) - December 5, 2012 - 1:07 pm

Great interview. Congratulations on the new book, it’s on my kindle and I can’t wait to read it. I don’t read a lot of cowboy books, but my favorite cowboys on TV used to be the brothers Jared, Nick and Heath on Big Valley.

Connie Lorenz - December 5, 2012 - 2:10 pm

Loved reading the interviews! Makes me want to read this book even more.

My favorite heroes are Julie Miller’s Precinct characters. Not western but are favorites. As far as western I would have to say the brothers of Bonanza. Loved their interaction and love/hate relationships.

Sia Huff - December 5, 2012 - 3:52 pm

Fun post, Julie, Dana, Paula & Angi too. I loved your character interview. Funny how three brothers can have such different likes. Maybe I missed it, but are the McCabe brothers out now? I want a copy.
Thanks for blogging with us. Continued success. :)

Julie Miller - December 5, 2012 - 4:10 pm

Thanks for tweaking the post and correcting my error, Sandy! :-) I know Dana is grateful, too.

Julie Miller - December 5, 2012 - 4:12 pm

Awwww. Thanks, Connie! :blush:

Paula Graves - December 5, 2012 - 5:16 pm

Sia, the book is out right now. What are you waiting for? :-D

Teresa Nordheim - December 5, 2012 - 5:50 pm

Brilliant interview and so fitting of the boys. 5 star rating!

Dana Marton - December 5, 2012 - 5:55 pm

Thank you, ladies for stopping in to visit with our cowboys! I might have to reread Lonesome Dove. :-)Used to have the movie, but lost it in the last move.

Carol Burnside - December 5, 2012 - 6:01 pm

I love cowboy romances, so will have to check out this book, ladies! My favorite cowboy (type) is Tom Selleck. I don’t think he gets enough credit as an actor, but I love the way he plays the lonesome, taciturn cowboy with a touch of humor.

As for favorite brothers, that’s tougher, but I’ll go with the Cartwright boys. Even though they were different in temperament and looks, they had each other’s backs even when they might not agree with the other and weren’t afraid to show love. That takes inner strength.

Wayne Jordan - December 5, 2012 - 7:56 pm

Great interview. It was fun getting into the minds of your heroes. I’ve already read, THREE COWBOYS, and enjoyed each story. I remember growing up and reading the Sackett series by Louis L’Amour and wanted to be a cowboy. Now, when I read these books I can still live out my fantasy, despite living on a tropical island were there ain’t a cowboy in sight. :-)

Wayne Jordan - December 5, 2012 - 7:57 pm

Movie, TV series…I love Bonanza…

bn100 - December 5, 2012 - 8:15 pm

I like Timothy Olyphant from Justified.

Julie Miller - December 6, 2012 - 10:01 am

Thanks, Teresa! We appreciate the lovely review! :-))

Sandy Elzie - December 6, 2012 - 1:10 pm

We have our Winners!!! Congratulations to:
Teresa Nordheim, Mary Preston, & Connie Lorenz !!

Please contact us on this Blog (see “COMTACT” above)

Mary Preston - December 7, 2012 - 4:04 am

THANK YOU!! About to contact.

Lisa B - December 9, 2012 - 9:37 pm

Fun interview and i need to read this book now!

Lisa B :-)

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