Jan 14, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with Cara Covington!

Morgan Ashbury, also writing as Cara Covington, has been a writer since she was first able to pick up a pen. In the beginning it was a hobby, a way to create a world of her own, and who could resist the allure of that? Then as she grew and matured, life got in the way, as life often does. She got married and had three children, and worked in the field of accounting, for that was the practical thing to do and the children did need to be fed. And all the time she was being practical, she would squirrel herself away on quiet Sunday afternoons and write.

Most children are raised knowing the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. Morgan’s children also learned the Paper Rule: thou shalt not throw out any paper that has thy mother’s words upon it.

Believing in tradition, Morgan ensured that her children’s children learned this rule, too.

Life threw Morgan a curve when, in 2002, she underwent emergency triple bypass surgery. Second chances are to be cherished, and with the encouragement and support of her husband, Morgan decided to use hers to do what she’d always dreamed of doing—writing full-time.

Morgan has always loved writing romance. It is the one genre that can incorporate every other genre within its pulsating heart. Romance showcases all that humankind can aspire to be. And, she admits, she’s a sucker for a happy ending.

Morgan’s favorite hobbies are reading, cooking, and traveling—though she would rather you didn’t mention that last one to her husband. She has too much fun teasing him about having become a “Traveling Fool” of late.

Morgan lives in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, with a mysterious cat, a new Morkie puppy who thinks he’s a German Shepherd, and her husband of forty-one years, David.

Love Under Two Quarterbacks
The Lusty, Texas Collection

Ari Stein is certain that romance is nowhere in the cards for her. Carrying the scars from a traumatic childhood, she’s wandered, rootless, until she landed in Lusty. Now her restless spirit has calmed and for the first time since she was teen, she feels safe and at home.

Twins, Cord and Jackson Benedict, have built rather amazing careers in the NFL, earning themselves the moniker, “The Wonder Twins.” Then Jackson takes a hit in training camp and it’s time to start over.

Grandma Kate convinced them to come to Lusty and meet this side of their family. One look at Ari and they know they made the right move—and once they see the way the Lusty branch of their family lives, they know what they want their future to be. Will they succeed in getting Ari to open up and trust them? Or will a specter from her past, and an annoying little pissant from theirs, stop them from finding their happy ever after?

Ari stopped her car just a few feet before the long driveway that led to the ranch. She slipped the gear shift into park and let the vehicle idle.

“Okay, bottom line time, cupcake. Yesterday was a wedding, and crap happens at weddings. Romance is in the air, and some of it gets on the guests, kinda like an invisible cosmic confetti—or the stench of a belching, badly tended trash fire. You had a few sexy dances, some really good conversation…” Ari’s words tapered off, echoing in the car and in the black hole of loneliness inside her that she had made a habit of ignoring. She swallowed over the lump in her throat even as she tried to blink away the blurriness that obscured her vision of the ranch house.

“You had a few sexy dances, some really good conversation, and your heart began to melt and you felt more alive than you have since before the night that fucking pervert climbed into your bed and stole your future.” Ari closed her eyes. “Shit, shit, shit.” There were a dozen, very good reasons why she should not turn down that driveway just ahead and keep that…that date she’d made yesterday with those two quarterbacks.

A dozen reasons to turn around and only one to go forward.

She wanted to. She wanted to explore the way she felt when she was with those two men. She wanted to see if that sense of rightness, of belonging, of connection was real.

Since she’d been old enough to consider such matters realistically she had told herself that there could never be, would never be, any romance for her. No romance, no marriage, no happy-ever-after. Such things didn’t even exist. They were all traps, fantasies and lies told by….by whoever the hell it was who told those lies. She’d believed that with all of her heart since she was fourteen-years-old and forced to leave everything and everyone she’d ever known and live on the street.

But what if she’d been wrong?

What if she hadn’t been? What if this—putting the car into gear, turning down that drive, and taking that next step was the mistake?

I have to know. I have to know if that was real, if it could be real. Right now she was more terrified than she’d been in a decade. But the years of being alone, of staying alone, not just physically and mentally, but emotionally, had made her a little bit hard and a whole lot bitter.

She was tired of feeling hard and bitter.

Fuck it. Just fuck it.

She put the car in drive, turned into the driveway and headed toward the house. At the last moment she saw those two men by the barn, standing by the railing side by side, watching her.

Maybe they’d watched her as she’d stopped her car, maybe they hadn’t. That didn’t matter. She held everything tight inside—as if she knew that if she could just hold it all for a few more minutes, then everything was going to be all right.

She stopped the car and shoved the shifter into park and turned off the engine. Before she could rethink everything, she threw open her car door and then headed toward them.

It only vaguely registered that they were walking toward her, too.

“You better not be fucking jerking me around here because I don’t think I could take it!”

“Hang on to your pixie dust, Tinker Bell,” Jackson said. He reached out and drew her into his arms. Cord pressed against her back as Jackson lifted her face with his hand. His fingers were gentle as he brushed the tears off her cheek—tears she hadn’t even realized were there.

“We won’t jerk you around, but we’re not going to baby you, either. You’re too much your own woman to want to be coddled in life.”

“One day at a time, Red. Let’s see what’s here.”

Then Jackson bent down and laid his mouth on hers and kissed her. His tongue didn’t coax or beg, but slid right into her mouth and set about setting her ablaze. He stopped way too soon, and then Cord turned her into his arms and laid his lips on hers, too.

For one heartbeat before his own unique flavor drowned her as his brother’s had, she could taste both of them on her tongue at the same time.

Somehow, in that instant, all the raging inside her quieted, and something that felt like hope began to bloom.


Blog Post

We never got into the habit of going out for New Year’s Eve. When we were first married, the kids came right away, although we had 5 years between our first and our second (and #3 came 1 year and 8 days after the second). This meant that every available extra dollar went into giving our kids the best Christmas we could manage.

All through those years, we struggled financially.  I could – and still can – stretch a grocery dollar like nobody’s business. We had a “piggy bank” where we tossed our extra pennies, and come the Christmas season, that baby got cracked open. Bills were juggled or delayed so we could give our children Christmas. To this day, my oldest son, who is 41, will tell you every Christmas, when he was a kid, was magical.

We did have a New Year’s Eve tradition in those early days, and it was simple and included the entire family: ginger ale in the living room to make a toast while we all watched the ball come down in Times Square.
As the kids grew and left, and before I was published, New Year’s Eve became a quiet night at home. There’d be music on the stereo, maybe a glass of cherry whiskey for me, and new pen with a new pad of paper—and a new story idea. I’d get started around seven, and see how far I could get in what was left of the year.

My Magic and Love Trilogy was born on one such New Year’s Eve.
I don’t tend to make resolutions, per se. There is something about the New Year’s resolution that by its very nature is dichotomous. The contest becomes how long it takes to break that resolution, rather than how well it can be kept.

The older I get, the less anxious I become about the things that used to concern the hell out of me. Life wants to slow down, but the fact that I’m a fairly successful published author more or less prevents that from happening overly much. I’m busier now as I stand here knocking on the door of 60, than I ever was in my 30s when I had more energy.

So if I were to make any New Year’s resolutions today, they’d be different, I think, than most people’s:

1. Sleep in more often. It’s really depressing getting up each morning so early that you need the house lights on in order to see enough to make your coffee.

2. Don’t work so hard. The harder you work, the harder you work. Take a deep breath and take it easy.

3. Stop to smell the roses. If you don’t have any, call the florist. They deliver.

4. Do one additional kind thing for someone every day.

Perhaps the best advice I ever received didn’t make sense to me when I first heard it at the ripe old age of 32. Now it does.

Life is short. Eat the dessert first.

Daily Contest: Enter to win a signed print book, winner’s choice. Contest ends January 18th. Please leave a comment with a valid email address to enter. Don’t forget to also enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter with the code word found above! Come back every day to get a new code word and match it with the author's name! Each author has a unique code word.

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  1. Morgan,

    You give some great advice and I just want you to know that I LOVE the Lusty Texas series.


    1. Lisa, thank you so much for being such a devoted reader and good friend!

  2. Hello Morgan,
    I just want to tell you that I love the Lusty Texas series and reading your blog.


  3. I wanted you to know i love your Lussty Texas series


    1. Thanks, Patty. I have the best readers in the world!

  4. We are all so lucky you starting writing way back when...you've added lots of joy to so many people's lives! I love your "resolutions," and since I don't make them either, I might just adopt a few of yours as goals for this year.

    1. Aw, thanks, Lynne! You're a sweetheart. Meeting you last February was one of the highlights of my trip to Florida!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin. I like my romances hot and meaningful. ;)

  6. Love the Lusty series and everything else you write!

  7. I am such a fan of your stories under Morgan Ashbury and Cara Covington! I hope you don't slow down too much...I am already impatient for your story release dates!! :)

    1. Hey, sassy! Thanks a lot. I have one coming out a month from today on February 14th. Their Lusty Little Valentine.

  8. Oh forgot to give my email address: sassytw@gmail.com

  9. Hi Morgan!!

    I just wanted to let everyone know that a scene in this book was voted Hottest Romance Scene for 2013 in a our End of Year awards last month. This is one HOTTTTT Book with two HAWTTTT guys.


    1. Thanks, pearls! I was thrilled to win that category!

  10. Morgan,
    I absolutely adore you! LOVE your smoking hawt heroes in Lusty!!! Can't wait for Valentine's Day!

    *evil tammy*


  11. WOW!! Love the cover and I can't wait to read this :)