The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas: Who wouldn’t want to be a billionaire? Turns out winning the lottery causes as many problems as it solves.
How did you get the idea for this series?
I was browsing the top sellers in Kindle romance and saw lots of billionaires, lots of cowboys, and a few billionaire cowboys. I doubt the average cowboy would have enough free time to develop and promote an app that would become the next TikTok and get a billion dollars. So I wondered, how might a cowboy (or rancher anyway) realistically become a billionaire? I came up with a family of four brothers and their mother. She plays the lottery, not expecting to win, but simply so she can spend an hour dreaming about being rich.
And then she wins. Everything changes, and not necessarily for the better. People who win huge lotteries are advised to go into hiding, which you can’t really do when you have to take care of animals. Friends and family might demand a share of the winnings. Strangers come up with scams and sob stories.
In this first book, Josh has acted as the head of the family since his father died when he was 25. Things are tough financially, and he feels like he has to take care of everybody, but he’s comfortable with the status quo. He knows his place in the world. The lottery disrupts everything. He has to figure out how to let his brothers go in their own directions. He has to figure out what he wants now that he could have anything. This allowed me to play with questions of dreams, choices, and responsibilities.
He has everything this Christmas, but all he wants is the quiet ranch life he’s losing…
When Josh Tomlinson’s Texas ranching family wins a fortune in the lottery, the formerly tight-knit family is suddenly on edge. Seeking advice, Josh reluctantly contacts family friend and now attorney, Carly Garza. His business is serious, yet he can’t believe Carly’s morphed from a long-legged colt of a girl to a sophisticated woman. Besides, he knows the intelligent Carly has no interest in a quiet, rugged cowboy like him.
Carly’s crushed on Josh for years, and she plans to ask him out now that she’s back in Last Stand. She’s hoping he’ll finally see her as someone other than his younger brother’s middle school girlfriend. But when Josh needs advice on how to handle his family’s lottery win, his client and billionaire statuses put him firmly out of reach. If only her heart could ignore the sparks that flare between them.
They’re already keeping the family’s lottery win a secret from the town. Can they also hide their budding romance during the most magical time of year?
RELEASE DATE: Nov 8, 2022
Sneak Peek Excerpt:
“I’ve been thinking about your question the other day,” Carly said after a while.
“Which one? I feel like I’ve been questioning everything.”
“What would you do if you could do anything? That one.” One corner of her mouth pulled up. “The one I tried to avoid since I’m not the one with all the money. But you were right. It is a good question. Of course, you might come up with an answer you don’t like. You might discover that you want to do something you can’t possibly do, because it requires too much money or too much of something else. Like I don’t think I could be an Olympic figure skater, even if that was my dream and even if I had your riches, because I didn’t start training in childhood and probably don’t have the talent anyway.”
“No, that’s true. Huh. You know, I’m going to be rich enough I could probably buy a pro football team if I wanted, but I still couldn’t be a pro football player. Well, unless I bought a team and forced them to let me play. Funny to think about that.” He studied her. “You didn’t actually want to be a pro figure skater, did you?”
“How should I know? I’ve never skated in my life, unless you count sliding around in my boots on frozen cattle ponds. No, that was just a random example of when the question isn’t too useful. I think it could be useful a lot though. For example, your mama said she and her friends talked about hiring cleaning people if they won the lottery.”
“Yeah. That’s going to be her Christmas present. Don’t tell.”
“Okay, but imagine if she hadn’t won the lottery.” She gestured with her free hand. “Maybe y’all couldn’t afford to hire a cleaning person with the current budget. But if your mama decided she really didn’t want to do cleaning anymore, if she hated that job and would rather do anything else, then maybe she could get a part-time job and make enough money to pay a cleaner. She could sell baked goods at the farmers market to make money. Maybe she’d have to work more hours baking and selling than she would’ve spent on cleaning, but she might prefer it.”
He frowned. “Do you think she would?”
“I have no idea, but I bet she never asked herself that. That’s my point. If we don’t think about what we love and what we hate and what we want to do in life, we might get stuck in a rut when we don’t need to be there.” Carly tipped her head back so the sun shone full on her face. “Now she can do whatever she wants, of course. She doesn’t have to take care of all of you, so she can spend more time on self-care.”
What’s that mean?” He’d heard the phrase, but it sounded like one of those New Age things that didn’t make much sense, like lighting scented candles so you’d feel calm or energized or whatever. He’d never yet met a candle that took away the strain of working for twelve hours in a freezing rain.
“It’s simply where you take care of yourself, whatever that means to you. Bubble baths, a massage, spending an afternoon reading.” Her nose wrinkled. “It’s one of those things you’re supposed to do when you have a lot of stress, but of course people who have a lot of stress don’t usually have the time or money to do those things. But my point was, Ava saw cleaning the house as part of her job, so she did it. She never thought about other options. If you don’t spend some time thinking about what you really want out of life, you’re not going to move toward your goals.”
Josh scratched his head. “Wait a minute, are we talking about Mama or me or you here?”
“Well, I meant to talk about myself but got off track.” She grinned. “Sorry. I was trying to make the general point that it’s probably good for people to think about their priorities and their wishes once in a while. Lots of people do New Year’s resolutions, but that’s not quite the same. People resolve to lose weight or get in shape because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do. I doubt most people really think about what they want to do with their lives.”
“And you’ve been thinking about it?”
“Yes, darn it! You got me thinking about it.” She tossed her head. Her braid bounced and glowed in the sunlight.
“Well, good, I guess,” Josh said. “Why should we be the only ones facing these hard questions?”
Are you working on anything now?
I’m still working on the later books in this series, and also on my Accidental Detective mystery series. In that one, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. It begins with Something Shady at Sunshine Haven: When patients are dying at an Alzheimer’s unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home? I just started book 5.
About the Author
Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter and get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the novels, and an Accidental Detective short story and bonus material. Learn more about Kris at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.)
Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for the romantic comedy newsletter to get a short story preview, or find the books at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.