Blog Hop Stop : A Fallow Heart By Linda Kage (CR) - Excerpt, Interview, Review & Giveaway!

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Book Blurb

Ten years ago, an oil tycoon’s daughter and a farmer’s son shared a moment neither would ever forget. When she left town in disgrace, a piece of her stayed locked deep within his soul. And like the ground he tended, his emotions lay fallow for years. Cooper Gerhardt’s deeply buried feelings for Jo Ellen Rawlings grew more fertile over time, just waiting for the day she would return to release his deepest desires.

When she strolls back into Tommy Creek, Texas for her ten-year class reunion, Cooper shows her farm boy style exactly what she missed by leaving. Starting a short-term affair is simply unavoidable. But when the week is over, can either of them let go of the responsibilities and apprehensions 


Jo Ellen took a deep breath as she entered the tavern, paying careful attention to dropping her keys into her purse and clicking the latch closed.
She hated entering a social establishment alone. She should’ve just told Emma Leigh she’d meet her at their parents’ house where they were staying the entire week.
Thank God she heard her sister’s voice as soon as she tucked her purse under her arm. “Hey, Joey. Over here.”
She didn’t know what she would’ve done, loitering around the bar and looking pathetic all by her lonesome until Emma Leigh had arrived. Relieved she didn’t have to worry about any of that, she smiled and glanced toward the call to find Alexa and Dexter gathered around Branson and her sister. Her step faltered before she regained her momentum, forcing herself to suck it up. If she was going to be stuck as their fifth wheel for the entire week, she might as well get used to it now.
“I’m sorry I’m late. I ran into a traffic jam on the interstate and—”
“You’re not late.” Em checked the Rolex on her wrist. “You’re ten minutes early.”
“I am?” Jo Ellen frowned and consulted her own slim, silver watch. “Then what’re you doing here?”
Her sister really had changed if she actually ran on time these days.
Emma Leigh tossed back her long, dark hair and laughed before explaining, “Oh no. I haven’t changed that much.” She hooked a loving thumb Branson’s way. “Even Mr. Dependable here can’t keep me on time for anything. This one is all Lexi’s fault. She was starving, which forced us to get here early.”
As they glanced in unison at Dexter’s wife, the bartender served her a plate of steaming barbeque. She grinned and waved before she picked up a sauce-dripping rib with her bare fingers and tore into the juicy meat.
Jo Ellen smiled fondly and neared Alexa to set her hand on the baby bump. “How’s my little goddaughter doing in there?” She stroked once before she felt an answering kick. The sign of growing life caught her in the throat, choking her up. So bittersweet, it had her blinking back tears as she dropped her fingers from Lexi’s abdomen.
Nearby, Dexter corrected her, saying, “Godson.”
She brightened. “Oh, you found out the gender?”
“Oops.” Emma Leigh cringed. “Forgot to tell you. They’re having a boy.”
Jo Ellen rolled her eyes. How typical of her sister to forget something so important. Setting her hand on her hip in a scolding manner, she angled a frown at Emma Leigh’s husband. “I thought we discussed this, Branson. You were supposed to work on her communication skills, remember?” She tried to look stern but was sure he could see the teasing glint in her eyes, not to mention the lips she tightened to keep from grinning.
He lifted his hands in surrender. “Hey, she has no problem communicating to me, telling me whenever I mess something up.” Then he grinned, showing how much he didn’t mind such communication.
Jo Ellen laughed, pleased to see her sister so happily married to a man who adored her. This was exactly the life she’d always dreamed of for her twin…and herself.
As the amused sound chimed from her vocal chords, she heard a sharp intake of breath nearby, from the man seated at the bar next to her group. She could make out a vague, blurry image of him from her peripheral vision. By his jeans, boots, and hat, he screamed local, which was exactly why she refused to glance over and focus on his face. From the instant she’d entered Rio’s, she’d been too nervous to look directly at anyone besides the four she’d come to see, too afraid she might recognize someone from years ago.
Cowardly move, sure, but she didn’t care. Her nerves had wadded themselves into a huge, messy ball and she was performing as well as could be expected, faking all her smiles.
But Emma Leigh just had to go and say, “Oh, hey. Look who we ran into as soon as we got here.”
She grabbed Jo Ellen’s arm and revolved her toward the man, practically shoving her into his lap, right between a pair of spread knees. Eyes widening, Jo Ellen gaped at those thick, masculine knees, covered by thin, fraying denim. Her eyes strayed up of their own will, taking in strong, muscled thighs and somehow landing on his crotch, where the fly of his jeans stretched over an impressive bulge nestled under a big shiny brass belt buckle.
She gulped as the man scooted upright, obviously also alarmed by Emma Leigh thrusting her so close.
“Coop’s here,” her sister announced.
As in Cooper Gerhardt?
Cooper Thaddeus Gerhardt?
Jo Ellen’s eyes widened on that denim-clad bulge, her face draining of color. If Travis Untermeyer was the number one person she didn’t want to run into, Cooper Gerhardt was the second. Didn’t even matter that he’d turned into a delicious hunk of heaven, which from what she’d seen so far, it looked as if he had.
She jerked her face up, her lips instantly parting with surprise as she came face to face with the grown-up version of Cooper Gerhardt.
Oh, Lord have mercy.

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Book Trailer

Toot's Review

I have a confession to make......I have a new book boyfriend......sorry hubby but Cooper is mine now!
So with that being stated for the world to hear, I'll go on with my review, LOL. I do confess though, I love contemporary romance but I haven't really read that many cowboy theme ones but I'm a total convert. I loved this story. It's about unrequited romance, undying love, lost loves and found again. My only complaint is that I wanted more! I wanted to know what happens to the couple. I wanted to go to their wedding. I wanted to know if and when they have kids and can they please name one after me? Uggggg I don't think I can remember reading a story and craving more of the story so badly! A Fallow Heart is so full of rich characters, scenery and story that I gobbled the story up in 2 days. I woke at 3am clutching my ereader and I don't think I can offer up any better praise then that. I definitely hope this becomes a series because I don't want to lose the characters. I loved them all that much! Maybe I should just move to their town?

5 out of 5 books!

Oh BTW, in reading the author's site, I found there's a companion book to this one that looks like it takes place about 2 1/2 years later. I didn't know this when I first read the book and reviewed it but here's the link, if you'd like to read it as well.
Interview with Author Linda Kage

Hi Linda,

Thank you so much for being here at Toot's Book Reviews and talking to our visitors about your new book A Fallow Heart. 
BTW, we luuuuuuvvvvvvved A Fallow Heart!

If you don't mind, let's jump right into the questions!

Thank you for letting me visit today! I’m honored and will try not to take up too much of your time!

Can you tell the visitors a little (or a lot *grin*) about what drew you to the Romance genre, more specifically what drew you to writing a Contemporary Adult Western Romance - A Fallow Heart?

I didn't mean to write a western story at all. Actually, I probably wouldn't even call it a western. I just wrote about the kind of life I grew up in, which is country farm life. Seriously, I've only been on a horse twice in my life, so there are no horses in the book. Aren’t horses supposed to be in a western novel? I don’t know, but I tried to apply the flavor of Midwest living for the typical farmer—I just made my farmer a little (okay, a LOT) sexier than the average man! 

For Romance genre fans, what makes your Romances different from all the other Romance stories out there?

Umm, gosh, I have no idea. I’d like to say I usually focus on the emotional journey when I write. I want to make people laugh, and cry, and get mad, and say, “aww, that’s so sweet.” But I've read a lot of romance stories than can do that. So, then I’d like to say it’s because my characters are just all that. But yeah, I've also read a lot of amazing characters in a lot of other amazing books. So, I’m going to have to say it’s my own personal voice. The style and flow of my words are what make me different, because honestly, I don’t think anyone else is quite the same kind of weird I am; I’m sure you all have your own kind of weird!

As a writer, you've covered a large range of romance genres, which is your favorite to write and why?

I’m just dipping my toe into New Adult (you know, those college-age years), and I think it’s going to be my favorite. I like the characters to be kind of young, because those fresh, new romances with the characters experiencing their first blush of love are my favorite. But with New Adult, they’re also old enough to get a little steamier, and that’s a plus with my dirty mind. 

What do you find fascinating about Romance stories?

I love watching couples fall in love despite all the obstacles stacked against them. That’s why I’m so into New Adult these days. They’re not usually about people reuniting after twenty years of being apart (like in my story—gosh, I’m such a hypocrite!!!) It’s new, and fresh, and we get to meet the characters as they get to meet each other.

In your words, can you tell the visitors about your favorite scene from A Fallow Heart?

The water well scene. No, I need not say more…except maybe, “God Bless Texas.”

I know some authors say that sometimes scenes or characters take on a life of their own and sometimes plots or characters spring surprises on them. Were there any scenes or characters that took you by surprise while you were writing?

I had no idea about the secret between Cooper’s parents until I was writing my fifth or sixth draft of the story. That one was a shocker! But it seemed to work in with everything else fairly well!

And lastly, for your fans......we'll steal the magazine idea again *it's becoming a ritual at Toot's* and ask.......

What are 10 things your fans don't know about you?


1. Am way shy.

2. …And awkwardly tall – Almost six feet up there.

3. Only wear one piece of jewelry—my wedding ring.

4. Wear glasses

5. Was the athletic type in school.

6. Played the clarinet in junior high.

7. Finished my first 100,000-word manuscript in high school (yes, it SUCKED)

8. Love Mocha Java Chillers from Sonic

9. Could live off fruit alone…and potato chips—okay, throw in some bacon and chocolate too, and maybe a little steak, a loaded baked potato, yummy salad, and…love all kinds of food! Food is my friend.

10. Have a hyperthyroid.

Anything you'd like to add or say to your fans?

I have fans? Oh my God, thank you so much for stopping by. I love you guys. You’re the best. Talk to you later!

Yep, you have at lease one! Toot's Book Reviews loved your book and will be gobbling up all the others as they come out. 
Thank you again so much for hanging out with us Linda!
Author Bio

Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, toddler daughter, and their nine cuckoo clocks. She works a day job in the acquisitions department of a university library and feels her life has been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part her world, and she's thrilled to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.

You can find Linda on the web at:
Website - http://www.lindakage.com/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/linda.kage
FB Fan Page - http://www.facebook.com/authorlindakage
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/lindakage
Blog - http://lindakage.blogspot.com/
Google + - https://plus.google.com/117163270588306204279/posts
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003ILJHKM
GoodReads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3213942.Linda_Kage
Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/lindakage/
Linda will be offering a $20.00 AMAZON Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click below to follow the tour


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the lovely review. I'm so glad you liked it. And yep, you can find out what Cooper and Jo Ellen name their baby in The Trouble with Tomboys. I'm sorry to say it isn't Toots, but it does start with a T!! Thanks again for hosting today!

    1. Oh girl, I gobbled that one up too but after I had already done the review. I loved it as well!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for such amazing stories. Now off to Amazon, BN and Goodreads to post the review. Big hugs!!!

  2. Carey, Thank you for hosting today!! Great Review! And Linda...you are too funny!! Love the interview!!

    1. Thanks for allowing me to interview such a wonderful author.

  3. Now you have me hooked on this one! :) Cooper-what a great name (it is my son's name!)

  4. Love this interview!! And I'm really enjoying your blog tour!

    1. Thanks so much! Isn't Linda wonderful?

  5. Linda is a new author for me :)