Halloween? Maybe, maybe not.      By Gerry Bartlett

I loved Halloween as a kid. Couldn’t wait to dress up and trick or treat. But after teaching first graders for a decade, I got my fill of pumpkin art and Halloween hysteria. Yes, six year olds live for Halloween. It’s a favorite holiday right after Valentine’s Day. I think any time involving candy ranks right up there with a birthday for kids. And, trust me, the day after Halloween, dealing with twenty students on a sugar high? Well, no wonder I felt the need to leave teaching and write full time.

These days I enjoy dressing my rescue dog Jet in costumes for the holiday. He is my greeter when we have children come to the door to trick or treat. I admit that a whippet is not easy to make as adorable as my stepdaughter’s Maltese, Millie. That cute little bundle of fur rocks a tutu. But Jet is more into the badass vibe. He doesn’t mind wearing whatever is the costume of the year.

Whippets are warm weather dogs and Jet hates to get a chill. So he has a variety of sweaters and even a coat if we get a rare cold snap in southeast Texas. When Houston won the World Series? Jet was happy to sport an Astros jersey to the Little League ballpark to show his Houston pride. Do I have pictures? You bet I do.

I have to admit I’m all in when it comes to Halloween candy. I’m not crazy about scary movies but love to read a good mystery. So when I had a chance to write Texas Lightning, adding more suspense than usual to the romances I enjoy, I jumped on the opportunity. I got to go to Austin where I’m a frequent visitor anyway. My brother lives there and I went to college at the University of Texas in the state capital. I dropped my heroine into a bad situation and let things happen. I’m sorry I didn’t use Halloween in the plot. The holiday is a big deal in Austin on Sixth Street. My brother and his wife take their dog with them there every year, all of them in costume. It’s a blast.

Hey, Jet says we should all go this year. Because book two in the Lone Star Suspense series, Texas Trouble, is set on Sixth Street. Road trip! Okay, Jet. Bring your Astros jersey. I’ve got the t-shirt to match.

A million-dollar idea. A city girl in the country. And a man who brings out her wild side…

Anna Delaney is thrilled to leave Boston for Austin, Texas, when her small tech company is bought out by a conglomerate. Born into a family of over-protective brothers, this is her chance at true independence—and a name-making professional breakthrough.

Even when gorgeous billionaire rancher King Sanders forms a one-man welcoming committee, Anna insists that she doesn’t need a tour guide—or another bodyguard. But after she narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt, she can’t say no to King spiriting her away to someplace safe…and very private.

Someone wants the valuable software Anna’s developing, and King is determined to keep her safe until the culprit is caught. The hunky cowboy lights her up brighter than the Lone Star sky at night, but neither one of them is prepared for just how wild Texas can get—and just how hard they’re willing to fight to stay together…