Sierra Mendoza was nursing yet another broken heart when an unexpected distraction appeared at her door—an abandoned baby who was truly the man of her dreams. But Child Services wouldn’ t consider the unmarried Sierra as a possible foster parent until her friend Alex Calloway came to the rescue, pretending he was Sierra’ s fiancé….

Caustic yet charismatic Alex grappled with demons of his own even as he admitted that his ...

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In a Texas Minute

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Sierra Mendoza was nursing yet another broken heart when an unexpected distraction appeared at her door—an abandoned baby who was truly the man of her dreams. But Child Services wouldn’ t consider the unmarried Sierra as a possible foster parent until her friend Alex Calloway came to the rescue, pretending he was Sierra’ s fiancé….

Caustic yet charismatic Alex grappled with demons of his own even as he admitted that his feelings for Sierra had grown far deeper than friendship. But when Sierra decided to move forward with plans to adopt the baby, would the ready-made family be too much for Alex to handle?


The price of privilege—

The power of family

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459216402
  • Publisher: Silhouette
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Series: Fortunes of Texas: Reunion Series , #1677
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 165,039
  • File size: 245 KB

Meet the Author

Stella began her writing career almost by accident. Although she always loved reading romances, she never thought to write one herself. She was a hairdresser and worked in her sister's beauty shop. Ironically, Stella developed a severe allergy to hairspray and was forced to resign.

With time on her hands, she wanted to do something creative. She remembered a high school English teacher telling her she could be a writer if she wanted. Armed with that notion and an old, manual typewriter, she went to work, attempting to create a story similar to those she liked reading.

The result -her first book, purchased by Mills & Boon and issued under the Harlequin imprint. After that, Stella became a full time writer and today, has close to forty published novels.

When she was seventeen, Stella married her high school sweetheart: Harrell. This year, they are celebrating their twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. One of her greatest joys was to see Jason, her only son, graduate from college with degrees in math and physical education. He now lives in Port Lavaca, Texas, where he teaches high school algebra and geometry and coaches football and weightlifting.

The couple has always lived in southeastern Oklahoma. Recently, they purchased a portion of a twenty-two hundred, acre ranch; they now make their home there. The closest town of three thousand is fifteen miles away; Stella says she loves the seclusion, living among the woods and horses and wildlife. The only thing she doesn't like is making the thirty mile round trip to the post office or grocery store. Worse still, is the eighty-five mile trip to get office supplies!

Next to writing, traveling is one of her most favorite activities. Yet, because the southwest is dear to her heart, she sets most of her books there in rough, rugged ranch country. She feels it's essential to know a place before writing about it; that philosophy gives her more reason to plan trips!

n her spare time, Stella enjoys practicing violin and guitar, both of which she can play by ear. She claims to need years of practice before calling herself a musician. Stella also enjoys gardening and being outdoors. Before moving onto the ranch, she had a swimming pool in her back yard and spent most of her summer evenings in the water. Her husband has promised to put in another pool, but for now she has to make do with the creek that runs through their property.

Family has always come first with Stella and she enjoys spending time with her son when he visits Oklahoma. Sometimes, she and her husband drive down to the Texas coast to see him. However, her mother, step-father and siblings all live nearby and they have routine get-togethers.

Stella's plan for the future is to continue writing romance novels as long as there's an audience to enjoy her work.
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Read an Excerpt

In A Texas Minute

By Stella Bagwell

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2005 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-24677-3

Chapter One

"Sierra! Hello! Are you there?"

Sierra Mendoza's gaze circled the table where she and her friends had gathered for lunch. Every eye was zeroed in on her and she suddenly realized her mind had wandered off again and she'd lost all train of the conversation.

Her cheeks pink with embarrassment, she glanced at Gayle, a blonde who was five years older than Sierra and much more experienced in the men department.

"I'm sorry, Gayle, I was ... thinking about something. I didn't hear your question."

Gayle rolled her blue eyes, but softened the impatient gesture with a smile. "I asked if you wanted to try one of those fudge brownie desserts with me today?"

"Ugh, no. I - I'm just not in the mood for sugar today," she said, declining.

Actually Sierra wasn't in the mood for anything. She was only here at this lunch because these people were her best friends and had been since she'd met them at the University of Texas at Austin many years ago.

Today the two women and three men had congregated for their weekly lunch get-together at the Long-horn Bar and Grill in downtown Red Rock, Texas.

Back in San Antonio's earlier days, the Longhorn building had been a feed-and-grain store and today it was still more like a barn than anything else. The ceiling was high, open and crossed with heavy rafters. The wooden planked floor was rough and the pine picnic tables were covered with blue-and-white checked tablecloths. What used to be the loading dock was now an outside dining area that looked out over Main Street. The air in and out of the Longhorn always smelled of beer and fried onions, scents that mingled with laughter and rowdy conversation.

Mario, a Hispanic doctor who worked the emergency room in one of San Antonio's larger hospitals, turned a look of concern on Sierra. "What's the matter? Are you trying to diet? You certainly don't need to. You've gotten too thin in my opinion."

Feeling as if a bright spotlight were focused on her, Sierra dropped her gaze to the half-eaten lunch plate in front of her. "Not really, Mario. I've been eating plenty. I just don't want dessert today." She looked up and smiled apologetically at Gayle. "Maybe next week I'll have more of an appetite. Why don't you go ahead and eat one without me."

Laughing, Gayle shook her head. "No way. I'm not going to be the only one to eat a days'worth of calories in one small bowl."

"Well, I think Mario is right," Trey spoke up. "Sierra looks thin and pale. We've all noticed it. So what's wrong, honey? Still mooning over Chad Newbern?"

She looked at Trey, a big, brawny civil engineer with forearms the size of Popeye's and an even bigger heart.

"I don't want to talk about him," she said flatly.

She didn't even want to think about Chad, much less talk about him. Sierra had dated the man for two long years and then, suddenly, two months ago, he'd told her he wanted out of their relationship. He'd explained how he wanted more excitement in his life and Sierra was left with the clear conclusion that she'd simply been too boring to satisfy him. The whole incident had left her ego in shreds.

"Why not? It's obvious you're still thinking about the loser."

A grimace tightened her jaw as she looked directly across the table at Alex Calloway, the smooth lawyer of the bunch. A look of pure boredom etched his handsome features and Sierra had the most unladylike urge to kick his shins beneath the table. Of all her friends, Alex had a way of irritating her the most. Sarcasm should have been his middle name and there were times he could be so callous Sierra wanted to bop him over the head. Yet, on the other hand, he could turn around and be a real peach whenever he wanted to be.

Sierra had never considered him as more than a good friend and she supposed it was that complex personality of his that had kept her from falling for his tall, lanky good looks. And thank God for that, she thought. Alex was a heartbreaker of the worst kind.

"You don't know what I'm thinking," she bit sharply back at him.

"Well, I certainly believed old Chad was gonna be your husband someday soon. I was expectin' you to waltz in here and tell us wedding bells were fixin' to ring," Trey spoke up. "Instead the jerk runs out on you."

"Yeah. And after all you've done for the cad," Gayle added disgustedly. "There's nothing as sorry as a sorry man."

Trey scowled at Gayle, but none of the three men at the table bothered to speak up and defend their gender. Instead Mario looked sympathetically at Sierra and said, "Well, at least you got him off alcohol. And he's got a steady job. You can feel good about that."

"Yes, sir," Trey spoke up brightly, "you fixed Chad Newbern when he was pretty broken. You can feel proud of yourself for helping someone to get on with his life."

It was true that Sierra had been proud of the progress Chad had made since she'd first met him two years ago. At that time, he'd just been discharged from the navy for medical reasons and he'd been devastated over losing a career he'd wanted so badly. He'd taken to drinking to get the loss off his mind, until the liquor had taken hold of him.

Sierra had been touched by his wounded spirit and slowly but surely she'd helped him get over the drinking problem. In the process, she'd fallen in love. And she supposed her biggest mistake had been thinking that Chad had fallen in love, too.

"Yeah," Alex drawled as he lifted his beer mug to his lips, "Sierra's not just a social worker, she's a miracle worker. She's good at patching things. No matter how rotten they are."

"Alex!" Gayle scolded. "Can't you see that Sierra is hurting? She needs our support."

A mocking slant spread over Alex's firmly chiseled lips. "What Sierra needs to do is stiffen her spine before someone else walks all over her."


Excerpted from In A Texas Minute by Stella Bagwell Copyright © 2005 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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