ROCKY MOUNTAIN MIRACLE, a western romance by Christine Feehan, author of thirty novels, including the Carpathians, the Ghostwalkers, the Leopard People, and the Drake Sisters series


BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN

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  • Rocky Mountain Miracle is the perfect story to get you in the ‘Christmas Spirit’. 
  • Title:Rocky Mountain Miracle
    Author: Christine Feehan
    Genre: Western Romance
    Published By: Pocket Star
    Published Date: November 17, 2014
    Sold By: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
    Pages: 192
    Price: $3.99
    ASIN: B00IWTWG94

SUMMARY:

When Cole Steele, a womanizer rumored to have killed his father, meets Maia Armstrong, a veterinarian rumored to practice magic, the sizzling romance could melt all the snow on his Wyoming ranch.   And when an injured horse brings them together, Cole can’t help but believe that Maia casts spells on animals—and men. What else could explain the burning passion he feels for her and the thawing of his heart just in time for Christmas?43088_PocketStar_Ornament_OnlineAsset

 

EXCERPT:

Cole Steele could hear the screams coming from the room down the hall. He knew those nightmares intimately, because the…

View original post 5,246 more words

Monday Author Meetup: Spotlight on Penny Estelle’s Western Romance


My guest today is multi-genre author Penny Estelle. Please help me welcome this friendly, versatile lady.

Penny EstelleAbout the author: Penny Estelle was an elementary school secretary for 21 years. She heard every excuse and story in the book when kids would be sent to the principal, and promised herself she would one day write stories about kids. A promise she has kept!

Now retired, Penny and her husband live on a fifty-four acre ranch in Arizona, using solar and wind power. She says, “I am the “greenest” person and I know, even if I don’t want to be!”

Not only does Penny have stories out for kids, she also writes for adults as P. A. Estelle. Today the spotlight is on:

Revenge, The Cowboy Way

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Penny says,

Hi everybody! Revenge, The Cowboy Way was written forty years ago. I was in my early twenties and a new mother, also. I read a few steamy romances and figured – “I can do this!” I used my electric Brothers Typewriter and started in. Five years later I was done and sure it was the “Great American Novel”. I sent out a few queries, certain publishing companies would be fighting over my book, but to my surprise I received three, Thanks, but no thanks, responses. I boxed it up and it has lived in my closet until about a year ago. It was such pathetic writing. LOL. I took it out and did LOTS of editing and polishing. I was so excited when R&P offered me a contract.

Book blurb:

When Brian Thornton is taken by surprise at gunpoint, while in the bed of a beautiful, wealthy woman, he swears his revenge. But when he learns his humiliation was at the hands of a young woman and a boy, his vengeance knows no bounds.

Joanna Simmons finds herself snatched out of her home and taken to Thornton’s ship. Against her will, she travels to Texas, and then by wagon train to Bastrop, Brian’s hometown. Joanna finds acceptance and genuine friendship with the people of the town, down to Brian’s sister, but the emotional war that wages between Brian and Joanna, keeps any kind of happiness at bay.

Revenge, the Cowboy Way, is the story of hate, love and revenge. The question is whose revenge is it?

Book excerpt:

Joanna busied herself by cleaning a big black kettle in the corner. She hung it by the handle and swung it over the fire. Then began the arduous task of filling it, one rain-filled bucket at a time. It was getting later in the day, and the rain still hadn’t let up at all. She was feeding the fire when Brian finally returned.

She jumped up and ran to help him take off his slicker. His hands were like ice and his lips were blue. His teeth were chattering so hard, he couldn’t talk. “Get over here by the fire. We need to get these clothes off right now before you freeze to death!” Her energy was zapped just undressing him. She wrapped blankets around him and laid him by the fire. He was asleep instantly.

He had brought in two burlap bags. Inside one were two rabbits and inside the other were vegetables and coffee. How did he come by these? Remembering when Brian had shown her how to clean a rabbit, she set to work doing just that. She cut the meat into chunks, dropping them into the water, and then cut up the vegetables. It would take a long time for the rabbit to be eatable, but at least Pappy would have some broth when he woke next. She also found some tin cups and made herself a cup of coffee.

Joanna sat up long into the night, drinking coffee, leaning against the wall by the fireplace. She watched Brian sleep. She finally admitted it. She loved this man. She also knew he would never return her love. Should she leave? Should she stay with Pappy for as long as he would have her? At least she would be able to see Brian. Could she live that way, seeing him with other women—maybe marrying someone else? No, she couldn’t.

And what about Pappy? Since her grandfather had died, this was the one man she could trust completely, and she had come to love this gentle old soul. It was like a stab in her heart to see the two men she loved, lying on the floor, so still and vulnerable. How infinitely sad she felt! Everything in the world she wanted was right here, in this broken down shack, yet nothing was in reach.

“Joanna…”

She never hesitated, just went to Brian, hungry for his embrace, weeping quietly against his shoulder.

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

Buy Links:

Rooster and Pig Publishing – http://www.roosterandpigpublishing.com/new-releases

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Cowboy-Way-P-Estelle-ebook/dp/B00JPK70QS

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/revenge-the-cowboy-way-p-a-estelle/1119235016

Book trailer – http://animoto.com/play/ZBbPWcCUkv9LGle1xtdcVw

To find out more about Penny and her books visit the following links. She loves visitors and comments.

www.pennystales.com

www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com

http://www.amazon.com/Penny-Estelle/e/B006S62XBY

https://twitter.com/Pennystales

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5820078.Penny_Estelle

http://www.facebook.com/pennystales

http://www.pinterest.com/pennyestelle

https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146&Itemid=82

Penny also has a newsletter that goes out for new releases or sales. If you would like to be notified please sign up @ http://eepurl.com/388Xr

Monday Author Meetup: Linda Hubalek


I’m happy to welcome western historical romance author Linda Hubalek to my little corner of the blogospere.  Today I’m featuring Linda’s  Brides with Grit trilogy, Don’t you love that series title? For me it personifies our strong pioneer foremothers perfectly.

linda hubalek

About the author: Linda Hubalek grew up on the Kansas prairie, always wanting to be a farmer like her parents and ancestors. After earning a college degree in Agriculture, marriage took Linda away from Kansas as her husband worked in engineering jobs in several states.

Meanwhile, Linda wrote about pioneer women that homesteaded in Kansas between 1854 to the early 1900’s, especially her Swedish immigrant ancestors.

Her historical fiction and western romance book series are: Butter in the Well, Trail of Thread, Planting Dreams, the Kansas Quilter and the Brides with Grit.

Linda and her husband finally returned back to Kansas, where they raised American buffalo (bison) for a dozen years.

Linda will begin by describing her favorite place to write.

I have a home office in my house, with a desk, book shelves, and credenza. I use a big monitor and curved keyboard to write, so I’m always at my desk. I have many antique dishes that my ancestors used displayed on shelves to give the feel of the 1800’s time period to my writing space. I have a nice rural view out my window with pink rose bushes and bird feeders right outside my window.

Sounds lovely!Can you write amid noisy distractions or do you need absolute quiet?

Nope, it’s got to be total quiet. I can’t “think” in the 1800’s with modern distractions.

I completely agree. How do you develop your plots and your characters?

I have a spiral notebook where I write down ideas on pen and paper, then type my thought into the computer so I can move the plots around, eventually forming an outline, and then expanding it into individual scenes.

My best ideas come on quiet country walks, or right when I wake up in the mornings.

Do you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pantser?

I start out with an outline, and, then make a new list of things I wanted to include, and find a place to work them in the story—and then do this about seven times before the book is finally ready for the editor.

Are your books professionally edited?

Absolutely, but even then readers will write to me, finding words that should have been found and corrected. But I appreciate them taking the time to do it, because I can correct the ebook or print book easy enough these days.

If you don’t mind telling us, which of your books has been most favorably reviewed? Why do you think it’s a favorite among readers?

Trail of Thread. Right now it’s at 132 Amazon reviews with a 4.5 star rating.

I think it has done well because of the work I put into it, and the fact that people are fascinated with pioneer woman’s wagon trail stories.

To research my Trail of Thread book series, I drove to Kentucky, and Ohio, and back to Kansas to follow the trails that my ancestors would have traveled in 1854-55. I needed to see what they left behind, and then what they encountered along their journey. I saw the rivers they had to cross, what towns were in existence then, and how the scenery changed from day to day. I stood on a hilltop next to the original log cabin in Kentucky that my Pieratt ancestors left, and stood in the private graveyard of my Kennedy ancestors in Ohio, and ended my trip at the land they homesteaded next to each other in Kansas.

Fascinating! You obviously love researching. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Several of my historical fiction book series are based on real people and places. So the connections of family and time, and realizing my ancestors lived through the 1800’s has made me fascinated with the homesteading era. The connection of standing on a piece of land that my ancestors homesteaded in the middle of the open prairie and seeing the same view as they did…me walking up the steps in the house that their feet touched…just electrifies me.

Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. What project are you working on now?

Currently I’m working on the Brides with Grit series. I’ve outlined eight books of the series and writing them pretty much in sequence, but I’ll think of scenes for other books and write them down too.

This is a clean historical western romance set in 1873 around the famous cowtown of Ellsworth, Kansas. It’s based on real-life type situations, and strong women that want a decent husband, home and community life

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***Linda just told me book 2, Millie Marries a Marshall will be out this week!

 

I’ve used catchy titles so people realize it goes with the series. First book, Rania Ropes a Rancher, is available now. Millie Marries a Marshal will be out in late November and Hilda Hogties a Horseman in December.

Catchy titles indeed! I also like the book covers. They convey an old time feeling and tie together very well. Don’tyou agree,readers?

 

brides with grit trio 1-2-3

 

Rania Ropes a Rancher

A Historical Western Romance

Book Blurb:

Ellsworth, Kansas,1873- Rania Hamner spent her life herding cattle up the Chisholm Trail with her family. Something on the trail caused her to doubt her worth, and her ability to trust a man enough to become his wife. Once the family buys a homestead in Kansas, she meets rancher Jacob Wilerson, who begins to make Rania believe she can trust and fall in love after all.

When Rania’s past attacks with new danger, she decides to fight for all she’s worth because she realizes she wants to be with Jacob forever.

When Jacob realizes Rania is in danger, he rushes to save her, whether or not she still loves him, hoping to rope Rania—his heart—once more, as she has roped his.

Excerpt:

Before Jacob could run down the twenty feet to the little boy, the horsewoman trailing the herd, snapped a lasso through the air which landed around the six-foot spread of the bull’s horns. She yanked the rope back hard with her right, gloved hand at the same time her horse jumped backwards, snapping the animal’s head back from its disastrous route. Both bull and boy were bawling at once, but the horse and rider just pulled the animal back onto the route of the herd, like it was an everyday occurrence. The woman was attuned to the livestock, but she also saw the child in danger in an instant, and took care of both.

Now that’s the kind of wife he needed, someone who could ride, rope, handle livestock and children—a woman with grit.

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Purchase Links for Linda’s books:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-K.-Hubalek/e/B001K7XO7I/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-K.-Hubalek/e/B001K7XO7I/

Autographed paperbacks: http://lindahubalek.com/store/products/

Find Linda on these sites:

Newsletter sign-up: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LindaHubalek

Website: http://lindahubalek.com

Twitter: @LindaHubalek

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindahubalekbooks

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-K.-Hubalek/e/B001K7XO7I/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/102327.Linda_K_Hubalek

Monday Author Meetup: Kirsten Osbourne


My special guest today is best-selling author Kirsten Osbourne. I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten at a recent authors retreat and I can tell you she is a very dedicated writer as well as a fun lady. She also co-hosts the Pioneer Hearts group on Facebook, popular with readers and authors. As a change of pace today, I’m skipping the usual interview and headlining Kirsten’s new book. If you like this streamlined format, please let me know.

Kirsten Osbourne

About the author: Kirsten Osbourne hails from the state of Wisconsin, but has lived in Texas for almost thirty years. She is a mother, a writer, and a wife. Married to the love of her life for fifteen years, she knows that true love exists and wants to share her vision of love with the world. Writing is something she has always loved and plans on doing for a long time into the future. As Kirsten Osbourne, she writes contemporary romance as well as historical. As Morganna Mayfair, she ventures into the realm of paranormal romance. She invites you to join her in her world of fantasy and make believe where there is always a happily ever after at the end.

Welcome Kirsten! I’m delighted to spotlight your latest release: Violet

Violet (1)

Violet (Suitors of Seattle Book 7) – Kindle edition by Kirsten Osbourne. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Blurb:

At the age of twenty, Violet Sullivan is on her way to having everything she’s ever wanted. Her first art show was a success, and despite a slight altercation with the gallery owner, she knows that she is going to go places. A husband and children aren’t on her horizon. She can’t have a career and a family, can she?

The only thing Jonas Smith can concentrate on is justice. His sister and brother-in-law have been murdered, and he won’t be able to rest until he sees their killer brought to justice. He only wishes he could stop thinking about Violet Sullivan. Will the two of them be able to see past their differences to find the passion lurking inside? Will they find love before it’s too late?

Excerpt:

The woman that entered the room left them both speechless.  Her hair was pure white, and she couldn’t have been a day under seventy.  She practically bounced into the room and sat down beside Violet.  “I’m here to apply for the job of traveling companion.”

Violet looked at the other woman and immediately noticed the twinkle in her eyes behind her huge spectacles.  “Why do you want to be a traveling companion, Miss Blue?”

“Oh, honey, you can call me Edna.  I’m old.  I think you can see that if you have eyes in your head, and you do appear to have eyes.  I’m old, and I’ve been making hats for fifty years.  Do you know what it’s like to do the same thing day in and day out for fifty years?  Of course you don’t.  You’re young.”  She reached into the pocket of her dress and took out a silver flask, taking a deep swig of whatever was in it before tucking it back into her pocket.  “Well, now that I’m old, I realize that I haven’t done some of the things I put on my list when I was a girl.”  She turned to Violet.  “Do you have a list?  All of my friends and I, when we were very young, made lists of what we wanted to do before we died.  I wanted to marry, and I almost did, but poor Harry died before we had a chance to reach that pinnacle of love that’s expressed in a physical way.”  She shook her head.  “Anyway, on my list was to ride on a train and to see New York City.”  She looked over at Jonas.  “So will you have me?”

Jonas blinked a few times, not sure he’d caught exactly what she was talking about, and what on earth was in her flask?  “Do you like children?”

“Of course I like children.  What kind of question is that?”  She looked at Violet.  “Are you with child?  Is that why we’re going to New York? I’ll either help you take care of it, or we’ll find a nice family who will adopt it.  Either way, my lips will be sworn to secrecy about your bastard child!”

Violet bit her lip to control her urge to giggle.  “I’m not having a bastard child, Miss Blue…I mean Edna, but I thank you for being willing to protect my reputation.  I’d love to have you go with me.”  Suddenly she could see herself sitting beside this woman on a train bound for New York.  She would be laughing the entire time.

Jonas stared at the woman for a moment.  “The child is my nephew.  He’s three, and he’ll be traveling with us.  While we’re there, I need to pack up my sister’s house and decide what to keep and what to donate.  She died a few months ago.”

“Oh, Mr. Smith!  I’m so sorry for your loss.  I’ll be happy to help with your sister’s child too.  He’s not a bastard, is he?”  She peered at Jonas expectantly as she waited for his answer.

“No, he’s not a bastard.  Does that matter?”

“Oh no, sir.  I love bastard children just as much as the regular legitimate tots.  More probably.  They need more love, don’t you think?”

Jonas didn’t feel at all qualified to answer her question about whether bastard children needed more love, and he still wanted to know what was in her flask.  “What’s in the flask, Miss Blue?”

She pulled the container out of her pocket again and took another swig after unscrewing the lid.  “Oh this?  This is my cough tonic.”  She put it back in her pocket and looked at Jonas expectantly.

“Cough tonic?  I haven’t heard you cough even once.”

“See?  My tonic works!  Would you like some?”  She pulled it out of her pocket to offer him a drink.

Jonas held one hand up to refuse the tonic, but couldn’t help but notice that Violet was giggling uncontrollably.  Why…Violet was turning violet she was laughing so hard.  “No, thank you.”  He looked between the two women, wondering if Edna Blue was really the kind of woman they needed on their trip.  After a moment he shrugged.  “If you’ll excuse us for a moment, I’ll let you know our decision.”

Jonas turned to Violet wishing that Edna had closed the door behind her.  “Do you think that Edna would be a good companion for you?”

Violet grinned.  “Oh yes.  She will keep me entertained when nothing else possibly could.  Please, may we take her with us?”  Now that she’d met Edna, she wanted no one else to go on their trip with them.  Edna was the only choice as far as she was concerned.

Jonas sighed heavily.  “Do I have a choice?”

“No, I don’t believe you do.”  She was thrilled to have the option of taking the sweet old woman who was just a bit off her rocker with her.  “I love her, Mr. Smith!”

Jonas shook his head.  “I can see you do.  All right.  And please, call me Jonas.  We’re going to be spending a great deal of time together.  There’s no need to continue to be so formal.”

“All right, Jonas.  I think Edna is the perfect solution to our dilemma.”

Jonas decided to hold his tongue over the kind of solution he thought Edna was.  “Miss Blue?” he called out loudly.

Edna popped back into the room, her frizzy white hair bobbing wildly.  “Yes?”

“We’d like you to go to New York with us, if you’re willing to accept the job.”  Jonas knew as soon as he said the words they were a mistake.  He felt a huge sense of foreboding, but it was too late.  He’d made the offer, and he was a man of his word.

Jonas shook his head, wondering what he’d gotten himself into.  Edna was definitely not the type of woman he’d wanted to take with him to New York.  She was going to be a handful.  There was no doubt about it.

Edna smiled radiantly at Violet, her face lighting up at the girl’s words.  “I won’t let you do anything you oughtn’t do.  I promise! When do we leave?  I need to pack my things!”

“We’ll leave one week from today.  I’ll send word after I buy the tickets about what time we’ll need to go.”

Edna nodded.  “That will be wonderful.  I will see you then.”  She rushed from the room mumbling about all the things that she needed to do to be ready for the big adventure.

Jonas watched her go and leaned back in his chair.  “Did that really just happen?  Is that crazy woman going to New York with us?”

Monday couldn’t come soon enough.

Visit Kirsten on these sites:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Kirsten.Os

website: http://www.kirstenandmorganna.com/

New 5-star Review for Six Cats In My Kitchen


Here are snippets from this wonderful review. You can read the entire review on Amazon.

http://amzn.to/1ARASxY  Look to the right under Most Recent Customer Reviews.

 

Six Cats In My Kitchen

A Sweet, Funny, Sad Book 🙂

By Over The Rainbow “Whyrens”

This story was very real. The author didn’t hold back and so readers are truly “treated” to all of the joys and trials associated with being owned by a cat. The author also included some of the triumphs and sorrows from her life with her non-furry family. . . I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who has ever been a cat’s chosen human, and anyone who is contemplating entering that state. . . All-in-all, just a good read for nearly anyone as it’s overall take-away message is that we are not alone; the human condition is shared by all. 🙂

Monday Author Meetup: Merry Farmer


For the next few months I will be hosting western historical authors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the Pioneer Hearts group on Facebook. Today, I’m happy to welcome the very talented Merry Farmer.

About the author: MerMerry Farmerry Farmer is an award-winning novelist who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always have something to write about. Her books have topped the Amazon and iBooks charts and finalled in the prestigious RONE and Rom Com Reader’s Crown awards.

Howdy, Merry. Let’s start with you telling us how you began writing.

Sure thing, Lyn. I’ve actually been writing since I was ten years old and realized that I didn’t need my teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. I remember the moment vividly. I had been hoping and hoping that Mr. Morley would give us a writing assignment for weeks. Once again, he hadn’t. But right after that Language Arts class, we had recess. I hated going outside and running around, so it just dawned on me that while everyone else was being rowdy I could just take out a piece of paper and write something. So I did.

Smart girl! What’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hours a day do you write?

I have two times during the day that I write. I wake up at 5:30am and write for about an hour before I get ready for my day job. Then, when I get home at night, after supper, I write for about an hour and a half. I tend to write fast, so those two and a half hours usually net me about 3,000 words. I also happen to believe it’s very important to write on a schedule, because then your brain is used to the creative process at that time of day.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you choose it?

At the moment, I only publish under my real name, Merry Farmer. But starting next year, I’ll be publishing different genres with different pen names. I always said I would never write under a pen name, but as it turns out, all those people who told me that readers who are used to seeing you write in one genre for each name are right. So from now on, different genre, different name.

I’ve heard that too. Are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?

I’m self-published. I was never particularly interested in publishing traditionally because I really love a good challenge. And believe me, self-publishing is a tremendous challenge! I love the independence and freedom to work on whatever projects I want in my own time. It’s like owning a small business though. So much work!

So true! Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I do! I have a core group of writer friends who are the most excellent beta-readers a gal could hope for. They encourage me and keep me heading in the right direction. I also like to invite “guest beta-readers” to take a look at my stuff now and then to get a fresh perspective.

Are your books professionally edited?

Absolutely! I am a firm believer that every writer should have a professional editor take a look at their manuscripts before they publish. We are not good judges of our own work. We need someone to examine the story to be sure we’re telling it in the most effective way possible, and we need someone to come along and clean up all of our copy errors.

I totally agree. If money was no object, what extravagant thing would you do or buy?

I love traveling, so I would want to buy a whole lot of plane tickets to exotic places. But I also have this idea that I should just buy one of those awesome, high-tech RVs with the sides that pop out and just live in one of those, constantly traveling. I guess that would make me a gypsy, eh?

LOL The gypsy life could be fun. What book are you reading now? Is this by a new author to you, or an old favorite?

Right now, I’m reading The Countess Conspiracy, by Courtney Milan. Courtney is one of my favorite authors, both because the kind of characters she writes are the kind of characters I want to write. She’s also an amazingly helpful and intelligent woman who is always ready to step up and help her fellow authors. She’s amazing.

Now a touchy subject: How do you react to a bad review of your book?

The first really bad review I ever got had me weeping into my Cheerios for two weeks. It also happens, to this day, to be the worst, most scathing review I’ve ever gotten. After that, all other bad reviews have paled. I will admit, I replied to that reviewer, thanking them for their opinion and mildly disputing a few of their points. I shouldn’t have done that and I’ve never done anything like that since. These days, I tend not to read reviews at all. They’re not for me. They’re for future readers to decide whether we’re a good author/reader fit.

I think you’re right not to read them. If you don’t mind telling us, which of your books has been most favorably reviewed?

You know, the book I just published, Trail of Kisses, the first in my Hot on the Trail series about the Oregon Trail, has had the highest number of positive reviews in the fastest amount of time of all my books so far. But I do believe that my book In Your Arms, which is part of the Montana Romance series, has the highest ratio of great reviews to date.

Both books sound terrific! Now here’s a tempting taste of Merry’s new book.


Trail of Kisses

TrailofKisses

Blurb:

Someone is trying to kill Lynne Tremaine. After her father sentences two members of The Briscoe Boys gang to death, Judge Tremaine feels he has no choice but to send Lynne to Denver City along the Oregon Trail to live with her Uncle George…against her will. For Lynne, the only thing worse than being sent away to the wild west is making the journey with the handsome, arrogant, wicked man her uncle has hired to escort her. Especially when the anger she feels toward him begins to turn to something hotter.

Cade Lawson is determined to prove himself to his employer, George Tremaine, after letting him down months earlier. But what he thought would be his second chance may, in fact, be a harsh punishment for his past mistakes. Lynne is headstrong, fiery, and determined to show him she is fearless. She is also beautiful and tempting, and when Cade sees just how afraid she really is underneath her brave act, he may be in danger of losing his heart to her forever. When her would-be killer attacks, it’s all he can do to keep Lynne safe.

He swore to protect her, but who will protect him from her?

Excerpt:

“Oh!”

The sharp cry Lynne gave as she bent to retrieve her towel from the bush where they’d left their clothes dampened Cade’s errant ardor. She backpedaled from the bush, clutching the towel to her chest.

“What is it?” he asked, pushing faster through the shallows. “Is it a snake?”

Lynne didn’t answer. She clutched the towel tighter around her chest and sidestepped to meet him as he stepped onto the dried grass beside the stream. Her silence set his nerves on edge.

“It’s your boots,” she said at last.

Cade’s tension fell into confusion. “My boots?” he said, striding to the bush. What the devil could be so upsetting about his—

Behind the bush, separate from the rest of his clothes, his boots lay in tatters. The leather had been sliced clean to ribbons and separated from the soles. Long, thin scars marked the soles where he could see them. The laces were shredded.

He was instantly on the alert and spitting mad. He scooped one of the shredded boots off the ground and studied it for a moment before glancing around. The area near the stream was open, nothing but grass and a few scrubby bushes between it and the cottonwood trees that marked the edge of Fr. Kearny. Callie and John were still in discussion further up the stream as they dressed. The miners cavorted as though nothing was out of the ordinary downstream. Closer to the fort, a handful of groups were either coming or going. Ben walked toward them with a basket of laundry.

“Ben!” Cade called, marching across the grass to meet him. “Did you see anyone lingering around our things just now?”

Ben picked up his pace to meet Cade closer to the stream. “No, sir, I didn’t see nothin’.”

Cade’s frown deepened. Somebody had to have seen something. He twisted to study the miners again, counting them. How many had there been when he and Lynne were in the water? He checked the groups of people walking away from the stream. They were all families, most with young children.

The hair stood up on the back of his neck.

“He’s here,” he said, low and cautious.

“W-who?” Lynne asked. She had thrown her blouse and petticoat on and was halfway through fastening her skirt.

Cade turned and marched back to her. He needed to get her out of the open as quickly as possible.

“Whoever is trying to hurt you,” he said, leaning closer. “And I sure as hell am not going to let them.”

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