FIRST PEEK AT FIRST RIDE COWBOY COLLECTION: CHOCOLATE COWBOY by Kirsten Lynn

Chocolate Cowboy by Kirsten Lynn

 First Ride Collection

First Ride Cowboy Collection

You Never Forget Your First…

Saddle up for a sexy ride with 18 bestselling and award winning authors as they share with you their first in a series. These cowboys will claim your heart with their rough edges and raw emotions. Dust off your boots, and join us for a ride you’ll never forget.

Coming February 3rd!

https://romancerebelspublishing.com/2017/01/10/first-ride-cowboy/

FEATURING:

Chocolate Cowboy by Kirsten Lynn

Returning to Wyoming two things surprised GySgt Jared Worrell…becoming the town chocolatier and Lucy Thomas. Coming home never tasted so sweet.

 

Forget Me Knot by Lori King

Will her vacation into the heart of cattle country turn out to be a mistake?

 

Cowboy Crazy by Em Petrova

Five brides for five brothers…at least that’s the deal the Daltons have struck with their boys. Each son must marry in order to inherit a piece of the ranch they love so much.

 

Watching Fireflies by Jaycee Ford

A cowboy who knew nothing of love. A city girl who wishes she didn’t.

 

Sweet As Candy by Sidda Lee Rain

She may be the softness to smooth his rough edges. That is…if he can convince her to give an ol’ rodeo bum a chance.

 

Lazarus by Beth Williamson

Being a Graham isn’t easy, and it’s about to get a lot harder for one stubborn lawman and the woman who still owns his heart.

 

The Heartsong Cowboy by Melissa Keir

Can two people, one horse and the power of love cure a little girl?

 

Gimme Some Sugar by Stephanie Berget

She’s is a genius with cupcakes and croissants. He needs a ranch cook to whip up beef, beans and bacon. Love never tasted so good.

 

Her Fated Cowboy by Donna Michaels

Thrown back into the path of her first love, she finds hers is not the only heart fate has damaged.

 

Cowboy Proud by D’Ann Lindun

She left town to chase her dreams…he stayed and ignored his…can they find love again?

 

Davis: Letters of Fate by Paty Jager

A marriage of convenience ignites into a steamy romance and brings two strong wills together.

 

Make Mine a Cowboy by Sandy Lea Sullivan

She writes fantasy cowboys for a living…but she never expected to find her own on the back roads of Hill Country, Texas.

 

Montana Bachelor by Hildie McQueen

Rich Bachelor seeks Single Female who won’t mind complications of elite society, a suspicious father and an evil ex-girlfriend…

 

Cowboys Never Fold by Lexi Post

A cowboy honors a promise by working at a nudist resort but to win the sexy owner’s heart, he must bare more than his soul.

 

River’s Edge by Gem Sivad

From gunslinger to ranch owner. He’s finding respectability a lot more dangerous than his former life of sin.

 

Under Pressure by Rhonda Lee Carver

The Stone sisters know their way with a gun, rope, three-inch heels, and a cowboy’s heart.

 

Jake: Men of Clifton by Susan Fisher Davis

He can tame the wildest stallion, but can he tame a stubborn redhead that wants nothing to do with him?

 

The Real McCoy by Sabrina York

She mistakes him for a stripper…he is happy to comply!

 

 

Get a taste of:
Chocolate Cowboy by Kirsten Lynn
Ten Sleep Dreaming Series Book 1

15965922_741455459337748_3367492322221236861_nGySgt Jared Worrell wanted one thing—to live and die a Marine. He’s made a good start at the first and come close to the second more times than a man should. One call from his mother changes all his plans, and he’s headed back to Ten Sleep, Wyoming. The Reserves feed his need to be a Marine, but what does a man do the rest of the year in a town so small it doesn’t even have one stoplight? His mom has the perfect solution; Jared should use another talent and become the town chocolatier. He’s just recovering from that bomb when she drops another…

Lucy Thomas fell in love with Ten Sleep when her parents fulfilled their dreams of owning their own ranch. Now Lucy is living her dream of photographing Wyoming from its landscape to its people, but she’s never really felt a part of the small town where everyone has known everyone else forever. Turning the doorknob to her friend’s house brings her face to face with a man whose arms she’d love to call home. He’s a Marine, cowboy, and chocolatier…how can a woman resist?

Coming home never tasted so sweet.

www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com

 

READ AN EXCERPT

“Claudia!” Lucy knocked and entered the cabin as was her habit. What met her at the door was not Claudia Worrell. He was what could make a woman’s panties melt with just a look. The man who stood before her with a shocked look on his face, his hand frozen in a gesture that said if she gave him two more seconds he would have opened the door and this could have played out like a normal situation, was simply magnificent. His black hair was cut high and tight, singling him out as Claudia’s Marine son, and those gray eyes she always thought stunning on Claudia passed stunning and went to breathtaking on him, but they weren’t warm and welcoming like Claudia’s.

She scanned his body. Tall and lean with corded muscle. He wasn’t all bulky, still his t-shirt and flannel shirt stretched nicely across a broad chest.

“You must be Lucy.”

His hand dropped, and he took a step back, allowing her to completely enter. Her eyes dropped down miles of denim-clad legs to stocking feet. Oh boy, she was a sucker for a man who looked hot in stocking feet.

“Are you Lucy?”

She cleared her throat and shut the door. Her face grew hot, and she had to clear her throat again before she could speak. “Yes.” That was some dialogue there, Lucy Thomas. Next time hit him with a toughie like, no or maybe.

He extended a large, tanned hand. “I’m Jared, Claudia’s son.”

Lucy took hold of his warm, rough hand and sighed. “I know.” She held up the sack in her other hand. “I brought cinnamon rolls.”

There went dazzling him with her wit. His smile grew, and he nodded to the bag. “Thanks. All we have is leftover chili for breakfast.”

“That actually sounds pretty good.” Lucy relaxed as her brain began to function again. At least she was stringing words together in a manner that made sense, and her essential tremors weren’t rattling the sack.

When he chuckled and tugged her hand with his in an effort to release his hand from her grip, she wished she had a secret amulet and could turn back time. She released his hand with an uneasy laugh.

“Sorry.”

“I’ve had worse things happen. Mom’s still getting dressed. Let’s go through to the galley.”

Lucy finally came out of her daze and handed him the sack so she could remove her coat, hat, and boots. She hurried, noticing he was waiting for her. When she kicked off her second boot, she smiled at him and led the way into the kitchen.

“Claudia said you haven’t been out of the Marines long?”

She was afraid his back might snap he stood so straight. “I am not out. I had to separate for a short time. After four months, I successfully transitioned into the Reserves. Now, I’m here.”

“Well, I’d like to welcome you home, Jared.”

“Really?” His mouth turned in a wicked smile that, instead of turning her on, flipped the switch to off. “What did you have in mind?”

Lucy felt hot all over, and a bit po’d. “Just that. Welcome home.”

“Sorry, Luce. Bad joke and worse timing.”

She didn’t know what to think of the nickname except she liked it on his lips. “I think we both need to work on our first impression skills. Me ogling you before even saying ‘hi’ might have given the wrong impression.” She stuck out her hand. “Hello, my name is Lucy Thomas, and I don’t make a habit of openly checking out every new man I meet.”

His laughter was rich and warm. He accepted her offered hand. “Hi, Lucy, I’m Jared Worrell, and I don’t make a habit of making suggestive remarks to a woman I just met, even if she ogled me first.”

With a quick handshake, the tension in the room dissipated like her breath in the cold air. “It wasn’t my intention to pry into your homecoming either. I really just wanted to thank you for your service not insult you.”

“None of that. We made a new start, and you brought food. You’re now two for two. “

She opened her mouth, but shut it as Claudia entered the room.

“Oh, I see you two have met.”

“Twice.” Jared winked at Lucy.

She ignored him and gave Claudia a quick hug. “I brought cinnamon rolls. I heard chili, though, and might steal a bowl if there’s some left.

“Plenty.” He grabbed a covered dish out of the refrigerator. “I’ll give you fair warning, I might have just made the world’s first eight alarm chili last night.”

“You made it?” Lucy brought down two plates and a bowl. She handed a plate to Claudia.

“Yes, ma’am. I’m a man of many talents.”

“One being chocolates.” Claudia rummaged in the bakery’s sack for a large roll.

“Chocolates?”

He winced. “Yeah, Mom’s trying to turn me into a chocolatier.”

“You already are one.”

Loading up her bowl with chili that, just by the smell, let Lucy know he wasn’t kidding about the spice, he met her gaze, one side of his mouth lifted in a half smile. “What do you think?”

For some reason, she was honored he asked her. “I think I’d have to try some of the chocolates first…you know…just to make sure.”

Claudia reached into a box on the table and handed her a truffle. Lucy took a bite and almost passed out from pleasure as the perfect taste of fresh strawberry and dark chocolate hit her taste buds. She’d never tasted a strawberry ganache that wasn’t too sweet, but this one tasted exactly like biting into a strawberry. When she opened her eyes it was to find two sets of gray eyes staring at her.

“Good, huh?” Claudia’s smile was huge.

Lucy nodded and turned her attention to Jared. “The best of the best.”

End of Excerpt

Copyright © Kirsten Lynn 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

About the Author

Kirsten Lynn is a Western and Military Historian. She worked six years with a Navy non-profit and continues to contract with the Marine Corps History Division for certain projects. Making her home where her roots were sewn in Wyoming, Kirsten also works as a local historian. She loves to use the history she has learned and add it to a great love story. She writes stories about men of uncommon valor…women with undaunted courage…love of unwavering devotion …and romance with unending sizzle. When she’s not writing, she finds inspiration in day trips through the Bighorn Mountains, binge reading and watching sappy old movies, or sappy new movies. Housework can always wait.

Connect with me online!

https://www.facebook.com/KLynnAuthor

My Website: www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com

My Newsletter: http://www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com/contact_kirstin.php

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AUTUMN HARVEST AUTHOR HOP: BLAZING A TRAIL!

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**UPDATE** WINNERS OF AN E-BOOK OF MINE OF THEIR CHOICE ARE

TERESA W.

DEBRA G.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who stopped by!!

Welcome to the Autumn Harvest Hop for the boxed set HEARTS ABLAZE! Stay tuned for a chance to win a choice of one of my books!  But first…

HERE’S HOW TO HOP!

autumnauthorhopinstructions600HERE ARE THE LINKS TO BLAZE THE TRAIL TO HOT STORIES AND FUN!

1) Elizabeth Rose                  

2) Amanda McIntyre

3) Rose Gordon                     

4) Ciara Knight

5) Kathleen Ball                    

6) Kirsten Lynn (You are here)

7) Hildie McQueen              

8) E.E. Burke

***CONTEST***

Below is an inspiration image for Kyle Allaway, the hero in RIDIN FOR A FALL. Kyle is a superior horseman, the only person who might be a little better is the woman who’s owned his heart since childhood, Lena.  Both know how to stay in the saddle, but when the heart is on the line, they might be RIDIN’ FOR A FALL!

Now, I want to see a cowboy who inspires you!  Post a picture, or tell me about a cowboy who’s inspired you and I’ll draw TWO names for an e-book copy of any of my books! 

Hero KyleAllaway

DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR COPY OF HEARTS ABLAZE! 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fzodcL
Apple: http://apple.co/2eWEnBr
B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/2eWEKvJ
Google: http://bit.ly/2eWxJLI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eH7x2t

14317534_1120770294685239_8709731561138708944_n

 

 

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CHOCOLATE COWBOY!!! SWEET GIVEAWAY!

If you LOVE Marines, Cowboys, and Chocolate you are in right place!! In honor of the April release of CHOCOLATE COWBOY, I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to the real chocolate cowboy in Wyoming!!

CONTEST WILL END FRIDAY APRIL 29TH!!

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First, here’s the blurb to CHOCOLATE COWBOY:

GySgt Jared Worrell wanted one thing—to live and die a Marine. He’s made a good start at the first and come close to the second more times than a man should. One call from his mother changes all his plans, and he’s headed back to Ten Sleep, Wyoming. The Reserves feed his need to be a Marine, but what does a man do the rest of the year in a town so small it doesn’t even have one stoplight? His mom has the perfect solution; Jared should use another talent and become the town chocolatier. He’s just recovering from that bomb when she drops another…

Lucy Thomas fell in love with Ten Sleep when her parents fulfilled their dreams of owning their own ranch. Now Lucy is living her dream of photographing Wyoming from its landscape to its people, but she’s never really felt a part of the small town where everyone has known everyone else forever. Turning the doorknob to her friend’s house brings her face to face with a man whose arms she’d love to call home. He’s a Marine, cowboy, and chocolatier…how can a woman resist?

Coming home never tasted so sweet.

You can Pre-Order it through iBooks today! Click on the cover!

ChocolateCowboy_small

This is one of those stories that I started writing just for fun and it became such a part of my heart. Jared and Lucy helped me through some rough times and made me smile when I didn’t think I could. Honestly, for a writer I haven’t found words to describe how special this story is to me.  I hope they’ll find a place in your hearts, too.

Now, how to win that chocolate and other prizes!  All you have to do is ask me a question. You can ask me about Wyoming, Marines, cowboys, my writing process, upcoming books, or already released stories.

PRIZES:
Grand Prize:  $25 GC to Meeteetse Chocolatier

– A dog tag USB port for A&G: Branded by the Navy series and other swag

– An e-copy of CHOCOLATE COWBOY

–An e-copy of CHOCOLATE COWBOY

So, that will be FOUR names drawn!!

 

EXCERPT OF AIR I BREATHE! WHEN IT’S TIME TO CHECKOUT!

When it’s time to checkout a SEAL doesn’t need his doctor’s permission…just a few good teammates will do.  This excerpt is from a chapter when Jack and the guys have decided their Corpsman, Doc Reyes, has spent enough time in the psych ward. Why was he there? You’ll have to read THE AIR I BREATHE!

AIR ON AMAZON

AIR AT BARNES &NOBLE

AIR ON ITUNES

AIR ON KOBO

The list of Jack’s squad from Team Two, 7th Platoon is after the excerpt!

* * * *

“About time.” Reyes accused when Jack and Walls swung down from the ceiling.
“Yeah, and I can leave your Mexican ass in here.” Jack ground out through clenched teeth as his feet hit floor, and a sharp pain shot through his hip.
With greetings issued and received, Jack dug under his jacket and tossed Reyes camo and a t-shirt. The corpsman changed out of the blue and white pajamas.
“I noticed we weren’t the first up in the ceiling.”
Reyes smiled. “Naw, tried a few times, but the nurse on station is good at her job. She never left her post long enough for me to get out.”
“Well, Shakespeare is taking care of that. Believe me she’s only thinking of one thing with the bullshit he’s spreading.”
“What was that he was spouting?” Walls shook his head in disgust.
“I don’t know, sounded like Midsummer Night’s Dream, but ten for nothin’ he’ll be getting laid tonight.”
Jack gave Reyes then Walls a boost up. Both men reached down and took a hand pulling him up into the ceiling. “You need to cut back on the rice, Cowboy.”
Walls replaced the ceiling tile. Jack didn’t even waste a scowl on the doc; it wouldn’t intimidate the man. “Keep talkin’ brother, and I will suggest a lobotomy. Might actually improve things.”
“Asshole.”
Jack smiled. “Just keep your eyes on mine, and let’s get out of here.”
All teasing and talk stopped as the three SEALs backtracked through the maze Walls scoped out that afternoon. Jack led them to the rendezvous spot over a doctor’s office. Chermont had been standing watch making sure the doctor didn’t come back, and if he did, he didn’t wake up for a couple hours. He met them and the three men formed a perimeter around Reyes. They walked casually down the halls and past the nurse’s post. Jack shared a nod with Shakespeare as he launched into another sonnet.
They kept to the shadows once outside, Shakespeare joining them and bringing up the rear. Each man jumped into the jeep Bill had kept hot and the chief drove off whistling. The shitstorm would come in the morning when Reyes was found missing, but Jack would take on the CO. No one caged one of his men; he didn’t care what kind of hell the corpsman wrought on RVN.

Copyright 2015 Kirsten Lynn
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

THE MEMBERS OF JACK’S ORIGINAL SQUAD:
LTJG Jack “Cowboy” Kerr- Commander of Team Two, 7th Platoon
ENS Erik “Wizard” Walls
CPO Bill “Hunter” Hayden
HM1 Gabriel “Doc or Angel” Gabe Reyes
STG2 Caleb “Frenchy” Chermont
GM2 Wes “Shakespeare” Stone
To learn more about these men, where they got their nicknames, and other SEALs and support, you’ll have to read AIR I BREATHE! :)

AirIBreathe300

 

THE AIR I BREATHE: COMING OCTOBER 20TH

AirIBreathe300A new breed of warrior…
LTJG Jack “Cowboy” Kerr doesn’t know crap about corn and cattle. But put him in a fire fight and he’ll clean-up like Wyatt Earp on the streets of Tombstone. An elite warrior unleashed on the mangroves and rice paddies of Vietnam, he and his men are common men with an uncommon desire to succeed, and it’s not long before the name given to them by the Vietnamese, Men with Green Faces, strikes fear in the enemy and hope to allies. His life is the Navy…his family are the brother SEALs on his left and right. He’s the ultimate hunter/operator. But Jack never thought stealing a kiss from a USO girl would change his life and turn him from hunter to hunted.
An old soul and tender heart…
Libby Boden is a Wyoming cowgirl born and bred. Her determination to serve her country however she can, and to follow her cousins and brother leads her to Vietnam. She’ll do anything to stay in-country, as part of the USO then Red Cross, and close to her loved ones and the SEAL who stole a kiss and her heart. When tragedy strikes separating her from her Frogman, Libby will use all the lessons learned at the feet of her grandparents, Kyle and Lena Allaway, to hunt him down and show him the Navy forgot to issue him one essential…her.
From Vietnam to Wyoming to Little Creek, Virginia…In a world gone crazy these two might find all they need is the air they breathe and each other…

THE BALLAD OF ANNIE SULLIVAN EXCERPT AND COVER!!

Ballad_of_Annie_Sullivan
EXCERPT
Little Creek Cow Camp, Bighorn Mountains, October, 1916
     A slow shiver ran up Hank’s spine causing cold sweat to chill his neck and forehead. His gaze held tight to the spot where he saw the woman. She was real. She had to be real. He jerked his gaze down the rough, uneven terrain he climbed after jumping from his horse and tearing after a blur of red hair and blue dress. He closed in on his quarry until, in a thick copse of pine, she vanished quicker than a plate of his mother’s doughnuts.
      Hank tugged up the collar on his wool plaid coat and tipped his hat down. Not even a damn track. He’d pawed the ground like a bull searching for tracks, but his efforts failed to reveal a toe print. He turned on his boot heel to run his gaze over the mountainside before he reached his mount. The buckskin gelding gave him the skunk eye, the brown gaze following Hank. His horse, questioning his sanity, itched Hank’s hide.
     Stepping across leather, Hank settled into the saddle and patted the buckskin’s neck.
     “Sorry there, boy. But didn’t you see her?”
     Chap whinnied and shook his head.
     Mrs. Baka, an elderly lady Hank helped out a bit who still held to a few of the gypsy ways of her people, once told him animals sensed spirits and things unseen by human eyes.
     “Either you missed that special trait, boy, or I’ve been up here too long with only you and cattle for company.”
     Hank reined Chap back to cow camp. The peace he usually found in these mountains eluded him as he made his way back to the small cabin serving as his summer home. The crunch of Chap’s hooves on dried leaves, pine needles and branches set his jaw to grinding as the noise he normally wouldn’t notice boomed inside him until he was sure his folks down in the valley heard them.
     Since Cal and Josie Renner adopted him thirteen years ago, Hank volunteered to be the rider left on the mountain to secure the cattle and make sure the bulls scattered to breed those heifers ready. Every June like clockwork Hank, Cal, Josie and his brothers, except the littlest one at only five, gathered the herd and moved ’em up a narrow trail to cow camp on a grazing allotment the J Bar A shared with other ranches.
     Then come September, Cal and the boys returned for the beef roundup. Pairs were separated from the yearling steers as ranchers worked together to earmark their beef. Hank breathed a bit better when they took the yearling steers down and headed for Parkman and he was alone again. He never begrudged his brothers and father the train ride to Omaha or Chicago to see the stock sold. As the only single Renner, Hank stayed put on the mountain while the others rotated which lucky couple got to head to the city—and which wife got a shopping trip and a few fancy dinners.
     He glanced back. Thank the good Lord, the family would be back in two weeks to help take the rest of the herd down before the October fifteenth cutoff to be off the mountain. All this being alone was causing him to create red–headed women in blue dresses.
     Aspen trees, dressed in gold leaves just a week ago, now stood bare and black against a sun fading into the west. Hank scrubbed a hand over his face and scratched the rough whiskers, more the start of a beard. How did a woman disappear quicker than summer in Wyoming? She was real. She had to be real.
     Hank shook his head and released thoughts of the woman into the frigid air. Real or not, she was gone and he had cows to check. Accustomed to the routine, the buckskin made his way to the herd. The chill in the air drove the cattle to huddle together and Hank made quick work of counting the pairs. When he came up three short, he reined his mount toward the tree line where black shadows shifted between the white trunks.
     He swung his gaze left and right. Even after confirming the shadows were his missing cows, he couldn’t unhook the feeling that eyes were on him. He’d felt eyes on him every summer, but had tossed it off to a rider from another ranch. This year, he couldn’t brush it off— because an alternative option had presented itself just an hour ago. Urging the three stragglers down to join their herd, Hank clicked his tongue and reined Chap toward a warm fire and some supper.
     A mule rummaged around in the corral next to his sorrel. Hank rode past the holding traps and sent his eyes toward heaven. A groan rumbled from deep in his gut. Smoke curled from the stovepipe of the small cabin he and Cal had built the previous summer. For the first time, it didn’t invite him to settle in for the night with a belly full of beans and a good book. He no more than got Chap combed and oats, and fresh hay to the horses kept at camp, when a rough voice had his head ducking farther into the collar of his coat.
     “Howdy, Hank boy. I took the liberty of gettin’ the beans on the fire.”
     Hank wavered between being grateful the fire was already burning and irritation that he’d have to share it. He wasn’t much on people. Oh, he loved his family and missed them right now, but give him a couple of weeks down at the ranch and he’d be riding off alone first chance he got. About the only person he could stand longer than most was his twin, Jerry; but for being born a few minutes apart, they couldn’t be more different. Jerry was a man about town and never met a stranger; where, it seemed a person remained a stranger to Hank for years after they met.
     His brothers all found girls the minute his stepmother Josie married Cal Renner, and Cal saw to it the family went to socials and the boys all went to school. Like dominos, each brother married—with the youngest, Mitch, being the first to marry. Each brother built a home on the ranch, and the brothers and their wives started having children almost as soon as the roof was put on the house.
Hank chose to go to the university in Laramie. After earning his degree, Hank wandered a bit, always finding his way back to the J Bar A. Two years ago, he planned to follow a family friend, Will Connor, to Europe and help the Brits fight against the Kaiser, but his Ma had raised the roof—so Hank stayed, but spent his time away from town and the busybodies asking why he wasn’t married and starting his family. His family respected his need to be alone. People like Walter Sorenson did not.
      “Are ya comin’ in, or starin’ at the sky ’til it turns blue again?”
     Hank kicked at the dirt, then started toward cabin. “What brings you up this far, Walter?”
     “A little huntin’. And checkin’ on the ol’ place.”
     Hank gave a nod. He ducked a bit to get through the door without knocking his head off. How two men well over six feet could build a place and not make the door passable for anyone over five foot ten, Hank couldn’t say. Could have been the few nips they had of the French wine Will Connor sent while they were measuring. Cal tried to tell Josie they’d been celebrating hearing from Will after a year of nothing when she found them propping up a wall singing God Save the King and toasting George V.
     His mouth twitched with the memory as he toed off his boots and hooked his hat and coat on the wooden pegs by the door. The humor turned to a scowl at Walter’s hat and coat taking up room. He stomped over to the fireplace and sat on his heels, rubbed his hands together in an attempt to shake the cold and his sour attitude. The gas light over the table hissed, casting a dim light over the room. The Little Creek cow camp’s abode wasn’t a mansion, but it was spacious compared to most. Though one room, a kitchen area occupied one corner, complete with a Monarch iron stove and icebox, and even a few cupboards above the sink with a pump, so when Josie was there she didn’t have to haul water.
     Memories warmed Hank and thawed his mind. He’d never call Walt a friend, but he couldn’t slot him as an enemy, either. It wouldn’t hurt him to be hospitable. Once he gained his manners, he unfolded to his full height. Walter stood dishing up beans from the Monarch stove onto an enamelware plate.
     “You know most people up in these mountains?”
     Walter flopped on the cedar bench, taking up one side of the table and swallowed a spoonful of beans. His dark eyes sparked with flames from the fire and curiosity.
     “Not many left up here. Why?”
     “Any have a daughter, or maybe a younger woman?”
     Hank couldn’t say why he thought it was a young woman other than the fact she moved with the speed and grace of a deer. If truth be told, at twenty–eight he might not be as spry as he used to be, but he sure as hell didn’t want to hear a woman of eighty outran and outfoxed him.
     If he hadn’t been staring holes into him, Hank would have missed the way Walter shifted in his chair and raked his fingers through what little was left of his gray hair. After a deep draw of coffee, the man wore a mask of innocence.
     “A woman, ya say?”
     “Yeah, you know…” Hank waved his hands drawing a curvaceous figure in the air, “a woman. Remember how they look?”
     Walter’s eyes narrowed. “Vaguely. But there hasn’t been a woman up here in…” he swallowed hard; like emotion clogged his throat and smoke filled the eyes that just seconds before held fire. He pushed the plate away from him. “Ten years…ten years to the day next Sunday.”
     Hank slid into the rickety ladder–back chair opposite Walter, his own hunger forgotten. Something rode him hard to find out about the woman who lived in the Bighorns. It was ten years ago, but something as intangible as air told him she held the key to the day’s insanity.
     “What happened October 10, 1906?”
     Walter’s eyes turned to black ice. “I’m not much on ghost stories, boy, so if you’re lookin’ for entertainment, look to someone else.”
     Hank leaned back in his chair and could only stare at a man who lived to gossip, tell wild stories and entertain. Hell, even among the chatty hens of Sheridan, a man couldn’t find half the juice to a story as Walter Sorenson could give. And damn if what the man didn’t know, he could weave a wild tale around until a person didn’t care what was fact or fiction anymore.
     Walter pushed off the bench and scraped the leftover beans into the pot before dumping his plate into a sink of soapy water. Hank watched the man shift his short stature from fire to water. He smoothed his mustache.
     “I saw a woman today.”
     A blue and white enamel mug hit the floor and Hank winced as the last mug was chipped. Then he turned his attention back to Walter. The man was white as the frosting on his brother Howard’s birthday cake. The buzz of the gas light hummed like a swarm of bees in the awkward silence.
     “A woman?”
     Hank shrugged, “Yeah, well at least from what I saw, which wasn’t more than a flash of red hair and her blue dress.”
     “Annie,” the man choked out the name.
     Hank hitched a brow. “Annie? You know her?”
     A tremble shook Walt’s shoulders and his face darkened. “Used to.”
    “Used to?”
    “Annie Sullivan was raped and murdered ten years ago.”
Thanks for stopping by!!

 

HOME FIRES BRINGIN’ THE BOOK SIGNING TO THE CAMPFIRE!!

YEEE-HAW, folks!! I’m havin’ my first book signing today and Cookie’s feelin’ a bit left out (since I can’t take him into the finer establishments of Sheridan)!! So the ol’ Coot is givin’ away a signed copy of HOME FIRES with one of the gorgeous bookmarks I’ll be handin’ out!!   10695165_697923293626398_2135748994_n

All you have to do is leave a comment answering one of two questions:

In HOME FIRES, Cord’s horse, Gentleman, is a buckskin. Do you have a preference about what breed/color of horse a hero rides?

OR

Tall, Dark and Handsome or Blond, built, Viking god? How do you like your cowboy hero served up?

DRAWING WILL BE MONDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014!! GOOD LUCK TO ALL!  Also, if you wouldn’t mind thinking of leaving a review on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads, or all three. Reviews really help an author out and I’d be very grateful.

Final Cover Home Fires

AND DON’T FORGET MY NEW RELEASE JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN!! IT’S A HOT TREAT THAT’S SURE TO LIGHT A FEW BONFIRES!!

I’m giving a free copy of this one over at www.prairierosepublications.blogspot.com!! And I’m talking Ghosts of Sheridan, Wyoming!

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