Tag Archive | book excerpt

Excerpt Wednesday – Trail of Longing

Time for another sneak peek of Trail of Longing, the third book in the Hot on the Trail series! This one is about Emma Sutton and Dr. Dean Meyers. Think they’ll be able to get together with all of the road blocks in their way? Let’s take a peek….

(Shh! Pretend you're not seeing this yet!)

(Shh! Pretend you’re not seeing this yet!)

“What’s the matter?” Kathleen’s sharp question forced Dean to drag his eyes away from the curiosity of Emma and her mother. “Don’t you like lemonade?”

Dean had completely forgotten he was holding the jug and tart. “Oh, yes, of course.” He took another long draught and another bite of the tart.

“Then why aren’t you eating more?” Helen asked.

Across from where Dean sat, Pete was shaking with laughter. “Now ladies, you can’t expect poor Dr. Meyers to devour a feast when so many lovely ladies are serving it up.”

Dean nearly choked on tart. At least he had the lemonade to keep him from coughing. “You’re too kind,” he croaked to Helen and Kathleen.

Across the wagons, Mrs. Sutton thrust a long spoon into Emma’s hand. Emma was still trying to argue, but Mrs. Sutton was having none of it. She turned and pointed directly to Dean… and the girls standing on either side of him. Then she gestured to the simmering pot.

Emma’s shoulders heaved in a sigh. She peeked at him. Their eyes met. Dean couldn’t help but smile, mouth full of raisins and pastry. Emma turned bright pink and snapped away.

“Kathleen, why are you bothering the doctor?” The voice of an older woman interrupted the already ludicrous scene. Dean twisted to see Kathleen’s mother striding toward his camp. “Can’t you see he’s busy with Mr. Evans?”

“Oh, don’t mind me, ma’am,” Pete chuckled. “I’m just enjoying the show.”

Dean sent him a short scowl. He was enjoying it a little too much.

“Oh mother. I couldn’t help myself. I saw Dr. Meyers sitting here looking so parched. I just had to bring him some of our lovely, sweet, homemade lemonade.” The way Kathleen delivered the line was practiced in every way.

So was her mother’s reply. “How kind of you, dear. But that’s my Kathleen for you. She is the soul of kindness, and so thoughtful too. Wouldn’t you agree, Dr. Meyers?”

“I’m kind,” Helen growled. “And thoughtful, and I’m a good cook.”

“Yes, and I can sew and keep house.” Kathleen stepped behind Dean’s back to stand toe-to-toe with Helen.

“I can keep house and I make quilts,” Helen said.

Kathleen’s mother’s proud smile slipped at the unexpected contest. “Oh, well, girls, perhaps we really should leave Dr. Meyers to his lunch.”

“Yes, well you might quilt, but my strawberry jam won the Allegheny County blue ribbon every Fourth of July for the last three years!” Kathleen argued.

“Kathleen.” Her mother laughed and grabbed her daughter’s arm. “Maybe now isn’t such a good time to—”

“I believe you,” Helen cut her off, eyes narrowed at Kathleen. “I can tell by your figure that you enjoy a lot of that strawberry jam.”

Kathleen yelped. Her mother yanked her away. Pete roared outright with laughter.

Dean hardly heard a word of it. What did Emma think she was doing? She couldn’t possibly cook over an open flame in a skirt like that. Every time she attempted to lean closer to the steaming pot, the silk of her dress brushed too close to the embers. She caught it and held it back, but that left her standing at an awkward angle as she stirred whatever was in the pot. Steam curled up into her face, causing the tendrils of hair at her neck to go limp and slip out of their elaborate style almost before his eyes. He couldn’t let her go on like that.

“Excuse me, ladies.” He stood and handed the jug of lemonade to Helen—who had a fist raised and aimed at Kathleen—and the rest of the raisin tart to Kathleen as her mother yanked her away from Helen.

He left the turmoil behind him to stride down the line of wagons to where he was truly needed.

 

Uh oh. Trouble on the trail! Trail of Longing will be available wherever eBooks are sold on January 5th!
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Excerpt Wednesday – Trail of Longing – First Look

I’m so excited today to bring you the first look at my next novel in the Hot on the Trail series, Trail of Longing! It’s coming on January 5th, so without further ado….

[No Cover Yet – Cover Reveal Coming Soon!]

Emma pulled her focus away from Dean to see that they’d come to walk alongside her family’s wagon. Her father led the oxen from the ground, walking beside them as though they were white stallions instead of plodding beasts. Alice had gone to the back of the wagon to join their mother, who whispered furiously. Her eyes never left Dean.

“I’ll leave you ladies to take shelter in your wagon,” Dean said, letting go of Emma’s arm. “I’d better check on the miners anyhow.”

“Thank you so much, Dr. Meyers,” Mrs. Sutton skipped forward to make her goodbyes. “I haven’t met a truer gentleman in this entire wagon train. I do hope we’ll be seeing more of you.”

Emma’s heart caught in her throat at her mother’s audacity. Her embarrassment was only relieved a tad by Dean’s smile.

“I’m sure we’ll see much more of each other.” He nodded to Mrs. Sutton and Alice, then turned his smile to Emma. “Until next time, Miss Emma.”

“I….” Anything Emma could have said froze on her tongue. She pressed her lips into a tight smile and nodded.

As Dean turned to go, frustration poured in on her. When she was certain he was out of earshot, she huffed out a breath and hid her face in her hands. What was she thinking? How could it be so difficult to talk to such an agreeable man?

“Very well done,” her mother congratulated her. She scurried to Emma’s side as they walked on, raindrops beating down harder now. “You have him good and hooked.”

“Mother,” Emma sighed. “I don’t want to ‘hook’ anyone. Dean— I mean, Dr. Meyers, is a good, noble man.”

“Exactly.” Her mother smiled as if the sun had come out. “He’ll make a perfect husband for you.”

“Shh!” Emma would have slapped her hand over her mother’s mouth if she could. “Please!”

“Oh come now,” her mother scolded, waving Emma’s protests aside as if they were fluff. “You and I both know the importance of nabbing a good husband.”

“Husbands should not be ‘nabbed.’”

“All men need to be nabbed, dear,” her mother argued. “Otherwise they would wander the earth not knowing which way was up or what was good for them.”

Emma scoffed and crossed her arms to ward off the chill that the rain was bringing her.

Her mother turned serious, sliding closer to her. “I know you think I’m laying it on too thick, but we’ve both seen what happens when a girl makes an inappropriate match.”

They both glanced to the back of the wagon where Alice had hoisted herself into the bed and was busy rolling down the canvas coverings. Emma’s heart squeezed with sadness for her sister.

“Alice loved Harry,” she murmured to her mother so Alice wouldn’t hear.

“That is precisely the problem,” her mother replied.

Emma frowned, confused. “Harry was a good man.”

“He was a clerk and we never should have agreed to the match.” Before Emma could protest, her mother went on. “Dr. Meyers, on the other hand, is just the sort of man I have always wished to see you with. Now that he’s hooked, I know just how to reel him in.”

Dread filled Emma’s stomach. She knew what her mother was capable of. Her journey west had just taken a perilous turn.

 

Now, you may have noticed that I haven’t put this one up for pre-order. But never fear! If you visit my Amazon author page and click on “Add Favorite” right under my fabulous author pic, then I believe Amazon will email you as soon as any of my books come out. Wanna give it a try? Click right here.
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Like what you’ve read? I love the fact that you read it! I’ve got more for you too. Sign up for my newsletter to receive special content, sneak-peeks, and treats that only subscribers are privy to. And thank you!

Excerpt Wednesday – Our Little Secrets gets another look

Excerpt Wednesday! How about another little taste of Our Little Secrets? It’s currently still free, soooo….

Our Little Secrets

The alley was almost as busy as the main street, but with housewives hanging laundry in their yards and children playing rather than town commerce. Charlotte received a few curious smiles and nods. She waved back, feeling entirely satisfied with her choices. She hugged her carpetbag.

She sighed as she turned onto the side road that lead back to Main Street where the bank was. Could she do it? Was she really mad enough to marry a stranger in a frontier town?

Of course she could, she answered herself. Michael West presented her with the opportunity to start over with everything she wanted, a job, a home, and a purpose. It was more than her step-father had ever tempted her with.

As Charlotte reached Main Street her glance fell on a man crossing towards the saloon. She gasped as her heart dropped to her stomach. It was him. Even with the distance she recognized his scruffy beard and stocky build. She clutched her carpetbag close and jumped back to press against the wall of the nearest shop. In an instant she was trembling from head to toe.

What was he doing here? The man had failed to rob her in St. Louis, but the terror of those desperate minutes when she had fought him off in the dark still haunted her. He wouldn’t have followed her this far, would he? It wouldn’t be worth the effort. She didn’t have that much.

Unless he was after more than the contents of their carpetbag.

She gulped and took a breath before inching her way to peek around the corner.

The man was gone. The few people who walked in the street appeared to be townspeople. Charlotte dropped her shoulders and let out a breath.

She hadn’t imagined him, had she? Maybe? But no. She’d fought off the would-be robber in St. Louis. She was certain she’d seen the same man again in Denver. That was most definitely him just now.

Someone was following her.

Like I said, Our Little Secrets is still free. You can download it on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and everywhere else.

Starting next week, I’ll be featuring excerpts from the next book in the Hot on the Trail series, Trail of Longing, Emma and Dean’s story!

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Like what you’ve read? I love the fact that you read it! I’ve got more for you too. Sign up for my newsletter to receive special content, sneak-peeks, and treats that only subscribers are privy to. And thank you!

Except Wednesday – Our Little Secrets

It’s Excerpt Wednesday once again! I thought this week I’d mix it up a little and highlight a book from my backlist, namely Our Little Secrets. So here you go!

Our Little Secrets

He shook his head, laughing. “I really did make a bad first impression if you would think—”

“Oh no, you made a very good first impression,” she rushed to cover yet another flub.

He shook his head. “In spite of Cold Springs’ abundance, Miss Baldwin, I am not in the habit of hiring company.”

“And no suitable young lady has offered herself up for the position?” Her cheeks were hot with embarrassment. “I find that hard to believe.”

He stared at her as if she was a jewel in a curiosity shop. “You wouldn’t if you knew the town and its gossip better.”

Her heart and mind raced. One leap of faith and she could change her life. As long as she could keep her past in the past.

“So I take it you would be looking for someone who could help run both a general store and a home.” She set her fork down and looked him in the eye.

“Well,” he mirrored her gesture and set his own fork down, “only if she knew what she was doing.”

“Someone with a college degree, perhaps, and a head for figures?”

“Yes, precisely.”

“Someone with a bit more sophistication than the locals? Who might be able to carry on a decent conversation over dinner or with clients even?”

A grin spread across his lips and his shoulders relaxed. “That would be a decided advantage.”

“Perhaps someone who wouldn’t ask too many questions about the past as long as not too many questions were asked in return?” Again she tapped her carpetbag with the toe of her boot to reassure herself it was still there.

He smiled in earnest. “Yes, exactly.”

She returned his smile and picked up her fork with an, “Oh,” and took another bite of her lunch.

He was silent as he watched her eat, his eyes dancing with deep consideration. He was struggling with his thoughts, debating with himself. She didn’t blame him. It was one thing to toy with an idea as outrageous as marrying a stranger, no questions asked, but it was a whole different kettle of fish to actually commit to it.

She let him consider, let him think it was his idea. For all she knew it was. He was the one who had invited her for lunch and he had mistaken her for one of Miss Helen’s girls. Miss Helen had insisted that her girls were brides not whores. It could have been the luckiest mistake of her life.

“Miss Baldwin, will you marry me?”

She glanced up to catch the puzzled, triumphant, expectant expression flushing his face. She could practically see his heart hammering in his chest at his gamble. Or maybe that was her own heart.

“I…I think I will.” She forced herself to be cautious, as much as she didn’t want to be. “But would you mind giving me the afternoon to think about it?”

“Not at all.” He nodded, once again the businessman considering a deal. “I’ll arrange for us to have supper at the hotel to talk more in depth. And I can reserve a room there for you if you’d like.”

“That’s very thoughtful of you, Michael.”

Impulsive or not, the facts were the facts. Life as Charlotte Baldwin was a disaster. Life as Charlie West would be a whole new world.

There you have it. And you’re in luck. Right now, Our Little Secrets is free on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and everywhere else. =D

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Like what you’ve read? I love the fact that you read it! I’ve got more for you too. Sign up for my newsletter to receive special content, sneak-peeks, and treats that only subscribers are privy to. And thank you!

Excerpt Wednesday – Trail of Hope

Oh boy! It’s the last excerpt Wednesday before the release of Trail of Hope on Monday! Here’s a particularly juicy snippet for you….

TrailofHope

He folded the shirt and laid it aside and settled back into the bedroll, arranging the blanket over them, then pulled her back into his arms. Now when she reached around to spread her hand across his back, as he resumed doing with hers, her whole bare arm was in contact with the skin of his torso. The shivering feeling grew stronger.

“I like this,” he was frank with her.

“It’s nice,” she agreed, unsure how else to explain it.

He shifted again to hold her closer, his arm inching her chemise further up, her chest and stomach pressing against his, only one layer of fabric between them and none at all in some spots. “Would you mind if I kissed you?”

Again Callie’s eyebrows flew up. Other than a few pecks on the cheek, he hadn’t kissed her since their wedding. “Do you want to?”

“Of course I want to,” he chuckled.

He wanted to kiss her. Even though she wasn’t Shannon.

“All right then.” She spoke quickly to push Shannon out from between the two of them.

He leaned towards her, found her mouth in the dark. His lips were warm and very slightly textured from the sun and the wind. His breath was humid on her skin. It was a lovely kiss all things considered.

Then he kissed her for real, a deep, serious kiss. She sucked in a breath as his mouth opened over hers, heat and pressure. She didn’t realize until she felt the tip of his tongue against her own that she’d opened her mouth as well. It was an entirely new feeling, this soft tasting. Somehow it was more than just two mouths meeting. It affected her more deeply than that.

He stopped kissing her long enough to ask, “Is that all right?”

She teetered just on the other side of overwhelmed and took a few seconds before answering. “It’s quite nice.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Again, she could hear the smile in his voice.

He kissed her again. With her one arm still around him, she could feel the muscles in his shoulders relax. His free hand rubbed her back, climbing up towards her shoulder and pulling her chemise with it. If she hadn’t been so focused on the way his mouth and tongue tasted, she might have been concerned that her breast was inches away from being exposed, that the hair on his chest was tickling her stomach. But she was far too absorbed in the discovery of how much she liked kissing, how much she liked kissing John.

And YES! You can pre-order Trail of Hope on Amazon, iBooks, and Smashwords.
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Like what you’ve read? I love the fact that you read it! I’ve got more for you too. Sign up for my newsletter to receive special content, sneak-peeks, and treats that only subscribers are privy to. And thank you!