Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - Teton Splendor #4

Joseph stood by his horse, watching her. Sophia’s lips trembled, and she held her clammy palms to her pounding chest. Her heart skipped a beat when he moved toward her. The urge to run overtook her mind, but she stood rooted to the spot. Her legs wouldn’t move.
“Are you all right?” he asked, stopping just in front of her. Wide-eyed, Sophia stared up at him. He no longer looked vicious. His utterly handsome features had softened considerably, and a concerned look passed over his eyes. His gaze rested on her face, his brows wrinkled slightly. “Sophie?” His hand reached out, his fingers grazing her arm.
Sophia sucked in a deep breath. He’d barely touched her, yet the jolt in her arm, making her skin tingle, was immediate. She stepped back, out of his reach, and tore her eyes away from him.
“Don’t touch me,” she produced between trembling lips. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Guest Author - L.B. Shire

First off, Iʹd like to thank Peggy for having me on her wonderful blog today to help promote my newest release, a western historical romance set in the old west titled: The Damned. My heroine for this book popped into my head one day while glancing through a book titled Wild Bunch Women by author Michael Rutter.
 Strong women from centuries past have always intrigued me. (And there are many mind you :)The women he mentioned in this book sparked all kinds of story ideas. Women like Annie Rogers, also known as Della Moore. She was considered a pretty prostitute who traveled with the outlaw, Kid Curry. Then there was Fanny Porter, who started her own brothel in Texas and was known to be ruthless and cutthroat in her management of the business. Last of all was Elizabeth Bassett. She started a horse and cattle ranch with her husband along the Green River. These women were entrepreneurs of their time. Blending these traits together, my heroine, Josie Talbert was born.
Josie is a horse rancher and a widow with a young daughter to care for. Her sister and an elderly friend also help on the ranch. But, times are tough, and Josie risks losing all she and her husband worked so hard for. Occupations are limited for a woman in the town of Hellʹs Hollow. Being a fighter and survivor that she is, Josie makes the decision to become a soiled dove to help make ends meet.
She soon finds her life is to change, when cowboy/drifter Shane Gregor walks into the Dead Horse Saloon where she works. Can a woman in her circumstances find love once again?

Hereʹs the Blurb:
Sometimes, what a man needs is a little hope...

     Travel worn, and weary, Shane Gregor rides into Hell's Hollow for a drink and answers. On the run for a crime he didn't commit his days are numbered unless he can find proof. What he discovers instead is a green eyed enchantress and a sheriff who's out for blood. When the law catches up to him, can he put his hopes in a woman he's only just met?

     A widow who has fallen on hard times, Josie Talbert became a soiled dove for the sake of survival. Her life changes in the course of a night, when a dark and dangerous cowboy steps through the doors of the Dead Horse Saloon, a death sentence looming over his head. Can his words of innocence be trusted? Can a lone woman change the course of fate?

And Excerpt:
Tension gnawed at Shane's soul. The door to the holding cell slammed shut behind him. This must be what a caged animal feels like. He glanced around the room. All ready the walls were moving in on him.
"I'll talk with you later, Gregor," the sheriff told him before leaving him alone with only his thoughts in the darkness. Shane didn't respond, but listened in silence while the sheriff's boots clicked across the wooden floor. With a heavy sigh he laid on the cot. He knew he was in a heap of trouble.
Shane needed to convince the sheriff of his innocence or he'd be a dead man by the end of the week, so they'd told him. He couldn't let Mort win so easily. The man had managed to ruin his life in one fail swoop and at present it didn't look like there was a damn thing he could do about it.
The night dragged on in insufferable silence. His thoughts flitted to earlier in the evening. When he had entered the saloon—when he'd first laid eyes on Josie... His mind wandered as he recalled how her curls bounced about her shoulders when she moved, and those eyes—she was a brazen one. Her hands on his skin when she washed him—stop, his mind screamed. The memories were pure torture.
Josie, he had to admit, intrigued him. He hadn't given any woman a second thought for some time. He shook his head to clear it off the woman. It would do him no good to dream of her, he was a dead man.
Shane wondered if morning would ever come. The cell had no windows to let him know the time of day. But when the sheriff came through the front door, a hot cup of coffee in his pudgy hand, he knew he'd survived.
"I've sent word to the judge up in the next county. Said he should be here by the end of the week. Then there'll be one less lousy gunfighter roaming the territory."
"Will I have a chance to plead my case?" Shane asked. He gripped the bars of the cell until his fingers turned white. He gathered his answer by the unsympathetic smile on the sheriff's lips.
"No trial is needed, son." The man snorted, his chubby chin wiggling. "They start construction on the gallows today." The sheriff took a sip of his coffee and stared at him with a look of contempt over the rim of his cup.
"The judge coming out here is to make it all official. He'll sign the documents and so forth," he said, matter of fact.
Shane stepped back from the bars. So it was over for him.
"So this is how it ends," he murmured under his breath. He would need to send word to his brother and let him know what had happened to his sorry ass. Without another word he returned to the cot placed in the corner of the cell and sat down.
He rubbed his temples, wariness of the situation made his head throb.
"I'll get you a bite to eat after a bit," the sheriff called over his shoulder. "I've got stacks of paperwork to sift through on my desk first." His voice echoed down the empty hall.
No longer hungry, Shane laid his head in his hands. A sense of despair that he couldn't shake off overwhelmed him. Giving into his fatigue, he lay back on the cot and closed his eyes. It would be a long week.

About the author:

         L.B. Shire has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. A  lover of most all genres, her favorites include: Western Romance, YA, Paranormal and Shifter stories, to name a few!
         When not writing or researching, L.B. enjoys spending time with family, riding one of her horses, and, of course, reading anything that is set before her! She currently resides on the West Coast in a sleepy little mountain town. There, in the midst of all that beauty, she plans her characters' next adventures.
        For more information on L.B. Shire, please visit her blog www.lbshire.com or visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authorlbshire. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - Teton Splendor #3

“Aren’t you in the least bit curious about what happened to your real folks?” Joseph pressed on, refusing to let her walk away. She stared straight ahead, her chin up in the air, and her spine so stiff that she had to be in pain.  She continued up the stairs in silence, and Joseph followed several steps behind. He couldn’t help but notice the seductive sway of her hips, and the way the bodice of her dress hugged her slender back. Those cumbersome women’s undergarments she wore emphasized her curves, but he’d be willing to bet that she’d look even better without all those unnatural contraptions.
At the top of the stairwell, Joseph took the last two steps in one leap, and reached for her arm again. Apparently she was under the impression that if she ignored him, he would simply go away.
“You can’t run away from this, Sophie,” he said, pulling her to a stop.
She spun to face him fully. “My name is Sophia,” she spat. “I have asked you once to let go of me. If I scream for help, James will call for the constable.”
Joseph grinned. “Is that a threat? Or a dare?” He stepped closer, inhaling the fragrant flowery scent coming from her hair. He couldn’t understand his need to provoke her, but he enjoyed watching her spirited side emerge. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - Teton Splendor

“She’s got the right to know, Mr. Yancey,” a deep, resonating voice drifted to her ears.
“I will not upset her with this,” her father responded heatedly. “We’ve been over this already, Joseph.”
“Dammit. I made a promise to Raven’s grandfather that I would bring her to him,” Joseph argued, his voice growing louder.
“Stop calling her that. Her name is Sophia. And I also made a promise to keep her safe.”
Sophia’s heart pounded in her ears. She wished her corset wasn’t strapped so tight. Feeling suddenly light-headed, she couldn’t catch a deep enough breath. Nothing her father or the other man said made any sense to her.
“Maybe you should ask her what she wants,” Joseph raged.
“Out of the question.”
“She’s standing right outside the door. I’m sure she’s heard enough already to wonder what’s going on. Why don’t you invite her in?”
Sophia gasped. Before she had a chance to react, the door opened in front of her. Her eyes widened and she sucked in a deep breath, or as deep as her corset would allow. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she stared up into the midnight blue eyes of Joseph Walker, and her knees buckled beneath her. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Guest Author - Jacquie Rogers

Please help me welcome today's guest author, western historical romance author Jacquie Rogers. And what could be more western than a good ole rodeo!

Let’s Rodeo With  “Much Ado About Mavericks”

Rodeo is a modern sport and the only sport born in the United States that came from an industry--the cattle business. It's only natural that after the chores were done, the cowboys would have a little competition to see who could win bragging rights of being the best, and maybe earn a few dollars, too.

The term "rodeo" is from a Spanish word meaning to round up or encircle. So rodeo actually is closer to our term of round-up than, say, tournament or horse show, terms used for early rodeos. Many claim to be the first rodeo. From the University of North Carolina:
The first formal rodeo was held in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1872. However, the first rodeo to deliver monetary prizes was said to be in Pecos, Texas in 1883, and the first rodeo to charge admissions was in 1888 in Prescott, Arizona. The rodeo emerged as entertainment between 1890 and 1910 due to Midwest shows and performances during July fourth celebrations and cattlemen conventions.

Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show also professes to be the first.
In 1882, the town of North Platte, Nebraska where Cody lived at his Scout's Rest Ranch, wanted to celebrate the 4th of July, and asked Colonel Cody to put the show on for them. Cody obliged, and put on what has been considered to be one of the first rodeos in America, and was called "The Old Glory Blowout".
This show is still on the road today, first under the guidance of Monty Montana, and now with Monty Montana, Jr., and the Montana family.

101 Wild West Rodeo makes the same claim.
It was 1905 when the Millers offered to perform what they called a 'round-up' or 'buffalo chase' as an entertainment incentive for a National Editorial Association convention. Visitors were said to come to the ranch in 30 regular and special trains, and the crowd estimated at nearly 60,000 was thrilled to the exhibition of cowboys recreating real life ranch work from bronc riding and roping to Tom Mix's debut as a roper and rider.

Most agree that saddlebronc was the first official event, but not in the format we know today. The eight-second ride hadn't been invented. Instead, the cowboy who rode the longest, providing that the horse was still bucking, was the winner. This, too, could be how we ended up with separate scores for cowboy and horse. (Modern day: judges score 50 for the horse and 50 for the rider, so there's a possible 100 points for an 8-second ride.)

One of the earliest saddle bronc stars was Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn, better known as Jackson Sundown, a Nez Perce Indian who, at 14, endured the Nez Perce Retreat under the leadership of Chief Joseph. Sundown made it to Canada, then moved back to Idaho in 1910 where he married and started a ranch. His name was legend, and he last won the saddle bronc world title when he was 53 years old.

No doubt about it, Bill Pickett was the man who brought bulldogging, now called steer wrestling, to modern rodeo. As the story goes, when Bill was a boy growing up in Texas, he watched the dogs subdue cattle, and he copied their technique. He could jump on a steer, bite its lip, and the steer would stop struggling. There's certainly no lip-biting in modern rodeo, but it's still spectacular to watch a cowboy leap from his horse and wrestle a steer twice his size to the ground. This is a timed event--no points for finesse in bulldogging.

The traditional events in rodeo are saddle bronc, bareback bronc, calf roping (tie down roping), team roping, steer wrestling, and of course the most popular of all events, bullriding. Of these events, only bullriding is of no use on a working ranch, although I doubt much steer wrestling goes on, either.

Women have a lower center of gravity than men, and even though they're generally not as strong, many women showed they could compete on the same level as men. During the 1910s until 1929, there were many prominent women who were champions in their own right, performing side-by-side with the men. But in 1929, Bonnie McCarroll was killed in the bronc riding at the Pendleton Round-up in Pendleton, Oregon. A huge outcry forced most of the rodeos in the west to ban women from competition, and the cowgirls headed east, but eventually, their opportunities died there, too. For a brief time in WWII, women were allowed to compete due to the lack of men, but as soon as the war was over, women were relegated to barrel racing. Some of the champion women athletes were: Prairie Rose Henderson, Goldie St. Clair, Bertha Blancett, Norwegian emigrant Tillie Baldwin (first woman bulldogger), and bullrider Tad Lucas.

In Much Ado About Mavericks (Hearts of Owyhee #3), they hold what they call a tournament.  This is set in 1885, Idaho Territory.  The heroine’s name is Jake, short for J.K. (Janelle Kathryn).  Ben is the hero—he’s a Boston lawyer.  Reginald is also from Boston.

Reginald put on a respectable show.  Over thirty seconds was considered a decent ride on a rank horse.  He came back dirty, sweaty, and grinning.  “Damn, this is fun!”
“Even eating dirt?” Jake asked.
He wiped his face with his sleeve.  “That part, I could do without.”
A few cowhands rode for less than a minute each, and then Crip called, “Number thirty-three.”
“That’s me.”  Jake checked the buckles on her chaps and picked up her tack.  “See you in about fifteen minutes.”
“Hell it only took me five minutes to saddle the horse,” Reginald mumbled.
“It’ll only take her about two.”  Ben nodded toward her.  “You watch a real cowhand ride.”
She drew a sorrel stallion that had several gashes on him.  A fighter, Ben noted, just like Jake.  The two wranglers had a helluva time quieting him, then Jake threw her saddle on his back and cinched it before he had a chance to blow.  She leapt on him and jammed her hat over her ears.  As soon as Crip handed her the reins, she nodded.  They let go, jumped back, and ran for the fence.
The big stallion bucked hard, then galloped around the corral twice, then bucked and bucked and bucked.  Jake sat a firm seat, never flinching.  The horse bucked more, by now lathered.  Finally, he stopped, his head sagging, his sides heaving.  She hopped off and lead him over to the wranglers.
“Four minutes and thirty seconds,” Crip yelled.  “And she greenbroke that horse, besides!”
She ambled over to Ben.  He tipped his hat to her.  “Great ride, Jake.”
“Good enough.”  She turned away and leaned on the fence.  “Now let’s see what you can do, Boston.”

Bullriding is a spectacular event, called the most dangerous eight seconds in sports. The only men in more danger than bullriders are the bullfighters—rodeo clowns, but their business is anything but funny. Some of the best I've ever seen are Wick Peth and Leon Coffee.

I loved watching Leon Coffee fight bulls—he’s an incredibly gifted athlete, the best at cowboy protection, and a terrific entertainer. In Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues, I patterned my hero's moves after Leon's style:
Brody did a little fancy footwork, loving the sounds of the boys' ooo's and ahhhs, then got a laugh out of them by snagging his green derby on one of the bull’s horns. For the grand finale, he teased the bull into charging, then did a handspring over the bull’s head and walked the length of his back, jumping off the tail end.
I saw Coffee do exactly that many times at the Snake River Stampede.

Another rodeo clown and bullfighter that I know personally is Jim O'Keefe. He gave me this scene:
Brody thrived on danger, just like all the other men Rita had known until she moved to the city.

Fearless, daring, and downright foolhardy, Brody rushed to the side of the bull, jumped up, and jerked the bullrope's tail, releasing the hung cowboy's hand from the bull. The cowboy flew several feet in the air and landed off to the side like a sack of potatoes.

The bull whipped around and bashed Brody in the ribs with one huge horn. Even though Brody’s ribs were probably broken, he kept the animal away from the downed cowboy until the chute crew could drag the unconscious man off to the ambulance. Finally, the pick-up men herded the snorting bull back into the corral.
Jim's ribs have been broken a few dozen times. He has a plate in his head, steel rods in his spine, and has had well over 200 broken bones. This is actually fairly typical of a rodeo bullfighter.

Thrills and spills . . . rodeo is getting more and more popular as the years go by. Yes, the sport evolves, but it seems that the further away from the Old West we get, the more we savor the values of family, hard work, and an honest relationship with our animal friends and the earth.  Find a rodeo, put on your best hat and boots, grab the kids, and go have a great time!


Hearts of Owyhee series
#1 - Much Ado About Marshals: http://amzn.com/B0058ON1LS
#2 - Much Ado About Madams: http://amzn.com/B007HRTQ0O
#3 - Much Ado About Mavericks: http://amzn.com/B008EDN9T4
Coming soon: #4 - Much Ado About Miners

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - Teton Splendor

Teaser Tuesdays are back! I have a new work-in-progress. Book 2 in the Teton Romance Trilogy, titled Teton Splendor. If you've read Book 1, Teton Sunrise, you will find the prologue to Book 2 at the end, so I'm not going to repost that here. 

Here is the first short glimpse at Teton Splendor:

“Daddy, everyone’s waiting on you.”
Wide-eyed, Yancey stared beyond Joseph’s shoulders. Joseph turned slowly at the sound of the soft female voice behind him. He hadn’t even heard the door open. His eyes widened for a split second. He swallowed back the sudden lump in his throat, and his heart drummed steadily in his ears, drowning out all other sound.
A young woman, the most stunning woman he’d ever laid eyes on, stood just inside the room. Her big brown eyes rested on him. Her head tilted slightly, then her gaze shifted to Yancey before moving to the artifacts hanging over the fireplace. After a few seconds, she stared back at him.
Acutely self-conscious that he looked as out of place in this room as the items she apparently already associated with him, Joseph sucked in a deep breath. There was no question as to who she was. Her raven black hair was swept up behind her head in some intricate fashion, coifed and curled like he’d seen on women the further east he traveled. Several thick locks spilled down her back, caressing her slender neck. Her dark olive, almost bronzed complexion was accentuated by the dark blue dress she wore. The gown hung off her slight shoulders, emphasizing her neck and the swell of her breasts. The wide skirt that fanned outward from her hips swayed, and all that material hanging from her waist rustled as she stepped into the room. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Guest Author - Caroline Clemmons

Do you wonder why authors choose a particular location for their books? Peggy loves Yellowstone National Park and used its beauty before it became a national treasure as a background for her wonderful stories. As a Texan, I enjoy setting my books and novellas in my state. Texas is a big state, though, with diverse landscapes. 

How do I choose? 
First, I write about locales I enjoy visiting. That’s what happened several years ago when my husband and I learned of the open house at an historic ranch about forty miles from our home. We visited the Belding-Gibson Ranch in Palo Pinto County. Part of this ranch was taken in by the formation of Possum Kingdom Lake, known locally as PK. The occasion of the open house was to announce the release of Barbara Belding Gibson’s book about the ranch, PAINTED POLE: The Beldings and Their Ranches in Palo Pinto County – Pioneer Days to Computer Age by Sunbelt Eakin Press.
I had used this lake for a modern story, OUT OF THE BLUE, featuring a heroine who travels from the past to help a modern police detective solve several murders.  This was my first visit to this ranch. The Belding-Gibson Ranch started in 1859 with a 12 by 12 cedar log cabin.  Fortunately, the Gibsons who own what remains of the ranch have preserved the cabin, the smokehouse, and as much of the original homestead as possible. The ranch is beautiful with huge live oaks dotting the pastures and offering shade for cattle.

The old cabin now is a bathroom in the Gibson’s home. Hard to visualize a family living in a room that size, and at first only the Belding forefather lived there. The smokehouse is now a storage room/pantry. A cold room, actually a furrow filled with running water, kept milk cool. Now it’s a part of a hallway leading to a family room. I so appreciate people like the Beldings and Gibsons who value their heritage and preserve it.

The area was inhabited by cedar cutters and hunters in 1854—and Comanche and Kiowa. People from Colorado might laugh at the Palo Pinto Mountains and say they look like big hills. Geographically, they are genuine mountains covered in live oak, scrub oak, cedar, and other native trees such as elm hackberry, and cottonwood. The scrub oaks turn lovely colors in the fall, which is why the Native Americans named them palo pinto, or painted stick or post.

 No, they’re not as pretty as Vermont’s fall colors, but give us a break. They are beautiful in their own rite. Cedars and live oaks retain their dark green foliage among the fall hues of the scrub oaks. My favorite time to drive through this area is spring when trees and grass are green and wildflowers abound.

Live oaks are a species of oak, not an oak this is living. Of course it is living, but the tree gets its name because while it is deciduous, it bears thick clusters of dark green leaves year round. I used that feature to help the heroine of HIGH STAKES BRIDE, Men of Stone Mountain book 2, escape capture. Which brings me a chance to segue to my book BLUEBONNET BRIDE, Men of Stone Mountain, book 3.

The three Stone brothers have settled in the Palo Pinto Mountains to raise cattle. In book one, BRAZOS BRIDE, they face a drought and a heroine someone wants dead. By book three, the first two brothers have married and only Joel Stone, eldest, is single. He’s sheriff of the fictional town of Radford Springs, and an excellent lawman. While his brothers each have ranches of thousands of acres, Joel’s smaller ranch is managed by a foreman. I love setting a series of books in this locale, and I’m sure it will pop up again with spin off characters from the Men of Stone Mountain series.
BLUEBONNET BRIDE is Joel’s story, and he finally meets the woman for him. Too bad she isn’t receptive to his attention. Joel is not a man to give up easily, but he doesn’t know the terrible secret Rosalyn hides.

Here’s a blurb:

He’s a by-the-book Texas sheriff; she’s on the run from a murder conviction...
When a tornado provides Rosalyn with the opportunity to escape the gallows, she collects her daughter Lucy and flees. They travel far enough West that Rosalyn believes she’s gone to the ends of the earth. She hopes she and Lucy will be safe in this remote North Texas town where she embarks on a new life as a dressmaker. If only she could avoid contact with people, especially the handsome sheriff who pops up every time she turns around. She fears either she or her chatterbox daughter may slip and reveal too much.
Joel Stone has been content with his life, even if it’s not the one he’d dreamed. His younger brothers are married and living nearby, his aunts have moved to Radford Springs, and he is respected for the efficient job he does as sheriff. When he meets the new widow in town, his instant attraction staggers him. She appears uninterested, but he is determined to win her hand in marriage. 
But life doesn’t turn out the way either Rosalyn or Joel plan. They overcome temporary obstacles, but what of the secret she protects? Can he save her from the gallows?
Does that tempt you? BLUEBONNET BRIDE is my favorite cover so far. My friend Nelda Liles in Frisco, Texas gave me several of her excellent bluebonnet photos taken at the annual Ennis, Texas “Bluebonnet Trail.”  I found the photo representing Rosalyn on iStock. I hope you find this cover irresistible. My sweet husband combined them and completed the cover.
Here’s an excerpt from BLUEBONNET BRIDE where Joel has just hung a swing for Rosalyn’s daughter Lucy:
Lucy did as he asked. He thought he could shinny down the rope so he wrapped his legs and hands around it. He would have been all right if Mrs. Dumas hadn’t chosen that moment to come outside. She shaded her eyes with her hand, but the sunlight hit her hair and turned it molten golden red.
He stared at her and lost his concentration. His legs drooped and his fingers tired of supporting him. He dropped to the ground in a tumble. The fall knocked the breath from his lungs and he lay there amid twigs and leaves. He blinked and tried to focus through watery eyes.
Mrs. Dumas knelt beside him. “Oh my word. Sheriff Stone, are you all right? Is anything broken?”
He sat up and conked his head on the swing seat. He rubbed the spot and grinned. “Not my most glorious moment, but I’ll survive.” He stood, wincing at the pain in his back where he’d hit the broken limb.
“Please let me help you inside. Lucy, get his coat and hat.”
Going anywhere with her sounded good. She took his arm and led him into the kitchen. He didn’t feel at all guilty throwing a limp into his walk.
“Sit at the table and tell me where you’re injured.”
“I’m fine, ma’am. Just need to sit a while and clear my head.” He remembered this kitchen from when the Brown family lived here. Already she’d begun changing the appearance by moving furniture around. The table was much nicer where diners could look at the back yard while eating.
She pumped water into a glass and set it in front of him. “What were you thinking? You could have broken your neck.”
“I realize that now. At the time, it seemed an easy enough task.” He downed the water then smiled at Lucy. “I had a good helper.”
Lucy giggled. “Giant sheriffs can fall after all.”
“Apparently so. The swing’s strong enough for you, though.”
“Mommy, may I go swing now?”
“Just be careful of that broken limb until we can clear it away.”
“I’d better do that.” He started to rise.
She pushed him back onto his seat. “You sit right there until I’m sure you’re all right. Does your head hurt? How’s your vision? Do you see double?” She tilted his head so their gazes met.
“My vision is fine, ma’am, and I sure am glad. You have the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen.”
She jerked her hand back so fast you’d think she’d been burned. He savored the warmth where her fingers had touched his jaw.
“Humph. Apparently there’s nothing wrong with you, sheriff.” She fisted her hands on her hips. “At least no damage from your fall.”
“I’ll just move that branch out of Lucy’s way and then get back to my business.” He stood and bent to grab his coat from where Lucy had dropped it.
She grabbed his arm. “Wait. There’s blood seeping through your clothes. Sit down and take off your shirt.”
He froze and considered following her request before sanity gained a toehold. “Nothing I’d like better, Mrs. Dumas, than having you tend my cuts and scrapes. Seeing as how you’re a widow on your own, I reckon I’d better get on to Doc Ross’s and let him see if there’s a problem. This is a small town, and I sure would hate if anything I did caused gossip to smirch your good name.”
Her expression softened. “Thank you, sheriff. I appreciate that more than I can say. I’m pleased you’re truly a gentleman.”
Joel pulled on his coat and left. He kicked himself all the way to the doctor’s office. 

I’m sorry the book has not yet reached iTunes, Nook, or Kobo, but can be purchased for those e-readers at Smashwords, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/287177?ref=CarolineClemmons
The print and e-book version are available from Amazon at

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her most recent novel, BLUEBONNET BRIDE, is a poignant tale of tender redemption. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends.  Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 Thanks to Peggy for having me as her guest today. And thank you, readers, for stopping by.