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Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Today I'm sharing the opening of my upcoming release, WINTER BRIDE. This book is part of the Stone Mountain Texas series. I had planned to release it on the last day of January, but life interfered and now it will be February before WINTER BRIDE is ready for publication.

The hero is Sheriff Butch Parrish. You'll learn his real name late in the book. I have to tell you it's a doozy and one that would cause any man to go by a nickname.

The heroine is Kendra Murdoch, sister of the woman in the scene below. She has been staying with her sister Glenna Tucker to help her recover from a miscarriage and poor health, and to care for Glenna's three children. Kendra dislikes her brother-in-law, Gus Tucker, and you'll learn why below.

Here's a preview of  WINTER BRIDE;

Winter Bride
Chapter One
Late January, 1875
Sheriff Butch Parrish studied the latest batch of wanted posters. With his booted feet propped on his desk, he sipped a cup of vile-tasting coffee. He failed to understand how a brew he loved most times could taste so awful here at the jail.
The door flew open, admitting Fred McGinnis and a gust of freezing air and snow. “Sheriff, you got to come quick. A man’s beating a woman near to death at the livery.”
With one motion, Butch set down his cup, stood, clapped his hat on his head, and reached for his coat. No point asking his part-time deputy why he didn’t stop the fight. Fred could follow directions, but the man was worthless at handling a crisis on his own. 
“Go for the doc.” Sliding on his jacket as he ran, the sheriff pounded down the sidewalk heedless of the falling snow. As he drew even with the livery, a man on horseback left the stable at a gallop heading west. Pete Hoskins appeared and fired at the retreating figure.
Pete lowered his revolver and faced the sheriff. “Dadburn it. Looks like I missed.”
Butch would go after the man after he learned more.  He headed inside the stables. “What happened?”
“I was in the corral when I heard the commotion. Had to threaten him before he’d stop hitting his woman, but he outfoxed me. I bent to see about her and he cracked me on the head. Time I came around, he’d saddled one of my horses and whipped by me.”
“Let’s see about the poor woman.” He knelt beside her crumpled, bloody mass lying on the dirt floor. She’d been beaten so badly he couldn’t tell whether she was pretty or plain.  
“Sheriff’s here, Miz Tucker.” Pete knelt on her other side.
 He didn’t know how she could see, but she grabbed at his sleeve. He patted her hand. “Doctor’s on his way, ma’am.”
Doctor Ross hurried in with Fred trailing.
The gray-haired physician set his medical bag on the dirt floor and tapped Pete on the shoulder. “Move aside and let me at my patient.”
Pete stood and moved behind the doc. “She’s in a bad way, isn’t she?”
The kindly doctor knelt beside Mrs. Tucker and gently assessed her injuries. “Need to get you to my office.”
After only a few moments, he snapped his bag closed, stood, and glanced at the other two men. “Likely she’s bleeding inside as well as what I can see.”
Butch held her hand where she gripped his sleeve, hoping to offer what comfort he could while he peered at the hostler. “Pete, don’t you have an old Army cot in the tack room?”`
The livery owner nodded. “Sometimes I let a fella bunk down in there if he’s down on his luck. I’ve been known to nap there.”
Butch looked at the doctor. “You think we’d be safe transporting her on the cot?”
“Be better than carrying her outright.”
“I’ll fetch it.” Pete strode toward the tack room.
Doctor Ross met Butch’s gaze. “Have to be real careful lifting this woman. Anyone know who she is?”
“Name’s Tucker. Don’t know her first name.”
When the hostler brought the cot, Butch and the doc lifted the patient onto the canvas. She moaned and appeared to pass out, but her fingers remained locked on Butch’s sleeve. Fred and he carried her while the doc followed along.
At the doctor’s office, which was the front of his house, he led them to a room used as a hospital. They transferred Mrs. Tucker to the nearest of the two beds. Butch tried to pry his coat loose from her grip. She tugged on him and he leaned near her split lips.
Gasping through tears, she whispered, “Gus’ll go for my sister. She and my kids are alone. By now they’re out of food and they’re trapped.”
“Don’t you live in Zach Stone’s place?” He knew where that was, though he’d been there before the Tuckers were tenants.
She sobbed, “Yes. Please, sheriff, you have to hurry.”
“Ma’am, I’ll stock up on supplies and leave right away.”
“Thank you.” She closed her eyes and released him.

He hoped she’d pull through—and he hoped he’d beat Tucker to the cabin on Stone Mountain. 

That's the opening scene. I hope your interest was piqued and you'll be eager to purchase this book when it's released in a few weeks. If you haven't done so, please sign up for my newsletter at the top of the sidebar to be notified of new releases, contests, and news. 
Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Karren Lucas said...

Wow! Can't wait for the book!