Woo Hoo! I’m celebrating the release of CHARLOTTE’S CHALLENGE. I love this story. Charlotte Dunn is a spunky woman. Bret Craig starts as a bit selfish but soon learns his lesson. Beta readers have been enthusiastic about this book.
The universal buy link is https://mybook.to/Bret
CHARLOTTE’S CHALLENGE is available in ebook, print, and is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. Widowed Charlotte Dunn struggles to save her ranch from a vicious neighbor.
I not only love Charlotte and Bret but also a secondary character, Moses “Moose” Tatum. I visualize him as a bit like Sam Elliott. One of the beta readers disagreed and suggested he was more like Festus on Gunsmoke. Let me know what you think.
Here’s the blurb for CHARLOTTE’S CHALLENGE:
A widow determined to save the family ranch…
A man who inherited cursed pirate gold…
They must combine efforts to defeat an evil man.
Bret Craig is a descendant of one of the crew of The Golden Fleece. Over a century ago the merchant ship had prevailed against pirates carrying a treasure of cursed Inca gold. The legacy promised retribution against anyone who misused the treasure. Bret has heard the story all his life but believes the tale is a myth and that he’s in no danger if he spends the money selfishly. Ignoring his sister’s warning, he sets out for a grand adventure heading west.
Widowed former mail-order bride Charlotte Dunn is in danger of losing the family ranch. She lost her husband to a rustler’s bullet when half the cattle were stolen and both ranch hands were killed. When she and her stepsons rescue a man who fell from his horse, they learn the man has amnesia. From his saddlebags, they determine his name is Bret Craig. Charlotte nurses Bret, manages the ranch, and cares for her three stepchildren she loves. Soon after Bret regains his memory they discover the remainder of the ranch’s cattle herd has been rustled.
Bret re-evaluates his priorities in order to embrace the love blossoming between Charlotte and him. Can they save the ranch and recover the stolen cattle?
Bret must have dropped off to sleep. When he roused himself he sat on the edge of the bed for several minutes. He was about to stand when Davie rushed into the room.
The boy looked about to cry. “Mr. Craig, can you come to the porch? Mr. Winfield is here upsetting Mama.”
Bret reached for his rifle. “You’d better walk beside me. I’m not too steady yet. Help me tuck in my shirt so I look decent.”
They made their way to the front door.
Bret pulled off his bandage and tossed it at a table before stepping onto the porch. “Is something wrong, Charlotte?” He carried his rifle.
She looked almost as surprised as the man facing her. Another man sat on his horse nearby.
The man facing Charlotte scowled. “Who are you?”
“A friend of the family and you must be Winfield.”
Charlotte glared at the man. “Mr. Winfield was just leaving.”
Winfield pointed at Bret. “I still don’t know who you are, mister.”
“I don’t see that it’s any of your business, mister. I believe Charlotte said you were leaving.” He cocked his rifle and leveled it at Winfield. “You on the horse, don’t draw or you’re a dead man. In fact, I believe you’re both trespassing and I can shoot you without worry.”
“You’ll regret this. I’ll talk to you another time, Mrs. Dunn.”
“Not everyone is for sale, Mr. Winfield.”
The man mounted his horse and after a glare at Bret, he galloped away with his friend following.
Davie cheered. “You did it, Mr. Craig, you scared him off.”
“Mrs. Dunn, I beg your pardon for addressing you by your given name. It seemed best under the circumstances. Now, I believe I’d better sit down somewhere.”
She rushed to his side. “Let me help you. Put your arm over my shoulder so I can help support you. Davie, tend to the rifle and remember it’s been cocked.” She guided Bret inside the house.
His legs threatened to give way. “Perhaps we could stop and rest a moment.”
“If you can make it into the kitchen you can sit at the table. Our lunch is almost ready.”
He was never so glad to see a chair. At least he didn’t believe he was. “Why was he here this time and what upset you so?”
“It’s almost laughable.” When she looked up, anger sparked in her eyes. “If you can believe the nerve, he came to propose to me.”
“I thought you said you were a recent widow.”
“I am. He said he knew I didn’t want to lose the ranch and if we married I could share all the land. He even agreed to let me bring the children.” She appeared angrier. “Of course Davie and Susie would have to go to boarding school. He graciously said Jimmy wouldn’t have to go away until he was a year older.”
Bret looked where Davie had stood his rifle. “I wish I’d shot him.”
I hope you’ll read and enjoy CHARLOTTE’S CHALLENGE.