Today Iâ€™d like to share with CTR readers an excerpt from my western historical romance, Ballad Beauty. Hereâ€™s the blurb to let you know what this romance is about:
After ten years apart, Boston schoolmarm Jenny McShanahan receives a letter from her beloved father that instructs her to join him in Texas. She has no idea that heâ€™s become Famous Sam McShan, the Robin Hood of the West. She arrives to find Sam already gone, but he left instructions for Jenny to hire a guide and rendezvous with him in Nevada.
Texas Ranger Noah Daniel Webster knows Sam personally because his father, Pistol Pete Webber, was Samâ€™s longtime partner in crime. When Pete is killed during their last big score, Noah requests the assignment to bring Sam to justice. Going undercover, he volunteers to act as Jennyâ€™s escort across the dangerous prairie, using her to track her outlaw fatherâ€™s location.
As they journey through rough country, love blossomsâ€”but Noah knows the second he arrests Sam, his betrayal will kill Jennyâ€™s love for him. Should the lawman do his duty as a Ranger, or should he let love rule? The choice Noah makes will change their lives forever.
Noah watched different expressions flit across Jenny McShanahanâ€™s face in rapid succession. He saw joy, surprise, anger, and bewilderment come and go as quickly as mosquito bites. He also wondered about the man that followed them to the hotel. He spotted him atop the stage that brought her to Apple Blossom. He knew the gentleman hadnâ€™t gotten off at the same time as the other passengers who had disembarked.
So why was he here now? And were they both interested in the same lady for the same reason?
â€œWould you be so kind as to send my things up to my room?â€
He turned his attention back to the desk.
â€œYes, maâ€™am. Consider it done.â€
Jenny thanked the clerk. â€œAnd one more thing. Do you know how I would go about locating a Mr. Slim Patterson?â€
The desk clerk visibly blanched. â€œMr. Patterson, you say?â€
She smiled sweetly. â€œYes. My father would like me to get in touch with Mr. Patterson. He is to escort me to Nevada.â€
The man laughed uncomfortably, his giggle high and girlish for one so rotund. â€œIâ€™m sorry, Miss McShanahan. It wonâ€™t be possible for you to speak with him.â€ He paused and swallowed hard. â€œMr. Patterson died in a knife fight last night. Something about debts he owed was the story I heard from the barkeep.â€
Noah watched Jenny grow still, her green eyes dominating her face, which drained of color. She gripped the counter a long moment in order to steady herself. She seemed to come to some decision as she focused on the clerk.
â€œWould you recommend taking the train to Nevada, sir?â€
Laughter filled the small lobby. â€œFrom Apple Blossom?â€ He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. â€œYou could probably walk faster from here to there. No,â€ he shook his head, â€œoverland routeâ€™s the only way to get there â€˜fore Jesus returns.â€
Jenny walked away, an odd look on her face. She moved toward the exit. Just before she reached the doorway, she looked over her shoulder.
Noah nearly dropped his teeth when she asked the clerk, â€œWould you please direct me to the nearest saloon?â€
You can purchase Ballad Beauty at Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00U9TV2XQ
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. Her romantic suspense novels feature strong heroes and heroines who unite to defeat a clever antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.
A native Texan, Lauren lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with long walks. She plans to start a support group for House Hunters addictsâ€”as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.