Today I’d like to share with CTR readers an excerpt from my western historical romance, Ballad Beauty. Here’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 he’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 Sam’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 Jenny’s escort across the dangerous prairie, using her to track her outlaw father’s location.

As they journey through rough country, love blossoms—but Noah knows the second he arrests Sam, his betrayal will kill Jenny’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 McShanahan’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 hadn’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?

“Would you be so kind as to send my things up to my room?”

He turned his attention back to the desk.

“Yes, ma’am. Consider it done.”

Jenny thanked the clerk. “And one more thing. Do you know how I would go about locating a Mr. Slim Patterson?”

The desk clerk visibly blanched. “Mr. Patterson, you say?”

She smiled sweetly. “Yes. My father would like me to get in touch with Mr. Patterson. He is to escort me to Nevada.”

The man laughed uncomfortably, his giggle high and girlish for one so rotund. “I’m sorry, Miss McShanahan. It won’t be possible for you to speak with him.” He paused and swallowed hard. “Mr. Patterson died in a knife fight last night. Something about debts he owed was the story I heard from the barkeep.”

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.

“Would you recommend taking the train to Nevada, sir?”

Laughter filled the small lobby. “From Apple Blossom?” He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “You could probably walk faster from here to there. No,” he shook his head, “overland route’s the only way to get there ‘fore Jesus returns.”

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, “Would you please direct me to the nearest saloon?”


You can purchase Ballad Beauty at Amazon:

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