Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Montana Outlaw

Sweet Montana Book 4

He did time for killing a man he should have killed to save the woman he loved...

Brody Whitebear had the reputation as a bad boy and people won't let him forget.  His past has come back to haunt him when he returns to Sweet, Montana at the request of an old friend who wants to help give him a second chance. Some people won't let him forget or move on.

Tara Mitchell knew her brother wasn't a saint but he didn't have to die because of it. She'd tried for years to forget what she'd seen and to focus on building her little novelty shop in Sweet.  But now that Brody is back in town, the fantasy that her brother was blameless is hard to ignore. Can she forgive Brody for what he did without losing her heart and falling in love?

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“You’ve got a sick sense of humor. You know that, buddy?”

Brody Whitebear stared across the thick polished table at a local pub called Bojangles to one of the few friends he’d had for life, a friend who’d stuck with him in his darkest hour and didn’t judge. Hunter Williams.

“Have I ever lied to you?” Hunter asked, motioning to the waitress to signal they needed a refill. “No, strike that. Bad choice of words.”

Brody lifted his eyebrows. “Yeah, they are.”

The two of them were drinking coffee, not beer or whiskey like all the others in the pub.

“It’s a sure thing,” Hunter said, almost too excited about the prospect he was telling Brody about for it to be real.

“Sure things usually come with a barn full of sure trouble.” Brody looked at his old friend across the table at Bojangles Bar and Grill with a skeptical eye. “I can’t believe you’re even suggesting I step foot in Sweet.”

“Why not? Just because Tara Mitchell has a business there, doesn’t mean you can’t work as a ranch manager on one of the ranches.”

The waitress came to the table, filled their coffee cups, and then dropped a bowl of peanuts on the table. When she left, Brody said, “Somehow it doesn’t sound that simple.”

“Be positive for once in your life,” Hunter said. He’d met Hunter a long time ago when they were young teens on the rodeo circuit. He’d never been very good, but Hunter had been until an injury set him on the path that ended his rodeo days. Now he worked with horses as a farrier on most of the ranches in the area.

“See, there you go again. This isn’t about being positive. It’s the sure thing notion that gets dicey for me. Nothing is that good, and certainly not worth my running into Tara.”

“Look, I’ve known Trip a long time. I worked on the Lone Creek Ranch as a ranch hand right after I stopped rodeoing. He’s a good man. He’s given me a chance. He’ll give you one, too. He’s an old rodeo man himself, and now he raises rodeo stock.”

Brody grabbed a handful of peanuts and started to shell them. “How come you’re not working for him yourself?”

“I still do farrier work for the ranch. I’m just not a ranch hand. I’m usually out there at the ranch every week to shoe horses. He boards horses for some people, mostly the people who use Sweet as a temporary home. There’s a lot of work there.”

“There are plenty of ranch managers he could choose from. Why can’t he get enough help out there?” Brody asked, leaning back in his chair as another waitress walked by with a tray full of drinks.

What he wouldn’t give for a beer right now. The terms of Brody’s parole prevented him from drinking in public. Just being in Bojangles was questionable if not for Hunter being there to vouch for him that he’d only had coffee. Still, he’d make sure the waitress gave him a receipt before they left so he could prove all he had was coffee.

“Trip was close to Levon. He’d been with Trip for a while. He’d tried a few cowboys as replacement but he hasn’t really clicked with anyone else.”

“Did Levon take a better job?”

Hunter’s expression grew dark. He grabbed a peanut from the bowl and shelled it. “He was killed last winter.”

Brody was about to drop a few shelled peanuts into his mouth but stopped abruptly. “Killed?”

Hunter glanced up at him and then gave him an idle shrug.

Brody’s eyebrows stretched on his forehead as he stared at his friend. “You are one sick dude to bring me into this, Hunter Williams. You want to hook me up in a job where the former ranch manager was killed after I’ve done time for murder?”

He said the last part quietly despite the noise in the pub. He didn’t need to broadcast it to the world when it followed him to every new job opportunity he’d had since leaving prison.

“We both know it was an accident,” Hunter said, glancing around quickly. “I was there. And I know the truth about what went down even if the prosecutor didn’t see it that way and managed to prove otherwise.”

“Twelve jurors saw it that way too. No one wanted to believe it was an accident.”

“We don’t have to re-litigate this, do we?”

“I have no intention of doing that. But I have a feeling my being in Sweet isn’t going to go over too well. People have long memories.”

“They are forgiving people. I should know. I get a lot of work from them.”

“Not everyone.”

Hunter looked down at his hands as he twirled his coffee mug on the table in the wet spot the waitress made when she’d refilled his mug. “I get that. Tara probably won’t be happy. And she will find out. But she’s going to have to get over it one way or another because you did your time.” Hunter leaned forward. “You shouldn’t even have been in prison. But even if you did serve time, everyone deserves a second chance. Everyone. The question is what you want to do with it.”

It seemed so simple when Hunter said those words. But it was far from easy and Brody knew it.

He’d spent eighteen months in prison for manslaughter and had six months left on his parole. It had taken a long time for him to shake off the stench of prison and the stigma of his past. He was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Although he’d been sorry his actions ended up taking a life, he wasn’t sorry that it had stopped Doug Mitchell from taking his sister, Marie’s, life.

“It was a long time ago, Brody. None of us can change it. We did stupid things. And some of us paid a higher price for it. But this is a chance for a new start.”

He grabbed another handful of peanuts from the bowl and thought about Hunter’s proposition.

“I sure hope you’re right.”

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Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Montana Rescue

Sweet Montana Book 3

Sometimes the person you are rescuing...becomes your rescuer.

Dangerous Montana snow storms are no surprise. So when police dispatcher, Harper Madison, heads to the mountains to bring supplies to a survivalist/scientist who is renting her invalid grandmother's remote cabin high in the mountains for the summer, she doesn't take chances. But when a elk runs in front of her car and it tumbles down an embankment, nearly killing her, and leaving her stranded on the mountain until she can be rescued.

The only thing Nash Webber wants is to be left alone. Working in the Montana mountains will give him much needed perspective. But as soon as he arrives, his quiet retreat is quickly compromised when a sudden blizzard leaves a stranded woman perched precariously on the cliff of the mountain road leading to his cabin.

The cabin is certainly big enough for two. But can they be forced in close proximity for days on end without losing their minds and their hearts?

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Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Home Montana

Sweet Montana Book 2

Dumped by a cheating husband, Katie Dobbs' life had gone off the rails and she is now back to square one, living in her parents' home in Sweet, Montana and working a job she hates. She refuses to stay in a dark and empty house as a constant reminder of her mistakes. So she did the only thing that made sense. She breaks into an old dilapidated chapel to figure out her next move, and is nearly arrested by Caleb Samuel, her brother's high school friend who is now a handsome police officer in town.

Caleb had heard Katie was having a hard time. Sweet was a small town and everyone knew everyone else's business. Except for one thing. No one knew where his sister Julie disappeared to 10 years ago and no one had heard from her since. Katie had been good friends with Julie before they'd both left Sweet. Now Katie is back. Buying a broken down chapel to renovate as a house is nuts when you don't know the difference between each end of a hammer. And Katie didn't. But she did know Julie, and maybe she'd be able to give him some insight into where Julie had gone. Caleb offers to help Katie renovate. But one problem after another threatens the project, and leaves Katie thinking she'll never realize her dreams. Until she realizes she's falling in love with her brother's friend. Even as everything seems to be falling apart around them, can love help heal their hearts?

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Katie sat in one of the pews in the back of the chapel and thought about how her life had gone off the rails. She rubbed her fingers together as she laid them on her lap and tried to ward off the bitter Montana cold. A gust of wind swept into the building, making a sudden chill race through her body. It was probably the flimsy plywood door she’d pulled away from the wall.

But then a beam of light swept through the chapel, illuminating features she couldn’t see in the dark until the beam of light landed on her. She quickly turned and saw the stark light source but did not see the person holding the flashlight as they moved through the open door and into the chapel.

“Katy Dobbs? What on earth are you doing in here?"

Katie shielded her eyes with her fingers. "Do I know you?"

The man’s low chuckle sounded familiar, but she still couldn't place it.

“I hope so. I've known you and your brother practically my entire life.”

He dropped the flashlight enough so that it wasn't shining in her eyes directly. She squinted her eyes and looked at the man's silhouette.

“Caleb? Caleb is that you?”

”You were the last person I expected to find in here.”

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Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Montana Sky

Sweet Montana Book 1

Someone is using superstition to cause trouble on the rodeo circuit.  An upside down horseshoe made Tabby Swanson’s skin crawl, but it wasn’t enough to keep her from training her prize horse, Tenderhook, for barrel racing so she could get a sponsorship.  When Kasper Dobbs shows up the ranch, she’s intrigued and hopeful.  The handsome businessman, and former local hockey star, has deep pockets.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s devastatingly handsome and makes her heart pound in her chest more than barrel racing.   It almost makes her forget about the strange happenings on the ranch until someone turns up dead, and she and Tenderhook suffer a near fatal accident in competition, threatening her rodeo days forever.

Kasper knows Tabby’s fall was no accident.  Being told you may never compete again is a fate he knows well.  He won’t let Tabby give up and insists on getting her back into training as soon as he can.  But how can he know if whoever caused her accident will try again?  He calls the Knight brothers to investigate the mysterious death and strange happens surrounding Tabby in the whole they can catch whoever is responsible before she takes another fall.  He wants to believe he’s doing it all in the name of business.  But he’s fallen hard for the cowgirl whose sunshine smile makes him want more than just to ride again.  He wants the girl for life!

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The rusted horseshoe above the old weathered crossbuck barn doors was turned upside down. Tabby Swanson’s stomach fell just a notch. Not everyone would notice a little thing like a downturned horseshoe. Not everyone would care. But Tabby did.

The nail holding it upright must have broken and caused it to slip. That is the only reason she could think why the horseshoe was upside down. Trip, the owner of the Lone Creek Ranch, was more superstitious than she was, and that said a lot.

She’d ask him about it later. When he was in a good mood. Right now Tabby just wanted to get on her horse and do a couple of good barrel runs to warm up and get ready for the day.
She grabbed the bridle in the tack room and walked the few yards down the center aisle of the horse barn toward Tenterhook’s stall. All the while, she fought the nervous tension building inside her.

Trip had been on edge all day. In fact, he hadn’t been this edgy since she moved to the Lone Creek Ranch nearly eight years ago. A stupid upside down horseshoe wasn’t the reason. She knew that. The rodeo world had many superstitions. Most people didn’t pay any mind to them even though they secretly knew all of them, like the upside down horseshoe.

Tabby wasn’t someone who went around wearing the same socks under her cowboy boots during the rodeo season like a few of the barrel racers she knew. But she wasn’t completely immune. She talked herself out of superstitious talk all the time and preferred to think that she was in control. Well, as in control as anyone could be. No one could be ready for swerving cars on the wrong side of the road, like the one that had taken both of her parents’ lives and shattered her world in a single moment.

But on that same day, she had taken control. And an upside down horseshoe was staying in the locker room for her ride today. Tenterhook was waiting for her.

As she walked down the center aisle of the barn, she saw a strange man standing in front of Tenterhook’s stall. She had never seen him on the ranch before. But that didn’t really mean anything. She mostly kept to herself and had a few friends in town and on the rodeo circuit.

She walked closer, but he didn’t seem to hear the sound of her footsteps. She did hear the soft crooning he made while talking to Tenterhook. He was completely out of place here with his freshly pressed dark suit and expensive shoes. She noticed an overcoat slung over the gate of the stall. She got within ten feet of him before he finally turned and looked at her.

“Is this your horse?” the man asked.

Now that she was close to him she could smell the scent of his aftershave. It was an odd thing to be smelling in a barn that usually smelled of hay and animal.

“He is,” she answered. “Can I help you with something?”

He shook his head and turned his attention back to Tenterhook. “I’ve seen this horse before. But I couldn’t have. He would be about twenty years old by now and this horse doesn’t look that old.”

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Teaser Tuesday: Moment of Trust

Summer House Book 4
Moment of Trust

Six years ago Penny Munez made the mistake of leaving home too young and moving in with a man who beat her for recreation. She'd fled with the shirt on her back, no pants and no shoes and jumped into a car that had stopped at the traffic light, urging them to drive anywhere.  She didn't care where.  Now that she's on an island surrounded by water, the fear of looking over her shoulder hasn't stopped.  She doesn't trust anyone.  That is until Drake Sutton decided he was going to give her a reason to trust again. Drake knows a dark past when he sees one because he’s lived it on the streets and done things to survive that he’d rather forget.  Now he owns a successful business and he's calling the shots. But can Drake's love break down walls Penny has fought hard to erect to keep her safe?

This series is an erotica series that contains sexual situations that are not intended for readers under 18 years old.

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Only weird people love playing in dirt. Well, it’s only weird when you’re twenty-two years old and still playing in the dirt like I am. Maybe it’s the dirty feelings inside of me. The ones that I find hard to let go of. But I like to think it has more to do with good memories of making mud pies in the side yard with my next door neighbor when I was a four instead of the four years that are closest in my memory. The ones I want to forget.

Maybe that’s why I’d taken this job working for a landscaper. Sure, Drake Sutton is a hottie. Any girl who spent two seconds with the man would think that he belonged on the cover of a magazine, not playing in dirt like I do every day. But I’m the lucky one.

Yeah, lucky.

“Shit. Worms are eating the flowers.” I drop the bag of mulch I hoisted out of the back of the truck at our job site and crouched down to take a closer look at what I know is happening. Destruction of all our hard work this summer. The sun did its job. The rain fed the soil. But worms had conquered and are taking over the beauty of all the begonias lining the side of the Wayside Inn.

Turning one of the leaves over in my hand, I see the telltale marks that Drake warned me about when I’d started working at the Sutton Landscape Company at the beginning of the summer. I look at another plant. Then another.

Beverly Pickam isn’t going to be happy about this.

“Drake?” I call out. When I turn, I see my boss headed my way carrying another bag of mulch. His body is slick with sweat that has seeped through the white T-shirt he’s wearing. He always wears a white T-shirt because he says it reflects the sun when he’s working. He works hard and expects the same out me and Gus.

It had rained hard over the weekend and most of the mulch that had been on the ocean side of the Wayside Inn, had been washed down the sidewalk. It wasn’t enough to just sweep the mulch back into place. Drake wants it to look perfect all the time so he’ll be a shoe-in to get the contract again next summer.

He’s not going to like this either.

As I look at the begonia leaves I’d planted in front of the Inn earlier this summer, I sigh. Why does everything beautiful have to be destroyed by something?

This should be a normal job. Pull some weeds. Replace mulch that rain and wind had eroded from the flowerbeds. Then on to the next job site. They were going to have to fix this before they could move on.

Drake, the owner of the landscape company I’ve been working for this summer, walks up behind me and peers down at the brown leaf with holes burrowed out of it.

He yanks a leaf off the flower and then says, “Shit. Well, doesn’t this just suck?”

I chuckle as I look up at him, shielding my eyes from the hot sun. “What do you want to do about it?”

He sighs and glances down the length of the flower bed on the side of the building. “We still have a full month of tourist season to get through before I pull these flowers and put in mums to last through the end of October. Beverly likes her flowers pretty. In fact, this side of the building is normally her turf. She specifically asked for a little space.”

“Her turf? I thought the whole thing was her turf.”

“Her little garden. We planted the begonias. For some reason she put in petunias everywhere. We didn’t. I don’t know where she got these flowers from. They could have been from someplace with infested soil. That’s probably how these plants became diseased and infected the surrounding plants. I didn’t see any signs of this when I spread out the new mulch in the front of the building.”

“Damn. Regardless, we have to eat the loss and replace these flowers with healthy ones or it’s only a matter of time before the front looks as bad as the side and it’ll ruin my plantings for the fall. I’ll grab some spray.”

“We? If Beverly tampered with your landscaping, shouldn’t she be paying for it to be fixed?”

Drake stood still and looked up at the Inn. I can tell he’s pissed, but he has so much control over his emotions that I’m constantly surprised by his reaction to setbacks, no matter how big or small. When Gus, the other landscaper I work alongside with every day, got arrested the other night and dragged back to the mainland, I thought for sure Drake would fire him on the spot. Instead, since Gus is dating my roommate Lily, he stayed in constant contact with Lily about what was going on with Gus. He didn’t yell about being short a landscaper for the jobs he had scheduled for the week. I’d been all ready to defend Gus to Drake since I’d been there the night at the club when a fight broke out and Gus had to help drag my other roommate, Heather, out of harm’s way. I wanted Drake to know it hadn’t been Gus’s fault. He’d helped save Heather.

But Drake never uttered a harsh word about Gus and how he’d landed in this situation. He just took the news that Gus was sent to the mainland and went back to work as if I’d told him that Gus had called in sick with the flu or something.

“If I want to stay on the island and have any chance of getting next year’s contract, I’m going to have to take the loss.” He sighs as he looks down at his hand and crumples the dry leaf in his fist.

I watch him walk back to the truck. Such control.

“You plan on staying on Nantucket after the summer?”

Drake glanced toward the long stretch of beach the Wayside Inn was located on. “Don’t you? How can you leave a place like this?”

I wanted to say it was easy. Rachel always says that women like me need to move on. But I can’t deny that leaving here will be hard. I only have another month on the island then…I’ll be somewhere else. Meeting new people. Trying to make new friends.

I look at Drake and the thought of it leaves me cold.

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