Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Sons of Johnny Hastings blog tour and the A-Z challenge welcome Renee Rose

Bless you Renee for having a 'U' in your excerpt.  That today was 'U' was unplanned and since the letter is hardly ubiquitous, it could have been unpleasant.  Ultimately, I'm unfazed because Sam was unjustly accused of murder and saved the day for me.   

(= 8 U's. woo hoo!)

The Outlaw’s Bride by Renee Rose

Mabelle Lawson had been managing her dead sister’s ranch without help for three months. The last thing she needs is a band of outlaws showing up and pushing her around. The Curly James gang members have no patience for her sass, and when their leader attempts to strike her with his fist, one of his men volunteers to spank her instead. She wants to hate the good-looking outlaw, but he seems to have her well-being at heart, even risking his life to protect her from the other men.

Unjustly accused of murder, Sam Pride is on the run and his luck worsens when he tangles with the Curly James gang. The only bright spot is the little spitfire rancher who steals his heart with her courage and spunk. When the two set off together for Cheyenne and then Denver, sparks fly and their magnetic connection grows.

Still, Mabelle is not sure if Sam will commit and even if he does, can he clear his name before a bounty hunter shoots him or brings him in?

Padding softly to the living room, she blinked in the darkness and located his large frame stretched out on the floor. She listened to the sound of his breath, deepened in sleep. Kneeling beside him, she grasped one of the guns at his side and began to slowly draw it out of the holster.

In a flash, he sat up, gun drawn and pointing in her face.

She gave a little scream of surprise, falling back. “Don’t shoot!” she begged, realizing how foolish her plan had been.

He stood up, lifting her to her feet with a firm grip on her arm. “What did you think you were doing?” he demanded, his voice icy. “You want the bounty on my head, too?”

“No,” she protested, and tried to step back, but he held her fast.

“Seven fifty is not enough for you? You want it all? Fine,” he said, turning his pistol around and handing it to her by the handle. “Go ahead and take it.”

She shook her head. “No, I—”

“Take it.”

She grasped the gun to appease him, her hands shaking so badly it wobbled in her grip.

“Go on, shoot me. I won’t draw on you. Here, take both my guns,” he said, lifting his arm to give her access to the other gun at his hip.

She shook her head. “That’s not—”

“Shoot me, Mabelle. It is not hard. You just pull the trigger and it’s done. Go on.”

Her chin trembled, the tears coming close to expulsion. “No!” she said.

He snatched the gun back with a look of disgust and holstered it. “It is hard to take a life, isn’t it?”

“I wasn’t going to—”

“Go and get me a wooden spoon.”

She obeyed without thinking, relieved to be released from his dark gaze, but when she reached the wash tub and grasped the spoon, she stopped, guessing his intentions for it.

She heard the scrape of a chair and turned to see him settling in it, looking at her expectantly.

“You could light a lamp, too, but I don’t mind spanking you in the dark.”

“You are not spanking me!” she insisted, her voice shrill.

He said nothing, simply looked at her from across the dark room.

Her heart thundered in her chest. She realized she had little choice but to accept his punishment. Fighting him would be fruitless, and only make him angrier. He thought she meant to kill him and he intended to exact retribution.

Well, if his retribution for murder was a spanking with a wooden spoon, she could take it. She drew her shoulders back and marched over to stand before him, offering the spoon.

“Thank you, Mabelle,” he said, his voice even. “Do you want to light the lamp?”

Did she want him to have a brighter view of her backside splayed across his knees? Hell, no.

“No,” she mumbled, her glower focusing on the collar of his shirt.

“No, sir,” he corrected.


Now for a little retro Q&A:    
Q:  If you time traveled back to 1872 which modern convenience or invention would you missed most? TP, A/C, birth control, automobile, cell phone (or any phone for that matter- it wasn't invented yet). Rank and tell us why... 

Renee's A: Hmm, as a resident of Arizona, I guess I'd have to say A/C

The Sons of Johnny Hastings
 Five illegitimate sons of a profligate gambler; these half-brothers learn of their father's death, some learning for the first time that their brothers exist.  These rugged, handsome men, despite their unfortunate beginnings, grow to become strong, upstanding men (for the most part) in their own right, no thanks to their father. Still, from across the country they embark on a journey. Along with their sassy and sometimes mischievous brides, they travel to Denver for the reading of the will. For most, the will is the least of their concerns.  Instead, they have a burning curiosity to meet the other sons of Johnny Hastings.

Available for individual sale or as a boxed set which include five brand new stories by some of your favorite authors: Patty Devlin, Patricia Green, Renee Rose, Maddie Taylor (yours truly), and Mary Wehr.

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