I'm delighted to host my good friend and talented author, Barbara Bettis in the Tavern today! You'll also recognize "Lady Barbara" from our Medieval Monday blogs. Well, it appears as if this author has stepped into the Western Frontier with her new release, Last Stop, Wylder, A Wylder West Novel.
Grab a cup of ale and let's take a peek into her wonderful new story...
Gunman Morgan Dodd is headed to a new life in California, where no one knows his name. Or his reputation. Just one last job to raise money for his fresh start—gunhand for a railroad agent in Wyoming. Easy enough. Until he meets the woman who could change everything.
After ending her engagement, Emily Martin longs for independence. She sets out for Wylder, Wyoming, to help her brother with his newspaper. But when she arrives, she finds he’s off investigating a story. Well, then! She’ll simply publish the paper herself until he returns. Emily’s prepared to face challenges, but not the dangerous stranger who ambushes her heart. The same man hired to destroy her livelihood.
When a common enemy threatens, Morgan and Emily must find a way to defeat danger and save their budding love. But a gunman’s word is his bond, and a lady’s trust can shatter
Available from these online retailers:
Sneak preview from Last Stop, Wylder
A buckboard came rolling to a stop not far from Emily’s trunk and bags, and a youth leaped down, his freckled face beaming with a smile. “Ralph said I was to pick up a lady passenger. Reckon that’s you, ma’am.”
He loaded her baggage, then beckoned. “I’m Tommy. Just tell me where you want to go and I’ll see you get there.”
He climbed onto the plank seat and waited as she walked to the buckboard. She’d never ridden in a vehicle quite like this and she wasn’t sure how to get in. No step in sight. Was she to climb on the wheel? She raised her brows and lifted a shoulder. Perhaps the axel?
She glanced at Tommy, whose freckles suddenly stood out on reddened cheeks.
“Oh, sorry, ma’am.” He wound the reins around the wooden brake handle and jumped down. He dashed to her side and placed his foot up on the axel. “Just step here and put your other foot right on the floor there, by the seat, and in your go.”
Emily looked at the boy from the corner of her eye, then gauged the distance from the ground to where his foot rested. Hmmm. She wasn’t sure her skirt would allow that kind of step, not unless she hiked the hem above her knees. A smile lifted the corner of her mouth. Now that would make a fine entrance to her new home.
Well. She wouldn’t know until she tried. She thrust her bag at Tommy and carefully lifted her foot. Sure enough, the hem started to slide up her ankle. How did the women of Wylder mount these blasted wagons?
She extended her leg farther until the fabric bunched. She lowered her foot.
“Looks like that pretty outfit you’re wearing wasn’t made for Western riding.”
“Oh!” She started at the soft, raspy voice. The man in the red shirt stood at her side, leading his horse. He swung the saddle down and dropped the reins to the ground. The horse stood in place.
“Here. This will be faster.”
Before she could utter a sound, he’d grasped her around her waist and swung her up onto the seat.
Never, ever, had a strange man put a hand on her body unless to dance. For an instant, Emily sat speechless. A state she wasn’t used to.
Should she thank him for his help, or scold him for his scandalous action?
Tommy had no doubts. He’d scurried back to his place on the seat beside her. “Thanks for your help, mister,” he said. “That solved the problem right quick.”
Emily couldn’t force her eyes from the stranger’s gaze. Compelling, questioning.
He touched the brim of his hat and gave a short nod. “Ma’am. You’re welcome.”
His right eye dipped in a wink and he walked away
A Message from Barbara Bettis
I love research and it often turns up information I hadn’t even considered. One example is this little gem, which really made me smile. It’s a pocket calendar for ladies, fit for their reticule. And, just like the 21st Century versions, the company that put it out took every opportunity to advertise on it. Targeting the audience, indeed!
Meet the Author
Multi-award-winning author Barbara Bettis can't recall a time she didn't love adventures of daring heroes and plucky heroines. A retired journalist and college English and journalism teacher, she lives in Missouri where she tries to keep her grandchildren supplied with cookies. When she's not editing for others, she's working on her own stories with heroines to die for-- and heroes to live for.
Connect with Barbara here;