KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
UNDER A MULBERRY MOON
Western Romance Anthology
BY Zina Abbott, Patricia PacJac Carroll, Carra Copelin, Caroline Clemmons, Jacquie Rogers, Keta Diablo, P.A. Estelle, Cissie Patterson, & Charlene Raddon
Adventure! Mystery! Romance! Nine award-winning and bestselling authors present sweet western historical stories to ignite your imagination and feed your passion for reading. Let us sweep you away from your daily cares and entertain you with our sigh-worthy novellas set between 1865 and 1900. What a line-up we have for you! UNDER A MULBERRY MOON is a bargain! Preorder at only 99 cents before price goes up to $2.99 sometime after release!
Better hurry—this anthology is available for a limited time only. The following books are included:
Millwright’s Daughter by Zina Abbott
Worth the Wait by Patricia PacJac Carroll
Ada and the Texas Cavalryman (Brides of Texas Code) by Carra Copelin
A Family For Merry by Caroline Clemmons
A Family For Polly by Jacquie Rogers
Comes A Specter by Keta Diablo
The Widow Buys A Groom by P.A. Estelle
Matthew’s Freedom by Cissie Patterson
The Lady Lassoes an Outlaw by Charlene Raddon
THE LADY LASSOES AN OUTLAW
BY CHARLENE RADDON
A second later, the sound of gunfire came to Aurora. The coach was being attacked!
Dropping her book, she grabbed her reticle with the Colt inside. She had her hand in the bag ready to draw out her gun and her gaze on the window when Higgins said, “Best keep away from the window, Miss. Might get hurt.”
As if to prove his warning, a bullet zinged through the window shade and buried itself in the seat back near her head.
“Good hell,” Rank muttered.
Aurora threw herself to one side, one hand clutching her bag with the Colt .45 inside, the other hand on her thigh, making sure she hadn’t lost the derringer in her garter. She glanced at her two companions and gasped.
Elmer Higgins held a Smith and Wesson aimed at her chest. He smiled. “It’s a robbery. Just sit quiet, be a good girl, and you’ll be fine.”
Aurora had grave doubts about that, but she clamped her mouth shut, took her hand slowly out of her reticule, removed her other hand from her leg, and clutched the bag to her chest. The gun muzzle inside poked into her breasts, adding to her awareness of its presence, so close, yet, out of reach, like the derringer, and the knife in her boot. No more doubt remained but that she’d misjudged Mr. Higgins.
Moving the muzzle of his gun toward Rank, he said, “Toss your gun out the window. Now.”
Rank did and then squeezed as deeply into the corner as he could, his eyes never leaving the Smith and Wesson aimed at him.
Aurora waited, hoping something distracted Higgins, so she could pull out the Colt and get the drop on him. Was it the Hell’s-Gate gang the man belonged to? They were known to rob stages on this route.
More important to her, did Higgins know where Jason was? What would he do if he knew there was a lawman on the stage?
He grinned. “Don’t fret, Miss Cavender. I won’t allow anything to happen to you.”
Her gaze slid to Rank, and she saw he would be no help. The flirty cowhand had turned into a quivering coward.
Outside, a cry of pain came from the vicinity of the driver’s seat. Had the driver been shot? Or Garret?
The gang chasing them hadn’t quite reached the stage yet. The top of the stage and all the luggage stored there should protect the men driving the stage.
The thought had barely passed through her mind when riders appeared at the sides of the coach. The gunfire stopped, and the stage skidded to a halt, raising even more dust. Aurora wanted to leap out to check on Garret. She might hate him for abandoning her the day of their wedding, but she didn’t want him to die.
Higgins, no longer the meek salesman, threw open the door. “After you, Miss.”
She wanted to curse at him the way Jason would have. This was not going the way she’d planned when she left home for Utah. She pulled a scented hanky from her reticule, slipped the crocheted handle over her arm, and descended to the ground. The hanky she held to her nose to keep out the dust.
Higgins shoved Rank out behind her and he landed in the dirt. When the outlaw jumped down, he grabbed her arm. “Don’t go anywhere, sweetheart. When matters are finished here, you and I shall become better acquainted.”
“I have no interest in knowing you better, Mr. Higgins. Just take my valuables and let go of me.”
He laughed and drew her closer. “Oh, now. I want more than your valuables. I’ve been nice to you, haven’t I? It’s your turn to be nice to me.”
She tried to pull away. “I said let me go.”
“Do it, Elmer,” a firm, familiar voice said as Garret appeared beside Aurora. “The lady belongs to me.”
“What?” It hit her then —Garret was part of the gang? No, he couldn’t be. She glared at him. “How dare you say—?”
Yanking her against him, he kissed her, shutting her up. Damn him. Twice now, he’d pulled that stunt. His mouth on hers felt hard and all-business, unlike the way he used to kiss her. “Keep quiet and go along with me, if you want to keep living,” he whispered against her lips.
He kissed her harder.
Charlene Raddon’s first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. Because of her love of romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. Kensington Books originally published five of her novels. These were later released as eBooks by Tirgearr Publishing. Currently, Charlene is an Indie author. She also designs book covers, specializing in historicals (primarily western).
Links to Char’s website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Charlene, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!