Shannon here: Romantic Suspense author, Rebecca Carey Lyles shares a romantic excerpt from her debut novel, Winds of Wyoming in e-book or paperback format. Comment on any post dated June 25 – 29 for a chance to win the drawing. Deadline: July 7, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Rebecca:
Mike leaned close again. “What hurts, Kate?”
“My head … my leg.”
She had to think about the source of the pain, which was beginning to encompass her entire body. “Left.”
Mike palpated the leg through her jeans.
“Ouch!” The pain was incredible.
He lifted his hand. “Your leg is broken.”
His dog nudged her neck.
Mike smoothed her hair from her cheek. “I’ll have to go for help.”
“I could ride with you on Lightning.”
“If you have a back or neck injury, riding might paralyze you. Or permanently mess up your leg.”
She clutched his arm. “But I don’t want you to leave me.” What was she saying? She’d learned long ago not to ask any man for anything. She released her grip.
“I have to go. But I’ll leave Tramp here.”
“Can’t you radio for help?”
He exhaled an exasperated huff.
She turned away. “I’m sorry, I just thought …”
“I’m not angry with you.” He kissed her forehead.
She blinked. What was that about?
“I’m mad at myself for leaving the radio at home, so nobody could bother us …” He shook his head. “I told you you shouldn’t trust me.”
“Oh, Mike.” She reached up to stroke his cheek. Even in the gloom, she could sense the depth of his chagrin. “I am touched beyond words that you wanted to have an evening alone with me.”
He wrapped his hand around hers.
A sharp pain stabbed through her leg. Kate gasped and jerked.
He released her hand. “I have ibuprofen in the saddlebag. We’ll load you up and trust it keeps the pain bearable until I get help.”
When he walked away, the night, which had seemed to glow earlier, pressed down so hard Kate wondered if she’d sink back into the dark abyss of unconsciousness.
He returned with full arms and a flashlight. “I’ll help you swallow some pills and then leave the rest with you, along with a water flask and the flashlight. I also brought blankets and a revolver.”
She moved her head back and forth. No more stars behind her eyelids, but a headache mushroomed between her temples. “I can move my neck. I think it’s okay.”
He tapped pills into her hand. “I hope so, but we’d better not take any chances.” He handed her the canteen. “See if you can drink without raising your head.”
She swallowed the pills.
He took the canteen and covered her with the blankets.
“What’s with the gun?”
“Wildlife. Tramp will chase off anything that wanders by. The gun is just added insurance.” He moved the flashlight and revolver where she could reach them. “Do you know how to shoot a gun?”
She hated to admit guns and violence were a part of her past. But she didn’t want him to worry. “Yes.”
“Good. It’s loaded. Don’t hesitate to use it, if you need to.”
“Thanks. I’ll be fine.”
“I hate to leave you, but it’s getting late. I’ll bring help as fast as I can.”
“I know you will. I trust you, Mike.”
“You’re a trooper.” He pressed his lips against her forehead one more time.
She touched his jaw again, reveling in the smoky smell of his shirt and the feel of his lips on her skin and her fingers on his.
“Better go.” His voice was husky. He mounted Lightning and rode several yards up the trail, Tramp running alongside the horse. Mike stopped to interlace aspen saplings across the path and hang a canvas bag from the juncture. “This’ll be our marker, so we don’t trample you in the dark.”
She could barely see him, but she could tell he motioned to his dog. “Stay, Tramp. Take care of Kate.” And he was gone.
Tramp trotted to her side. Like a stalwart soldier, he stood at attention, uttering soft, sad moans as he watched the dusk devour his master.
Kate felt her tears slide into her hair. In a matter of days, she was sprawled across another trail. At least she was on her back this time, not her belly. She blotted her face and hair with a blanket. Last time Mike had found her. This time, he left her. But he’d promised to return. Already, she longed for his touch.
About Rebecca: Though debut novelist Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, she and her husband, Steve, currently live in the neighboring state of Idaho. She enjoys the creativity and beauty that abound throughout her adopted state as well as opportunities to hike, camp, snowshoe and cross-country ski in the midst of God’s grandeur. Favorite outdoor experience: While hiking in the Wyoming mountains one summer, she came nose-to-nose with (well, ten-feet from) a beautiful white wolf. Currently, she’s putting the finishing touches on a Winds of Wyoming sequel titled Winds of Freedom. Learn more at: http://www.beckylyles.com, http://www.widgetwords.wordpress.com, Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles, and Twitter: @BeckyLyles.
About the book: Winds of Wyoming – A Kate Neilson Novel
Fresh out of a Pennsylvania penitentiary armed with a marketing degree, Kate Neilson heads to Wyoming anticipating an anonymous new beginning as a guest-ranch employee. A typical twenty-five-year-old woman might be looking to lasso a cowboy, but her only desire is to get on with life on the outside—despite her growing interest in the ranch owner. When she discovers a violent ex-lover followed her west, she fears the past she hoped to hide will trail as close as a shadow and imprison her once again.
Come back July 2nd for debut author, Keli Gwyn.