Stephen & Janet Bly – Excerpt – Part 3 of 3

Shannon here: Janet Bly shares an excerpt from Stephen’s novel, It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own plus winner’s choice of 3 of Stephen’s books: It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own, Stephen Brannon’s Final Shot, or The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison. If each post gets 10 comments or more, three different winners will each get a book. Comment on any post dated Jan 22 – 27 to enter. Deadline: Feb 8th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janet:

Stephen & Janet BlyIt's Your Misfortune & None of My Own by Stephen Bly

Can Love Grow From Disception?

Pepper Paige is tired of her life as a dance-hall girl. She gets her chance to escape when a woman injured in a stagecoach wreck dies in her room. The stranger–a refined, educated Christian–informs Pepper she was on her way west to marry Zachary Hatcher, a rancher she knew only through his letters. Pepper decides to assume Suzanne Cedar’s identity and get a fresh start in life.

But unknown to Pepper, her fiancé is not really Zachary Hatcher who has been killed by Indians. A prison escapee named Tap Andrews has decided to pass himself off as the rancher.

They first meet in this excerpt from It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own, Book 1 Code of the West Series by Stephen Bly:

I should never have had the McCurleys come out here with me. If Hatcher doesn’t buy this Suzanne Cedar impression, I’ll curl up and die. It’s got to work. It’s just got to!

“Looks like a rider comin’ in from the north.” Bob McCurley pointed with his knife blade.

“Two of them, isn’t there, Robert?” Mrs. McCurley questioned.

“Nope, jist one. Leadin’ a horse. Hey, that’s him. That’s Hatcher. He’s on Onespot. Sold him that horse yesterday.”

Pepper’s pulse quickened “Are you sure?”

“Yep. That there is Zachariah Hatcher, all right. Came out lookin’ fer ya, he did.”

“Oh, my, this is frightfully exciting,” Mrs. McCurley squealed. “Who knows what will happen?”

“You ladies stay here. I’ll walk out there and welcome him in.”

I should have put on strong perfume. I knew I should have. Why didn’t I remember?  “Mrs. McCurley, should I take off my hat? Is my hair straight? Should I sit down? How do I look?”

“Like a nervous bride. Stand right there and let him come to you.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Hatcher?”

“McCurley, I didn’t expect to find a picnic this far north.” Tap stared at the two women in the distance.

“Ain’t no picnic, son. We are headin’ toward your place with a friend of yours.”

It’s her. It’s Miss Suzanne Cedar herself. She’s even more beautiful than I imagined. The next two minutes may decide the next twenty years of my life. Slow and easy. What would Zachariah Hatcher do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pepper twisted Suzanne Cedar’s engagement ring on her finger. Relax, girl. Take deep breaths. You can do it. You’ve been pretending for years. This is the big one. He’s strong—look at those shoulders. And handsome. My goodness, she done herself real proud by him. What would Miss Suzanne Cedar do now? Curtsy? Shake his hand? Throw her arms around him? Kiss him? Will he really think I’m Suzanne?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The two men sauntered toward the women.

McCurley cleared his throat. “I knowed you two ain’t ever met, so let me make it official. Mr. Zachariah Hatcher, let me present to you Miss Suzanne Cedar. Miss Cedar, this is Mr. Hatcher.”

Tap Andrews stared into the green eyes of Aimee Pepper Paige. She’s tired. She’s worried. Maybe she knows. Maybe she’s trying to figure me out. Maybe she’s disappointed in what she sees. My goodness, my goodness, she is a beautiful lady. It’s got to work. It’s just got to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pepper wanted to say something, but no words came to mind. His eyes are older than the rest of him. He’s spent lots of time out in the open. He’s troubled. I disappoint him. He was expecting someone else. Here it comes. I wish I was back at April’s dance-hall. I wish all I had to worry about was the likes of Jordan Beckett. Please like me. Please say something. I’m going to die!

“Are you two jist goin’ to stand there gawkin’?” McCurley prodded.

“Miss Cedar, it’s kind of like I never thought this day would ever come.”

He thinks I’m her. He really does. I can see it in his eyes. A wide smile helped her begin to relax. “Mr. Hatcher, my heart is pounding still. I’ve been thinking and dreaming about this moment for a long, long time. Now it’s here, I’m so happy. I think I’m going to faint.”

“Well, if you two don’t hug or somethin’, we’ll all faint,” Mrs. McCurley insisted. “Me and Robert will tend the horses.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tap walked over to Pepper. She held out both hands, and he took them into his own. For another moment he just stared. What would Hatcher do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is he going to stand there all day? Suzanne, oh, Suzanne, what would you do if you were me?

“Suzanne?”

“Yes, Zach?”

“Would it be proper for me to give you a hug?”

“I believe so.”

Tap pulled her close and put his arms around her shoulders. She slipped her arms around his waist, and they held each other tight. He thought he heard songbirds singing nearby, but then decided it was the ringing noise in his ears.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the book – It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own: Staying alive in the Old West requires three things: a fast horse, a quick hand, and enough smarts to know when to get out of town.

Jordan Beckett, a violent cowboy, has turned his attentions on a dance hall girl; Pepper gets her chance to escape, acquiring a stranger’s identity . . . and that woman’s fiance out west. Little does she know, that man’s been killed by Indians. Instead, a prison escapee named Tap Andrews is passing himself off as the rancher.

What happens when the pair meet? And who will be left standing when Beckett tracks down Pepper, only to find a tough young cowboy in his way?

Stephen Bly (1944-2011) authored 106 nonfiction and fiction books, 20 he co-authored with his widow, Janet Chester Bly. Series titles include The Austin-Stoner Files, The Belles of Lordsburg Series, The Skinners of Goldfield Series.

Janet Chester Bly has authored 31 nonfiction and fiction books, 19 she co-authored with her late husband Christy Award winning author Stephen Bly. Her titles include The Hidden West Series, The Carson City Chronicles, Hope Lives Here, Awakening Your Sense of Wonder  and The Heart of a Runaway. She resides at 4200 ft. elev. on the Idaho Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Her 3 married sons–Russell, Michael and Aaron–live down the mountain in Lewiston, ID with their families.

It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own and other novels in The Code of the West Series are available in paperback or Kindle eBook at the new Books From The Dusty Trail website: http://dustytrailbooks.com/its-your-misfortune-and-none-of-my-own/

Find out more about award-winning western author Stephen Bly at this website: http://blybooks.com/

Or On A Western Trail blog: http://blybooks.blogspot.com/

Free stuff, blog & store: http://BlyBooks.com

On A Western Trail Blog: http://BlyBooks.blogspot.com

Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot by Stephen Bly with Janet, Russell, Michael & Aaron Bly
Selah Award Finalist: http://bit.ly/X5fKTb

Videos on ‘Getting The Writing Call’ & ‘How We Got Our Ideas’:  http://bit.ly/YO67W2

Download Kindle Bly Books: http://amzn.to/VFM4r0
Download Ebooks & Estories: http://bit.ly/TD9wqo
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12 Responses to “Stephen & Janet Bly – Excerpt – Part 3 of 3”

  • Oh, how interesting! I enjoyed the excerpt and can’t wait to find out more about this pair!

  • I love re-living Pepper and Tap’s story since I have read the book. As usual, Steve knew how to write to keep men and women alike captivated from word one to “the end”. Blessings, Connie Sue

  • Ramona Lowder says:

    When I read excerpts from any Stephen Bly book, I want to read them all over again! They are all so very good.

  • Britney, Connie Sue, and Ramona: Thank you very much for your comments. Greatly appreciated. Let your friends know about this post and if we can get some more responses, there’ll be enough for a drawing! Would love to give away some Stephen Bly books.
    Blessings,
    Janet

  • Priscilla says:

    I fell in love with the Stephen Bly books awhile ago and would love to add more to my collection. Now that I have a son, I’ve got the perfect excuse! Thanks for sharing!

  • chris granville says:

    The excerpt sounds great but most of all
    i want to wish you a terrific,God-filled day
    Chris Granville

  • Michelle says:

    This looks like a great read!

  • Sylvia M. says:

    I have enjoyed the Stephen Bly books I have read. You might say it’s reading about instead of watching John Wayne and the like. With books like this you get a Christian world view along with a longer story.

  • Hi Shannon. Thanks for having Janet here. I remember her from reading about her and her sons finishing Stephan’s last book. Would love to win one of his books. Thanks for a chance. No wonder he was a popular author, writing great westerns. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  • Melanie Backus says:

    I loved the excerpt and can’t wait to read more.

  • Janet Estridge says:

    We have the Bly Books in the Church Library. I would love to win this one to add to our collection.
    From one Janet to another,
    Thank You!

  • I have winners! We got enough comments to pick 2 winners: Melody Durant and Sylvia M. I appreciate Janet for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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