Hello everyone, today I have my friend and author, Ana Morgan and her debut novel, Stormy Hawkins. I've had the privilege of working with Ana through the From The Heart Romance RWA, and I also had the privilege of critiquing the story before she submitted it to her publisher. Check out this romance book and discover a new author in the process.
Blade Masters has finally spotted his ideal Dakota Territory ranch, where he can
live alone, forget his cheating ex-fiancée, and bury the shards of his shattered heart. All he needs to do is sweet-talk the ailing owner, and his spitfire daughter, into retiring.
If she weren’t desperate, Stormy would never hire a cowhand. She’s learned the hard way that she’s happier working her family’s ranch alone. But, the greedy banker who holds their mortgage just demanded payment in full—or her hand in marriage.
Will this handsome drifter protect her? Or does he have designs of his own?
Land speculator Blade Masters wants to convince Stormy Hawkins’ father to retire so he can buy their South Dakota cattle ranch. He’s bought jeans-and-boots-wearing Stormy a fancy dress and escorted her to the Founders Day dance. Last year, everyone laughed at her clumsiness. Blade intends to change that, starting with a first kiss:
Wearing his best shirt and the jeans that didn’t have rips from barbed wire, Blade sat on the leather couch sandwiched between Running Bear and Brownie.
Brownie was gussied up in pressed corduroy slacks and wide suspenders. A thick coat of new polish on his boots reflected the late afternoon sunlight.
Running Bear’s deerskin vest was embroidered with green vines and colorful flowers. Blade didn’t feel comfortable asking if his dead wife had done the intricate beadwork. For all he knew, the big man was handy with a needle and thread. He was good at everything else.
Running Bear stretched out his legs and scuffed the sole of his boot across Brownie’s boot toe. His eyes gleamed devilishly. “So sorry.”
Brownie glared at him, and then returned his focus to the stairs. “What’s takin’ so long up there?” he yelled.
Privately, Blade seconded the question.
Three knocks sounded from the hallway upstairs. A door opened and shut. Then, it was silent again.
“Crimeny.” Brownie jumped up and paced around the sitting room. “She knows I need to tune my fiddle. Now we’re gonna be late, and—”
Zed rapped on the upstairs wall like a majordomo. He wore ironed pants, a bright yellow shirt, and a tailored black jacket. He started down the stairs.
A step behind him, Stormy followed.
Blade leaned forward and gripped his knees.
She looked lovelier than a pampered St. Louis Society debutante. The flowing skirt of the emerald dress swirled around her legs. The top hugged her curves, breasts to waist to hips. Unbraided, her hair shimmered like the western sky at sunset, and her eyes shone with a vulnerability that made him ache to be her protector.
“Saying goodbye to your heart, Little Brother?” Running Bear asked softly.
As soon as he rode onto the field next to Prosperity’s schoolhouse, Blade knew his plan would work.
Twenty teams and wagons had already formed a wide semi-circle, and more were pulling in behind the Hawkins’ buckboard.
Women in dancing dresses arranged platters of food on long tables. A short distance away, men dipped tin cups into an open barrel and toasted each other. Roughhousing children raced around poles topped with glowing lanterns, ignoring their mothers’ shouts to stay clean.
Ginny Dunn waved as Zed set the buckboard brake.
Carrying his weather-beaten fiddle case, Brownie rushed toward a cluster of musicians, tuning their instruments.
Running Bear walked toward the food tables with cloth- covered baskets.
Blade dismounted and helped Stormy down from the back of the buckboard. Tonight, everyone would see her in a new light. The gossip would spread like a wildfire.
To enhance his plan, Zed had suggested Stormy wear her mother’s light blue cape to protect her dress during the ride into town. With her dress hidden until she started to dance, she’d stun the townspeople who usually mocked her.
He pulled her into the shadows cast by a tall-sided wagon. “Time for another dance lesson, Stormy.”
She nodded without looking up at him. He could tell she was nervous, eyeing the growing circle of wagons and people.
He understood her fear of ridicule. He’d quit St. Louis in the middle of the night, rather than endure Society’s gossip about why Miss Candace Kennedy had discarded him for his younger brother, Jared.
He went on. “Waltzing requires communication and leadership. I am the man, your superior. You are a woman, my—”
“Good. I have your attention.” He faced her, picked up her hand, and slid his work-roughened fingers across the silky small of her back. “Put your hand on my arm. When it’s time to go backwards, I will do this.” He raised his elbow slightly. “When I want to go forward, I will press like this.” He pushed his fingertips against her back.
Her mouth formed an ‘o’ of astonishment.
“All you have to do is follow my lead. Step forward, step to the side, step together.” Fighting her stiff-legged hesitancy, he pulled her along. “Think of it this way, Stormy. We’re a steer. I’m the head, and you’re the tail.” He waited a moment to let the description sink in.
She smiled half-heartedly.
“Let’s try again. This time, we’ll go backwards. Back, side, together.” He lifted his arm. “You’re doing great. Now a quarter turn.” He pivoted as he stepped forward.
Her nose crashed into his chest, and she hopped back. “I can’t do this. I’ll never be good at dancing.”
“Just turn off your thoughts and listen with your body.” “I don’t know how.” “You can do anything you set your mind to, Stormy. You’re a smart, talented, beautiful woman.” To convince her, he lowered his head and brushed his lips against hers.
The soft rush of her sigh warmed his cheeks. Mesmerized, he pulled her close and bent to truly kiss her.
Before his lips reached hers again, he came to his senses. She was engaged, and his heart was off limits—for life.
http://amzn.to/2wXgykQ free read on Kindle Unlimited
This is a wonderful story and I encourage you to get the book and read the whole story. Here's a little bit of information about Ana.
When she was small, Ana Morgan’s dream was to know something about everything. She has studiously waitressed, driven a school bus, run craft service on indie film sets, wandered through European castles, wired a house, married a Marine, canned vegetables, and studied the stars. She knows how to change a flat tire but prefers gallant, handsome strangers who strip off their jackets and spin the lug nuts for her.
Ana embarked on her writing career by crafting succinct cooking directions for her Secret Garden soup mixes—and graduated to lyrical essays about living on a small organic farm for her CSA’s weekly newsletter. Eventually she realized she wanted to write what she loved to read—steamy romance novels.
She and her husband eloped six weeks after they met and moved from southern California to northern Minnesota. They taught themselves how to milk cows (at first by hand), and raised three go-getter children. One is an award-winning woodworker. Another is IT super-smart. The third is an actor-director-producer.
Ana edits for a regional literary publication, The Talking Stick, and currently serves as president of From the Heart Romance Writers.
You can contact Ana through these two links
Thank you, Ana, for stopping by and I hope you get good sales for your book.
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