Friday, January 30, 2009
Lonely Places by A.L. Debran
Wounded and left to die on the Colorado plains, Elliotte Sorin is a woman with incomplete memories. Beau Hyatt saves her life and she vows that with this handsome brooding man she will never be alone again. As his gunfighter past intrudes into their lives, and his absences from her increase, her loneliness deepens.
She turns to Liam Mederi and finds endless love in his welcoming arms and smiling green eyes. Deadly jealousy rages when Beau questions the paternity of her unborn child and the two men meet in a violent confrontation that threatens to destroy more than one life.
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Excerpt of LONELY PLACES:
When Beau Hyatt stepped out of the line shack, the diffused brightness of the cloud-covered sunrise on the snow-covered prairie greeted him. There was no breeze, not a whisper of air. He surveyed the rolling landscape and inhaled the cold, crisp air as he saddled his horse and swung into the saddle, glad that the snowfall hadn’t turned into a blizzard overnight.
An hour later, he started down a ravine and pulled up sharply. Damn it. I’ll get myself killed if I’m not more careful. Ahead of him, a packhorse stood over an unmoving horse on the ground. The packhorse nickered and whinnied, glad to see someone. A distant, answering whinny reached his ear. He cocked his head toward the sound, but heard nothing more.
He sat the gray a comfortable and cautious twenty feet away and contemplated the scene. He took in the dead horse with the gear still in place, the packhorse with the lead line dragging, and that there was another over the hill. Slight movement by the dead horse caught his eye. He frowned and looked around. He stepped down, dropped the reins to ground tie his mount, and walked to the horses.
The free side of a blanket trapped under the dead horse flapped in the growing breeze. Squatting on his heels, he lifted an edge of the blanket and snow scattered around him in a swirling gust. He expected to find a body beneath the blanket, but discovering it was a woman caught him completely off guard.
He hesitated. Staying out of other peoples’ business had kept him alive. He stuck his neck out for few people, especially strangers, female or not. Scenes of his life with another woman passed through his mind, but he forced them away. With an uncharacteristically sympathetic decision, he un-cinched the saddle and pulled the woman, along with the saddle, from under the horse. Once more, he hesitated. If he tried to save her life, his own would be forever changed.
He took off a glove and slipped a bare hand inside her coat. Cool, but warm enough. Her face, ears, and fingers were pink. Matted brown hair stuck to her face with bloody ice crystals and dirt. There was no telling how long she’d been there, but he knew the blanket and the warmth from the dead horse had kept her from freezing.
Grabbing his glove, he stared at his hand. Blood. He pulled her coat open and found her clothing stiff with dried blood while fresh blood trickled from an injury high on her chest or shoulder. Checking further, he found three holes in her coat: two in the upper left shoulder and one on the same side midway down her back.
Antsy and wary, he rocked back on his heels and studied his surroundings, analyzing the situation. No sign of self-defense. The holes in her coat entered from the back. He figured the horse had taken a shot to the flank and had gone down with her still in the saddle.
“Who are you? Why the hell are you out here all alone?”
Please answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of LONELY PLACES, or just pop in to chat with A.L. Debran!!
Out on the prairie, you lift up a blanket and find your mother snoozing red-faced with two empty bottles of tequila. Do you wake her up, and if so, what is the first thing you say?
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