Thanks for hosting me today, Susana.
Today I’m talking about my sweet western historical novella, Dreams of Gold. I love stories where one of the characters is definitely outside his or her comfort zone. That’s exactly where my heroine, Ciara Morrissey, finds herself when she acts on a deathbed promise made to her dear mother. From civilized Massachusetts to a frontier town in Wyoming Territory is quite a leap, and Ciara finds herself in all sorts of trouble.
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1871, Wyoming Territory
Easterner Ciara Morrissey travels west to honor a sacred promise to her mother and locate her fortune-seeking father. Three years of acting as caretaker to her grandparents and mother until their deaths has created a thirst in Ciara to see what the wide world has to offer.
Sheriff Quinn Riley has been tracking the Irish charlatan who swindled half the population of Bull City, Wyoming. He’s determined to stick close to the opinionated woman who arrived on the runaway stagecoach. Within only a few hours, easterner Ciara Morrissey upsets the townspeople by making inquires about his prime suspect. He’s duty-bound to keep her safe, even when being close to the green-eyed beauty sets off a stampede in his heart.
More evidence she was a stranger to the wild circumstances of the western frontier. Anticipation of organizing the chase flitted through him. “Did they use names? Or speak to their horses?” At her head shake, he fought back the urgency rising in his chest. “Anything that might provide a clue?”
“We heard shots, and Mr. McGinnis shouted for us to do what we were told. A man rode up to the window on each side, demanding our money and jewels.” A dainty shoulder lifted in a shrug. “That’s when Miss Fairchild screamed her virtue was about to be stolen and swooned, landing in my lap.” Green eyes danced, and a high-pitched giggle escaped. “Frankly, I doubt the robbers planned on lifting anyone’s skirts.” Eyes widening, she clapped a hand over her mouth and shook her head.
Damn. Quinn had seen witnesses suddenly realize the danger they’d been in and that’s when hysterics set in. Lord, he could not abide a crying woman. “Did you notice any detail about their saddles or markings on their faces that stood out?”
Her brows scrunched low, and she squared her shoulders, pulling her jacket snug across her breasts. “I feared for my very life, sir, and you think I should have noticed their saddles?” She inhaled deeply, and then her whole body stilled. “Yes, I do remember something about the saddles.”
He watched the movement of her chest—in particular, how the buttons strained their closures. The rhythm of his heartbeat kicked up and a bead of sweat trickled on his forehead. Lifting his gaze to her face, he leaned forward, forcing himself to concentrate on what she might share. “What’s that?”
“Each man sat in one.” Her body rigid, she raised the mug to her lips and waited, an eyebrow arched high.
Excerpt © Linda Carroll-Bradd
All Rights Reserved, The Wild Rose Press
As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. Upon reaching a landmark birthday, she decided to write one of those romances she loved so much. Easier said than done. Perseverance paid out and twelve years later, she received her first call from a publisher and a confession story was published. Now Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor, and many have a tie to her previous home of Texas.
Linda currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of 34 years and their two spoiled dogs, Shiba Inu Keiko and terrier mix Phoenix.