My Favorite Scene from the Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride
I’m so excited for the release of this book that started rumbling around in my head two years ago as I neared the end of my Men of Legend series. Due to readers’ strong response to the group of wanted women who were hiding out in Deliverance Canyon, I knew I had to write their story. I had to give them a happy ending because that’s the reward they crave. So, this is a bleed-over of Men of Legend. Luke Legend and his wife start an exclusive bride service for men and women living in the shadows.
Clay Colby is an outlaw who first appeared in The Heart of a Texas Cowboy as Houston Legend’s head drover. All he wants is to go straight and quit looking over his shoulder. He gets the idea to build a town on the site of their hideout in the Texas Panhandle. But he needs a wife.
Tally Shannon yearns to walk about free but the tattoo on her cheek makes it impossible and she’s always conscious about the price on her head. When Luke Legend delivers a handwritten note from Clay, she sees it as a sign. Only someone like him and his town of outlaws can offer the safety and security she’s searching for.
Maybe she can finally start to put her brutal incarceration at the Creedmore Lunatic Asylum behind her and live a semi-normal life. At least she’s starting to grasp at the slender thread of hope, praying it doesn’t snap in her hands.
My favorite scene takes place a short time after she arrives in the outlaw town and they sit down to discuss the terms of their marriage before the ceremony. She’s afraid to trust because each time she has the person betrayed her but she hopes Clay is as genuine as he seems. His letters spoke to her heart and he said all the right things so maybe this time will be different.
They’re in his dugout talking, making sure this is what they both want. I like the fact that both are scared but neither backs away. They’re willing to take a chance on this new life.
Here’s a partial excerpt:
Clay Colby stood at the window, the sunlight casting a shadow across his rugged features. “Look, Tally, I never waste words and what I say you can count on. I want something better for you and already have the land picked out.”
That statement dispelled some of her fear and put her more at ease. “What do you expect of me, Clay?”
“I dream of building a town here—proper, with establishments and a stage line. True, the men here are outlaws, but they’re as determined as I am to mend their ways. Tally, I want far more than a six-shooter and notoriety. I want to thrive instead of only existing.” He paused as though fearing he’d revealed too much too soon. “I can’t do it alone. You can help turn this dream into reality. I expect you to sleep beside me, to share whatever comes our way, raise our children.”
His sincerity rattled something deep inside her. She could almost imagine a life with him.
“What are you wanted for, Clay?” she asked quietly.
With a heavy sigh, he pulled out the other chair and sat down. “Murder. Get one thing clear—I didn’t choose this life, it chose me. I dispense justice when there’s none to be had and I’m not sorry for it. Even so, I yearn for the day when there is no need for guns.”
He continued, “You might as well know that twice now I’ve tried to settle down and marry. But once the women found out what marriage to me entailed, they changed their minds and I was left nursing hurt pride. All I’m asking for is one chance to show you the man I can become.” He inhaled a ragged breath. “But if this doesn’t work out, I won’t try again.”
Tally was silent, watching his eyes. Eyes didn’t lie. Clay Colby was the kind of man who’d still be standing when all others were lying on the ground.
But what sort of husband would he be? Kind? Domineering? Would he treat her as an equal? His voice was kind but what of the physical part? Would that be a different story? He was much larger than her and muscular. Trust wouldn’t come easy. Tall and lean, he loomed over her, wearing some kind of invisible shield that said he’d suffered disappointment.
* * *
The book releases January 29, 2019 and it kicks off my Outlaw Mail Order Bride series. I hope you’ll give it a try. Book #2 – SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE – will release this April 30 sending you on a wild adventure with outlaw Jack Bowdre and Nora Kane. I hope you’re not afraid of snakes.
The Outlaw's Mail Order Bride - Outlaw Mail Order Brides Book 1
When the West was wild
And man's law favored the few
These extraordinary women could be found...in the heart of an outlaw.
Former outlaw Clay Colby is abuzz with his mail order bride's expected arrival. He's fought long and hard to drag Devil's Crossing out of lawlessness...so when his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter rival, he's heartbroken. There's no woman in the world who'd stand by him now.
But Talley Shannon is no ordinary woman.
After escaping the psychiatric hospital in which she was wrongfully detained, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn't mind that Clay's home is dang near burned to the ground—not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it's only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling...and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride—and the family they built together—to his very last breath.
Saving the Mail Order Bride - Outlaw Mail Order Brides Book 2
When the West was wild
And man's law favored the few
These extraordinary women could be found...
...in the heart of an outlaw.
He may be a wanted man, but all outlaw Jack Bowdre ever desired was a second chance. Now he's on his way to jail, completely unaware that his unexpected—and unexpectedly beautiful—traveling companion is none other than Nora Kane...his mail order bride.
It's too bad Nora doesn't know Jack is her groom-to-be. All she sees is a scoundrel. But when their stagecoach crashes and the truth comes spilling out, they're suddenly left to fend for themselves—and each other. The longer they're together, the stronger their feelings grow. Hounded by desperate men bent on doing them harm, Nora and Jack will do whatever it takes to find their happily ever after...but first, they'll have to shake the devil from their trail.
The lucky print copy winner is: Jana Leah
Though I now reside in the Texas Panhandle, I grew up in a small town in New Mexico. From an early age, I was lucky enough to discover wealth didn’t exactly pertain to money. Though my parents could barely afford the necessities, they managed to instill deep rooted values and a thirst for books. My favorite memories are the yearly road trips we made to California on Route 66 to visit grandparents. We’d stop at museums, trading posts, ghost towns and anything else that held our interest. I’m sure that’s where my love of history and the Old West was born.
I’ve been a “writer in training” my whole life. As young girls, my sister and I became obsessed with books. Many nights long after the house grew dark and everyone else was asleep, we’d lie beneath our covers and read by flashlight until we either reached the end of the book or our eyes got too heavy to see the words. Books opened up entirely new, exciting worlds that seemed limited only by our imaginations. I never imagined in a hundred years that I could create my own worlds. That undertaking seemed as far-fetched as scaling Mt. Everest. But write I did. It took me five years to finish that first novel and it will never be anything more than fire-starter material. With a small measure of confidence though, I wrote others that found their way onto an editor’s desk and then into bookstores.
Cowboys have always fascinated me so it’s no wonder that I love to write about them and their ladies and the struggles they endure in trying to carve out a small place to call home. It took some awfully tough men and women to settle this great country of ours.
I grew up watching TV westerns and hated that the cowboy always rode into the sunset all by his lonesome. I vowed to write stories that gave the cowboy someone to share his life with besides his trusty horse. I wanted him to marry that pretty woman he fell in love with, not leave her behind. That’s what I’ve endeavored to do and I think in that aspect I’ve succeeded. If I can capture one small portion of his grit and determination, that’s an added bonus. I want to show in my stories people who might’ve lived at one time. They’re ordinary, but they have more guts and more backbone than anyone.
Western romance is my passion. I feel truly blessed. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points in my stories. I sincerely hope readers enjoy the characters and tales I strive to bring to life on the printed page.