I mentioned that I’m writing a novel. Well, I want to give you a little excerpt from one of my chapters. My story takes place in 1887 Montana and the working title is Heritage and Honor. Here's a synopsis:
Donning trousers and wearing a gun wasn’t conventional in Charlotte Mason’s world. But how else could she rope and brand cattle? Besides, Charley wasn’t a conformist. Although the traditions of family, truth and honor were as much a part of her as the Montana earth she was raised on. She’d be damned if the two men claiming to be her brothers would destroy any of it.
Morgan Ramsey and his brother Warren knew the only way they’d get their revenge on the Mason’s was to strike from the inside. They had it all planned too. But Morgan hadn’t reckoned on Charley. She made his blood ride high. Now he had more secrets to keep than he cared to count. Each day with the Mason heiress brought him closer to damnation—or was it salvation.
From Chapter 3:
Charley gained a foothold on the pond’s rocky bottom. She freed her face from long, wet strands of hair, then looked at the man standing on shore.
His arms were crossed over his wide chest, his legs in a wide stance. He was the handsome stranger from the saloon. Charley’s legs turned to jelly as she precariously balanced on jagged rocks. “You! What are you doing?”
“I was riding by and saw a horse. Then I saw you. Thought you might need rescuing.”
“As you can plainly see, I’m in no need of saving.” As soon as she finished speaking, Charley slipped on a rock and went under water. Resurfacing and spitting water, she heard his rumble of laughter. She felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment.
“Really? Are you sure you aren’t drowning?” His taunting grated on her nerves, especially since she was naked and shoulder deep in water.
“I’m sure,” she told him through clenched teeth.
He uncrossed his arms.“Perhaps I should assist.” He took a step forward.“In case you go under again.”
Charley held up her hands. “That won’t be necessary. I can assure you.”
“I wouldn’t want—”
“Do you mind?”
His eyebrows creased. “Mind what?”
She smacked the water with her hands, making a splash that didn’t reach him.“I’d like to get dressed.”
He laughed, then looked around until he spotted her clothes. He walked over to the pile and picked it up. “These yours?” He held her clothes in his hands.
“You know they are.”
He smiled. It worked slowly across his face until it reached his eyes, leaving a devilish flicker. “You want them? Come get them.”
Charley wanted to slap the grin off his roguish face. But the gauntlet had been thrown and Charley didn’t run from a challenge. She took a deep breath, to give herself inner strength, then slowly walked out of the pond, her eyes locked with his.
His smile disappeared as he watched her walk onto the shore. His mouth and jaw tightened when she stopped and stood in front of him.