I’m proud to present to you:
Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series, #2
A Double Dutch Ranch Series Spin Off
About the Book:
She’s wary of her future. He’s burdened by his past.
Cattleman Zachary (Zach) Bryson arrives in Arizona with hopes of leaving the ghosts from his past behind. Hired by a stranger to run a ranch, he meets the owner—a secretive woman with no ranching experience. He’s seen her before, but she wasn’t a redhead with green eyes. In their first encounter, she swept him off his feet without their exchanging a word. Why did she change her appearance? What secrets lay behind those heart-stopping eyes? Seeing this job as a challenge, he sticks around to tackle this hottie head-on.
Kimber Sinclair is forced to flee her lush Oregon county for a small town in Arizona with sand, saguaros, and dusty cowboys. She settles in to live a lie—to discover the person behind her new identity while she mourns the death of Tressa Garnett—her given name at birth. However, keeping a distance from her ruggedly handsome, broad-shouldered, wise-cracking ranch foreman, isn’t easy. She struggles daily to hide her secret from Zach who demands answers. By telling him the truth, his life could also be in danger.
If trouble finds her, will she choose fight or flight? Can Zach set aside his own issues, or will his nightmares prevent him from doing what he was unknowingly hired to do?
Note: Zach made his first appearance in Lassoing the Last Dance as Randy Drake’s best friend.
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Here’s the series so far.
If you’re a newsletter subscriber, this post looks familiar because it’s similar to the recent newsletter you received, minus the excerpt.
Some of Chapter One:
Regardless of her determination not to cry, tears trailed down Tressa Garnett’s cheeks. Greg Stone, the prosecuting attorney, continued to badger her on the witness stand. Wasn’t he on her side? Her ordeal played over like a documentary film. She had become Sam’s lover. Yes, she worked on and off with him for three years. She hesitated at the next question.
“Ms. Garnett, you must answer.”
She glanced at the judge who nodded and swept his hand through the air for her to get on with her answer.
Greg asked again, “And is it correct you oversaw the money exchange between Mr. Cavalli and Samuel Allen?”
“Yes.” Her gaze flicked to Sam. His glare gave threats his voice hadn’t. The smirk on his face matched the one he wore when he shoved the revolver into her hand after he shot and killed Pino Cavalli. From this day forward her life would change forever. She might as well walk out of the courtroom and grab a shovel if things didn’t go to plan. To plan? Her disappearance was the plan.
Tressa peered at the salt-and-pepper-haired man sitting two rows from the back of the courtroom. Her godfather, Jerry Waterford, had become her lifeline. Could her heart take the agony of losing her family when she disappeared without a trace with a new name and identity? She choked back tears. Jerry gave a subtle nod.
Now, the tissues in her hand matched her torn emotions. Her life hung in a balance somewhere in the middle of living and dying.
Greg tapped on the railing around the witness stand. His eyes softened. “And were you in the warehouse when Mr. Cavalli was shot?”
A bullet to Pino’s head had taken his life instantly. Her gaze moved to the two men behind Sam. If she said yes, would they be the ones to hunt her down?
“Ms. Garnett, I must remind you that you’re under oath and need to answer the question. Were you in the warehouse—”
“I heard you. Yes.” If Greg Stone said those words one more time, she might claw his eyes out. He picked up a handgun in a clear evidence bag. Yesterday he seemed like a friendly middle-aged man, and her way out of this hellish situation, but today while bullying her on the stand, he reminded her of an ogre.
His gaze settled upon her. “Your fingerprints are on this weapon along with Mr. Allen’s. Tell us how your fingerprints got on this weapon.”
She pointed at Sam. “Him. He stuck the revolver into my hand after he shot Mr. Cavalli.” She took a deep breath and slowly released air through barely parted lips as the defense attorney protested. “Let the record show Ms. Garnett pointed to Samuel Allen.” Greg paced across the room and back to the witness stand.
Tressa breathed deeply. She wanted to pass out and when she came to, she’d learn it’d all been a dream. She focused on the prosecuting attorney, afraid if she glanced at Sam his glare might somehow cause her to explode.
“Who shot Mr. Cavalli?” asked Greg Stone.
God, can this be over? Sam had told Pino’s men he gave the money to her accomplice, further blaming the extortion on her. Now she had two enemies. She had no damn accomplice. All she did was learn the truth. Without hesitation or remorse, she pointed to Sam. “Mr. Allen.” The two men behind him both shifted in their seats, and Sam looked over his shoulder.
The courtroom broke out into an uproar while the judge beat the gavel at least ten times, or maybe it was three. She covered her ears to ward off the noise. Tressa lowered her eyes to her lap while tears left stains on her navy-blue silk blouse.
“Thank you, Ms. Garnett.”
Her gaze settled on Melinda Richards who sat next to her godfather. She left the courtroom.
The judge pounded the gavel one more time. “Are there any other questions?” He directed his gaze to the defense attorney who gave no rebuttal, nor did he cross-examine her. The judge gave her permission to return to her seat. Upon sitting, her mom leaned over her dad to pat her hand.
After court, Jerry and two sheriff’s deputies swept Tressa out of the courtroom to a conference room to wait for the crowd to diminish. Soon after, Jerry and Melinda took her and her family back to the suite at a V.I.P. hotel on the outskirts of town. He didn’t want her to return to the courtroom for the verdict, so he demanded they leave the courthouse.
Tressa paced while wringing her hands. “Jerry, I have to be there.”
“I don’t advise it. Tressa, you must cooperate. For this plan to work, you have to trust me.”
“I know. Waiting to see where my life is headed is damn hard.” The prosecutor hadn’t expected the jury to take long. Her mom sat on one side, her dad on the other. Her younger sister, Charlotte, sat across from her. “You did the right thing, sis.”
Memories flooded her mind. Sam had wined and dined her, fed her fancy meals, took her on trips until the last weekend together. She had no way of knowing that he knew she’d only gone along with him to uncover more information. She had agreed to the weekend away, but she’d ended up with the ultimate betrayal against her.
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Cover Credits: Cover design DusktilDawn Designs.