A special welcome to DeAnn Smallwood who has stopped by The Library to tell us about her characters' careers. Leave a comment or ask a question to be entered into a drawing for a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. You can also see the other stops on her tour here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/10/virtual-nbtm-tour-wyoming-heather-by.html.
In Wyoming Heather, my character, Heather, is first and foremost a rancher. She is also a woman, a desirable woman. However, that is secondary to her love for her ranch, her animals, and her determination to succeed as a woman alone in this male dominated arena. In chapter 2 you can see Heather struggling with being both woman and rancher. But you can also see her pride in who she is.
Heather brushed the dirt from the front of her pants. Rising, she gave the rope a practiced jerk and freed the calf’s hoofs, releasing the bawling animal to find its mother. Her mouth was dry, her clothes filthy. She was wearing not only the dust of the land, but hair and blood from the calves she’d spent the morning branding. Hair, blood, and dust.Heather is strong and will need a strong man who can not only love her, but also love and admire her strength. Whip Johnson is just the man who can do this. He’s a former Texas Ranger who has spent the last five years hunting the man who killed his wife. A Texas Ranger with a broken past who meets the woman that will change his future.
Some perfume, she thought with disdain. I’m a real lady.
Still, a part of her burst with pride as she surveyed the small herd of calves and cows milling in the field.
They meet on the banks of the Powder River. A river that runs through a ranch that Whip turned his back on five years ago. Heather has been diverting water from Whip’s land to hers. Needless to say, they clash:
“Doesn’t matter.” Heather walked over to the man, slamming her sweat-stained hat down over the mass of auburn curls framing her face. Her hazel eyes shot green sparks as she narrowed them at the tall cowboy. “Like I said, doesn’t matter. I need the water and you don’t. The little bit I’m diverting won’t matter one little bit to you. Not one damn little bit!”
“Who are you, lady? You dress like a man, you talk like a man, and if you just hadn’t had a bath in that river, I’d bet you’d smell like a man.”
Their love for ranching, blossoms into love for each other. Two strong people formed by their chosen careers. Whip treasures this determined woman and delights in teasing her and letting her think he’s bending to her will. His favorite response to her is a drawled: “Well now, Heather.”
He cushioned her body with his as he rode back to his ranch. Tears formed in his eyes as the realization of how close he’d come to losing this woman that held his heart and his reason for being. He tenderly brushed his lips across her forehead.
I love writing about strong characters that made their careers vital to carving out a life in the harsh and unforgiving west. I hope you’ll enjoy Wyoming Heather and see that heather and love does flourish on the Wyoming plains.
He rode alone, coming back after five years to an empty cabin, a run-down ranch, and a grave on a hill. A former Texas Ranger burnt out on life and afraid to love. Whip had spent five years hunting the man that took his wife's life and left him to die.
Whip and Heather meet in an explosive moment on the banks of the Powder River. Both lonely, both drawn to one another, and both stubbornly fighting the attraction.
Whip vowed he would take up his dream abandoned five years ago and make his beloved ranch profit and to put aside the sweet linger of all memories shared by him and his wife. The ranch would be a jealous mistress occupying his every thought and every minute. He had no time or desire for a woman much less a pair of runaways from The Orphan Train, stowaways in Whip’s wagon and onto the Powder River Ranch.
But fate heeds no one or no thing. The criminal from Whip’s past reemerges in the present. Now, Heather is in danger and Whip stand, once again on the cusp of loss. Fate shows a strong, willful woman, full of love and compassion, just what she’s been missing in her life. And it shows a calloused Texas Ranger that Heather and love does flourish on the Wyoming plains.
Buy the book at Amazon