Ranchers, Rustlers, and Romance: “A Photograph of Love” is Live
This past few weeks have been crazy trying to keep up with all the social media for other author’s books that have been released in the various series or collectives I’m part of. Some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going.
The most recent group I was asked to write for was Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World series. Sable created her characters and world several years ago and began asking authors to join her world. The only rule was we had to tie in characters from her original world. Last fall I was asked to join the Hell Yeah! KindleWorld, and “A Photograph of Love” was created. I tied Presley Love Saucier and her husband Zane. I also brought in a couple more characters.
But the main characters in my book are Lincoln Phister and Trudy Selucas. When Lincoln’s parents died while he was in college, he left school to keep up their family ranch and raise his younger siblings. His dream of becoming a photojournalist, along with his camera and photos were buried in his past. Now, ten years later, his heart not in ranching, his siblings are ready to take over and give Link the chance to pursue his dream. But at this point in his life, he’s not sure he is able to do this.
Trudy Selucas has worked as a home hospice nurse for too long. Burned out from helping people pass on, she’s ready for a much needed vacation. So when her college friend, Presley, invites her to visit Texas and spend time taking pictures, she jumps at the chance.
Trespassing and a chance encounter with a snake, bring Trudy and Link together – even though he thinks she’s a city slicker and she thinks he’s a bitter, angry man. Both are wrong. Can they find their own “Photograph of Love?”
Buy Link: Amazon: http://a.co/1VdSkfZ
Tag: Can an angry rancher and a burned-out hospice nurse find their own photograph of love while searching for cattle rustlers?
Excerpt: “Who are you?” She scooted away, then stopped and looked down at her exposed torso. “What the hell did you do to me?”
“I didn’t do anything except kill that rattler snoozing beneath your . . . um . . .” He pointed to her ass, before turning his back and stepping away. “You may want to cover yourself.”
A pile of equipment lay a few steps away. He knew what he’d find. Like all the others who came out here, she was probably taking pictures. He toed the backpack. Sure enough. Sitting beside the bag was a camera and tri-pod. A shiver of irritation slid through him.
Must be nice to be able to wander around and take pictures all day. He’d love to be able to do that, but since he’d inherited the ranch and younger siblings when his parents died ten years ago, there’d been no time. Maybe she was on vacation. Vacations, kids, and ranching didn’t go hand-in-hand. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had more than a few hours off.
“Ugh. I’m covered in . . .” She paused a moment. “…snake guts?”
“’Fraid so.” Her face was red. Embarrassment or sunburn? Both?
“Can you hand me a towel from my backpack?”
With a deep sigh, he unzipped the bag. Three small canisters of film rolled to the ground. Huh. A purist. Someone who still took photos the old-fashioned way. His hand touched something hard. Huh. He pulled out another digital camera. He recognized the brand name and whistled between his teeth. Must be nice to be able to afford two cameras. He glanced at the one on the ground. Two expensive cameras. He dug further into the backpack. And lenses to go with them. If he had the time and money . . .
“It’s in the other pocket.”
With reluctance, he replaced the camera, opened the larger pouch, and found a small piece of white fabric.
“You call this a towel?” he said, keeping his back to her, tossing the cloth over his shoulder, hoping he’d sent it in the right direction.
Trudy caught the towel he’d pitched over his shoulder one handed. Could she simply crawl under a flower and die? Wait, that’s what almost happened. It was coming back to her now. The damn rattler. But how had this man found her? She didn’t seem hurt anywhere, so he hadn’t done anything to her except kill that damn rattler.
“I use it to shade my lens against sunlight.”
Now she was covered in blood and guts. But at least she was alive. She hadn’t been sure how much longer her legs would have held up if he hadn’t come along. They’d been getting shakier and the damn rattler more upset.
She cleaned herself off the best she could. There would be no more pictures taken today. As soon as she got back to Presley’s, she’d take a shower and throw away every stitch of clothing she wore.
“I’m decent now.” While wiping off the blood, she couldn’t help but notice his broad shoulders beneath a long-sleeved, chambray shirt tucked into well-worn jeans. Dark brown hair hung to his shoulders beneath a well-used, sweat-stained, gray cowboy hat. But when he faced her and tipped his hat back, she got a good look at his features.
Her breath caught. If Tom Selleck had a twin brother, it would be this man. Dark eyebrows, a bushy mustache, light brown eyes, a dent in his chin, and she’d bet her bottom dollar he’d have dimples if he smiled.
Scarred, brown leather chaps encased slim hips and muscular thighs. She was not, no she wasn’t, going to look at his crotch, but, damn, in her mind, chaps were meant to highlight a man’s goods. Instead she drew her eyes from the hunk in front of her and took in the snake carnage littering the ground.
“I guess I should thank you for saving my life. I’m not sure how much longer my legs would have held out.” She closed her eyes to the mess. “Every time I so much as flexed a muscle the damn rattler started shaking its tail.”
The man didn’t say anything, just kept his arms folded over his chest and stared.
Trudy took a step toward him and reached out her hand. “I’m Trudy Selucas.” When he didn’t offer his hand, she wiped her palms on her shorts. “Well, anyway, thanks.”
“You’re trespassing, you know.”
Shit. She’d been warned to stay off private property, but in her interest in the landscape, she must have missed any posted signs. Maybe there weren’t any. “I didn’t see any signs.”
He yanked his hat back down, shading his features. “Well, they’re there. Not to mention the barbwire fence you had to have climbed over, or under, to get on my property.”
“I saw a fence, but it was cut, so I thought it was all right to go through.”