It’s only one more week until Holiday Hope, the first book in the Holiday Express series releases!
I thought it would be fun to share an excerpt from the book today. This is when our hero, Jace, first meets Cora Lee, the mail-order bride who came to Holiday to marry his brother.
Jace Coleman wanted a warm meal, a hot bath, and a comfortable bed. It didn’t seem like too much to ask. Not after the trying day he’d endured.
He could smell Aunt Mae’s roasting beef all the way out to the barn as he brushed down his horse, then made sure Jericho had plenty of feed and water. He visited with a few of the cowboys who worked on the ranch as they headed to the bunkhouse for the evening meal, then made his way to the house. He stopped and loaded his arms with wood, knowing it would save Aunt Mae a little work. But when he turned around from washing up at the sink, expecting to see his father, aunt, and possibly his annoying brother at the table, he felt like he’d been kicked in the stomach by one of the mules they used up at the mine.
A young woman sat at the table in Jude’s chair, gaping at him with wide eyes, as though she’d seen a ghost. He had no idea who she was or where she’d come from, but she was a beauty. Hair the color of ripened wheat encircled her head like a crown. Eyes a similar hue to the berries that grew wild up in the hills in the summer were fringed with thick lashes. Pink lips that turned up slightly at the corners, like she was perpetually amused, made him curious if they’d taste as sweet as he imagined.
She wasn’t a delicate-looking girl, the kind with a tendency to swoon. No, this female struck him as capable and determined with a helping measure of pluck in spite of her attractive appearance.
He felt his smile begin to fade when she scowled at him. “I didn’t know we had company. I would have shown better manners.”
Jace walked over to the table and stood behind the chair across from her, uncertain what to do to put her at ease. He thought it might be best to just take a seat and act like everything was fine, when clearly it wasn’t, if the wild look in her eyes was any indication. “I’m Jace Coleman.”
Slowly, she rose to her feet. “You!” she said, pointing a finger at him as though they’d previously met.
Baffled, Jace looked from his father to his aunt, then back to the stranger who was taller than he expected. Everything about the woman seemed to throw him off-kilter.
“What’s wrong, Cora Lee?” Mae asked, placing a gentle hand on their guest’s arm.
“He’s one of the men who robbed the train!” the woman said, taking a step back from the table; as if she expected him to vault over it and attack her.
Pre-order your copy today for just 99 cents!