This stop is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One commenter on today's stop will receive a copy of one of the author's other books and, at the end of the tour, one commenter will receive a $15 Amazon gift card. The other stops on the tour can be seen here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/02/excerpt-tour-to-have-and-to-hold-by.html
A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…
A man without a past….
Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…
Stunned, Tempest stood there, watching his broad shoulders fade into the rain. Finally, she climbed onto Othello and plodded after the gelding, the mule so slow she feared she would lose Buck in the storm. A hard kick hiked Othello’s speed to a jolting sort of canter that jarred her teeth. When a speckled rump and a long tail ghosted into view, she breathed a sigh of relief. She slowed as she drew abreast of Buck. He stared straight ahead, ignoring her.
“I have to know what happened, Buck. I need to understand.”
“All you need to understand is that I’m no good. For you, for your children, even for myself. You should be damned eager to see my back.”
“I already saw your back, riding off into the storm without me, and I was terrified. Blast it, Buck—” her anger rose as swiftly as the rain fell “—you have no right to decide what’s good for me.”
“I have no rights over you at all, which is what’s best for both of us. Drop it, Tempest. It’s over. You have the gold. Hearts-ease is safe. You don’t need me."
“Stop telling me what I need! I make my own decisions."
Treachery Canyon yawned before them, black and sinister in the spectral mist of the storm. Without pausing, Buck spurred Spook into the dark defile, forcing the mule to fall behind. Tempest wished she had something to throw at him. Blast his hide, why did he have to be so stubborn? “Buck!”
There was no answer. “Damn you, Buck Maddux,” she hollered into the murky shadows. “You listen to me. No matter what you do, no matter what you say . . . I'll still love you. I’ll always love you.”