The Write Time & Place is pleased to welcome back Stacey Coverstone to Cover Corner. Stacey is launching a new book today, so pull up a chair and get cozy while you read about Outlaw Trail released by Champagne Books! When you’ve reached the bottom, please leave Stacey a comment and let her know you liked what you read! Thanks~~Valerie.
At nineteen, Josie Hart has lived a hard life on her New Mexican farm. A cryptic letter gives her a chance to change all that and guides her on a perilous journey toward freedom. But, there are others who want what she’s after, and will stop at nothing to get it.
Grey Paladin seeks justice after having had his fortune stolen out from under him. He’ll do whatever it takes to retrieve what’s rightfully his and reunite with the only family he has left. That is, until a feisty girl stands in his way.
When Josie and Grey form an uncertain partnership, they must battle outlaws, nature, and each other while riding two hundred miles of dangerous trail to reach their destination. What they discover at the end is something that’s been sorely lacking in both their lives–leading them each to rethink what the future holds.
Josie let her weary eyes skim over the parchment once more. The trail will be long, her pa had said. Will I have the courage and strength to follow it? Will I be able to fulfill his last wish and make my own dreams come true?
For the first time in her life, she felt hopeful about the future as she clutched the map tightly in her fist. Though excited, she was dog-tired, both mentally and physically. Her eyes started to drift shut.
She had barely nodded off when the sound of snapping branches roused her. Her head jerked and her eyes flew open. Her spine went rigid when a low voice addressed her. “I’ll take that map now.”
She fished around in her pants pocket for the Derringer. Her hand touched the cold metal, and she squeezed her finger around the trigger of the gun and stumbled to her feet.
“Stay right where you are, and take your hand out of your pockets,” the voice ordered. “You won’t get hurt if you do as you’re told. Do it!”
She squinted at the tall figure standing in the shadows at the mouth of the cave and heard the click of a revolver. Ragged breaths escaped her throat. “Are you going to kill me?” she asked in a throaty whisper, as she showed him one empty hand.
“That depends on how much trouble you decide to cause. Just hand over that map and I’ll be on my way.”
Inhaling deeply, her eyes roamed over the parchment still clutched in her fist. The trail will be long. Don’t give up. Her pa’s words rang in her ears. Nothing was going to stop her from going after whatever lay at the end of that trail. Her pa had died so she could have a better life. No one was going to take that from her.
“If you want it, you’ll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers,” she replied with bravado.
The man said nothing.
“Show yourself,” she challenged. Josie’s fingers twitched as she let her hand creep back into her pocket. She gripped the pearl handle of her Derringer again. “How do you know about this map? Who are you?”
The man took one step forward, but she still couldn’t see his face. When he spoke again, she sensed he was someone of little patience.
“I don’t have to explain anything to a girl,” he snapped. “Walk around that fire and lay the paper on this rock over here.” His gloved hand pointed to a stone ledge, which jutted out from the cave wall.
“I’m not a girl,” she snapped back. “I’m nineteen and this map belongs to me. I’m not about to give it to some coward who won’t even show his face.”
Apparently striking a nerve, the man swiftly strode forward out of the darkness, with his gun raised and leveled at her. The fire danced upon his features. She gasped. It was the stranger who rode the white stallion—the one all in black who’d been watching her in Dry Gulch. Her heart lurched. He tilted his dusty hat up with a finger to show her eyes the color of dark molasses. She could feel the heat radiating from those fiery pupils as they bore into her.
“Is that better?” he asked.
“It’s you!” she exclaimed. “Why are you following me?”
“I think I already explained. I’ve come for the map. Now, hand it over.”
Quick as a snake striking, she jammed the map in her back pocket and thrust the double-barreled Derringer into his rib. Just as speedy, he shoved his revolver against her temple.
“You’re fast, but not fast enough,” he drawled. “Put down the gun.”
“You put yours down first,” she countered.
Neither one moved. Josie’s chest rose and fell in erratic rhythm. The pistol felt cold as it pushed against her skin.
“Are we going to have a Mexican standoff?” he wondered aloud.
She felt his warm breath on her face. He stood so close, his musky smell, mixed with sweat and the faint scent of lavender made her woozy. “I know how to use this gun,” she managed. “I’ll shoot you. Don’t think I won’t.” She cocked the Derringer to show him she meant what she promised.
The tall, dark stranger looked down into her eyes. A muscle ticked along his jaw. After several long moments, she felt the release of pressure from her temple.
“Toss the gun down on the ground,” she commanded, as she kept her gun pointed at his ribcage.
“I’ll toss mine when you toss yours.”
Josie searched his face. “Are you crazy, or just stupid? You stalk me, want to rob me of my personal possession, and you think I’m just going to throw down my gun? Why should I trust you?”
“Because I’ve never killed a woman before,” he said without skipping a beat. “And I don’t intend to start now.”
His response surprised her. After considering his words carefully, she removed the gun from his rib. “On the count of three, we’ll both throw our guns onto the ground. Do I have your word as a gentleman?” she asked.
The man in black threw his head back and laughed. “Whatever gave you the idea I’m a gentleman?”
She rammed the Derringer into his gut again and narrowed her eyes. The gun pressed into taut, rigid muscle. She realized he could probably break her in half with one hand tied behind his back, but she was not going to be intimidated. She had too much to lose to let him scare her out of what was rightfully hers.
“I’ll kill you right now, mister. And it won’t bother me none. Believe me. I’ll take my map and high-tail it outta here, leaving you dead as a stone.”
The man grinned, baring a perfect row of sparkling teeth. “You’re a tough little half-breed, aren’t you?”
“Half-breed!” she shrieked, lunging at him. She pounded on his chest with her fists and clawed at his shirt. He grabbed her wrists and both the pistol and Derringer flew out of their hands and clattered to the hard ground.
The Book Trailer:
All About Stacey:
Stacey Coverstone lives in Maryland with her husband, horses, German Shepherds and a bunch of barn cats. She has a Master’s degree in Human Resources Development and works at a private liberal arts college. She’s been writing all her life and is the published author of five romances, with two more novels coming in 2010. Having fallen in love with cowboys at an early age, her favorite genre to write is the western romance, both contemporary and historical. She’s currently working on a ghost story set in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she’s not writing, Stacey enjoys horseback riding, photography, scrapbooking, and traveling—especially the American West where most of her stories take place.
To buy this or any of Stacey’s other wonderful books be sure to visit Stacey’s website.
The Write Time & Place extends a warm welcome to this week’s Cover Corner author in the spotlight, Stacey Coverstone. Stacey comes to fiction writing with a background in children’s literature. With books like Delaney’s Crossing, we’re glad she made the transition from kiddie lit to western romances! Please leave Stacey a comment at the end of her showcase and let her know your thoughts! Thanks so much! … ~Valerie
A 300-year old Celtic curse unites a career woman from the present with a western doctor from the past.
Delaney Marshall is disappointed with the dating scene and making costly mistakes in her career. On a day when everything goes wrong, a rainbow appears and a strange little Irish cabbie urges her to cross a bridge she’s never seen before–causing her to question her sanity after realizing she’s stepped into a Wild West 121 years in the past.
Gabriel Whitman, a handsome bachelor with a secret, is the town doctor in 1888 Phoenix. When a runaway wagon threatens the life of a pretty blonde in a short skirt and mismatched shoes, he pushes her out of harm’s way–and more than sparks from the wagon wheels start to fly.
Somehow Delaney’s traveled into another world and found the man of her dreams. But can true love transcend the separation of time?
When Delaney glanced at her watch, she realized the celebration had carried on for two hours. She had a headache and felt dizzy. She placed three fingers to her aching forehead.
Gabriel helped her to her feet. “Are you all right?” he asked. “You’re pale.”
She wanted to speak, but the words wouldn’t come. Although she wasn’t sure she was okay, she signaled by shaking her head and let her eyes sweep across the ramada. The Pima were leaving, disappearing into the dark like phantoms in the night.
Dances With Wind and her newly christened Flying Star were lifted and taken back to their hogan in the hide, by the same broad shouldered men who had carried them out. Running Deer, She Who Dreams, and One Who Cries followed their mother and baby brother. He Who Fights Bravely waited behind and stood in front of Delaney in all his bare-chested beauty.
She stared into his deep brown eyes. She was mesmerized, drunk, high, confused, and aroused all at the same time. She grabbed Gabriel’s hand and squeezed. He squeezed back. She wondered what was to come next. It had been a very weird night so far. A shiver ran down her spine as He Who Fights Bravely asked, “You like celebration?”
“Yes. Very much.” It was all she could squeak out.
He moved his head up and down—once—firmly. “Follow me.”
He led the couple to a small dwelling far down the road, past his own home. It was located right on the banks of the river. The bright moon’s rays lit up the splashing water, which shone like diamonds. Delaney had a strong desire to strip and go skinny-dipping.
“Stay here tonight,” the Indian said, making an arc with the sweep of his hand. “You make love.” He looked back and forth, between them.
Seemed there’d be no conversation about it. He Who Fights Bravely spun around and sprang off like a gazelle back down the road.
Stunned, the two of them stood frozen, speechless for a moment. The man’s announcement had awakened Delaney from her drug-induced reverie with a jolt, as if ice water had been thrown on her. But it was Gabriel who found his voice first. He quietly said, “Well, our mutual friend certainly seems determined to get us together tonight.”
The corners of her mouth tilted. The drink had made her reckless and over-confident. Silently, she grasped his hand and pulled him inside. The entrance to the hogan was much smaller than the one He Who Fights Bravely and his family lived in. They bent down and crawled on their hands and knees through the small arched doorway. When her eyes adjusted to the dark surroundings, she glimpsed the makings of a soft animal hide and fur bed on the ground. Crawling toward the bed, she drew Gabriel with her.
“Stacey Coverstone has once again made her name in the world of writing.” ~Brenda Talley, reviewer, The Romance Studio
“A pleasant romance with likeable characters that exlores what we value in life and the importance of finding our calling.” ~Carol, reviewer, Love Western Romance
Stacey Coverstone lives in Maryland with her husband, daughters, horses, German Shepherds, and some barn cats. She has a Master’s degree in Human Resources Development and works at a private liberal arts college. She’s been writing all her life and is the published author of five romances and two books for children. Having fallen in love with cowboys at an early age, her favorite genre to write is the western romance, both contemporary and historical. When she’s not writing, Stacey enjoys horseback riding, photography, scrapbooking, and traveling—especially the American West where most of her stories take place.