Excited to share this cover with you all for my first western story. This story has gone through a few versions and isn’t quite what it started as. I can’t wait to get it out there so everyone else can read it.
Title: Stained Snow
Series: Stained(Book 1)
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Cover Designed by: SelfPubBookCovers.com/CloudyChais
William Jensen though he had everything he could ever want: a small ranch in Wyoming Territory, the respect of the people around him, and the love of his wife and son. But, when he comes back from doing a favor for the sheriff and finds most of that gone, he isn’t sure what’s left for him. Other than finding the man responsible and bringing him to justice.
Maggie Barnes can only ever remember living on her father’s ranch in northern Colorado. And for almost as long, has dreamed about getting away. She thought she was close, but one more person left her behind. When her father brings an injured man home, she thinks there may be more to life than seeing the world.
William starts to see there may be more now than vengeance as he starts to piece his life back together with Maggie. But, when he’s faced with losing it all again, he may just have to accept the truth. The only way he can have everything is by hunting down the man who keeps taking it all until nothing is left. Even if it means killing his own brother.
And now for the cover:
Ain’t it pretty? 🙂 I’d had another cover picked out but the more I looked at it, the more it didn’t fit. I mean, it did for the western feel, but not so much for the romance angle. Then, I found this one. I figured I could save the other one for a different story.
And a couple excerpts to hold you over for the next few weeks:
William Jensen pushed his horse farther down the trail, the heat of his rage in sharp contrast to the brisk spring breeze. It wasn’t enough to cool him, even though he could feel snow on the wind. Apparently winter wasn’t done with them yet. The sun shone bright in the sky, which felt out of place with what he led the sheriff toward.
His knuckles turned white as the reins bit into his hands and his legs tightened around the horse’s sides. The confused animal took a faltering step. He forced himself to relax his grip and urged the horse on again, rubbing a hand over the muscled neck to soothe him. The animal’s hooves sunk into the mud, which only slowed them down more and added to William’s simmering emotions.
“Will, slow down.” The sheriff followed behind him, pushing his horse to keep up. He almost sounded like he’d been the one to do the running, with pauses between words, as if he had to catch his breath. “If what you said is true, those people won’t be going anywhere.”
William clenched his jaw but pulled back slightly on the reins, letting his horse slow into a gentler pace. “They’re on my land, Carl. I don’t know who they are, but they were put there.”
The sheriff came up beside him. “So you’ve already said. They’ll still be there even if it takes a few more minutes.”
“I don’t like it. David could have been with me when I found them.” The boy looked so disappointed when Will told him he couldn’t ride into town with him. He planned to bring the sheriff straight out here, and no way did he want his son to see this. “Whatever’s going on, we need to stop it.”
“We will. I will. I am the sheriff here. You need to deal with your ranch, Will, and leave this to me.”
“Not if he’s bringing it out to my ranch, Carl. There’s only one person who would do that.”
“You don’t even know if that’s what’s happening. No one from town has disappeared. You said you didn’t recognize them. The killer could have been a stranger, too.”
“He could be.” He’d give him that much. It wasn’t a stranger, though. He was as sure of that as anything. He knew who stood behind this.
“How long’s it been since you seen him anyways?”
“Years.” He’d never forgotten the moment he’d last seen his brother. “Doesn’t mean he’s not around just because I haven’t seen him. Those horses of mine went missing the other week, remember? One of them I’d raised from a foal. I know it was him.”
William groaned as pain sliced through his chest. What happened to him? Had he fallen from his horse? He vaguely remembered that. Had David seen him? That would spoil his hero status in the boy’s eyes. A woman hummed. Anna? Had Anna found him?
He tried to look around, but he couldn’t see anything. Why wouldn’t his eyes open? Pain flared in his chest again as he shifted. The humming stopped. Footsteps approached him, soft, unsure. A hand brushed over his forehead. He heard her talking to him. He wanted to reach out to her, wanted to touch his wife again. How long had it been? It seemed like forever since he’d touched her. It couldn’t have been, could it? Something didn’t feel right. Like he needed to remember something and couldn’t quite find it. Why couldn’t he open his eyes?
Her voice came through stronger and left William feeling even more uneasy. Something was wrong. That wasn’t Anna’s voice. What was happening? He finally pried his eyes open. He barely processed what he saw around him.
He wasn’t at his ranch. Certainly not outside. He laid on a floor, in front of a fire. It wasn’t his home, wasn’t his floor, wasn’t his fire. He was sure of it. Where was he? Where was Anna? Had that been her humming? He turned his head and fought to bring the room into focus as pain made his head spin. She knelt beside him. At first he thought she was his wife. Something wasn’t right. The eyes looking down into his looked like hers, in a face with a similar shape. Something was missing. He noticed the hair falling down over her shoulder. It was a light brown. Anna’s was pale, like corn silk. This wasn’t Anna.
William’s tongue darted out to touch his parched lips. The woman shifted beside him. “Do you want some water?”
He gave a short nod, not sure if he could talk, and the motion sent his head spinning again. He groaned and closed his eyes, but opened them again when she approached. She lifted his head with one hand then held the cup up to his lips. “Is that better?” she asked when she took the cup away.
He nodded then tried out his voice. “Who are you?” The words came out as a croak, but his voice smoothed out as he asked, “Where am I?” He wanted to ask what happened, but a heaviness weighing on his chest made him think he didn’t want to know.
“My name’s Maggie Barnes. You’re at my Pa’s ranch near Lay. Do you remember what happened to you?”
He shook his head quickly, but the memories tried to come back, and a tear burned at the corner of his eye. Anna. He had to find Anna and David. Where was his son? Visions of two caskets came to him. No. No, no, no. That wasn’t right. It couldn’t be. “Where’s my wife?” He tried to sit up.
Fallon Brown was born and raised in a tiny town in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania. At one time, she dreamed of having a cabin in the woods or mountains where she could be left alone to write. Instead she spent three years studying psychology before realizing that wasn’t for her. She now lives outside of a slightly larger small town in the same corner of her home state with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a cat. She spends her days interfering in the lives of fictional characters while trying to keep a semblance of a clean house. Often the clean house bit fails.
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