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Fiction Friday: Stained Snow

Today’s the day! Stained Snow is live and out in the wild! I’m excited and a bit anxious about this one. It’s the first western I’ve written in a while. Though westerns were really my first writing love. The first story I finished writing outside of school was a western. It was probably crappy and short(though I thought it was long at the time), but I was only 13/14 at the time. I gave the only copy to my Dad and almost hope he lost it.

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Stained Snow started out as a piece of flash fiction, the first one I ever wrote actually. Probably about 3-4 years ago. Then, I expanded that into a novella. It still needed more work after that, and got it expanded even farther. Until finally, it’s the book you can read now.

There are two more books coming in this series, and I have ideas for other westerns in the works. I really hope you’ll enjoy this tale if you read it.

Sometimes blood isn’t thick enough.

William Jensen thought 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 wounded 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.

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Teaser Tuesday: Coming Friday

Stained Snow will be coming to your Kindle e-readers this Friday! So, there’s still time to pre-order your copy! So, here’s one more teaser for it before it’s out.

In the morning. When George returned, he would tell him he’d ride out in the morning.
He finished cleaning out the stall and leaned the pitchfork against the wall. It was a warm day, so the horses were out in the corral. He could leave the rest until after lunch. He made his way up to the house, not sure why he had this unsettled feeling in his stomach. He pushed it away. Nothing was going to happen. He would eat lunch then go back out to finish his chores. That was it.
Maggie already had his lunch on the table by the time he’d cleaned up in the trough outside and headed in. He sat down with a nod to her before bringing a bite of meat to his mouth. She moved around behind him. He felt every time she passed. Occasionally her hand even brushed along his back. His muscles were so tight, he was sure he frayed at the seams. His hand trembled as he scooped the last of his beans off the plate with his bread. She leaned over him to grab the plate.
Her breasts pressed against his back for a moment, and he snapped.
The plate clattered to the floor as he shot to his feet and turned to her. No fear showed in her eyes. Maybe she knew he wouldn’t hurt her. Her pulse fluttered in her throat, and her shoulders heaved as she took in quick breaths. Her eyes were bright with something.
He took a step toward her, his hand sliding up her side. “You’ve been tormenting me for days, Maggie.”
She gave a little shake of her head. “You’ve been avoiding me. I thought you hated me for what we did.”
He leaned his forehead against hers. “What we did was kiss, and I hated myself. I won’t lead you on, Maggie. I’ll be riding out soon.” He couldn’t do it. Couldn’t tell her it would be in the morning. He was the worst kind of coyote around, but he couldn’t do it. “I’ll try to come back when it’s finished.”
Her body stiffened, and he pulled back to look down at her. Her face paled, and her eyes clouded. “What is it?”
She glanced away from him. “I’ve been told those words before.”
The words were like a blow right to his gut. “There’s someone else.”
She shook her head. “Not for almost a year. That’s when he rode away and said he’d come back for me if he got a chance. He’s long gone by now.”
A tear formed, and he brushed it away with his thumb. “The only thing that will keep me away is my death. I mean it, Maggie.” He brought her face up so she could look at him again. “You’ve dug into me so deep. I have to finish this, but I don’t think I can stand to stay away from you.”
She lifted up on her toes and brushed her lips against the side of his mouth. His arms came around her, pulling her close. He changed the direction of the kiss, taking it deeper. Her hands caught against his chest, and it felt like a fire started there.
His mouth left her lips and brushed across her cheek. “Tell me to get back to work, Maggie. Tell me to go, or this isn’t going to end with a kiss.”
Her breasts pressed against him. “I don’t want you to go, Will.”

Teaser Tuesday: Almost Here

Only about 2.5 weeks until Stained Snow comes out! You can add it to your Goodreads or pre-order it for Kindle. But, for now, here’s another little teaser:

William should have stepped away when Maggie came to him. He’d already told her the promise he’d made to her father. She hadn’t been happy about it. Her tears nearly ripped his heart out. It was the right decision. Even though he still couldn’t bring himself to ride out.
In the morning.
That’s why he hadn’t pushed her away. Why he said he’d wanted to take a walk with her. He wanted to tell her first. He couldn’t put it off any longer. After he tracked Thomas down and made sure he paid for his crimes, he could return. He’d marry Maggie if she wanted him. After that, he didn’t really know. He was almost afraid to even plan that far ahead.
When she pressed her lips to his, a walk was the last thing on his mind. If George hadn’t been standing on the porch watching them, he may have pulled her away to do more than kiss. He couldn’t risk it. He’d kept his hands to himself for more than two days. He wanted to touch her so bad, but he wouldn’t go back on his word. Still, a kiss was innocent enough.
He broke away after a moment but kept his hands on her shoulders. “We need to talk, Maggie.” He cast a glance over her shoulder at her father. “Will you walk with me?”
A nervous look fluttered through her eyes then she nodded, and he reached down to take her hand. They turned away and walked toward the corner of the barn. “What’s going on, Will?”
His stomach twisted into knots. He didn’t want to leave her, but it had to be done. The fact Thomas remained out there ate away at him. He couldn’t rest easy until this was over. He cleared his throat but didn’t look over at her.
“I’ll be riding out in the morning.”
She gasped and tore her hand away from his. He finally looked over at her and the hurt in her eyes. “Maggie.”
She shook her head. “You brought me out here to tell me that? Why didn’t you just leave then?”
He reached out for her again. “I don’t want to go. I have to finish this with my brother though. I can’t live with myself if he remains free. I can’t start a life with anyone else either.”
Something bloomed in her eyes. “You want to start a life with me?”
He took her hands. “I don’t have anything to return to back in Lander. My family’s gone, my ranch is gone. The land’s the only thing, and Patrick can take care of that. My heart’s here with you, Maggie.”

And watch for it March 11!

Cover Reveal: Stained Snow

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

Summary:

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:

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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.

Right now, you can add it to your Goodreads or even pre-order it for Kindle.

And a couple excerpts to hold you over for the next few weeks:

Excerpt 1:

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.”

Excerpt 2:

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.

Author Bio:

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.

You can find me at:

Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Teaser Tuesday: Coming Soon

On this Teaser Tuesday, I have another snippet from Stained Snow, which now has an official release date! It will be available for Kindle on March 11! For right now, I’m only releasing it on Amazon, so it will also be available for Kindle Unlimited. I should have a pre-order link soon, but you can add it on Goodreads now.

Also, I’ll be doing a cover reveal for it on Friday. If you want to help with that, there’s some more information here.

And for now, a little teaser from Chapter 16 of Stained Snow.

He stepped inside the house, and Maggie turned from the fireplace with a smile for him. “Will. I put some coffee on. I figured you and Pa would want some when you came inside.”
“Adam just rode up.”
Her smile wobbled slightly then came back. “Well, there’s enough for him too.”
William pulled off his gloves and shed his coat before walking over to the fire. He should have dealt with the cold instead of warming his hands over the flames. Being so close to Maggie ignited another blaze inside of him. He closed his eyes. He couldn’t do this. He’d told her he wouldn’t do it. Why couldn’t he stop thinking about it?
Her hand came down to his arm, and he opened his eyes again. She was right there, and he barely bit back a moan. “Maggie.” His voice sounded strained through his lips.
He’d told her to stop touching him, and she did it more. Like she taunted him, testing his power to resist her. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could do that.

Stained Snow: Cover Reveal Soon

As you may have seen around the blog here, I’m working through the final polishing of Stained Snow, the first in my 3-book series of westerns(I don’t like calling it a trilogy since there isn’t an over-reaching arc, but the characters are connected). I’ll be releasing it in the first part of March. So, now I’m looking at doing the cover reveal.

I have the cover, and I’m planning to reveal it here this coming Friday. If anyone would like to help, by sharing it on your own blog, let me know, and I’ll send the information your way. And, if you just want to share my post, feel free to do that as well.

Teaser Tuesday/Word a Day: Inspiration

I’m back for a Word a Day post 2 days in a row. Woohoo! Today’s word is inspiration. It’s also Tuesday, when I usually share a little teaser from a MS I’m getting ready to publish. So, I’m going to attempt to combine those into one. So, first a little story.

One Saturday morning, when I was about twelve, I was watching TV with my stepdad. It was an old show on TNT called Hondo. It was a western, and I got caught up in it. Then, one of the times we were watching it, I saw it was based on a book by Louis L’Amour. So, next time I was in the school library(I was in 7th grade at the time), I started looking to see if they had any of his books. They did, in fact, have Hondo, which I read. Then, I came back and got more of his books to read. It didn’t take long to read through everything our school library had(and later the public library). So, I started buying them whenever I could find them.

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We also watched pretty much ever western that was on at the times. All reruns on TNT, what was The Family Channel back then(High Chapperal, Big Valley, Bonanza), and TVLand(Gunsmoke, The Rifleman). And I branched out to reading more westerns. But, I’ve always come back to Louis L’Amour.

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And that was some of my inspiration that led to me writing Stained Snow. It wasn’t the first western I wrote. That happened back in seventh grade, when I basically did a knock-off(though a lot shorter) of Lonesome Dove. But, I’ve had a love of westerns ever since then.

And now, for a little snippet of Stained Snow, which will be out sometime in March(I will set an official date soon).

It took William nearly two days to reach Rawlins. He made it to South Pass, the easiest way through the Sweetwater Mountains without going all the way around to where the North Platte River cut through. Nobody had seen Thomas in a week.
He went west from there, following the railroad tracks. Every town William stopped in, someone had seen Thomas. Not everyone wanted to talk to him. Some had good things to say about Thomas. Others stated he’d stolen something from them. Even a horse in one of the small towns along the way.
He’d been on the trail for nearly two weeks and had started to give up hope he’d ever find his brother. It seemed every town William came to, there was less time between them.
He pushed on.
He rode into the town of Latham after passing through the mountains. It wasn’t a large town, but the railroad towns had plenty of saloons and houses of pleasure to cater to the rougher elements. William had never been much of a drinker, but the saloon was the best place to listen for news. He wasn’t sure how long he would be able to keep up the pretense of drinking while listening for information, so he hoped it wouldn’t take long.
He stepped into the saloon and let his gaze scan the room before he headed over to the bar. In that quick glance, he had taken in who sat at each of the tables. William leaned against the bar and signaled the bartender.
When the other man approached he ordered a beer and put his coins on the bar top. Then, he turned to face the room while he waited for it. Looking out at the other patrons didn’t give him any more information. He didn’t know any of them. Didn’t know if any of them were friends with Thomas, or even friendly with him. He didn’t even know who would be the best to approach for information.
The bartender slid the beer across the bar to him. William caught it but held a hand out to stop the bartender from leaving. “I’m looking for someone,” he said.
“There’s lots of someones here. Why don’t you go pick one of them?”

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