No, that’s not a comment about my current state of mind.
It’s the title of my next book releasing May 1st
Deep Trouble is a sequel to Cowboy Christmas
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of
Here’s a little bit about the book.
Shannon Dysart is searching for a city of gold, the lost city of Quivera, which she believes is in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Gabe Lasley is trying to keep her alive until she comes to her senses. The only way he can figure to prove to her there’s no city of gold down there is to show her. And he needs to keep her alive until she admits she’s a lunatic. At which point she’ll come to her senses (he hopes) and then he plans on marrying her.
This is a plan that has Gabe a little nervous, what with him planning to marry a crazy woman, but there aren’t that many women around and he’s lonely.
Gabe has left his ranch in Wyoming because of his strong feelings for a married woman. He finds Shannon stranded in a mountaintop cave and saves her. She is on a quest to prove her father’s research isn’t the work of a madman, that he really did find a treasure in the wild west.
With trouble on their back trail from the villains who still want Shannon’s map, the dream of gold coloring every decision Shannon makes, and Gabe’s surprising need to protect her, they sets out to find a city of gold.
Along the way they find that true treasure is rooted in love. And that was within their reach all along.
And here’s an excerpt from
Gabriel Lasley heard gunfire. Next screaming. He spurred his horse and raced toward the trouble with a prayer on his lips.
It sounded miles away but he couldn’t be sure. Sound carried forever in the desert. Canyon walls echoed and soon enough the sound seemed to come from all directions.
But Gabe had spent years riding with the cavalry and he knew the land.
The gunfire died away.
The screaming cut off.
The thunder of his horse’s hooves and the wind rushing past his ears was the only sound. But he knew right where it had come from. Or he hoped he knew.
It sent him on a long run in the wrong direction—away from the nearest town and a badly needed drink of water. But a woman screaming, out here where there weren’t any women, well, Gabe couldn’t see he had much choice. Her screams, long faded to silence, were still in his head, begging for help.
He slowed as he drew near the spot where he was sure the trouble had come from. Cautious. He saw tracks or he’d have never thought to follow what looked like a dry spring bed up a rugged hill. The fresh ones clearly came out very recently. Whatever had happened here had to be the source of the gunfire and screams. It also was clearly over. He slipped the tie down loose on his Colt and followed those tracks with the care of a man who’d ridden for the cavalry for nearly a decade.
He was too late to stop it, but maybe not to late to dig a grave and see the dead given some respect, see if there were families to contact.
He got to the top of the narrow arroyo and pulled his horse to a dead stop.
He was looking at something he couldn’t believe.
A mountain carved up into— homes?
Shaking his head he looked closer, trying to make the structure in front of his eyes something created by nature. But it wasn’t. These were man made. The lowest levels had structure to them. Rock work that formed walls. There were depressions in the rocks above the structures. Cave openings, multiple levels of them. He counted four layers, one above the other, of what had to be dwellings of some kind.
And now abandoned.
Gabe had never heard of this. He was just passing through the area now, but he’d ridden with the cavalry in Texas and the Southwest for years. How could this have gone undiscovered? And who had found it now and died?
Fascinated, Gabe walked his horse into this lost valley, then swung down and tied the gelding to one of a thousand mesquite bushes. The wind whistled through the hills and canyons. It was the only sound and that moaning wind told him no one else was here. Those tracks cut in the dust were the only sign that humans had passed through here in ages. Seven horses in, seven out. Judging by the tracks, he’d say two pack horses, maybe three. So five people had come in here. How many had ridden out?
As his horse paced forward, he tried to remember exactly where that sound had come from and it wasn’t hard to figure it out. He could see where people had stood, horses, supplies. A camp had been set up here and had only been torn down a few minutes ago. A chill sliced up his spine in the Arizona heat as he realized he’d barely missed whoever left this place. The folks doing all the shooting.
But who had done the screaming?
He stared at the wonder before him and studied the sign and terrain with no idea what to do next. There was nothing. No one.
The place was eerie, as if who ever had lived here before still watched, testing those who came. He heard wind whistling like a specter calling to him from those unnatural caves high overhead.
Where had the people gone who had done such work, created such a home? Who would work this hard then leave? Had they died? Had they abandoned all their labor? Had they been killed? And if so where were those that had done the killing?
His eyes went up four levels of stone homes. Gabe felt a quick chill of fear. No human hand created this. And yet what were the other possibilities? He was left with the sense that it was ancient and uttered empty of life.
He jumped, drew his gun and whirled around toward where the riders had left. Heart slamming, he looked left and right. Blinked and gasped for air and saw. . .
. . .no one.
There was no one anywhere. Could the place be haunted? He didn’t believe in such things but—
That cry echoed and bounced until Gabe was surrounded.
“Help me, please.”
This time it was stronger and even with the echo, Gabe whirled back and looked up and up and up. A woman.
Gabe almost screamed.
Her face was soaked in blood, one arm flung over the edge of the cliff as she lay on her belly, looked down.
He probably would have screamed if he hadn’t choked on spit when he drew in an involuntary breath. While he coughed he fought to get a grip on his nerves.
Spooks and haints were something he’d heard of plenty growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. Lots of superstition in those mountains. But his ma raised them Christian and wasn’t given to such nonsense.
“I’m trapped. They left me.” Her voice was weak but it carried on the quiet of the canyon. This was no ghost. Except could ghosts fly? Because that’s the only way Gabe could see that she got up there.
The coughing ended and, with a whoosh of relief, his head cleared and he knew there was a woman up there. A real woman. A living, human being, definitely in terrible distress.
She was so high overhead, her face streaked in bright red blood. Dark hair spilling down over the edge of the cliff. He had no notion of what she looked like, only her voice and long hair told him she was female.
“Ma’am?” Gabe had no idea what to say or do.
“Help me, please.” Each word shook as if she gathered every ounce of her energy to keep talking. “Help me get down.”
“I’ll help you.” His voice didn’t exactly work. He tried again, loud enough she could hear him. “I’ll help you.”
“Promise you won’t leave me.” She sounded on the verge of pure panic.
Gabe couldn’t say he blamed her. “I’m not going to leave you. I promise.”
“Thank you.” Her voice broke, and he heard a muffled sob. “I need you to get me down.”
It wasn’t fair to ask a trapped bleeding woman how to save herself.
“I don’t know.”
Not fair at all.