Miss Prinsella Primm, of Culdesac Corners, California, and Lifestyle Editor of the Courant, is visiting Wildflower
Junction today to present her interview with outlaw Jack Ransom, hero of Tanya Hanson’s latest release, Christmas for Ransom. One commenter today will receive a copy of the novella either PDF or Kindle version, so y’all, don’t be strangers.
November 30, 1880
MISS PRIMM, primly: Mr. Ransom, although I do detect a glint of naughtiness in your eyes, I also sense a good heart beneath the bulging muscles of your chest. So how is it you sank so low as to become a notorious outlaw?
JACK, fingering his pocket for his flask: How is it, Miss Primm, you rose up to become a newspaperwoman?
MISS PRIMM, more primly: My dear Mr. Ransom, journalism is a most honorable profession. Unlike yours. And this interview is about you, not me. So for our readers’ sake, how did your career path as an outlaw come about?
JACK, eyes downcast: When my gram-maw died, I lost my direction. She raised me up, and with her gone, I discovered I was good at something bad: stealing horses.
MISS PRIMM, shuddering: Goodness gracious, I believe your grandmother must be looking down in horror at your disgrace.
JACK, cheeks that bear three days-stubble turning red: I reckon you’re correct, ma’am. I loved her so. That’s why I decided to mend my evil ways and honor one of her deathbed requests. Jacky, learn to read.
MISS PRIMM, holding up two fingers: Would you mind sharing the other?
JACK, forehead wrinkling like a piece of paper: Share what, ma’am? A book.
MISS PRIMM, lips pursed: No. The other request.
JACK, redder yet: Oh, that. To live a righteous life. As you see, that trail never got blazed. But I’m gonna start now.
MISS PRIMM Primm, glaring with genteel disapproval: Who coached you in this dreadful life-altering decision?
JACK, with a wicked yet disarming grin: That would be Ahab Perkins, leader of the pack. We met up at approximately age thirteen. No folks, no home. No nothing. So we picked up a few more hooligans along the way. Truth is, our gang got along so good for a time we might have been a Boy Scout troop.
MISS PRIMM, peering over her spectacles: Try again, Mr. Ransom. Boy Scouting won’t originate for twenty years. Besides, horse stealing would be anathema to the Scout slogan Do a Good Turn Daily.
JACK RANSOM’s whiskey-colored eyes widen: Mighty big word there, ma’am.
MISS PRIMM, wearing a schoolmarm frown: Why, I thought you had honored that deathbed vow and learned to read.
JACK, eyelids lowering like they might do when he slept: Did so. Hiring a tutor is how I met my Eliza. She’s the schoolteacher in Pleasure Stakes, Texas.
MISS PRIMM, somewhat jealous: Eliza?
JACK, proud: Yep. My lady love. Me and she managed to get snowbound down in Backbone Hollow. She’s quite a gal, my Eliza. You see, while she tutored me, she had no notion whatsoever it was me who thieved her granny’s horses. For that matter, neither did I.
MISS PRIMM, profoundly jealous, disheartened and ready to close out the interview: Well, I hope you did all your homework.
JACK, triumphant: That I did, ma’am. Eliza and me, we’ll have a good life with me gone all reformed. Miss Primm, I surely do thank you for your time today. And dear lady, a most merry Christmas to you and yourn.
He leans across her battered desk and kisses her soft spinster cheek. Her face flames in pure delight as he heads out of the Courant office, his backside swaying over his boot heels in just the right way.
Miss Primm dearly wishes she’d been the one to get snowbound with the handsome, reformed rascal.
Blurb: Rebellious and independent, schoolmarm Eliza Willows wants to find the crook who thieved her rich granny’s horses and knocked Eliza out cold. When outlaw “Canyon” Jack Ransom hires the beautiful ‘marm to teach him to read, sparks fly and worlds collide…until she finds out just who her lover is.
Pinching herself, she lost interest in everything except seeing what the stranger looked like in the lantern light. Brawny stalwart men were nothing new in a railroad town or on the ranch, but she never minded a good view.
Her breath caught so hard her sore rib tweaked. He was magnificent. The big-brimmed hat and flowing duster reckoned him a wrangler of some sort coming in from the range. Although he needed a bath and truly looked the worse for wear, she didn’t mind one single bit. The scruffy cheeks, the long rag-taggle coat, even the scent of masculine sweat were far more her style than the slick-haired dandies and overdressed fops she’d met at Boston cotillions.
“This here’s Ransom,” Ben said helpfully.
As he moved closer, the stranger removed his hat and tucked it under his arm with a polite half-nod. For a long luscious moment, eyes the color of manly liquor covered her with a mouth-watering gaze. Golden-brown hair touched the mountains of his shoulders like sunlight at dawn across the Guadalupe Mountains.
Air left her lungs. A slow burn started at the top of her spine, simmering at her breasts and pounding with fire at her womanly notch. Her nipples ached for his firm lips, her flesh desperate for the days’ worth of roughness adorning cheekbones carved like crags and valleys. She had to hold her hand still to keep her fingers from caressing the deep etches of his face.
Eliza couldn’t move as she stared up at him, aching and eager.
http://tinyurl.com/bne8e7g The Wild Rose Press