My next release is July 6.
Book #2 of the Brothers in Arms series.
I thought, today I’d share an excerpt.
A bit of set-up. Falcon is the hero of A Man with a Past.
He and another brother, Kevin, showed up to claim their inheritance left them by a father they’d believed died twenty years ago.
Naturally they’re confused and angry.
They arrive to find a third brother who was supposed to inherit half his mother’s ranch–but his no account father inherits it when their ma dies, but never makes any use of it. Let’s Wyatt and sister Cheyenne do all the work while he lazes away and wanders near and far.
Wyatt was supposed to split the ranch with Cheyenne. Instead his older half-sister is cut out completely and this two ‘surprise’ brothers get a third along with Wyatt.
Cheyenne is so mad she’s dangerous to be around.
And even so, she’s drawn to Falcon and he to her.
But Falcon has amnesia. Every time he tries to remember his head hurts until it almost knocks him down. But he’d fighting to remember and flashes of memory make him worried he’s abandoned a wife just like his father. Too bad he got that flash of a wife while he held Cheyenne in his arms…and called her Patsy.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d been hunkered down there when a movement to his right brought his head up, his eyes were almost blurred through the pain.
“Are you bad off?” Kevin rushed to his side and dropped to one knee.
Falcon’s wavering memories slammed shut. Falcon wanted to swing a fist into Kevin’s face and tell him to go away.
Then he thought of what Kevin had just said, and the voice he’d said it in.
“Did you say, uh, once-once s-say,” his memory waivered, “Did you ever say ‘Pa is that you?’ I mean say it to me…ever?”
Kevin’s cheeks turned a ruddy color. One corner of his mouth turned up in an embarrassed smile. For some reason the expression helped Falcon push aside the pain in his head.
“Yep, when you stepped off the train.” Kevin gave Falcon a sharp look, worried, checking him over. Then he rose to his feet. “For just that one second, with you turned mostly away from me, you looked so much like my pa. Uh, our pa, a man I hadn’t seen for twenty years, that I let those words loose. I knew even as they left my mouth you were too young.”
“And you knew Pa was dead, the will and such.”
Kevin gave a little one-shouldered shrug. “Considering I’d known pa was dead for most of those twenty years, and I’d just found out he was dead again. Seeing you and not being all that sure he was dead was easy to flicker though my mind.”
“Is your head still sore? Is it worse? You’ve been moving and acting like you’re feeling fine—except for losing your memory—”
“Yeah,” Falcon interrupted, “Except for that.”
Kevin smirked. “Anyhow, except for that, I thought you were pretty well off. But now you look like you’re hurting bad.”
Falcon didn’t like talking about how weak he felt when he was hunting inside his head. A man needed to hide if he was weak. The weak were prey. Supper. Animals and people were both dangerous. “Aren’t you supposed to be in the kitchen arguing?”
“I reckon. But I can’t add much to it, and they’re yelling just fine without my help.” Kevin reached a hand down to Falcon, who, after thinkin’ it over a bit, took the hand and let Kevin haul him to his feet.
It was a good strong yank. Falcon was eye-to-eye with his brother. Their eyes matched. They both had a little dip in the center of their chin. Beyond that, they didn’t look much alike. Falcon was an inch or so taller than Kevin. Probably broader. They both had brown hair but Falcon’s was darker, straighter.
“When you went missing,” Kevin swallowed hard, “when we thought you were dead, it made me sad to think a brother I never knew, was now a brother I never would know.”
Kevin clapped him on the shoulder and it was a gentle slap. Kevin was acting like Falcon was fragile. Prey. Though Kevin didn’t seem to be hunting.
Falcon met his gaze. “A brother. And you had a little sister and brother. I-I don’t think I had anyone else. Except, I think…a wife.”
“A wife?” Kevin’s brows arched.
“I had a flash of memory. Patsy. I can see her face and a cabin. We were married I think. Were or are married.”
“You don’t remember anything else?”
“I remember I had a mule named Harvey, and I remembered a man’s voice, you I guess, sayin’, ‘Pa, is that you?’”
“That was when you stepped off the train in Bear Claw Pass. You came out here on the train, and arrived the same morning I came riding in with my family. And you heard what Tuttle said about Independence. So you had a run-in with him back there.”
“And then I went missing later that day I got off the train?”
“Did I say anything else?”
Kevin stood quiet, thinking. “When I said, Pa, is that you. You said, “Ain’t no one’s pa, Mister.”
Falcon straightened. “I said that?”
“So, I didn’t abandon my children?”
That struck Kevin into a dead quiet. All there in his eyes. That their pa had abandoned them. That Falcon didn’t want to be that kind of man. “Have you been worrying that you might’ve done that?”
Falcon shrugged, but he was feeling better. The pain lessening in his head and his heart. “I thought of Patsy’s name when I was—was—” He snapped his mouth shut. He must’ve taken a beaten on his head to’ve almost blurted that out.
Falcon didn’t know what he must look like but it had to be tellin’ Kevin something. And suddenly Falcon was glad he had a brother, because maybe talking to a brother would help him a little.
He looked at the door to the hallway which led to the kitchen. Plenty of squabbling in there still. Dropping his voice, looking between the door and Kevin, he said, “I thought of Patsy’s name, said it out loud, when I-I,” he cleared his throat ’cuz it was clogging shut. “When I had my arms around…Cheyenne.”
Kevin staggered back, caught himself, his eyes round as twenty-dollar gold pieces. Whispering didn’t hide the shock. “You and Cheyenne?”
Falcon nodded. Afraid now she’d somehow heard and would come charging into this room looking to pound on him worse than the rocks in that stream had. He’d already lost his whole past. What else did he have to lose?
“And called out another woman’s name after?”
Honest, it was more during, but Falcon didn’t see any reason to mention that. Bad enough he’d thought of another woman, but to have said her name out loud—and now Kevin saying it out loud, it all helped him feel even worse. Which surprised him because he wouldn’t’ve believed he could feel much worse.
“And you’re still alive?”
Falcon was alive. He was standing right there. And still… “I’m a little surprised myself.”
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of A Man with a Past
Falcon Hunt awakens without a past, or at least not one he can recall. He’s got brothers he can’t remember, and he’s interested in the prettiest woman in the area, Cheyenne. Only trouble is, a few flashes of memory make Falcon wonder if he’s already married. He can’t imagine abandoning a wife. But his pa did just that–twice. When Falcon claims his inheritance in the West, Cheyenne is cut out of the ranch she was raised on, leaving her bitter and angry. And then Falcon kisses her, adding confusion and attraction to the mix.
Soon it’s clear someone is gunning for the Hunt brothers. When one of his brothers is shot, Falcon and Cheyenne set out to find who attacked him. They encounter rustled cattle, traitorous cowhands, a missing woman, and outlaws that take all their savvy to overcome. As love grows between these two independent people, Falcon must piece together his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.
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