I love this blog because I come from a real small town…with ONLY a Main Street, a little place in the Santa Cruz Mountains called La Honda, California! I moved halfway across the world to New Zealand…and guess what? I found another Main Street town! I now live out of the little Main Street mining town of Waihi, New Zealand, in an even smaller road 10 km out of town…it’s not even a main one. Just a lot of cows.
The Main Street in my first novel, A Long Trail Rolling, and at the start of The Hills of Gold Unchanging ( just released last week!), is…well, it’s actually a trail. A wagon trail, and the Pony Express Trail, in the 1860’s in Utah.
The stories in my first fiction series, The Long Trails, are historical romantic thrillers, with plenty of horses and action! I’m a horse vet, so you guessed it, there’s plenty of that in there too!
My heroes Aleksandra and Xavier have just met…just after Aleksandra’s life has fallen apart at the seams. She’s just taken offense at something Xavier said, and he’s headed out the door, while she stayed inside to talk with Scotty, the trading post keeper….
Xavier was harnessing Dzień to the wagon when Aleksandra came outside.
‘I can do that,’ she snapped, rushing to the side of the pony, her blue eyes icy and cheeks flushed pink. Xavier smiled at her back as she hurried around to the pony’s other side to finish.
‘I’m sure you can, Querida, but I’m happy to help,’ he said, wrapping a breeching strap around the shaft and buckling it snugly.
‘Thanks,’ she said, tight-lipped, looking away as her hands slid down Dzień’s rump towards the crupper.
‘Any possibility you might tell me just why you went loco on me back there?’ Xavier watched her brows drop as she stared at a strap she’d just buckled too tightly. Her lips tightened further as she readjusted it.
‘I want nothing to do with people who insult my friends.’
‘Como, what?’ He shook his head and blinked at her.
‘My friends, the Shoshone. The only friends I have left alive, other than Scotty,‘ she said from between clenched teeth, and then slumped, sobbing, against Dzień.
Cautious of her all-too-effective looking sword, Xavier slowly approached her. He slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against him, watchful for any fast moves on her part, not caring if her tears soaked his shirt. How long they stayed like this, he neither knew nor cared. Once her sobs quieted, he slipped his fingers under her chin, lifting her face to stare into the watery depths of her blue eyes.
‘Okay now, Querida?’
‘As okay as possible, I guess.’ She dropped her head again. ‘The Shoshone have been family to me, especially since Mama died,’ she murmured into his shirt.
‘Are you sure you won’t stay here? I’ll sleep in the stable, if it would make you happier.’
She closed her eyes and was still.
‘No, it’s okay. I’m sorry, Xavier. I’m upset, but that’s no excuse for my rudeness. Thank you for this.’ She nodded her head at his tear stained chest.
‘De nada. It is nothing.’ He smiled. ‘May I accompany you to your home, at least?’
‘No, really, I’m fine, thank you again. I’d better go farewell Scotty. It’s getting late.’
‘If you’re sure…’ Xavier shook his head and followed Aleksandra back inside.
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Lizzi and I met several years ago online and although I’ve never met her in person, we have talked by phone. Lizzi stays busy! She is a veterinarian who specializes in horses, and she’s very active with New Zealand’s Romance Writers. She writes and she rides! So how does she do her research when she lives so far from her childhood home? Lizzi never does anything ordinary. She spent her vacation on horseback, riding the historic trails of our west! Her stories are fast paced and suitable for any horse lover in the house who loves history, a little romance, and a whole lot of intrigue, mixed with action. There’s a reason why her books win awards.