This cowboy's got one last chance to prove himself
Carly Beauchamp has loved cowboy Austin Davis since first grade. Ask anyone in their dusty, backwater New Mexico town of Unforgiven, and they'll say “Carly and Austin” the way some say “big trucks and country boys.” But after years of waiting for a wedding ring, Carly’s done with being a rodeo widow . . .
Austin never meant to put his career on the circuit before Carly. She’s always been his future, his one and only. But now that she’s moved on, he’s beginning to see where he went wrong, and he’ll do anything to win her back. The only thing is, Carly’s suddenly acting differently, and she’s definitely hiding a secret—one that will test the depth of their love and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Addiction sucks. I should know. Papaw has his White Lightning. Nana has her Bingo-jones. My addiction has sad green eyes and my name tattooed across his left pec.
But my wedding-dress dreams always come in second to his rodeo. There’s even a term for it; Rodeo Widow. Except to earn that title, I’d have to be married.
Squinting through the windshield glare, I shift the knob on the steering column to third and press on the gas, but the speedometer doesn’t budge. Dang it, at this rate I’m going to be late for the breakfast shift.  Papaw bought the truck new about the time I was born, and Nana named it ‘Nellybelle’.  Said she stole the name from a car on some TV show—Roy Somebody. All I know is, I’m stuck driving the beater so Nana can drive the Camry to Bingo.
I’m less than a mile from the paved road when clanking starts under the hood. It sounds like the hammers of hell in there. I take it out of gear and lurch to the side of the washboard road and watch the dust billow up in the rearview mirror. “Now that’s just craptastic.” I’m no mechanic, but I’ve been driving since before I could reach the pedals. I know what a thrown rod sounds like. Nana would say, ‘Nellybelle’s sleeping with Jesus’. My luck she’ll want to have a funeral.

A Love as Big as Texas . . .
Charla Rae Denny was the perfect wife with a perfect life, content to keep the home fires burning while her husband, JB, competed as a champion bull rider. Then their son died in a tragic accident—and everything fell apart. Divorced and saddled with a hill of bills and a failing ranch, Charla must now cowboy up to put her life back together.
James “JB” Denny doesn’t stay where he isn’t welcome. So when Charla shut him out of her grieving heart—and their home—a year ago, he took comfort where he could find it. Now after seeing beautiful Charla again, he wants it all back. She can’t work the ranch alone, and deep in his heart, he knows he can be the man she needs. But after so much history and heartbreak, can JB convince Charla to take a risk and give their love a second chance?

The grief counselor told the group to be grateful for what they had left. After lots of considering, Charla Rae decided she was grateful for the bull semen.

Charla Rae Denny wiped her hands with her apron and stepped back, surveying the shelves of her pantry. This month’s Good Housekeeping suggested using scraps of linoleum as shelf paper. It had been a bitch-kitty to cut, but cost nothing, would be easy to clean, and continued the white-pebbled theme of her kitchen floor. And for a few hours, the project had rescued her weary mind from a hamster-wheel of regret.

The homing beacon in the Valium bottle next to the sink tugged at her insides.

She sipped a glass of water to avoid reaching for it and glanced out the window to the spring-skeletal trees of the backyard.

Her gaze returned to the two-foot wide stump the way a tongue wanders to a missing tooth. Tentative grass shoots had sprung up to obscure the obscene scar in the soil.

She hadn’t thought that an innocent tree could kill a child.

She hadn’t thought that an innocent coed could kill a marriage.

And if those pills could kill the thinking, she’d take ten.

At the familiar throaty growl of a Peterbilt turning off the road out front, Char jerked, realizing minutes had passed. She’d been listening for that deep throb for hours. She always did. As the cab and empty cattle hauler swept by the window, she wound her shaking hands in her apron, as if the sturdy cotton would hold her together.

A ranch wife could stretch a pound of hamburger farther than anyone, but Daddy’s new medication cost the moon, and the bills in the basket beside the computer were piling up like snowdrifts in a blizzard. Hands still shaking, she untied the bibbed apron and pulled it over her head. She’d rather clean bathrooms at the airport than ask her ex for money, but then, most of her choices these days were like that. Sighing, she walked to the mud-room, shrugged into her spring jacket, yanked open the back door, and stepped into the nippy air.

The Trailer for The Sweet Spot

Laura Drake is a New York published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.

Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding.  Her debut, The Sweet Spot, won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She also published a four-book small town romance series with Harlequin’s Superomance line.  Her women's fiction, Days Made of Glass, released in January 2016, and The Last True Cowboy, first in her Chestnut Creek series will release in December of this year.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways or a serious cowboy crush. In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

Facebook:  Laura Drake

Writers in the Storm

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