From Amazon: Wyoming Heather (Kindle Edition)
“A favorite. The author is so good in weaving her stories you believe you are also a part. A great read from beginning to the end.”
“I’ve enjoyed other books by this author and just had to try another. DeAnn Smallwood continued her excellent story telling in this book and I look forward to reading more of her works.”
“Great read!!! Could not put it down, was a great escape from my hubby ‘s driving. Look forward to reading another book from this author.”
Available at: Amazon
Heather is a spirited, independent woman living alone on a ranch left to her by her parents. She is also a healer of animals, domestic and wild. A woman doing a man’s work running a ranch that everyone said couldn’t be done, not in this untamed, vastly unsettled land, in the mid 1800’s. The ranch had everything she needed except water. She stole that from a neighboring abandoned ranch watched over by a lonely cabin and a grave.
He rode alone coming back after five years to an empty cabin, a run-down ranch, and a grave on a hill. A former Texas Ranger burnt out on life and afraid to love. Whip had spent five years hunting the man that took his wife’s life and left him to die.
Whip and Heather meet in an explosive moment on the banks of the Powder River. Both lonely, both drawn to one another, and both fight the attraction.
No lantern shown in the window to welcome him home. The cabin looked gray in the moonlight. Gray and ghost-like in the shadow of the mountains and the full moon. The corral was empty, poles missing. The barn door hung to one side, held in place by a single leather hinge.
Whip Johnson leaned back in his saddle, shifting his weary body. His hand rested on his right thigh, his fingers absently circling the indentation of puckered flesh. The wound pulsed, the imbedded piece of lead seemed to seek out and rub against bone.
The saddle creaked as he leaned forward and patted the buckskin’s neck, his eyes never ceasing in their vigilance. He took a deep breath, drawing in the land, the mountains, and the pungent smell of sagebrush. The faded chambray shirt pulled tight across his back. He sat tall in the saddle, every six foot three inches of him hard muscle. Close to his hand, gripping the reins, a rifle rested in the scabbard. Nestled against his right hip was a holster, the butt of the pistol tilted at an angle for easy drawing. Like the man, they looked used. His long, tanned fingers left the warmth of the buckskin then rose and tiredly rubbed across his jaw, the day’s growth of whiskers rasping in the quiet of the night.
He nudged his horse forward. To the far left of him, a jagged bolt of light creased the top of the mountain, momentarily chasing away the gray as thunder rolled, faint and distant. He inhaled deeply. No moisture in the air, the threat of rain only a promise, a teasing whore withholding what the land needed.
Swinging wearily from the saddle, he looped the reins over the hitching post in front of the cabin. He nudged the door open with the toe of his boot. His keen hearing picked up the sound of something scuttling across the hard packed floor. A varmint, most likely a pack rat, had moved in during his absence.
A musty odor met him as he slowly walked into the room. Thumbing his nail across the head of a match, he held it in front of him, the shadows falling back from the flickering light. Nothing much had changed, yet everything had, since he’d last seen the room five years ago. All that was left of the furniture was a wobbly table holding a chipped enamel basin, and the old Monarch stove. Too heavy to move, it had remained in the corner where he’d placed it the day he’d brought it home from Cheyenne.
The match burned his fingers. He blew it out, and then crossed to a lamp set on the plank shelf above the table. He shook it and, hearing the liquid slosh in the glass base, smiled, the sternness momentarily eased from his face. The chimney was black from use, but the wick was still in place and after some urging caught. He carefully sat it down on the table and took a longer look at the room. The chinking in the logs was still tight, the roof solid, the glass in the small window intact. The cabin had weathered the five years better than he had.
Bedding his horse in the barn, he made himself walk back out the sagging door. He’d wait until morning. Then he’d take as much time as he wanted to look it over. Right now the cabin floor was beckoning. He took the rope off his bedroll and rolled it out. Lowering his body, he pulled the worn quilt over him. The last conscious thought he had was that of his pistol resting beside him; in easy reach should he need it.