I'm so pleased to welcome author Kathleen Lawless to the blog today to share the details on her new book, Janie from the Widows of the Wild West series.
Someone killed her husband. And now they’re after her!
Janie doesn’t know who or why, only that she can’t run forever and Bullet seems as good a place as any to start over. Ross’s protective instincts are instantly aroused by the beautiful widow, even as he senses she’s fleeing from something or someone in her past. Can he win her trust enough to ensure her safety?
Janie’s heart sank as she stepped gingerly from the stagecoach to the dusty wooden sidewalk, her valise clutched in one hand. This had to be the smallest town she’d seen yet as she zig-zigged her way across the West by train. Was it even a town, or just a stagecoach stop? With trepidation she approached the coach’s driver. “Did I hear you say this is the end of the line?”
The driver spat a stream of tobacco, narrowly missing the toe of her boot. “Sure is.”
She wandered aimlessly for a bit, her valise growing heavier with each step she took. Eventually she stopped and set it down for a minute, flexing her fingers in relief. She straightened, only to be nearly knocked off her feet by a large man dressed in black as he rounded the corner.
In spite of herself, she gasped. Was he the one who had been following her? Was this the end?
“I’m so sorry,” the man said, then paused to give her a closer look. “Are you all right?”
She swallowed thickly and tried to nod. Heavens, she was acting like a deaf mute these days.
“You’re not. You’re shaking like a leaf.” His voice was kind, as were his dark gray eyes. He was nicely dressed and didn’t look like someone in pursuit of a helpless widow. She relaxed ever so slightly.
“I wondered if you were new here,” he said with a twinkle. “I’m fairly certain I would have remembered you had our paths crossed earlier.”
Janie stared at the ground. His words sounded flirty, almost a compliment. She pushed back a strand of honey blonde hair with a hand that wasn’t quite steady, noticing as she did so that her gloves were soiled from her journey. She looked up, not used to the unfamiliar sight of open admiration on a man’s face.
“You look tuckered,” he said. “May I escort you to the hotel?”
“I assume that’s where you’re staying?” His look grew cautious. “Unless of course you were expecting someone to meet you?”
“The hotel,” she said decisively. “Which way is it?”
He plucked her valise from the sidewalk. “I wouldn’t be much of a gentleman if I just pointed in that direction and left you on your own, now would I?”
Janie had no idea what a gentleman would do.
“The name’s Chasen,” he said. “Ross Chasen. The hotel is this way and I’m personally acquainted with the owner. She’ll vouch for me.”
Did he say she? As in the hotel was owned by a woman? How unusual.
“Are you planning to be in town for long, Miss—” He paused expectantly.
“It’s…Wood,” she said after a slight hesitation. “Janie Wood.” Wood seemed a safe assumed name. Everywhere she looked she saw wood.
Mr. Chasen crossed behind her to her other side so he was closest to the street. The thoughtful gesture smacked of good manners, and she didn’t even mind the light pressure of his hand against the small of her back. For the first time since she stumbled across her husband’s dead body back in New York, she felt safe.
Kathleen blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys. Historical or contemporary, cowboys continue to resonate with her today.
One of her heroes, Steele, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was dating on-line and met a man called Steel— Well, he’s not a cowboy but his is an alpha male and her forever hero. Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.
Not that she can ever stick to just one genre. So many stories to tell—never enough time.
With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, erotic romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.