By Kristy McCaffrey
I’m pleased to announce the digital release of The Crow and the Coyote and Lily and Mesquite Joe. Both are priced at just 99 cents.
Leave a comment below (please include your email address) to be entered in a giveaway for an ecopy of each story. One winner will win both!!
The setting for The Crow and the Coyote, a paranormal western romance just in time for Halloween, is Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de shay). This national monument is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. Rock art and other excavations have revealed human habitation for at least 4,500 years, encompassing not just the Navajo but the ancient Anasazi as well. In the 18th century, the canyon became a major stronghold of the Navajo—the high walls offering protection and the streams helping to grow corn crops and peach trees.
It was here that Kit Carson, under orders from James Carleton—governor and commander of New Mexico Territory—sought to purge the Navajo and relocate them to the Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. The Long Walk, an arduous journey which encompassed well over 50 separate treks led by the U.S. Army, occurred from 1863 to 1866. The accounts of death by starvation, sickness, or violence left an indelible trauma on the people. Although they were allowed to return to Canyon de Chelly in 1868, they would never forget this painful period of their history.
Hannah Dobbin is after an evil Navajo sorcerer who murdered her father, and she's determined to see him dead. But she'll need a bounty hunter—The Crow—to help find this vile man. With Hallowtide upon them, more evil is afoot than they can handle; but love will find a way.
(This story was previously published in the anthology: Cowboys, Creatures and Calico Vol. 2)
Hannah awoke before dawn from her pallet by the tiny fire she and Sani had allowed themselves. For the first time since her pa died some three weeks ago, her dreams had been calm. She turned on her side and watched the man called Crow, slumbering several feet away beside a horse he'd retrieved the previous night. The presence of both had kept the spooks at bay, and a feeling of safety washed over her.
She wondered if trusting the man was wise, but Sani grudgingly accepted him. Truthfully, they could use his help. None of the Navajo men would accompany them—they insisted on distancing themselves from the actions of two women not in their right minds. Hannah knew the beliefs of the Navajo—that stirring up spirits would not end well—but she had no choice, not if she wanted to help her pa. She knew, however, that if she and Sani weren't careful they could both end up dead.
Mr. Crow consumed a large space in this world with his obvious physical presence, and a look in his dark eyes that was both remote and calculating. She sensed he walked a fine line between justice and violence. It didn't frighten her, but she did wonder if she could trust him.
He awoke, stood, and immediately checked his horse. Then, he looked directly at her.
"Mornin'," he said.
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Also available today ~ Lily and Mesquite Joe.
Lily Kingston has long loved Mesquite Joe Riordan, but when he doesn’t step forward to protest her betrothal to another man—arranged by her papa—her heart breaks. When Joe is blamed for the murder of a ranch hand and disappears, Lily knows exactly where to find him. Facing the truth of his past will test her resolve, but only her stubbornness can win his heart.
(This story was previously published in the anthology Cowboy Cravings.)
The following day and night she stayed close, waiting for the fever and delirium to break. That evening he awoke.
Relief blanketed her, along with anticipation. She scooted close to him.
He opened his eyes, trying to focus on her but his confusion was clear.
“Lily? You’re…still here?”
“I came to help you.”
The flash of anger he directed at her took her by surprise. Her fingers halted mid-air; she’d been reaching for his arm as she spoke, wanting to touch him just as she had all these past hours. Slowly, she lowered her hand to her lap, and swallowed against the flush of humiliation that heated her cheeks. Deep down, she’d been certain he’d be happy to see her. Now, she wondered if she should’ve come. But if she hadn’t, he’d likely be in worse shape, his wound festering and no one to care for him.
“What happened?” he asked, his deep voice worn-down and hoarse. “I don’t remember…”
“You were shot,” she replied, trying not to feel angry herself.
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Coming October 22 ~ A BRAND NEW short novella featuring another bounty hunting Boggs brother. Stay tuned!!