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Monday, January 8, 2018

#blogabookscene BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

Oh, boy, is it ever! Even for January in Missouri, it is cold.  This is my first blog of 2018, and its the start of something new.  For the next 12 months I’ll give you a scene from one of my books or stories that fits a them.  Let's see... Baby, It's Cold Outside... winter...  I know exactly which one to start with…

Scene 1. The setting:  1890, early spring in the Davis Mountains in west Texas. An unexpected snowstorm catches our hero off guard. Can he make it to shelter? Or will they find him when the snow melts?

And, action!

Whoever said hell was hot had lied. It was cold, bitter cold. Not that he’d live to tell anyone of the discovery. The snow came down sideways, so hard Jake McCain couldn’t see past the end of his horse’s nose. He had no way to tell where he was or where he was going. The icy pellets were like razor sharp knives, flaying his face until he figured he must be bleeding. Lucky for him the cold kept him from feeling much of anything. Death dogged his heels and he couldn’t find the energy to care.
He’d climbed from the saddle an hour ago—or was it only a few minutes—and started walking. He hated using his horse as a windbreak, but the animal’s hide could take the stinging ice longer than his own skin, no matter how many layers of clothes he wore. But Griffin was beginning to tire. If Jake didn’t find shelter soon, they’d find whatever was left of him and his horse at the next thaw.
Jake braced himself against the saddle before lifting his head enough to look around. The vicious wind stole his breath. He could barely force his eyes open against the onslaught. He usually had a good sense of direction and distance, but the blizzard and the vicious beating he’d taken at the hands of the men he was supposed to be arresting made it impossible to be sure of anything. He could be close to the mining town he’d been heading for, or miles from anywhere.
Narrowing his eyes against the blowing snow and ice, he studied the frosted landscape. Something flickered, only for an instant, in the distance. Was it his imagination? With his grip tight on the reins, he started for the spot. Real or not, he’d rather be going somewhere than standing around waiting to freeze to death.
He struggled forward, toward the light, or where he thought it should be. He’d lost sight of it. Jake ducked his head behind Griffin’s neck, squeezed his eyes shut a couple of times and looked again, but it was gone. Had he somehow gotten turned around? Just when he decided he’d been walking in circles, the wind backed off, the snow lessened, and he saw the light again.
He concentrated on each step, putting one foot in front of the other. Griffin stumbled, catching him by surprise and taking them both to the ground. It took all Jake’s will to drag himself to his feet and urge the big horse back up. He buried his battered face against the animal’s furry neck, and trudged on, making for that little flicker of salvation.
The next time he looked up he couldn’t see the light. Must’ve been his imagination after all. He took a step, sinking in a drift. Jake thought of his mother, alone in Abilene. He hoped whoever gave her the news of his death was gentle with it. He dragged his other foot forward. His frozen boot caught on something and he fell face down in the snow. Wooden planks broke his fall instead of rock hard ground. He tried to lift his head, but it took too much effort. Griffin took advantage of the stop to turn his rump to the wind, leaving Jake with no protection from the vicious storm.
Battling against the brutal cold, he dragged himself forward. His head bumped something solid. He pulled himself up until he half sat against a thick wood door, but he didn’t have the strength left to knock. Cursing his weakness, Jake tried to force a hand up. No use. Both lay limp at his sides.
If he’d had the breath, he would have laughed at the cruel joke life had played on him, one of many tossed his way. He’d made it—somewhere—and he was going to die anyway. His mind rebelled at the thought of the bastards finally beating him, but even failing his last assignment couldn’t give him the strength to lift a fist. He closed his eyes and let his head fall back. At least he would be found and buried properly.
When the darkness came, he fought against giving in, but it was stronger, dragging him down into the unending black.

On January 11, 2018, TEXAS GOLD will be included in UNDER A WESTERN SKY. And you can pre-order the set right now.
SIX FULL-LENGTH NOVELS for only .99! This western historical romance boxed setis up for pre-order for this fantastic price--but it won't last long! A few more days and the price goes up.
Want to know a little more about TEXAS GOLD? Here's the back cover write-up:

   Texas Ranger Jake McCain is hot on the trail of a band of murderous outlaws when they ambush him and leave him for dead. A candle in a faraway window shines dimly in the night, and with his last ounce of strength, he makes his way through a blinding snowstorm to a solitary cabin and blessed shelter where he can heal.
    The last thing Rachel Hudson expects the deadly spring blizzard to bring is a wounded Ranger with a pack of trouble he’s got to catch up to and eliminate—as soon as he’s able. As she works to save him, Rachel begins to fall for his dark gaze and seductive touch—and she must remind herself she’s got her younger brother to think of. As memories of her earlier life haunt her, Rachel realizes Jake McCain is far more dangerous than any storm.
    But the past Rachel had hoped to escape suddenly looms over her future. She and Jake have more than a powerful mutual attraction in common—the dangerous gunmen he’s been chasing intend to steal Rachel and her brother, Nathan. 
   Jake vows to protect Rachel, the innocent beauty with a smile that touches his heart and kisses that burn straight through to his soul. Now that he knows life is worthless without love, he’s not about to lose the woman who means everything to him—Rachel, his TEXAS GOLD…

Previously published as TOUCH OF TEXAS


  1. Wow, Tracy, I felt like I was out there battling the cold. What a great excerpt! I look forward to reading the rest of your story. You've got talent! I love that your using your blog to promote #blogaboodscene which is another idea I love. Best of luck to you in the new year.

    1. Thanks, Patti! I'm glad you liked the excerpt. This story is a favorite and I'm thrilled PRP is including it in "Under a Western Sky." I can't take credit for the #blogabookscene idea, but it was fun to use as a launch point.

  2. What a great scene, Tracy!! And what a great collection!! Best of luck with it.

  3. Oh yeah! This is a great story, told well. Thanks for the excerpt. Here's to many more! Doris

    1. Thanks, Doris! I'm glad you enjoyed Rachel & Jake.

  4. Tracy,

    Now that was cold. Holy cow. I've ridden horses in that kind of cold, snow, and wind. I felt the cold right along with him.

    I'm so please that #blogabookscene is catching on. I like your comment that it's a 'launch point' for a blog.

  5. You have a great idea here, Kaye. I already know what February will be. ;-)

  6. Tracy, after eye surgery I'm having to limit my reading time so I haven't read all that is involoved with #blogabookscene, but had to venture to see how this #blogabookscene was handled. I so enjoyed your blog--what a realistic and emotional scene. Awesome, lady. I was right there freezing my digits off with him and that poor horse. Looking forward to this one, of course I love all your stories. This one is a winner for sure. And what a great blog. Wishing you much success with this one.

    1. Thank you, Bev! And I hope your recovery goes smoothly and quickly.

  7. I felt like I needed to put on a sweater to ward off the cold when I read your excerpt. Oh, and I liked the way you presented it by writing "action!" I see you have the Twitter thing mastered--sure wish I did. Taking baby steps with it.
    I wish you great success with Texas Gold, Linda. I think it's going to be a fantastic read.

    1. You're too sweet, Sarah! You'll get there with tweeting (hint: click on the T in that line of gray boxes beside the pencil--at the end of my post.) Good luck!