#newrelease Cinders' Bride Mail Order Brides of Texas by Kathleen Ball #ASMSG #BOOKBOOST #IARTG
Announcing My New Release
Mail Order Brides of Texas
by Kathleen Ball
Shannon McMurphy travels to Asherville, Texas as a mail order bride
expecting to marry a rancher. Instead, her intended is a saloonkeeper.
Her refusal to marry enrages John Hardy and he slices her cheek with a
knife so no other man would want her. She runs into the street and no
one helps her until Cinders comes along.
Sexy, Rancher Cinders saves Shannon and offers her a job. To protect
her reputation he marries her. They both agree it’s a marriage of
convenience. He admires her spunk and willingness to learn everything
about surviving the Texas frontier. He waits for her to ask to go home
but she never does.
They learn a lot about each other through, stolen horses, Indian
troubles, a cattle drive and the busybodies of the town. Their
attraction for each other grows, but can they learn to trust enough to
Patting Shannon’s hand
Edith shook her head. “No, honey, John doesn’t own a ranch. Oh my, what did you
say your name was?”
Her stomach knotted and
she felt the blood drain from her face. He didn’t own a ranch? He deceived her.
“Mrs. Mathers my name is Shannon. What do you mean? Do you know where he is?
I’d like to talk to him.”
“He’s at the saloon. He
Shannon jumped up. “Is
it all right if I leave my bag with you? It appears I have something to straighten
Edith nodded. “Of
Seeing something akin
to pity as she passed by the other customers, she lifted her chin and
straightened her back as she marched down the walk to the saloon. The scarred,
wooden, swinging doors intimidated her. They were imposing as she stood gazing
at them trying to gather her courage. A saloon? There had to be a mistake.
The clinking glasses
and roars of laughter stopped the moment she stepped through the doors. She
didn’t care if they gawked at her, she had to locate Mr. Hardy and get an explanation.
“It’s not often we get
a pretty little thing like you entering my place.”
Her heart dropped when
she set eyes on the speaker. She studied the rotund man with dirty, greasy,
dark hair and the look of the devil in his eyes.
“Are you John Hardy?
The John Hardy who proposed marriage to me?” She held her breath wishing for
him to say no.
“You must be my Shannon.”
He smiled showing the lack of bottom teeth. He stepped in front of her and peered
her up and down, his gaze lingering on her breasts. Putting his arm around her waist,
he turned so they were both facing the rag tag bunch in the saloon. “What do
you think fellas? A new one to add to my little doves?”
The crowd cheered as
she tried to loosen his bruising grip. “Now look here, you disgusting liar! You
misrepresented yourself. I’m not marrying you or becoming one of your little
doves. I’m sure I can find another groom much better than you.” She wrenched
free from him.
“Better than me?” he snorted,
his voice full of anger.
“Not better than you, I
meant someone more suited to me is all.” Glancing out of the corner of her eye,
she could tell he wasn’t buying it.
“Are you refusing to
marry me?” His body tensed and his eyes narrowed as he grabbed her arm again.
Without thinking, she
nodded. The back of his hand flew at her face and sent her crashing into the
wall. She stumbled and lunged for the door, but John grabbed her by the hair
and led her to the bar. With his elbow, he pinned her head to the countertop as
he yanked her hair, forcing her to face him. Quickly she lunged for the door,
but John grabbed her by her hair and led her to the bar pinning the side of her
face to the top.
Fear paralyzed her and
she couldn't move or breathe as John slid the knife blade across her face. The
throbbing pain made her scream as he threw her out the doors and onto the dirty
John followed and
laughed as she wiped the blood from her split lips. “No one will want you now.
You might as well get inside before everyone sees how hideous you are.”
Reaching up she touched
her throbbing painful cheek and felt the blood before she brought her hand in
front of her to confirm it. He’d slashed her face with the knife. The pain
almost blinded her as spots crowded her eyes, but she held on. “I’d rather be
dead than be with you.” Her voice trembled as she tried to put on a brave
John growled and
stepped closer. “I can arrange that for you.” His dark eyes flashed at her and
she saw such darkness in his eyes that she truly believed him capable of
The world seemed eerily
quiet as she pushed herself up from the hard packed dirt, only to fall back
down. Her ankle hurt. Tears filled her eyes, as she glanced around. There stood
the women from the mercantile, staring, and their eyes full of terror. She’d
get no assistance from them.
John Hardy strutted into
the street and laughed while he gestured for two of his men to pick her up.
“Come on, honey, it’s time for our honeymoon.”
She heard the clomping
of hooves and the turn of wagon wheels behind her but the wagon didn’t stop to
help her either. By this time, a crowd had gathered and now there were men
standing with the group of women. She tried to plead for help with her eyes but
they glanced away.
Two men grabbed at her
to haul her back into the saloon when a loud cocking of a gun erupted from
“Put her down.” A man's
John stepped forward,
thrusting out his chest. “Listen, Cinders, this is none of your business. It’d
be in your best interest to leave things be.”
The world began to dim and
spin, the smell of blood was the last straw. She fainted.