Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Splash Blog Hop!

You are in for a treat!
 I am offering a free ebook copy of Run into the Wind 
for everyone who subscribes to my newsletter!

If you prefer not to subscribe, you may leave a comment with your favorite summertime treat for a chance to win a free copy!

Run into the Wind, is one of my favorite books. It is about Sabrina, a young woman who is in hiding so she dresses up as a boy(Will), to conceal her identity. She falls for Brock, the hot new Sheriff in town, who thinks she's a boy. 

Hope you enjoy this excerpt!

Sabrina was having another bad day.  She had gotten a splinter in her hand when she was closing one of the stalls and her cramps were not letting up. She sat on a bucket in the sunlight trying to pick the splinter out with a needle. Suddenly a shadow blocked out the sun.
Irritated, she poked herself and winced. She glared up at her visitor. Brock. Perfect.
“What do you want?”  she asked irritably.
“I was stopping by to see if you could help me but it looks like you need some help,” he said, kneeling next to her to take a look at her hand.
“It’s just a splinter; I don’t need your help. I’m behind on my work here, so you’re just outta luck, Sheriff,” she said emphasizing the last word.
“Will!”  A voice sounded from behind her and she cringed. Jack Swanson came up to them and shook Brock’s hand. Sabrina scowled even more if that was possible.
“You do not talk to the good Sheriff or any of my clients that way. I don’t know what’s come over you lately.  You’ve been as wound up as a rattlesnake.  I just came from the saloon. Mac suggested Sheriff Stafford have you show him available places, and I think that’s a great idea. Go get some fresh air, boy.”
Gnawing on her bleeding hand, she shot Brock a dirty look as she moved very slowly to comply. He just kept popping up like a bad penny and she muttered a string of curses to herself as she saddled Star. He could saddle his own damn horse.
Sabrina set a steady pace as they rode out of town. She was familiar with both places that Mac had suggested and decided to head for the shanty first since it was farther away. It was a warm day and Sabrina was sweating under the layers of clothing she wore to hide her curvy figure.
She refused to acknowledge his attempts at casual conversation as they rode. She was hot and mad and figured it was better to just not talk at all. She heard the running brook before she saw it. She slowed to allow Star to drink from the fresh water.  Taking her canteen from her saddlebag she hopped down to refill it upstream. She swallowed her fill and refilled it with fresh water.  Taking her bandanna off, she dipped it in the water and washed her face and neck before wringing it out and wrapping it around her neck. She felt much better.
She noticed Brock and Troy on the other side and walked over to him in spite of herself.  She took care coming up behind Star; it was never a good idea to startle a horse. Horses had a mean kick.  Even the gentle ones could be spooked.
“In a hurry?”  he asked, referring to the quick pace Sabrina had set.
“I’ve better things to do,” she said tartly.
Brock grinned at her.  For some reason he enjoyed taunting the boy. “Sure is warm; maybe we could go for a swim later. If my information is correct, I was told there was a swimming hole nearby the place.” He took his hat off, wiping his face and neck with his own bandanna.
Sabrina couldn’t help staring at the wet curls clinging to his neck and face. She had an urge to push them back in place and bit her lip as she looked away, chastising her thoughts.
“I don’t swim.” Sabrina mounted Star and nudged her into a trot, using the stream as a guide.
Brock easily caught up to her with Troy’s large stride. She had felt like galloping but didn’t want to labor the horse in the heat.
“I could teach you if you don’t know how,” Brock offered generously as he rode next to her.
Sabrina looked over at him, annoyed to see him smiling at her. “I know how to swim, I just choose not to.”
“Your loss,” Brock replied, ending the conversation for now.  He was surprised a short while later when Will announced they had arrived. 
Built into the countryside, the “shanty” as Mac had called it, was an earth dwelling. Three sides were made out of fallen timber that had been cut and hewn to fit together and the back was packed earth as it was dug out of the hillside. The earthy cover extended out and over the roof. The house blended in perfectly with the landscape of trees.
Brock dismounted and went to inspect the inside. He looked back at Sabrina to see if she was coming and was surprised to see her still on Star. “Coming?”  He asked.
She snorted, “Those places are always crawling with bugs. I’ll wait here, thanks.”
“Ya scared of bugs? Aren’t there bugs in the stables?” Brock asked, raising an eyebrow. 
“Of course not! I bet you couldn’t find one spider in my whole stable. I keep it clean.”
Brock grunted something and turned around to enter the house. He moved too quickly and banged his head on the low door frame. He cursed, checking for blood as he held his hand over his forehead. Behind him he could hear laughter.
“Watch out for the low ceilings.”
Gritting his teeth, he disappeared inside. The inside was actually larger than he had expected. It had a small stone fireplace and a wooden floor. It would suit his needs for now but he was thinking of the future. There were cobwebs everywhere with insect carcasses caught inside. He turned around to head back out the door and BAM! He hit his head again on a roofing timber.  Grumbling as he stooped lower, he crossed it off his list.
Sabrina snickered as he came out covered with cobwebs and holding his sore head.
“A bit small,” he mumbled as Sabrina laughed out loud. She leaned down and grasped a piece of cobweb trailing from his hair.  Her hand accidentally brushed his cheek and he looked up at her, catching her eyes for an instant.  He frowned as he watched Will.  The boy seemed embarrassed for some reason. Brock wiped his face again; it was hot.
 Brock spied a glint of light dancing on the surface of a pond partially hidden in the trees.  “Let’s eat before we head off, “ he said. He took Troy’s reins and walked over as Sabrina followed on Star.
“I didn’t pack anything to eat.”
“I had Mac pack enough for two,” Brock said, tying Troy to a nearby tree.
Her eyes narrowed at his response. “So you just assumed I would volunteer to go with you?”
He shrugged “Ordered, Volunteered, what’s the difference?” Brock took his hat off and hung it on his saddle horn. He then started undoing his shirt. Sabrina looked on in horror as his intentions sank in.
“Wh…what are you doing?” she asked, not sure if a real boy would look away or not. Of course, a real boy would not ask someone what he was doing when it was quite obvious what he was doing.  During her moment of indecision, Brock had stripped down naked.  He had thankfully turned his back to her as he removed his pants.
This, of course, gave her a great view of the backside of his body. She stood staring unabashed at his smooth bronze skin stretched taut over his back and buttocks. He was bronze all over just slightly darker on his arms where he was exposed to more sun.  He either skinny dipped a lot or…
“You’re an Indian?” she found herself asking in surprise continuing to stare at his naked form as he waded into the cool water.  She was grateful and dismayed at the same time as Brock ignored her question and dove into the water. He popped up in the middle of the pond a few seconds later.  He tossed his head back to clear the hair out of his eyes as he grinned at her. The water weighed down his curls and they hung straighter and longer just curling a bit at the tips.
 “Sure you don’t wanna take a quick dip?” Brock asked.
“I don’t have time to splash around in the water.  I need to get back to work and so do you.  Banks probably getting robbed as we speak.” She swatted  irritably  at the small annoying insects circling her head. 
The water looked so cool and refreshing, she was sick with envy. She felt a drop of sweat roll down her back to be absorbed in the bundling she wrapped in to cover her breasts and make her waist straight. Defeated, she sank into the grass swatting at the gnats she’d stirred up.
A thought suddenly popped into her head.  She probably stank. That’s why he wanted her to go swimming. She probably smelled of sweat and horses and poo. It was hard for her to sneak off and bathe undetected.  Plus, boys didn’t normally go for bathing very often. It had never bothered her before but all of a sudden, she wanted to bathe, to smell good, to be noticed, and all because of him. Sighing she gave herself a sniff. A bit sweaty but not too bad.  What the heck does one expect in Oklahoma in the middle of summer?
After several minutes of swimming Brock regretfully swam over and climbed out. Sabrina forced herself to look away this time. Brock pulled on his pants and Sabrina took note he didn’t wear any under garments. Leaving his shirt off so he could dry off in the sun, he pulled lunch from his saddlebags.
As he sat down across from her, she tried not to stare at his bare chest and muscular arms as he divided the food.  Mac had packed his specialty: roasted chicken and corn on the cob. Sabrina’s stomach growled as the wonderful aroma was carried to her by the light breeze.
To distract herself, she tore into the food.  She felt she had never been so hungry before. It was as if her body craved food since she wasn’t satisfying its other needs. In addition, she figured with her mouth full she could not say anything stupid, right?
“How can you have curly hair if you’re an Indian?”
Brock raised an eyebrow. “Why do you think I’m an Indian?”
She blushed at this; she couldn’t help it. “Um..well---you’re tan all over. I grew up with Indians; I must have been daft not to notice before.”
“I’m half Comanche.”
“Which half?” Sabrina asked, wondering curiously how he came to be.
Brock laughed at that. “I’ll tell you another time.  What do you mean, you grew up with Indians?”
Sabrina smirked back at him. “I’ll tell you another time.” Finishing her food, she stood up and stretched. Questions were bringing on more questions.
“Why do you pretend to be white?”
“I never said I was white. People see what they want to see.”
She nodded at that; she knew all about people making assumptions. It is what she’d counted on to keep her secret safe for the last couple of years. “You’ll like the McAllister place much better. It’s closer to town and has a barn that’s big enough to house several horses.” She picked up her pace, now eager to show him the place.  Brock stared after her, a thoughtful expression on his face.

Welcome to the 2013 Summer Splash Blog Hop, brought to you by the writers of Indie Writers Unite.  There's all kinds of swag to be won as well as some amazing grand prizes (see below for grand prize information)

Each writer will be hosting their own giveaway on their blogs and offering their own prizes in addition to the grand prizes.  Click HERE to start hopping the author pages.
Want a teaser of some of the items up for grabs on the author pages? Click HERE

 As the for the grand prizes, there are 6.  What are they?

#1 Kindle Fire 8.9 HD


#2 $100 Amazon Gift Card

#3 $50 Amazon Gift Card

#4 15 paperbacks personally signed by our authors

#5 38 Ebooks gifted to you from our authors

#6 38 eBooks (yep, we're doing this not once, but twice)!



It's that simple. We'll keep track of all the tweets and then draw for the grand-prize winners at the end of the hop. Winners will be announced on or before July 31st on this site. 

Tweets MUST include:

1. The hashtag #splashwithus (This is how we track them)
2. A link to the blog hop.

You may tweet as much as you like throughout the hop. 

More Tweets = More Chances to WIN!!!

***As a side note, our authors will be tweeting about the hop as well, but they are not eligible for any of the grand prizes.***

Here are some sample tweets you can cut/paste:

WIN a $300 Kindle Fire, Amazon gift cards & more at the #bloghop #giveaway #win #freekindle #splashwithus #amreading

WIN FREE SWAG at the author #bloghop include a kindle fire! #freekindle #free #giveaway #win #splashwithus 

ENTER TO WIN A KINDLE FIRE at the author blog hop #kindlefree #free #lovebooks #win #giveaway #splashwithus #win

WIN BIG at the author blog hop. More than 50 prizes including a kindle fire HD! #kindlefire #amwriting #splashwithus


To enter to win the free signed paperback books and the free booksfor your kindle, you MUST visit every single author blog hop page and enter whatever contest/giveaway they are running.  Once you've visited them all, send an email HERE, with the subject line: FREE BOOKS.