Shannon here: Janet Chester Bly shares a an excerpt from her latest Contemporary Western Romantic Mystery, Beneath A Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Oct 1 – 4 to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of a paperback (USA only) or PDF edition. Deadline: Oct 12th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janet:
Romancing a ’55 Chevy by Janet Chester Bly:
I’ve told my inner circle of family and reader fans as they read my new novel series, “Watch for the guy with the ’55 Chevy. He’s liable to steal Reba Cahill’s heart.”
When I first started dating my future husband as a senior in high school, I admit his ’55 Chevy Belair intrigued me. Pristine condition. White convertible top. Cobalt Blue body. Red Naugahyde seats interior. In later years, he teased, “That’s the only reason you went out with me.”
“Well, it was part of the package,” I replied.
In Wind in the Wires, Book 1, Trails of Reba Cahill Series, Jace McKane, one of the male characters ushers Reba proudly over to such a car at a junk dealer in the middle of the Nevada desert:
“Only needs a few repairs.”
“Why?” Reba sputtered.
“Why what?” He stared at her in complete confusion.
“Why would you make such a purchase right now?”
“Well, you’ve got your horse and trailer, I’ve got my car.”
She couldn’t see the similarity.
Later, he says, “Next I’ll need to find a ’56 and ’57 Chevy, to complete my set.”
Reba doesn’t get it, until the Chevy becomes a lifesaver for her:
Reba bolted to attention. An idea hit. Jace McKane’s ’55 Chevy! Was it still in that warehouse? If so, they could backtrack east to Fernley and then south to retrieve it. She tried to recall. White convertible top. Glacier Blue body. Red interior. Needed some repair.
She didn’t know if it was still there, and even if it was, Jace may not let them borrow it. He absolutely loved that car. But if it was and if he would allow them to borrow it, they could drive it to Goldfield. They’d stay just long enough to talk her mother into returning to Road’s End, then maybe drive it all the way home. Jace may appreciate the delivery.
A real long shot.
A lot of ifs.
But Jace is fully agreeable. In fact, he suggests it before she can ask. But she must keep it pristine. That becomes a huge challenge for the rest of the story:
She began to feel the pressure. All those rough hours ahead on desert roads with potential for sandstorms, rocks splattered from passing vehicles. Or hitting a critter. She sure wished she had her pickup!
And then, they finally arrive to deliver the Chevy to its owner:
Reba dug deep into the well of satisfaction engulfing her. They got it done. One action on this long, dismal journey ended up right. A gorgeous ’55 Chevy would very soon be signed, sealed, and delivered.
They hiked down the beach, Abel in tow, toward the garage. As they entered, they strolled nearer to the treasure and Reba’s joy faded. Why was the trunk popped open?
She squinted around.
Maybe she chose the wrong aisle. This couldn’t be the car. Globs of mud and grime stained huge dents in the sides. Headlights were bashed. Chunks of tar and gravel scraped streaks along scratches in the hood.
“You call this pristine?” His eyes glinted with barely suppressed rage.
She stood in horror and wondered when she’d fallen asleep and drifted into a nightmare. She slapped herself to wake up. She checked the open trunk. Then a possibility slowly dawned. “Don’t you look that way at me, Jace McKane. Not until you know the whole story.”
“It better be a good one,” he shouted.
Reba paced around the car and considered several scenarios. They all ended with the same conclusion. She peered in the trunk and proved her theory. It was filled with beef jerky, Cheetos, Big Hunk wrappers, and empty cans of beer. The evidence mounted. “Quigley, that’s what,” she yelled back. “That’s the only explanation that makes sense. It had to be him. Somehow he got in here, maybe at one of our gas stops.”
“Quigley who? What are you talking about?”
“The hitchhiker you recklessly allowed into your car on our way to Goldfield last May.”
The potential romance dies before it begins. Not only is the car a mess, Reba manages to blame the disaster on Jace.
However, Book 3, Beneath a Camperdown Elm, begins with Jace and Reba, her mother and his brother, riding the ’55 Chevy back home to Road’s End, Idaho.
And the Chevy eventually becomes the means to proving true love, as a sacrificial offering.
About Janet: Janet Chester Bly is the widow of Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. Together—his, hers, and theirs–they published more than 120 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids (8-12 yrs). Her newest solo adult novel release is a contemporary western romance with a zing of mystery, Beneath A Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Beneath a Camperdown Elm:
Reba’s scary stalker is locked up in jail. She finally snatches a rancher fiancé. Her runaway mother returns home. Reba has everything she ever wanted. But Grandma Pearl has disappeared! Is Reba about to lose it all? In August 1991, at Road’s End, Idaho, three generations of women travel separate journeys of the heart. Reba Mae Cahill brims with joy. Her life’s perfect. She’s finally bringing her prodigal mother, Hanna Jo, home to Road’s End from a Reno mental institute.
With them is Jace McKane, her fiancé, who promises to help fight the unjust lawsuit that threatens the family ranch. He wants a new start, away from his unscrupulous father and all his drama.Just as Reba’s getting Jace trained to become her rancher husband, she discovers Grandma Pearl betrayed her once again, in a way that also harms her mother. Reba believes she’s lost everything—her career, her identity, her lifelong pursuit, and her main reason for marrying Jace. When Jace returns to California to bail out his father and pursue Quigley, a psychotic killer, who escaped from prison, she wonders if he’ll ever return to Road’s End?
Then Hanna Jo claims she sees alleged wild horses in the mountain valleys as she learns her son and ex-husband’s fishing boat sank in an Alaskan sea. Can Reba keep her from flipping out for good?As Grandma Pearl struggles with guilt, health issues, and finding purpose for the rest of her life, will the new church building project provide an answer?Meanwhile, twenty-one-year-old Scottish twin tourists, Archie and Wynda MacKenzie, mesmerize the town with their trick biking skills and charming accents. Reba’s not sure they’re all they claim to be. And someone harasses Reba with letters and phone calls. What are they really after?Will any of the answers be found in the mysteries of an old Scottish elm?
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Janet and their three sons finished Stephen’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. Read the story at the Blybooks Blog
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NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling author Rachel Hauck said of Book 1, Wind in the Wires: “I love your voice! I love the setting…It’s a great story!”
Question for Readers: When has a car figured into one of your relationships? or What is your favorite old car model and why?
Come back Oct 8th for Brennan McPherson!