Shannon here: Miralee Ferrell shares a romantic excerpt and a chance to win her latest historical novella, The Dogwood Blossom Bride included in the 12 Brides of Summer collection. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Nov 21st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Miralee:
Will came to a fork in the road and reined his horse to a stop under a flowering dogwood. If he remembered correctly, the Warren home and woodworking shop were to the right, but he’d better reread the directions in Curt’s letter.
Will kept one hand on the reins and reached around with the other to his saddlebag. He fumbled with the buckle but finally got it open. As he searched inside, something overhead in the widespread branches of the dogwood tree rustled the leaves, and a shower of pink blossoms cascaded onto his shoulders. Dusty, his dapple-gray gelding, snorted but didn’t move.
The branches close above his head shifted and swayed, and two trouser-clad legs with boots beneath dangled above Dusty’s nose. The horse bolted forward, making Laura’s horse snort and shy.
Will tightened the reins and brought the startled horse to a stop. “Laura. Calm your horse, then get off.”
He waited until the girl obeyed; then he swung Dusty around and heeled him forward, halting him directly under the small boots. Definitely a youngster, but one who needed to be more careful. “Hey you. Boy. Come down here.”
A gasp and then a titter sounded above him, but no one answered.
“This isn’t funny. You can’t go around swinging from trees and spooking horses. My niece nearly got hurt.”
Even the birds that had been scolding from branches high up in the neighboring tree had stilled their chatter, but the boy didn’t respond. In fact, one leg slowly withdrew until the top of the boot began to disappear into the foliage.
“Oh no you don’t.” Will stood in his stirrups and grasped the other dangling leg just above the boot. “You aren’t going to get off that easy.” He kept a tight grip on the boy and released his reins. He grabbed the other leg at the knee, and yanked.
Gracie felt the strong grip on her leg and gasped once again as she almost lost her grip on the tree. This was most definitely not Jerold Carnegie. She had no idea who it might be, as she’d never heard his voice before, but the man seemed determined to dislodge her from her perch. She held on to the branch above her with all her might.
How humiliating—and a bit frightening—to be yanked from a tree by a stranger—or by anyone, for that matter. Gracie’s cheeks burned. And he thought her a boy who’d purposely spooked his horse. She’d been daydreaming and hadn’t even realized the man had stopped under her tree, or she’d not have allowed her feet to dangle.
It had been a foolish whim to try to shock Mr. Carnegie and scare him off from wanting to court her, and she’d changed her mind minutes ago. She’d climbed to the lowest branch possible with the intention of jumping down and heading home. Maybe her father was right, and it was time she gave up such foolishness.
If only she could get a better grip and climb high enough in the dogwood to keep from being found out by this stranger. Her heart thumped hard in her chest. What would he do to her if he caught her?
About Miralee: Miralee Ferrell’s debut novel released in the fall of 2007, and fifteen more have followed. Her historical western romance, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, won the Will Rogers Excellence in Western Fiction award in 2012, and her first book in the four-book Love Blossoms in Oregon series, Blowing on Dandelions, hit the ECPA Best Seller list. Since then she’s ventured into writing horse novels for middle-grade kids, and opened her own publishing company, Mountain Brook Ink, featuring Christian fiction. Miralee and her husband have been married over 40 years and live in the beautiful Columbia Gorge in WA State, where she loves to ride horses, garden, take walks, play with her dogs, and minister to women. Learn more and connect: Miralee’s Website Miralee’s Facebook
About the book – 12 Brides of Summer novella collection – The Dogwood Blossom Bride:
Gracie Addison is a tree-climbing tomboy, and practical Will Montgomery objects to her unladylike influence on his niece. Will his judgmental attitude come back to bite him?
Can’t wait for the drawing?
Question for readers: What is your favorite flowering tree or bush?
Come back Nov 18th for Yvonne Lehman!