If you are a writer, you know that your abilities grow the more you write. I felt I could bring something to the earlier books that I wanted them to have. The first was actually written in the 1990s, when the craft of writing itself had different expectations. The story held up well as did the characters, which made it worth taking time to edit once again.
If you already own this book, go to Amazon Manage your Content and find your Kindle, requesting an update for it. Never delete it there or you'd have to either buy it again or email me. Amazon though would have sent you the update if you had your device set to request them.
Arizona Sunset begins in 1883 and travels from Tucson into southern Arizona and concludes in Tombstone. It's about a relationship, a time in history, and a part of the country.
Sam and Abby don't meet in a conventional way and their marriage is begun with expectations on both sides that prove to be unrealistic-- not too unusual in many marriages. Theirs though has a few additional complications.
She put a few more sticks of wood into the stove. She remembered Sam saying he had potatoes and salt pork. How difficult could it be to peel potatoes and fry them with some salt pork? She set about finding a knife, then the potatoes.
When Sam returned to the kitchen washed up and in clean and dry clothes, the potatoes had been more or less peeled. The more being a lot of potato was in the sink with the peelings and the less meaning a lot of peeling remained adhered to the potatoes, but she did have them in a large pan and was stirring them The salt pork was frying on the griddle.
There was no way for her to hide the cloth bound around her finger, but she hoped he would not comment.
"That’s a stupid question,” she said rudely, immediately wishing she could take back the words as she saw his face pale. She had said something more caustic than she’d intended. “I just meant it should be obvious.”
"To somebody who isn't a dummy.” He walked to the sink and pumped water into a glass, seeming to inhale it in one swallow.
"I didn't mean it that way," she said. "I'm sorry. I didn't take your apology earlier very well. Are you going to take mine more graciously?"
He managed a smile around the swollen places on his lips and cheeks. "We'll start over."
"Before or after we got married?"
"Was that a mistake?"
She managed a shrug. “Was it?”
Something skittered at her feet and Abigail let out a shriek.
He was at her side almost instantly. "What is it?"
"Mouse," she said in a small voice.
"Mouse?" he repeated with disbelief. "Surely you've seen a mouse before."
"Of course," she glowered at him. "I just don't like them, that's all." She looked nervously around her booted feet grateful she was also wearing her riding skirt, not a long skirt where it could get up inside it. The thought made her tremble.
Sam grabbed his gun from the table. "If he comes back, yell."
Her mouth dropped open. "You wouldn't shoot him in the house, surely?"
He smiled again, that devilish smile that, even bruised as it was, turned her insides to mush. "You want me to set a trap? I guess that'd work too."
She realized then he was teasing her and felt it doing strange things to her insides to realize that he had a sense of humor.
He pointed to the stove and she saw the smoke. "Oh no," she cried, heading for her fork and finding his hand there first. He took the salt pork from the heat and deposited it on the plate she'd readied for it. It looked more like burnt offerings than food.
Sam looked at the potatoes, which were a mix of raw and burnt too, and then he looked at her.
"I have a small confession to make," she said, looking down at her folded hands.
"I have a feeling I can guess what it is."
"When I told you I could cook, I lied."
"So I see."
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have deceived you."
Sam had suffered a lot worse deception from women and thought if that was the only way she deceived him, he wouldn't complain. He doubted it would prove to be true. Experience was a hard taskmaster, and he'd learned his lessons on some of the hardest.