I am into the final edit for the seventh Arizona historical romance due out this month, Bound for the Hills. So far so good :). It's a little different than the others, but does carry on some familiar characters. I always think of my books as novels as much as romances. As a novel, it stands up fine, hopefully also as a spicy romance ;)
This excerpt is in the edit mode; so may change by the time it is actually published. Image above is Willy as she arrives in Payson, a strange world indeed for a lady from San Francisco.
Mr. Gibbons also had worried at a woman going off by herself to live in a lonely cabin. He had tried to convince her that Payson had lovely cottages. “Why not one of those? If not those, there were places that would give you privacy heading east along the Tonto Rim. At least then, there’d be those passing by if you ran into trouble,” he’d said.
She had smiled and insisted she needed a more remote location and finally he had told her of this one. “Jared Smith had it built but his wife hated it.”
“It was poorly built?”
“Beautifully built, as pretty a cabin as I’ve seen, but it was so far from everyone else. Oh, an occasional miner might come through but otherwise, she felt she’d go insane being so alone. She tried. You can tell that by the shrubs she planted but it just wasn’t home to her.”
It had sounded perfect to Willy and she’d smiled and asked for lease papers.
“I will draw them up with an option to buy. That will ensure that you don’t have someone buying it out from under you.”
“Thank you. I didn’t know it was for sale.”
“It has been for someone with cash.” He had handed her the papers. “I hope you are notifying your family where you will be,” he’d said as she perused them before signing.
“My family is all gone on now, Mr. Gibbons.”
She had few, who would care, but she had written to her best female friend. Holly was the reason she had even known about Payson and these mountains. The two had gone to university together. They had lost touch, but when she had decided she needed this experience, needed to get completely away from San Francisco, she’d written of her father’s death, where she intended to be, and that she would be writing a book—she hoped. She had not shared the rest of why she needed to find this respite, this total break from all she had known. Perhaps if they met someday, she would explain the rest. Half of what she was feeling she couldn’t even explain to herself.
“Yes, I did. I trust that you won’t tell anyone where I am should anyone come asking,” she had said rising to leave his office.
“Of course not.” He’d huffed a little.
“If there becomes a problem where you feel I should know of it, please send a missive with Mr. Contrell who will be bringing me supplies twice a month.”
“I am relieved at least of his returns to check on you.”
“I am not a fool, Mr. Gibbons. There are reasons I need this level of privacy. Perhaps someday I can tell you more of them.” He’d nodded with a sigh.