Publication date: February 6th 2024
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Western
Can they find her son in time?
Sophie Cayes is on the road to success as an artist. Until her ex-husband threatens to sue for full custody of their son. Upon learning of a guest ranch in Eastern Washington that keeps a room open for women in need, she grabs her son and bolts.
Although Chad Davis loves starting colts on the Seven Tine Guest Ranch, his goal is to have his own spread. Everything’s on course until a woman and her preschool son show up. He’s not thrilled about helping out. Until the boy comes up missing. On his watch.
Along with a tribal cop, they head back to Montana in search of the boy, knowing his dad was the one who kidnapped him. Sophie prays they find him before her ex-husband and his new wife go on the run. Taking her son with them.
“What’s wrong?” Chad took her shoulders and moved her aside. “Oh, crap. That’s not good.”
Her paintings were strewn over her worktable. Every single one—the meadows, deer, rivers, wolves and coyotes, mountains, birds—had been marked up with a black, permanent marker. And each of her nine-by-twelve-inch canvases appeared to have been sliced with something the
size of a Buck knife, like the one Matt packed around. Oh, and there was the buffalo she’d been working on, a gash across his face. Tears pooled in her eyes. “How could he be so evil?”
With quaking fingers, she made a call. “No way.” Her face and ears turned red.
“What’s the matter?”
She shook her head and made another call. “I can’t believe this.”
“Both Matt and Olivia’s phones are no longer in service.” She shoved the cell into her back pocket. “What are we going to do? How am I going to find my son?”
“Chuck will find him.” He had to. Chad strode to the table and began stacking the paintings.
“Don’t bother. Matt’s behind this mess. Besides, we’ll figure out where he has Basin before his fingerprints are processed.”
Sophie ambled over to one of her wooden easels that lay splintered on the brown carpet. “When I left, this canvas . . . was on the . . .” She pointed to the easel. “It was yellow with
brilliant blues and purples . . .” She hiccupped a sob.
The owl painting now lay crumpled on the floor, a dirty footprint across the top. She picked up the piece and traced the rough gash puncturing its heart.
“How will we find Basin? How will I provide for him? I need money to pay rent. It’s due tomorrow.” Sophie squeezed her eyes shut. “Oh, God, why? Why Basin? Why
my paintings? Just when my life had come together. Why?”
Chad brought her to his chest and let her cry. Releasing an animal-like howl, she collapsed into his embrace. “He’ll pay for this.”
Carmen Peone is an award-winning author who loves to write inspirational stories of hope, healing, & horses that lead to happily ever after.
She is one of the few authors who has not always dreamed of writing. It found her. Spupaleena, Carmen’s character in the True to Heart Trilogy hounded her until she told her story. Carmen soon learned how much she loved writing and creating stories with strong female characters.
Besides Carmen’s infinite love for her Dingo Daisy Mae, may she now rest in peace, she loves horses. They brighten dark days, get creative juices flowing when in a slump, and put smiles on the faces of those who visit with them. You can see Buck and Cash on the covers of the True to Heart Trilogy.
You are invited to subscribe to Carmen’s blog and learn about various cultural traditions and life on the reservation as well as Incredible Western Women and fellow author’s new releases. When you sign up for Connect with Carmen, you can receive 3 free gifts as a thank you: Gentling the Cowboy, a contemporary western romance novella; A Horse Lover’s Manifesto; and a contemporary western romance short story, Arami’s Hope.
Carmen is represented by Linda S. Glaz Literary Agency.
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