While reading the book Soiled Doves- Prostitution in the Early West I discovered that the "city" prostitutes would go on "vacation" in the summer time to the mountains where it was cooler and the sheep herders and cowboys were hanging out taking care of livestock in the upper regions.
Then while driving around the Steens Mountains in SE Oregon my husband and I came upon Happy Meadow in an area where sheep or cattle would have been summered. My imagination went to work and I came up with a short story that released this week with The Wild Rose Press in their Love Letters Series.
Schooling Miss Burke is a fun short read that I hope leaves a smile on your face when you finish. I enjoyed writing this story because of the inspiration and the characters.
Blurb for Schooling Miss Burke
A letter from home shatters politician Caleb Jamison's world, returning him to his empty family home and cattle ranch.
Hettie Burke's life takes a life-altering turn when she becomes the parent of her twin niece and nephew. Looking for work, she stumbles upon a covey of soiled doves on vacation and learns sometimes fate takes precedence over best-laid plans.
“It’s late and I need to check on the children.” Hettie stepped away from the man, but he kept his grip on her elbow.
“Allow me to escort you to the wagon. I’d hate to have you trip again.” He stopped at the back wagon wheel. “Will you be here tomorrow?”
Her thoughts all jumbled together. She shouldn’t remain with these women, it wasn’t a good example for the children, but she was tired of traveling on her own. The company was welcome. And then the strange attraction she felt for this man…
“We should continue. I’m expected for a teaching job.”
“There isn’t a school open right now, it’s harvesting time. Stay a couple days.” He slid a hand down her arm. He raised her knuckles to his lips. His warm breath moistened the back of her hand as he kissed her. “I’d like to get to know you better.”
Tendrils of excitement swirled up her arm and warmed her chest. “I’ll think about it.” She withdrew her hand from his and turned to climb into the wagon.
“I’ll be back tomorrow.” His breath warmed the back of her neck and he disappeared.
Buy link: The Wild Rose Press