Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hope on the Horizon by Cassie Hayes

I was so honored last summer when Debra Holland asked me to help launch her new Montana Sky Kindle World. Of course, I immediately said yes — ‘squeed’, is more like it — and started planning my contribution. While I could have connected my book to one of my other series — Gold Rush Brides or Dalton Brides — this was the perfect chance to work on a new series set in a fictional western town. The question was, where?

Gold Rush Brides is set in California, the Dalton Brides in Texas. I know Montana and Wyoming are popular settings for westerns but I wanted something a little different. I ended up choosing northern Idaho, somewhere in the vicinity of Coeur d’Alene. The country is beautiful up that way and there are plenty of opportunities for colorful characters to inhabit my new town of Hope Springs. In fact, you get to meet several of them in the epilogue of Hope on the Horizon.

I hope you enjoy Cora and Jasper’s journey to love…and hope.

EXCERPT for Hope on the Horizon
For the first time in her life, she’d met a man who wasn’t trying to make her do whatever he wanted. It frustrated her beyond words because, now more than ever, she needed a knight in shining armor to save her. Thinking hard, she came up with a different approach.

“Okay, then what would you do?”

He squinted at her, his upper lip twitching.

“You ain’t gonna trick me that easy, Cora. That’s just a roundabout way of getting me to tell you what to do.”

Squatting down in front of her, he placed a calloused hand on hers resting in her lap. Heat infused her skin in a way she’d never experienced before, not even when Amos had claimed her as his wife. Especially then. But Jasper’s simple, gentle touch had her tummy doing somersaults. Her brain told her to yank her hands back, to pull away from the feelings, but she lacked the will. Instead, she met his unwavering gray gaze and held her breath, wishing the moment would never end.

“It’s probably gonna be different for you, Cora, but right here, right now, you’re in complete control of your life. You gotta do what’s right for you now.”

As she basked in his gaze, Cora wondered what he’d say if he knew that what she wanted to do more than anything was kiss him.

When tragedy strikes, love blooms…

Jasper Eaton couldn’t be happier with his life. Despite having the deck stacked against him since the day he was born, he beat the odds and found himself a home in Morgan’s Crossing, Montana. He has friends, a farm and a future brighter than the stars in the night sky. Nope, he couldn’t be happier.

Or could he?

Cora Winters is a good girl who always does what she’s told. When she’s forced to marry an older man headed west, she never dreams she’ll end up widowed, injured and left for dead by the side of the road.

After Jasper rescues her, Cora proves to be a charming helpmate on his farm as she recovers. But it won’t last long. For the first time in her life, Cora must choose her own path. She could settle in Montana or continue on to her homestead in Hope Springs. But heading to Idaho would mean leaving Jasper behind because he would never give up his farm.

Or would he?

As their friendship blossoms, they each dare to dream of a better life together. When Cora’s past comes back to haunt them both, a gunman’s bullet threatens to kill their future before it even begins.

Hope on the Horizon is the prequel to the Western Sunset series, set in the fictional town of Hope Springs, Idaho. Look for the first book in the series in April, 2016.

Bestselling author Cassie Hayes grew up pretending she was Laura Ingalls (before that pesky Almanzo arrived on the scene) in the middle of Oregon farm country. She lives with her husband and cat on the Pacific Ocean and loves to hear from her readers.

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