Please welcome my guest, Linda Carroll-Bradd
Why did you write this story, Linda?
I love responding to publisher calls for submissions because within the call is a hint of the direction to take in brainstorming a plot. I already have a story set in 1880s Aspen with this publisher and the call specified two more important aspects: winter time and a cowboy. So I figured why not use that setting? (Plus I’d already done tons of research about the area).
Additional research revealed a long-standing animosity between cattle ranchers and sheep herders in this area of Colorado Territory. So there I found my external conflict. Because I’d learned about the tragedy of Great Blizzard of 1886 while writing another story, I wanted to set this novella in the aftermath and show the impact on an individual.
My hero, Konrad Windsor, is determined not to lose another steer to the elements, and the heroine, Anora Huxley, may have a solution with the dogs she trains for working her family’s sheep. But their first interactions turn out all wrong.
After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Windsor needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals?
Twirling her finger like a tornado, Celina grinned. “Turn so I can see from all angles.”
“And I can move.” First, she bent over to touch her toes. “See?” Then, with hands on her waist, she leaned from side to side. She was just finishing the last quarter of her second spin to display her outfit when the bell over the door tinkled.
“Gaelle, you about ready to leave?” a deep voice asked.
At the familiar sound, Anora gasped. She dropped her hands to her sides at the same moment she came to a stop at the sight of that man filling the doorway. Her skirts swished around her legs a couple of times before settling.
“Yes, I’m ready.” Gaelle was quick to answer.
His eyes widened as he ran his gaze down her length from head to toe and then flicked to the table where her underthings lay. With a slow move, he dragged his hat off his head and pushed the door closed behind him. A quirk pulled at one corner of his mouth.
Beard-stubbled, the man had been good looking. Clean-shaven, he was downright handsome. Heat flashed in Anora’s cheeks, and she panted, not taking in enough air. Certainly this breathlessness had to do with the corset, and not with the appearance of this attractive but arrogant man. Her gaze caught his dark one, the color of hot cocoa, and her stomach leapt, like when she took a tumble. She had to look away.
Stifling a squeal, she dashed forward, bunched the garments together, and stuffed them under her coat. Then she whirled and pinned him with a hard stare. “What on earth are you doing here?”
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication–a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/lindacarroll-bradd