It’s almost October, which means … It’s time for my annual ghost story! The Ghosts of High Paradise Ranch Series features a new ghost story each year.
The first book in the series, Haunting a Cowboy, is available in ebook and paperback now! Get your copy HERE
When ranch foreman Thad McCade’s life is disrupted by something supernatural, he reluctantly allows a ghost whisperer in to try to clear his home. But Madam Ruby is not at all what he expected. She’s actually Cheyenne Redford, wears a business suit, drives an expensive SUV, and Thad would rather have her whisper in his ear than whisper away the ghost that haunts him.
The second book in the series, Unforgiven Spirit, is also available in ebook and paperback now! Get your copy HERE
While investigating complaints in western Montana, government employee Susana Kader is run off the road by a bizarre glowing horse and rider. Following a strange glowing rider to a remote portion of the High Paradise Ranch, foreman Reede Munro finds Susana stranded. Unable to resist their wild mutual attraction, they spend a hot afternoon in his bed, but the ghostly presence is determined to meddle. When Susana’s secrets are exposed, she knows her days with Reede are over. Can fate intercede before Reede and Susana make the biggest mistake of their lives?
Book 3, Ghostly Charades, will be available October 14! Here’s a saucy excerpt for you.
Excerpt from Ghostly Charades: On the little kitchen table, Hart had set out some cheese, fruit, and nuts, and they stood and nibbled for a few minutes, talking about RosaLynn’s drive out from town and the location of the ranch. She took note of the new blue jeans and the long-sleeved plaid shirt he wore. He’d dressed up for this, and she’d just barely taken thirty seconds to choose a shirt.
“Let me show you around the house.” Placing his hand on her back, he guided her into the dining room, where the table was set with two places and a tall candle in the middle.
“This is nice. Did you decorate yourself?” She touched the sleek credenza in the corner.
“No, not me. When Reede and Susanna moved out, they took all the furniture, and replaced it with this. It’s called, um…” Hart squinted and held his breath for a few seconds. “Oh wait, it’s mid-century…” He looked at her, his lost expression pleading for help.
“Yes. That’s it.” He touched the wildly patterned curtains. “It’s what would have been in the house when it was first occupied, according to Susanna and Cheyenne, but I can’t quite see a foreman decorating up the place like this, no matter what time of the century it was.”
RosaLynn laughed, so hard she had to set down her wine.
Hart laughed too, a bit self-depreciatingly. “I just speak out sometimes, a little too much truth and a little too little tact.”
“Tact is far too overrated, Hart.” She placed her hand on his bicep before she realized what she was doing, and they both froze for a few seconds. Taking a deep breath, she removed her hand and sipped wine. “It’s very nice, and these hardwood floors are gorgeous.”
He gestured for her to precede him into the next room. “Cheyenne bought me this creepy little vacuum thing, it’s like a big platter and it goes around the house by itself. Scares the shi… the crap out of me half the time.”
He sounded so flustered, she laughed again, shaking with the image of a robotic vacuum startling this big, macho cowboy. “Bet you’re tempted to put it outside some days, let it suck itself full of dirt.”
Hart laughed. “Actually, yes, but it bein’ a gift and all, I just couldn’t do it.”
The living room furniture was all very stylized and matched the curtains and rugs. Except for the overstuffed recliner and giant television screen. She patted the back of the recliner. “Your addition to the décor?”
“You know it.” He pointed to a hallway. “Wash room and bedrooms down that way.” He scuffed his booted foot on the floor. “I wasn’t sure how you wanted to do the stay-over part. I should alert Seneca if you’re thinking of staying at her place.”
RosaLynn should probably request the woman be here for the evening, and ask to stay with her at her house, but it didn’t feel right. Staying here with him did, and she’d learned the hard way to trust her intuition. “If it’s okay, I’ll just grab a nap here after…whatever happens happens, then head back to Libby.”
“Whatever makes you feel comfortable, RosaLynn.” His body seemed to grow larger, his presence taking up all the space in the room, sucking away the air. “And if you change your mind, we can make other arrangements with a moment’s notice.” He stuck his thumb in his belt loop. “I’m the boss around here, and whatever I say is law.”
She laughed once more, not even remembering how long it had been since she’d had this much fun with anyone. They wandered back to the kitchen where she sat at the table and nibbled on cheese while he regaled her with tales of learning to cook.
As he drained the potatoes and mashed them by hand with butter and cream, he talked about the day he was promoted from busboy to cook. “When the owner realized the cook had taken all the expensive equipment from the diner and wasn’t coming back with it, he yanked off my busboy apron and put me in a white jacket. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to cook.”
“How did you manage without the equipment?” She bit into a piece of brie cheese that melted like butter in her mouth.
“The owner made about seven trips to the stores in town before he had enough of the basics for me to get by.” He stopped mashing and stared out the window. “I’d cooked at home for my family, then after high school, had applied all over the region, but without a diploma from a cooking school, all I could get was that busboy job.”
“And it paid off.”
He gave her a half smile. “It did, and I miss it.”
“Of course, that begs the question, why are you a ranch foreman now instead of a chef?”
With a shake of his head, he set the potatoes on the stove and opened the oven door. “That’s a story for another bottle of wine.”
Elusive. She could sense him holding back emotion, choking back anger, too. “You said that was in Utah?”
He pulled out a big blue roasting pan, the contents steaming, and set it on the stove. “Yep. A little place north of Zion National Park.”
“Beautiful area. Do you get back there often?”
“No. It’s been a couple years.” Hart flapped the hot pads together and effectively drew her line of questioning to a halt. “Will you give me a hand?”
“I’m happy to.” They hauled platters and bowls to the table and RosaLynn gorged herself on the best meal she’d had in years. Her sighs and moans of appreciation started to sound more like bedroom noises, so she brought the conversation around to her family in California, and her masters degree courses in Arizona.
He got a few text messages during the meal, and excused his need to look because they could be ranch business, and she waved off his apology, understanding the significance of his position here on the ranch. They talked in detail about her new business and what she actually did, she gave his duties just as detailed a quizzing, then they talked about how they should really stop eating so there’d be some leftovers for them to snack on at midnight.
A banging sounded from the back of the house.
Hart’s eyes went wide. He swung around to look out the window at the pitch darkness. “Here we go.” He gulped down the last of his wine.
Be sure to grab your copies of Haunting a Cowboy and Unforgiven Spirit, then watch your in-box for release news of Ghost Charades!