By Niki Turner
Some shameless self-promotion this week, partly because this is a new release, and partly because I just wanted to share this wonderful cover for Her Christmas Outlaw!
“I don’t think this is wise, Mary Jane. Are you sure you’ve thought this all the way through?” Lark trembled as Mary Jane’s fingers deftly fastened the tiny hooks running up the back of the cactus green peau de soie evening gown. She’d never worn anything so fine.Who hasn't, in a difficult moment, imagined making a nighttime escape from life as you know it? Starting over somewhere fresh, leaving behind everything that has held you back and beginning your life anew?
"Don’t get your tail down, Lark,” Mary Jane quipped. “You’re not going to get in trouble. We look enough alike that with the mask on—” she plucked an ornate green satin half-mask off the dresser and waved it in front of Lark’s face “—everyone will assume it’s me downstairs, being a dutiful niece. All you need do is mingle for an hour, then say you have a headache and retire early. By the time everyone rolls out of bed tomorrow, I’ll be long gone, and you’ll resume life as usual with no one the wiser.”
It's a lovely fantasy, and particularly apt for a romantic tale. It's also fraught with potential for danger, deceit and trouble. That's where Lark Livingston finds herself at the beginning of Her Christmas Outlaw. (Available in print and ebook.)
Along the way Lark runs into a rough-and-tumble former preacher-turned-Pinkerton masquerading as an outlaw named Roman Dunning. Roman has to make a choice between mercy and justice.
"The mustache under her finger twitched. It was soft. Softer than she’d thought, and she quelled the insane urge to stroke it.
He wrapped a hand around her wrist and pulled her finger away from his mouth. “As much as I hate to admit it, you’re probably right.”Lark tossed her head. “Of course I’m right. Now let me go.”“One thing first,” he muttered. Then he dipped his head and brought his mouth to hers in a sweet, searing kiss. Something interminably bright and pure blossomed behind her eyes as beautiful as the fireworks she’d seen one year on Independence Day. She leaned into him, hands going first to his chest, then curling around his neck and pulling him closer. He growled, low in his throat, and then he was picking her up by the waist and swinging her bodily onto Crazy Charley’s back. The sudden change in altitude had her gasping for air and clutching at the saddle to steady herself. She felt dizzy. And bereft. And wonderful.
This was a fun story to tell, set in the northwest Colorado territory I call home, near Browns Park, where some of the Wild West's most famous outlaws and their bands hid from the authorities.
Her Christmas Outlaw is part of the A Christmas Masquerade novella collection published by Forget Me Not Romances/Winged Publications.
www.nikiturner.net or visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nikiturnerauthor/. All her books are available on Amazon at amzn.to/2hWOsLV