By: D'Ann Lindun
Congratulations to "Taurus", the winner in D'Ann's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!One particular romance trope I use a lot is a man and woman alone in the mountains. I always find this setting especially suspenseful. I think the reason is because the conflict can come from not only the terrain, but also wild animals, and of course the bad guy. I can set a scene with rain, snow, sleet. Or completely change it up with a gorgeous sunny day for skinny dipping in a mountain lake or hot springs. It’s so easy to creep it up with a bad guy who might be lurking in the trees. Nightfall in the mountains also has a hundred possibilities. Not only the fear of what can happen if the bad guy is about, but the opportunity to put the hero and heroine in close contact.
In my Crimson Romance, Shot Through the Heart Laramie and Derrick have not only a bad guy to contend with—her brother Lawrence is stalking them, and he’s also set a forest fire to try and kill them.
The trail into the valley wasn’t nearly as frightening as the Big Misty side, but it still wound down a narrow and steep path. Laramie’s sore body screamed to collapse by the time they reached the bottom. Derrick led the way to a copse of aspens on the higher western side, dismounted, and before she could get down, moved to lift her off the paint.
Legs shaking, Laramie held onto the horse’s mane determined not to show weakness. Derrick kept his hands on her middle, for which she was grateful. Her shirt had ridden up a little on her left side, and his palm warmed her bare skin.
He led her to a fallen log and helped her sit. “Rest while I unsaddle Apache. I’ll make camp in a bit.” Laramie wished she had the strength to help, but all she could manage was a nod.
He un-tacked the paint and laid their meager supplies near her. “Are you warm enough?”
She shook her head.
Rummaging through the stuff on the packsaddle, he found a denim shirt and helped her slip it on. “Wear this.”
Tears welled in her eyes at his kindness. He had to be bone-weary, too. Yet, he took time to tend to her. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. I need to block the trail. Don’t worry, I won’t be long.” He mounted the gray and rode back the way they’d come.
Laramie watched him ride through the valley like some hero out of an old western movie. But this was no movie, this was all too real. Clouds still obliterated the sun—although the rain had stopped—and a dark cloud of smoke blew across the valley. Just enough light filtered through so Laramie could see her surroundings.
As Derrick promised, the valley was about the size of two football fields, rimmed on all sides by sheer, red cliffs. Deep grass and white-barked aspens offered shelter along the west side. The valley made an ideal corral for the cattle. A waterfall filled a big lake.
A tranquil setting.
I will give one e-copy of Shot Through the Heart to a commenter!
Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there's just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, ten ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!
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