M.J.’s an old friend of mine from Texas. We knew each other well before either of us was published. I’m so happy for her success! Here’s a note from her:
Sunrise over Texas is my first historical. 1820s Texas was a pretty wild place, and not very settled. I figured a woman living in that environment wouldn’t have the same restrictions put on her as a woman living in society would, so I could make Kit pretty darned independent. THAT was a lot of fun. She knew her own mind and could hold her own. See if you agree.
Texas Frontier, 1826
Kit Barclay followed her husband into the wilds of Texas only to be widowed. Stranded with her mother- and sister- in-law to care for, with no hope of rescue before winter sets in, Kit has only one goal: survival. So when a lone horseman appears on the horizon, and then falls from his mount in fever, Kit must weigh the safety of her family against offering aid and shelter to the handsome stranger.
Trace Watson has lost everything that ever mattered to him. Trying to forget, he heads to the frontier colony of San Felipe, not caring if he lives or dies. But when he wakes to discover he’s being nursed back to health by a brave young widow, he vows to repay her kindness by guiding the three women back to civilization, no matter what the cost.
Soon, Kit and Trace are fighting the elements, Indian attacks and outlaws—as well as feelings they both thought were long buried…
Note for Readers: You must be of legal age in your country of origin to read this excerpt.
Trace woke to the sound of rustling hay and turned on his bedroll to see a vision in white standing over him, lit in the moonlight that spilled through the open window at the
apex of the barn’s roof. He scrambled up to sitting.
“Kit, what’s wrong?”
She lifted his bedroll and nudged him with her knee. He scooted over obligingly.
“Almanzo is just over there,” he protested, raising on his elbows and trying to see his friend in the darkness.
“He’s gone to Graciela.”
He reached past the sleep cobwebs in his head to comprehend her words. “How do you know?”
“I watched him leave. I couldn’t sleep.” She tucked her arm across his waist and rested her head against his chest.
There was nothing sexual in her touch, but his body responded to her closeness, her scent. He stared at the window, willing himself to stay in control. “You can’t do this every time you can’t sleep.”
“Do you want me to go?” she asked, her voice low with the confidence of a woman who already knew the answer.
“Agnes is bound to find out.” A thought occurred to him. “You aren’t doing this so she will get mad, are you? To break away from her?”
“All I want to break away from is being sad all the time. You make me happy.” Her fingers stroked the fabric of his shirt. “I don’t want you to go out with the rangers tomorrow.”
He chuckled. “Don’t you have confidence in your teaching?”
She lifted her head to rest her chin on his chest, her face partly illuminated by the moonlight through the high window. “We’re only just now safe. And you’re ready to put yourself in danger again.”
“I want to do my part. We might not have fared so well if Almanzo and his rangers hadn’t arrived when they did.”
“I know but—I’m afraid.” To counter the vulnerability of her words, she cocked her head and smiled. “I’ve grown rather fond of you.”
Her confession warmed him more than he wanted to admit, and made his heart swell. He turned onto his side to stroke his thumb over her cheek. “Not just the lovemaking?” The question revealed his own insecurities, and he regretted it the moment it left his mouth.
She reached up to trail her fingers over his jaw, his lips. “Seeing you, hearing you, touching you. And making love to you.” She reached down and lifted her gown, then unfastened his long johns as she eased him onto his back, lying over him, her breasts against his chest, guiding him into her with a little gasp. He moaned at the suddenness of her move, and in surprise at how ready she was, how slick. She began to move, just little bumps and slides that were sweet and a little awkward and arousing as hell. He got harder and harder as her body moved shallowly up and down his sex in a strange rhythm, as her mouth sought his. He fisted his hands in the skirt of her gown so he wouldn’t tumble her onto her back and plow into her like a mad man. Without warning, she found her release, her sex growing slicker, clenching him, and she sat over him, straddling, bringing him deeper.
He couldn’t help himself. His hips surged upward, into her tight body, again and again until he came, pulsing into her body.
Perhaps creating a child.
It was the first time he’d had the thought follow so hard on the heels of making love to her, the first time he’d considered becoming a father again that the idea didn’t scare the life from him. Instead he drew her over him, wrapping both arms around her and pressing kisses into her hair as he caught his breath.
The first words he wanted to say were, “I love you.”
Now that scared the life out of him, because he did. Loving someone, then losing her, was the hardest thing he’d ever done.
“You’re very quiet,” she murmured, resting her chin on the back of her hand to look up at him.
“A touch overwhelmed.”
“By my need to be in control?”
“No, I like your need to be in control very much.” He gave into his urge to curve his hands over her hips, and then he slid them down her buttocks to her thighs.
She sucked in her breath, and her eyes darkened as he grew hard inside her again.
“Do you feel like taking control again?”
“I might be willing to—oh! To give it up. Just this once.”
With a chuckle, he tumbled her onto her back.
What kind of characteristics to you like to see in a heroine, historical or otherwise?