I loved writing my Montana Bounty Hunters series, and I’m really enjoying “meeting” the hunters and townsfolk in my new spinoff series, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, Montana. The stories are all fun. The heroes are hot and very physically capable (even Brian, folks!). The heroines are all strong, smart, and sassy. And their adventures are often so dang funny. I love getting to “live” inside this world while I write, and it’s very, very gratifying that so many of you love these stories, too. It’s a good thing because I’ll be writing them for a long time.
Book #2 of the series, Preacher, releases on January 19th! I’m still putting the finishing touches on the book. Preacher and Laura have been so much fun to write. And yes, they fall for each other really fast. Write what you know is what they tell authors to do, and since, in my life, I only ever fell in love really, really fast, I write from a place of knowing what that’s like. No long buildup from friendship to happy ever after. No. Not for me. It’s insta-lust until one or the other realizes they really “like” being with that other person. Plus, dangerous situations can force people to have to learn to trust each other quickly. Et voilà! Love happens.
I’ve included the opening of the story here for you to enjoy, just so you can meet more of the hunters in this series and get a taste for the kind of job they do. There are mentions of the cable TV show the original bounty hunters cast do and “Bounty Hunter Barbie” who is Lacey Jones and a fan favorite from the original series, too. Lacey and her man Dagger are in Dead Horse for a while until Cage (the hero from the first book) staffs up his office. I swear you don’t have to read the other books to figure out who’s who!
Buckle up—and pre-order your copy now! The book will be available only on Amazon, at first, and it’ll be FREE in KU. Print will come shortly afterward.
An ex-Delta Force soldier, now Montana Bounty Hunter, finds himself bemused as he slips naturally into protector-mode when a small-town dessert chef is threatened by mysterious attacks.
From the opening of Preacher…
“Preacher, got my eyes on the back door.”
Dylan “Preacher” Priestley eyed the ground between his position, hiding behind a tree in a neighboring yard, and the front door of the property they currently surveilled. Twenty feet tops. Marti, his partner on this takedown, had already circled the house while he’d stood watch, sliding along the wood siding and popping up to peer into windows. According to her, there were three men inside playing poker around the kitchen table. One of them was their target, Jasper Quigley.
“Cage is on his way here,” Preacher said softly. “There will only be the three of us. Dagger and Lacey are still making their way back from Anaconda.” Jasper’s meek-looking mama had sent Dagger and his girlfriend on a wild-goose chase, telling them Jasper had holed up there.
Yeah, Jasper was probably feeling pretty smug right about now. He’d given them the slip twice now. Once, when a bartender in Anaconda, whom they’d promised money for a tip, had let them know he was playing cards in an illegal game in the backroom. The second they’d crashed through the door, the skinny fucker had bailed out a window and was on his bike and gone before Cage, who’d been watching the back door, could manage to get around the side of the establishment.
The second time he’d escaped had been when he’d dropped by his best friend’s house for a shower and a resupply before heading back out into the woods in Gallatin National Forest. A neighbor they’d also offered to reward for information regarding his whereabouts had called to let them know when Jasper had just rolled in. By the time they’d mustered the team, Jasper had been long gone, and according to his buddy, he was camped out in the woods where they’d never find him.
With over 2,800 square miles of territory to search in Gallatin, they’d decided to set up cameras to watch all the likely places he might return to…his mom’s, his best friend’s, his girlfriend’s. That way they wouldn’t have to rely on anyone else. And since Anaconda, Jasper’s stomping grounds, wasn’t far from Dead Horse, they could be there the second their tech guru and general flunky, Fredericka “Fig” Newton, let them know.
She’d called an hour ago, having spied a man on a bike arriving after dusk at Jasper’s best friend’s house.
While they hadn’t been certain the man was Jasper, it had been over a week since the twice-convicted felon had come in for a resupply, and the weather had cooled considerably. So, they took the chance since there were only days to go before the bounty ran out.
Footsteps crunched in the dried leaves behind him. Preacher tensed and glanced behind him, just making out a large, burly shadow moving toward him.
His boss, Cage Morgan, lifted his chin when he got closer. “What do we have?”
“Marti’s already scoped out the place. Three men are in the kitchen playing poker. Jasper’s one of them. She sliced one of Jasper’s tires while she was at it to make sure we don’t have the same issue we had in Anaconda.”
“Knew I liked that girl.”
In his ear, he heard a soft grunt coming from Marti.
Preacher’s lips twitched. After working with her for two weeks, he was certain “the girl” had the personality of an old wooden post. “It’s a shotgun house. Going in the front, kitchen’s right past the living room on the right.”
“One of them is wearing a shoulder holster. Since they were all seated, she couldn’t see what the other two are packing.” Preacher dug into a pouch on his web belt and pulled out an extra earpiece which he handed to Cage.
Cage took a moment to flick it on and insert it in his ear. “You hear me, Marti?”
“Got a plan, Preach?”
Preacher shrugged. “Break down the door and kick some ass…?”
“Sounds good to me,” Marti said in his ear.
Cage grimaced. “Let’s try a little more finesse. I don’t like that we can’t be sure whether they’re going to draw weapons.” He let out a sigh. “Hey, Marti? Think you can be our Lacey tonight?”
“I wish like hell one of you two had boobs,” she muttered.
Preacher chuckled, following Cage’s thread and Marti’s disgust.
“I’m stripping,” she growled.
Cage patted his shoulder. “You get around to the back. She’s going in the front. When she’s had a chance to suss out whether they’re all armed, she’ll let us know.”
“What am I supposed to say?” Marti groused. “Hey, is that a gun in your pants or are you just glad to see me?”
Preacher grinned in the shadows. Marti’s flat tone made the snarky comment all that much funnier.
“Yeah, like that,” Cage said, his smile gleaming.
“Okay. Stashed my shit,” she said.
Preacher gave Cage a thumbs up then made his way from the tree line to the corner of the house, just in time to see Marti crouch low and edge her way along the side of the house before straightening beside the porch. It looked like she’d taken a knife to her T-shirt to cut off the arms and most of the neckline, then she’d tucked the tight shirt into her black cargo pants. Her hair was loose and fell in fluffy waves around her shoulders; her lips were glossy and red. Until the moment she stood beneath the porch light, he hadn’t realized she was actually kind of cute.
He kept moving until he was behind the house and stood in the shadowy space beside the wooden back steps.
“Here goes,” Marti muttered. “Gawd, I can’t believe I’m letting you pimp me out.”
“Suck it up, buttercup,” Cage whispered.
Preacher listened as she knocked on the door.
After what felt like forever, the front door creaked open a crack, and then made a longer creaking noise as it widened. “Can I do something for you?”
“Ooh, what a big gun you have! Wow, are you some kind of cop or something?” Marti asked, sounding like a bad actress in a porn movie with her little girl tone and slight lisp.
“Or something,” the man said, his slithery tone telling Preacher that the man liked what he saw.
“Um, I was wondering…”
Preacher imagined her twisting her hair around a finger.
“Do you have a phone I could use? My date left me on the side of the road, and my phone’s still in his damn car.”
“Now, sweetheart, that’s no way for a man to treat a pretty little thing like you.”
Pretty little thing? While just medium height, Marti had an athlete’s build.
“You really think so?”
Preacher shook his head, thinking he’d underestimated his partner’s feminine powers. She was flirting with the thug, and he was eating it up.
“Why don’t you come inside? I have a phone. You thirsty? Need a drink?”
“What do you have?”
The sound of footsteps followed.
“Lookie, boys, at what showed up on my doorstep.”
“That such a good idea?” one male voice asked.
“No big deal,” Marti’s host said. “She needs a drink.”
“And a phone,” she said, in a soft voice.
“Gotta be thirsty. How far did you have to walk?”
“Damn near a quarter mile,” Marti said. “In the dark. I was so happy to see your porchlight on. I was getting worried.”
“Well, don’t you worry about a thing now. Jasper, get her the chair out of my bedroom. Better yet, give her yours. You go fetch the other for yourself.”
Chairs scraped again, likely from the two remaining men and Marti seating themselves.
“Such a gentleman,” Marti crooned.
“Not too much o’ one.” The horse’s ass who was chatting her up laughed like a hyena at his own joke.
Footsteps clomped closer. Something thudded on the floor. “She’s sitting in front of my cards.”
“Jasper, we’ll get back to the game,” Horse’s Ass said.
“Well, you all have some fine hardware there,” Marti murmured. “Don’t think I’ve seen so many guns since my daddy took me to church in Whitefish.”
“Need to know how many,” Preacher whispered.
“You spend much time in Whitefish?” Horse’s Ass asked.
“My daddy used to go there a lot, until Mr. Whitcomb went and got himself arrested.”
“You knew Barney Whitcomb?” Jasper said.
“I met him a time or two. Seemed like a nice man. Can’t believe they’re trying him for kidnapping and assault. Daddy said the guy he hurt probably deserved it.”
“He did, indeed,” Jasper said. “I was supposed to be there the night the FBI and ATF took him off.”
“Really? Well, aren’t you lucky? You coulda been sitting in jail with him.”
“Oh, I’m lucky all right. Had some bounty hunters after my ass a while back. Dumbasses never could catch me.”
“Seriously? Bounty hunters? Like Dog the Bounty Hunter?”
Preacher rolled his eyes.
“More like those fake bounty hunters on Bounty Hunters of the Northwest.”
“Do you really think they’re fake?” Marti asked, her voice tightening a tad. “They all look like they can take care of business.”
A laugh sounded. “Come on, you ever seen Bounty Hunter Barbie? She’s got her own action figure now. It’s all fake. Besides, if they were really good at their jobs, don’t you think they’d already have caught my ass?”
Marti’s laugh tinkled.
Preacher shook his head. Hell, he’d never heard her laugh before. And it tinkled.
After a pause, Marti said, “Oh, that’s good. I was really, really thirsty.”
“Got more where that came from,” Horse’s Ass said, sounding like he was talking into her ear.
“Bet you do,” Marti said under her breath, her flat voice sounding almost like her old self. “My daddy bought me a little Remington pocket pistol to carry in my purse. Fits my hand just right.”
“What are you doing?” Cage whispered in warning.
“Mmm. I just love the way a gun feels in my hand when I squeeze off a round.”
“That the only thing you like to squeeze off?” Horse’s Ass whispered.
“I swear I get off on the feel of steel in my palm.”
“Well, you should feel this one,” another male said.
“That one’s so big,” Marti said, sounding a little breathless. “Not sure my little ole fingers can get all the way around it. Ooh, but I like how that feels.”
Cage chuckled. “Get ready, Preacher. Our little missy is gonna get all the guns.”
“If she doesn’t get raped first,” Preacher bit out.
“Try mine,” Jasper said as Preacher climbed the steps and stood in front of the back door.
“Well, let me see. I’m not sure which I like better. That first one was heavy and so wide it gave me shivers. This one’s not so heavy, but it’s looong.” She giggled. “Let me feel yours.”
Horse’s Ass said, “Shoulda tried mine first. It’s the best.”
“Well, now, I have all three. However, do I choose?”
“Now!” Cage said.
Preacher raised his foot and kicked open the back door. The sound of more splintering wood echoed in his ears.
Shouts sounded from inside.
“Give me my gun!”
Clattering sounded and then a loud thud.
Preacher ran through a mud room and down a short dark corridor.
“Babe, why’d you toss the table?”
“Bitch! You set us up!”
When he stood in the kitchen doorway it was to see Marti standing over the men, a long-barreled revolver in her hand.
“Not so fake now, huh, Jasper?”