Archive for 'Montana'
Monday, August 17th, 2020
I’ve been writing now for a number of years in multiple genres. I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun than I have writing about my Montana Bounty Hunters. So, when I was approaching the last story of the last hunter in the series, I thought hard about what I wanted to do next. The solution was pretty easy.
I’d write more. However, the MBH agency in Bear Lodge, MT was chock full of hunters. I needed my bounty hunter agency to expand, so I chose another location in Montana, fictional again, of course, so I could have more fun with a new set of hunters, and this time, use the town itself as a new “character” in my story. So, welcome to Dead Horse!
The book will be available solely through Amazon, at first. I want as many folks who want to get it through Kindle Unlimited for FREE as possible. I already have the print version uploaded, too. That link will come soon. In the meantime, meet the first hunter in the series…Cage.
A former SEAL and MMA fighter, and now, newly minted bounty hunter, has to hunt down his first skip…his ex-wife.
Former SEAL Cage Morgan thinks he doesn’t need anyone. As a rising MMA fighter, he makes enough to do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone.
Then an old friend sends an emissary, Reaper Stenberg from the Montana Bounty Hunters, to offer him a job. He agrees to meet him, but he has no intention of becoming a bounty hunter…until he hears who Reaper needs his special skill set to take down—his ex-wife.
Elaine Morgan is facing jail time due to her chosen line of work. She runs an illegal, underground fight club with her brother. Up until now, she’s always run clean, fair fights, but her brother owes money to the wrong people. As she prepares to the take the rap for his poor judgment, she misses her court date—that’s just one more stressor to add to the pile, and she doesn’t have time to worry about the consequences.
Until the night of the fight that will free her brother of his dangerous debt. Only her ex-husband shows up there, telling her he’s taking her in, and he has the friends with him to get the job done. The hunters’ poor timing sets off a chain of events that has the Montana Bounty Hunters staging a daring rescue.
All the while, Cage and Elaine revisit their past love, finding that the time apart put their problems in a better perspective. As their connection grows, they both fear an uncertain future.
Opening scene from Cage…
As he approached the front door to the Dead Easy Saloon, Cage Morgan flexed his hands, wincing as he did so due to the deep bruising on his knuckles. Still, sore knuckles felt like a small price to pay considering the size of the purse he’d won the previous night at the MMA bout in Bozeman.
Thinking about the $36,000 deposit he’d made at the bank that morning, he wondered why the hell he’d agreed to this meeting in the first place. Cage’s needs were simple, and the purse would pay his bills for the next four to six months until he accepted the next match.
However, he owed Fetch Winter the courtesy of meeting with his representative to talk about the possibility of a job. He didn’t owe him a “yes,” but he had agreed to listen. Fetch had led the unit that had pulled his ass out of a firefight which had killed several of his SEAL teammates back in Afghanistan a lifetime ago.
From the outside, the meeting place was like any other roadhouse bar. Wood plank siding, a tin roof, and a red neon “Open” sign. He climbed the three steps to the porch then opened the door. Music played on a jukebox, customers lined a well-polished counter, and in the rear, the crack of striking balls and groans sounded from the pool tables.
As he passed the bar, the bartender’s gaze narrowed on him, and then a broad smile spread. He lifted his chin to Cage. “Great fight last night.”
Cage lifted his eyebrows and gave him a little salute but didn’t stop. He made his way to a small round table tucked into a corner of the main room and took a seat.
A waitress with dirty blonde hair so straight it had to have been ironed paused beside his table. “What can I get ya, hon?”
Her smile was flirtatious, and while she was kind of cute for a middle-aged woman in a skin-tight tank with the bar’s logo on the front and short blue-jean shorts, he wasn’t interested in encouraging her to linger. “Whatever beer’s on tap will do,” he said and pulled a twenty from his wallet.
She smiled and moved away, her skinny hips wagging.
She was back inside a minute with a foamy beer and handed back his twenty. “Kip, the bartender, says it’s on the house. He won a pile of money last night on your fight.”
He pushed back the twenty. “You keep it then, and thank Kip.”
Just then, a commotion sounded at the entrance of the bar. “Damn, are you Reaper, that dude on TV?” asked a man who was holding onto the arm of a large man wearing a ballcap who was trying to get through the doorway.
Cage watched as the man who looked like he belonged on a Viking longboat shook the man off his arm.
Cage couldn’t make out what he said to the smaller man, but the guy held up his hands and backed away, grinning. As soon as the big man’s attention left him, he scurried to the bar, leaning over the counter to talk to Kip, whose gaze shot to the big man.
He watched the man in the ballcap grimace then step deeper inside the bar, his eyes narrowing as he searched the counter and then the tables. Cage knew the second when his gaze came to rest on Cage, because the other man tipped his chin before striding his way.
As the man approached, Cage assessed him like he always did, sizing him up as a possible opponent in the ring. They were of a similar height and weight. His arms and chest looked powerful. However, Cage could tell by the way the man moved that he wouldn’t have his same speed. Not that he was planning to fight this guy, but old habits died hard.
The big man stopped in front of his table. “You Cage Morgan?”
The man sat and whipped off his cap. “Thought the hat would work.”
Cage’s mouth twitched. “That was supposed to be some kind of disguise?”
The other man made a sound a bear might make just before it took a bite. “Fetch sent me.”
“Said I was to try to schmooze you into taking a job.”
“I’ve been wondering why he isn’t here to do it himself.”
The other man raked a hand through his long blond hair. “I’m here to set up the satellite office. He’d have come, but he said we didn’t need the big guns. That you’d want this job once you heard what it was all about.”
Cage grunted and sat back in his chair. “You’re the guy in that reality TV show.”
Reaper gave him a dead-eyed look. “If I wasn’t makin’ bank, I’d take exception to your tone, dude.”
Cage snapped his fingers. “What’s it called?” He pretended the name escaped him.
“Bounty Hunters of the Northwest,” the other man said, sounding bored.
“Right!” Cage grinned. “I liked the episode when that wild man chased the bear.”
“His name’s Animal.”
Cage chuckled. “Fits.” He picked up his beer and drew on it, not knowing exactly why he was trying to rile the other man. Maybe it was because he viewed him as a competitor, and his instinct was to start the psych-out before a fight. Or maybe it was because he wanted to make sure the man didn’t waste a lot of time trying to convince him to take a damn job he didn’t want. “Can’t remember your name, though,” he lied.
“Reaper. Reaper Stenberg,” the big man said, his words a little garbled like he was grinding his teeth.
“Right,” Cage said. He took another swallow and waited for Reaper to give his pitch, but the waitress sauntered over again.
Her gaze went from Cage to Reaper, and Cage knew what was on her mind. Too bad for her, he knew Reaper was married, and he flat didn’t get into bed with another man, even if their dicks never touched.
“He’ll have the same as I’m having,” Cage said to hurry her away.
She was back inside a minute and set a beer in front of Reaper. He handed her a twenty.
“No, Kip said it’s free. He watches your show,” the woman said, sounding out of breath.
“Keep the tip,” Reaper said than turned his attention back to Cage.
The woman’s mouth tightened, but she moved along to another table.
“Saw you fight in Bozeman last night,” he said, his gaze direct.
Cage curled his fists and grimaced at the throbbing ache. “McMann gave me a run for my money.”
“You fight well. Heard you came to MMA through less than legal fights.”
Cage gave him a hard stare. “That was a long time ago.”
“Three years.” He took a sip of his beer. “Least, that’s what I hear. Bareknuckle stuff’s not for sissies.”
Cage almost smiled at the grudging compliment. “No, it’s not, but it’s hard on the body.”
“We could use someone like you. Fetch says you were a SEAL.”
Cage straightened in his chair. “I was.”
“Marine,” Reaper said, pointing at his chest with his glass.
“Won’t hold it against you.”
Reaper’s mouth twitched. “We’re building an office here. Broke ground last week. We hope to hire on eight to ten hunters to cover southwest Montana and into Wyoming and Idaho.”
“Sounds ambitious. From your TV show, it looks like you guys are sweeping up all the trash. Sure you’re leaving enough work for another agency?” Cage didn’t know why he asked. He still wasn’t interested, but he was curious about what Fetch was hoping to accomplish.
“America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Long as that doesn’t change, we’ll have plenty of bounties to go around. And it’s not just bounties on folks skipping their court dates or mandatory drug testing. We help find prison escapees, pitch in on law enforcement manhunts—anywhere our particular talents are needed. Our Bear Lodge office helped bring in a terrorist who was recruiting anti-government whackos intent on building an army here in Montana.”
“That all sounds fine and dandy for someone who wants to be a bounty hunter. I don’t.”
“Well, Fetch thinks you might change your mind when you hear who we’re hunting. He needs someone with your skills to get close enough to make the takedown.”
Cage narrowed his eyes. “My skills?”
“Your experience in those illegal fight clubs. You’ve got connections that can get you inside.”
Cage shook his head. He hadn’t been a part of that world in years. “Not interested.”
“Ask me who we’re hunting,” Reaper said, his expression neutral, his stare boring into Cage’s.
Cage was curious all right, but he didn’t want to ask. Didn’t want to know. He’d left that world and never looked back. Had the scars and the tattoo, thank you very much.
“Fetch explained how the money works, right? What a hunter gets as a percentage of the bond.”
“He did. And I still told him no.” Hunting people was something he’d done when he’d been in the Navy, and he’d been damn good at it. However, hunting Americans wasn’t something he had the stomach for.
“Ask me,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.
Cage wanted to tell him to go to hell. But he also wanted to know, because the hairs on the back of his neck were rising. Deep inside, he was still that man, the one who always found his target and always took him out. A cool dread washed over him, and he drew a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll bite. Who are you hunting?”
Reaper’s mouth curved. “Your wife.”
Thursday, February 6th, 2020
UPDATE: The winners are…Pansy Petal, Laura, and Debra Guyette!
I’m hard at work on Brian, the next installment if my Montana Bounty Hunters series, which releases on February 24th! Time is getting away from me! Seems I’m always running up against a deadline!
I can’t wait for you to read Brian’s story. I’ve had so many requests for his Happy Ever After, and I think you’ll love it. The man has issues, of course, but the heroine of the story isn’t letting him retreat from life or love. Raydeen is a strong, feisty heroine! Of course, along the way, you’ll see the other characters you’ve loved in this series.
In the meantime, catch up on the series as you get ready to enjoy Brian and Raydeen’s great adventure. If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy of Brian’s story, here’s the link: Pre-Order Brian!
Enjoy reading an excerpt from another story in the series, Cochise. I loved, loved, loved writing his story! He’s a sexy, sexy man! You’ll see!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
“Excellent… Cochise (Book 4) was exciting, fast-paced, scary, filled with plot twists, & with humorous moments… The bonus material, The Bounty Part, 2 was also A+++.”
A hunt deep in a national forest forges bonds between a bounty hunter and a woman desperate to find her sister
Former Army sniper, Cochise Mercier, left Denver SWAT under a cloud of controversy, which was why he ended up back home in Montana, and where he heard about the Montana Bounty Hunters. The “cloud” didn’t seem to bother his new boss, so he’s all in and finding he enjoys hunting down fugitives for bounties, encumbered by fewer rules.
Sammy McCallister is a by-the-book sheriff’s deputy, who has a beef with bounty hunters. Forced to stand by with her gun in her holster, while hunters take down scumbags, she’s particularly irked by the new guy in town. Cochise, with his long black hair and thousand-yard-stare makes her uncomfortable, itchy in ways she’s never felt before. When she finds herself needing his help, the reason for her irritation becomes all too clear. She wants him. But first, they must make it out of the mountains alive…
Are you all caught up reading the Montana Bounty Hunters?
For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this:
Do you love stories like this set in the wilds of Montana?
Or is there another state you’d love to see some sexy bounty hunters?
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS
Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Reaper’s Ride: https://amzn.to/2KKkisI
Big Sky Wedding: https://amzn.to/33GprwK
Excerpt from Cochise…
He grimaced and reached to secure his belt. Then he settled back against his door again. The better to scope out Officer McCallister. “Name’s Cochise Mercier,” he said, deciding someone needed to be polite.
“I know who you are.”
And he waited. When she didn’t reciprocate with an introduction, he cleared his throat. “I haven’t been in Bear Lodge that long, but you know who I am…”
Her gaze went to her rearview mirror than back to the windshield. “Sheriff likes to keep tabs on everyone working at MBH.” She shot him a quick glance. “You were with Denver SWAT. Must have fucked up bad to wind up here.”
He barely suppressed a grunt of surprise at her blunt words. But he had fucked up. Still, he wasn’t unhappy about the change of place or pace of his current circumstances. A man could breathe here—crisp mountain air, without the traffic and mass of humanity. “Yeah,” he said, not willing to get into it with a woman who seemed ready to pick a fight. “Something like that.”
“Should have applied for a patrol job. Sheriff’s always looking for officers with experience. He’d overlook a lot.”
“Thanks for the suggestion, but I like what I’m doing now, and the money’s better.”
Again, her gaze cut his way, and that frown dug a line between her eyes.
“You don’t like bounty hunters.”
“Didn’t say that.”
“Didn’t have to.” He eyed her profile—stubborn chin, cute nose, freckles on her pale cheeks. Her hair was a dark blonde with glints of red as the dawn’s light struck it. Her body was sturdy—not too slim, muscled. He doubted she’d like that description, but he liked a strong woman. “You got a first name, Officer McCallister?” he asked, still watching her and knowing he was making her a little uncomfortable, because her eyebrows remained lowered.
Or maybe that was her permanent expression.
Again, his mouth twitched.
“Sammy,” he drawled.
“My friends call me Sammy.”
This time, he let the smile creep across his mouth.
Just as they were nearing the turn that would take them to the agency, a car pulled out from a side street, nearly clipping the squad car.
Officer McCallister hit the brakes then cussed under her breath.
He knew the feeling. This close to ending a shift and some asshole forces a decision.
When the blue Taurus swerved into the center of the road, she sighed and reached for the toggle, turning on her blue lights.
The car indicated to the right and pulled onto the shoulder of the road.
“Stay in the car,” she said, not looking toward Cochise.
He watched with interest as she approached the vehicle, keeping at a safe angle as she neared the car. She reached for the radio on her shoulder. “Dispatch, I need you to run a plate.” She gave the dispatcher the plate information while he listened to the radio inside the car.
A few seconds later, dispatch responded. “The car’s registered to Loretta Mackinaw. She has an outstanding warrant for possession of a controlled substance.”
The officer’s body tensed.
Cochise rolled down his window to listen as she shouted for the driver to put her hands on the dash.
The first hint there was trouble was Officer McCallister flicking the strap on her holster and drawing her gun. A shot rang out, and she dove beside the car.
Cochise slid across the bench, lifting his legs to get past the equipment blocking his way, and settled into the driver’s seat just as the Taurus pulled out onto the road, a black cloud gusting from the exhaust pipe.
Putting the squad car in drive, he pulled up beside the officer and shouted through the open window, “Get in!”
She didn’t argue, sliding into the passenger side seat, flipping on the siren, and reaching for the radio. “Dispatch. Shots fired. I’m in pursuit of that blue Taurus.” She gave her location while Cochise concentrated on keeping on Mackinaw’s tail.
“You okay?” he asked, not taking his gaze off the car ahead.
“Missed me. Not that she meant to.”
They passed the outskirts of town and entered the open highway.
“Just thirty fucking minutes,” she muttered.
“How long do we follow?” he asked, wondering if they’d run up against the county line and pass the problem to the next jurisdiction.
“There’s a crossroads up ahead. Open. No trees or buildings. Think you can get close enough to perform a PIT maneuver?” She cussed again. “Goddamn, I should be behind the wheel. Sheriff’ll have my ass.”
He grinned and gunned the accelerator, closing the distance between the vehicles. Further down the road, he saw the crossroads, no other vehicles in sight.
“Let’s do it.”
Another punch of gas, and he pulled into the left lane. Coming even with the left rear wheel of the Taurus, he turned into the car, giving it a solid slam. The Taurus began to spin left, and Cochise braked, slowing the car to watch as the Taurus continued its spin and took out the stop sign across the intersection before coming to a halt. The driver faced them through the windshield.
All Cochise saw was frizzy mud-brown hair and a red face.
Officer McCallister toggled the loudspeaker and raised her mic. “Loretta, put your hands on the dashboard.”
The woman complied, although her frown didn’t abate.
Officer McCallister gave him a quick glance. “There’s a rifle in the trunk. Key’s on the ring.”
He gave a nod, turned off the engine, and let himself out of the car, making sure to keep the driver’s side door open as a shield. He retrieved the rifle and returned, crouching behind the door. He glanced across the empty seat to where the female officer stood, crouching behind her open door. She finished calling in a request for backup, and then her gaze met his across the expanse.
“Whatever move you want to make,” he said, “I have your back.”
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
A reader-friend of mine mentioned recently that she thinks I have the most intriguing “meet-cutes”—you know, those scenes where the hero and heroine first meet. I think I might have outdone myself with Animal and Allie’s meet-cute! You’ll have to let me know!
Animal is here! I’ve already started on the next bounty hunter! If you haven’t read the series, there are now eight Montana Bounty Hunters! I love them, and hope to write about new hunters and revisit those I already love in future stories. As well, those of you who follow the series have probably already figured out I’m spinning off a new series, but that’s for another day.
Today, we celebrate my big, grumpy, sexy ANIMAL!
Happy reading, y’all!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
A rough-around-the-edges bounty hunter takes a nature photographer on a wild ride.
Former SEAL, Russell “Animal” Hathcoat, retreated to a remote mountain cabin after leaving the Navy. Haunted by horrific images that replay in his nightmares of his last mission with his SEAL brothers, he intends to renovate the dilapidated cabin as penance and therapy, and to avoid rejoining the world around him. But then, someone who understands what he needs better than he does arrives to offer him a job.
Allie Travers loves the freedom and solitude of being a nature photographer and journalist–until the day she stares through her lens at a charging black bear. With her heart in her throat, she can only stand watching in horror, knowing she’ll never escape in time. But rescue comes in the form of a wild man who risks his life to frighten away the animal.
Once the danger is past, she’s told by his team of bounty hunters that she has more to fear than any animal in the woods. A felon is on the loose, and she has to accompany them to safety. Seeing an opportunity, Allie shadows the team as they hunt their prey deep in a national forest. Much to Animal’s dismay, more than just his protective instincts are aroused by the pretty photojournalist.
Get your copy here!
Animal is FREE on Kindle Unlimited for a very limited time!
And if you haven’t already read the stories leading up to ANIMAL, just click on the covers below!
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
UPDATE: The winner is…Rebecca Merz!
Series lovers, I have one for you! Love a lot of badass alpha heroes, fast action, great sex, and humor? Well, that’s what I deliver in Montana Bounty Hunters! And another installment is set to drop next Tuesday!
Are you caught up? No? Then click on a cover to pick up your copy of one of these fast-paced stories and begin your blitz-read through the series, because next Tuesday Animal is coming!
Enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Tell me whether you’ve ready any of the series, and if you have, which book are you on?
Excerpt from Animal…
Animal tuned out the crackling, thudding sounds of his team members moving through the forest.
On day three after he’d joined the hunt, he wasn’t regretting his decision to give MBH a try. He’d been unwilling to make any long-term promises. Hadn’t signed a contract or filled out a W-9. Not yet, anyway. When Fetch had described what Tibbets had done, and then talked about the hunters who were already on his trail, Animal had felt a stirring of interest. Manhunts were something he was familiar with. So, he wasn’t hunting a high-dollar target through the Hindu Kush mountains. Wasn’t dropping into some walled compound to sweep a house in the dead of night.
Still, this felt familiar. Moving through the bushes. Tracking a target. Looking for campfires, footprints, signs Tibbets had stopped to piss or shit. That morning, they’d found a butchered deer. Most of the carcass had been left for scavengers. So, it hadn’t been left by a game hunter. He’d taken a portion of a haunch, had roasted it over a quickly built fire, and had eaten as much as he could before moving on.
Looked like Tibbets was feeling pretty sure he’d slipped the noose. He hadn’t even bothered to try to bury the evidence he’d been there.
The first afternoon, Animal had ridden along with Carly and Reaper. They’d shown him the warrant and pictures of Tibbets and his family. They’d canvassed businesses in Olney—gun shops, grocers, gas stations, but no one recalled seeing him or his cousin Murray.
That evening, they headed to Tibbets’s favorite haunt again. The women sat at the long polished bar, chatting up the bartender and the waitresses. Dagger and Mace played pool with two plugged-in and gossipy locals. Reaper and Animal sat at a table, watching the doors. But none of them were getting any bites.
About an hour into their surveillance, Hook and Cochise arrived.
Hook slapped a map on the table. “Found the parcel his family owns. It sits on a creek.”
“’Bout damn time,” Reaper had muttered.
The next morning, they’d geared up and surrounded a small, ratty camper trailer. Tibbets had been there recently but was now gone. After tearing through his belongings, searching for clues where he might have gone next, they bagged up dirty clothes for Mace’s dog Taco to scent on.
The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.
They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, to keep an eye any one of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out, but the rest of the team grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking him into Flathead National Forest.
Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.
This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.
They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.
“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden by the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.
Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.
Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.
He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.
A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.
“Where’s mama?” he whispered.
As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.
He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.
Mama Bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.
“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.
“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.
“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.
“You, shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping.
The bear’s head moved from Animal to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.
The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.
Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.
Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.
Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.
When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”
“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?
Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.
Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.
Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”
“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.
He ground his teeth as his face heated.
“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”
He narrowed his gaze, not liking her smartass tone. Did she know how close he was to exploding? Men he’d fought with knew better than to talk to him when he was like this.
A throat cleared beside him. “Ma’am, you need to pack up,” Reaper said, his voice even.
Her hazel gaze darted from Animal to the man standing beside him. “Why? She’s gone.”
“The bear’s the least of what you have to worry about out here.”
She seemed to finally take in the fact that she was surrounded by five well-armed strangers. “Were you tracking her?”
“We don’t hunt bear,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.
Animal felt a little of his steam begin to cool hearing Reaper’s clipped delivery. Someone else here got the fact she had no business out here. Alone.
“Well, I thank you for your advice, but I have no intention of packing up and leaving. It took me three days to get here. I’ll be setting up camp.” She bent and swiped at the straps of her backpack then reached inside it. She pulled out a small 9mm Colt Defender but had the good sense to point it away from the group. “I’m not unarmed.”
Animal grunted. “Think that would have stopped her? If you didn’t hit her in the head, you’d just piss her off.”
“Well, that’s not your worry, is it?” Again, she lifted her chin.
Damn, if his body didn’t go hard. The way she locked her gaze with his, she didn’t show any fear. Foolish was what she was. He could get around her gun and have her on the ground in the time it took her to realize he’d even moved.
“This is no place for a woman on her own, not today,” Reaper said.
Her back stiffened. Her cheeks paled just a bit.
“We’re not what you should fear,” Carly said quickly, stepping past Animal and Reaper. “It’s gonna take a few minutes for these two get over the adrenaline rush to explain. I’m Carly,” she said, reaching out her hand.
The woman passed the gun from her right to her left and shook Carly’s hand. “Carly, it’s nice to meet you.” She didn’t smile, and her gaze kept scanning the rest of them, like she expected them to make a move against her.
Animal drew a deep breath. He knew what she saw. He wasn’t into scaring women. Happened naturally, often enough. He set his hands on his hips and glanced at the ground while he waited for the tension in his body to ease.
“We’re bounty hunters,” Carly said. “We’ve been tracking a dangerous felon. He’s in this area. It’s not safe for you to be here.”
As Animal glanced up again, the woman’s frown deepened. “I’ve been here a day. Haven’t seen anyone but you. How do I even know you’re telling me the truth?”
Carly glanced back at Reaper. “Show her the warrant.”
Reaper reached into his pack and pulled out the folder. He passed it to the woman.
She held the folder in the crook of the arm and thumbed through the documents. “Okay, so I believe you’re what you say. But since you’re on his trail and he’s not here, why do I have to leave? Obviously, he’s already passed my location.”
“Because there are going to be more teams out here, combing the area. We’ve got the jump on everyone else. When other teams arrive, our skip might double back to evade them. No place in this wilderness is safe.”
Her lips thinned then twisted. Her gaze went back to Animal. “Dammit, I just got here.”
Animal stepped forward, using his body to intimidate her. Yeah, he felt no shame doing that. Not when scaring her into making the right choice could keep her safe. “You’re not safe on your own. Pack up.”
Damned if the woman’s mouth didn’t twitch like she wanted to laugh.
She arched a brow. “You’re right. It’s not safe to be alone out here.”
Her expression gave him no ease. He narrowed his eyes until they were slits as he waited for what else she intended to say, because there was no way in hell she was giving up so easily.
She gave a little shrug and grinned. “I’ll go with you.”
Saturday, December 8th, 2018
You ready for another high-octane thrill ride? Love sexy alpha males who cruise along at the edge of the law? You’re going to love WOLF! Along the way, you’ll see some familiar faces, Reaper and Fetch are pretty prominent. So are the guys and girls from RIP. Haven’t met them yet? Tsk-tsk. They are coming soon!!!!
Missed a book in the series? No worries. Just click on a cover to find out more about these stories, read opening scenes, and find out where to get them!
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me whether you’ve read any books in this series, so far!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Former Marine Wolf Patterson is working with a team of MBH bounty hunters in the densely forested Kootenai Forest to bring in one Reese Tobin, a man wanted for arson, who escaped from jail just before his trial. When Wolf catches up to him, Tobin draws a gun, telling Wolf he can’t return to lock-up or he’s a dead man. Just as one of his teammates is about to lunge toward Tobin to take him down, a shot rings out, and Tobin is dead.
Former Army Military Police Officer, now Deputy, Meg Henry, was the officer who arrested Tobin, and nothing about that night sat right since. After hearing he was killed, she heads to Kootenai, hoping to talk to the men who were with him last, hoping Tobin told them something that might help her figure out the mystery surrounding him. Because handsome bounty hunter, Wolf, was the last to talk to Tobin, Meg offers Wolf a ride back to the sheriff’s department. They barely begin their conversation when they find themselves running for their lives. Meg doesn’t know who to trust, but she instinctively trusts the tall, intensely attractive Wolf. Together, they work to unravel the mystery while staying one step ahead of someone who wants them both dead.
Get your copy here!
And coming very, very soon…
With His Client is coming your way December 18th!
And Animal releases January 22nd!
Saturday, October 13th, 2018
UPDATE: The winner is…Keri Richards!
On Tuesday, the next story in my Montana Bounty Hunter series, HOOK, releases to the world! And I can’t be more excited! I haven’t had this much fun writing in a long, long time. If you’ve sampled my hunters, you know why.
The heroes are badasses! All of them are ex-military. They’re all super protective, can handle themselves in a fight, and when they fall for a woman, they fall fast and hard. What’s not to love? So far, I’ve written five books in the series, but I have ideas for many more as well as a spin-off series you’ll get a hint of inside Hook.
In the meantime, we’re going to do a little daily countdown and revisit the heroes I’ve introduced you to so far, beginning with the guy who started it all off, REAPER. Along the way, there will be prizes. So, be sure to check in!
Missed a book? No worries. You’ve got the weekend to catch up! Just click on a cover to find out more about these stories, read opening scenes, and find out where to get them!
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, why not try your hand at brainstorming a name for some future, sexy Montana Bounty Hunter? I’m not judging your creativity. Just have fun!
Former Marine, Reaper Stenberg is a bounty hunter, running his own satellite agency of Montana Bounty Hunters, along with his partner, Jamie Burke. As a general rule, Reaper doesn’t like working with a partner, especially female partners. When chasing a bail-jumper, he prefers to keep his head down and follow the leads. He doesn’t like the “chatter” that usually accompanies working with a woman.
However, partnering with Jamie has taught him a few things. There are women who can focus on the job at hand without letting silly distractions get in the way of his concentration. Jamie is one of those rare creatures who doesn’t gossip, doesn’t get into his business, and can actually be useful when shit goes sideways and they have to get physical. Over the months since their boss, Fetch Winter, put them together, Reaper has come to admire the woman’s grit and ingenuity.
And then Jamie up and gets busy planning her wedding…
See what happens when Reaper has to deal with a ride-along author, Carly Wyatt, who—when shit goes sideways—proves his first female partner’s grit and ingenuity aren’t just lucky happenstance, and who challenges Reaper’s strict relationship rules.
**Includes a FREE short story at the end!**
Click HERE to find out where to purchase your copy and to read the opening scene!
Friday, September 7th, 2018
In Cabo San Lucas, Navy SEAL Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh is ready to live the good life. After surviving fifteen deployments in ten years, he bailed on the SEALs, figuring this cat had run out of lives. The only danger he faces now is choking on an oyster or drowning in beer—and then he meets her.
Gina Tripp is the Calamity Jane of bounty hunters, enjoying an unexpected vacation. She’s the stand-in for an absent groom on her girlfriend’s honeymoon in Cabo when she meets a cute guy with a nothing but sex on the beach in mind. As her luck would have it, her best friend winds up kidnapped, and now Gina’s embroiled in a dangerous rescue that deepens her attraction Carson.
Just when she thinks she can settle in and enjoy a few days of sin, an opportunity to prove herself to her boss lands in her lap. Now, she has her sights set on scoring a huge bounty—an ex-pat skip, hiding out in Mexico. What follows is a wild ride that leaves her feeling pretty relieved she hijacked a Navy SEAL to help her with the job.
**S*x on the Beach** is part of the Montana Bounty Hunter series. It is also in the SEALs in Paradise connected series. Each book can be read as standalone. They do not have cliff-hanger endings and do not have to be read in any particular order.
Get your copy here!
Six months ago…
Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh pulled his dog tags from under his shirt, and then exposed the small medallion that rested against one rubber-clad tag, lifted it to his mouth, and kissed it.
So, Saint Christopher wasn’t actually considered a saint anymore, and Carson wasn’t Catholic, but his aunt had given him the medallion the first time he’d shipped out. Kissing it for luck before a fight had become a ritual.
After tucking the medal back inside his shirt, he raised his MK17 to hold it crosswise in front of his body as he continued the march into the valley. He breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth to calm his heart and head. Another part of his “pre-game” ritual.
He was on his fifteenth deployment, and he’d lost count of how many missions. He’d just hit his ten-year mark as a SEAL, and he was one lucky guy. Everyone said so. Other than a little shrapnel and splinters, he’d never been seriously injured.
Sure, he’d had a moment during his thirteenth deployment, when he thought maybe he’d run out of luck—when he’d stepped on a landmine. But the second his boot had landed on the metal plate buried in the sand, he’d known exactly what was happening, and had pitched himself over a stone wall a split-second before it exploded, a luckily delayed reaction, which had showered him with dirt. His buddies had rushed to him, certain they’d be picking up pieces of his body, but he’d sat up, shook his head, and grinned.
“Goddamn, Beach-boy,” his best buddy Fischer had said as he slapped his back. “You are one lucky bastard.”
Yeah, that had been his closest call, but he didn’t take his luck for granted. He trained hard, kept alert to his surroundings, and trusted the men on his team. They were the source of his real luck.
He’d lost friends along the way, to death and career-ending injuries. He knew, someday, his streak would end, but it wouldn’t be today. Not this early morning when the sun was painting the prettiest dawn as it climbed over the rim of the valley. Bright yellow at the edge, a pale purple and orange just above it. While he preferred a bit more greenery, the sparse bushes and trees dotting the rocky valley below looked almost lush compared to the countryside they’d been quickly moving through. The walled compound below looked like a crumbling castle from some ancient tale. A castle they hoped contained their current target, an insurgent leader who’d escaped a series of raids, and who’d publicly mocked his would-be captors.
The team was eager to capture Ahmadi, who’d become a kind of superstar, even among those who wanted to see an end to the Taliban’s reign of terror, once and for all. They admired the fact he’d managed to survive, always staying one step ahead of his American pursuers.
When they reached the outer wall of the compound, Carson paused as his team moved past. Every one of them reached out a hand to rub his helmet, their own lucky ritual, before they took positions along the wall. Carson was on point. He’d be the first inside the compound—after he blew the thick plank door set into the wall.
Fischer rubbed his helmet then took a knee beside the door. “Don’t get killed.”
“You can have my helmet if I do,” Carson said with a quick, tight grin. Then he reached out, stuck the small explosive charge next to the lock on the door, set the timer, and then took cover.
He counted the seconds and covered his ears. As soon as the C-4 exploded, he pushed up and ran quickly through the opening, heading toward the side of the mud-stuccoed house in the center of the open compound. As he moved, the only sounds were the quiet crunches of boots behind him. Not a bleat from a goat, not a bark from a dog, not a shout. “Too damn quiet,” he said.
“Damn, I hope he hasn’t already slipped the noose,” the mission commander said in his earpiece. “Breach the door, but keep your eyes peeled.”
“Anyone tell him that never sounds good?” Fischer muttered.
Hunkered down with his weapon raised, the buttstock snug against his shoulder, Carson kept close to the wall as he moved toward the alcove shading the front door. He checked the dirt around the concrete porch but saw no signs of recent digging, so no mines, he hoped. Then he ducked into the alcove, Fischer right behind him, his back to Carson as he continued to scan their surroundings.
Carson moved to the door, reached out with his left hand, and pulled down on the latch. He heard a snick, but also a snap. His heart thudded, and he turned to Fischer, “Go, go, g—”
An explosion sounded behind him, a millisecond before the door slammed into his back and pushed him ahead of a blast of fire and air that picked him and Fischer up. When he landed, he scrambled toward his buddy. Fischer lay face down, his arms spread.
Sounds around him were muffled—pops of gunfire, distant shouts. He crawled to Fischer and gently rolled him over. His face was covered in sand and grit…and blood, seeping from beneath his helmet. No, his ear.
“Fisch,” he shouted close to him, but Fischer didn’t stir.
“Man down. Fisch is down,” he said into his mic, but couldn’t hear a response. Sounds faded. He knelt, knowing he couldn’t do a thing—not remove his friend’s helmet, not move him again. He swayed on his knees and nearly fell, but more of his team arrived, pulling him away, running their hands over his back.
He sucked a breath between his teeth when he felt a sudden sharp pain on the right side of his back. More muffled voices shouted into his ear. “Lie down, Walsh! Helo’s coming!”
At that moment, Carson realized his luck had just run out. Too soon to save Fischer. Maybe too soon to save himself.
Three months ago…
The sky was blue, the temperature was in the mid-seventies, and a light breeze filtered through the leaves of the cottonwoods. It was a gorgeous, glorious Montana day, and Gina Tripp was pumped. Her boss, Fetch Winter, had finally let go of the tight leash he’d kept her on since he’d hired her after she’d left active duty where they first met. Before he’d mustered out, he’d given her his number and told if ever she needed a job…
She’d accepted his offer and moved to Montana from her home in San Diego. So far, she loved the climate, the mountains, the people she worked with, and, especially, the job. Bounty hunting was damn fun, and from listening to the stories of the more experienced hunters, she was eager to experience the occasional adrenaline rush she’d grown addicted to in the Army. But she was the “new girl” and had to prove herself before they’d trust her with the scary shit.
The past two weeks, Fetch had finally let her take solo baby-steps—rounding up druggies who’d missed their court-ordered drug tests, picking up an old Buick from a seventy-year-old woman who’d signed away her car to bail out her deadbeat son, only to have him skip his date with the judge.
Nothing big. Nothing dangerous. She’d performed well on other tasks, working the phones to give the other hunters leads. At last, Fetch was trusting her to serve as part of the team going after Harland Oates, a once-convicted felon, who hadn’t been seen since he’d met his bail for a DUI offense that he’d compounded by assaulting the arresting officer.
Gina had “geared up” along with two other hunters from the Kalispell office, Sam Meacham and “Kid” Hagerty. They were armed with handguns, a rifle, and a pellet gun. She’d been given beanbag rounds for her shotgun, something non-lethal because the men were nervous she’d shoot them by mistake.
She’d snorted at that assumption, but they’d taken her new nickname “Trip” to heart. So, she’d faceplanted on the drive outside the office during an ice storm. And once, she’d slid like surfer across a sheet of black ice during a coffee run, only to hit hard snow and somersault. After managing to save one lidded drink, she’d thought that would count for something.
Nope. They’d taken the security camera footage and posted it on YouTube. Now, she was known as the Calamity Jane of the bounty hunting world, at least here in Montana.
Fetch had told her to stop trying so hard. Relax. She’d eventually find her feet in the job. She’d rolled her eyes, and he’d laughed at his joke. He predicted, that in the end, she’d be a hell of a hunter.
But her training was taking a little longer than she liked. Like most of the people he’d hired, she was ex-military. She’d seen action as a driver in Iraq, driving in convoys transporting supplies across huge expanses of open desert. She’d had to bail out of a 5-ton truck a time or two to set up a quick defense against attacks from ISL forces. She’d even shot her weapon. Not that she’d ever hit a thing. Didn’t matter. She’d done her job. Had been prepared for worst case scenarios. She knew how to solider, how to follow orders, and she didn’t lose her nerve when things got grim.
She reminded herself of all these things as she trudged behind Sam and Kid toward a house, of sorts, deep inside the woods. The structure had begun its life as a school bus but had been “renovated” with wood-framed offshoots that sat on piers that looked like a stiff wind would shift them right off their foundations. This was Harland’s “hunting cabin” or so his buddies back at the bar in Bozeman had said.
Gina’s Kevlar vest was a little large, and the top rubbed the underside of her chin. She reached for the bottom edge and tugged it down to just above her hips, and then hurried to catch up with the guys on the trail.
They both turned and shot her harsh glares, but she gave them a smile. Kill them with kindness; that was her motto. They likely thought she was a bit of a snowflake she smiled so damn much.
Kid had already asked her on a date, but she’d told him she didn’t think it was a good idea—at least not until she was off her ninety-day probation. She had to be all about the job. Still, turning him down had been hard. The man was beautiful, although she was sure he wouldn’t like being described that way, but he did have the dreamiest gray-blue eyes, soot-black wavy hair that he kept cut short, and a body that any breathing woman, and probably a lot of men, would sigh over.
But it was better to keep her mind on the job, not the way his Levi jeans hugged his ass. When she headed back to California for her best friend’s wedding, she’d be sure to scout out a booty call to take care of any unrequited urges Kid inspired.
“Trip!” came a harsh whisper in her earpiece.
She glanced up and caught Sam’s signal. They’d circled to the back of the ramshackle cabin, and Kid had his back to the siding as he edged closer to a window to peek inside.
“He’s inside. Kitchen,” Kid whispered then ducked down.
Sam caught her glance, pointed toward the back door, and made some sort of hand signal. Not strictly military, so she wasn’t exactly sure if he was telling her to guard it or open it, but she nodded and moved toward the rickety back steps. When he disappeared around the front of the structure, she guessed she was supposed to wait, because he’d likely be the one to breach the front door. She edged quietly up the wooden steps to stand at the back door.
“Harland Oates, Fugitive Recovery Agents!”
Gina winced at the shout in her ear, but then almost snickered at the way Sam had said the felon’s name. It had sounded like “Hall & Oats” and, not for the first time, she was tempted to break out in song. “Maneater” came to mind.
“We have your place surrounded! Come out with your hands up!” A moment passed. “I’m goin’ in!” Sam whispered.
A crash sounded in the distance. Footsteps pounded through the bus, striking metal then wood. Then the knob on the door in front of her twisted. She only had a second to jerk back into the tiny space behind the door as it slammed open. When a man began to emerge, all she saw was wild hair, a wilder beard, and bare muscled arms.
Has to be Harland. Fuck! She pushed the door back as hard as she could against the large body hurtling out onto the porch.
She caught him, sort of.
Harland Oates slammed against the railing. “What the fuck!”
The porch shuddered then teetered to the side. She grabbed for Harland, caught his grubby wifebeater in her fist, but he fell through the rail, taking her with him. They landed on the ground, her body bouncing against his back, her shotgun banging against his head. When she scrambled to her knees, she was straddling him and fighting to get her shotgun turned in the small space between their bodies, when he bucked upward, sending her to the side.
Still turning the weapon, her finger got stuck in the trigger housing and a round went off, pounding into the ground beside his head, and he froze.
They both turned their gazes to the expended round. The lead-filled red “pillow” was disintegrated.
“Bitch, you almost shot me in the fucking head!” Harland whined.
It took everything not to blurt that it had been an accident. Instead, she gave him her meanest stare. “You gonna give me any more trouble?”
“Trip, what the hell?” Sam shouted from the back door.
She glanced up to see him tip back his cowboy hat. He couldn’t step out because the porch had collapsed. “We’re good, Sam,” she said, then dragged the muzzle of her shotgun closer to Harland’s belly. “Ain’t that right?”
Harland groaned and wilted against the dirt just as Kid strode to her side.
Sam shook his head and disappeared back inside, his feet clomping through the cabin.
Kid offered his hand. “Not exactly graceful, are you, Trip?”
She squinted up at him. “If you ever want that date, you better take that back. I got him, didn’t I?”
His mouth stretched into a huge grin. “Wish I’d had a camera. You should have seen your face when that porch fell out from under you.” He glanced down at Harland who’d reached out his hands, showing he was ready to surrender.
“Can ya get off me now?” Harland asked.
Kid cupped her elbow and grabbed her shotgun, holding it well away as he helped her to her feet. “I got this. Don’t want you to get those fingers stuck again.”
“They weren’t stuck,” she lied, her cheeks feeling as though they were on fire.
“Sure, and you meant to knock him out with the door, right?”
“I don’t suppose you could keep the after-action report to ‘Trip took down the target’, could you?”
He gave her a sly wink. “Oh, that’s exactly what happened, wasn’t it?”
Her shoulders fell. No way in hell would either of the hunters let her live this one down. She’d be stuck relieving grannies of their prized possessions for the rest of her days.
“Make yourself useful and get him cuffed before Sam gets here,” he said.
As she drew her handcuffs from the pocket on her web belt, Kid pulled out his cellphone from under his vest.
While he took pictures of the collapsed steps, she helped Harland to his feet. The man wasn’t very tall. She probably could have taken him from behind if she’d let him climb down the steps first. Instead, adrenaline had been her bitch.
As she led him back through the woods to their SUV, she heard laughter following her every step of the way.