From Winning the Widow's Heart by Sherri Shackelford:
Horrifying images of Mrs. Parker's suffering flooded Elizabeth's thoughts. They were alone. With the storm raging, and the nearest farm quarantined, no help was coming. "Perhaps we could save these stories for another time?"
"Oh, right." Jo flicked her head in a quick nod. "What is it Ma's always saying?" She snapped her fingers. "I remember now. She distracts 'em by talking, and telling 'em to concentrate on that beautiful baby they're bringing into the world."
"Hey, remember all those clothes we sewed this fall?"
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. "You're the worst seamstress in the county. I sewed all those clothes while you complained you were dying from boredom. You'd rather be out shooting game than threading a needle."
"See? You're doing better already." Jo sat back on her heels. "Now deliver this baby so we can decide what to do about that man I locked in the barn."
"I'm a Texas Ranger."
Jo gasped at the intrusion. Hands fisted, she twisted to block Elizabeth while keeping her defiant gaze fixed on the Ranger.
Slanting a glance upward, Elizabeth found Mr. Elder filling the doorway and looking madder than a wet hen. His coat was torn at the shoulder, and an angry scratch slashed across his cheek.
Gracious. This day just kept going from bad to worse.
Excerpt used with permission. All rights reserved.
It would be a spoiler to tell you why I think Jack deserves half an orange head but let's just say the women in his novel are no shrinking violets and really smart in their own rights. Jack ends up needing them as much as Elizabeth needs Jack.
About Jack Elder's novel (Released June 5, 2012):
When Texas Ranger Jack Elder stormed the isolated Kansas homestead, he expected to find a band of outlaws. Instead, the only occupant is a heavily pregnant woman--and she's just gone into labor. A loner uneasy with emotion, Jack helps deliver widow Elizabeth Cole's baby girl and can't get back on the trail fast enough. The robber and murderer he's after killed one of Jack's own, and he vows to catch the man. But when he returns to check on Elizabeth and her little one, he discovers that she may hold the key to his unsettled past--and his hoped-for future.
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About Jack Elder's author:
A wife and mother of three, Sherri's hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, "Why did I just come in here?" A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul. Sherri loves to hear from readers. Visit her at sherrishackelford.com, or e-mail her at sherrishackelford at gmail dot com.
Now for the Fiction Hero Feature Exclusive not found in the novel--directly from the author:
Jack has a real weakness for sweets! He especially loves pastries. He knows every baker between Wichita and Paris, TX--and they're used to seeing him when he is in town. When Elizabeth needs to warm him up to something, she makes sure she bakes her famous Kolaches - peach are his favorite!
Now for the giveaways:
We have one print copy of Jack Elder's novel Winning the Widow's Heart (2011 Genesis Finalist I might add!) to give a randomly chosen commenter in the drawings at midnight 8/14/12. I say DRAWINGS (with an S) because you great blog readers loved the gift card option last post so much I'm going to do that for the life of FHF! But the sames rules will apply. You have to have already read the featured hero's novel and prove it to me. Like Jack Elder, I'm not very trusting, hehe. For the gift card drawing, name a secondary character from the novel that isn't Jack or Elizabeth, and once that character has been used, you have to pick a different one. And I'll take anybody, even the chicken, and yes, the dear sweet girl has a name!
By the way, Jo doesn't count. She's in the excerpt. =)
As always, if you aren't a blog follower, leave me your e-mail address in an anti-spammer format such as jackeldertexasranger at awesomehero dot come so I can notify you if you're name is drawn for Winning the Widow's Heart or for the $10 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice.)