Leap Day Release • An American in Paris of the West

On the cusp of a new century, Asa and his childhood sweetheart, Katherine, are breathlessly swept up in love. After she is unwillingly betrothed to another man, heartbroken Asa takes a job in San Francisco to start anew. When disaster strikes, Kat strikes out across the country to seek Asa’s help. To her shock, she discovers he’s in a legal fight for his life–and she must put herself in mortal danger to save him from a horrible miscarriage of justice.

My new historical romance will be released on February 29, 2019, but you can reserve your Kindle copy now at a special pre-release price HERE.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One!

Love Denied

Staunton, Virginia

May, 1899

Asa Ballard grinned as he urged Fancy Dancer into a trot. When the gig surged forward, Kat Inverness shrieked with delight and clutched his arm. If he hadn’t been driving so fast along the narrow country lane, he would have stolen a kiss from those delicious lips. Of course, he had good reason to believe such a liberty might be freely given, judging by the way Kat clung to him. The thrilling thought made his pulse race along with the gig.

“We’re flying, Miss Inverness.” He chuckled. “Only the fastest chariot will do for the most beautiful creature of my acquaintance.”

Kat gave him a sidelong glance. “I’ve missed your flattery, Mr. Ballard!”

“I speak the truth.”

The corners of her mouth turned up. “If that’s the case, why have you stayed away so long?”

“Learning to be an architect takes time…like wooing a lady.”

“Let us hope that a proper courtship does not take four years.” She tossed her head. “A girl could turn to dust as she waits.”

“No man would be foolish enough to delay overlong and let a girl like you slip through his fingers.”

Kat snuggled even closer and he caught a whiff of her intoxicating fragrance. Life was truly a wonderment as long as she was by his side. When the gates of Hawthorn House came into view, he slowed his horse to a walk. Nevertheless, Kat kept her hand firmly around his arm—and her presence felt as necessary to him as the air in his lungs.

He nodded toward the hedges surrounding the property. “If the hawthorn is in bloom, it must be May.”

“Indeed, it must.” She giggled. “We shall have to run three times around a hawthorn tree and make a wish.”

“Before or after our picnic?”

“It had best be beforehand.” Kat’s nod was decisive. “I won’t be able to run on a full stomach.”

He chuckled. “You’ll run faster if I’m chasing you.”

“Will I?” Her expression turned coy. “And what if I prefer to be caught?”

Asa gave her a mock frown. “Miss Inverness, I believe you’re flirting with me.”

“I might be.” She paused. “Then again, I might not.”


Asa drove the gig up the long drive, past the great house, and to the stables. After he relinquished the horse’s reins to the stable boy, he lifted Kat down to the ground.

“You’re lighter than a thistle.” He made no effort to remove his hands from her tiny waist. “I shall have to feed you cake.”

Her expression brightened. “I adore cake.”

Asa leaned over to whisper in her ear. “I adore cake, too.”

“Oh, you made me shiver.” When she stepped back, a mischievous twinkle lit her exquisite eyes—one the color of lapis and the other an emerald green. “Where are we to have our picnic?”

He pointed. “In the corner of the estate, between that hawthorn tree and the hedge. After I retrieve the hamper from the gig, I’ll escort you.”

“Last one there is a bullfrog!” Kat darted off across the rolling lawn.

“Hey—that’s not fair!”

Chuckling, Asa grabbed the wicker hamper from underneath the seat, along with a brown leather tube on a strap. After he put one arm through the strap, he loped off after Kat at a slow speed, enjoying the pursuit more than he would have thought possible. He’d been fond of her ever since he could remember, but four years of faithful correspondence had fixed his affections permanently. If the day unfolded like he had planned, perhaps he would shortly be able to call Katherine Inverness his own.

Credit: Featured Image is courtesy of Booth Kates from Pixabay

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