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When the Chips are Down, There’s Nobody There

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there.

Daisy-PromoDaisy Matthews grew up on the streets of Chicago, and if she learned anything, it was that she could count on no one to help her, ever. She knows she has to tough it out, protect herself, and when necessary, protect anyone she cares about. All by herself. No one else will do it for her.

Hubs and I have loved writing Daisy and her story. We first introduced her in Cassie’s Hope (Riders Up, Book One) – she’s the teenage waif in the group home where Cassie worked before she went back to training horses. We’ve known so many kids like her across our social service and academic careers. There’s a special kind of resilience that comes from growing up that way; kids who don’t develop it probably don’t make it, and we’ve known some of those, too.

She doesn’t know who her father is. Her mother, who died of an overdose when Daisy was little, was a prostitute. Fortunately for Daisy, her rock-solid grandmother took her in, but that grandmother died when Daisy was eleven. Unadoptable for whatever reason, she ended up in a group home through her early teenage years, until Cassie and Clint Travers became her foster parents.

We’ve dedicated this book to two of our ancestors who faced severe social stigma more than a century ago: my great grandfather, who was born to an unmarried teenage logging camp cook in the Pennsylvania mountains, and hubby’s great grandmother, a quarter-blood Cherokee in an era when the family tried to hide that information out of shame.

Maybe we gave Daisy an extra boost when we paired her with a handsome wealthy hunk in his early forties, but we think she deserves a bang-up happy ending for her determination, grit, and courage in the face of present day social stigma. We hope you’ll agree.

Willow Smoke
Riders Up, Book Three
Release Date September 1, 2014

Pre-Order NOW

amazon-logo
B&B Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9907476-0-4
ASIN: B00N0DH13I
Romantic Suspense, 87,000 words
Heat rating: three flames (explicit sex, m/f)

BLURB

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there. Willowy blond Daisy Matthews has survived the Chicago streets with this mantra but is unprepared for the much older Nick Underwood’s urgent pursuit. The wealthy businessman receives a thoroughbred in payment for a bad debt and is thrust into Daisy’s world. She teaches him about horse racing; he teaches her about love. When Daisy’s seamy brother-in-law threatens Nick’s safety, she doggedly tries to stop him by herself, but flees to the familiar streets when he attacks. Can Nick find her in time – and if he does, will she still want him?

 

Coming April 30! Heat Wave #romance #suspense

Here’s the fabulous cover created by Rebecca Poole of Dreams2Media for Book Two in our Riders Up series, due out at Amazon next week, just in time for the Kentucky Derby!

Heat-Wave-ebook-web

Cassie's-Hope-eBook-web-redo

 

 

To celebrate, Book One: Cassie’s Hope will be FREE at Amazon April 29 through Kentucky Derby Day, May 3. Bookmark this link http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B00GDWTUGY and hit it April 29 to download your free copy of Cassie’s Hope.

 

 

BLURB ~ Heat Wave

During an oppressive Iowa summer of drought and farm foreclosures, widowed Maggie Anderson makes a bold decision: She’ll merge her love of horses and her family’s three hundred and twenty acres into a horse farm and try her hand at nearby Prairie Meadows Race Track, where racing purses have just been augmented by the recently added casino gambling.

Down on his luck after being falsely accused in a racing scandal and banned from training, former Arlington Race Track trainer Ed Harrington has skulked home to Des Moines to drown his sorrows and wait for the dust to clear. He’s unprepared for the piercing robin’s-egg-blue eyes of pint-sized Maggie Anderson, who finds him at a flophouse and offers him a job. Can he pull himself together and meet the challenge?

As the two forge a tumultuous working partnership, they soon discover someone is out to get Maggie’s farm and will stop at almost nothing to force her off the land. Can they find and stop the culprit before someone is killed? Can they survive the far greater danger unleashed by the raw passion simmering just beneath the surface of their relationship?

EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

Scorching hot. It shouldn’t be this hot in February. Dreamily, she reached out her hand into the hazy air, then heard someone banging on the door and shouting. Strong arms pulled her out of the bed and urged her down the stairs. Horses whinnied frantically in the distance.

The scene shifted. A tall man staggered towards her, carrying the limp form of another man. Flames shot high from some building in the background. She strained her eyes trying to see better but failed to identify either man. Was he dead?

The shock woke her. Safe in her own bed, at a perfectly normal temperature, she tried to make sense of what had just happened. Maggie Magee Anderson never had nightmares. Should she be frightened? Somehow, she didn’t think so. In the dream, she’d been rescued. She’d trusted those strong arms—whose arms? Would she ever find out? Maybe, maybe not, but in her bones, she could feel the dream’s message: She’d be safe, even if she had to walk through fire.

 
© 2020 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.
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