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Lauren's Book Cover for Ballad Beauty

AVAILABLE NOW!
Ballad Beauty
a western historical romance

www.amazon.com

After a decade apart, Boston schoolmarm Jenny McShanahan heads west to reunite with her father, only to learn through a wanted poster that Sam's become a famous outlaw and that her escort is a Texas Ranger charged with bringing him to justice.

Scroll down to read an excerpt.

COMING June 2015: Leave Yesterday Behind, my first contemporary romantic suspense, featuring a serial killer stalking a famous New York actress back to her childhood home in Louisiana.

COMING Fall 2015: A Knight for Kallen, a medieval historical whose heroine becomes a political pawn in a plot to overthrow King Edward II.

COMING in 2016: Illusions of Death, another contemporary romantic suspense, with a crime novelist teaming up with a local police chief to track down the Rainbow Killer.

Watch this site for information on current and upcoming releases. Don't forget to check out Write Up My Alley, Lauren's blog about her writing journey, fun facts from history, and life in general.

Enjoy!

An Excerpt From Ballad Beauty:

Snake Burton wasn't coming. He hadn't bothered to show up-drunk or sober. Why would any gentleman let a lady wait at the appointed place, horse and supplies in hand, only to be humiliated in front of most of the population of Apple Blossom?

She knew the answer. Snake Burton was no gentleman.

Well, if he wasn't coming to see her, she would go to him-if only to tell him what deplorable manners he had.

"You." She pointed to a young man barely old enough to shave. "I want to have a word with you."

He slowly came her way. Those gathered on both sides of the street did the same. If words were to be spoken, the citizens of Apple Blossom didn't want to miss them.

"Do you know a Mr. Snake Burton?" she asked.

"I reckon 'bout everyone between here and Fort Worth knows Snake," he said affably, and the crowd chuckled along with him.

"Could you tell me where I might find him at this hour of the morning?"

"I s'pose he's up at Miss Lulu's still."

"And where might I find Miss Lulu?"

"Oh, you don't want to go finding Miss Lulu, ma'am. She's six feet under or better and has been nigh on five, maybe six years now."

"But Mr. Burton is at this Miss Lulu's house. Would you please show me the way?"

The crowd murmured its disapproval, and she wondered what she'd said wrong.

"I'll show you where Miss Lulu's is."

The throng parted, and her heart caught in her throat. It was the dark–haired stranger with the cold, sky blue eyes. She almost took a step back as he approached then thought better of it. Treat him like Lucinda Smith, the ringleader of the bullies that picked on her in those early days when she first arrived at The Thompson School.

She drew herself up to her full height and raised her chin a notch for good measure. He came toward her slowly, an easy confidence in his gait.

He must be an even six feet, she judged. Muscle hardened his otherwise lean frame. His jet–black hair had a slight wave to it. His complexion was dark, as if he spent most of his time outdoors in the bright Texas sun. Chiseled cheeks and a strong jaw accompanied a sensuous mouth.

But what she focused on now was the small scar. Funny, she hadn't noticed it before. It ran just above his chin, white against his tanned face. She thought it might be from a knife, based on her experience at the free clinic. She wondered how he'd gotten sliced in such a tender spot.

He paused as he reached her, his hat in his hand. "I can show you. But I don't think you'll want to go in."

Her eyes flashed. "And why not?" she asked in a haughty tone.

"Because Miss Lulu's is a house of ill repute."

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