And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
🍒 Happy Washington’s Birthday!
And I cannot tell a lie — there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for the “liberty” of knowing Jesus Christ because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life — John 14:6.
And the “truth” is … true liberty is doing the right thing!
Or at least that’s the theme of my first Western book, For Love of Liberty, WHICH is available for FREE DOWNLOAD right now, February 22-26, so I hope you take advantage.
And, yes, that is my sweet new grandson who was born a month early and wasn’t even supposed to be here till next week, so I’ve included a few more pics below AND my favorite kiss from For Love of Liberty to get the pump primed!!
AND … to sweeten the deal, the next book in the series, LOVE’S SILVER LINING, will also be on sale at 50% off, so you’ll want to check that out too if you haven’t already! Here are the links:
HAPPY WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY READING!
JuJu’s Favorite Pix!
JUJU AND PAPA WITH THEIR BOY!
BABY WY WONDERING WHY!
JUJU AND PAPA’S GIRL WITH HER BOY!
My Favorite Kiss From
For Love of Liberty!
He slacked a hip, his hunger and fatigue siphoning out every bit of manners his mama ever taught him. “No, Miss Bell, I’m not implying that at all. I’m saying it outright. You’re bossy, pushy, and you like the sound of your own voice, so I’m going home where I can get some peace and quiet.”
“Well, I never!”
“No, I don’t suppose you have,” he said, thinking the woman would be even more drop-dead pretty if she didn’t talk so dad-burned much. “Because I’m sure those milksop dandies you’re used to dealing with in New York toe the line. But this is Virginia City, Liberty Bell, and I’m a man who doesn’t take kindly to a pushy woman. Good night.”
“Oh, no you don’t!” She sprinted to the door and slammed it closed, plastering her body in front with arms outstretched and palms to the door. “There are at least ten points left on my list to cover, mister, and I am not leaving until we’re done.”
“Oh, we’re done, Miss O’Shea,” he ground out, the rare usage of her real surname an indication that his usual tease and banter was as empty as his stomach. “Now get out of my way.”
“No.” She responded with that same determined glint in her eyes she’d always had in spelling bees and science fairs, triggering a hair of his humor—but only a hair. She braced her arms in a tight fold, and he swore the low heels of her green satin ankle boots—which matched her expensive dress to a toe—would leave dents in the polished hardwood floor. The almond-shaped eyes snapped with green fire, igniting both his temper and something far more dangerous to them both. She gave him a sassy jut of her chin. “We can finish our meeting here or at the table, Mr. McShane, your choice.”
“Oh, so now I have a choice?” His brows shot high in mockery, mostly to head off a twitch of a smile. They slashed low again as his voice ground to a growl. “No, ma’am, I’m tired of your yammering and I mean to go home. So I’m not going to tell you again, Liberty Bell—move that fancy dress of yours out of my way, or I’m going to move it for you.”
“You wouldn’t!” Those full pink lips parted in shock, and he mentally tasted them in his mind, grazing their softness with his mouth.
“Try me.” He singed her with a glare as hot as the fire she’d lit in his belly.
She studied him in blessed silence for several moments, as if gauging the validity of his threat, probably not even aware she was biting that lush lower lip he ached to lay claim to. And then the bodice of that incredible dress rose and fell as she switched tracks as smoothly as the V&T, appearing to take a different tact. “Finn, please,” she said in a soft voice that would have melted his insides if he trusted her. Which he didn’t. “Just twenty minutes more, and our meeting will be over, I promise.”
He stood his ground, eyes fixed on emerald eyes fringed with thick lashes instead of those deadly pink lips. Liberty O’Shea had an awful lot to learn about him if she thought she could get anywhere with feminine wiles, which galled him even more than a pushy woman. Didn’t work with Jo Beth, and it sure in the devil wasn’t going to work with the woman who’d just dragged him through the mud in the biggest newspaper in town. At least pushy women were honest—right out there with their bossy demands rather than hiding an agenda to control or manipulate. Besides, the day he’d let Liberty O’Shea win an argument was the day he’d pack up and leave town. And he wasn’t going anywhere.
“Hate to break it to you, Miss Bell, but our meeting is over. Now.” Tucking his satchel under his arm, he looped both hands around that tiny, little waist and hiked her up in the air so fast, all he heard was the catch of her breath. Without ceremony, he plopped her down behind him, battling a grin when she squealed and wobbled like a newborn calf on mother’s milk with rum. Snatching his hat off the hook, he slapped it on his head and opened the door. “Good night, Miss Bell. See you next week.”
Slam! The door banged closed with a stiff breeze, almost taking his nose with it while a wild-eyed firecracker bonded herself to the door. “You are going to listen to me, you mule-brained skunk, if I have to nail this door shut and your shoes to the floor!”
Finn blinked, not sure whether to laugh or cry. He’d always heard redheads had volatile tempers, but he’d honestly had no idea. Although Liberty had never been what you called mild-mannered in school and certainly testier than most girls he knew, she’d never lost control like this before. It was almost like this was her own personal vendetta against the dominance of men in a society that knew little else. A battle of wills she obviously intended to win, but he had some bad news for the little spitfire.
He intended to win too.
In more ways than one.
Sparks and words were flying, but all he could do was glare, the fire in his belly slowly smoldering out of control when his gaze flicked to her lips and held. That perfectly beautiful mouth was just a yapping away, but the only thing he heard was the violent thud of his own pulse and the sound of those lips calling him home …
“And another thing, Finn McShane,” she said, slapping her hands to her hips, “if you don’t march right back to that table and pull your load, I will not only tell the mayor, but I will tell Miss Willoughby and Mrs. Poppy as well.”
Her words suddenly registered, and he could do nothing but shake his head, shades of the old Liberty tattling to their teachers coming to mind. He grinned while he mauled the back of his neck, pretty sure he’d never meet another woman who could fire up every emotion in his body quite like her. “You know, Liberty, you may have grown up into a woman with a fancy degree, but deep down you’re still that spoiled little brat who just wants to get her own way.” He slacked a hip and folded his arms, shuttered eyes issuing one more warning. “Now we can try this all over again next week if you’re willing to behave, but I’m going home, and I suggest you do the same. Now please move.”
“Or what?” She locked her arms to her chest like him and angled a brow, apparently under the mistaken notion she had the upper hand. “You going to manhandle me again, you big bully? Well, there’s nothing you can do to get me to move except sit back down and act like a civil human being.”
“Ha! As if you would even know what that is.” He blasted out a sigh and dropped his head, hands perched low on his hips. “Okay, lady, I’m going to ask you one more time, real nice and civil-like …” He peered up beneath hooded eyes, a near smile on his face. “Will you please move out of my way?”
“Nope.” She smiled and shook her head, as if quite confident he was on the thaw. She clutched her hands behind her back like a little girl about to misbehave, green eyes issuing a dare. “And you can’t make me.”
He sighed. Poor, misguided, little rich girl. “Yeah?” He pushed the brim of his hat up. “Watch me.” Hurling his satchel to the floor, he heard the catch of her breath when he struck like lightning with an arm to her waist. Jerking her close, he kissed the daylights out of her while her boots dangled in the air. Unfortunately, the moment he tasted those soft lips parted in surprise, he was struck by a little lightning of her own, electrifying every nerve in his body while his blood simmered to a dangerous boil.
When a telltale mew escaped her throat, he was helpless to contain the low moan that rose deep in his belly. Butting her to the door, he cradled her face in his hands, longing pumping through his veins as he claimed the sweetest lips he’d ever known—and he’d known plenty—completely disarmed by the scent of her skin, the soft flesh of her ear. Sure, he’d dreamed of kissing Liberty O’Shea for as long as he could remember, but he never expected this—a kiss that could surely tame his taste for all other women.
The very thought bucked like a thorn-saddled bull, and with a rush of icy mountain water surging through his veins, he dropped her to the floor like he’d been bit by a rattler. She teetered precariously—along with his heart—eyes glazed and mouth still open in shock. Mustering all the calm he owned—which was a mite low at the moment—he yanked his hat down low and reached for the knob. She bolted away like he was a grizzly fresh up from a nap, and Finn had to stifle a chuckle, tossing her a wink as he opened the door. “Told you.”
He startled at the sight of Miss Willoughby hurrying down the hall, papers fluttering in her hand while heat seared his collar. “Oh, Finn, I truly apologize for the delay, but the mayor was in one of his chattier moods.” Her pace slowed as her eyes flicked from his sheepish grin to Liberty’s pale face, a crimp of concern creasing her brow. “Is everything all right?”
“Oh, yes, ma’am, we’re all done here and on our way home.”
Relief washed over the schoolteacher’s face as she unleashed a grateful sigh. “Oh, good! I was so worried, but it sounds like you two made some good progress.”
Tipping his hat, he couldn’t resist a smirk over his shoulder, deflecting the wild beat of his pulse with a leisurely wink. “Yes, ma’am, I believe we did.”