Blazing Guns to the Rescue (Preview)


Grab my new series, "Legends of the Lawless Frontier", and get 2 FREE novels as a gift! Have a look here!

Chapter One

It was a stunning day, perfect for a long, leisurely horseback ride in the country with her best friend Maudie. Nothing made Sadie happier than when she was communing with nature.

They were on their way back from swimming in the lake, not in any hurry. It gave Sadie a chance to breathe in that fresh country air. It was far better than scrubbing on her hands and knees. Being a maid was a little demeaning, but she wasn’t treated unfairly.

Maintaining the estate was a full-time job, and it was nice to know she had money in her pocket and a place to lay her head at night. Room and board came with the position, along with access to the kitchen day or night. While Sadie couldn’t eat with the family, she was able to parlay her curiosity into culinary delights in the middle of the night.

Her late-night cooking wasn’t completely private.

The scent of the food often attracted Maudie. It was how their relationship had blossomed in the first place. Maudie had expressed her displeasure at how Sadie was getting inspiration from her mother’s recipes. They became friends when Sadie reintroduced her to the recipes, bringing a smile to her face.

Sadie didn’t have any family of her own, and Maudie quickly became her sister.

“I think about the past and two names keep coming up,” Maudie said, drawing Sadie’s attention.

She knew what was coming next—Maudie was always regaling her with stories of her best friends from childhood, Woody and Alvin.

“I would like to introduce you to them one of these days,” she was saying. “They’ve grown up. Alvin has a family of his own and it’s hard for him to get away. Woody told me he would be back but I think he was telling me what I wanted to hear,” Maudie said. “Nothing is the same without them here—sometimes, I just want to go out and live in the middle of nowhere, like Woody.”

“You can’t be serious. You have all of this right at your fingertips and you take it for granted,” Sadie said.

“The Roseberry Ranch will be mine one day, and I have big plans to make things better. I hope I’m not being too presumptuous, but I see the way you are with the animals. We could be a formidable team,” Maudie hinted.

Sadie did love hearing how the future would involve her and her best friend working together, but Jerome Roseberry would be around a long time yet. The man was too stubborn and greedy to die.

“Your father can be a little rough around the edges, but we both know he’s a good man underneath the greed. I can see through the cracks from time to time. Inheriting the place gave him something to build on, and you’ll build on it even further,” Sadie said kindly.

She was lightly encouraging the horse without putting too much pressure with her heels. Respect was a two-way street and one that she didn’t take lightly.

Grooming the horses was a pastime. Nobody asked her to do it, but she was happy to lend a hand when the workers were preoccupied with something else.

“I’m making an executive decision—you have the rest of the day off. Father is gambling and won’t be back until later tonight. The workers are busy corralling the cattle after they found a piece of the fence missing this morning. We can dabble in the kitchen with my mother’s recipes,” Maudie suggested.

“It would be nice to have a day off. I’ve been working my fingers to the bone. Your father isn’t quick with praise, but I see the smile on his face. It makes me feel good when he shows those subtle hints of appreciation,” Sadie said.

A gust of wind had her brushing a few locks of her chestnut hair away from her face. She was a little shorter, but she more than made up for her lack of height with attitude. Those who knew her well understood she could be shy and introverted, but when push came to shove, nobody was safe from her angry outbursts.

Sadie did want her happy ending, but she had no way of knowing how to go about it. Living miles from civilization cut her off from the possibility of being courted by a man of means and influence.

Maudie was sitting high on her white stallion, holding onto the reins. Her long beige dress hung loosely over the side of the horse. Her red hair was tied with twine to keep it out of her face.

Sadie brushed Maudie’s hair every morning with one hundred strokes. It was time-consuming, but it created an unbreakable bond between the two girls nobody could deny. There were times Sadie believed Maudie’s father kept her around to keep his daughter company.

He wasn’t the most loving father figure. Sadie had never said anything, but she recognized the distance between them. She wondered if there was something she could do to bring them together.

“Us girls need to stick together. I don’t like how my father dismisses you when you have something important to say, but he does the same thing to me. The only person he seems to listen to is his brother, Christian. They don’t see things the same way, but you already know that,” Maudie said.

The ranch sprawled out for miles in either direction. Sadie had lived there for quite some time, but there was still more to see when she went on adventures with her best friend.

She understood better than anybody how Maudie could be her own worst enemy.

Too many times, Sadie had consoled Maudie when she was feeling the pressure of being ignored by her father. It could be Maudie’s father was reminded of his deceased wife every time he looked at her. That would explain how he tried to ignore her.

Maudie had beautiful long red hair, inherited by her mother. One just had to look at the photographs on the wall to know they were carbon copies of one another.

They also had the same temperament and tendency to experience mood swings.

The two girls brought the horses to the stable, and Sadie felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end for no reason. It was a blessing and a curse to have a sixth sense when it came to something being amiss.

She looked around nervously but saw nothing out of place. It could’ve been her overactive imagination. She could easily be accused of letting her mind wander. It happened often when she was reading in the library after dark, when everybody else was asleep.

She was usually a night owl, roaming the hallways with a candle to light her way. Falling asleep with a book in her lap was sometimes how Maudie found her in the morning, wrapped up in a blanket.

“I don’t know about you, but it feels strange when nobody is around,” Sadie said.

Her lips were dry, and she licked them. Her eyes darted around, looking for the slightest movement. It felt like something was going to jump out in broad daylight to scare the hell out of her.

“To me, it feels like freedom,” Maudie countered, apparently unbothered by whatever had ruffled Sadie. “My father is gruff and walks around mumbling under his breath. He doesn’t really see me. I’m not even sure he wants a daughter. Sometimes, I wonder if he wouldn’t rather have a son to pass on his legacy.”

She forced a smile on her face. “But I’m learning about the business, and I hope one day I can impress my father by showing him that the ranch will be in good hands after he’s gone,” she added.

Sadie felt bad for her best friend, but misery did love company. Griping about Jerome had become a once-a-day thing so they could get it off their chests.

“I have no doubt that one day, very soon, he will see that you can contribute more than looking pretty for his guests. I’ve heard you talking in passing while I serve the drinks. They might scoff at the things you mentioned, but it’s going to save your father money in the long run. Unfortunately, it’s going to take an influx of cash to implement your ideas,” Sadie said.

“You are a great listener. Some guy is going to be very lucky when he puts a ring on that finger. I only wish my father had an open mind like you,” Maudie said.

She walked into the house but stopped short when they both heard the sound of glass crunching under their feet. They exchanged similar looks of concern.

Completely lost in conversation, they somehow hadn’t noticed the glass was broken.

The door was always open, but somebody had thought otherwise before even checking the knob. A sound above them alerted them to the possibility of trespassers on the premises.

“Oh my God, somebody is in the house,” Sadie said quietly.

Footsteps sounded, and they were getting closer. Sadie knew of plenty of hiding spots, but to reach them in time would be impossible. Her feet were planted on the floor; she couldn’t seem to move them. She was in a state of unpredictable panic.

The library was the closest room, with a hidden door made within a bookshelf. Nobody would have known about the secret room other than a select few.

“The library. It’s our only chance,” Maudie said.

“I was thinking the same thing,” Sadie said.

They didn’t run, but it wasn’t exactly walking, either.

One specific book would reveal the dusty volumes behind the bookshelf. The room hidden from view held the more expensive books. Some were first editions with weathered and cracked spines.

Sadie couldn’t seem to find the right one to reveal the room in behind the shelf and began tossing books unceremoniously onto the floor without even thinking about it. Her heart was beating three times its normal rate. It felt like it was going to explode out of her chest at any second.

Somebody was shaking her. “This is no time to lose our heads. We might have a chance if we can get in there,” Maudie said.

They finally found the right book with an audible click. The lock had been released, exposing the pungent aroma of dusty books.

Sadie was still clutching the bookcase when she saw the shadow looming behind them. She spun to face a man dressed in black from head to toe, a red-checkered bandana covering his features.

This was the mark of the Jose Luis gang, a Mexican gang involved in racketeering. It dawned on Sadie the broken fence could have been a ploy.

“Look what I found,” the man called out.

Four others similarly dressed with dark hair suddenly appeared at the doorway. One was holding a rifle while the others brandished blades that glimmered when the sun caught them through the window.

“My father has money,” Maudie blurted out.

“That’s what we are counting on. Let’s not do anything stupid. Come with us, and I promise not a hair on your head will be harmed. Your friend can stay to relay our demands back to your father,” the leader said.

He snapped his fingers and two of the men from behind began advancing. The gun was pointed at the two of them, preventing them from defending themselves.

Sadie had heard disturbing rumors about what the gang did to female prisoners. Some of those taken in the past didn’t come back the same way they left. Physical trauma could easily be seen, but nobody could understand what they had gone through.

Sadie impulsively stepped in front of her best friend with her arms outstretched. “I’m not going to let you take her.”

“I don’t see anything or anyone to stop us. You can obviously see the numbers are against you,” the leader said, looking rather amused and annoyed at the same time.

Sadie slapped one of the men when he came a little too close for comfort. It felt good and made her blood boil with an untamed spirit she had felt too many times to count.

“This one has courage. I would admire the fight, but we don’t have time to debate this. Step aside, unless you want to get hurt for your troubles,” the leader ordered.

The man she had slapped was touching his cheek, but his eyes conveyed a serious threat that scared her.

Sadie once again rushed to the rescue standing, between them and their target.

The backhand affected her balance, but she didn’t fall to the floor. The leader was holding onto her hair with his head cocked to the side, glaring daggers.

When he clapped his hands, two others grabbed Maudie. They dragged her out of the house, kicking and screaming. Nobody but Sadie was around to hear her protests.

The other two men walked out, leaving the leader with Sadie. She was on her knees with tears streaming down her cheeks.

“It’s in your best interest to stay right there and slowly count to one hundred,” the leader said.

He walked back, watching her closely. The knife was a good motivator, but this didn’t stop Sadie from wanting to protect her friend.

She was stupid to think she could fight the overwhelming odds. She was probably going to kick herself for even trying, but Sadie couldn’t just sit there and let them take Maudie without doing something.

The scattering of books around her gave her a not-so-bright idea. Sadie began throwing the books, one after the other. She wasn’t even looking at what she was doing until she heard his grunt of response.

“I was hoping to be in and out quickly, but you are making me angry,” the leader said.

Fuming , Sadie raised her head until she was looking him in the eyes. She leaped up and attacked, only to be knocked down with a fist straight to her face.

She stumbled back, lightheaded, until she was tripping over the books and landing hard. She was dizzy and her vision was blurred.

“I’m going to warn you one last time. Don’t do anything stupid. We only want the money in exchange for her return. Give this to her father. He will know what to do with it,” the leader said.

He placed the piece of paper on a small table by the door.

“You are despicable. There is a special place in hell for people like you,” Sadie growled.

“We’re not all born with a silver spoon in our mouths. This is what I have to do to survive. Just stay down,” the leader said.

Sadie didn’t stay down and raced after him, instead. She grabbed him by his long dark hair at the front door. He broke her grip easily and spun with the blade leading the way.

She felt the searing pain slicing into her cheek, just under her right eye. The kick in her stomach blew the wind out of her until she was on her knees, gasping for air.

The instinct to touch the wound was too much to resist. It cut deeply into her skin and was going to require medical attention.

She was blind with rage, but she couldn’t seem to stand up even when she heard the horses galloping away. Reaching out blindly, Sadie felt her hands come in contact with the door. She used it for leverage to stand on shaky legs.

The pain was immeasurable, but she walked out into the sunlight to see the fading form of the horses. It made her sick to her stomach. She ran after them, screaming at the top of her lungs. She could only hope somebody would hear her and come to the rescue.

The cloud of dust choked her, but she continued running, holding her stomach at the same time. Her lungs burned, and sweat was soaking through her dress.

She knew in the back of her mind what she was doing wasn’t going to matter. Chasing after the horses was insanity. She wasn’t going to be able to catch them, but she couldn’t bring herself to stop running.

She ran until they were out of sight. Her legs collapsed. Blood mixed in with her tears. She was always going to have the scar to remember how she had let her friend down when Maudie needed her the most.

How was she going to tell Jerome his daughter had been taken? She could only hope Maudie would be found and brought back home.

The last thing she heard was the fading sound of her best friend’s screams.

Chapter Two

Woody felt dirty from working in the mine. He wanted to make sure he was providing his ailing mother with the best possible life. His father was gone but not forgotten.

He had acquired the mine through a bit of luck and gambling. It didn’t take long to find someone that had more money than brains at the table.

He enjoyed poker. It was a game of strategy.

The mine had produced copious amounts of gold already, and the vein had barely been tapped. There was a lot more to acquire. Finding help would have been easy but trusting them to take their percentage and nothing more was a risk Woody wasn’t going to take.

It was hard work, but the resulting windfall made it worth the backbreaking effort.

He spotted David in his yard, tending to his garden. He was always the first one Woody saw after a long and fruitful day of mining.

“It looks like things have been going well for you. I admire a man that has that kind of undying tenacity. You must have been raised by strong parents,” David said as Woody approached.

“My mother raised me and my brother alone. She’s the strongest woman I know. I always see you out here tending to the garden,” Woody said.

“I’m a minimalist. I don’t need much to live on. Everything you see here is self-sustainable. I do make a meager income selling my fruits and vegetables,” David said.

“David, you are a testament to men everywhere. You’re working tirelessly, but you always have a smile on your face. How do you do it?” Woody questioned.

“You always have to be grateful for what you have. My wife taught me the value of seeing the glass half-full instead of half-empty. I do this in her name. She started this whole thing. She was never happier than when she was gardening, but she showed me there was money to be made at the market,” David said, his gnarled fingers in the soil up to the first knuckle.

“At the risk of sounding maudlin, how do you go on without her? The life you had was something most of us will never be able to come close to. It must’ve killed you to lose her unexpectedly. Drowning is no way to go,” Woody said.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways. It was her time. There was nothing anybody could do about it. We can’t guess what God’s plan is for us. We just continue to move forward with a positive outlook. I could easily wallow in self-pity, but what good would it do me,” David said as he pulled up a handful of carrots.

He placed them in the basket with an assortment of other items, including tomatoes and potatoes. It was certainly a labor of love.

“I’m not sure I could get up in the morning. Don’t be a stranger. There’s always a cup of coffee with your name on it whenever you want to stop by. My door is always open,” Woody said.

“You’re not the first person to walk by in the morning. Most look dejected and defeated, but I always try to brighten their mood. It doesn’t look like you need me to do that for you,” David said.

Woody knelt next to him. “Your hard work has paid off. We both have a knack for finding a gold mine.”

“Very clever. These last few days have had you smiling from ear to ear. Just be careful. There’s no telling what somebody will do when they hear about your good fortune,” David said.

Woody looked around to make sure nobody was near before reaching into the bag of gold nuggets. His mother had often told him about the importance of charity. What better way to pay it forward than to give a little bit to David?

“I want you to have this. Don’t think of it as a handout. We’re friends. I help my friends when they need it. It will make me happy to do this for you,” Woody said.

David looked at him with his mouth gaping open, one tooth missing from his cheerful grin. His hand was shaking when Woody pressed the golden nugget into his palm and curled his fingers around it.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m not sure I can accept this very generous offer. Why don’t you keep it? Look around you. I don’t need anything more than what I have. It’s one of the advantages of living a simple life,” David said with his hand extended.

“I want to do this for you. There have been mornings when I walked by downtrodden and hopeless. It’s been your smile and conversation that have kept me going the last few months. I’m not sure I would’ve continued without you,” Woody said, embellishing David’s importance in his life.

“I will do this for you, but you need to take this basket. I can’t take something for nothing. It’s not the way I was raised,” David said.

Woody nodded and proceeded on his way with a basket of fresh food. His mouth was watering and his stomach grumbling.

He spent his waking hours digging in the gold mine. In his wildest dreams, he never imagined he would have more than enough to live on for the rest of his life. But it just kept producing gold nuggets on a daily basis. He was drawn to the color of gold until he had a sickness he couldn’t seem to shake.

He would stop and wash up and have something to eat before having the day’s find weighed.

The only one to know of his recent good fortune was David, who didn’t seem bothered by the number of gold nuggets. It was almost as if he was oblivious.

Woody felt the dirt inside his clothes. It felt like something was crawling over his skin. Hygiene was very important to him.

He did clean up well when he wasn’t toiling away in the mine shaft. He could easily sell it to the first person looking for his own pot of gold, but something kept him from doing it.

His mother Elsie had told him several times to keep his bounty. She had lived in the lap of luxury, but it was all a house of cards built on promises she didn’t intend to keep. She had been good at scamming money out of lucrative investors, but those days had summarily come to an end.

While her health was declining, she always put on a brave face for her children. She’d provided them with a roof over their heads and food for sustenance until they were able to fend for themselves.

Woody was tall and an imposing figure. He felt invincible with country-grown muscles. Anybody that saw him didn’t want to tangle with him in a fair fight.

It was hilarious to think of how many times he had avoided fisticuffs by just looking at his potential opponents the wrong way. The expression on his face could cool their heels before they did something stupid.

His house was modest—another acquisition made at the table. He could’ve made a living playing poker, moving from one town to the next. It had been something to think about, but then an unlikely source of income had dropped into his lap.

It wasn’t as if he was looking for it. Working for somebody else had gotten old quickly.

He had tried his hand at bounty hunting a few months earlier, but he didn’t want to risk getting killed. The news of his demise would break his mother’s heart.

It just seemed he was in the right place at the right time. The gold mine was his, and he shared what he earned with his family. They were understandably his support system when his love life had derailed too many times to count.

His mother was always stressing the importance of finding a woman worthy of his affections, though she hadn’t been terribly warm when she had met some of the girls he was spending time with. If he didn’t know any better, he would’ve sworn she was jealous of having her position usurped in his life.

That was never going to happen.

His brother Alvin was his best friend, but sometimes they could bicker about what was best for their mother. He envied his brother. Alvin had found the woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with and they had a child on the way.

Woody did go by the beat of his own drum. He was sociable and found friends easier than his brother.

People were drawn to him, likely due to his outgoing personality. Nobody could possibly know the pain he felt from losing his father at an early age. It had made him and Alvin grow up quicker than most. They burned the candle at both ends on the family farm.

He was absent-mindedly kicking pebbles down the road when he heard a feminine voice.

“Watch where you’re kicking those things,” the woman said.

“Who are you?”

She ignored the question. “I’m sorry to bother you at this late hour.”

“I’m not complaining. You might be the prettiest thing I’ve seen in quite a long time. I hope you’re not some sort of mirage,” Woody said.

This was his way of breaking the ice, but he could tell she was unimpressed. She stood up to greet him, making him realize their difference in height.

“My name is Sadie Seymour. I didn’t come here looking for the village idiot. I need your help and I’m not leaving until I get it,” she said.

“I’m not sure it’s a good idea to insult the person you seem to want help from. I’m exhausted. The only thing I want is to sleep and maybe get something to eat. Can you state your purpose in three sentences or less?” Woody asked.

He was wiping the sleep from his eyes and feeling like somebody had dragged him through the mud. He did have to admit having a female visitor put a smile on his face.

She didn’t budge from where she was standing in front of his door. Her arms were crossed.

“I’m sorry if this is an inconvenience, but I didn’t know where else to turn. Give me a few moments and then I won’t bother you again,” Sadie said.

Woody was curious and decided to enjoy talking with her for as long as possible. He didn’t recognize her. She wasn’t one of the locals. It meant she had come from out of town specifically to find him. It was nice to have her company and a little concerning at the same time.

“Blazing Guns to the Rescue” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Woody Pickett is a hardworking miner, whose one and only priority is his family. After realizing that the disastrous events of his past still haunt him, he chooses to leave his hometown and make a fresh start. When he least expects it, though, a stranger shows up on his doorstep to deliver some dreadful news; his childhood friend, Maudie, has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Devastated and losing hope, Woody is willing to risk it all to track the kidnappers down and shed some blood if it comes down to it. How much will Woody have to sacrifice in order to save his friend from deadly danger?

Sadie Seymour found in Maudie the sister she never had. Once she discovers that her best friend is abducted, her world is shattered into a million pieces. Not backing down, she immediately decides to take matters into her own hands and turn the world upside down to find her. Time is running short but forming an alliance with Woody will bring hope to this endless mission. As if their troubles weren’t enough, every day brings a fresh crisis and they will both have to use their gun skills and wit to survive. Will their determination to save their friend be enough when they’ll be confronted with such savage brutality?

As time goes by, Woody and Sadie will create a special bond but they both know that if they want to stay on course, love shouldn’t be on the cards for them. Will their romance ever have the chance to flourish on the trail of the atrocious kidnappers, or will they abandon any hope for love? Can they endure the wild ride and find Maudie, or will they be forced to grieve a devastating loss?

An action-packed story, featuring complex and fascinating characters, and twists and turns that will take your breath away. A must-read for fans of Western action and romance.

“Blazing Guns to the Rescue” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!


Grab my new series, "Legends of the Lawless Frontier", and get 2 FREE novels as a gift! Have a look here!

3 thoughts on “Blazing Guns to the Rescue (Preview)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *