If you love westerns and romance with a bit of suspense you’ll love today’s guest author D’Ann Lindun. D’Ann writes for Crimson Romance and she has this to share with us today.
Meet D’Ann Lindun…
Have you ever gone on a scavenger hunt? It’s a lot of fun. One time, about fifteen years ago, my sister and I hosted a party where the scavenger hunt was part of the night’s events. We each had teams of six women who had to go all over town (it’s a tiny resort village) and find certain items. I don’t remember what the prize was, exactly, but it was a huge hit. We talked about it for years.
In my book, Desert Heat, Mallory James is on a scavenger hunt of sorts…more of a treasure hunt. Her missing father has died and she has traveled to Mesa, Arizona to try and find the father she’s searched for all her life.
A petite, graying blond with dark gray eyes, the coroner, didn’t look like Mallory’s idea of a person who dealt with dead bodies, but she hadn’t met too many coroners either. The doctor’s handshake was firm and quick. “Miss James. It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry to tell you that your father’s remains are not ready. We’re backlogged and there’s no way we can get to him until the end of the week.”
“Oh no.” She had hoped to have this over and done with quickly. “Do you have any idea of what happened to him yet?”
“Probably heart failure, but like I said on the phone, I’m not sure. Something’s bothering me, but I don’t want to comment on it yet. I’ll call you when I have a definitive answer and his body is ready to be released. We have some paperwork you need to fill out. If you’ll follow me?”
Mallory followed the coroner into a second room, an ordinary office with dark paneling. After she signed a few papers, Dr. Anson handed over Skeeter’s clothes, a folded paper and a small vial. “You can take these now. We found these items sewn inside his pant leg.”
Mallory took the stack with trembling hands. She glanced at the paper. “What is this?”
The doctor shrugged. “Some kind of map. And the little jar has gold dust in it.”
“Gold dust? Are you serious?” Mallory shoved her glasses back up her nose.
Mallory held the little plastic tube up to the light and examined the particles inside. Flakes of gold glittered. “I wonder what this is worth?”
“Probably not much,” the doctor said. “I doubt there’s enough there to even take to an assayer. But I recognize for what it is.”
“Why on earth would Skeeter carry around a minuscule amount of gold?” Mallory rolled it around in her palm. The glass warmed in her grip. Had he found one of the lost mines? Her heart skipped a beat.
Blurb: Desert Heat
Mallory James doesn’t trust men. How could she when her own father abandoned her twenty-two years ago? Now, when she receives a phone call from a man claiming to have found the body of her father in the Arizona desert, Mallory has no way to find out the truth. For closure, she flies to Phoenix to claim the body.
Mike Malone has more trouble than he knows how to cope with. An environmental group, the Salt River Protection League has gotten an injunction that prevents his guest ranch from operating. Tired of the battle, his longtime girlfriend has left him, and his friends—all depending on him for their livelihood—are getting desperate. The last thing he needs is the body of desert rat, Skeeter James, in one of his vacant cabins. And Mike really doesn’t need a beautiful woman taking his mind off business.
The minute Mallory reaches the deserted guest ranch things seem odd. Mike’s friends aren’t welcoming, and one in particular, Diana, seems to want Mallory gone. A vial of gold and half a treasure map are the only legacy Skeeter leaves. Before she can have the burial, Mallory is lured into the desert, bucked off a horse sabotaged by a thorn under his saddle blanket and stalked. Although she is falling for Mike, she can’t love a man she can’t trust. At first, Mike is skeptical of Mallory’s claims, but as incidents begin to pile up, he is forced to admit someone is trying to hurt. But how can they stop what they don’t understand?
Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there's just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, nine ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!
Thank you D'Ann for being our guest today, best wishes to you!