Monday, March 9, 2015


I'm taking a break from the Betty and Jim story this week to share the first chapter of my new book, The Cowboy Has Her Back.  As it's been pointed out to me, it's my job to drum up interest and so I'm beating the drum.  If you have already read the book it would be great if you left a comment. The book has been re-released to correct some of the inadvertent name changes of  Mickey and Hank but I don't think it detracts from the story even before the correction - proof of which is it escaped Ray's beady eyes, my beta readers and the editors, not to mention mine.  Anyway, without further ado.


A snake spooked Mickey Chandler’s horse, Bella, and she took off at breakneck speed leaving Mickey holding on for dear life.  Just when she thought she was getting control, a tree branch grazed across her arm causing her to lose her grip on one of the reins. How am I ever going to get control?” Really frightened now, she closed her eyes pretending this was all a dream. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and all she could do was hold on tight and hope to hell Bella would eventually tire and she would still be in the saddle when she did.

Hank Caldwell was mending fences along the road when a horse and rider flew by him. He didn’t pay much attention at first, but something caught his eye and he realized it was the horse’s rein trailing on the ground, leaving the rider in peril.  Running to his truck and starting after them, he wished he was on horseback instead of in the truck because he wasn’t sure how he was going to rescue the rider. He only hoped he could help before the rider fell or the horse’s hooves got tangled in the trailing reins. As he neared them and then rode ahead, he jumped out of the truck and stood by the side yelling at her to jump into his arms.  He could see and understood the fear on her face, but it was her only chance.  She couldn’t bring herself to do it and they streaked past him.  Running back to the truck and getting ahead of them again, he stopped and stood on the side and waited so he could try again.  Mickey’s was so scared, afraid of falling and being trampled, afraid of dropping to the ground, but her fear of staying on the horse was greater. This time, she jumped and he caught her.  She was trembling and he was glad because maybe she wouldn’t feel him trembling too.  He’d been afraid he wouldn’t be able to grab and hang on to her and that she would fall and get hurt, but he prevailed.  

“Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not okay.”

She was still in his arms and he put her down and hugged her to him. He ran his hand down her spine and continued that slow comforting glide.  She focused on his hands and the strength in arms. He kept rubbing her back as, in a soft voice, he crooned she was safe and the ordeal over into her ear, and finally felt her stop shaking.


“I think so.  I was so scared.”

“I bet you were; I was scared for you.”

“Where did you come from?  I didn’t see anybody.”

“I’m not surprised - you were going so fast.  I was back down there aways, mending fences when you whipped by.  At first I didn’t pay attention, but then I saw the left rein dragging on the ground.  It’s a wonder it didn’t get tangled in the horse’s leg.  What the hell happened?”

“Bella and I were just out for an afternoon ride when a snake spooked her and she took off.  Before I could get her under control, a tree branch grazed my arm and caused me to drop the rein.  I didn’t know what to do after that, I just closed my eyes and prayed and held on as tight as I could.”

“You’re sure you’re not hurt?”

“Shaken and my bones rattled but okay, thanks to you.  By the way, I’m Mickey Chandler.
“Pleased to meet you Mickey Chandler, I’m Hank Caldwell.”  He offered his hand and she laughed.

“What’s funny?”

“You offering your hand, a few moments ago you were giving me a hug, I liked that better.  OMG, did I just say that out loud?”

“Yes, you did say that out loud but guess what, I liked it better too,” giving her a smile showing sparkling white teeth set off by his tanned skin and sky blue eyes. “So Mickey Chandler, where are you from and what are you doing out this way?”

“I’m Becky Peterson’s sister.  You know - Peterson’s Feed & Grain.  Becky just had twins and was a little overwhelmed at first so I came to help and she talked me into staying a while longer.”

“So you are just visiting?”

“Yes and no. I’m tired of living in the city/suburbs, too much traffic and congestion and this area of California is so much quieter than where I’m from in the San Diego area.  How about you, Hank Caldwell, you hail from here?”

“Yup, born and raised and probably die right here too.  My family owns the Circle C.”

“I assume the Circle C is a local ranch?”

“Yeah, that it is.  Are you ready to get in the truck and see if Bella has stopped anywhere along the way?”

“Yeah, just please don’t ask me to ride her back.  I don’t think my bum could take it.” She brought both her arms back and rubbed her bum cheeks.  He felt a twitch in his jeans thinking he would be happy to take over that chore.

“Sore, is it?”

“A little tender, but after a long soak in the tub, it will be better tomorrow and ready for another workout.”  Hank sucked in his breath.

About two miles down the road, Mickey spotted Bella grazing in a field off to the right.

“There she is,” and Hank slowed down. He knew the farm road was a little further down and he turned in, stopping at the cattle guard, to unhook the gate.

“Mickey, slide over to the driver’s seat.”  She did so, and passed through the gate and picked Hank up on the other side once he hooked up the gate. 

“Turn here”

“Isn’t that trespassing?”

“Don’t worry about it, this isn’t the city.”

She turned the truck into the field, driving slowly until she was about two hundred yards from Bella.  Bella barely looked up as Mickey approached.  She reached for the reins as Hank checked Bella’s legs for any cuts or bruises. 

“She looks okay,” Hank said.  “Come here and I’ll show you a trick so you won’t lose a rein again.” 

“If you’re going to tell me about tying the reins together, I do know that, it’s not my first time riding. I just forgot to do it.

“Maybe, I should give you a reminder.”

“And, what would that be?”

“A good spanking with the reins, might be just what you need to remember to be take precautions when riding by yourself.”

“At my age, you have to be kidding.” He watched her squirm a little and tucked away the knowledge for future reference.

“Mickey, age is no factor when it comes to spanking.”  He gave her that smile that turned her knees to jelly.

“Do you know how to get back to your sister’s from here?” he asked.

“I think so.”

“You drive the truck and I’ll ride Bella back.”  That smile again but this time the accompanying tone didn’t match.  This tone was one of a man used to giving orders and  having them obeyed.

“Yes, sir.”  She said smiling but giving him a salute along with it.

“Getting a little spunky, aren’t you?”

“Am I?” she teased.

She got in the truck and took off.  He watched as she got to the gate, unhooked it and got back into the truck and drove through and off onto the road.  It was why he held back, he adjusted Bella’s stirrups, rode over to close and latch the gate.  He made a mental note to remind her of the importance of paying attention to close gates behind her, if he ever got the chance.

By the time she got to Becky’s, Hank was already there.  He was sitting on the front porch with one of the twins Ella cradled in his arm.  He looked so natural, for a moment it almost took away her breath; most men handled babies as if they would break.

“I didn’t realize you knew my sister.”

“Honey, Williston is a small town and most people knew one another. Hank’s family has been around Williston as long as Brad’s.  Hank hasn’t been back all that long, so I don’t know him as well as other Caldwell’s.” Becky said.

“If Becky doesn’t need me to babysit tonight, I’d really like to take you out to dinner tonight to repay you for saving my butt today.”  Becky should her head. “You go ahead, I’m fine.”

“I’d like that,” Hank replied.

Mickey told Hank to choose the spot.  He picked Rowdy’s Roadhouse, a restaurant on the outskirts of Williston and made famous by regular appearances of Rowdy’s Rangers, a Texas band now famous but discovered at the restaurant by an affluent patron.  Since then, whenever the band was on tour and in the approximate area, they made it a point to drop in and play a set or two. Rowdy’s was a popular place and there was quite a line waiting for a table when they arrived. Luckily for them, many of the waiting patrons were large parties and they moved up the list quickly since there was just the two of them.

Mickey had pumped her sister for any information on Hank, but she didn’t learn much. Becky said he had only returned to Williston and let it go at that.  Apparently, the Circle C was one of the biggest and most successful ranches in the area.  In addition to cattle and horses, their holdings included vineyards and almond orchards.  Hank had a couple of brothers and a sister and both brothers worked on the ranch.  His sister married an attorney and moved to Washington DC.  His parents, were still involved in the running of the ranch but based on the gossip around town were gradually turning it over to their sons, Hank, Dave and Randy.

Hank and Mickey weren’t sitting at the table long before people started stopping by. All of them welcomed him home; and expressed their hope he stayed this time.  If people ever stopped coming by the table, she planned on finding out more about Hank Caldwell.  With his tousled sandy blonde hair, bronzed skin and bright blue eyes, fine lines crinkling the edges of his eyes and mouth, he was good looking enough to be an actor or model. He was a man comfortable in his own skin and used to being in command, and it showed. Dressed in dark blue jeans, sharply creased but soft looking and weathered, a checked long sleeved shirt and well-worn boots that were clean and polished, he was one handsome cowboy and she was sure he set many a heart aflutter, hers among them.  The steady stream of greeters slowed down and she was just about to ask him about himself when another couple plopped themselves down in the seat on the other side of their booth.

“What are you doing here, this is most unusual for you?” the man said to Hank. Mickey took a good look at Dave and could see a resemblance but Hank was the winner. “Mickey is taking me to dinner for saving her ass this afternoon.”

“Mickey, meet my brother Dave and this is his, ‘what are you Dani, his lover, friend, mistress, wife; what other labels might there be?’”

“No need for such sarcasm or meanness, Hank” she purred at him.

“I see not much has changed.” Dave said to Hank. Mickey was surprised that Dave took Hank’s disparaging remarks about Dani so well, she half expected fisticuffs to break out at any moment.

“Oh, a lot has changed.  She’s with you now and I only wish you the best of luck and hope to hell you never have to leave town, because we have one more brother.”

 “That’s enough, Hank.” Dave told him.

“You came and sat down here, so if you don’t want to hear anymore, then I suggest you find yourself another table.”

Dave gave Dani a slight push out of the booth.  As they walked away, Mickey spoke to Hank.  “It’s none of my business, but I have to ask.  I can guess, but what the hell was that all about?”

‘You’re right Mickey,  I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t want to ruin what’s left of the evening by hashing through things better left untouched. Maybe if we ever get to know each other better, I’ll explain.”

“Okay, but before they popped in, I wanted to ask what brought you back to Williston and what took you away in the first place.  If the two things are tied together, I’ll understand if you don’t want to go there.”

“They are and they aren’t.”

“I left because when I was in college I was recruited by Homeland Security.  My college major was criminal justice and after September 11th I was all gung ho to go out and protect my country.  When HS came on campus, they offered me a chance to use my education and satisfy my passion; I took them up on their offer.  So, to answer your question, I worked for Homeland Security.  I’m not active right now.”

“So are you back in Williston to stay?”

“I’m in Williston.  Life changes on a dime and in HS I learned to live one day at a time, that’s what I’m doing.  So enough about me, let’s talk about you.”

“Shall I start at birth and just go forward or is there a particular place you want me to start?”

“A smart mouth, I should have guessed from earlier today.  Start anywhere you like?”

“I told you earlier my sister Becky had twins and I came to help. Once the twins were on a regular schedule, I was beginning to feel underfoot but the holidays were on the horizon  and she asked me to stay through them at least.  It didn’t take much convincing, spending the holidays with loved ones or alone. I find I’m ready for a change and want to be closer to family. Becky said the district is looking for teachers so I’ve decided to apply for a position. Back in San Diego, there are too many memories around every corner.  I’m a widow.  My husband was a Navy Seal that, believe it or not, was not killed in the line of duty but by a drunk driver. Barry returned from a mission and was on his way home when it happened.  They haven’t found the driver, and I doubt they ever will.  It occurred about 2:30 am, and no one has come forward with any information.  It’s been two years, so I don’t hold out any hope.  It doesn't matter though, it will not bring Barry back.  Anyway, it’s time for a change.  Becky is my only sibling so living close to her and my nieces makes this the logical place to settle.”

“So if you get the job, you’ll settle here in Williston, or at least in the area?”

“Teaching job or not, I’ll settle here.  With Barry’s pension, I don’t have any financial worries.  I still have loose ends in Southern California but nothing that will keep me there for long.”

“Good to know.”


As they were leaving Rowdy’s, a noise drew Mickey’s attention.  Rowdy’s Restaurant had a wide porch, which wrapped around the front, extended around the side and bordered the back parking lot.  Over sized chairs and benches lined the porch to accommodate the patrons. During the busiest times, patrons waited to hear their name called for dinner, and once the dinner crowd departed and the roadhouse crowd gathered, these benches served other purposes.  Many couples were in the throes of physical exploration but to her absolute surprise, she saw a girl getting her buns toasted.  The noise she heard weren’t cries for help but cries of enjoyment.

“Barry and I enjoyed our little kink, but I can’t imagine we would ever do it in public.  I shouldn’t be surprised; my dad used to refer to California as the land of the fruits and nuts.  I don’t adhere to that, but anything I see here never surprises me.”

“If you and your husband indulged in spanking, why did you make the statement earlier in the day about spanking at your age?”

“We used our spanking as foreplay, you know, the slap and tickle sort.  Occasionally, he’d deliver a swat on my bum but you made it sound like spanking for correction purposes.”

“It can be both, if there is consent between both parties.”

“I like the former, I would have to be convinced about the latter,” she told him and he laughed.

“If the time and circumstances presents itself, I can be pretty convincing.” 

“We’ll have to see about that.”  He placed his hand low on her back so that part of his palm landed at the apex of her butt crack.  She felt the heat but ignored the gesture, there would be time enough for that later on.


At her sister’s, she invited him in but he declined. “You saved my life, I suppose a kiss is in order.” She reached over to kiss him on the lips, expecting him to reciprocate.  Instead  he gave her a chaste kiss and said he would be in touch.  Mickey was disappointed, she thought they made a connection but it sounded like a brush off to her.

Driving home, Hank was lost in his thoughts.  Since Dani, he kept his dating light and casual.  He always told the ladies he did not want nor was he looking for a relationship; he only wanted some fun and sex if offered. It wasn’t that he didn’t get that many takers, he did but he was very selective.  Mickey Chandler did not appear to be the kind of girl to accept his terms; the problem was he liked her, but Dani had twisted him up and tore his heart and trust into little pieces. Was he willing to risk his heart on Mickey?  His hardening shaft answered the question but he still wasn’t sure he would call. He wasn’t sure he was ready and he didn’t want to hurt someone the way he had been.

If you want to read further, the book is available at LSF and AMAZON - just click the title and you'll find yourself at the checkout counter.  

See you later for more Aimless Ramblings.


  1. Hi Sunny, congratulations on the new release and thank you for sharing the first chapter. Definitely got me intrigued to read more :)


  2. I read it early and I was so into the story I didn't notice any name mistakes. That's what would make me a lousy editor. I can't be bothered with little mistakes when I'm lost in a story. This book was so good - cowboys, jealousy, surprise and, of course, a little spanking!

    1. Actually, I should never edit my own work, I read right over the errors.

      So glad you enjoyed the story and didn't get lost.

  3. Hi Sunny, this is a good one, I am like PK I don't worry about mistakes once I am caught up in the story
    love Jan,xx

    1. Thanks Jan. I'm that way too, once I'm caught up in the story, I'm in the zone.

  4. You're, just awesome, Sunny. Just awesome!

  5. Ohh yum! I am very happy with this one!!

  6. I wasn't going to read it but I did and loved it so look forward to reading the whole book Thanks SG.


  7. Downloaded. It is next up on my reading list

  8. Hi Sunny, loved this snippet. I don't mind if there are different names, as long as I can identify who is who.



  9. Hey Sunny...this is on my TBR list and after reading this snippet, I just might have to move it higher up the list. ;) Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and Blessings...

    1. Hope you enjoy when you have the time to read the rest.

  10. Great teaser, I will definitely buy it to read the rest. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Welcome Emerging Lurker - thanks for dropping by and even more for letting me know you were here. I'm glad the drum beats got to you - I did a good job today. Hope you enjoy the rest of the book.

      Be sure to stop by again and Thanks.


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