Friday, August 15, 2014

First Fight Friday: Zanna’s Outlaw: By Julie Lence

Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.

Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight out of their latest book.

a Fire Writer for Written Fireside 

Julie Lence 

is here for ...

First Fight Friday 

with a scene from 

Zanna's Outlaw

Notorious outlaw Buck Grayson is pardoned on the condition he bring law and order to Revolving Point, Texas. Zanna is there, in danger from the fancy-pants attorney seeking revenge against her, and he'll anything for her--
except say the words she longs to hear.

Former soiled dove Suzanna Reynolds wants respectability, a home and children.  She wants them with Buck but he's never even acknowledged that she's his woman. Convinced Buck is out to settle a score, not to please her, 

she demands he proves his love. 

Or leave town for good.

"Sit." She nodded toward a chair at the table and set the plate down. "I'll get you some coffee." Now that the initial shock of seeing him had passed, she wasn't sure what to do. Part of her was so happy to see him that she wanted to throw her arms around his neck and kiss him. The other part was hurt and entertained the notion of strangling him.

She went to the cupboard and took down a cup then stepped over to the stove. Willing her hands to stop shaking, she poured his coffee and then froze when he came up behind her.

"Zanna, the coffee can wait." He settled his hands on her shoulders and nuzzled her ear. "Haven't you missed me?"

"About as much as you've missed me."

"What's that supposed to mean?” He laved his tongue along the curve of her neck. “Never mind. We’ve got more important things to attend.” His hand slipped from her shoulder to cup the underside of her breast.

She inhaled sharp, felt the juncture between her thighs quiver and dampen. It'd been too long since he'd last touched her. Since she'd last tasted his kiss. "You know damn well what it means." She slammed the pot back down on the stove and shrugged off his embrace. "Where have you been? I've waited six months for you to show your face." She moved to the other side of the table, putting distance between them before she did something foolish, like surrender to him.

"I had a little trouble getting here," he hedged.

"I'll just bet you did. After what you said that night inside the Walls, I'm surprised you bothered to show up at all."

"It's not what you think." He rubbed a hand over his jaw. "I didn't abandon you."

"No?" She arched a brow.

"I was sick, for a long time."

"From what? Too much whiskey? Or too many women?"

"Dammit, woman. I'm not lying to you. I'd have Royce and Lucas swear to you it's the truth, but they left before I took ill."

"Royce and Lucas? You saw them?"

"They came to Huntsville with a pardon from the governor."

"So they did manage to get one," she muttered in amazement. "What'd you do? Go back to Wooded Acres with them? Did Missy hound you to come for me until you couldn't stand it anymore and high-tailed it here with a bold-faced lie, hoping I'd feel sorry for you and forgive you?"

"Zanna." He sighed heavily. "I didn't go to Wooded Acres. I had the fever."

"What?" The shock of his words drained some of the fight out of her. "Y-you were sick? Really sick?"

He nodded solemnly.

"Why didn't you send word? Did you think I wouldn't come back and take care of you?"

"No." His gaze slid to the table. "Since you're not gonna kiss me, can I eat while you flay my hide some more?"

She couldn't help but smile at that. "Yes." She reached into a drawer for a fork and set it and the coffee cup she still held on the table. "I'll cut you a piece of peach pie. Ida Mae made it."

"Who?" Buck sat and reached for the cup.

"Take off your hat,” she instructed, opening the pie safe. “Ida Mae is my partner. She and I each own equal shares in this place. I doubt you saw her seated at the table, not with the way you were staring down Garrett."

"He touches you again, he's a dead man," Buck seethed.

"You're not going to kill him, Buck. He's been helpful to me." She left out the parts about how Garrett made her skin crawl and how he kept poking his nose into her business for the simple fact she didn't want someone else's death on her conscience.

"I ain't making any promises, Zanna."

"You never do." She came back to the table with the pie and a knife and sat across from him, noticed he'd had his hair trimmed in the short fashion she preferred. "How long were you sick?"

"Too damn long," he gritted.

"I would have taken care of you, even after the rotten things you said to me." She cut into the pie.

"Didn't want you at my hanging. Didn't want you at my bedside, neither," he said and Suzanna knew that was all the explanation she was going to get.

"Who took care of you?"

"Some woman at the hotel where Royce and Lucas got me a room."

"So, it was okay for her to sponge your brow and bathe your skin, but not me?" Her heart wrenched beneath her breast, bringing tears to her eyes. She lowered her gaze and wondered what else this woman had done for him.

"Better her than seeing worry in your eyes. Besides, she was old enough to be my ma."

Suzanna sniffed back her tears and dabbed at her eyes. His words offered little comfort. Nothing he’d said or done since he'd entered her home had reassured her he’d come back for her.

Through long, hot days refurbishing the boardinghouse and even longer, restless nights alone in her bed, she’d imagined this moment. He’d take her in his arms and hold her close, caress her hair and whisper words of apology for the things he’d said. He’d finally tell her he loved her, say he’d come to Revolving Point for her and not his guns and then he’d promise they’d always be together.

But he hadn’t said or done any of that. Instead, he’d taken her in his arms with the intent to seduce her. And then he’d blurted out some truths and spoke with a hint of indifference in his tone, most likely to avoid a confrontation involving feelings of the female kind.

“She took every chance she got to tell me I'm a rotten bastard and should have hung,” Buck said.

"She must have gotten to know you very well.”

"Not as well as you do."

"Yes," she said sadly and then looked away, certain in her heart that even if he had come back for her their union wouldn’t last. She liked Revolving Point, had made a home and a respectable name for herself. She had friends and wanted to stay. He didn’t, and wouldn’t. "Eat your supper. Ida Mae will be in with the dishes soon." She stood and moved around the table toward the sink.

“Zanna.” He grabbed her arm as she passed him. “About my guns. I’ll be needing them.”

“Of course. I’ll get them now.” He’s leaving sooner than I thought. A sharp pain pierced her breast as she went to the back stairway. He’d meant everything he’d said that night inside the Walls, even the part about her not being trustworthy with his heart.

“Zanna.” Again, he grasped her arm. “You won’t kiss me. You’re in a hurry to get rid of me. Something going on with you and that fella in the other room? Something you don’t want me to know about?”

She turned to face him. “Garrett?” she asked and watched him roll his eyes. “Whatever's between Garrett and me is none of your business.”

“The hell it ain’t. You’re still mine.”

“Am I?”

“Damn right you are. I didn’t set you free.”

“Oh, but you did. The night I brought you the gun. You said ‘this is the end for you and me’ and turned your back on me. And now you come here wanting nothing more than your guns and a night between the sheets. I’m not a whore anymore, Buck, and I’m sure as hell not your woman.”

He yanked her down the two steps and thrust his face close to hers. “You’re mine. Don’t ever forget it. And I didn’t just come for my guns.” He straightened and pushed aside his duster to reveal the star pinned to his chest. “I’m the new sheriff of this hellhole, honey, and my first duty is to teach you some respect.”

“Go to the devil, Buck, and take that tin star with you.” She jerked out of his grasp and ran up the stairs.

“Zanna! Get your delectable ass back down here. Zanna!”

She ignored his summons and dashed down the hall and into her room. Tossing aside the braided rug in the middle of the floor, she pulled back two loose boards and grabbed his guns. Back at the top of the stairs, she flung them at his head and took some satisfaction in hearing him yelp. “You got what you wanted, now leave and don’t come back!” She stormed back to her room and slammed the door shut.

Copyright © Julie Lence


Zanna’s Outlaw: By Julie Lence

Notorious outlaw Buck Grayson is set to hang for the one murder he didn't commit, until a last minute pardon sets him free. But there's a condition to the pardon. He's to cease outlawing and bring law and order to Revolving Point, Texas, the border town along the Rio Grande, with a reputation worse than his. Zanna is there and still in danger from the fancy-pants attorney seeking revenge against her. Buck will do anything for Zanna--even pin the tin star to his chest to keep her safe--except say the words she longs to hear.

Former soiled dove Suzanna Reynolds wants respectability, a home and children, and she wants them with Buck. Trouble is, Buck isn't the settling type and has never openly acknowledged she's his woman. Convinced Buck only took the sheriff's job to settle a score and not to please her, Suzanna demands he court her to prove his love. Or leave town for good.

Reviews for 
Zanna's Outlaw

5 Stars by Avid Reader
Zanna's Outlaw is a classic western from the beginning to end. If you like classic western movies, then you're going to love this book. I haven't read a Western in quite a while but this author pulls you in from the first page and keeps you guessing if Zanna will get her Outlaw. The characters are well developed and as you read along you'll find yourself cheering for Zanna and Buck. You'll be proud of how Zanna has managed while Buck was in prison. And you'll love the background of how he came to be an outlaw. The twists and turns of the plot only make for a richer story and the town of Revolving Point, Texas is a place that could've been pulled from the pages of history. Well done, Ms. Lence. I'm off to pick up you your next book.

 5 Stars by Lynette Hampton
Zanna's Outlaw is the first in Ms. Lence's Revolving Point series. I liked the main characters and was pleased at the way she set up the following books. The book not only has an interesting plot, but shows how a 'bad' man can turn 'good' when forced to do so. I look forward to reading about the rest of Buck's gang in the following books. If you enjoy western romance, this is a good book to start with.

5 Stars by Lana Williams
I haven't read a western romance in quite a while and was captivated by Buck and Zanna's story! The characters are well developed and the tension between them palpable. The story has some surprising twists that will keep you turning pages to the end!

5 Stars by Saundra Krause
Just wanted to let the people know that Julie Lence has done it again. Zanna’s Outlaw is an outstanding book. As with her first three romance novels this one keeps your attention, keeps you wanting more. The storyline was very easy to follow and the characters were easy to love. Great Job Ms. Lence!

Zanna's Outlaw
is available in both ebook and print on:


Julie's bio:

I was born and raised in upstate New York, married my high school sweetheart and accompanied him on his twenty-year career with the United States Air Force. One of his duty assignments was to Cheyenne Mountain Air Station in Colorado. We fell in love with the area and settled back in the Pikes Pike region after his retirement. Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mom enjoying a career writing western historical romance.

Throughout my school years, I enjoyed writing, as long as I could choose the topic. I began reading more in my late teens, which carried over into married life. Women’s fiction, especially Jackie Collins, and mystery were my favorite genres. Then a friend introduced me to the world of romance and I was instantly hooked. From lords and ladies to pirates to cowboys, I couldn’t get enough of this genre. The heroes were dashing and daring and the heroines were feisty and smart. And then, along came Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught.

Johanna Lindsey created an endearing, and addictive, saga with her Malory family. Judith McNaught’s voice is flawless, and inspired me to write my own novel. I began with contemporary romance and quickly switched to western historical. I’ve always had a fondness for horses, John Wayne and the ‘old west’. Combining those with my zest for the television sagas Dallas and Knots Landing, I created the Weston Family Series. To hone my skills, I joined a local romance writing group. From there, I found a publisher and pushed forward with my career.

As with all careers, circumstances took me down a path I didn’t foresee. But it was a good path, enabling me to self-publish my work. Not only do I enjoy writing the story, I enjoy creating the covers, something I never thought I would because I’ve never been artistic. I enjoy taking care of my family and home, exploring the Rocky Mountains and meeting fans of the romance genre.

Follow Julie Lence online

Thanks for sharing Julie!

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