Friday, March 20, 2015

First Fight Friday: Red Dust Dreaming by Eva Scott

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.

Eva Scott is here for ...

First Fight Friday

 with a scene from 

 Red Dust Dreaming

Elizabeth has travelled all the way from New York to a cattle station in the red heart of Australia to retrieve her orphaned nephew, Luke. What she hadn’t counted on was the station owner, Caden Carlyle.

In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

She drew a breath, “I was hoping to spend some time with Luke this afternoon. Do you know where he is?”

Caden relaxed a little. Another safe topic. “Luke is out riding a fence line with one of the head stockman’s boys.”

Elizabeth stretched out her bare legs as she settled back into her chair. They appeared longer than she was tall and he struggled to keep his eyes off them. “It’s generous of you to give the stockman time off of his duties to take the boys riding.”

“I didn’t. The boys are old enough to ride the home paddock fence line.”

“You mean you let two little boys out…” she waved her arm at the sweeping landscape, “…out there alone with no adult supervision.” Her voice raised an entire octave.

“Luke has been on the back of a horse since before he could walk and the other boy is nearly ten. They are riding sedate, mature horses around an area which is well marked. There is no danger of them riding off into the desert never to be found again.” Caden figured Elizabeth had watched Meryl Streep in A Cry in the Dark and now her imagination was running wild.

“That’s not the point. What if something happened to one of them? What if a horse bolted or a snake attacked…”

“Snakes don’t attack as a rule. They tend to steer clear of us as we prefer to steer clear of them.” He kept his voice level and reasonable.

“You know what I mean,” she snapped rising out of her chair to lean against the rail. Her eyes scanned the horizon for Luke. “What time are you expecting them back?”

Caden shrugged even though he knew she couldn’t see him. “In time for dinner. He’ll come in when he gets hungry.”

She spun about to face him, her eyes wild with alarm. “But what if night falls and he’s not back?”

He was up out of his chair before the act registered in his mind, driven by a primeval need to comfort her. There was something vulnerable about those big blue eyes which hooked him hard. He managed to stop his hands from reaching out to her a moment before he could embarrass them both. “The boys know to come in before the sun dips behind the hill. This is not the first time they’ve ridden out together – and it won’t be the last.”

Elizabeth looked up at him then, all her concern on display for him to see. She wrapped her arms around herself as if to comfort her own fears. “He can’t just wander off in New York.”

“And he won’t. He doesn’t know New York like he knows Kirrkalan.”

“But he’s only five years old. How can he know anything without an adult there to guide him?”

“What are you implying?” A coldness took up residence in the centre of Caden’s chest. What was she saying? That he hadn’t provided adequate supervision, that he’d been neglectful?

“I didn’t mean any offense!” She must have sensed the drop in temperature between them.

He blew out a breath and took a beat before speaking. “Look Miss Langtree, I was out riding when I was Luke’s age. He’s not off droving for goodness sake. He’s just gone for a bit of a ride before dinner. Out here in the country that’s a perfectly normal thing for a child to do. He is arguably safer here than riding the subway in New York City.”

“Maybe it is a normal activity for a child born to this land. You are of this land but Luke…”

He cut her off, impatience lacing his voice. “Luke was born to this land too. Don’t forget that. Kirrkalan is the only home he’s ever known. Angela gave birth to him right here in the homestead. This is as much his home as it is mine.”

“Really Mr. Carlyle?” Her voice dripped with acid, gone any pretence of friendliness to be replaced by what he thought must be her courtroom demeanour. He had to admit it was impressive. She drew herself up to her full height, her eyes steely in the dying light. “That may be so but Luke will be returning to New York with me whether you like it or not. His place is with his grandparents, his family.” The emphasis she put on the word family sent him the clear message she didn’t consider him part of Luke’s future in anyway and his heart constricted at the thought of never seeing the boy again.

Caden folded his arms across his chest and rocked back on his heels, trying to dampen down the anger threatening to blaze forth. “Really Miss Langtree? Well, I for one want to be there when you tell Luke you’re tearing him apart from all he’s ever known to take him back the people his mother ran away from. Should be a very interesting conversation.”

Her eyes flashed and her hands balled into fists at her side. She was good and mad, a tell-tale flush creeping along her finely sculpted cheek bones. Her blonde hair, cut short with a sweeping fringe just begged to be messed up and his hand itched for the task. But it was her lips that held him in thrall. He’d only just noticed how lush and kissable they were.

“I owe it to my parents to bring their only grandchild home,” she said between clenched teeth.

“And what do you owe Angela?” he asked enjoying her recoil at the sound of her sister’s name. He unfolded his arms and leaned towards her, closer, closer until he could smell the freshly washed scent of her. She stood her ground and her flush grew deeper as he drew nearer. “What do you owe yourself?” he drawled low and soft before spinning on his heel to leave her standing in the twilight.

Copyright © Eva Scott
Red Dust Dreaming by Eva Scott

Elizabeth Langtree’s has her life in order – safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, 
but they are nothing she can’t handle. 

Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect 
her orphaned nephew.

It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback – the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.

Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.

Red Dust Dreaming 
 will be available April 8, 2015 at:

Don't forget to check out Eva's previous First Fight Friday

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Eva's bio:
Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history. 
She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

Follow Eva Scott online

Thanks for sharing Eva!

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