Debra Writes Historicals!
Gritty Western Romance
and Sweet and Sassy 1920’s Romance
Dangerous Ties available in print, eBook and audiobook!:
Lillian Hayes’ fiance, Thomas Shelton, convinced the townsfolk to exchange their gold for his worthless bank notes. After he disappears with the gold, every eye turns to Lillian for answers. Even her cousin Carl insists she knows where the gold is. He is desperate to find it because he is deeply indebted to Kingston, small town criminal and owner of the local saloon.
Carl will do anything to clear his debt; even torture Lillian for answers.
Nick Brace is driving a herd of horses to town when he stumbles across Lillian, branded, strung up over a mineshaft, and left to die. He saves her, tends to her wounds, and teaches her to shoot to protect herself. But the danger isn’t past. When Nick’s horse-trading deal with Kingston goes bad, Lillian races to be the one to save him this time.
Dangerous Ties RONE award finalist 2012
Chapter One Excerpt from Dangerous Ties:
Pain erased all sense of time. Lillian didn’t know how long she’d hung, her muscles exhausted from the strain, her mind full of warnings she was helpless to do anything about.
Her throat was raw from screaming before Grady had gagged her. Now the cloth gag stuck to her dry tongue. She squinted through tired eyes at the pail of water sitting by the edge of the mineshaft. She could look right down into it, the water taunting her with how good it looked, how it would taste cool and refreshing as it slid over her tongue, down her throat. It would soothe her throat if she could just reach it.
But there was no hope of that.
They’d tied her up and left her to die of thirst. Lillian closed her eyes.
No, don’t look at it. Don’t think of it. Think of something else.
Pain shot from her broken right toe up her ankle and leg. The scent of burnt flesh still filled her nostrils. He’d seared the brand across the top of her breast. Memory lodged in her body where pain radiated along with heat, echoes of his laughter still ringing in her ears.
A single tear slipped out and ran down her cheek.
It hadn’t mattered what he did to her or how relentless they were. She still couldn’t tell them where the money was. She couldn’t tell because she didn’t know. And no amount of torture could change that one fact.
Lillian squeezed her eyes tight and prayed her lie had bought enough time to get away. Though how she’d ever get out of this she didn’t know.
A Desperate Journey : Sometimes a journey of the heart is the most dangerous journey of all.
Sally Wheeler learned the hard way that men aren’t always what they seem. Now she will stop at nothing to track down the bigamist husband who stole her child and abandoned her on their failing Kansas farm. Even if it means traveling with a handsome maverick who could change her mind about men.
Free after spending seven years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Rob Truman aims to balance the scales of justice on the man who sent him there—Luke Wheeler. His quest doesn’t include falling for the one woman who will lead him to his quarry, but Sally’s courage in the face of her fear touches his soul.
Through dangerous days and nights on the trail, neither Sally nor Rob can ignore their growing feelings for each other. Yet both are haunted by the poor judgment that, in the past, led them down the wrong road. Love—and trust—are luxuries neither of them can afford.
A Desperate Journey available in print and ebook. See links below.
Isabella, Bride of Ohio in print and in ebook
Isabella: Bride of Ohio is book 17 in the 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series. However it can be read as a stand alone.
Isabella, newly arrived in America from Sweden, first loses her parents and then her job at the factory after it burns down. Nothing in American seems to last but she hopes her mail order bride marriage to the handsome and wealthy Donald Jenks will. But as her grandmother always said, trouble comes in threes and there is danger standing between her and her happy ever after with her true love.
Tom, a Pinkerton agent, is on the case of disappearing women is traveling on the same train as Isabella when she is selected as the next victim. Will he save her in time for her to marry Donald? And will she have the happy ever after she has dreamed of?
Desperate, Dangerous and Deadly Box set coming in 2018: A Desperate Journey; Dangerous Ties; and Deadly Adversaries.
Butterflies Fly Free Series: 1920’s Flapper Heroines
available in ebook: Dancing Butterfly; Book two in the Butterflies Fly Free 1920’s Flappers Series – Suki’s story.
“Shimmy hard enough and nothing can hurt you.” – Suki
Suki aka Susan Chesterfield, is finally being asked to dinner by Frank Omato, one of Al Capone’s enforcers, after finishing her dance number at the Green Mill in Chicago, when gunmen enter the club with their Thompson submachine guns, ready to take out Al and anyone else in his gang or in their way. Frank saves Suki’s life, pushing her out of the way and she escapes down the secret stairs behind the bar only to fall and break her foot. Everyone who knows how is escaping down the tunnels underneath Chicago’s streets which were used to deliver hootch to all the speakeasies on the route. But Suki can’t make her way out alone. She needs someone to help her and to get her to a doctor who can look at her foot. Frank comes to the rescue once again, making sure a doctor looks at her foot. She’s broken her talus bone in half and it will be weeks until the cast can come off and she’s able to dance again. How is she going to pay the rent? Frank comes to the rescue more than once, but there’s a catch. There always is, when a gangster is involved and wants you to be his moll. There is safety in being a gangsters moll. No one messes with Frank’s woman. But will she still be free and independent now that she’s Frank’s girl?
Falling for Frank, it is oh so easy to say yes. But the life of a moll isn’t an easy one. How will independent Suki handle being Frank’s moll? She’s itching to dance again and to break out of that cast and be free. But she knows she has to wait and to “live in the now.” “The right now.”
A rival gang paid for a hit on Al and the shooting at The Green Mill is one of several attempts against Al and his men. After four weeks of being cooped up in her apartment leaves Suki feeling restless, Frank surprises her by telling her he’s sending her to Miami, Florida on the train. Al and his men are going to Miami so Al can see the horse races at the new Miami Jockey Club in Hialeah. Knowing she is restless, Frank sends Suki down early on the train so she can recouperate at The Flamingo Hotel, the first grand hotel in Miami. She travels by train to Miami, first class all the way, courtesy of Frank, who will join her when he comes down with Al and his men.
But train travel isn’t without dangers. Something happens she can’t tell Frank about. How can she when she had three rules to follow and broke the first two even before she’d been gone twenty four hours?
The rules are harder for a flapper to keep than she’d thought they’d be. She wasn’t supposed to leave her compartment until she reached her final destination. That was the first rule she broke and kept on breaking. He’d be angry if he knew she’d been exploring the Jacksonville Florida train station instead of heeding his words She doesn’t dare tell him what happened to her, or about meeting Phillip in the dining car.
Phillip, is traveling on the same train as Suki and is seated at her table in the dining car when there are no other open seats. He recently moved to Miami from Barcelona, Spain and enjoys telling Suki all about his new home. Suki, who has never traveled anywhere until now, is fascinated by the well traveled and educated gentleman who seems to see right into her, noticing things few do. He promises to introduce her to his twin sister, Phyllis, who he believes will be a good friend to Suki.
Once she reaches Miami, her restlessness is even worse. She can’t wait to get the cast off and to be free of Enzo, Franks man, who Frank assigned to meet her at the train station and to help her with whatever needs. But is he there to help or to watch her and report back to Frank?
Phillip keeps his promise, introduces her to Phyllis and they become fast friends. By the time Frank arrives, Suki is ready to dance up a storm with Phyllis. Will Suki break out of her cast to be free and independent again? Or has she been caged?
Trapping the Butterfly; Book One (Bethany’s Story)
Available in print, ebook and audiobook
Bethany is looking forward to celebrating her eighteenth birthday in Hot Springs. If Aunt Margaret and Uncle James have their way she will return from the trip engaged to Mr. Rivalde. Every part of Bethany’s life has been controlled, from the clothes she wears to the food she eats. Bethany can’t wait to cut off her long hair like other girls and to fly free.
Paul studied and chased butterflies when he was a small boy. Now he chases gangsters and he’s in Hot Springs following Al Capone’s gang.
The sight of Bethany amid butterflies, sun streaming down and lighting up her pale skin and long blonde hair, is one that stops Paul Tollick on the spot. She is the most beautiful female he’s ever seen.
But two other men have determined to catch her for themselves and one is a dangerous gangster. Will she fly free or be trapped?
“What have you done?” Aunt Margaret’s eyes darkened to black slits the moment they landed on Bethany. Anger radiated off her like heat from a boiling furnace. She slammed the door. “You little fool.”
Bethany widened her eyes. She’d never seen her aunt this angry. Her fury froze whatever words Bethany might have spoken. She wanted to run and hide as she had when she was a small girl, yet she wasn’t that small girl anymore and she had nowhere to hide, anyway. She never had.
“You gave your word you wouldn’t leave this hotel.”
“I didn’t leave the hotel. They have a beauty parlor right here in the basement.”
“I cannot leave you alone for even one minute.” Aunt Margaret’s face was a mask of fury. “You cannot be trusted.”
“I kept my word. I didn’t leave the hotel.”
“You are a disgrace. You have disgraced this family. How do you expect to go out in society? That hairdo is unladylike. We won’t find you a proper husband with you looking like that. If you were married, it would be grounds for divorce. You’re a fool.”
“I like it, and I’m not the only one. Others have told me it looks pretty.”
“Of course the beautician who cut your hair is going to tell you that. People like that will tell you anything when they want to sell you something. Not only is your haircut unladylike, it makes your face look fat.”
Bethany’s stomach clenched. She wasn’t fat. She wasn’t. Paul thought she looked pretty. She’d known her aunt would be angry, but hadn’t known she’d be this angry. If only Bethany could flee. Anywhere but inside this room. Anywhere far away from her aunt.
“You’ll be lucky if Richard still wants to take you to that movie.” Her aunt paced the room. “Just wait until your uncle sees.”
“Sees what?” Uncle James stepped through the door, and his jaw dropped. He didn’t even close the door behind him as he walked into the room.
Bethany reached up to the back of her hair and fluffed it as Tildy and Paul had done. That felt good, although she knew her aunt and uncle might take it as a defiant move. Paul likes my hair this way. I like it too. I don’t care what they think.
“You’ve cut your hair,” Uncle James said. He wasn’t usually one to state the obvious, and yet he seemed dumbfounded.
She nodded. “Yes, I did.”
“Well.” He slammed the door. “It’s done now.”
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