By Kristy McCaffrey
I'm pleased to share that my standalone historical western novel, INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, has received a makeover and is now available wide.
This book was previously published in 2013 under the same title. While the text and cover have been updated, the story remains the same.
It’s been five years since a woman came between Ethan Barstow and his brother, Charley, and it’s high time they buried the hatchet. When Ethan travels to Arizona Territory to make amends, he learns that Charley has abruptly disappeared after breaking more than one heart in town. And an indignant fiancée is hot on his trail.
When Charley Barstow abandons a local girl after getting her pregnant, Kate Kinsella pursues him without a second thought. She’s determined he set things right, and even more determined to end her own engagement to him, a sham from the beginning. But an ill-timed encounter with a group of ruffians lands her in the company of Charley’s brother, Ethan, who suggests they search together.
As Ethan and Kate move deeper INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, family tensions and past tragedies threaten to destroy a love neither of them expected.
A sensuous historical western romance set in 1893 Arizona Territory. Into The Land Of Shadows is a stand-alone, full-length novel
2014 Carolyn Readers’ Choice Award Finalist
“… a must read … a story that is engaging and edge-of-the-seat gripping. [McCaffrey’s] vivid descriptions and great cast of characters, with exceptional dialogue, bring this story to life.”
~ Coffee Time Romance & More
~ Romance Junkies
~ Reading Alley Reviewer
Excerpt – First Kiss
Kate hid in the shadows at the far end of the hallway hoping neither of the men would see her. They opened the door to Harry’s room and went inside. She would have little if no time to escape before they realized she was gone. Rufus didn’t completely close the door behind him. Kate tiptoed as fast as she could past the room she had occupied for the last several hours and moved quickly down the stairs, her legs still aching from misuse.
“Where’d she go?” Clive roared as Kate ran out into the street. She looked right then left. The road was dark, windy, and deserted. The sound of loud thumps on the stairs told her Clive and Rufus were right behind her.
She darted around the building and then ran behind another, and then hustled toward the end of the street.
“Spread out! We’ll git her!” Clive yelled.
Kate moved around a trading post but sensing a presence from behind, she jerked her head around and stared. A four-legged creature ran past, disappearing.
With a hand on her chest, she struggled to calm her breathing. It was just a dog.
She peeked around the building and saw Clive walking down the street carrying his gun. Rufus wasn’t in sight. She needed to find a place to hide but most establishments looked closed. Movement to the left caught her eye. Joe Tohonnie? Maybe she hadn’t dreamt him after all.
The shadow moved across the street and disappeared behind a blacksmith building. Kate ran to the other side of the street, hunching over to hide herself. Once she made it to the blacksmith, she glanced around.
“Joe?” she whispered. “Mister Tohonnie? Is that you?”
No answer but the wind. Kate began backing up toward the rear of the building, dread gripping her stomach. She swallowed hard, feeling uncertain. Staying close to the structure, her heart wouldn’t stop pounding and her hands were clammy from fear. She swallowed hard again then turned to run but was caught short, letting out an involuntary gasp when the four-legged creature cut her off with a growl.
The animal’s yellow eyes glowed by the light of the moon and he watched her with rapt attention, his body poised for attack.
Another low growl emanated from deep in the animal’s throat and Kate fought the urge to flee. The wolf’s head easily came to her chest; he would have no trouble chasing her down and ripping her to pieces. The gash on her face would pale in comparison to what he would do to her.
A commotion from behind startled her. Someone grabbed her, and in a frenzy Kate fought back, kicking and straining against the iron grip the man exerted around her waist. His hold loosened and Kate fell to the ground. She grabbed a loose board, and screamed as she swung it around, hitting the man’s leg. But he didn’t go down. She scooted backward and scrambled to her feet. The man grabbed her this time, facing her. Thinking it was Clive or Rufus, she continued to struggle.
“Katie! Katie! It’s me. It’s Ethan.” He held her tight against the building. A sob escaped from deep inside her throat, a maelstrom that matched the wind roaring in her ears, and then Ethan’s mouth was on hers.
Hot, insistent, devouring. She molded into him, her lips and tongue hungry for the sudden and consuming contact. She pushed her body against his, clinging to his broad shoulders, desperate to be closer still.
He didn’t abandon me.
His mouth crushed hers and she felt on fire, head to toe.
“Rufus, you find her?” Clive yelled in the distance.
Ethan broke the kiss, and Kate reeled back against the building. “Let’s go,” he said and grabbed her hand, pulling her behind the blacksmith building.
“Wait.” She tugged his hand to stop him. “There’s a wolf.” Her voice shook—either from the men chasing her, the wolf challenging her, or the man who had just devastated her defenses with one kiss. She could take her pick. She’d had a busy day.
“He’s with me,” Ethan said quietly. “He won’t hurt you.” The wolf suddenly appeared. “Bart!” Ethan cocked his head. “Come.”
“Get back here,” Clive yelled.
Kate looked over her shoulder and saw him in pursuit. He began shooting. Ethan ducked down and pulled her with him.
“Dammit, Clive!” Ethan yelled. “Give it a rest!”
“Bring her back,” Clive said. “We need her!”
“I need her more. Run, Kate.”
Copyright © 2021 K. McCaffrey LLC