HEY y’all, my name is Charly. I’ll be filling in this week for Jmo. He’s kinda tied up with recovering from Christmas stuff this week and asked if I’d step in. All right! You want the truth. Jmo’s hogtied in the woodshed cuz he got his wife a vacuum for Christmas. Seeing as how he ain’t going to see daylight ’til the New Year, I figured I could stop in and plug the new book Paisley Kirkpatrick just had published about me.
I rode into Paradise Pines a year or so ago on the stagecoach I happened to be drivin’. I’m known as the best Jehu, or stagecoach driver, in the area, maybe the state, but my boss, the gorgeous Scottish rancher Braden MacGregor, fired me…because I’m a woman! Can you believe a smart man like Braden ignores my reputation and fires me because he thinks I should have a job more suitable for a woman? My brain nearly explodes every time I think about his words the night he fired me. First he tells me how good I am at driving the coaches and then he says I can’t drive a team because I don’t have the strength of a man. It seems he can’t overlook his antiquated ideas on women’s place in this modern society. All right, I will admit Braden finding out I am a woman and not the young man he hired might have come as a shock, but maybe he should grow a few and let his bias go. I mean, I need my job back. I’ve sorta grown accustomed to eatin’.
I was born to drive the rigs. Paisley says so and she put it in print. Everyone knows what’s in print is true. Just cuz I am female it don’t mean I can’t handle a six horse team pullin’ a stage. I am determined to teach Braden McGregor women can do anything men can do, only better.
Oops, I hear loud banging coming from tha outhouse. Jmo is yelling for his favorite Christmas treat. I guess someone forgot to bring him his plate of fruitcake. I best get going and cut him a big slice. Nice jawing with ya.
Desert Breeze Publishing
Charly Sinclair came to Paradise Pines with hopes of a new life — a life free to fulfill her dream. The town’s livery owner would not let women drive his stagecoaches, so she changed. She portrayed herself as a man.
Robbed of the Wells Fargo money box by a gang of thieves, her secret threatens to take everything important away from her. To bring the outlaws to justice, Charly teams up with the one man who makes her wish she hadn’t hid the fact she’s really a woman. Braden MacGregor might be bullheaded and rough around all the wrong edges, but he just so happens to be the man who sets her blood to boiling. When the truth is revealed, can she bring herself to forgive him for firing her for being a woman?
To make all her dreams come true, Charly must make Braden respect the woman she is, as much as the man he thought her to be.
Matt studied her a moment. “No, but don’t you even think about going after them. I am well aware of your reputation with a gun but–”
She jumped up, which knocked the chair backwards. “Don’t even think about stopping me.”
He stood, towering several inches over her. “Don’t push me. If I have to, I’ll lock you up for your own good.”
His heavy-handed tone cut through her outrage, sparking a surge of indignation. “I can shoot the eye off a gnat at a hundred paces, even wearing a patch on my left eye.”
“Don’t argue with me, Charly. The answer is still no. Go grab a beer. Your wounded pride will heal. You’ll think clearer in the morning.” Matt snatched her hat off his desk and stuck his finger through the hole in the crown. “You might be thanking your maker the guy’s aim ain’t as good as yours.”
She shuddered at the near miss. Another inch and she wouldn’t have known how this day ended.
“Lucky shot.” She grabbed the hat from his hand and plopped it on her head. “I am not done jawing about this with you yet, but that wet one is tempting.” She picked up the poster and folded it. When she stopped at the tollhouses tomorrow, she would show it to their employees. Maybe one of them could give her information as to where the Westons might be hiding out. She tipped her hat and left the sheriff’s office.
In the early evening hours, Trick’s Saloon became a haven for ruffians and misfits. She headed across Main Street with her thoughts on a cool one. She pushed the door open and stepped inside. Today was no different from any other day. Her slight stature left her wide open to crude remarks. Over time, Charly had grown immune to the reaction her appearance in the saloon caused. All the rude comments quieted back down until she ordered the beer.