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Darby: Ghost Mountain Ranch (now an audiobook) by Jan Scarbrough is a New Year, New Books Fete pick #westernromance #romance #romanticmystery #audiobook #giveaway

Title: Darby: Ghost Mountain Ranch (now an audiobook)


Author: Jan Scarbrough


Genre: Contemporary Western Romance/Mystery


Book Blurb:


Thirty years ago, torn by shock and guilt over the death of her mother, Darby York fled the dude ranch where she’d grown up in Montana. In her new life in the bluegrass of Kentucky, she’d become a horse groom, an artist, married a wealthy Thoroughbred owner, raised twins, and been widowed. But now, with word her father is growing feeble, Darby must finally face the truth: no matter how far you run, the past has a way of catching up. Her father hadn’t been the only man Darby had left behind. Would the boyfriend she’d abandoned still be there?


Hank Slade, wrangler at Ghost Mountain Ranch, has never stopped carrying the torch for Darby. Her vibrant red hair may be tinged with gray now, but the natural, unsophisticated look about her remains—a look that speaks of home and comfort to Hank. But is he willing to risk his heart with Darby again?


What is the truth behind the death of Darby’s mother? When the past once again intrudes on the present, will Darby do what she’s always done—what her mother did—and run away? Grief and secrets had torn Darby and Hank apart once. Given a second chance at love, will the revelation of more shocking secrets from the past destroy their hopes for the future?




Hank Slade placed the receiver back on the cradle, hauled a lung full of air, and faced Leo’s I-can-take-it expression. “She won’t come.”

“I didn’t think she’d come.” Leo’s voice was flat. His old, rheumy eyes followed Hank across the office floor.

Hank sank into his desk chair. His shoulders slumped. “She said she was busy.”

“But you sure did shame her good.”

Hank tilted back in his chair. “Tried to.”

“Well.” Leo pushed himself out of the armchair across from Hank’s desk. “I thank you for doing what you could do.”

“For as much good as it did.” Hank rummaged through the stack of papers on his desktop shifting an invoice into another pile on the right. When he came on at the Ghost Mountain Ranch back in January, he hadn’t realized the extent of Leo’s estrangement from his only child Darby. “Thirty years is a long time to hold a grudge.”

Leo hefted on a Carhartt coat over his down vest and picked up his cowboy hat from a side table. “Girl ran away, and she’s just not coming home.”

Hank’s gut snarled into a knot like the one he’d felt that Friday night when he and Darby were eighteen. He’d been worried then about the first kiss he wanted. Now he worried about the man he’d known most of his life. Leo was no longer the energetic cowboy he remembered. Bad heart, plus a fall from a horse had taken its toll on the eighty-five-year-old. “I hope I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

“Nope.” The old man grasped the office doorknob with a gnarled hand. “Her mother dying like she did caused Darby to leave.”

“But why would she leave you?”

“She had her reasons.”

His answer made no sense, but that was all the taciturn man would give. Leo set his cowboy hat on his head, opened the office door, and stepped out onto the porch.

Montana cold blew into the cabin, and Hank felt the chill more keenly than normal. It seeped inside him, turning the concern he felt into an icy shard in his stomach. Hank tapped a finger on the desk. He’d left the ranch at eighteen, after he and Darby had broken up, and he’d never been back. But if his dad had been alive and he knew he might be dying, he’d have come home straight away.

“Damn, Darby, this isn’t right.”

He stood, snatched up the phone, and dialed the office number back in Kentucky where a woman who said she was Darby’s daughter might answer again.


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It’s a brand-new year, full of possibilities. Did you make any resolutions/goals for 2024? If so, please share one.


I’m going to tackle the sequel to my medieval book My Lord Raven. I’ve put off writing Raven’s Vow too long.


Why is your featured book a must-read in 2024?


Darby: Ghost Mountain Ranch is now an audio book, and the narration really brings the book alive.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs January 1 – 31, 2024


Drawing will be held on February 1, 2024. 


Author Biography:


The author of two popular Bluegrass romance series, Jan writes heartwarming contemporary stories about home and family, single moms, and children. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.


The Ghost Mountain Ranch series is a contemporary western series with a good blend of mystery and happily-ever-after romance. The Dawsons of Montana is another four-book contemporary western series.


Jan leaves her contemporary voice behind with two paranormal gothic romances, Timeless and Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist. Her historical romance, My Lord Raven, is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.


A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan self-publishes her books with her husband’s help.


Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with one rescued dog, two rescued cats, and a husband she rescued twenty-four years ago.


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