Title: Raider of Her Heart
Author: N. Jade Gray
Genre: Romance, Time-Travel, Historical
Judson Stone, a Cavalry Scout, needed to warn Lawrence, Kansas of the impending threat of Quantrill and his raiders. Shot and left for dead, Judson awakes in the year Twenty Seventeen. Guilt riddles him over his failed mission as the days pass and he struggles with finding a way back to his own time and growing feelings for a woman who doesn’t trust him.
Sadie Winters has her hands full juggling a full-time job, a start-up business, and keeping tabs on her Gramps. She didn’t need further complication of caring for a stranger. When the mystery surrounding Judson is revealed, she throws herself into helping him find his way back to his own time, ignoring the love she’s developed for him.
*** Raider of Her Heart was a finalist in the International Digital Awards, Nominated for a Reviewer’s Choice Award through the Paranormal Romance Guild, Won a Recommended Read Award from Author Shout and was a Finalist in the Uncaged Book Reviews Raven Awards.***
Judson lay awake in bed and stared at the shadows that danced on the ceiling. Not wanting to interfere with Walt’s date, he’d spent most of the night in the barn. He’d whittled and talked through his problems with the horses.
His gaze landed on the timepiece on the wall. Rita had left over an hour ago, according to the clock. Now midnight approached. He relaxed his hands when he realized they were clenched into fists. When had he last worried this much? He sat up in bed and ran his hands through his hair. Damn it. She’d stepped out with another man. He’d let that thought burn a hole in his stomach the whole evening and the idea left him unsettled.
What Walt said rang true. Jealousy ate at his gut. He didn’t like the sensation. Not one bit.
His ears perked as a sound registered with him. The noise came from just outside. Either an intruder made the racket, or she’d come home. He grabbed his discarded denims and slipped into them before he padded barefoot down the hall to the kitchen. Pausing in the doorway, he stared at a tall blonde helping Sadie through the door.
She giggled and put a finger to her mouth. “Shhh. You’ll wake everyone.”
The other woman laughed. “I know, but you’re the noisy one.”
Her gaze snagged his. “Oops. Too late. Busted.” The other woman’s gaze landed on him. “You must be Judson.” At his nod, she held out a hand. “I’m Jess. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Shock and relief rippled down his spine. Jess was a woman? The thought had never entered his mind. The tight knot in his gut eased. “Good to meet you as well.” He tilted his head. “What’s going on?”
She stumbled as Sadie leaned against her. “Well, our buddy here decided she needed a drink. Or two.” She stopped and appeared deep in thought. “Now that I think about it, she may have had three.”
He frowned. Did his ears deceive him? He shook his head. She did appear to be drunk.
She slipped out from under her arm and sat down hard in a kitchen chair. “I’m tired.”
Jess patted her on the shoulder. “You’ve had a difficult week. Get some rest. I need to get home. I’m surprised David hasn’t sent a search party out for me.”
She rested her head on her folded arms on the table. “Thanks, Jess. I had fun. Good night.”
“Me too. Will you try to make church tomorrow?” “Mmmm.”
“I’ll take your answer as a maybe. I’ll have your truck at church for you to bring home, just in case.” She turned and eyed him. “Nice to meet you. Night.”
He stood and stared at the back door a minute before he focused on her. “Do you need help?”
She groaned and peeked at him from under her bangs. “Yup.”
He smiled as he realized she even looked beautiful mussed. Leaning forward he placed a hand under her arm. “Careful now.” She stumbled slightly as she stood.
She leaned into his chest. “I feel like I’m on a Tilt o’ Whirl.”
She burrowed into his neck. Her breath caressed his skin as she sighed. Every single one of her curves pressed to his frame. Heart pounding, he breathed in the fragrance clinging to her short tresses. His angel smelled and felt wonderful in his arms.
Her pert nose nuzzled his neck. “Mmm…you smell nice.”
She’d read his thoughts. His body responded as she snuggled closer. Temptation had never been so appealing. “Sadie.” He groaned as she slipped her arms around his neck and her lips travelled upward to nip at his ear. “Let me help you to your room.”
She leaned back and smiled. “Or your room? I’m not picky.”
The friskiness was the liquor talking. But his body overruled his conscience. Her blue gaze sparkled in drunken mischief. His gaze dropped to her lips as her tongue darted out to lick her bottom one. He listened to the voice of reason inside his head, but desire flared and he wanted to shout to hell with it. He shouldn’t take advantage. She wasn’t herself.
“What is wrong with one itty bitty kiss?”
Everything his mind screamed. Nothing, his opposing enemy, his body, yelled. He inched closer and gazed upon her pouty lips before he leaned in to graze them in a tentative caress. Capturing the sigh that escaped, he deepened the kiss.
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What’s your favorite thing about the Fall season:
The nip in the air in the mornings and the chance to light a firepit at night. And the disappearance of the mosquito for the season!
What inspired you to write this story:
A few years ago I read an article about the 150th anniversary of the burning of Lawrence, Kansas by Quantrill and his Raiders and started playing the what if game and a story idea was born. Raider is a fictional story of time travel and wanting to change history and what could happen if someone tried to change history.
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N. Jade Gray, grew up on a farm in Oklahoma with one sister and three brothers. She began reading romance novels in high school and was hooked. In an attempt to entertain her friends, she began writing stories. The biggest hurdle she had to overcome with her writing was sharing her stories. Her former writing groups, the Wichita Area Romance Authors and Low Country Romance Writer’s, helped with her confidence and shook the needed pom poms to get her motivated for publication. She is also a former member of the Romance Writers of America. She met her husband while attending college and has two grown sons. Not really knowing what she wanted to do when she grew up, she’s held various jobs in the accounting and legal fields. She lives in Kansas with her husband, rescue cats Meera and Mango, and one spoiled dog-named Fabio. Yes, she helped named the dog. She loves to hear her husband calling for his four-legged companion.
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