Title: Red Fox Woman
Author: Judy Ann Davis
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Rancher Flint Ashmore never expected to find a redware potter squatting on his property he purchased along Cherry Creek with his four brothers and sister.
With a ruthless fiancé on her heels, Julia Gast has fled from Pennsylvania to the Colorado Territory to set up her pottery business and raise horses. She desperately needs not only the rich clay deposits of Cherry Creek, but also cash to survive. Against her better judgment, she aligns herself with a renegade Indian who helps her gather wild horses to sell to the same army which is hunting him.
But long-held secrets in the Ashmore family and Julia’s past will set off a series of chain reactions, throwing Flint and Julia together to try to thwart mutual enemies who are trying to destroy them.
Will quick wits, a simple ring flask, and a meddlesome Indian be enough to help the pair discover the truth . . . and to ultimately find the peace and love they are seeking?
Colorado Territory, 1868
Flint Ashmore expected a warmer welcome than a shotgun poked through a crack in the tool shed when he rode into the ranch along Cherry Creek.
Especially since he now owned the place.
The old man who sold it to him was dead, and anyone stopping to rest a spell should have asked his permission.
Even from where he sat atop his bay, he could see a flash of red hair and pair of luminous eyes staring at him from the other end of the barrel. He motioned for his two brothers riding beside him to ease their mounts away. He had great respect for the power of a shotgun, and there was little sense in getting all three of them killed with one pull of the trigger.
“What do you want?” a voice called out.
Flint thumbed back his hat and folded his hands calmly over the pommel of his saddle, taking care not to make any quick motions. The voice was obviously feminine, and women and guns were like matches and kerosene. It was better to keep them separated if possible.
Overhead, the sun drilled burning hot rays into the already parched earth, and Flint felt a trickle of sweat slide down his back. It had been two months without rain and every water hole in a hundred mile radius of Golden was turning into a giant bowl of cracked mud.
“We’re the Ashmores from the ranch just west of here. I’d like to talk to the man of the house, your husband perhaps?”
Warily, the woman stepped out into the dusty yard, shotgun still in her hands. She was tall and willowy thin, but Flint surmised most men would be prone to miss that detail. Flaming red hair, brighter than a summer sunset, would draw their attention first. It tumbled almost clear to her waist in a thick mass of riotous curls and tangles. And the good Lord had blessed her with eyes so brilliant green they’d shame a meadow in springtime.
“I have no husband,” she said. Her revelation was anything but warm.
“My, oh my, oh my,” he heard his brother Marcus whisper under his breath from somewhere near the corral. “Can’t wait to see how you’re going to handle this one.”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
The making of pottery is very important to my heroine, Julia Gast, who is a redware potter, and who is adept at making ring flasks like the one pictured on the front cover of the book. They were used by workers in the mid 1700's to late 1800's to carry water to the fields where they were working. Julia flees to the Colorado Territory to start a new life and make ring flasks. She teams up with a wily Ute Indian who helps her get wild horses to sell to the same army that’s hunting him. Red Fox Woman is the first in the series of the Ashmore Brothers. It features four ranchers who are brothers, and is a feel-good, heartwarming western with lots of comic dialogue.
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Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, PA. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education throughout her career.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines, and anthologies, and have received numerous awards. Her latest contemporary novel, "Four White Roses," was a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards, the American Fiction Awards, and the Georgia Romance Writers' Maggie Awards.
When Judy Ann is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few. She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
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