A Road Trip to Redemption
Rita Runninghorse is about to marry the wrong guy. She has to get away from him. Now. She flees to a guest ranch in Eastern Washington State that offers a safe haven for women in need only to find the owner on a month-long speaking tour.
Robert Elliot has one thing on his mind: bronc riding. The Indian National Finals Rodeo is within reach, and he’s not about to let anything ruin his chances of going pro. Not even the woman he finds asleep in the stall of their rankest horse.
When Rita’s fiancé discovers where she’s hiding out, she takes Robert’s offer to go with him on the road and prays her fiancé gives up the hunt. Saddled together, Rita and Robert must rely on each other as they go on the road to keep her alive.
Rita rushed into an office she’d seen Robert enter a few times. But he was nowhere in sight. She hightailed it to the barn. Chad looked up from brushing a horse. “You seen Robert?” Her lungs burned.
“He just took off to the river pasture. What’s up?”
“I need to find him.” She tried not to sound desperate. But she was. “Can you take me there?”
Before Chad could answer her, a dark blue, four-door, one-ton pickup rattled to a halt near the barn’s front entrance, and Robert hopped out, Posse in his arms. He went around and strolled toward them. “Forgot my—”
“I’ll go with you.” Rita ran to him. “When do we leave?”
“To change pipes?”
“No. To Idaho. The rodeo.”
He placed his hand on the small of her back, led her into the tack room, and shut the door. “Why the change of heart?” He lifted off his cowboy hat and mopped his sweaty brow.
“You were right. He knows where I am and is on his way.”
“He’s coming here? You sure? How’d he find you?”
Robert tapped his Stetson on his head, handed the pup to Rita, and pulled his cell phone from the inside pocket of his jacket. “Hang on.” He tapped the screen with his thumb and held the cell to his ear.
“Who are you calling?”
Robert held up his finger. “She’s not answering.”
“Syd.” He made another call. “Hey, Trey, where’s my sister?”
Carmen Peone is an award-winning author who has lived in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988. She had worked with a Tribal Elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes Language and various cultural traditions. She owns and trains her horses and competes in local Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. With the love of history and western-woman lifestyle, she brings stories of hope, family, relationships, and faith to her novels.
These books were a labor of love, especially the second edition of the True to Heart Trilogy.
Thank you to my cover model, Shayna Palmanteer of the Colville Confederated Tribes, for your willingness to be a part of this adventure. Visit my website for information on the workbooks that go along with my young adult books at https://carmenpeone.com/books/.
Healing, Hope, Horses
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