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Rita P Hestand

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Member Since: Jul, 2000

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Books
· Wandering Heart

· Sweeter Than Wine Book Two of the Amory's

· Ring of Fire Book 2 of the McKay's

· Raining in My Heart Book One of the McKay's

· Along Came Love Book Four of the Travers Brothers

· Suspicions of the Heart

· Ask No Tomorrows-Book three of the Dream Catcher series

· Better Off Without Her

· Always Remember

· Love Rules


Short Stories
· The Far Side of Lonesome

· Distracted

· Halloween Witness

· Fast Forwarding Love

· A Special Present for James

· Going Backwards


Articles
· Helpful Tips for Parents

· Dealing With Writer's Block

· 7 Points of Writing

· Make Up A Character

· Write a Romance Now


Poetry
· For the Love of Chocolate

· Why Texas

· This Christmas Thing

· Rationalizing War

· The Love Goes On

· In Answer to a Suicide

· Naughty Sally

· Beyond

· Ode to a Mockingbird

· What the Seasons Mean to Me

         More poetry...
News
· Finding my books on the net

· Update on Rita Hestand books

· 7 Book Contract with Guardian Angel Publishing

· Where Are All My Books?

· Class Act Books bought Jodi's Journey

· Where's Runaway Bride and Supicions of the Heart

· Poor Mo is coming out for the kids

Rita P Hestand, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.
 

 

 




Category: 

Romance

Publisher:  Create Space ISBN-10:  1449589790
Pages: 

206

Copyright:  01/01/2009 ISBN-13:  9781449589790


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Deke Travers hired Emma Smith as his housekeeper and cook for the 4 Barn None ranch. But he had a different idea for Emma, he was going to marry her off to one of his brothers. That was the plan.
Emma hadn't exactly been square with her new boss, but he didn't give her much chance. If there was one thing Deke Travers couldn't tolerate it was
a liar.

Emma Smith hadn't been straight with her new boss, but he hadn't given her much of a chance to explain. Trapped in her own lies and uncertainties Emma was running in fear of losing her baby.

Deke Travers, oldest son on the 4 Bar None Ranch, needed one thing to make his life more peaceful, his brothers to settle down and get with the business of ranching. There was only one solution, marry them off to a country gal!

Then Emma Smith crashed into Deke's life and Deke was sure he had found the answer to his problems--or so he thought! Emma was sweet and beautiful, and when she looked at him with those whiskey brown eyes he was a goner. How could Clint not love her? And why did he get such an acute sense of indigestion every time Clint seemed to take the bait?

But Deke could tolerate almost anything but a liar...and The Chief Cook and Bottle Washer was hiding something! Deke had a no-nonsense approach to problems in life--he simply took the bull by the horns!




Excerpt

Excerpt from Chief Cook & Bottle Washer

A horn blared, metal crashed, shattering Emma Smith's concentration and jolting her against the steering wheel. She scrambled out of her truck, only to find a tall stranger with an accusing finger pointed straight at her. His flashlight and the blinding rain made it impossible to see him clearly.

"Are you crazy or something, lady? Didn't you see me coming?"

When she didn't answer, he rattled on. "Are you hurt, is your truck damaged?" The man demanded, oblivious to the raging spring storm. His voice was edged with concern and withheld anger.

A stupid question if there ever was one. No one could see in this kind of a storm.

Momentarily blinded by his flashlight, all she could see now was a tall, broad- shouldered, narrow-hipped dark shadow with a Stetson, and a condescending voice. A cowboy, she should have known. Just her luck.

"In case you hadn't noticed," she said, shaking with indignation, "it's pouring cats and dogs out here. I couldn't see the hood of my own truck much less yours. I couldn't see you coming around that bend in the road."

Perhaps he deserved an apology at the very least, but Emma didn't feel much like apologizing to a man with a finger in her face. She wished he'd put that flashlight away.

Her hand shielded her eyes from the glare.

Maybe it was better if she didn't see him. When he suddenly clammed up, and stared so long and hard, Emma glanced at herself.

Oh God, in her hurry to get to the store for milk, she had slipped on that ridiculous t-shirt her brothers had given her for her last birthday. 'I'm over 21 and up for grabs!' Not to mention the t-shirt now clung to her like a second skin. She felt a hot blush bloom on her cheeks.

Damnation!

She hadn't planned on getting out in this mess in the middle of the night, but the baby needed milk, she had no choice. Thank God Bertha had enough sense to insist the baby stay with her. Just the thought of the baby being with her during the accident made her shudder.

The fact that she didn't have a bra on only compounded her misery. But dammit it was too late to worry over something that trivial.

"I hope you have insurance, 'cause I don't." She flailed her voice at him.

"Well that figures!" he boomed. He didn't sound too surprised though.

Probably figured her for a real airhead.

He flashed the light first at his truck, then hers. A headlight dangled from his grill. She heard him draw breath, as though steadying his next outburst. Her truck was none the worse for wear.

Emma shook, she didn't want to, but she was cold, angry, and a tad put out by this ogler. What had happened to good old fashioned manners?

"Look, I'll be glad--"

"Isn't that Bertha Martin's old truck?" The stranger interrupted flashing his light toward her truck again.

"It was. I just bought it. You know Bertha?"

"Sure, everyone around here knows Bertha," he said gruffly then cast her another glance. "But she wouldn't sell it. It belonged to her dead husband."

"I don't know anything about her dead husband, but she did sell it to me. Just yesterday as a matter of fact. I haven't even had the title changed yet, but I intend to."

Now the light was back on her face.

"What's your name?"

"Emma Smith."

He made some kind of disgusted grunt and half turned away, then back to her. "Okay, this isn't getting us anywhere so let's get back to our problem. Now what are you going to do about this to make it right?"

"Well naturally I'll pay for it."

"Sure you will," came his condescending voice again. "Okay, let's get this out of the way and be done with it. This isn't the kind of weather to be exchanging trivialities. Let's just exchange names and addresses. You can send me the money."

"You'd trust me?"

"Not exactly, first I'd like to see a little identification."

He moved closer, and she backed up, within arms length of him. Without thought she reached out and put her hand on his chest to stay him. As though he might come closer. She hadn't thought touching a stranger could affect her in any way, but the instant her hand came in contact with warm flesh, all her senses came alive. As though that touch made her conscious of him being a man.

"Look cowboy," she said gulping and trying to sound sophisticated but knew she hadn't come off that good. "I don't have insurance, I'll admit that much. But this ought to cover it." She whipped out a small wad of bills from her front jean pocket and thrust them into his big warm hand. "Now leave me alone, will ya?"

She turned away to escape him when she heard his voice lower to a husky note.

"Ma'am a little identification and an apology would have been enough." The cowboy's words followed her to her truck door. She glanced at the ominous shadow in the rain. The money had fallen from his hands to the ground and he hadn't even bothered to pick it up. Her full paycheck, and he hadn't bothered to pick it up.

"I pay for my mistakes mister."

"I'll take that as an apology, then."

Before he had time to move any closer, she slammed the truck door, jerked it in reverse and took off, spewing mud and water all over his truck in the process. She drove at least two miles down the road, glancing in her rear-view mirror as she went. The cowboy hadn't moved.

***

Deke Travers moved his hand over his jaw as he stared at the money at his feet. Damn, the woman put him in one hellova awkward position. She'd paid for the accident so to speak, but he was nearly certain she'd stolen Bertha Martin old pickup. He sensed a desperation in this little gal. But he couldn't really see her as a thief. Still it looked like she had stolen the damn truck. He had no choice.

Even if she was the prettiest thing he'd seen in a long time. He had to forget those perfect pouting breasts, and the gentle sway of her hips. Somehow.

He spent the entire trip back to the ranch berating himself for what he was about to do. But Bertha Martin was a friend and he had no choice. He had to report this to the police.

He'd have bet his last dollar the woman was no thief. Something about the look in her face told him that much. The way she faced him, open and direct. The way she threw that money meant she had to be running from something though. But what?

She hadn't shown him any ID and he certainly didn't buy that name she gave him. Emma Smith. A real phony. Yep, he'd probably been took in this time. The Sheriff would laugh at him for that one.

***

Emma shook all the way into town. She prayed the little store would be open so she could be on her way.

The lights were just going out as she opened the old screen door to the store, "Mrs. Wharton, could I just get some milk, please?"

"I--I, I was making a pie for the cafe tomorrow and I ran out of milk."

"Well land sakes why you baking' so late, hon?"

"I guess I'm a night owl. Bertha reminded me the store would close soon."

"I heard you were staying' with Bertha. That's real nice, she gets kinda lonely stuck out there in the middle of nowhere. But you know when her husband died she wouldn't budge from that place. You'd think with the cafe bein' in town she'd move a little closer," Mrs. Wharton was saying.

"It's hard to move away from your home, I guess."

The woman glanced at Emma as she put the milk on the counter and dug change out of her pocket. Damn, she didn't have enough money left to pay for the milk. She shifted her weight and glanced up at the woman.

Mrs. Wharton looked at her a little funny, then smiled.

"You're only a dime short, honey. Don't fret. I'll stop by for some coffee, how's that?"

"Thank you, Mrs. Wharton, I'm sorry."

"It's only a dime, Emma. Don't fret about it. We're all glad to have you here. We don't get many young folks these days."

"Thanks Mrs. Wharton."

Emma practically ran back to her truck. She laid her head on the steering wheel and felt a hot tear sting her eye. She wouldn't cry. She just wouldn't. Things would get better. They had to. But that thought died the moment she pulled into the old gravel drive at Bertha's place. The Sheriff's car was there, his lights flashing.

Dear God, he had come to take the baby away from her!


Professional Reviews
Review of Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Reviewer: Christine Ventura (from Euro-Reviews)

Emma Smith is on the run. When her cousin Katie had died, she had left her baby, Sammie Jo, to Emma’s care. Unfortunately, even though Sammie Jo’s father hadn’t given a damn, her very wealthy grandparents did and they wanted to see her. Although Sammie Jo was left in the care of Emma, she knew that her legal position with the baby was shaky at best. Until she could find a way to make sure that Sammie Jo was not going to be taken away from her, she was going to keep running. Emma had kept on running until she reached Devil’s Corner, a small town that was more like a community than anything else. With the kind heart of the local café owner, Bertha, Emma is able to secure a job as a cook in that same café. But when the old cook that has been with Bertha for over ten years returns, Emma seems to be left high and dry until a man named Deke Travers comes along and solves the problem for everyone: he was going to hire Emma as their cook since their ranch needed one badly. Emma has always been the chief cook and bottle washer for her father and three brothers. Now she was going to be the chief cook and bottle washer for the handsome and attractive Deke Travers, his three brothers, their father and the rest of the men in 4 Bar None Ranch.

Deke Travers was a rancher, a man who believed in home and hearth and what he wanted most in life was for his brothers to gradually settle down one-by-one. Clint, his daring and devil-may-care brother needed a woman to help him settle down and keep him away from the dangerous rodeos and all sorts of trouble that his wandering spirit seems to encounter. Knowing that he was going to have to take matters into his own hands, he decided that he was going to try his hand at matchmaking. Clint and Emma looked like a good match. But why is it that whenever he saw them together he felt a tightness in his heart, as if something he cared about was being ripped from his chest?

I enjoyed reading this book very much. Emma is very sweet and Deke ever the gentleman. There were moments in the book that you could just picture in your mind—they were so vivid and beautifully crafted. One of these moments was when Deke took Sammie Jo to bed and talked to her. He was so sweet gentle and you just know in your heart that he was going to be a really good father. Also, the scenes where the Travers brothers are mentioned really highlight the differences between each unique character. A mark of writing excellence. Rita Hestand is a very talented author who writes really good, heart-warming stories. The Travers men are amazing and I looking forward to reading more of them!


Review of Chief Cook and Bottle Washer by Dianna of Night owl Romance
Reviewer: Christine Ventura (from Euro-Reviews)

Emma Smith is on the run. When her cousin Katie had died, she had left her baby, Sammie Jo, to Emma’s care. Unfortunately, even though Sammie Jo’s father hadn’t given a damn, her very wealthy grandparents did and they wanted to see her. Although Sammie Jo was left in the care of Emma, she knew that her legal position with the baby was shaky at best. Until she could find a way to make sure that Sammie Jo was not going to be taken away from her, she was going to keep running. Emma had kept on running until she reached Devil’s Corner, a small town that was more like a community than anything else. With the kind heart of the local café owner, Bertha, Emma is able to secure a job as a cook in that same café. But when the old cook that has been with Bertha for over ten years returns, Emma seems to be left high and dry until a man named Deke Travers comes along and solves the problem for everyone: he was going to hire Emma as their cook since their ranch needed one badly. Emma has always been the chief cook and bottle washer for her father and three brothers. Now she was going to be the chief cook and bottle washer for the handsome and attractive Deke Travers, his three brothers, their father and the rest of the men in 4 Bar None Ranch.

Deke Travers was a rancher, a man who believed in home and hearth and what he wanted most in life was for his brothers to gradually settle down one-by-one. Clint, his daring and devil-may-care brother needed a woman to help him settle down and keep him away from the dangerous rodeos and all sorts of trouble that his wandering spirit seems to encounter. Knowing that he was going to have to take matters into his own hands, he decided that he was going to try his hand at matchmaking. Clint and Emma looked like a good match. But why is it that whenever he saw them together he felt a tightness in his heart, as if something he cared about was being ripped from his chest?

I enjoyed reading this book very much. Emma is very sweet and Deke ever the gentleman. There were moments in the book that you could just picture in your mind—they were so vivid and beautifully crafted. One of these moments was when Deke took Sammie Jo to bed and talked to her. He was so sweet gentle and you just know in your heart that he was going to be a really good father. Also, the scenes where the Travers brothers are mentioned really highlight the differences between each unique character. A mark of writing excellence. Rita Hestand is a very talented author who writes really good, heart-warming stories. The Travers men are amazing and I looking forward to reading more of them!




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Books by
Rita P Hestand



Ring of Fire Book 2 of the McKay's

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Sweeter Than Wine Book Two of the Amory's

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Ask No Tomorrows-Book three of the Dream Catcher series

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Pretend Mom

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Suspicions of the Heart

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Nick's Baby

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Raining in My Heart Book One of the McKay's

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