This novella, Sunny Days Ahead, is a companion piece to Cowboy.
It has been released for about a week, but I'm formally revealing the cover here today.
The lovely and talented Carey Abbot made it for me. Isn't it pretty?
Sunny Jamieson craves a normal family so much she has gotten pregnant by the wrong man—twice. Neither was the man she thought he was, and she is alone and about to give birth in an ice storm.
Garrett Pike wants nothing more than to have a boy of his own to follow in his footsteps. When he returns home from the rodeo circuit and finds his wife in bed with a ranch hand, he needs to distance himself from his angry memories and accepts a job offer in Black Mountain, Colorado. On the way, his truck breaks down in a blizzard, landing him at the home of a pregnant woman and her kids.
Garrett and Sunny bond when she gives birth. Garrett realizes he doesn’t have to be the biological father of a child to love one, and Sunny knows she’s found the man she’s been seeking. Together, they can create the family they’ve both been longing for.
Weak as a newborn lamb, Sunny Jamieson struggled into her two-sizes-too-small coat and work gloves and wrapped a red plaid scarf around her head. She’d been in labor for more than twelve hours, and her pains ought to be getting stronger, but they seemed to be staying level at about ten minutes apart. To make matters worse, the boys could barely get out of bed, both sick with the flu. But she had hungry horses and a cow in the barn. If she didn’t feed them, no one would.
Damn all men to hell anyway.
She smoothed the hair away from the boys’ warm foreheads. Both were still feverish. This had gone on way too long. When she came back inside she’d try to find a way to get to the hospital. The phone had been off for hours—the storm knocked it out—and the truck was too squirrely to drive on icy roads.
The baby was coming early in the middle of an ice storm that had her isolated on her ranch.
With one last look at her precious boys, she went out and closed the door behind her.
If she weren’t careful, Family Services would take the boys away from her. She couldn’t let that happen. She had to figure something out, fast. Later. Right now, she had to feed the hungry animals.
Taking care not to fall, she held on to the railing and maneuvered her bulk down the snow-slickened steps. Every inch was torture as labor pains burned through her back. Step by step, she slogged her way across the snow-covered barnyard. Dragging herself to the barn took all her considerable willpower.
Freezing wind blew snow down from the peaks, across the valley floor, and into her face as she fought to pull open the barn door. Her scarf came loose and flapped around her neck while she struggled to budge the heavy double doors. An extra fierce gust of wind caught the bright red material and hurled it across the yard. In too much pain to care, she watched it go with listless eyes.
Her long blonde hair whipped across her face, and she shoved it away with a shaking hand. The angry November wind took advantage of her and hurled the half open barn door against her shoulder, sending her spinning like a top. Throwing her hands out to protect her belly, she left her head exposed and it slammed into the frozen ground like a hammer to a horseshoe.