TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
A woman without a prayer…
A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…
A man without a past….
Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…
His throat constricted as he watched the boy move fretfully in the bed. Buck wanted to do something, but didn’t know what. He wanted to banish the anguish and fright from Tempest’s eyes. He wanted to make her son well. But all he could do was stand there, and watch, and wait.
Angel woke, complaining of a sore throat. While her mother warmed a cup of ginger tea to soothe the girl’s throat, Buck moved Angel to the other bed where they wouldn’t disturb Ethan. Leaning his back against the wall, he gathered Angel on his lap and began a story.
Suddenly Ethan began to gasp for air, his body convulsing with the effort to breathe. Setting Angel aside and telling her to stay put, Buck leaped from the bed and rushed to the boy. His tiny mouth worked like a dying fish, while his little hands beat at the air.
“Mama, Mama," Angel cried. “Whath wrong with Ethan?”
“Sweet Mary, he’s choking.” Flipping back the covers Tempest lifted the boy in her arms. She sat in the rocker with him face-down on her lap and thumped his back, hoping to dislodge whatever blocked his throat.
“Mama, Ethan’th turning blue!”
Tempest turned Ethan over and cuddled him to her breast. Panic and grief contorted her face as she watched her small son writhe and gasp in her arms. He choked and wheezed, his face like fine porcelain of the palest blue, his eyes huge and wide open, staring up at her helplessly.
Tempest’s tortured gaze cut to Buck, panic screaming from her every pore. "Holy Mother of God, he's dying. My baby is dying.”
Charlene first serious writing attempt came in 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work. That book never sold, but her second one, Tender Touch, became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. Soon after, she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene's western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To Hold Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of Roses. Forever Mine and Tender Touch are available as e-books and after January 24, To Have and To Hold will be as well. When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, crochet, needlepoint, research genealogy, scrapbook, and dye Ukrainian eggs.
Charlene will give away a free copy of one of her other books at each stop and, at the end of the tour, one randomly drawn commenter will win a $15 Amazon gift card.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: