Hello! For those of you who missed it, my latest book, Claimed by the Mountain Man, was released this weekend by the fabulous team of people at Stormy Night Publications. This book was so fun to write. I normally can’t pinpoint the exact inspiration for writing a story. Usually it comes to me in pieces during a brainstorming session, but in the case of this book, the idea come to me quite suddenly. More about that later. First, here’s a little about the book.
About Claimed by the Mountain Man
Times are hard in Montana in the mid-1800s, and when Nettie finds herself impoverished, desperate, and alone after the death of her husband, she flees the town of Helena to escape the clutches of the local saloon owner. But living off the land quickly proves much more difficult than she’d hoped, and after days without food she resorts to stealing from Jack Abrams, a gruff mountain man and trapper who lives a secluded, uncomplicated life in the woods.
Jack doesn’t take kindly to being stolen from and when he catches her red-handed, Nettie ends up lying naked over his knee for a long, hard spanking. To her surprise, however, after her punishment Jack offers her food and shelter in return for cooking, cleaning, and doing as she is told. But Nettie is determined to never rely on a man again, and with a belly full of food and renewed determination, she abandons him to take another shot at living in the woods on her own.
Jack knows the headstrong girl won’t survive without his help, especially when she chooses a grizzly’s winter cave as her shelter, and he can’t stand by and idly watch her demise. When his irritation with her foolish pride boils over, he decides it is time to show her how thoroughly a man can dominate a woman silly enough to venture into the woods alone. Jack’s stern chastisement and bold mastery of her body leave Nettie begging for more, but is she truly ready to give up her freedom to be claimed by the mountain man?
Publisher’s Note: Claimed by the Mountain Man is an erotic romance novel that contains sexual scenes and spankings. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
All right, so I promised I’d share my inspiration for this story. Don’t laugh. It came to me while listening to a Dolly Parton song called Joshua. Some of the lyrics are as follows:
Well a good ways down the railroad track
There was this little old rundown shack
And in it lived a man I’d never seen
Folks said he was a mean and a vicious man
And you better not set foot on his land
I didn’t think nobody could be that mean
So I took me out walking down the railroad track
I was a-gonna go down to that little old shack
And just find out if all them things I’d heard was true
There was a big black dog laying out in the yard
And it growled at me and I swallowed hard
And I heard somebody say ‘well who are you?’
Oh and there he stood in the door of that shack
His beard and his hair was long and black
And he was the biggest man I’d ever seen
Whatcha doing living here all alone?
Ain’t you got nobody to call your own?
Dolly doesn’t expound on why Joshua is living alone or why people think he’s mean, so I got to thinking: What kind of man would choose to live a secluded life? What had people done to him that made him want to avoid them?
A backstory for my hero, Trapper Jack, formed in my mind, and he became very real to me. Jack had been to war and suffered trauma, witnessed cruelty, and came home to his wife being dead and buried before he could tell her what she meant to him. He is damaged, tortured by guilt, and not at all wanting or expecting a new woman to enter his life. Jack is not a nice man, but you might be convinced eventually that he’s a good man.
Then I thought about my heroine. What would compel a woman to approach a man with a mean and vicious reputation? It dawned on me that she would have to be desperate for something, and in the case of the story I wrote, Nettie was desperate for food. Nettie’s backstory revealed itself to me too, and as you’ll see if you read the book, her past haunts her, just as Trapper Jack’s past haunts him. Together, these two lonely souls find in each other what they need. Of course, it takes them a while to get there, but I think you’ll find that their journey is exciting. In addition to a love story, this is a story of two people who manage to survive in the wild woods of Montana after having survived everything that led them there. Oh, and there’s some steamy sex too!
Here’s a little bit of what goes on in their journey to love and a happily ever after.
He drew a deep breath before he spoke. “What’s not right is you insisting on living there in that cave instead of here. I’ve only reluctantly permitted it.”
Nettie’s temper flared. She temporarily forgot her desire for him. All she could think of in that moment was that she was once again at another’s man mercy. “Permitted it? You’ve permitted nothing,” she said angrily. “I have every right to stay where I please. It’s not your right to permit or forbid it.” She glared up at him.
Jack’s face hardened, and she saw a tick in his jaw to indicate he was gritting his teeth. He pivoted away from her and in one stride reached the stool by the table, where he sat. Nettie returned to spooning food onto the plate. She felt his eyes on her, watching her every move. Her feelings were conflicted. She had been worried that he didn’t care about her. Now that she had confirmation he cared enough to spy on her, she felt like all of her efforts were in vain. She wanted to be self-sufficient, and the fact that Jack checked in on her meant that she wasn’t.
She didn’t want to look at him, fearing she would burst into tears from the emotions raging inside of her. With her eyes lowered, she brought the plate of food to the table and set it down in front of him. When she let go of the plate, he captured her wrist suddenly, with the speed of a mountain lion. Nettie gasped and met his heated gaze.
Jack’s dark eyes flashed with fury, and when he spoke, his voice was low and dangerous. “You don’t have rights out here, woman. Here, the weak are at the mercy of the strong, and that makes me your master.”
Nettie felt outraged by his words. She tried to pull away, but he continued to hold her wrist in an iron grip. It wasn’t tight enough to hurt, but it was unyielding. He stood slowly and loomed over her. His face twisted into a scowl as he took steps forward that made her take steps back until she was flush against the wall. He captured her other wrist and pinned both in one of his hands, then held them uncomfortably high over her head against the splintering logs of the cabin’s wall. Her breathing became ragged. She stared into his eyes and felt a hunger she hadn’t felt for a long time. “I know you wouldn’t harm me,” she croaked.
“Do you?” he snarled.
She let out a whimper. She wasn’t afraid. Not really. She felt alive and on edge, wondering what his next move would be. His hand trailed along her neck down to her breast, which he squeezed and flattened with his palm.
“I’ve been too easy on you.” He pinched her peaked nipple through her shirt, with enough pressure to make her cry out. “You think there’s no cause to fear me, but you’re wrong about that.”
Nettie closed her eyes. She felt frantic with lust. She needed his whole body to press against hers. She wanted him to kiss her as roughly as he was speaking to her. “Why do you want me to fear you?” she asked in a tremulous voice.
Jack released her wrists. She felt bereft of his touch when he took a short step back, but that feeling didn’t last long. He took hold of her arm, dragged her to the bed and shoved her onto her stomach. He yanked down her trousers and ripped off her drawers with terrifying speed. With lengths of rope he’d apparently picked up on the way to the bed, he bound an ankle to one bedpost and repeated the motions for the other. It happened so fast and came as such a surprise that it didn’t occur to Nettie to try to break free until it was too late—not that she would have been successful, had she tried.
He pulled her hands forward and tied them to the bed as well. There she lay, spread eagle and naked from the waist down. Her open legs allowed a breeze of cool air to brush her sex, and the muscles there constricted, desperate for something to fill it.
Before she knew it, she was alone in the cabin. Jack had left her there, and she had no idea where he went or when he would return. Her heart beat heavily in her chest. After what seemed like an eternity, the cabin door opened, and what she saw sent her heart racing even faster. In his hand was a switch the length of her arm and the width of one of her fingers. Her stomach flopped as he approached her. “Please, Trapper Jack. Why are you doing this?” she whispered.
If this book sounds as fun to read as it was for me to write, please check it out. Buy links are as follows:
BARNES & NOBLE
If you’d like to read the first chapter before purchasing, please click here.
Finally, if you’re a fan of old country music (or even if you’re not), have a listen to Joshua. It’s quite a charming song. Thanks for visiting!