River rafting guide and kayaking nut Dez figures her best friend Mel just isn’t into her romantically, which sucks because they’ll be spending the summer guiding together in Idaho, and Mel seems like the right kind of woman for her. Then again, Dez doesn’t want to ruin a friendship by admitting her feelings to Mel. Will a chance game of Truth or Dare might change everything for the better? Or worse?
From the Boots Up
Rainbow Award Runner-Up, 2013
[cover by Melody Simmons]
Pre-vet college student Meg Tallmadge comes home to southern Wyoming in May 1999 like she has every summer since she started school to help her father Stan run the family ranch. He’s managed to get the Los Angeles Times to send a reporter out to do a story on the Diamond Rock, which doubles as a dude ranch. Meg knows the ranch needs all the publicity it can get to bring in more customers, but she’s not looking forward to babysitting a reporter for a week. When the originally scheduled reporter can’t make it, Meg worries that they won’t get a story at all, which is worse than dealing with a city slicker for a few days. Fortunately for Stan and the ranch, the Times finds a replacement, and Meg prepares to be under scrutiny, under the gun, and the perfect hostess. She knows what this opportunity means to her father, and she’s hoping that if it goes well, it’ll ease some of the tension between them as a result of her coming out a few months earlier. What she’s not prepared for — and never expected — is the reporter herself and the effect she has on her.
In spite of what she feels, Meg can’t risk the fallout that could result from overstepping a professional boundary. But as the week draws to a close, she learns that not taking a chance becomes the biggest risk of all.
Want to know what happens next? Then check out my novel, From the Hat Down.