Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #4


Available July 7, 2015 
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A rather disgruntled Jake came down the steps. “What do you want? Give us a couple more days and you can come and talk to my wife when things calm down.” 

“It’s not that.” Jeff looked back toward town. “Marshal, when I headed back to town, some men stopped me. They were watching you, and they … made threats … said now there was one more pretty woman in your family. One even said to tell you that Gordy says hello.” 

Jeff watched all the soft side of Jake Harkner the family man turn to something else as Jake looked past him toward town. In one quick moment he’d become the man Jeff saw ride into Guthrie just yesterday. 

“How many?” Jake asked. 

“Three. Do you know who they are?” 

Jake’s demeanor grew even darker. “You bet your ass I know them.”

Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #3


Available July 7, 2015 
Pre-Order!
(Reporter Jeff Truebridge is speaking)

“What’s your opinion of Jake, sheriff?”

The hefty man grunted as he took his feet down from the desk. “He’s a mean sonofabitch, and mean is probably an understatement. But he can be a damn good friend once he’s figured out you’re worth it. He’s the kind of man you want to have your back if you’re in trouble, but also the kind of man you don’t want to cross. My advice to you is to tread lightly. Jake doesn’t like people poking into personal affairs or bothering his family.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Sheriff Sparks grunted again as he stood up. “Good luck to you, kid.” He lit some oil lamps as the sun began to set behind the western landscape. “You all right in there, doc?” he asked Brian. (a doctor treating wounded prisoners)

“I’m almost done.”

“I’ll tell you about Harkner,” one of the prisoners yelled to Jeff. “He’s a murderin’ sonofabitch! Killed his own pa, they say!”

(Later, Jeff follows the doctor, Jake’s son-in-law, home)

“You’re married to Jake’s daughter, right?”

“I am. And Jake Harkner is one of the finest men I’ve known, so don’t be thinking I’m going to tell you horror stories about the man.” He turned away. “Not that he doesn’t have any horror stories to tell you himself.”

Jeff kept pursuing him as he walked. “Did he really kill his own father?”

“That’s a very touchy subject for him. I can only tell you he had good reason, but don’t think it doesn’t eat at him. … I’d be very careful asking him about it. You’d better get to know (Jake) pretty good before you even touch that subject.”

(Later in the conversation Brian tells the reporter …)

“…it’s Miranda you’ll need to deal with, not Jake. If he lets you write a book, it will be because Randy says it’s okay. Out there on the trail, he’s in full command. But when it comes to things like this, it’s like I told you, my mother-in-law owns that man. And if you do anything to offend her, you’ll have Jake to answer to.”


Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #2


Available July 7, 2015
Pre-Order!
He met her mouth hungrily, his words spoken amid deep kisses. “If I wasn’t so needful of being inside you right now, I’d be tasting a lot more than your breasts.”

Randy’s smile faded to pleasure as his hands began searching just the right places that he knew awakened her womanly needs. She couldn’t help thinking how nice it was to be married to a man who knew every way there was to please a woman.

“Who do you belong to?” It was a ritualistic question he always asked before making love to her.

“Jake Harkner,” she answered, the words mumbled amid a searching kiss.

“And I’m just claiming what’s mine.”

Randy closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of him, leather and fresh air and … man. She couldn’t think of another word for it. Just man. She took great satisfaction in giving this man who so sorely needed to be loved every enjoyment he wanted.

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“Extraordinary ... Bittner’s characters spring to life.” —Publishers Weekly

Raised in the hills of Tennessee, Emma Simms dreams of the day she’ll escape her life of poverty to start over in the excitement of Knoxville. But when her mother dies and she’s left with no one but her stepfather, Luke Simms, her dream abruptly becomes a nightmare. Luke plans to send Emma to Knoxville alright—straight to a notorious brothel.

River Joe, the mysterious Cherokee-raised frontiersman, knew from the first time he set eyes on the beautiful Emma that he had to have her as his own. And one glimpse at the handsome, buckskin-clad stranger ignites the flame of dangerous desire in Emma’s heart.

Their passion could consume them both, but their love could very well save her life.

Do Not Forsake Me - Teaser #1

Available July 7, 2015
Pre-Order!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


Jeff savored the opportunity to observe Harkner without having to approach him directly … yet. He searched for the right words to describe the man who’d made a name for himself in all the wrong ways yet had become nothing short of a hero in the eyes of the common man. How did someone who was at one time so lawless and ruthless become so well-liked?

Notorious reputation, he quickly scribbled on his ever-handy note-pad. The way he carries himself – still a tall, slim, solid, hard-edged man with a look about him. What was that look? Danger. That was it. Like nitroglycerine - one wrong move and it explodes. …

Jeff carefully mingled into the crowd that followed the marshal toward the jailhouse. It was obvious some of them just wanted to be near Jake Harkner so they could brag about knowing him. Fact was, Jeff wouldn’t mind having bragging rights himself, except his would be that he was the only man who’d convinced Jake Harkner to let him write a book about him. …

Harkner wore the signature duster of a U.S. Marshal. He removed the coat, reaching around to lay it over his horses’s rump. Now Jeff could see his weapons – the infamous Colt .44 revolvers holstered on each hip, a Colt lightening magazine rifle and a sawed-off ten-gauge shotgun resting in loops on either side of his saddle. An extra cartridge belt hung across the man’s chest, and a third hand gun rested in a holster behind the marshal’s back. … Those prisoners he brought in who were still alive were in a bad way. … One had a bloody bandage around his forehead with dried blood on the side of his face. Another wore an eye patch and looked ready to fall off his horse. The third prisoner just hung his head but occasionally gave Harkner a dark look of hatred. The left sleeve of his shirt showed a huge blood stain. … 

The hard lines about Harkner’s eyes bespoke a man who’d led a very rough life. Everything about him spelled toughness – a man with not a soft spot on him.

«««««

Then … there she was. Jeff had never met her, but the woman hurrying down the street from the other end of town had to be Miranda Harkner. … The look of both relief and concern in her eyes said it all. After many years together, the woman was still very much in love with Jake Harkner. So small! Jeff quickly wrote. I expected a stout and somber woman. She was somehow bigger in my imagination. How does such a tiny woman handle a man like Jake Harkner? 

(The moment he saw her) the rugged, dangerous-looking Harkner halted his horse and dismounted, removing the extra belt slung over his shoulder and hanging it around his horse’s neck. He threw down his cigarette and walked up to the woman. … In a surprisingly gentle move, Jake put an arm around her shoulders and led her a few feet away. She smiled at him, and Jeff could hardly believe it when Harkner leaned down and kissed her cheek before grasping her arm and gently pushing her aside. “Stay out of the way till I take care of (these men),” he warned.

Outlaw Hearts - Teaser #6

Available June 2, 2015
Pre-Order!

Jake turned away, a feeling of numbness moving through his entire body. Suddenly there were no birds singing. Suddenly the beauty around him existed no more. He didn’ t want it to exist, for then he would have to face the fact that soon this freedom, the enjoyment of these simple things, all the love he had found these past years with his work and his family, all of it was going to be taken from him. … Lloyd! His son was going to discover the awful truth now! In the blink of an eye all their lives would be changed. As usual, his wise, patient, devoted wife had been right, and oh, how it would hurt Lloyd and Evie!

“You’ve got time to light out of here, Jake,” Jess told him. “You know I’ll look after the family till you can send for them again.”

A quick gust of wind swept down from the mountains and blew Jake’s hat off. He breathed deeply of the sweet smell of pine and mountain wildflowers. “No,” he answered, running a hand through his still-thick hair. Its near-black color now showed streaks of gray at the temples. “No more running. It wouldn’t do any good this time.”

The two men just looked at each other for several long silent seconds. There was no more running this time. Jake could be facing a firing squad or a noose before it was all over. Jess could see the man fighting tears as he put out his hand. “You’ve been a good friend, Jess. I’m trusting you to keep my family safe, help them however they need it.”

Jess grasped his hand and nodded, clearing his throat to find his voice. “This ain’t your fault, Jake, when you think about it. It’s your pa’s fault. If not for him, none of the other would have happened.” 

Jake released his grip and walked to Jess’s horse, feeling as though someone had set a boulder on his chest. “Trouble is, Jess, Lloyd’s going to say the same thing. This is going to change his life, and he’s going to say it’s all my fault.” He mounted up. “And he’ll be right.”



Miranda lowered the rifle. “Good afternoon, Lieutenant.” She set the gun aside. “What brings you way out here?”

Gentry looked around warily. “Your husband about?”

“No.” Jake! He was here for Jake! Why? After all these years, why had God let this happen!

Outlaw Hearts - Teaser #5


Available June 2, 2015

“How’d you get so good with guns, Pa? Mom told me your own father died when you were about my age and that your mother was already dead. You didn’t have anybody to teach you.”

Jake smoked quietly for a moment, staring at the campfire. Tell him the truth, a little voice nagged him. There couldn’t be a better time. “I just taught myself,” he answered. “I was orphaned at your age, had no other family. That was back in Texas in the thirties. Things were pretty lawless then. A kid my age had to know how to defend himself, how to provide for himself.

Lloyd leaned closer over the fire and turned the spit. Fat dripped from the rabbit onto hot coals and made little hissing sounds. “You ever have to kill a man back then?” he asked. 

Jake met his eyes. Yeah, my own father. And a hell of a lot of others. How could he tell (his own son) that? The kid looked at him sometimes like he was a God. If he knew the truth …

Outlaw Hearts - Teaser #4

“Somebody get Jake!” a man shouted.

Kennedy shot again, hitting the man in the back. Three innocent people! Miranda could see the stands now, heard shouting, more screams, children beginning to cry. Plenty of the men sported guns because of the shooting contest, but none seemed willing to get involved. A couple of men rode off on horses, deciding just to get out of there. The band stopped its playing. She could see Jake now, standing in the middle of the corral. To her horror, another man, obviously part of Kennedy’s bunch, held a crying Lloyd, pointing a gun to the baby’s head. The black stallion was trotting nervously in a circle around the inside of the corral fence. … 

She took faint hope in the fact that Jake was still alive and standing, and he wore one of his revolvers. He had put it on because of the shooting contest, but it was only one gun with six bullets. How many men did Kennedy have along? 

Now you know the kind of man your Jake used to be, Juan had told her. She would not believe he had ever been this bad. He would not stick a knife into a woman’s ribs. He would not threaten a little boy. Never. He would not rape, or come to something like this and shoot people down like rabbits. Still, he had ridden with these men at one time, and now it seemed he would pay a much higher price for it than if he had gone to prison. Her heart ached at the look in his eyes when Juan dragged her around the corral fence to stand next to the man who held Lloyd. The baby reached for her, screaming, “Mama!”


Available June 2, 2015

United by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.

Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.

Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.

Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness. 

Outlaw Hearts - Teaser #3

“Jake Harkner, put me down!” Randy liked to use his real name in private, felt he should hear it and learn to be proud of it. She made a mild protest when he dumped her on the bed and moved on top of her, but her weak objections vanished when his lips covered her own again in a penetrating kiss. This was so like the man she loved, spontaneous, gently demanding, sometimes a little wild and unpredictable. “Jake this is crazy.”

He moved his lips to her neck and ran his hand under her dress. It was warm, and she hadn’t bothered with extra slips. “Just a quick little sign of affection, mi querida,” he said softly. She felt her drawers coming off. “Maybe tonight we’ll do this again, take our time.”

Just the words brought on a surge of hot desire. When Jake Harkner “took his time” with a woman, he had the most exotic ways of taking her to a world of ecstasy. She never dreamed there were so many ways to make love. With Jake it always seemed so right and natural.



Available June 2, 2015

United by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.

Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.

Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.

Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.

Outlaw Hearts - Teaser #2

She opened her eyes and managed a weak smile. “You have a son,” she whispered.

No. He couldn’t think about that. He couldn’t really have a son of his own. It was all so unreal. Maybe if he didn’t look at the kid, this would all just go away. “You hang on, Randy. Don’t you dare leave me with a kid to raise on my own. You know I can’t do it.”

She smiled more. “Yes, you can.”

He put his hands to either side of her face and bent down to kiss her forehead. “You listen to me. I love you like I never thought I could love another human being.” He felt a lump rising in his throat, a desperate fear at the thought that he could lose her. “I need you, Randy, and you know all the reasons why. Don’t you go and die on me, you hear? If I lose you I’ll go right back to that old life. You don’t want me to do that, do you?”

“You talk … big, Jake,” she whispered. “Don’t … mean it … got to take care of our little son.”

He brushed her cheek with his own, tears forming in his eyes. “Damn it, Randy, don’t you leave me. Don’t you dare leave me!”

“Come and see your son, Jake.” Mrs. Anderson touched his arm.

Jake straightened, looking over at the cradle … finding it difficult to picture a child of his own lying in it. Why did he dread this? What if he really did love the child? … That meant he couldn’t bear for anything to ever hurt the child, especially not his past.

The sins of the father are visited upon the son. He remembered hearing a street preacher shout that once back in Missouri, recalled how he had applied those words to his own father. And look how he had turned out, just as mean and unfeeling and murderous as his father. To think his own past could somehow scar his son …


Available June 2, 2015

United by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.

Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.

Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.

Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.