Gold Rush Barons, the last book in The California Argonauts series is here. Sure, the release day is on April 1, commonly known as April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke. Lucinda Martin York and George Arnold have left their pasts behind and reached their goals. Lucinda is now a medical doctor and George is the owner of a thriving hard rock gold mine. But the couple soon realizes that even when a goal is reached, there are still bigger hurdles to climb over. I hope you enjoy this last episode in their story.
I began writing Lucinda’s and George’s stories about ten years ago, and they’ve become such a part of my writing, that it’s hard to let them go. I have a feeling they’ll be showing up in my next novel, set in Sacramento in 1862. They might not be the main characters, but they’ll be sure to put in an appearance in the town they’ve grown to love.
Here’s a teaser excerpt from Gold Rush Barons.
The sun rose high in the sky as the horse pulled the carriage up the road into the low-lying hills outside of Sacramento. Lucinda could hear the stamper pounding the ore before they even cleared the crest of the hill bordering their land. As they rounded the edge of the hill, George guided the carriage to the left, where a field of blossoms spattered the land with purple.
“Lavender!” Lucinda cried out. “Is it wild?”
“Not a bit.” George pulled the carriage to a stop. “I planted all of this for you.”
“I remember the day you came home from working on the levees; I was so worried about you. You brought me lavender.”
“And I kissed you for the first time.”
Lucinda leaned in. “Kiss me again.”
George looked into her eyes. He placed his hands on her cheeks, featherlight, and kissed her lips. She returned his kiss with the passion of a starving woman. She reached up and pulled him closer, tangling her fingers in the curls of his hair. A moan escaped him as he wrapped his arms around the small of her back and lifted her feet off the floorboards, drinking in her kiss like sweet wine.
She opened her eyes. “I’ll never tire of that, George Arnold.”
“Nor I, Dr. Arnold.”
“How quickly can you drive me home?”
“After two years, not quickly enough.”
He reached into a picnic basket and brought out a large napkin. He shook it out and folded it on the diagonal. “Let me blindfold you.”
Lucinda sputtered and scooted back. “Do what?”
George smiled. “You’ll only have the blindfold on for a short while. I want to surprise you with something.”
“You’ve already surprised me, George. I’ll not be blindfolded while riding in a carriage.”
“But then you’ll spoil the surprise. You trust me, don’t you?”
Lucinda scanned his eyes for artifice. She did trust him. However, a blindfold seemed insane to her. She hadn’t worn one since playing blindman’s bluff with her cousins when she was twelve, back in Missouri.
George smiled at her in that heart-melting way he had, the dimple deepening his grin.
She sighed. “Yes, I do trust you. I trust you with my life, to eternity and back. Why I must wear a blindfold to prove it, I don’t know.” She took the blindfold from him and tied it behind her bonnet. She stretched out her hands in front of her.
“You’re safe with me,” George whispered, so close she could feel his breath lift a wisp of her hair. “You’re going to love this surprise.”
You can read more by downloading a sample or purchasing Gold Rush Barons.
The introductory price is $0.99 through April 4th. After that, the price goes to $2.99.
Thank you for reading this far!