My husband and I always wanted to tour Route 66. In 2007, we started our tour by driving from Central Texas to Amarillo and traveling West. We chose this direction as I’d written a novel set in Chaco Canyon and I wanted to make sure I’d captured it properly. I was also playing around with another story in my mind, and I love to take pictures I think my be good for a cover or story idea at one time or other.
If you’ve ever driven the old Mother Road, you know it ends in places and you’re rerouted to I-40 and watch closely for signs indicating where you can recapture Route 66. At the small town of Glenrio, Texas, near the border of New Mexico on Route 66, we came up this old motel and restaurant. On the Texas side the dilapidated sign read First and Last Motel in Texas. On the New Mexico sign, just substitute Texas with New Mexico.
We stopped and took pictures and my imagination went wild. I thought, this will be the perfect place for my heroine to hide out while running from her evil ex-husband. See picture below. Of course, it would require a lot of cleaning out but a person could do it.
Behind the restaurant is a long row of cottages, each separated by a carport. If you’ve seen pictures of old travel courts this was the common style in the 1930s through the 1950s. Think of the movie Bonnie and Clyde. I thought this would be perfect. My heroine could pull her car into the carport and it wouldn’t be noticeable. Though I-40 isn’t far, it’s on the back side of the cottages.
So, from this setting my story A Stolen Chance was born. Of course, the motel has changed considerably and I moved it farther West into New Mexico, closer to the Zuni Indian Reservation.
Mystery and danger lead two people on a path of discovery.
Running from a violent ex husband bent on revenge, website designer Susan Lawton flees the Midwest, leaving no clues behind. She finds refuge at a small motel along old Route 66 in Siesta, New Mexico. But how long before her past catches up with her?
Albuquerque police detective Carson Rhodes accidentally shot a child during a drug raid. The recurring nightmares, even after counseling, push him to resign from the force and go home to run his family’s Siesta Motel and Café. Susan brings out all his protective instincts, and he persuades her to stay. It’s as safe a place as anywhere, they hope.
Mysterious Zuni Indian fetishes, the ghost of Carson’s great-grandfather, a lost treasure, and preparation for battle against the relentless evil stalking Susan keep the pair busy even as they realize their attraction to each other.
Can a lasting love be their reward for success against the odds?
Susan lay stunned, flat on her back, her head throbbing from where it had struck the hard ground. A heavy weight lay atop her chest. Dang! What had happened? She lifted her head to see Hans stretched out on top of her. She wrinkled her nose at his stinky breath and the dirty odor of his coat. It’s time for a bath, buddy.
Reality hit. Hans! Dewayne shot him. She folded her arms around the animal and gasped with relief to feel his rapid pants. She stroked his side and whispered, “Lie still, boy. Play dead.” Maybe he’d think he got them both.
Susan slipped the .38 revolver from her coat pocket and eased it under her right leg within easy reach. The sound of running footsteps drawing nearer alerted her to Dewayne’s approach. Eyes closed, she tried to let her body go slack and pretend unconsciousness. No doubt he’d be able to see her erratic breathing under the animal. Willing it to slow, she waited.
This is it, Susan. Your chance to kill the man who beat you senseless, scarred your face, and caused all the grief you’ve suffered. The death of Lauren. Hate boiled inside and steadied her nerves. Slow breath, wait…let him think you’re dead or at least unconscious.
The sounds of Dewayne’s footsteps slowed, and then stopped. His harsh breathing was the only sound on the desert air. Evidently he hadn’t kept in shape and his run had winded him. Slight noises rustled from another direction. His position had shifted. Damn, he was suspicious and approaching cautiously. She forced herself to keep her eyes closed and still.
Cold steel touched her forehead.
Amazon and The Wild Rose Press
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