QSFer Jackie North has a new MM time travel/western book out: “Ride the Whirlwind.”
Soulmates across time. Two hearts, stronger together.
In present day, Maxton is good at finding trouble and bad at everything else.
In 1892, Trent Harrington, sheriff of Trinidad, Colorado, lives a respectable but lonely life, devoid of any closeness.
Trying to escape a past that keeps chasing him, Maxton drives south to avoid getting arrested. When his car spins off the road, he is swept up in a desert whirlwind and finds himself in the year 1892. Lost and alone, unused to the laws of the wild west, Maxton gets arrested anyway.
Trent is tasked with escorting Maxton to Trinidad. The request isn’t unusual, but the miscreant is. Maxton draws Trent’s heart out of its shell with his flashing green eyes and lush head of hair. It isn’t right. It isn’t natural. It’s illegal. Yet Trent cannot resist the impetuous young man.
As the two men travel through the vast, empty desert to their destination, will they find in each other the love and companionship they never thought they’d have?
A male/male time travel romance, complete with the scent of desert roses, brilliantly colored sunsets, starlit nights, bitter campfire coffee, growing honesty and trust, and true love across time.
“You need to get to bed, Maxton,” said Trent.
There was no internet, no smart phone, no anything to distract Maxton from his own thoughts. The darkness loomed for a minute, and then softened into something more gentle than what he was used to. Then he realized that the moonlight was coming through the window like someone had shined a spotlight. The moonlight layered in soft ribbons across the floor, making the dingy room like a safe cave where maybe, just maybe, Maxton wouldn’t have to sleep with one eye open. Besides, Sheriff Trent was there, and nobody would mess with a sheriff.
In the soft light of the moon, Maxton went to the other bed, peeled back the bedclothes, and climbed in. He shoved off the blankets, but kept the thick sheet, which seemed like it would be enough, even if the night air got cool.
Once he found a comfortable position on the lumpy mattress, the night settled around him, and the quiet of the town in the middle of nowhere. There were faint sounds of voices talking, the clink of china dishes, a low, sleepy bark of a dog. The faraway howl of a group of coyotes, pitching their high, sharp calls at the full moon that hung in a dark, desert sky.
Maxton yawned, and turned on his side, now facing Trent who, in the moonlight, had turned on his side and was now facing Maxton. They were both awake. Maxton could tell because he could see the moonlight glinting in Trent’s eyes. He couldn’t tell if Trent was glaring at him or whether he was just looking at the moonlight streaking across the floor. What he was thinking or feeling. He was a hard man to read, for all he seemed so straightforward, so Maxton decided to find out.
“Hey, Trent,” said Maxton.
“Yes,” said Trent, his voice low and sleepy, curling in the air in a way that made Maxton’s spine tingle, though he couldn’t explain why.
“How long will it take us to reach Trinidad by stagecoach?” asked Maxton. He didn’t really care about the answer, he just needed to get the lay of the land. Sometimes, in the darkness, people said things they wouldn’t say in the daylight, and although the question itself was somewhat innocuous, it might lead to Trent saying other things that would help Maxton figure out which way he needed to play this.
“Oh, around four or five days, I reckon,” said Trent. “It depends on the weather and the state of the roads, but five days at most, I’d say.”
Maxton thought about this, dredging up his bare knowledge of New Mexico geography.
“That’s a lot of time for a distance of less than 200 miles,” said Maxton. “What, do the horses crawl the whole time?”
“No,” said Trent, laughing beneath his breath in a sleepy way. “They go around four or five miles an hour, and need to be changed out every 20 miles.”
The stagecoach ride they’d taken from Dilia to Villanueva had lasted only the morning, and had been the most miserable three hours, but then Maxton had been beaten up and had been quite thirsty the whole time, uncertain of Trent and his situation and how to get to Laurie. He couldn’t imagine spending four or five days in anything like those conditions.
“Will it be like our last stagecoach trip?” asked Maxton.
For a moment, there was a bit of silence, and he watched in the semi-darkness as Trent rolled on his back and laid both his forearms over his eyes. Maxton blinked, uncertain of what was going through Trent’s mind.
Then Trent sighed, scrubbed at his face, and turned the other way.
“I cannot abide more than an hour in a stagecoach, to be honest,” said Trent, his voice somewhat muffled. “All those folks jammed in like sardines, the dust from the alkali flats in my lungs, the constant rattle of wheels–”
Trent stopped, and made a sound, low in his throat, as though he felt he’d said too much. But the cat was already out of the bag. The good sheriff of Trinidad hated traveling by stagecoach, and maybe that was a vulnerability Maxton could use.
“We could walk faster than the stagecoach,” said Maxton now, putting a laugh in his voice to make a joke out of it. “Might be more fun, anyway.”
“We’d need a pair of good sturdy horses,” said Trent. “And water and supplies to cross the desert, and I doubt the good citizens of Trinidad would reimburse me for that, not when the stage is so handy.”
This response gave rise to a whole host of ideas and feelings that Maxton didn’t quite know what to do with. He and the sheriff now had something in common; they both hated riding the stage. At the same time, Trent was the responsible type and wouldn’t lay out cash for something he couldn’t qualify as an expense, which meant, yet again, that he was a do-gooder, by-the-book type of guy. There was nothing Maxton could make of that, as do-gooders tended to balk at breaking the rules, or turning left instead of right.
Jackie North has been writing stories since grade school and spent years absorbing the mainstream romances that she found at her local grocery store. She wanted to put her English degree to good use and write romance novels, because for years she’s had a never-ending movie of made-up love stories in her head that simply wouldn’t leave her alone.
As fate would have it, she discovered m/m romance and decided that men falling in love with other men was exactly what she wanted to write books about. She creates characters who are a bit flawed and broken, who find themselves on the edge of society, and maybe a few who are a little bit lost, but who all deserve a happily ever after. (And she makes sure they get it!)
She likes long walks on the beach, the smell of lavender and rainstorms, and enjoys sleeping in on snowy mornings. She is especially fond of pizza and beer and, when time allows, long road trips with soda fountain drinks and rock and roll music. In her heart, there is peace to be found everywhere, but since in the real world this isn’t always true, Jackie writes for love.