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Released: April 2016
ISBN: 9781311059741
ASIN: B01BPKEFOU
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DUST
Author: Beaux Cooper
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: $3.99

Some people seek marriage counseling; others find wisdom in horse manure. Austen St. John has taken up a shovel.

When her marriage transitions from blushing newlyweds to people who merely co-exist, Austen realizes perhaps she's responsible for her misery.

Desiring change, she leaves Oregon for the open plains of a Wyoming ranch where she discovers through love of self how she can save her marriage.

Excerpt
The small town they arrived in was populated by the bus station which doubled as the post office, a market with a produce stand out front, two wood taverns on opposing ends of the street, and a two-story building with boards covering the windows. An empty, dusty, two-lane, paved road ran down the middle. If there was more to it than that, Austen could not tell from her side of the bus. A blend of white and dark clouds slowly passed overhead, exposing her eyes to an unfiltered sun and casting shadows across the town. She stepped off the platform for the last time and stretched her shoulders back, taking in a deep breath of clear Wyoming air. And coughed.

Unsure of who or where her ride was, Austen walked over to the station and took a seat just outside the door. Sloppy notes detailing the ranch rested on her lap for review. She was scheduled to meet a man named James Thwaite; a date and time were given. Nothing else. Eyes focused on the crumpled sheet of paper, her ears shifted back, catching the conversation between the two men inside.

“Now who‘re you pickin’ up this late in the evening, Jim?”

“Not exactly sure, some kid from the city.”

“Really? How do you think they’ll take to the big open air out here?” The postmaster’s smirk oozed through his question.

“Want to place a bet on it? Let’s see, today is Sunday so she missed the day of rest, hmm... I’ll give it another week before I’m back here dropping her off. Well? Care to wager something different?”

The postmaster’s response was lost to her. With rapid action she began to think up options of how to handle such an embarrassing and offensive situation. She could go back to the bus and pretend she’d heard nothing as he exited the building, or she could stand her ground and allow the men to stew in their blunder. Each was quickly weighed against the other. On one hand she could prove to herself and him that they were wrong in their assumptions, a silent battle only she knew existed; or she could take this man to task by outwardly competing against his doubts, affording him a front row seat to his own bet’s defeat.

Without further thought Austen jumped out of the seat and maneuvered herself so as the cowboy—and he was certainly the classic picture of such—crossed the station’s threshold she appeared to be on her way through the same door. Austen took one large stride up to the man, extended her hand to him and, as she returned his strong grip in their handshake, said with a determination she fiercely lacked, “Mr. Thwaite, I am Austen St. John and I expect to remain the entire length of my scheduled stay with the Wild Cat Ranch. If you choose to bet against it, I believe you will be disappointed. However, it is too late to recant your wager of one week, so I must take you up on it.”

Peeking her head into the small room beyond the cowboy named Thwaite, she directed her next comment to the postmaster. “Now I didn’t quite make out what your guess was, sir, so for your sake I’ll allow you to restate or change it. What will you have?”

The postmaster stumbled through his words, cornered and unsure. “I’m sure, ma’am, if you’ll excuse me, I believe I said I would see old Jim here by Wednesday.” He quickly bowed to Austen, gathered his things, and shuffled out of sight into the back room.

She smiled. “Well, Mr. Thwaite, are we on? His three days and your seven against my ninety.”

The man stared blank-faced at his spirited adversary. Although he towered over her in height and frame, he shifted uncomfortably in his boots. Tipping his hat to her, James Thwaite took a deep breath before saying, “Well ma’am, I gather you heard something I wasn’t meaning for you to hear. I apologize, but since you seem game, let us have it. I find it a bit unfair on your side, but a bet is a bet and there is no taking it back now.”

“And how might it be unfair for me, Mr. Thwaite?”

“Because I’m your new boss. Now grab your gear and let’s get on the road. We still have some miles ahead of us before we reach the ranch and I’m not looking to lose any more sleep than I already will from this trip.”

Under her breath came a very clear, “Shit,” as the middle-aged man walked away toward his truck. She may have started out ahead in this game, but he had scored the final point. This man had all the power to make her first week at the ranch a miserable experience and was now equipped with the motivation to do so. Perhaps the first option would have been better than to tempt a cowboy’s pride.

What the reviewers are saying
A great read!
I highly recommend this book for women . . . I found the characters real, and the dialogue and descriptions beautiful. ~ Liz Lund, Amazon

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Thoughtful, heartfelt novel that you can connect to
When a book connects with your what you are going through in your own life, you wish and hope for the same ending, or something similar to it in your own life. Of course, that doesn't happen. But this book gives you inspiration of what you need to think about, what you need to reflect on. For me, it wasn't just a story to enjoy- it was a tool to help me craft my own reflections. ~ IMV, Amazon

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Just what I hoped it would be: fabulous!
Great writing, wonderful imagery, fun characters, truth, and empowerment. Loved it! ~ Callie Alfred, Amazon

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A must read!
Such an amazing read! I loved how the author took the time to give an in depth look into her life, and very detailed on describing the scene for the readers! I know not only for myself, but many women can relate to feeling like you lost a part of you as you get older and married! I enjoyed this book so much I have read it more than once, and found a new favorite author! I can't wait for future books by Beaux Cooper! ~ Alicia S, Amazon

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A Book that becomes more then just some ink on a page. She writes as if she is inside your head pulling your own story and history out of your deep dark areas of your soul. Very enjoyable and easy to read. Once you jump in you will stay in until the end. I will look forward to the next Novel this Author puts out! Thanks for the ride! ~ Amazon reader

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I enjoyed every word as I ate the pages
A tale of one womens rediscovery of her self to save herself and her marriage. A heartwarming, down to earth story relatable to everyone affected by the human condition, and is timeless. I enjoyed every word as I ate the pages, branching out from my usual genres. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. ~ Andrew, Amazon

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Inspiring, Captivating and Relevant
Beaux Cooper did an incredible job making the situations the characters were in feel so real and relevant. As a young married women, I totally related to the feelings, fights and struggles Austen went through with Jack. Her journey to find herself again is one of inspiration and brings back to reality the importance of knowing, loving and taking care yourself. It's a beautiful story and I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I'd love to see this become a movie or even a TV series! I can't wait to read more from Beaux Cooper! ~ Holly, Amazon

 

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