Dusty Zamora and her close-knit sisters were young--but far from innocent--when they abruptly left Hagerstown, Maryland ten years ago.
Now, Dusty has returned. Alone.
Judd McCassey spent most of his thirty-six years side-by-side with his brothers and cousins...on the wrong side of the law. His one regret...being powerless to help the only woman he ever loved when she needed it most.
Judd knows they're headed for trouble when Dusty rides back into his life on a stolen outlaw biker's motorcycle, and is shocked when she refuses his help.
Finally realizing that hiding her deadly secrets are harming--not helping--the man she loves, Dusty opens up to Judd, dropping a bombshell that sends him reeling, and her fleeing.
Not until Dusty vanishes does Judd discover her deception was well-intended. Now, he must find her before it's too late for all of them...
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Whiskey Creek Press
December 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Dusty Rose by Lauren N. Sharman
Hagerstown, Maryland, 1978
Chaos erupted the instant the front door crashed violently against the living room wall.
Relieved to hear her older sister's voice, eighteen-year-old Dusty Zamora came to her senses enough to answer. "Jessie!" she yelled as loud as the hand over her mouth allowed.
As her sister flew into the room, gun drawn, Dusty bit the hand covering her mouth as hard as she could, forcing her enormous attacker to release his hold. With barely enough time to roll out of the way, Dusty covered her head just as the first of five consecutive, deafening blasts from Jessie's .357 Magnum echoed through the room.
Just inches from Jessie's target, Dusty jerked and stiffened as the warm blood of her attacker splattered her face; her body heaving as she fought the urge to vomit.
When everything was quiet, she looked up.
Followed by their two other sisters, Alex and Benni, Jessie was the first one to reach her. "Dusty?"
"I'm okay," she said as Jessie grasped her upper arm and pulled her to her feet.
Taking in the bloody scene on the floor, Dusty could hardly believe her younger sister, Courtney, was dead. Next to her lay their mother's ex-boyfriend, Earl--the bastard; the well-deserved victim of Jessie's perfect timing and flawless aim.
"What do we do now?" Benni asked.
"We get the hell out of here," Jessie told them, using an old T-shirt that had been lying on the sofa to wipe some of Earl's blood from Dusty's face.
"What about Court?"
"She's dead, Benni, there's nothing we can do."
"But nothing!" Jessie's temper exploded. We've got to get out of town before Sheriff Johnson discovers what went on here! Earl was a friend of his, and if he catches us, he'll find a way to charge us all with murder and make sure we spend the rest of our lives in prison."
"I don't want to leave her, Jessie!"
Jessie shoved Benni--who was as close to hysterics as Dusty had ever seen her--toward the hallway. "You don't have a choice! I'm the oldest and we do what I say! Grab a small bag and pack only what you can't do without. Go! You've got two minutes; all of you."
With shaking hands, Dusty took the trash bag Alex offered her and scrambled to toss in a few shirts, two pair of jeans, and some clean underwear; she didn't own anything else worth holding onto.
When the sisters had hastily packed what they could, one by one, they filtered out the front door.
"Where are we going?" Dusty asked.
Jessie never hesitated before replying, "To The Renegade's camp."
Dusty should've known. A certain member of the Renegades was who Jessie always went to when she needed something. "How will we get there?"
"Let's go to McCassey's Garage. Blackie will get us out of town."
And get them out of town he did.