If you caught my first blog then you met the lead character of my novel “Somewhere Between Love and Justice,” gunslinger Sarah Sawyer. If you missed it, you can read the excerpt here and even leave an anonymous comment if you’d like. The novel is due out within the next month, but until then, we will meet the characters.
Introducing saloon owner with a past, Jo Porter
There was nothing special going on. My place was your typical western saloon with a piano player, some pretty girls serving the patrons and swinging wooden doors. The difference was me. Out here it was rare for women to own businesses, but I stood my ground and defeated all naysayers. I became a well-respected member of the town. Carter kept things safe for me even though I didn’t need his help.
He unbuttoned his black vest, relaxing a little more since the saloon was calm. He offered Jade a gracious smile and a nod as she approached. “Ma’am.”
“Don’t ma’am me, Carter,” she said with a southern drawl as she smiled graciously. “I’m too young and pretty.”
My best friend turned on the charm and the accent whenever the need suited her.
He laughed, deep and honest. His eyes sparkled in delight. “Indeed, how rude of me, my lady.”
“That’s better.” Jade gave him a peck on either side of his cheeks.
I slapped him on the leg, pulling his attention from tiny woman. “How’s Maggie and the kids?”
“They’re good, thanks. You should come and eat supper with us one evening, the both of you.” Carter turned to me. “I know, but they’d like to see you more often.”
I looked away and fiddled with the glasses. “I know, it’s just…I’ve been busy, sorry.” To be honest, I’d been avoiding him as much as possible. Things had been strained between us since we broke up. He offered me his heart, but I turned him down. I didn’t have the connection with him in the way he hoped. The sheriff had been nothing but good to me and sometimes I felt a little guilty, but I was happy he finally got the family he wanted.
He knew better and tried to ease the tension. “No, it’s all right. I get it.”
Jade took it as her cue to leave and slipped out without a whisper while I glared at her.
“No, it’s not like that Carter.” I struggled for an excuse. “I’ll make some time soon, okay?”
He nodded, but knew I wouldn’t. “Bobby Ray is back in town. He’s gonna be takin’ over his daddy’s farm. Maybe you two would hit it off?”
I slammed my hand down on the bar in frustration. “I’m not interested, Carter. Don’t do that!”
“Why? There someone else? Why haven’t I met ‘em?”
I paused as thoughts of the mysterious blonde gunslinger flooded my memory. A small smile crept up, only for a second, but he caught the change. I pushed on, determined to make my point despite my slip. “No, no one else. I told you. I don’t need anyone else to be happy Carter, okay? I’m happy with me and my saloon. I don’t need nothin’ else.”
“Um, yeah, sure. Whatever you say Jo. As long as you’re happy,” he said.