I had to read it and I'm glad I did!
Here's a look at the back cover:
Logan Riley is a Civil War hero turned renegade outlaw. Hanged in 1869, he survives, being discovered in today's time by anthropologist Dr. McKenzie Lynne. Kenzie had been hired by a team of physicists to find a time traveling treasure and they were backing up their investment with the military. Except once Kenzie finds Logan and learns what horrible fate the physicists have in mind, she runs, taking their living treasure with her.
Now, pursued by the military and the obsessed physicists, they race across the desert of Arizona and New Mexico. If they're caught, it's all over for them. But staying free means forever on the run, hunted and homeless.
Hunted like criminals, they also discover attraction and love blooming like wild desert flowers. Logan knows how to survive on nothing, how to outwit pursuers and when to run and when to hole up. What he doesn't know is how to keep himself safe from Kenzie's power. Her strong Christian faith works to convict him of his past crimes far better than the hangman's noose had.
As their affection grows and their pursuers close in, their love will face the hardest test of all-- Kenzie's Christian morals and Logan's bad-boy nineteenth century outlaw justice against the twenty-first century US military and the insane physicists who will stop at nothing to get them back.
Author Ryan Jo Summers joins me today to tell us!
1--Names. The title is actually taken from the registered name of one of my dogs. I used to train and show collies (the Lassie dogs). One of my girls was Heritage Shimmers of Stardust. Her call name was McKenzie Lynne. Or just Kenzie. The Lynne part was in honor of my mother's middle name. The real life dog McKenzie Lynne had three litter brothers. Their names were Logan, Riley James and Miles. The James part was in honor of my father-in-law Jim. Riley James had a beautiful black (tri color) coat and Logan had a lovely blue merle coat. That made the character's hair and eyes easy to decide on.
2--Timing. In September 2012 I had this great concept for a book. Why not take an outlaw and hang him somewhere in the late 1800's. Have him be discovered by a modern day anthropologist. Let there be bad guys, let the chase be on and love bloom. About 2/3 through writing the first draft, I came across a scrap of paper in which I had written a story idea. It was almost word perfect exactly what I thought of in 2012. The only thing missing was a title. The date on the scrap of paper....November 29, 1997. Yes, an incredible 15 years prior. Locked away in a forgotten file folder all that time, slow simmering in the back of my brain.
3--Song. The only difference between the original 1997 concept and the 2012 plot was the introduction of Kenzie's Christianity. That was largely inspired because of a song by Justin Lynch called 'Cowboys and Angels'. The song, I felt, beautifully summed up everything about McKenzie and Logan.
4--Career. Logan had to be discovered by someone in today's time. I chose an anthropologist because I had once considered a career in the social sciences like that or archeology or paleontology until I discovered they spent a lot of time out in the dry, arid, dusty and hot climates. Not a location I like much. So that career was crossed off my list but I still find it incredibly fascinating.
5--Secret Fantasy. Maybe it's the romantic in me, but sometimes I will daydream of being out in the wilds, in some remote location--wooded or mountains--camping with a handsome man who can survive on nothing but the resources around us. Bonus if he is a bit of a bad boy as well.
LOVE Cowboys and Angels by Justin Lynch! Thanks for sharing your 5 Secrets with us! Here's a little more about Ryan Jo:
When not writing, Ryan Jo likes to spend time with her host of pets and hang out with friends. She loves going to the national forest near her home and gains much inspiration from her visits there. She enjoys baking, cooking, houseplants and painting. She paints ceramics, canvas and cartoons. She likes to bake challenging recipes and write poetry for the challenge and therapy. When time allows, she likes to read other author's books.
AND NOW...the excerpt from Shimmers of Stardust. Enjoy!
“Well? Did you find them?” Coates asked, looking up from the table.
“I did. Civilians are always easy to track.” Aiden moved over to the coffee pot and poured a cup, taking time to stir in a little sugar. Taking a sip, he set the mug down and stepped to the table.
Coates smiled. “Yes, they are.” He glanced out the window. “So where are they?”
“I left them.”
Dr. Franks let out an angry hiss. “You fool!” she spat, hands slapping the table. “She will take it and run again. Why didn't you grab it when you had the chance? Why did you let it get away?”
Aiden took a step back, both from her cold snake eyes and her venomous tone. “It? You mean the man known as Logan Riley right?”
“Whatever,” Dr. Franks dismissed. “Why did you come back empty handed? We need that proof that time travel is possible.”
“This is a delicate operation, Doctor. People around here know about him. Already questions are being asked about Dr. Lynne's sudden disappearance. If we are not careful, more questions will be raised. Questions we might find awkward or embarrassing to have to answer.”
“She is dispensable, your precious Dr. Lynne.”
“Dispensable, Doctor, or disposable?” Aiden asked mildly.
“That discovery is my ticket, our ticket, to fame. We must get it back at all costs, Major.”
“That discovery is also a man, Doctor. A living, breathing, human being.”
Dr. Franks impatiently waved his wordsaway\\\ . “Only in a very broad sense. Foremost, it is a very important scientific discovery. One that will revolutionize how the world looks at physics.” She shook a finger, giving him a warning glare. “Remember that, Major.”
“Retired Major, Doctor,” he nodded respectfully, backing away. He'd be retired soon enough he figured, once this assignment was completed. His paperwork was already in motion.
Dillon Coates stood up. “Conway, come with me for a minute,” he requested, opening the door.
“Sir, with all due respect,” Aiden started once they were clear of the steps, “that person is nothing more than a bug to her, a bug to put under a microscope to study and take apart. Like a moth or a fly.”
Coates gave a sad shake of his head. “It might seem that way. But he is also a thief and a murderer, Major. You read the articles and know all the things he was convicted of doing. Convicted and hanged for.”
“If he was hanged, then he already paid his debt to society. Even murderers in our society today don't deserve what these think tankers have planned for him.”
“He is not like our prisoners of today.” Coates stopped, resting his hand on Aiden's shoulder. “Don't get misled here, Major.”
Aiden moved away. “No, but to her and the rest of them he is nothing more than a lab rat. And Dr. Lynne is nothing more than a disposable entity.” He shook his head in disgust. Exhaling a long breath, he scanned the dry terrain, the rocks and hills and scrubby trees. It all left him cold despite the desert warmth. “What a price to pay for fame and fortune.”
Coates gave him a sad look, lingering, studying. “Be very careful, Major,” he warned softly.