Sheila was born in Nuremberg, Germany, the daughter of a career soldier. When she was ten, her father was stationed in Toul, France where she discovered a treasure trove of books hiding in the furnace room. The house was rumored to be the former headquarters of the Nazi Party with bullet holes decorating the foyer as evidence. The books she found, sci-fi, mysteries, fantasy, and the classics, opened her mind to the power of story.
Raised on army bases, she has lived many places, none home until she returned to south Alabama. She lives with her husband, three dogs, and two cats near the farms where her ancestors lived and loved.
Sheila is active in her community, heading up her local food bank with the help of her husband and also participates in meals-on-wheels, the Trail Masters, a local group who promote the local state park, and other organizations.
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Be sure to check out Sheila's novella, Robbie and Taron.
The path down to the river may sweep her away ... to love or disaster, perhaps both.
When Robeta Rutherford leads the horses to a nearby river, a mysterious cowboy appears. Is he there to help her family or to derail her plans forever?
Robbie studies all of her life to become a doctor. To establish a medical practice, she travels west with her parents until illness and inclement weather force them to a stop.
Robbie must survive the challenges or her plans for the future will be dashed forever. When she walks down to the river, the mysterious cowboy changes her life ... in ways she never could have guessed.
Robbie emptied out the pot, donned her clean dress, and headed for the river with her brush, to enjoy the sunshine on the splashing water. She sat down on a large boulder that jutted out over the river and began untangling the knots in her hair with dexterous fingers.
“Good day, miss.” The deep voice echoed from across the river.
It startled her so badly she cried out and the brush slipped from her fingers. Immediately, a cowboy on horseback was splashing into the river and had scooped up the brush almost before she realized its loss.
“Here you go.” He held out the brush, and she retrieved it from him.
She glanced down and mumbled, “Thank you.” She tried desperately to regain her composure.
“My pleasure. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
She dared a glance at him, and he flashed a set of even white teeth while bringing up a hand to tip his hat.
Raking back her wet hair from her face, she tilted her chin up, to get a better look at the good-looking stranger. “You didn’t scare me,” she lied. “I was only startled.”
“Are you alone?” he asked.
Her heartbeat tapped at the base of her throat. “Of course not. We have been traveling west and stopped to camp for the night.” She tried to make it sound as if she traveled with a wagon train instead of only her parents. But surely this friendly faced man on a pinto meant no harm.
“Oh?” His eyes twinkled.
Had he been watching her? Did he know she was lying? She scooted off the rock, smoothing down her dress. “I’d best be getting back to camp.”
“Maybe we’ll meet again?” He wore a lopsided grin on his face.
She hesitated a moment. Did he want to be invited to the campsite? She didn’t want him to think her rude. “We have some sickness and can’t entertain visitors.”
He nodded. “I understand. ’Bye, miss.” He pulled the horse’s reins and rode away, beyond the trees that lined the shore.
Roberta realized she’d not brushed her hair. It was still a tangled mess! Heat rose to her cheeks, and then she shrugged. It didn’t matter. She’d probably never see him again. She finished her hair and hurried back to the camp.
Her parents were no better. They slept but were feverish and restless.
She sat down on a log by the fire to think. What if the man came across the river again? That might be agood thing. Her heartbeat quickened at the thought.
But what if he was a gunslinger? She’d noticed the holster strapped around his waist with the pearl handle of a pistol visible.
He had probably been watching her this whole time! Planning to rob them — or worse. Heat rose to her cheeks. But she remembered his face, so friendly and open. Surely he meant no harm.
Still, it was better to be safe than sorry. She ran to the wagon and rummaged until she found her father’s pistol and bullets. Her hands shook as she loaded the chamber. She’d be ready next time.
The problem was that she couldn’t decide if she feared or desired a next time.