About the Book
Hattie Brimfield’s had it with her high-handed, overprotective brothers. So she runs away from the family ranch and straight into trouble due to a series of unfortunate miscommunications involving the Mule Days celebration of 1885 in Hitching Post, Montana.
Sheriff Braxton Cashel isn't about to let this newcomer get away with making a mockery of the proud, if slightly quirky, nuptial festivities involving mules, brides, and the town whose only claim to fame is its name, Hitching Post. And he’s absolutely not about to allow this feisty, winsome gal to get under his skin much less in his heart—until a late spring blizzard traps them overnight in the town jail and Hattie’s brothers show up the next day to demand a shotgun wedding to protect the honor of their beloved baby sister.
Ms. Brimfield, has anything significant happened in your life in the past two weeks?
On the witness stand in the Hitching Post, Montana court-room, twenty-year-old Hattie Brimfield fidgets. “Let me just state for the record—I didn’t intend to cause a riot during the Mule Days celebration.”
She frowns. “Nor get arrested, either.”
Your most embarrassing moment?
Hattie sighs and adjusts her bonnet. “Probably during the auction when it appeared Braxton wasn’t going to even place a bid on my boxed lunch. I was mortified.”
What is your first reaction when you meet a fetching lady/handsome gentleman? Blush? Stutter? Run? Flirt? Engage them in intelligent or witty conversation? Start an argument to see them flustered? Offer a helping hand? Ask a friend about them?
“You’re talking about Braxton, aren’t you? Sheriff Braxton Cashel.” Hattie fans herself. “He wasn’t always a sheriff, of course. I’ve known him most of his life. We lost touch when we were children and then years later, I turn around after setting a few mules free to find him pointing a gun at me.”
A smile curves her lips. “I don’t know who was the most surprised—him or me.” She bats her eyelashes. “There never was a handsomer boy than Brax Cashel. As for Brax Cashel all grown up?” Hattie blushes. “After what happened during Mule Days, I guess most people know how I feel about that subject.”
Are there any children or pets in your life? What do you love about them?
“I love kittens—I got Brax to dive into a creek once to rescue a sack of kittens. Brax likes to pretend it’s all me—this inordinate fondness for animals. Case in point he’ll tell you about what happened during Mule Days. But no way an itty-bitty little girl like me could’ve ever gotten a big, brawny boy like him to do anything he didn’t already want to do.”
She rolls her tongue inside her cheek. “And what happened last week during Mule Days proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
What are your hobbies?
“I cook. I like to write. I like to sing—Bringing in the Sheaves is my all-time favorite.” A small smile. “Brax’s, too.” Hattie taps her finger on her chin, thinking. “I sew—I made the prettiest blue ruffled curtain for the jail. You know, just to brighten that dreary place and make it seem more homey. Which Brax informed me, was so not the point of a jailhouse.”
Siblings? How many? Do you get along?
“My pa was a chaplain during the war. As a man of the Word, he named my brothers—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. After Ma and Pa passed, I took over the cooking at the Bronco B. It was their efforts to marry me to some railroad toad that made me up and leave Wyoming in the first place.” Hattie tilts her head. “I guess when you look at it that way though, I actually owe everything to them. Since I wound up in Hitching Post and met up with Brax again.”
She smiled. “They’re good boys. Just high-spirited and protective. As Brax found out.”
What is your dearest dream?
“My fondest dream is to live the rest of my days in Hitching Post, Montana with the love of my life, Braxton Cashel. And raise a batch of curly, crazy-haired little girls and a passel of earnest, serious-minded young boys. Oh, and write that definitive guide about mules, too.”
What is your worst fear?
“That Braxton wouldn’t love me.”
When’s the last time you had a really good meal? Courtesy of whom?
Hattie rolls her eyes. “Ms. Monk, I assure you that any good meal I’ve had, I’ve had to cook myself. Why do you think my brothers are such big men?”
Are there any hardheaded people in your life right now? What’s the issue?
“A great question, Ms. Monk. Woman to woman, I leave it for you to judge. In the end, which one of us proved to be the most mule dazed?” Hattie gives the courtroom a coy look. “Me?” She smiles. “Or Braxton? You decide.”
Lisa Carter and her family make their home in North Carolina. In addition to "Mule Dazed" in the Lassoed by Romance Collection, she is the author of seven romantic suspense novels and a contemporary Coast Guard romantic series. When she isn't writing, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales, teaching writing workshops, and researching her next exotic adventure. She has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. She loves to hear from readers and you can connect with Lisa at www.lisacarterauthor.com.