With little money and a broken engagement behind her, Autumn Chapman leaves Detroit and sets out for a temporary job in California. She doesn’t have much left in life except ambition and her grey gelding, Apparition.
Mrs. Barnhill, owner of Copper Canyon Stables, loves Autumn as much as a daughter and wants to help her out. In exchange for her room and board, Autumn will teach lessons and learn to manage a large stable. She has a surprise one day when a handsome novice student signs up for lessons.
An Awe-Struck ReleaseComing Soon...
Adam P. Knave maintains hellblazer.net and zenbastard,org while juggling all his other writing, which includes the recently published Strange Angel series and the story “Meat” in the anthology, No Longer Dreams.
"Along the way, the reader gets a glimpse into equestrian riding school activities and a look at the working side of making TV shows and movies. Also, Ms. Holder gives the reader insight into the workings of a young woman’s mind as she sets out to capture the interest of a man who intrigues her… see how these lovers cope with the multitude of problems that get in the way of their finding happiness."Camellia -- The Long and The Short of It Reviews
"Talented author LLena F. Holder gives the reader a look at how a riding stable operates with realistic characters telling us their stories. Get your riding gear on and join Autumn in the riding ring. The dust will make you sneeze and the steady clop-clop of hooves will nearly put you to sleep in the sun's heat, a pleasant and leisurely way to pass the time."Anne K. Edwards
"ROSE GARDEN is a sexy, short story of two lonely people finding each other, and some of the problems that have to be addressed before they can get together. Logan may have been a virgin when he met Autumn, but he quickly makes up for all the time lost!"Marilyn Heyman -- Romance Reviews Today
At the subtle nudge, and subsequent gesture of Suzanne, Logan turned to face the foyer. He paused for a long second to take in Autumn's appearance. A very long second she thought. Slowly he began to walk across the room towards her. His eyes never left her, as he gently worked and wedged between elbows and martini glasses. Where was the dusty-booted riding instructor he had seen the day before? The girl with brownish hair and grey-blue eyes? This woman didn't even look like Autumn. The outer shell was still intact, but modified and morphed somehow by sexual engineering experts. She had been replaced by some other female form from a parallel universe. An exotic and lush universe to be exact. One that dressed its women in dazzling gowns and high heels.
Autumn was standing on the side of the landing. The form-fitting, one-shouldered mini dress was a perfect fit. It couldn't be any more flattering if it was tailored to her figure, which it wasn't. She just happened to be a perfect dressmaker's dream of a size six. Her posture only helped accentuate her shapely legs in the three inch high heels. Her hair had been pulled up into a loose bundle on her head, with a few tendrils cascading down her cheeks. The makeup was flawless, impossibly smooth and creamy.
For a second, Logan noticed that Autumn's lipstick shade matched the scarlet color of her dress. Amazing, simply amazing what Costuming can pull off. How did these women work this magic? When he was within a few feet of her, he began to notice smaller, subtler details. It was like admiring an oil painting in a museum. As first glance, you admired the work that went into creating it. Then as you really studied it, the fine details began to slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. The strokes the master made with the single-haired paint brush. The touches of light and shading that at first were unobtrusive.
The subdued lighting at the landing was shining directly down on her, making her hair glisten like bronze. She coyly turned a half-turn away from him so he could admire her profile. A discreet spray of gold glitter had been applied somehow to her skin to enhance her dˇcolletage. A large gold-colored clip on the top of her hair held the mass of curls in place.
Oh beautiful creature, where have you been all my life? were the only words Logan could think to say. But they felt lacking, somehow. What is an appropriate way to admire a woman's beauty? He felt sure that later, once he recovered, he could come up with a more sophisticated phrase. But for the time being, he was left hollow and unimaginative. Perhaps he could recoup in time.
Autumn's smile barely concealed her glee. She could see the desired effect on Logan. If she could not hear it, she could see it in his eyes. That was enough for her right now. "I await you, my king," was her breathy reply. "I am here tonight to accompany and charm my date."
"Beautiful creature, you are learning to play this game well," Logan said with a grin. "Here, let me escort you through this minefield of people. We'll get some introductions made and then I'll get you some food. You must be starved because I know I am." Bending close to Autumn's ear, he whispered, "Did Chunky give you the rundown of this shindig?"
"Yes, I'm game if you are," she whispered back. "Your secret is safe with me."
"What secret is that?" Logan was savoring the physical closeness of Autumn that the crush of partygoers granted him.
Autumn nudged even closer to speak softly so no one could hear. "That I'm your riding instructor, not a starlet."