I wrote Forget Me Not because I wanted to revisit one of my favorite childhood landscapes, the wild mountains of Wyoming. It is a place where anything can happen, and does. In those mountains Alana and Rafestruggle against their tangled past of tragedy and betrayal. Together they solve the twin mysteries of a savage death and the terrifying blankness of amnesia. Together they find danger, forgiveness, and transcendent love.
Beautiful Dreamer is my love song to the men and women of the modern American West. A woman called Hope is fighting to keep alive a ranch that is dying for lack of water. A mysterious drifter known as Rio comes to her and offers to find water on her land. She accepts, never knowing that she will find in Rio a man to match her dreams, a man who gives her everything and takes nothing, a man who believes he loves only the wind sighing over the land, calling his name, calling him away ...
|Edition description:||2 BKS IN 1|
|Product dimensions:||5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.69(d)|
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than eighty titles published to date with over twenty-four million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.
Date of Birth:April 5, 1944
Place of Birth:Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Education:B. A., University of California, 1966
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Forget Me Not and Beautiful Dreamer
By Elizabeth Lowell
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Elizabeth Lowell
All right reserved.
Forget Me Not
When the phone rang, Alana was almost relieved. Though it was before dawn, she was wide awake. Since she had come back from Broken Mountain, she had slept very little, and never peacefully.
Kicking aside the tangled sheets, Alana turned toward the phone. It was too early for anyone she knew on the West Coast to be up and about. That meant it was probably her brother in Wyoming calling to see how she was.
Calling to see if she remembered what had happened on Broken Mountain.
"Hello," Alana said, keeping her voice steady with an effort.
"Sis? Is that you?"
"Hi, Bob. How's Merry?"
"Counting the weeks until February," said Bob, laughing. "If she gets much bigger, well have to put her in a stall with the brood mares."
Alana smiled at the thought of petite, blond Merry tucked into one of the heated stalls Bob kept for his prize mares.
"Better not let Merry hear you say that," Alana warned.
"Hell, it was her idea." Bob paused, then said, "Sis?"
Alane's hand tightened on the phone. She had heard that tone before, little brother to big sister, a smile and affectionate wheedling.
He wanted something from her.
"When are you coming home?" Bob asked bluntly.
Alana's heart began to beat too fast. She. didn't know how to tell her brother that she was frightened by the thought of returning to the ranch where Broken Mountain rose steeply, mantled in ice and darkness.
Before her last trip to Broken Mountain, Alana had loved the ranch, the mountains, the silence, the heights, and the clouds swirling overhead. She had loved the memories of Rafael Winter--Rafe reflected in every lake, every fragrant forest, sunsets and sunrises sweeping across the land like fire, the wind's keening harmonies echoing the music Rafe had made on his harmonica.
Alana had come to love the land even more because she and Rafe had been part of it, lovers suspended between sky and mountains, more beautiful than either, timeless, burning with the sun.
But now those mountains terrified Alana.
Now the memories of Rafe were a brittle, cutting armor that she pulled around her like the colors of dawn, hoping to drive away the horror and darkness that crawled up out of the abyss of those six missing days.
"I don't--" Alana began.
Her brother interrupted before she could refuse.
"I've already talked to your agent," Bob said cheerfully. "He told me you've refused to accept any concerts and won't even took at the songs he sends to you."
Bob kept talking. "So don't tell me how busy you are," he said. "If you're writing songs again, you can write them just as well here. Better. You always did your best work here."
With a conscious effort, Alana loosened her grip on the phone. She had no more excuses, so she said nothing.
"Sis? I need you here."
"'Bob, I don't think--" Alana began.
Then her voice broke.
Even in late October, drought ruled the Nevada ranch known as the Valley of the Sun. Thirst was a dusty shadow clinging to all life. The wind was always restless, always whispering of distance and the secrets of an empty land.
To the east of the ranch, a range of mountains known as the Sierras Perdidas rose dark and silent above the dry landscape. The mountains themselves were lush with the gifts of water--valleys thick with grass, high slopes rippling with forests, and a few sheltered snowfields glittering like diamonds far above the sunbaked afternoon.
Hope Gardener was too far away to see the snow-fields or the water-rich valleys or the forests, but she knew they were there. They were always there, a dream to tantalize the ranchers who lived with the dry reality of the high desert that lapped around the mountains like a sagebrush sea around green islands. Even so, Hope wouldn't have traded a single one of the tawny, thirsty, harsh sections of her ranch for all the Sierras Perdidas' easy beauty.
But she wouldn't have minded some of the Perdidas' tumbling wealth of water.
She wasn't greedy. She wasn't asking for a deep river that ran year-round, or even a stream that ran upside down, concealing its water a few feet beneath a dry riverbed. She wasn't asking for a lake shivering with wind and trout.
A pond, though...
Yes, just a pond. Sweet water that could ease her cattle's endless thirst. Water to soothe and nourish the tender roots of alfalfa and oat hay. just one source of water that would stay wet no matter how dry and hard the rest of the Valley of the Sun became.
"Why not ask for hot and cold running money while you're at it?" she asked herself sardonically. "If you're going to dream, dream big."
Her generous mouth turned down in a smile at her own expense. She came from a family of dreamers. Not one of them had managed to be lucky or good enough to make the dreams real.
She had vowed to be different. She was going to be the Gardener who would make the Valley of the Sun profitable again. Or at least possible to live on without going bankrupt.
"Then I'd better get to work, hadn't I?" she asked her reflection in the dusty, cracked, sunstruck windshield.
Nothing answered her but the rumble of the diesel engine and the wind keening through the open window of the ancient truck. She had stopped on top of a rise in the rough, one-lane dirt road to give the engine--and herself--a breather. The water truck dated from a time before power steering, automatic shift, and power brakes. Despite the strength of her deceptively elegant body, the truck gave her as much of a workout as she gave it. First gear was so cranky that she often parked on a slope and rolled downhill until she could coax the engine into second gear.
Excerpted from Forget Me Not and Beautiful Dreamer by Elizabeth Lowell Copyright © 2005 by Elizabeth Lowell. Excerpted by permission.
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