Native Desert Rat. That’s how someone would’ve described me years ago. “You were born here?” The term might still be in use, but I haven’t heard it lately. Although born in Phoenix, in southern Arizona, I never really felt “at home” in the desert. After marriage, we lived all over the place from Germany to California, and I enjoyed the greener areas. But now, back in Arizona, I’ve discovered the central desert…and I love it
Driving around the state, you can encounter barren desert like the Phoenix area, heavily foliaged areas with a wide variety of cacti and other desert plants, snow-topped mountains, awesome red rock landscape, green valleys, pine forests, and more.
North to North Central Arizona – Wild Horse Peaks
Developing a setting for my novels is second only to creating characters. Like authors often do, I chose an area with which I am familiar. North to North Central Arizona is where I’ve set the books of Wild Horse Peaks—golden prairies, acres of ranches, rocky hills, green valleys, and snow-topped mountains—where antelope and wild horses roam below ski slopes and breathtakingly blue skies.
Phoenix always seems to be the travelers’ destination when coming to Arizona for the first time. I’d advise you to head north on I17 out of the Valley of the Sun as Phoenix is called, take the Prescott exit, and explore. Then go east to Jerome, a ghost town in the Black Hills, then over to the red rocks of Sedona. After that go north to Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks. Don’t miss the Grand Canyon. As you head back south, come to Tonto Basin and the Roosevelt Dam. If you’re real brave, take the Apache Trail to Apache Lake. These suggestions will show you Arizona has much more to offer than sunbaked, barren landscape and a sprawling, big city. Questions about where to go and what to see? Email me! email@example.com
The Art of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #1
by Brenda Whiteside
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Forty-three years after the airplane crash she survived killed her parents, Lacy Dahl is looking for answers. When her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew and disputes the identity of her father, someone is willing to murder to keep her discoveries hidden.
Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the death of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy, he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts make that impossible – saving Lacy may be his only redemption.
Just as she begins to believe the present is more important than her past, Chance’s connection and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. When the truth is revealed, will the revelations free Lacy and Chance…or destroy them?
Southwest of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #2
Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. Taking a few days to re-group on an isolated ranch, she doesn’t expect romance…or murder…to find her.
Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years before. When Phoebe shakes up his routine, he fights to control his emotions, fearing the pain of opening his heart again.
With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on the psychopath’s list is Mason.
The Power of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #3
Penny Spark’s desire to reconnect with family this Christmas exposes her true identity—a secret she’s hidden for thirteen years from the political powers that murdered her family.
Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets Penny, he believes this holiday season could be the start of life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world.
With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender who targeted her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hopes for a new life…and love.
The Deep Well of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #4
After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.
Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a brutal land grab is underway. As the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a vicious battle for his land—and the woman he wants by his side.
Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Uncertain where the next attack will come from—will their love be caught in the crossfire.
A Legacy of Love and Murder
A Wild Horse Peak Novel #1.5
Inheriting an Austrian Castle is an Alpine fairytale for August, until someone begins targeting the heirs.
August Myer arrives in Austria to meet her great-grandfather and explore his castle estate filled with priceless art, only to find he’s died under suspicious circumstances. As one of his heirs, her life is in danger, turning her Alpine adventure into a nightmare of veiled threats, unexplained accidents, and murder.
Inspector Tobias Wolf splits his time between catching criminals and fighting the spread of neo-Nazism. But when the beautiful, intriguing American crosses his path during a murder investigation, ensuring her safety challenges his priorities…and his heart.
When August learns the handsome inspector is concealing secrets, and the death of her great-grandfather is somehow connected, she takes the investigation into her own hands. Can Wolf save her before the killer strikes again?
**Get it FREE when you subscribe to Brenda’s newsletter! **
Lacy quickened her pace.
The footsteps behind her did the same.
As fast as her feet touched the bricks, her heart beat twice that speed. If only she could clear the narrow alley, step onto the lit sidewalk…
Like a magnet, the street light pulled her forward, and she lunged out of the darkness.
Her hand slammed to her chest. After a hard intake of breath and a fast exhale, she cast a furtive glance over her shoulder. With her head down and the strap of her purse in a tight fist against her breast, she whirled around to cover the last block at a trot—
And jarred with the collision as if she’d hit a cement wall. She careened off balance, but hands grabbed her shoulders keeping her upright.
She gasped and reared back out of the tight hold. Using her fisted purse as a weapon, she hurled a defensive blow to a broad chest. The hulk didn’t flinch. She lifted her knee, landing a jab short of her target and into the tree-sized thigh. “Ehhh,” she cried out as her knee jammed into unmovable muscle.
“Lady, I’m not going to hurt you.” The man held his ground and loomed over her, his hands at his chest fending off the swing of her fist.
Her vision filled with the imposing figure, and a chill shivered her body. Run screamed in her head. This time the swing of her purse missed the target as she whirled to escape.
His hand caught her arm and pulled her close.
“Help, help me!” Her voice came high and hysterical.
“I am trying to help.”
About the Author
Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, cozy mystery, and romance. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart so won’t discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.