Tuesday, July 15, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Lucie Ulrich "The Rose Ring"


With a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of the Cooper family? (or… be the undoing of all of them?)



Lucie Ulrich hasn’t stopped writing since her first skit was performed on a church stage more than fifteen years ago. An avid reader, she enjoyed sharing her passion for writing and storytelling with her middle and high school drama students. No longer part of the teaching profession Lucie looks forward to traveling the country with her husband, Rick, seeking story ideas, taking photographs, and enjoying life to the fullest.


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Sky Baxter leaned against the worn red counter and stared through the diner’s plate glass window. Dime-sized snowflakes flitted around the streetlamps before joining the three inches already on the ground.

Sighing, she thought of the fur-lined boots sitting on the rubber mat by her front door. Why hadn’t she listened to the weatherman?

“Go home, Sky.”

She pivoted toward the small kitchen area behind the counter. Her boss and friend, Carl Johnston, scraped charred burger remains from the grill.

“But I still need to mop the floor.”

“I’ll mop. You go.”

“It’s only ten blocks. The snow won’t pile up that much more in the next few minutes.”

He stepped into the dining area, his limp more pronounced after the long day. “All the same, I’d rather you leave now.” He held out her parka and handbag. “And call me when you get there.”

Carl lived upstairs and didn’t have to worry about cold or snow. She knew he would have driven her if he could, but he’d given up driving two years ago. An auto accident had left him with a severe limp. That in itself wouldn’t have stopped him, but burying his wife a week later did.

“Guess you’re right.” Sky threw on her parka, covered her long black ponytail with a knit cap, and shoved her hands into a pair of gloves. She planted a kiss on his cheek. “See you tomorrow.”

Cold air and heavy snow swirled around her as she darted across the street and hurried down the sidewalk. A familiar black pickup stopped in front of her as she was about to step off the curb. The passenger window lowered. “Need a lift?”

Sky peered into the cab. The sight of Micah Cooper’s crooked smile sent a wave of heat from her icy nose to her frozen toes. She’d been crazy about him since high school. “I’m not fool enough to say no.”

He pushed the passenger door open. “I always knew you were smart.”

Scraping the snow from her shoes on the running board, she climbed in. “If I were smart, I’d have worn my boots today. That and figure out a way to buy a car.”

With a quick flick of his wrist, Micah put the truck in gear and pulled out into the nearly deserted street. “News flash. You have to know how to drive before they’ll give you a license.”

“Yeah, well, if my mother had ever owned a car, or could have afforded Driver’s Ed when I was in school, I’d already know how to drive. Besides, learning isn’t the problem. Saving is.”

“Hang in there. Who knows? Some customer might just leave you a thousand dollar tip tomorrow.”

 “Pssh. We’re talking Elk Flats, Montana, not New York City. The biggest tip I’ve ever gotten is six bucks. Old man Bentley left it after he pinched my backside and I didn’t slap him.”

Micah laughed. “With his arthritis, I’m surprised you felt anything.”

“That was two years ago. He doesn’t come in much these days.” The truck was warm, so she pulled off her hat and gloves. “Speaking of coming into town, I’m surprised to see you so soon. You normally don’t show up twice in one week.”

He stopped for a red light. “This month’s co-op meeting was moved up at the last minute. I also have a meeting with my grandfather’s lawyer in the morning.”

“You staying in town, then?”

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