Copyright © 2012,
Published by Whiskey Creek
Reviews For LOSSES AND GAINS
[COWBOY FEVER SERIES BOOK 2] by Karen Wiesner
4 Stars! “The reader will get to know a lot
about Janaya and her life, and how it had disappointed her so much.
I found this to be a love story that grows out of desperation and hurt
from a great loss. Lance has to leave the hurt inside him and let love
grow instead. Janaya acts as his hope later and readers can gain a
lot from reading it.”
Sample Chapter For LOSSES
AND GAINS [COWBOY FEVER SERIES BOOK 2] by Karen Wiesner
“‘It was love, love, love at first shock,’” Janaya
Gaines crooned under her breath even after the recording crew dismissed
her, saying thank you, they’d gotten what they needed for the
radio commercial, and the check was in her hand. She gathered her coat
and oversized sunflower bag and put on her wool fisherman’s cap
before heading out of the studio. When the words of the ridiculous
song she’d just sung over and over went around in her head once
more, she absorbed them for the first time. Love at first shock? I’m
singing a love song about some energy drink. Can my life stink much
Janaya grimaced as she looked at the check once more, conceding that,
stupid as the gig had been, she could pay her rent this month with
her earnings. That had to count for something, didn’t it?
Yet she couldn’t shake the heavy sensation
that she’d sunk
to an all-time low. Fifteen years ago, she’d come to Nashville
in the hopes of getting a recording contract and becoming a famous
country music artist. Most months, she scored gigs through word of
mouth for radio and TV ads and commercials and made a decent enough
living—at least enough to support the nightclub gigs that paid
almost nothing but made her feel at least worthwhile in her singing
Shaking her head, Janaya pushed the check into the back pocket of her
jeans, then slipped into her black wool coat. Retrieving her tote bag
once more, she started down the hall toward the elevator that would
take her to an exit. A thought floated into her head that’d been
coming to her often lately. This isn’t the life I envisioned
for myself. Singing for the love of energy drinks is most certainly
not a personal goal, but even then, I’m not living my dream despite
the fact that I get a couple singing gigs a month. All I wanted in
the world was to get married, have kids and settle down on a patch
of land that I could call my own. I wanted to be a ranch hand’s
wife. Lance Olsen’s… I wasn’t the one who wanted
to come to Nashville and make it big. No, that was Colleen. My big
sister—two years older than me—wanted to follow in the
footsteps of Gran as a Country Western singer, although Gran only made
it as a back-up singer. Yet Colleen married the cowboy, my Lance, settled
down and had kids. How ironic that our dreams traded places.
Her face warm, Janaya turned the corner that led to the elevator and
a man came into view. A man who seemed familiar to her with his shoulder-length,
loose, silky brown hair and a closely trimmed moustache and goatee.
He was tall and muscular and wore an expression of utter concentration.
Lance? Has Lance finally forgiven me and come to take me home?
Janaya was so stunned, her bag slipped from her hand and the things
inside it exploded onto the floor in every direction. Shocked at her
own clumsiness, she got down on her hands and knees to gather her possessions.
The gorgeous guy appeared in front of her in an instant, his designer
cowboy boots in her line of sight the whole time. Then he was crouching
in front of her, helping her gather her items. “Let me help you,
Helplessly, her gaze met his and his grin was all charm. There was
no doubt that this cowboy knock-off was cute, very cute, but he wasn’t
Lance Olsen. Up close, he was nothing like him.
When he handed her the last tube of lipstick and her bag was repacked,
she murmured, “Thanks.”
My pleasure, honey.” He held out his hand. “Hank.”
Janaya,” she told him as they shook.
Makin’ an album?”
Smiling, she shook her head. “Commercial jingle.”
“ Yeah. Me, too.”
She offered him another awkward smile. “Well, thanks again for
Not a problem, darlin’. But if you really wanna thank me, I’d
love to get your number, Janaya.”
There was no good way of getting out of it, and he was the cutest guy
she’d met in a long while. She rooted in her bag for a scrap
of paper, but when she turned over the first thing she pulled out to
make sure it was nothing important, she saw a photograph of Lance and
Colleen and their young son Gavin. How on earth had that gotten unearthed
from the deepest, darkest corner of her tote? Shaking her head, she
reached into her bag again and found something else to write on. With
a friendly grin, Hank handed her a pen. She jotted her number down
for him. While she handed the scrap to him with the shiny silver writing
instrument, she knew she wouldn’t answer even if he did call.
Saying he would be late and planned to give her a buzz later, he hurried
past her. Janaya sighed. Again, she made her way toward the elevator
and then the line of doors to the outside. Once on the sidewalk, her
fingers closed over the photo and she brought it out once more to see
the beautiful face of her only sister, her nemesis. The face filled
her vision and her memory. I never had a chance. I was destined to
live in your shadow…because you wouldn’t have had it any
other way, sis.
Colleen had been gone four years now, taken in a fire that consumed
most of the Triple Aces Ranch, taken along with the life of little
Gavin. Despite the tragedy, Janaya had realized all those years ago
that if she’d gone home permanently, she still would have resented
all Colleen had stolen from her.
Not wanting to live her life filled with grudges, she’d left
home at the age of eighteen and stayed away, returning only for a brief
moment when her parents had told her about her sister’s death.
After she’d left, she’d been afraid to go back for longer
than that in and out jaunt for the funeral. Afraid there was still
nothing there for her. But maybe now it’s time. Time to start
living my dream instead of Colleen’s. Time to make amends for
Janaya emerged from the recessed alcove of doors in front of the recording
studio into the cold sunshine of the early February morning and threaded
her way through other pedestrians until she got to the bus stop. She
waited, boarded the bus, and rode to her apartment across the city
wondering why. Why she stayed here, far from home, in a place she wasn’t
even crazy about living in. Unlike her grandmother, the backup singer
of a Country Western artist who’d enjoyed major success, Janaya
wasn’t cut out for life in the big city, supporting someone else’s
dream. What’s keeping me here? An okay, nothing-special career
that barely keeps food on the table, partially doing what I love with
singing. A string of dates that I can never get serious about. A nice
apartment, stylish clothes, good friends in my neighbors on either
side, Byron and Alyssa. But, at the end of the day, what’s keeping
Once off the bus, Janaya walked a couple blocks to her apartment building,
where she let herself in, got her mail, and headed up the cavernous
stairwell to her place. Her mind served up another helping of unwilling
realization. She’d chosen to try to become a famous singer because
it was the one dream Colleen had always claimed to want but had never
bothered trying to pursue. As a teenager, Colleen had never wanted
to settle down. She’d wanted to go out and live an exciting life
anywhere but the Texas Panhandle, anywhere but on a dirty, dusty ranch.
Yet, in the end, the two sisters had exchanged dreams. And here I am.
But I haven’t changed in all this time.
Janaya unlocked the door of her apartment and Byron Aldrich’s
door opened beside hers. “How’d it go?” he asked,
looking picture perfect in fashionable clothes, every hair on his head
and clean-shaven face in place.
“ I got paid. How about you?”
Byron was a freelance makeup artist and pretty much lived his life
the same way she did—job to job.
“ They asked me to come back tomorrow.”
Janaya smiled, stepping inside her apartment and leaving the door open
for him to follow. “Then you must have done well.” She
dropped her bag on a chair, then hung up her coat and hat on the tree
near the door.
While her best friend had started his career as a model—metrosexual
male models did surprisingly well these days—he’d grown
disillusioned with the instability of such a life. Janaya couldn’t
see that a freelance makeup artist did much better in that regard,
but Byron seemed much happier in the years since he’d switched
As if reading each other’s minds, Byron started filling the teapot
with water while she took down bright orange mugs and popped in chai
Alyssa back from her job yet?” Janaya asked of their modeling
Byron shook his head. He’d opened a bag of apple cinnamon rice
cakes and offered her one. Janaya took it, not particularly enjoying
the pitifully dry snack, though she polished it off in a minute. In
that time, the tea kettle whistled and she poured hot water into each
mug. Byron picked one up, then she followed him, his movements sheer
grace, into her sparse living room.
She’d never been able to stand the slightest clutter and so she’d
refrained from doing much by way of decorating her apartment. The minimal
living room furniture options were mostly bare and had been dusted
just the day before. Often she wondered, if her family ever came here,
what they would think. Her apartment barely looked lived in. She owned
so few possessions. She could pick up and leave here within a day or
two, if she really wanted to. Would they think that was her intention?
Should she do more with her home?
Instead of choosing one of the inexpensive, functional chairs, she
and Byron sat down together on the wide, padded window seat before
the immense window that dominated her small, bright apartment. Sunlight
streamed over them, negating the chill of the day. “I’ve
been thinking, Byron.”
Mildly interested, he looked at her with green-flecked hazel eyes,
blowing on his tea. “About?”
“ Going home.”
Home?” he asked in surprise, his eyes opening wider. He lowered
his mug. “As in Texas?”
She nodded. Was the idea crazy? She supposed her best friend might
think so. She’d gone out of her way to make it clear to her friends
that she’d left home permanently. Neither Byron nor Alyssa had
been surprised when she went home for her sister and nephew’s
funeral—and returned the very next day.
For good?” Byron asked, now much more interested.
She shook her head, yet said, “Maybe. I’m not sure. I think
it might be good for me to go home.”