You don’t hear a lot about them, but Chinese workers helped to build the transcontinental railroad and became a pivotal part of taming the West. Many worked long hours, under dangerous conditions, drilling holes for explosives on the sides of mountains while they hung in baskets in extreme heat and cold, working against the brutal elements of the Midwest.
Many came from Guangdong province, a place in civil unrest, deep in poverty. Hungry, needing to provide for their families, many migrated to the United States for the work offered, work that because of the conditions, many already living in America refused to take.
Because the railroad wanted to keep their workers happy. skilled Chinese cooks made more than the unskilled workers, and were sought after for their abilities to create the meals the Chinese workers exclusively ate. In Black Hills Desperado, Xio’s grandmother, Mai Ling was one of those workers, feeding crews who laid the rail across the West. But she was much more, which Xio discovers in her lesson from Gee, an anti-social werebear that runs a bar called The Den.
“Mai Ling served meals to the men laying the rails. When the railroad came through the Badlands, she met your grandfather, Eli Snow.”
“What’s for chow?” he asked.
Startled, Mai Ling lifted her gaze from the stew. She noticed a tall man with blond hair and fancy clothes leaning on the chuck wagon she’d brought out to where the men worked. Slung low across his hips was a holster, and in the hand-tooled leather rested an even more impressive revolver that would certainly send her to her backside if she tried to fire it. Big man. Big gun. “You work with crew?”
“No, ma’am. I’m passing through to Los Lobos.”
He stared at her from under the brim of a weathered cowboy hat. There had been enough heat in his eyes to make her turn red, even though there was ice on the ground and a wind that blew down from the north, making the day quite frigid.
She wanted to tell him the food was for the crew only, but something in the man’s expression told her he wouldn’t take no for an answer. So she lied. “Dog.”
The gunslinger straightened his spine, scowling at the kettle hanging over the fire. He sniffed and curled his lip. “Dog?”
“You no like?”
“No, ma’am. I no like.”
“Why you no like?” She lifted the ladle to her mouth and took a bite of the beef stew, watching him cringe.
“I guess you could say I’m a bit of a mongrel, and eating that would make me feel like a cannibal.”
“It’s good. You try some.” Scooping up another portion, Mai Ling thrust the utensil out to Eli. “You no look like dog.”
Xio Davis’s heritage runs deep in the Black Hills. A wolf shifter, rebel and orphan, she finds herself at the mercy of a ruthless Alpha, Magnum. Life gets worse for her when her brother leaves to serve his country. Xio chooses a different path out, riding out of Los Lobos on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle, sinking deep into the criminal underworld.
But finding her way home is harder than leaving, and Xio must come to terms with her past and who she is, where she comes from, before she can move forward with her life and Mate, Marcus Cazador. Can she break free from being the bad girl of the Black Hills, or will she meet her end where her story started?
Today, my Black Hills Wolves story, Black Hills Desperado releases. Please join me in celebrating the launch of this new series. You can purchase book number 3, Black Hills Desperado here: Black Hills Desperado
D. L. Jackson is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, science fiction, military romance and erotic romance. She loves to incorporate crazy plot twists, comedy and the unexpected into her worlds. As a U.S. Army veteran, she naturally adores men in uniform and feels the world could always use more. She does her part by incorporating as many sexy soldiers in her novels as she can. When she isn't writing or running the roads, you can often find her online chatting with her peers and readers. Grab a cup of iced coffee, pull up your virtual chair and say hi. She loves emails and blog visits from her readers. www.authordljackson.com
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