The Cure for Cabin Fever

(18 customer reviews)

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Sample Chapter

Laurel Danner has just inherited a beautiful little log cabin in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She doesn’t know much about roughing it out west, but her handsome neighbor would sure like to give her a few pointers. Even if that requires a little old-fashioned discipline. After falling ill during a heavy snow store, James Caulderfield must recue Laurel. James, a self-assured ex-military man knows a thing or two about survival. But will he survive the little lady next door that he just can’t seem to get off his mind?
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cure-Cabin-Fever-Beth-Bennett-ebook/dp/B013TULL32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439476124&sr=8-1&keywords=cure+for+cabin+fever+beth
Bn: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122512479?ean=2940150858534

Sample Chapter

Chapter One

Rolling down her window, Laurel Danner breathed in the crisp, autumn air, while the aspen trees waved their colorful leaves in greeting. A little log cabin nestled against the Rocky Mountains awaited her arrival. As she drove her rented Jeep from the Denver airport, the scenery transported Laurel to a different place and a different time. Even though it had been years since her last visit, it seemed like no time had gone by at all. Sweet memories from childhood flooded her thoughts as she pulled into the cabin’s driveway. Her mind’s eye could see chickens scratching in the yard and old Beau, the collie, jumping for joy at her arrival. Aunt Ida waved and smiled from the front porch, but in reality, Laurel was met with only silence.

The porch step groaned in protest, and the hand rail wiggled. Probably one of many items that needed to be repaired. The faint scent of wood smoke wafted on the wind. Laurel ran her hands lightly over the rough surface of the front door. The rusty old latch gave a screech when Laurel turned the key in the lock. She slowly pushed it open.

The door swung wide to reveal a cabin frozen in time. Everything looked just as it had been. The same faded old couch, same braided rug, same simple curtains. She placed her keys on the hall table and took a few moments to walk through the house. Laurel paused by the sofa and caressed the soft, old quilts spread across the back. She ran her fingertips over the bumpy seams, remembering Aunt Ida’s wrinkled hands, lovingly sewing the fabric. The same little farm set she once played with sat on the bureau upstairs. Laurel stared at the familiar details of the tiny figures. Gazing out the upstairs window, the beauty of Colorado lay before her. Flat plains stretched out, then suddenly awakened to the overwhelming presence of the Rocky Mountains, reaching for the sky.

Like the Rockies themselves, Aunt Ida had always reflected a deep inner strength. Laurel childishly thought her aunt would live forever. That, of course, was not to be. The memorial service was scheduled for the day after tomorrow. Following that, Laurel had no idea what to do. Wandering back downstairs, she made herself a cup of tea. Leaning against the kitchen counter, Laurel looked out the window. That’s odd. A new log home occupied a previously uninhabited adjacent property. Ida had never mentioned a thing about it. Strange. Laurel’s eyes fell on a forbidding gate closed at the entrance of the driveway. A long gravel road meandered its way to the front door. The wall of windows and the natural stone chimney made it look like a ranch house palace. Funny, Ida had never said anything about a new neighbor or a fancy new house.

Taking a deep breath, Laurel felt grief wash over her. It was as if she were facing a wave in the ocean that just kept coming. She was glad Ida had left the cabin to her, but sad that there would be no more visits or time together. No more chances to say “I love you.” No more happy summer reunions. Laurel would be forever grateful for what her aunt had done for her over the years. Supportive, kind, and wise, Ida was like a second mother. After Laurel’s parents died in a car accident, Ida stayed in Pennsylvania to help. She even tried to convince Laurel to come and live with her, but Laurel was determined to finish school. When Laurel sold her parent’s home, it was Ida that helped her invest the money. Laurel had never planned on settling in her old home town and now that she was here, she couldn’t think of any place on earth she would rather be.

Smiling to herself, she thought of her feisty aunt. A lot of people said they were just alike. What a compliment. Like her aunt, Laurel was smart and determined. Ida had nicknamed her Sassafras and the moniker had stuck. She liked the name. It made her feel like giving a little skip when her friends and family called her that.

The cabin felt stuffy and a general sadness hung over it as if the house itself somehow sensed the loss of its owner. Taking a shaky breath, Laurel swallowed past the lump of grief, and got on with the day. Giving the kitchen cupboards a once over, she discovered there were enough canned goods to last a while, but she would have to clean out the refrigerator and freezer. She needed to wash the bed linens, towels and blankets as well.

After unloading the car, and getting the washer going, she decided to take a drive into town to pick up some groceries. Buena Vista was a beautiful little tourist town, nice shops, one stoplight, a pharmacy, great restaurant or two, and a couple of bars. It was quiet and the local community was wonderful. Outdoor sports such as whitewater rafting and hiking drew people from all over the world. Tourism caused the small town to blossom like purple sage in spring and summer. In the past, the town had been founded upon the wealth of silver, gold, and copper mines. Laurel loved to spend time in the old mining towns of Tin Cup and Leadville. She looked forward to revisiting them after things settled down.

She parked in front of Jeremy Smith’s country store. It was part junk, convenience, and hardware store, rolled into one. Laurel loved it. She could have shopped at one of the chain stores in town, but this spot was special to her. As a little girl, she would peek over the counter at the vast array of nuts and bolts. They evoked mysterious unanswered questions. Jeremy would pat her head when she peered over the counter and pondered their secrets. He always allowed her to choose any ice cream she wanted from the chest freezer for free. The screen door squeaked just the way it always had and the Wonder Bread sign was still intact, its peeling paint serving as testament to the passage of time.

She immediately spied Jeremy across the room. He was sitting next to the wood stove, his trusty spittoon at his side. A few other old men lounged around. She could just imagine all the gossip that was being discussed around the fire. Jeremy immediately recognized her, and his weathered face broke out in an ear splitting smile. Rising from his chair, he crossed toward her. Laurel ran to him and gave him a big hard squeeze.

“Hey there, Sassafras, been lookin for ya these past few weeks.” Putting her away from him, he looked down into her face and shook his head. “Shore was sad about Miss Ida, fine woman, fine woman. Gonna miss her around here.”

“Yes, I’m going to miss her too, Jeremy, but it’s wonderful to see you again. The old cabin looks just the same and so does the store.”

Jeremy patted her hand in consolation. “Yep, things don’t change much around here. Especially us old timers.”

At that moment, the door to the store burst open. An extremely attractive stranger entered. Laurel noticed he was sporting several days growth of beard which only added to his allure. He let the screen door slam behind him, and the little bell on the front door let out a jingle as it closed against the cool autumn air. He was whistling a tune but stopped when he noticed Laurel.

“Who are you?”

Laurel frowned. How dare this interloper invade her childhood space! She was the one who belonged here, not him. His cobalt blue eyes were set against a ruddy complexion. Coffee brown hair curled out from under the John Deere cap he was wearing. The red and black flannel shirt along with the snug fitting wranglers had seen better days, but certainly not a better fit. Leaning back on his heels, he crossed his arms over his broad chest. He met her gaze with a direct stare and then had the audacity to rake his eyes slowly down her body. Sweat broke out on her forehead as a blush crept up her face. She felt like she was standing stark naked in front of everybody at the hardware store.

His voice boomed across the store. “Somebody blocked my truck in and I’m bettin it’s you, little lady. Did you park your Jeep at the end of the parking lot?” Confidence oozed out his pores. Laurel was about to take that confidence and give it a good stomp with the heel of her little booted foot.

“What if I did?” she snidely replied. “I’m parked legally. If you can’t get out, that’s your problem.” Dismissing him, she turned and began her shopping. Jeremy attempted to disguise his chuckle by pretending to cough into his hand.

At the demanding tap on her shoulder, Laurel turned around. Mister tall, dark, and handsome had removed his cap and was holding it in one hand. Goodness, Laurel couldn’t take her eyes off him.

Heavy sharp brows drew together in a frown. He scratched his head. “Look, Miss, I don’t mean to be rude, but you need to move your Jeep. You’ve blocked me in.”

Laurel thought a moment. He had aggravated her and she was not in the mood to cooperate. She didn’t admit it, even to herself, but he had managed to get her flustered. She couldn’t even remember a time when a man had made her feel like such a nervous nelly. It was time to take back the show.

“No, I won’t move my Jeep. I might have if you’d asked nicely in the first place, or started with an introduction.” Like a little bandy rooster about to crow, she raised herself to her full height of 5’2”. “As it is, I’ll be leaving after I’m done with my shopping. You’ll just have to wait.” Stubbornly jutting out her chin, she walked away. The old men sitting around the wood stove seemed to silently enjoy the exchange.

Mr. John Deere stepped around her and blocked her path. He was huge. Laurel had to crane her neck to try and meet his gaze. The giant scowled down his perfectly straight nose. He took a step closer, reducing the space between them to an inch.

Huh, she thought to herself, you don’t scare me. The truth was, she might not have been so brave had she not had an audience. Taking a step back, Laurel looked around and located a small stool near the canned tomatoes.

“Excuse me a minute,” she haughtily announced. Marching around him, she found a perch on the stool. She now stood the same height as he. Placing her hands on her hips, she sassily made an announcement. “Did you have something else to say to me?”

He narrowed his eyes dangerously at her. A grunt came out of his mouth as he started to say something and then stopped. His hands flexed into fists at his side. He finally turned to leave but gave Laurel one last withering glance. It only solidified her stubbornness. Giving the front door a slam so hard the old glass rattled after him, the handsome stranger disappeared.

Laurel watched Sam, who was sitting by the stove look up at Jeremy. Sam delivered his personal synopsis of the situation. “Welp, she ain’t lost none of her spit and vinegar.” The spittoon made a nice ping as the tobacco juice he aimed found its mark.

Laurel gave a snooty little harrumph and flounced down from the stool. “Who in the world was that jerk?”

Jeremy put his hands in the pocket of his overalls and grinned. “Why, Sassafras, that’s James Caulderfield. Your new neighbor.”

Oh my God! A queasy feeling griped her stomach. Now she knew who lived in that ridiculous excuse for a log cabin mansion across the road from her. Well, that answered that question. Laurel made sure she took as long as possible with her shopping. She was hoping to avoid further contact with James Caulderfield. Sure enough, by the time she was ready to leave, the truck she had blocked in was gone. She guessed he had found another way out. Dismissing the man from her mind, Laurel had enough things to worry about. She went over the memorial service to come as she drove home.

The next day was spent making to do lists and preparing to say her final goodbyes. Trudging from the cemetery after the service concluded, Laurel climbed into her Jeep. A few of Ida’s friends had attended the graveside service and the small group dispersed as soon as the ceremony was over. A deep loneliness settled around her heart. She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand. Where was a tissue when you needed one?

Arriving home, Laurel scanned the autumn sky for a hint of what the weather held. It was growing late in the day, and as the sun dropped in the sky, her eyes fell on the cabin across the road. Western palace was more like it.

“Oooo,” she fumed. Despite everything else going on, she had not forgotten her handsome neighbor. The fact that he was living right across the road irritated her to no end. Laurel knew she was taking her frustrations out on James Caulderfield, but she just couldn’t help it. She was already so upset and his interruption of her jealously guarded life in Buena Vista infuriated her. Turning in early, images of her parents and Aunt went round and round in her head. Yet the last thought that crossed her mind before closing her eyes in sleep, was of a tall dark stranger, standing by some canned tomatoes.

When Laurel woke up the next morning, the sun streamed through the dingy window of the bedroom. She could not resist the urge to give a loud groan and stretch. Dressing for the day, she grabbed a granola bar and clomped out the back door. The sight of James Caulderfield’s fancy log cabin instantly put her in a bad mood. Of course, the jackass had a big ugly gate. He probably doesn’t have any friends. That house looks more like a fortress than a cabin. Where’d he get all the money to build something like that anyway? She sniffed with derision and decided she should just forget about it. Hopefully, it would be a long time before they crossed paths again.

It was still early as she strolled to the nearby creek. She stopped to watch a bird here and a squirrel there. A mean looking little black squirrel with pointy ears paused on the limb of a tree. She laughed as she remembered Aunt Ida’s words. Those damn black squirrels, they chew on my house and look like the devil himself. The squirrel twitched his ears as if he knew her thoughts and darted away.

Laurel heard the gurgle of the creek as she approached. It was such a beautiful place. She always felt a deep sense of peace whenever she was there. The icy fingers of the wind reached down inside her coat and made her shiver. She idly skipped a rock across the water.

The coming winter had her a little worried. She had only been here during the summer. The joyful warmth of the summer sun was deceptive. Winter in the Colorado Rockies was serious. Aunt Ida told tales of being stuck inside the cabin for several months at a time. Modern technology would do no good out here. Ida didn’t have a generator either. She told Laurel she went old school and kept the milk out on the back porch when it was cold. The wood stove was used exclusively for heating and cooking when the power went out. A log cabin in the Rockies was romantic enough until a blizzard hit. She thought about the firewood stacked up on the front porch with more under the shed out back. She would need to get some more delivered if she was to last the winter. Too bad she was too little to cut it herself. She mentally made a list of emergency supplies like bottled water, batteries and non-perishables.

No matter the hardship, Laurel didn’t mind the long, cold isolation that would surely come with winter. Philadelphia was too crowded and busy. For once in her life, she was going to take the time to regroup. She had rushed off to school after her parents’ deaths and continued rushing through life for the next four years. She had no room to stuff any more emotional pain. This time, she would be still and take the time to grieve.

Laurel took a deep breath. The beauty of the bubbling creek refreshed her spirit and reminded her of happier times. She walked over to her favorite rock and sat down. Picking up a long stick, she poked in the mud, stirring up silt and turning over pebbles. Out of the corner of her eye, Laurel spied a diamond shaped sign nailed to the rotten old fence that ran alongside the creek. It was outlined in black and the background was painted a forbidding bright orange. It had the words, NO TRESSPASSING, emblazoned across it.

Anger boiled up from the pit of her stomach. She bet that no good, so called, new neighbor had put that up. Aunt Ida’s property lines ended exactly here. “Why would the jerk put that up?” Laurel said out loud. “Nobody else lives around here, who would want to trespass on his stupid land?” She remembered that this area of Colorado had a lot of free range territory. Community horses and cattle were legally allowed to roam across property lines. She angrily complained to herself. “He’s probably from back east and doesn’t have an ounce of sense.” Reaching down, she picked up a big rock. It was heavy but still small enough to allow her to give it a good heave.

Wham, the rock hit the sign and made a nice big dent. A deep feeling of satisfaction rolled over her. Laurel picked up as many sharp rocks as she could find and made a little pile. She got behind the rock she was sitting on and pretended she was at the shooting range. She launched rocks one after the other across the creek at the sign. She smiled to herself at the ugly pits she left. It felt so good. Laurel closed one eye and aimed dead center in the O of No.

The unmistakable click of a shotgun being cocked made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. Her arm froze in mid-throw. Crouching down behind the rock, her heart began to race. Slowly peeking over, she saw a man in a heavy overcoat step forward. The horse behind him gave a whinny and tossed its head. He aimed the shotgun right at her and called across the creek. “Come out whoever you are or I’ll shoot.”

18 reviews for The Cure for Cabin Fever

  1. SH

    What a great book! I absolutely loved every minute of it! Laurel is full of sass and she just made me laugh out loud. James was just what she needed although she certainly didn\’t think so at first. But boy, what a lucky girl she is 🙂 Great plot, great characters, and a great romance makes for a wonderful read! Nicely done!!

  2. SH

    What a great book! I absolutely loved every minute of it! Laurel is full of sass and she just made me laugh out loud. James was just what she needed although she certainly didn’t think so at first. But boy, what a lucky girl she is 🙂 Great plot, great characters, and a great romance makes for a wonderful read! Nicely done!!

  3. Redrabbitt

    What a cute and fun story with sass! Laurel Danner aka Sassafras moves to Colorado after inheriting her late Aunt Ida\’s cabin. New neighbor James Caulderfield and Laurel but heads from the beginning. The story keeps the pages turning with heartwarming moments, as well as, laugh out loud antics. The dialog is entertaining as these two become better acquainted. Stubborn meets Sassy! I love a story with two people who butt heads until they realize they actually care for each other.

  4. Redrabbitt

    What a cute and fun story with sass! Laurel Danner aka Sassafras moves to Colorado after inheriting her late Aunt Ida’s cabin. New neighbor James Caulderfield and Laurel but heads from the beginning. The story keeps the pages turning with heartwarming moments, as well as, laugh out loud antics. The dialog is entertaining as these two become better acquainted. Stubborn meets Sassy! I love a story with two people who butt heads until they realize they actually care for each other.

  5. Laurel Lasky

    I just loved this story! Laurel is fisiety and a bit of a brat, but inside she is sweet and shy. She butts heads with her neighbor, James but in spite of the rocky beginning they become friends. This was a wonderful romance and kept me turning the pages.

  6. Laurel Lasky

    I just loved this story! Laurel is fisiety and a bit of a brat, but inside she is sweet and shy. She butts heads with her neighbor, James but in spite of the rocky beginning they become friends. This was a wonderful romance and kept me turning the pages.

  7. Kirsty

    Loved it! A sweet story about a feisty woman and the strong man who tames her. James annoys Laurel at first – no matter what he says or does, he makes her mad. But when she gets really sick he takes care of her and love blossoms.

  8. Kirsty

    Loved it! A sweet story about a feisty woman and the strong man who tames her. James annoys Laurel at first – no matter what he says or does, he makes her mad. But when she gets really sick he takes care of her and love blossoms.

  9. Martha (verified owner)

    Enjoyed the story.

  10. Martha (verified owner)

    Enjoyed the story.

  11. JK

    This was a great little story! Laurel and James had quite a few sparks flying when they first met, and they really didn\’t like each other!! That does change pretty quickly, even though they get off to a rather rocky start. Our sassy and headstrong Laurel gets into plenty of trouble deserving of a few spankings and, well, the rest is all good fun!! A quick but delightful read!

  12. JK

    This was a great little story! Laurel and James had quite a few sparks flying when they first met, and they really didn’t like each other!! That does change pretty quickly, even though they get off to a rather rocky start. Our sassy and headstrong Laurel gets into plenty of trouble deserving of a few spankings and, well, the rest is all good fun!! A quick but delightful read!

  13. KatD (verified owner)

    Was a good story …ending needs work..

  14. KatD (verified owner)

    Was a good story …ending needs work..

  15. noangel

    Great story The plot is well written keeps you turning the pages The heroine is a feisty sweet female The Hero is strong Alpha male an the two come together or will the keep butting heads

  16. noangel

    Great story The plot is well written keeps you turning the pages The heroine is a feisty sweet female The Hero is strong Alpha male an the two come together or will the keep butting heads

  17. Timberlan127

    Laurel is a very feisty independent woman. James is a dominant in-charge kind of man. So it certainly made for a page turner to put them together and read about the sparks flying. this story has good characters and a well written plot. It was a very enjoyable read.

  18. Timberlan127

    Laurel is a very feisty independent woman. James is a dominant in-charge kind of man. So it certainly made for a page turner to put them together and read about the sparks flying. this story has good characters and a well written plot. It was a very enjoyable read.

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