by Heidi Hutchinson
In Cold Mud novel
Publication Date: March 11, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Ryan Zacherson’s life was forever altered the moment her mom passed away. Thrust into a family feud decades old, she attempts to hold tight to the reins of her life without losing control. She embarks on a forced journey of self-discovery. As she becomes more deeply involved in the world of horse racing, liars, gamblers, and cheats, she learns harsh lessons as the girl no one wants. She’s taught the value of love, compassion, loyalty, and resilience. With the help of her closest friend, Jesse Hart, she learns what it really means to be brave.
With every lesson she learns, Ryan proves time and time again: nothing can break her spirit without her permission.
Companion to Brand New Sky.
“How did the assignment come out?”
They had made it through Jesse’s whole first sandwich before he’d brought it up. Ryan was actually hoping maybe he wouldn’t bring it up at all.
She shrugged. “I ate an entire cake while sobbing over my laptop.” She fixed the onion that was falling out of the side of her sandwich, stuffing it back where it went. “Posted the story. Sent the link to Triston. Stared at my ceiling all night long. So it went well I think.” She took a huge bite of her sandwich as Jesse chuckled.
“Good. First steps are important.”
“I think you mean painful.”
“How are you so good with people? Like, you can read them and understand them and… I don’t have that.” She sighed, shaking her head. She didn’t have skills like that. Reading people was incredibly hard. Jesse’s low chuckle and subsequent choking on his sandwich got her attention again.
He took a big swallow of his beer and cleared his throat. “I am not good with people.”
“Sure you are,” Ryan argued.
He shook his head. “No, darlin’, I’m not. You’re not like other people. I think that’s one of the reasons you and I are such good friends.”
She smiled and tilted her head to the side. “We’re good friends?”
He rolled his eyes. “You know you’re my best friend, stop fishing for compliments.”
Ryan stilled, warmth spreading through her insides. She’d never been anyone’s best friend before. She wasn’t ready to embrace that notion fully. It was bigger than she was emotionally equipped to deal with. So she shrugged. “Well, you’re not my best friend. I have a dozen or so applications to go through first before I make my decision.”
“You’re such a shit,” Jesse said, his mouth tugged up on one side. “I better not get beat out by one of your asshole uncles.”
“No,” she declared adamantly. “They’re… I don’t know where they fit, to be honest. But I don’t trust them.”
“I don’t blame you.”
About Heidi Hutchinson
Heidi Hutchinson was born in South Dakota and raised the exact right distance away from the Black Hills. She had an overactive imagination very early on, and wasted no time in getting most of her friends in trouble due to her unrealistic and completely ridiculous ideas. Seeing as she was so lazy and also afraid people would think she was bonkers, she didn’t write down any of the story lines that played out in her daydreams.
During her high school years, she took pen to paper and filled more notebooks than she is proud of with angsty, depressing, self-deprecating poetry. This led to her writing down more things: notes, ideas, character bios, plot twists that had no plot yet to twist. After years of cleaning up her own scraps of imagination with nothing solid to hold on to, she sat down and wrote the story that had been in her head the longest. Fueled by coffee and her unwavering and perfectly normal devotion to Dave Grohl, she discovered a writer living inside of her.
She still lives in the Midwest, though not as close to the Black Hills as she would prefer, with her alarmingly handsome husband and their fearless child. They eat more pizza than God intended and she listens to her music the same way she lives: loudly.