Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
It's a new year and I had two new releases this month! Yes! The first one is BAM-BAM'S INKED HART, Bad Boys of Beta Squad, Book 3, and came out January 12th! *Happy Dance* The second is DARWIN'S EVOLUTION, an Ultimate Recon/Hot SEALs Crossover novella that came out yesterday, January 26th. That's a lot of Navy SEAL reading for you. :D
In today's tease, Sadie Hawkins has just come home, but something's going on.
Sadie parked and got out of the car, inhaling the scents of Ponderosa vanilla and sun-baked dirt as the breeze ruffled the long needles overhead. She allowed all the tension from travel to flow out with her breath and let the ancient silence of the Coconino National Forest swell around her. God, I’m glad to be home.
“Well, hell, Sadie, you look damn good for being retired.”
Sadie opened her eyes to find her mother standing on the porch with her hands on her hips and a smile stretching her lips.
“Thanks, Mom. I feel pretty damn good.” She returned the smile although she caught sight of the shotgun beside the door. It hadn’t been there when she drove up. What’s that about? “How are you doing?”
“I’m good. Better now that you’re here. How was the trip across from Cali?”
“Good.” She stepped up on the porch to hug her mother. “Quiet. Thoughtful.”
Clarice raised a silver eyebrow. “Thoughtful, eh? What kinds of thoughts?”
“Oh, you know.” She pushed an errant silver strand of hair behind her mother’s ear. “Where I’m going. What I’ll be doing now. That sort of thing.” She shrugged, trying to downplay some of her anxiety over the new world she faced. “I’ve been a marine my whole adult life. I’m not used to having wide-open possibilities. It’s a little daunting.”
Clarice didn’t scoff or roll her eyes. Instead, she nodded slowly. “I know what that’s like, sweetheart. I faced that every day after your dad died. It’s not easy and it might scare the living hell outta you, but sometimes the best way to face the fear is to just get on with things.”
“Thanks, Mom. You’ve been a damn good role-model for me.” Sadie gave her mom a tight smile. “So you wanna tell me why you came out to greet me with the shotgun?”
Clarice snorted. “Noticed that, did you? You always did see more than I might want to share. It was hell at Christmastime.” She nodded to Sadie’s car. “Why don’t you grab your gear and bring it in. We can have some lunch and talk about it. There’s no reason not to be settled a little before we address anything untoward.”
“Untoward?” Sadie frowned. She hadn’t heard her mother use that word in a long time.
“Grab your gear, Sadie. I’ll put the kettle on.”
Aw hell. Mom only put the kettle on when something serious needed to be discussed. So much for a relaxing first week of my new life.
She retreated to her car and opened the trunk to retrieve her bags. Kinda sad that all her wordly possessions fit into one large steamer trunk and two large suitcases, but it made moving easier. And before now, she never needed more. She pulled the suitcases out and shut the trunk, but paused before headed for the cabin.
The back of her neck prickled as if someone watched her from a hidden location. She sighed and stretched her arms over her head, letting her gaze slide over the woods around the house. She couldn’t see any snipers or stalkers, but her instincts had rarely warned her for no reason. She wanted to laugh off her unease and ignore the messages, but she’d learned too many times to heed them.
Someone’s out there watching the house. Why?
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