The purpose here is to spotlight a few lines or a few paragraphs from a new release or backlisted title. This way my readers get to sample some delicious snippets and I'll do my best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
Today I'm teasing with book 2 in the Cloudburst Colorado series, THE BELTANE WITCH. It's a fantasy romantic suspense set in a little Colorado mountain town of Cloudburst. Sabrina Foxglove has found herself in an odd place and it's getting scarier by the second.
Where am I and how did I get here?
Memories sifted, as insubstantial as the mists around her. She shook her head to focus her thoughts, but everything swirled away as substantial as smoke. Something was wrong.
Sabrina sought to inhale, to find the scents of spring, but she couldn’t breathe. Panic gripped her mind and her hands tightened on the ropes. Oh Goddess, I can’t breathe! She bent at the waist and tried again, squeezing her eyes shut, but her lungs refused to expand.
Dear Goddess, am I dying? Is that why I’m at the edge of the bridge?
I can’t die! Who would care for her children? Who would protect them?
She wanted to wail her distress, but she had no air to expel sound. She bowed her head and tears fell, scalding her cheeks in fiery trails.
The ropes under her hands vibrated and she stilled, opening her eyes. Raising her head, she stared into the misty expanse of the bridge. A figure materialized half-way along the span, more solid than the rest of this world, and extended his hand out to her. She swallowed hard.
Darius? What is he doing here?
Even in his hazy state, he looked noble and strong. She wanted to believe his appearance meant safety and protection, but standing in the center of the bridge he only represented the unknown.
“Come with me, Sabrina.”
How does he have breath here and I don’t?
“You must focus, my lady. You must make the first step. Come back with me.”
Sabrina shook her head in confusion. Back with him? Back where?
His expression tightened with frustrated concern. “Take the step. Trust me.”
She wanted to scoff, but sound required air. Trust him? I don’t know him.
Something in Darius’s voice encouraged her, coaxing her to move forward. She bit her lip and extended her foot onto the flimsy bridge, hoping it would hold her weight.
“That’s it.” Darius remained still, his hand offering her shelter and security. “You can do it. Just take my hand.”
The bridge swayed in a dangerous arc and she froze on the rickety board, panic dragging at her gut. I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. The mantra repeated in her mind, eradicating all other thoughts. Sabrina closed her eyes and bowed her head, her hands squeezing the guy ropes until her knuckles cracked.
“Sabrina, look at me.” She shook her head again. I can’t breathe. “Look at me, acushla.”
She forced her eyes open. Darius smiled with none of his usual slick charm.
“Good, my lady. Reach for me, now.” His fingers flexed a little, urging her forward. “Just a few more steps.”
She wished she could take a deep breath to buck up her courage, but she couldn’t make her lungs work. Panic surged, but she focused on Darius’s face, his expression tight with worry. Why is he worried? Don’t ask questions, just keep walking.
Sabrina loosened her grip just enough to slide along the prickly ropes, forcing her feet from one worn plank to the next. She kept her gaze locked on Darius’ eyes despite her pounding heart and burning lungs. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she pushed herself onward until she could reach his outstretched fingers.
Sabrina gritted her teeth and flailed for his hand, desperate to reach him. When his warm fingers closed around her frozen skin, relief flooded through her as he drew her into his embrace.
“There you go, acushla.” Darius gathered her into the folds of his coat as he wrapped his arms around her. “You’re safe now. I’ve got you.”
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