The purpose here is to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two 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.
I'm teasing with DARWIN'S EVOLUTION, an Ultimate Recon/Hot SEALs Crossover novella that came out January 26th. In today's tease, retired Master Sergeant Sadie Hawkins came home from lunch with her mom and the house nearly exploded. Her mother is the first one to speak.
“What’s wrong, Sadie? Is the house okay?”
“Kinda, but we have some things to discuss. Let’s get the groceries and ammunition inside before we talk.”
“Kinda? What do you mean, ‘kinda’?” Clarice’s eyes narrowed.
“Let’s talk about it inside. I don’t like feeling exposed.”
Her mother swallowed hard. “All right.”
They gathered up the bags of food and bullets before heading inside. Sadie kept an eye on the surrounding trees, wondering if whoever set the explosive had stuck around to see if the house went up. Nothing moved except the wind through the branches. Her Spidey senses had settled down and she didn’t expect any more trouble that night. She doubted the person who set the trap would come in guns blazing, but it didn’t mean she wouldn’t be prepared for it.
Once they got in the house, Sadie and Clarice put the groceries away in silence, neither willing to break the careful peace. Cyrus returned to the cabin with his gear, his expression stoic. Whatever he thought about the situation, he kept it close to his chest.
Sadie poured out some lemonade from the fridge and brought the glasses to the table before she sat down and fixed her mother with a stern look.
“I found the stove rigged to explode, Mom. Someone wanted to burn down the house and make it look like an accident.”
“Is that why it smells like shit and fuel in here?” Clarice turned a little green.
Sadie nodded. “Yes. The stove is totaled. We’ll need to report it to the insurance company and get a new one. But first I need you to tell me about the guy who kept coming around and asking you to sell your property. What did he look like? What was his name and who did he work for?”
“Um, I don’t know, but he gave me his card when he first showed up.” Clarice rose and hurried to her antique roll-up writing desk. “I threw his card in here because I was curious what he’d offer until he low-balled me.”
She dug through the papers and notes cluttering the desk’s interior. Sadie suspected it had some order only her mother was aware of, but Sadie would never try to decipher it. She shared a small smile with Cyrus despite the seriousness of the situation. His shoulder shook with a silent chuckle as Clarice returned to the kitchen holding a square business card.
“Here it is. His name was Ernesto Aguilar.” She held out the white card with rainbow metallic writing on it. “He works for Northern Arizona Realty, which I’d never heard of before this year.”
Cyrus took the card and looked at it, his expression carefully blank. “This is the guy who showed up time and again?”
“Yes. He was friendly at first, but when I turned him down, his responses became more...hard.”
“Hard how, Mom?”
Clarice shrugged. “Just more determined and inflexible.”
“Did he threaten you at all?” Sadie’s gut cramped.
“No, not in so many words. But the way he said a few things gave me the impression he hoped to scare me into compliance.”
Anger bloomed in Sadie’s chest and she shot a look at the stove. No overt threats, but then shit starts going wrong. There had to be more going on than just a purchase attempt.
“Who is this guy and why does he want your land so much?” She spoke her thoughts aloud, not really hoping for an answer. “Is this like a Scooby Doo episode and there’s oil or gold underground? Or is there some sort of Conquistador treasure buried here? Why the hell would he want the land so much he’d sabotage your house?”
Clarice smirked. “Only you’d think of Scooby Doo at a time like this.”
“Yeah, if it only weren’t for them meddlin’ kids.” Cyrus chuckled before he sobered. “There’s definitely something off about this guy and his escalating need for your place.” He rubbed his chin, his gaze on the card. “Let’s look him up on the internet and see what we can find out.”
Thanks for stopping by!