Good morning. I’ve been away a while, due to the last of my summer vacation and writing obligations, but I’m back this morning with a great offer for everyone. As always, I especially want to thank the rest of the midweek teasers, especially Angelica Dawson who stepped up to the plate last January. Many thanks, ladies, for letting me play along.
This week’s tease comes from my latest paranormal, romance suspense which in in a Kindle Countdown Deal this week only for .99 cents USD or £0.99 in the UK.
Here’s the blurb:
For Charley Winters love means loss and pain. She’s spent the last five years struggling with her grief. Existing, not living. Drawn to Saskatchewan, she travels west take the job she’s always wanted. But life gets complicated when she’s rescued from a vicious tornado by her dead husband’s double, a man who makes her feel things she hasn’t in years. Add to that a native myth, a shaman, a green-eyed wolf, and her husband’s ghost … Can she lift a millennia old curse and find joy and love again?
And this week’s tease:
“What the hell?”
Once they’d adjusted to the darkness, Bill’s eyes bulged in surprise. Shirley had converted part of the living space into a makeshift stable. Two cows, one calf, and a handful of chickens were behind a wire and snow fencing wall in what must’ve been her dining room. While it didn’t smell as badly as he’d expect it to, it couldn’t be a healthy arrangement.
“Shirley, you can’t keep animals inside like this,” he began, cut off by the sight of the creature on the sofa.
“That’s a wolf! You can’t keep a wild animal like that in the house,” he cried, although at the moment he couldn’t think why the wolf would be a bigger problem than cows and chickens.
The old woman laughed, and he noticed how labored her breathing was. “My ancestors did, and it didn’t hurt them none, but it’s only for the storm. The twisters will take the barn, but the pigs will be fine as will the animals grazing. The storms won’t go that way. I couldn’t afford to lose my milk cows and chickens. As far as Wolf goes, he won’t hurt you.”
Bill stared at the large animal, easily one of the biggest ones he’d seen in the area. Mottled in color, his coat ranging from black through brown, although there was far more than the average amount of rust red in it, along with the gray and patches of pure white, the animal had to weigh at least a hundred pounds. His face was a framed mask of light gray, dissolving into rust once more, before fading to black on its forehead and the top and side of its regal nose. White filled its ears, and highlighted the area below the eyes and across the cheeks and throat, which, like the ears, was edged in black. But what was most unsettling about the large, silent creature, were its eyes—they were green, as green as his own, and they looked human.
Shirley’s words penetrated his confusion. He couldn’t dwell on the strange beast right now.
“Twisters, as in more than one?”
“Yes, and they’ll be here shortly. I may be old, but the spirits are never wrong.”
“Why didn’t your spirits warn you about the motorcycle gang?” he asked. If ghosts were going to tell her about the weather, the least they could do was warn her about killers on the loose.
She shook her head. “The wanáği never send me visions unless I can help someone else.”
He understood a few words in the Assiniboine language, but that wasn’t one of them.
She moved over to the far side of the room. “The spirits of my ancestors who come to me. They told me to send for the RCMP. I didn’t understand why, but now I do. If I’d met you before, I’d have asked for you by name.”
“What do you mean?” The old woman wasn’t making any sense.
“You’ll know soon enough,” she answered cryptically.
The staccato of rain and hail on the roof sounded like a dozen Flamenco dancers. The noise stopped, only to be replaced by the buzz of a million bees.
“In here,” Shirley said, pointing to the door beside her.
Knowing the wind could blow out the panes of glass at any second, he was pleased to see she’d closed the inside shutters, but depending on the power of the storm, they might not be enough to protect the windows. He hurried into what he thought was a storage closet. Instead, he gaped at the modern, windowless bathroom. In the sink sat a flickering candle. Shirley had brought in a chair, and the wolf followed them inside and jumped into the antique-style claw-footed tub, stretching out as if it were the most natural thing for him to do.
“Sit,” she said, reaching out and petting the wolf on the head as if he were a dog. “These won’t last long.”
Closing the door, she sat on the stool beside the bathtub, wrapped her arms around herself and began to rock and chant in her native language. As if he understood his mistress was praying, the wolf lowered its head to its paws, a low barely audible keen coming from him. Bill considered joining them when the room plunged into darkness as the power failed and the buzz grew stronger until it sounded like a hundred motorcycles. Without the candle, it would’ve been as black as the grave in the tiny room. Bill glanced at the woman and her strange companion. If they were praying, he hoped to hell someone was listening. The scream of nails ripped from wood pierced his ears, followed by a silence, so profound, it was deafening.
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