Welcome to the celebration! When I submitted Sworn to Protect to Kindle Scout, I hoped it would win one of the publishing contracts, but it didn’t. Rather than see the book wither and die on my desktop, I opted to self-publish it and it’s available in both ebook and paperback format today. Since i did go through Kindle, it’s in KNP, so that makes it exclusive to Amazon.
Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.
The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.
When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.
Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.
As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve had a few tastes of the story already. Here’s another excerpt to whet your appetite:
Nancy was drifting off again when she realized all sound in the room had ceased, and it was getting hard to breathe. Her eyes flew open.
The woman stood near the wall, her back to the bed. The plug to the monitors and some of the other equipment dangled from one hand, and she held a syringe in the other.
Maybe she had improved, but something didn’t feel right. If she were better, why was it so hard to breathe? Whatever covered her mouth and nose deprived her of oxygen, and Nancy raised her hand to pull it off, her movement slow and sluggish. Panic filled her.
The nurse turned at the sound she must’ve made, and the cold look on her face froze the blood in Nancy’s veins.
“You’re awake,” the nurse said. “No matter. This would have been easier on you if you’d stayed in the coma, but meh. Awake or not, it makes no difference.”
Nancy frowned at the woman’s words. With all the strength she could muster, she managed to get her hand up to her face and dislodge the mask. She gasped as air filled her lungs once more.
“You’re only prolonging the inevitable.”
Fear filled Nancy as the woman injected the contents of the syringe into the IV port just above the small clear bag filled with medication.
When the syringe was empty, the woman approached the bed and removed the pillow cushioning her head so that Nancy was flat on her back. Reaching over, the nurse removed the oxygen mask completely and dropped it over the side of the bed.
“You won’t be needing this anymore.”
“What … doing?’ Nancy asked, her words low and garbled.
Somehow the woman understood her.
“My job. You should have minded your own business. Relax. It’ll be easier on you if you do.”
The nurse moved away from the bed, walked over to the windows, and looked out.
Nancy sensed the familiar grayness creeping up on her, but fought to stay awake. If she could just reach…
“Oh no, you don’t,” the woman said, slapping her hand away from the call bell. “This is ridiculous. I can’t wait all day. Someone may come in before it’s over. No matter. We can hurry things along a bit.”
Grabbing the pillow with both hands, the nurse placed it firmly over Nancy’s face and pressed down hard.
Nancy struggled, pushed valiantly at the woman’s arms, trying to move the pillow off, but the woman was too strong, and as weak as she was, her strength vanished in seconds.
She couldn’t breathe. The pain in her head increased with the pressure. Her heart beat wildly as if it would punch right through her chest. The blackness creeping into her mind swallowed her, and her last thought was for the man who’d left her here to die.