Shadow – Rescue Me

I’m very excited to have Shadow – Rescue Me releasing later today. This book is the second in the Rescue Me Series, but in truth can be a stand alone read. I love writing romantic suspense and this one will take you further into the lives and loves in Goochland, Virginia – a small town near Richmond and a place so many call horse country. Between the mighty James River threading through the entire countryside, the beautiful rolling hills of greenery and the small town feel, I believe you’re going to love a taste of paradise. However, there’s always a dark side, now isn’t there?

Just who is Shadow? A beautiful Newfoundland puppy rescued from the arms of a group of horrific men, but even dogs have secrets. I hope you enjoy a taste and will consider purchasing.

SYNOPSIS

When a horrific accident awakens Sienna Duncan in the middle of the night, the wretched event drags personal nightmares into the light. Then she’s in the wrong place at the right time, and saves an innocent puppy from a gunshot wound while the perpetrators race away. But she was seen…

Deputy Kane Logan, a transplant from Wyoming, is hopeful of finding salvation in a Shadow_bigsmall town in Virginia. He’s running from tragedies he can no longer tolerate while working on a horrific crime involving the local teenagers. A chance meeting with the stunning beauty awakens his soul and they begin a new and guarded relationship. But someone wants her dead…

As threats continue and Kane fights to save innocent lives from a powerful drug, Sienna is pulled into a game of cat and mouse. Until they’re both forced to face their personal demons. The truth will be told, but at what cost? Is someone from her past threatening her new life? Can she find safety in the arms of the man she loves? Will Kane find the strength to become her protector?

EXCERPT

Screech! Bam!

“No. No!” Fighting, she shoved hard, pushing against the entity preventing her from moving. “Fuck you!” Sienna Duncan roared. Blinking, she thrust her arms to the side and panted, shifting as the unknown being continued to press hard against her body.

“Come to me. Come on, baby. You can do it.” She rushed toward the shore, reaching out. Wading into the water, she shivered as the rain pelted her face. She blinked furiously, trying to see him in the roaring waves. She heard a whimper and moaned. “Where are you?”

Turning sharply, she dove into the waves, kicking out as she attempted to move forward. With each arm stroke, every move forward, she was shoved back. Gulping water, she coughed and continued to struggle, doing her best to keep her eyes on the only creature she loved more than life itself. She watched in horror as the little head bobbed up and down, in and out of the water until he no longer resurfaced.

She swam harder, her adrenaline kicking in. “Baby! No!”

“No!” Sienna panted as she jerked awake. Images lingered, a wretched vision of a forgotten time, a man she thought she cared about turning into a monster. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she gulped for air, coughing and choking as if drowning in a pool of blood. “No. Please God. No.” She rolled over, burying her face into her pillow, and closed her eyes. Sobbing, she beat her fist against the pillow as the memories lingered. They would never leave her, never allow her to find solace. She was alone and very much afraid. This was just a dream, a manifestation of so much pain and confusion.

Liar. Liar. Liar. Liar.

She remained in the same position until the agony passed, replaced with a dull ache, the same one she’d had for over two years. Now wide awake, she groaned. Why in the hell was she having the same dream? Tension. Worry. Extreme sadness. “Goddamn it.”

Breathing in and out, she kept her face buried in the pillow, listening and waiting. After a few seconds, she shifted and opened her eyes, glancing from right to left. A cool breeze wafted across, floating a scent of vanilla and cinnamon. Calming her nerves, she sat up, surveying the darkened room.

She was alone in her bed, in her house. There were no boogeymen waiting to drag her into Hell, at least one considered tangible. Only her nightmares could do that. She remained quiet, studying her surroundings, then shoved the covers away. Another damn dream. They were getting worse, each vision dragging her close to the end. She brushed the tears from her face and cursed under her breath. Pathetic. She was nothing but pathetic.

The wine. That’s why her dreams had been nightmares. Too much wine on an empty stomach. At this rate, she was never getting another good night’s sleep. A dull echo remained in her ears, an intense thudding sound. She’d been awakened for a reason. What had she heard?

Curious, she crawled out of bed and moved toward the window, peering out. The night was dark, moonless and in her mind, foreboding. Seeing nothing, she grabbed her robe and padded toward the kitchen, staring at the microwave clock. Two-thirty am. “Awesome,” she whispered and turned toward the refrigerator. A shimmering light drew her attention.

cowboy standing“What the hell?” Narrowing her eyes, she walked toward the picture window, palming the glass as she attempted to see past the murky haze. There was definitely a light coming from her front yard. A car? Who would come visit at this hour of the morning? Wait. Now she remembered the noise, the metallic sounds and solid slam.

Shoving her feet into her boots, she tentatively unlocked and opened the front door. Squinting, from where she stood, she could just make out a vehicle of some kind, but the angle to the headlights was all wrong. “Oh, no.” A terrible feeling sunk into the pit of her stomach. There’d been too many close calls with drivers almost missing the sharp turn, the road just inches from her driveway. But, this seemed too close. She turned on her porchlight and squinted. There was definitely a vehicle only thirty yards or so from the house, but far removed from the road. What the hell?

Apprehension crawling down her spine, she eased off her front porch, moving toward the light. As her eyes began to focus, she stared in horror at the catastrophe. Steam rolled out from under the crumpled hood of the smashed SUV. The front and passenger side of the vehicle had been sheared off by the massive oak tree. Glass and metal fragments covered the ground. Only the gleam of the one remaining headlight illuminated the horrific wreck.

Racing back inside, she rushed into the kitchen, grabbing the phone and dialing 9-1-1 while she yanked out first one then a second kitchen drawer. “Where the hell is the flashlight? Yes. I’d like to report an accident.”

She prattled off her address as she wrapped her hand around the cool cylinder. “Yes. Thank you. Please hurry.” After testing the light, she took long strides, breaking into a run when she was off the porch. A single flash told her everything she didn’t want to know. There were three occupants and zero air bags. No one could have survived this kind of crash.

Swallowing back bile, she advanced, shining the light inside. “No. God, no!” She stumbled back a few steps, moaning as she hunkered over. No, she had to find courage. What if someone was still alive? She inched closer, gripping the light and using the beam to scan the interior. Long blond hair was matted with blood covering the seat and headrest. The girl was wearing a seatbelt, but the force of the accident had pitched her forward.

Gulping air, Sienna was clearly able to see the damage done to the girl’s head and torso upon impact. She twisted to the side and dry heaved as the scent of blood and gore wafted across her nose. After a few seconds, she wiped her mouth and attempted to peer into the upper section. The boy in the passenger seat had vacant eyes, their last moment having seen sheer horror. Impaled by portions of the dash and what had to be the engine, she could only see down to his shoulders.

Sienna slapped her hand over her mouth and could take no more. Please let the police get here. Please. Shifting, she jerked back and stumbled, falling to the ground. The flashlight was pitched from her hand. She scrambled on her hands and knees in an attempt to grab it before she retched all over herself.

The second she wrapped her hand around the light, the steady beam flashed on yet another victim. This one had been thrown out the back window, tossed like a ragdoll. The light was pointed in the girl’s direction. Nothing would ever erase the vision from her mind. Nothing. Every part of her shaking, she managed to get to her feet and just as she was about to retreat to the safety of her house, she heard what sounded like a single moan.

Against her better judgment, she headed around to the front of the car, avoiding the broken glass and the damaged tree. A single flash inside allowed her to see that the driver was alive, his eyelids fluttering open and closed. The window was down and the young man had a massive gash on his forehead and cheek.

“Help… me…” he managed, his voice garbled. Coughing, he seemed to be trying to move. Her instinct kicking in, she inched closer. “Stay still. Don’t try and move. Help is on the way.” The smell of gasoline mixed with the disgusting copper stench of blood. She swung the light all around. Steam continued to ooze from the engine compartment. This wasn’t good. Not good at all. “I’m going to wait for the ambulance. Okay?”

“No. Please.”

He tried to search for her, his eyes obviously unable to focus. Struggling, he shifted then screamed out in pain.

“Okay. You’re okay. I’ll stay right here with you.” Shivering, from adrenaline as well as the cold breeze, she prayed help would arrive soon.

“Help. Help… Coming to… get her.”

Her? The boy had no idea how terrible the wreck had been. “I know. You’re going to be just fine,” Sienna softened her voice and remained talking to him until she heard sirens in the background. As the sound of roaring engines drew closer, she breathed a sigh of relief. A rumble and squeal of several tires drew her attention as a fire engine, an ambulance and a sheriff’s car rolled up her driveway. “They’re here now. Everything is going to be okay.”

She stepped away, looking at anything but the damning scene as she walked toward the vehicles. Men and women jumped out, of the fire engine, the majority headed straight for the car. A single man approached just as the door to the sheriff’s car opened.

“Ma’am. I’m Captain Frietag of the Goochland Fire Department. Can you tell me what happened?”

His voice was kind, soft and comforting. So damn similar to the one from… No, she had to concentrate. “I didn’t see the accident. I was awakened by the noise.”

Now, I wonder who might come to her rescue? My guess is a sexy cowboy deputy, but you’ll have to wait to find out…

Kisses…

Piper

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