Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year, literally, of Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.
Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
Today I'm offering snippets from my new release Take the Reins, a fantasy romance, and Book 1 in the Rifts series. Bethany Stanton is missing and her father is bringing in a special branch of the Army to find her. Major McMacken has accepted the job, but now he has to determine what he has to look forward to.
Mack leaned over the maps on the grand oak table in the library with First Sergeant Circe Bryant and scowled. They had to be close to two hundred years old with scrolling along the edges and calligraphy naming the different landmarks on the estate. Ornate drawings filled the compass rose and the corners of the maps, depicting the wind directions.
“This is the most recent map you have of the estate?”
“Yes. They haven’t needed to be updated because the estate hasn’t changed that much.” Coolidge pointed to what looked like a miniature compass rose in the middle of the map. “That’s the site where the strange energy signatures come from. Nothing electronic works near there now.”
“Now?” Bryant raised an elegant eyebrow. “Has that changed?”
Coolidge nodded. “The place has been a ruin. No one thought much about it until a Stealth pilot picked up some weird readings while doing a routine training run. We managed to shut down the scuttlebutt, but as soon as we could, we had folks out here to investigate.”
“But you didn’t tell Ms. Stanton.” Mack couldn’t hold back his derision.
“No, Major. Like I said, everyone avoided the place. There was no reason to tell anyone about it until we knew more.”
“I’m thinking you’re regretting that line of thought right about now.” Bryant shook her head as she dragged her finger over the map. “How are you planning on going in, Major? Do you think we’re going to be facing COUOs out there?”
“Coo-ohs?” Coolidge wrinkled his forehead, not the most attractive expression on a man with a large one.
“Creatures of Unusual Origins.” Mack fixed Coolidge with a hard stare. “Will we?”
Coolidge swallowed hard. “There’s an acronym for that?”
“Yep.” Bryant clenched her jaw and Mack suspected she bit her tongue to avoid saying more. She didn’t suffer fools. “So will we encounter anything odd out there?”
“No, Ms. Bryant. We haven’t seen anything.”
“It’s Staff Sergeant Bryant, and how often have you been out to the site?”
“My apologies, Sergeant.” Coolidge gave her a brief smile. “I’ve only been out there once.”
And this was the guy I’m supposed to drag with me on this mission?
Mack forced the growl out of his voice. “Where did your intel on this site come from?”
“From the grounds keepers. They haven’t reported anything unusual except their cell phones now won’t work out there.”
Mack shared a look with Bryant. “You verified we can’t get close with electronics?”
“Yes, sir. All our usual toys stopped being accurate within three hundred yards.”
Take the Reins, available everywhere now.
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