Excerpt Monday: Lynda K. Scott
The winner of Lynda's book is: Debby. Congratulations, Debby! I'll send Lynda your email address. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will it cost him the woman he loves?
After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not, she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a lifetime.
On the sign hanging over the door, the Old English letters spelling out The Treasure Chest gleamed in the morning light. The dark green awning that would prevent the hot afternoon sun from entering the windows added to the quaintness of the store.
Keriam Norton sighed happily. She treasured the old, well-worn and well-loved items in her inventory. They had a history, a past, a connection to earlier times, and now, with her help, they'd have a future.
She wished she could say the same. For all she knew, she and her mother, Meredith, had dropped out of the sky twenty-six years ago. As for the future, she would be satisfied with the store.
In the window, her cousin, Janna, fluffed the skirt of an old ivory wedding dress. Keriam smiled, remembering how the young woman had held it up to her body and admired it in the oval mirror. A true romantic, Janna fantasized about her wedding day constantly.
At least one of them had a fantasy.
In three hours, people would come into the store and browse through the collection of lovingly worn antiques.
She swallowed and rubbed suddenly damp palms against her pants legs. She took a deep breath. Released it slowly.
She and Janna would chat with them. Point out the eighteenth century armoire, the Art Deco or the kitschy collection of farm implements gracing the walls. Everything was going to be just fine.
Her stomach took a queasy roll.
Facing people she knew, and ones she didn't, was going to be hard. It hadn't always been so, just since her parents died. She inhaled raggedly at the surge of grief. So much had changed for her since then. But today was going to be a good day. It was, she repeated.
Janna backed out of the window. A moment later, she trotted through the front door to stand at Keriam's side. Her cousin's excitement poured off her in waves.
"Well? What do you think? Is it fantastic?" Janna asked.
"Oh, yes. Seriously fantastic."
"Are you sure?"
"It's beautiful." Keriam focused on the display, on the wedding dress with its yards of lace, fighting the rush of anxiety and joyous anticipation Janna was feeling. It would be worse if Janna actually touched her, she knew, and kept a careful distance between them. "Now. Let's get ready for hordes of customers to make us filthy rich."
"In your dreams," Janna said, laughing. As she passed through the door, she added, "Mine, too."
Keriam stopped as the weight of unseen eyes danced over her skin like thorny little ant-feet. She whirled, taking in the entire street with a sweeping glance.
Roseberg’s small business district, composed of ancient brick storefronts, would soon be bustling but now was serenely quiet. And yet...
Someone was watching her.
Across the street, a large black dog sniffed a reproduction coach lamp near the curb. Keriam dismissed the animal, letting her gaze move toward the intersection. A shadow, long and sharp in the sun's slanting rays, moved and vanished before Keriam could identify it. No faces pressed against the glass of the shops lining Main Street. There was no traffic.
Her attention returned to the dog. It sat, tongue lolling, tail idly sweeping the sidewalk. It had a feral tilt to its pale eyes that made her think wolf. Which was ridiculous, there weren't any wolves in this part of Michigan.
Then...expectancy flashed through her body, heightening her perception. From the east came the scent of the pig farms and the rendering plant, faint but distinguishable to her acute senses. Automobile fumes from the highway drifted, mingling with the occasional perfume of green, growing things from the surrounding farmlands. A silent call hung in the cool, morning air and she let the door close without going inside. She shut her eyes, fighting the urge to follow the call, to abandon Janna and the store.
A single, deep bark cut through the wild sensations and, as if a door slammed shut, the scents were gone, the call silenced. Her heart skipped a beat, then skittered like a wild thing. These episodes were coming far too often. And too powerfully. How long before she could no longer fight them?
How long before she lost her mind?
"Hey," Janna spoke from the doorway. "Something wrong?"
"No." Keriam shook her head, forcing a smile. "No. Nothing. I was just...daydreaming. Come on. There's still a lot to do."
HEARTSTONE is available in both print and ebook format from Mundania Press. You can find it here: http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone
Heartstone is also available in print from Amazon.
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