Read the post and comment to win Sherrill’s book. Details below!
I live in the Southwest, and things are starting to heat up. We hit 80 degrees yesterday, and will be in the mid-upper 70s for the next week. In the next 30 days we’ll creep into the 90s, and by late June we’ll flirt with temps in the low 100s. The sun starts coming up over the eastern mountains at 4:45 a.m. And since I’m very tuned to daylight, that’s when I wake up. Not willingly and certainly not happily.
It’s all relative, isn’t it? When I lived in Ohio I couldn’t wait for winter to be over. Snow, ice and cold are not my friends. Now I don’t want winter to end. Arizona in the winter is as close to paradise, weather-wise, as you can get.
I really love living here, and that translates to my books. Daring the Moon, Book One in my Kensington Brava Moon series, starts out here in Tucson, and the series wraps up back here with Taming the Moon. In between there’s the wildness of Cornwall’s Isles of Scilly and men who go wolfish at the full moon. Here’s a brief excerpt from Daring the Moon:
Staring down the end of a shotgun barrel was not the way Taite Gibson had planned to end her day. She bit the inside of her lip and, with two fingers, carefully moved the barrel so it no longer pointed directly at her.
“Listen, Mr. Wheeler, I’m not asking you to testify in court.” She left the yet unspoken. “I’m just starting the investigation for the Pima County Attorney’s office, okay? I need to talk to you about what happened.”
The man’s face went dark with outrage. “What happened? I’ll tell you what happened! A bunch of punk-ass hooligans came in here and robbed me at gunpoint, that’s what happened.” Wheeler made a threatening gesture with the shotgun. His ruddy face darkened even more. “I dare ‘em to try it again.”
Taite held up one hand and tried to inject as much authority into her voice as possible. This wasn’t the first time she’d been on the wrong end of a gun and it probably wouldn’t be the last. “Mr. Wheeler, put that away.”
He grinned. “Don’t worry, Ms. Gibson. It’s legal. I’ve got a permit.” He held the gun in one hand and ran the other one down the wooden stock in a slow caress. “Ain’t she a beaut? Remington Wingmaster five-shot with walnut stock, twin bead sight, and would you look at the finish on that barrel.” He sighed like a man in love.
“I wasn’t concerned about the legality,” she replied steadily. “Just put it away. Please.”
With a mumbled comment and a last, loving caress he complied, stowing the gun under the counter. He walked back around and leaned against the glass case and fussed with a display of cowboy hats.
“Thank you.” Taite drew in a breath. She loved the smell of leather. Wheeler carried leather coats, chaps, boots…you name it, if it was made of leather, he had it. She also caught a faint smell of something similar to sage as she walked forward again and pulled out a small notebook from her oversized purse. “Now, as I said, I’m here on behalf of the Pima County Attorney’s office. I’m investigating the robbery in preparation for the trial.”
Over the next two hours, Taite got Wheeler’s account of events, drilling down to the smallest of details. “And you’re willing to testify against them in court? Point them out to the jury as the ones who robbed you?” she asked as she flipped the cover closed on the notebook.
“Yep. Those punks’ faces are burned in my memory.” He tapped a beefy finger against his temple. Big teeth flashed in a wide grin. “You get ‘em in court and I’ll nail their asses to the wall.”
She couldn’t resist returning his smile. “It’s a deal.” After tucking the notebook back into her purse, she flipped her wrist to check her watch. Almost six p.m. She had time to stop back at the office to debrief her boss–he rarely quit work before seven. She told Wheeler goodbye and left the store. Making sure she had her keys firmly in hand, two keys poking out between her fingers, she walked toward her car with quick steps.
A spot between her shoulder blades heated. She glanced around, but there was no one behind her. Just the same, she tucked one hand into her purse and curled her fingers around her can of pepper spray. There was no doubt in her mind someone was watching her.
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