To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Spring. It probably has a lot to do with my husband and kids all being extremely allergic to pollen, mold, dust, anything-with-fur, etc. Between the allergy shots for my husband and the breathing treatments and multiple medications for my daughters, I’m usually quite ready for the season to hurry on by.
One season I love (and for which allergies aren’t an issue) is winter. My husband and I married two days after Christmas nearly 15 years ago now and that time of year has always held a bit of magic for me. Snow blanketing the ground, holiday lights twinkling merrily from windows, stars shining brightly on a clear, cold night, endless baking and never ending wrapping, the kids fighting over the advent calendar, in-laws and family coming to visit and your mother haranguing you for not buying gifts for the twins who are – hello! – 26 years old and certainly don’t need a present from me not to mention getting something for their current girlfriends–
But I digress.
The second book in my Kathleen Turner Series, TURN TO ME, takes place at Christmastime. Along with the rest of us, Kathleen has her ups and downs during the season.
Below is an excerpt from TURN TO ME, which I hope you’ll enjoy. The first book in the series, NO TURNING BACK, is a free Kindle download this week so be sure to grab it.
Speaking of ups and downs – what’s your favorite Christmas moment or memory? One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of TURN TO ME, winner will be selected using random.org on 4/26. Winner must leave a comment and fill out the form at the end of this post.
|Lee’s Turn To Me review|
When Kathleen Turner, office runner for the prestigious Indianapolis law firm of Kirk & Trent, started dating the boss she knew the risks. Senior Partner Blane Kirk is known for being a notorious player – the Baskin Robbins of dating with a different flavor every month. Kathleen is the happiest she’s been in a long time, especially as Christmas approaches, but she’s always known there was a termination date on her relationship with Blane.
She just didn’t expect that termination to be her funeral.
A festive afternoon of Christmas tree shopping turns life-threatening when Kathleen and Blane become targets for an unknown gunman. They make it home alive, but Kathleen realizes her boyfriend has been keeping secrets. The deadly kind.
Blane’s current case is drawing heated debate and stirring the pot of public fury. Kathleen is horrified by the threats – and worse – being directed at him. A former Navy SEAL stands accused of the wrongful death of an American citizen during a military operation overseas. The case has far-reaching political and military implications. Someone with a lot of money, and even more clout, wants Blane to lose.
As dead bodies of people connected to the defense start piling up, it becomes painfully obvious that disappearing witnesses and altered testimony are no longer enough for whoever is intent on guaranteeing the SEAL gets convicted. Kathleen and Kade, Blane’s brother and ex-FBI-agent-turned-assassin-for-hire, are on the trail of the killer.
Unfortunately for Kathleen, he’s already moved for the end-game – by painting a target on her…and pulling the trigger.
Another crack of a gunshot sliced through the air nearby as Blane grabbed hold of the collar of my coat, picked me up bodily and yanked me behind the trees. I was too stunned to do much more than stumble to where he led me.
The sound of a gunshot was much closer this time and I nearly jumped out of my skin, then I saw it had come from the gun in Blane’s hand.
“You brought your gun Christmas tree shopping?” I hissed. “Seriously?”
He just gave me a look. I rolled my eyes, then yelped again and covered my head with my arms as a bullet smacked through the branches above us.
“I’ll provide cover,” Blane said, “you run as fast as you can back to the barn.”
“What? No way,” I said, shaking my head firmly. “I’m not leaving you.”
“We’re an easy target out here in the snow,” Blane said, before squeezing off another round and ducking back behind the tree. “If I can keep him occupied, you can get back and send help.”
I chewed my lip in indecision. I really didn’t want to leave Blane by himself, but there was little I could do to help him. After all, he was the one with a gun.
Blane cursed as another shot hit the tree we were standing behind. “On three,” he commanded, and I reluctantly nodded. “One…two…go!”
I took off running the best I could back in the direction we’d come, hearing Blane’s gun spit bullets as he provided cover. The snow impeded my progress but I reached more trees and darted in amongst them. I was breathing hard now and my legs burned from the exertion of running.
I could still hear sporadic gunshots so I kept moving as fast I could. I had to find help for Blane. What if he didn’t duck behind a tree fast enough? What if he ran out of bullets? The what-ifs terrified me and I prayed he would be okay.
After what felt like forever, it started to snow yet again, the fat flakes resting gently on my nose and eyelashes. I realized I should have been back to the barn by now. Blane and I had walked a ways, but I’d been running back. Stopping, I looked around in confusion. Dusk was fading, the falling snow becoming a thick curtain that was difficult to see through. Everything looked the same around me – endless rows of Christmas trees. As I turned around, I realized I couldn’t tell which direction I’d just come from, my footprints already disappearing under a new layer of snow.
I fought down panic. I couldn’t be lost – we hadn’t gone that far. The barn should be right up ahead past this grove of trees. I hurried forward, certain I was right. Stepping out from the trees into a large clearing, I was dismayed to see how wrong I’d been.
There were no man-made structures in sight, just woods. Not even the neat little rows of Christmas trees now, just naturally growing ones. Uncertain what to do, I walked further into the clearing, wondering if I should stop walking and stay put. Wasn’t that what my dad had always told me to do if I got lost? Except I didn’t know if anyone would be coming to find me.
I wondered if Blane was okay and frustrated tears stung my eyes. If my failure to get help had resulted in him getting injured, or worse…but I couldn’t finish that thought.
A movement caught my eye and I was relieved to see a man standing about fifty yards away at the edge of the clearing near the trees. I couldn’t see him very clearly because of the snow, but I could tell he’d spotted me.
“Hey!” I shouted. “Can you help me? I’m lost.” I started shuffling quickly through the snow toward him, grateful that I’d found someone who would hopefully know where I was. The man moved and I froze.
He was pointing a gun at me.
My breath seized in my chest as I realized this had to have been the man shooting at Blane and me. If he was here, did that mean he’d shot Blane? Oh God, no.
That thought was abruptly cut off at the sound of a loud crack and I flinched. I’d thought the sound came from his gun, but to my horror, the ground suddenly shifted and gave way underneath my feet and I was plunged through ice into freezing cold water.
I had just barely enough time to realize what was happening in order to keep my head above water. Grabbing onto the surrounding ice which broke away, I struggled to keep my head dry. The shock of the cold water was incredible, I’d never felt anything like it, and I started gasping, my breath coming in short, quick pants.
I knew I’d hyperventilate if I kept breathing that way so I struggled to stay calm and take slower, deeper breaths, and most importantly, stay afloat. Looking back at the far bank of what I now guessed to be a small pond or large creek, I saw the man was still standing there. As I watched, he turned and disappeared into the trees, leaving me to my dubious fate. Bastard.
After a few moments, I was able to breathe better and take stock of my situation. I’d always had a fear of drowning since I’d been a child and had accidentally gotten stuck underneath a raft in the neighborhood pool. I could still feel the panic of my lungs burning with the need for air as I tried fruitlessly to surface. But dying hadn’t been on the agenda today and I wasn’t about to pencil it in.
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