Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Timothy McCreary survives the beating. After it's all over, Mr. Bertram tells them he has something to say.
"How did Squires find out about the coal?" Will asked.
"He's got eyes and ears all over," Mr. Bertram said. "Been sheriff too damn long and got greedy. He found out about the coal and decided to get it any way he could. He bought up land around here, but the coal wasn't as rich as the vein on the Henry land. Coal company wasn't interested in it. When Earl wouldn't sell, that's when things turned nasty. He was determined to convince your husband to sell. When that didn't work, I reckon he kilt him, thinking Will and Luke would be the weak links."
"My boys don't bend," Rachel said proudly. "And they don't break."
"Broke a little bit, Mama," Luke said with a wry grin.
"You ain't broke," she replied sternly. "Just beat to hell and back."
"Who was the man in the sheep shed?" Will asked.
"Best we can figure, he was one of Squires' men. Easy enough to cover up his identity. Reckon we may never know who he was, unless someone comes lookin' for him. I figger he got caught by his own fire," Mr. Bertram said.
"So, what're you gonna do about the coal, Rachel?" Uncle Wilt asked. "That's a mighty fine offer the company made."
"Fine or not, I'm not selling," she stated firmly. "That's Henry land and has been long as anyone can remember. Coal companies only want profit. They don't see the beauty of a place. There's no way on God's Earth I'd let them tear apart my home. I got all I need—family, friends, the farm."
Mr. Bertram smiled. "We'll stand behind you one hundred percent, Rachel."
"I thank you for that. My boys and me will work the land together. If I got to rent out some, I'll do that. But I ain't sellin'."
After breakfast, Will and Lucius went to the girls' dorm with Dollie and Patty. Dollie wouldn't let Luke out of her sight and insisted on having him down at the school in case of emergency. Nothing anyone said could dissuade her. She made up the room closest to the apartment. With Will's help, she scooted two of the small beds together, making it wide enough for two.
"I'm bunking in with you. I don't care what anyone says or what they think of me. My reputation be damned! I'm not leaving you alone to fend for yourself."
No one dared argue with her, especially Lucius.
Plans went forward for the wedding of Patty and Will. As soon as Luke was better, he helped his brother at the house. Everyone in the valley came to help. Soon, the house looked like a home. Work began on Lucius and Dollie's house. With everyone pitching in, they expected to finish it in a few months, just in time for Thanksgiving. The Belloits decided they could get away again in November for another wedding.
The night after Patty and Will's wedding, Lucius and Dollie were having dinner in her apartment at the girls' dorm. School was due to start in three weeks, so they still had the place to themselves. It seemed quiet and somewhat depressing for both of them.
Lucius tried to start several conversations, but Dollie couldn't seem to concentrate enough to reply. Soon, he quit talking, waiting for Dollie to speak.
"I miss her like crazy," she said with a soft sniffle. "It's always been Patty and me. I've never spent more than a day without her."
"She and Will won't be gone long," Luke assured her.
"But she'll be living with Will in her own home. And I'll be here until we're married. I've never been on my own before."
"You'll be fine, Dollie. Won't be so long before we're married and you're living with me. And I'll have you to wake up to each day—and fall asleep with each night."
She blushed, ducking her head. "I imagine I'll like that," she whispered.
"I imagine we both will," Luke chuckled, taking her hand. "I love you, Dorothea Belloit. And I wanna make a home with you and have a passel of young'uns."
"Just how many are a passel?" her tone tried to scold, but couldn't quite.
"I dunno. Thought maybe three?—five?—eight?" He laughed when she hit him with a couch pillow. "Watch that, Miss Dollie. Remember last time you whacked me with a pillow?"
Dollie burst out laughing. "I'm not sure which of us was more embarrassed, me or you."
Luke blushed, ducking his head. "Me, I reckon."
She scooted closer on the couch, her hand reaching for his. "I love you, Lucius Henry, and I can't wait to be your wife."
"Neither can I, Dollie."
She squeezed his fingers. "No. I mean, I can't wait." She raised an eyebrow.
Lucius frowned. Was she saying what he hoped she was saying? "Do you mean—? Are you sure?"
"Never been more sure of anything in my life. Lucius, will you make love to me tonight?"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, December 26, 2019
With the help of the women, and family, the brothers get the upper hand on Squires.
"Don't shoot!" Turner called. He walked into the clearing with his hands clasped behind his head.
Dollie leveled the shotgun at his balls. Phineas ran up, yanking Turner's hands behind him. With Dollie's help, he lashed the man's hands together before going to his father's side.
Wilt smiled feebly at him. "Just went through the meat," he mumbled. "I'm all right. How's Patty."
"I'm all right, Uncle Wilt. You saved my life." She fell into Will's embrace.
They could hear the rumble of a truck on the dirt road. Worried voices came from a few feet away.
"What the hell's going on? Who's hurt?" It was Doc Starbuck. "Get me some light!"
In response, someone turned on Will's truck lights. The other truck stopped a few feet away. Mr. Bertram and others from the school scrambled out, giving what help they could. Wilt and Lucius were carried into the house. The sheriff and his men were trussed like hogs and loaded on the back of Mr. Bertram's truck.
"I had my wife call the state police," Doc Starbuck said. "It'll take those city boys awhile yet, but they'll sort this out."
"We got another body back here," Mr. Bertram called. "Doc!"
A low moan sounded from the back of Will's truck.
"Who's this?" Doc asked.
"Name's McCleary. He's a friend of Daddy's," Will told him. "Squires beat him up, damn near kilt him. Can you save him, Doc?"
"Maybe. Let's get him down to my office. Will this truck go?"
"Tire's shot out. Dollie's car's up at the barn. I'll go get it."
Will drove Dollie's car down to the clinic with Patty and Doc tending the injured man. Mrs. Starbuck met them at the door, holding it while they carried McCleary inside. The men took him to the surgery and laid him on the operating table. Patty cut his clothing off while Doc examined his wounds. Will cleaned the wounds the best he could with iodine soap and warm water.
"Well, he's a lucky one," Doc declared. "Doesn't seem he's got internal injuries, but he's got him some broken ribs and and I think his arm is fractured. We'll get him set up good as new. You good to help, Will?"
"I'll help too," Patty said. "Mama's a nurse. I've helped her some."
"You're hired." He told them what he needed them to do.
An hour later, they had McCleary squared away. By that time, Wilt and Lucius had joined the medical parade. Phineas had bound his father's shoulder wound well. The bullet had gone clean through, blessedly missing the bone. Aside from cleaning and stitching, Doc didn't have to do anything more for him.
Lucius sat quietly in the corner. Mrs. Starbuck, who also had trained as a nurse, gave him a shot of morphine for pain. Feeling cloudy and befuddled, he waited his turn.
"Now, boy, we got a shoulder to fix." Doc washed his hands before positioning Will, Phineas and Mr. Bertram. "Miss Dollie, you go on out, now."
She did as she was told, joining Mrs. Starbuck in the kitchen.
"You two hold him. Will, you help me pull. Lucius, not gonna lie to ya, this is going to hurt like seven kinds of hell. You ready?"
"No, but do her up anyhow."
Nodding, Doc took Luke's arm. "On three," he told Will. "One, two, three—Pull!"
They yanked on Luke's arm. Phineas and Mr. Bertram held him to the chair. With a snap and pop, the arm went back in place. Lucius roared with pain. Dollie ran into the room, clutching his face to her chest. It hurt horribly, but a small part of Luke couldn't deny that having his face in her cleavage was worth it.
Doc chuckled. "Miss Dollie, don't smother the boy. He won't be fit for much if he can't breathe."
Giggling nervously, Dollie let go of Luke's head, but stood by his side as Doc put his arm in a sling.
"I never saw such a bunch for getting the hell knocked out of them," Doc Starbuck said. "And you keep coming back for more."
"The Henrys are a stubborn bunch," Wilt said proudly. "But nobody ever accused us of having an ounce of sense."
Rachel Henry came down sometime later, pale and worried. She she was too shaken to do much, so she sat and talked to the men while Mrs. Starbuck and the Belloits fixed breakfast. Seated at the long table, everyone was full of questions.
"What did the state police say, Mama?" Will asked.
"They've arrested Squires and his men. They wanna talk to Timothy when he wakes up. I told them all about the coal and the land troubles and how I think they kilt Earl."
"Is that safe, Mama?" Luke asked.
"Truth's bound to come out eventually. Better they hear it from me."
"In my mind, Earl's a hero," Mr. Bertram said. "He told me he'd never sell. Seemed to think I wanted him to. I had to come to him with that offer, Rachel. Broke my heart to." He hung his head. "Despite the problems we had, Earl was a friend of mine."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
It doesn't look as if the fight is going well for the brothers.
"Down on the ground," Squires motioned with the gun. "On your knees, hands behind your head."
Luke did as he was told. He wasn't sure, but he thought he saw a flicker of movement behind Squires. The moon was hidden. In the dark, he could barely make out Squires and his brother. They were more of a shadow in the night. However, it was apparent that Will was the sheriff's prisoner. Just enough light hit the barrel of the pistol to let him know how bad it was.
"Rachel Henry, I got your boys out here! You got two minutes to come out and give me what I want, or I kill your oldest boy!"
"Ma, you stay put!" Will bellowed.
Lucius was sure that he saw movement behind Squires now. He couldn't tell who it was, but the figure was small and slender. Closing his eyes for a second, he prayed it wasn't Dollie. He knew, deep in his heart, it was.
"I said come out, Miss Rachel! I got your boys!" He cocked the gun. "Time's a ticking! Ten"
Unable to control herself, Patty screamed. She dropped her rifle, nearly on Wilt's toes, and flew around the front of the cabin. Screeching like like a hoot owl, she ran full tilt toward the sheriff. Squires took the gun from Will's throat and aimed at Patty. He fired as Wilt knocked her down. The bullet passed her, but hit Uncle Wilt. With a groan, he fell, nearly on top of the young woman.
Roaring with anger, Will elbowed Squires in the ribs. The sheriff doubled over and Will hit him on the back of the head with his clenched fists. Lucius leaped forward, tackling the older man as he fell, landing awkwardly. Something snapped with a dull, wet sound.
"Patty!" Will ran to her side. "Uncle Wilt!" His tone changed as he dropped to his knees.
"I'm fine," Patty assured him. "Wilt's hit."
"Luke, help me!" Will yelled.
Lucius staggered to his feet. His left arm refused to move and he realized the snap was his shoulder dislocating. He picked up Squires' gun and retrieved the Colts from the fat man's belt. He stumbled over to his brother.
The truck's door slammed open, hitting him in his sore shoulder, making him scream. The third henchman was awake and full of fighting spirit after his nap. He swung at Luke, hitting him in the bad shoulder with his fist. He swung again, but Luke was ready for him. Taking a step to the side, Luke swept at his attacker's legs, sending him sprawling. A well placed fist cracked across the man's already injured head. Laid open to the bone, he fell unconscious once more. Luke collapsed, right hand throbbing.
Torn between his uncle and his brother, Will stood. A bullet buried itself in the ground near his foot. Yelling loudly, he dropped once more.
Hoop and Turner ran down the hill, firing wildly at anything that moved. Squires roused, trying to sit up. One of his own men fired at him, missing by inches. Squires bellowed, rolling behind the truck. The next shot came closer.
"Goddammit, you idiot! That's me!"
Luke struggled to sit up. In the shadow of the truck, he was hidden from Hoop and Turner. He fired, but he shot with his right hand, the one with the stitches. It hurt like fury when he squeezed the trigger and his bullet went wild, lodging in the truck tire instead of the sheriff.
Squires rose to his hands and knees, moving a quickly as he could toward Luke. His men were still shooting wildly. Another bullet hit the dirt between him and Luke. Squires fell on his ass, eyes wide. Luke couldn't risk missing again. He dropped the gun, scooting away from Squires. His hand closed around a fist sized rock. He picked it up with a handful of dirt and chucked it at the sheriff with all his strength.
Sheriff Squires yelped when the rock hit him in the forehead. He dropped heavily to the ground, blood pouring from his wound. Hoop ran around the side of the truck, leveling his gun at Lucius. With no more rocks to throw and his gun out of reach, Luke held up his hands.
"You caused me nothing but trouble, kid," Hoop said, pulling back the hammer with his thumb.
Lucius stared defiantly at Hoop, eyes focused on the barrel of the gun, weighing his chances of survival. If he dropped left, onto his injured shoulder, he might live. Jaw working, Hoop's hand shook as he stared down the barrel. Luke spit blood, glaring at the man, daring him to fire.
Hoop collapsed, clutching his arm, screeching loudly. Dollie rushed up, shotgun leveled at him, hands shaking, face pale.
"Make a move, I'll end you," she bellowed at the downed man.
Lucius started to chuckle, shaking his head. "Dollie, you're gonna be all night trying to kill a man with rock salt. That's Mama's shotgun she uses to keep critters outta her vegetables."
Hoop whimpered as Dollie advanced, trying to crawl away from the angry young woman. She raised the shotgun once more, but instead of firing, she clubbed him with the stock. Hoop collapsed, face buried in the dust.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Squires and his men kidnap Will and Luke, taking them back to the house.
The gears ground again and the truck bucked, hitting a rock in the road. Will ground his teeth, working harder at his bonds. Lucius sat beside him, quiet and calm. Nothing about his face betrayed his feelings, but Will could feel that his brother was coiled for action. With a slight inclination of his chin, Luke sighted Hoop, who sat with his legs dangling off the dropped tailgate.
Coughing loudly, Luke shook the rope from his hands, letting it drop to the bottom of the truck bed. Will wasn't quite loose, but he could use his feet. He pulled his knees closer, adjusting his angle so he could brace himself. Luke nodded. Will hauled back, kicking Hoop in the back, sending him flying.
Luke jumped toward Turner. The second man was so confused by his friend's sudden departure into the dark, he didn't react quickly enough. Luke's shoulder caught him in the chest and he went off the side. Will shook the ropes from his hands with a satisfied grin.
Squires heard the yelps of his men, but had to concentrate on the road. The man beside him leaned out the window, trying to draw a bead on Lucius and Willem. Luke punched his jaw as Will grabbed for his gun. He didn't get a chance to fire or even cry out, before the Henry brothers subdued him.
"Stop the truck," Lucius ordered.
Will leveled the gun at the sheriff. Instead of complying, Squires hit the gas, rocking the steering wheel from side to side, trying to dislodge the brothers. Having anticipated such a move, the men had braced themselves, though Luke lost his footing and tripped over McCleary. He landed hard on his backside, the air knocked out of him.
Shots sounded from behind them as one of the downed men fired at them. Squires yelled, swerving to the left. A bullet pinged off the back fender. Another hit the truck's mirror. Will swore and fired back.
Luke pulled him down when another bullet whizzed by, narrowly missing his brother. Sooner or later, their luck would run out. He wasn't about to tempt fate. Instead, he crawled over McCleary and pulled at the tailgate. He wanted something between him and the bullets.
The man next to Squires flopped like a wet rag doll, unconscious from Luke's blow. Squires kept going, despite the fact that the Henry boys were loose in the back. He was determined to get to their house. He had more guns than they did. Sooner or later, they'd run out of bullets. With luck, he'd be able to get away from them before they shot him. He no longer thought in terms of extortion, he was far too worried about being killed by one of the hot headed brothers.
As they neared the clearing where the Henry's home was built, Will decided to warn the women. He raised his pistol, firing into the night. He hoped his uncles and cousins wouldn't take a notion to fire back.
Inside the house, Patty stood up. "Rachel, you go in the bedroom—now."
"Why, whatever for?"
"Rachel, you got any guns in the house?" Patty asked.
Nodding, the woman handed her a squirrel rifle. "You know how to use that?"
"Yes, ma'am. One thing Will's done is teach me to shoot."
The other girl's eyes were round and scared. "No, ma'am, but I can sure use it as a club."
Rachel smiled. "You can at that." She handed Dollie the shotgun, adding a few rounds of ammunition for each. "You take the shotgun, Dollie. All you got to do is point and pull the trigger. And watch for the kick. It'll hit ya like a government mule."
Rachel went into the room with her girls and barricaded the door. The Belloits went quietly out the backdoor and hid behind the house. They couldn't see very well in the dark, but did notice shadows moving closer. It took a few seconds, but they soon recognized Wilt and one of his boys. Wilt made walking movements with his fingers, pointing to the far side of the house. He pointed to himself and Patty. He gestured to Dollie to stay with his eldest son and walk around the other way.
"We got men behind," Wilt's son, Phineas, murmured.
Dollie nodded, eyes huge. She was so scared, she was shaking. Something was wrong. She dearly wished she knew what. When Wilt and Patty ducked around the corner of the house, the furthest point from the truck, Phineas and Dollie crept to their right, going closer to the vehicle.
Squires pulled up to the house, furious. He slammed on the brakes, knocking the brothers down. Both of them tangled with McCleary, whose unconscious body sprawled across the bed of the truck. Snatching his weapon from the holster, Squires hopped from the truck. As the brothers tried to untangle themselves and stand, he slammed down the tailgate.
Grabbing Will's hair, he yanked the older brother from the truck. Pistol pressed to Will's chin, he yelled, "Get out that truck, Lucius! I'll shoot you and your brother both, if you don't!" He waved the gun at Lucius, but pressed it back to Will's jaw before he had a chance to react.
Standing slowly, Lucius held his hands up next to his head. Warily, he hopped off the back end of the truck.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Rachel tells the women, who McCleary is, and why Big Earl contacted him. The men arrive at the meeting place, only to find that it's an ambush.
"That's far enough," Sheriff Squires said from behind them. "Reckon I'll take them pretty guns off ya."
Lucius and Willem raised their hands slowly. Two men came up to them, snatching the guns from their belts. One of them sported a bruised face, the other held his arm as if it hurt.
"You met my friends, Hoop and Turner," Squires said with a grin.
"You gave me twenty-six stitches," Hoop said, glaring at Will. "Cut me to the bone, you bastard."
Will smirked. "Only twenty-six? Count yourself lucky I didn't gut you."
"Now, boys. Ain't no reason to fight. We're gonna sit down civil like and have us a chat."
"Nothing to chat about," Lucius replied.
"I beg to differ. We got us a lot to talk about. Life, death and coal. Sound about right?" He cast about to his men for confirmation.
Nodding, the men chuckled nastily.
"You caused me no end of bother," Squires said. "Just like your daddy. He was one stubborn hillbilly. I'm hopin' you boys can see reason."
"That ain't a Henry strong suit," Will replied. "Now, pure cussedness, that's a Henry through and through."
Squires threw his head back, a barking laugh coming from his mouth. "That's the god's truth," he declared.
"How'd you know where we'd be?" Lucius asked.
"Why, my good buddy, Tim McCleary, told me."
The Henry boys frowned. McCleary hadn't sounded like a turncoat over the phone.
"Course, it took some persuading, but he finally told me everything." He gestured to something that looked like a pile of rags.
The object moved feebly, groaning. With a sickening lurch, the men realized it was Tim McCleary.
"You didn't think your little game of cat and mouse was gonna throw me off your scent, did you? I got eyes and ears everywhere, boys. Me and God, like this." He crossed his fingers. "Gotta give you points for style, heading up to Cumberland that way. Why, that was pure genius. Must have been Lucius' idea."
"Actually, it was mine," Will said.
"Well, sir, that's a shocker. Goes to show every man can have himself a real good day, from time to time. Tie 'em up, fellers, and put 'em in the truck. We got to have a chat with the Widder Henry. Reckon she'll sign anything we wave at her if we got her two oldest boys in custody. We got enough to arrest you. Seeing how you assaulted two deputies in pursuit of their duty and damn near beat that old boy to death." He nodded at Timothy McCleary. "Hit's a shame. I always liked you boys. Your daddy was one mean, old son of a bitch...."
"'Preciate it if you didn't insult my grandmother like that," Lucius said calmly. "She's a fine, godfearing lady. You got no call—"
Sheriff Squires slapped Luke's cheek with the back of his hand. Luke's head snapped to the side and he felt a burst of blood in his mouth. Squires shook his hand, wincing.
"Boy, you got a hard head."
Lucius spit blood on the sheriff's shoe. His glare was enough to make the other men step back. Squires looked at the blood, grinning nastily. He rubbed it on the grass.
"That wasn't nice." He hauled back to smack Lucius again, then thought better of it. "Bring them," he growled.
Hoop and Turner grabbed Luke and Will, dragging them to Will's truck. They tied their hands and loaded the Henry men into the bed, climbing in with them. Squires got behind the wheel with a fourth man beside him. Hoop and Turner went back for Tim McCleary's limp body and unceremoniously threw it into the bed of the truck. A low moan rose from his crumpled form, but nothing more.
The truck bumped down the mountain, drawing ever nearer to the Henry house. Willem and Lucius grew more worried the closer they got. Their mother, siblings and the women they loved were in that house. They'd tried so hard to keep trouble away, now they were bringing it right to their front door. Lucius had never been so happy for a dark night. Though the moon was on the wane, heavy clouds covered it. Wind picked up, howling through the trees.
Hoop shuddered, whispering about ghosts. Luke smiled as he wiggled his hands. In their rush to tie up the brothers, Hoop and Turner hadn't done a very good job. Had Luke been the one doing the trussing, he'd have passed rope between the hands. It hadn't occurred to the sheriff's henchmen. Luke could feel Will's arm moving as he tried to get some slack in the biting hemp.
The truck's motor strained on the last slope descending toward the Henry property. The sheriff cursed, down shifting to a lower gear. Will winced when he heard the gears grind. His truck was precious to him. Having someone other than family drive it, irked. It didn't keep him from working at his bonds. He, too, was grateful for a dark night. The fact that their captors weren't watching them carefully, was decidedly a plus. If Squires and his flunkies thought that the Henry boys were subdued by mere lengths of rope, they had another think coming.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Monday, December 16, 2019
Where fallen angels battle Hell’s demons, find their lost souls, and discover love while hunting for a prophecy that holds the key to either their redemption or their destruction.
At twenty-eight, Cassidy Long is happy with her life. She has a job she loves, a great family, and a future open to possibilities. That all changes after she discovers she is the vessel for the immortal soul of an angel cast out of Heaven, and the only way to break the bond is by her death. Spirited away, Cassidy finds herself in the middle of an eternal war and falling for her angel.
Rail is captivated by Cassidy immediately, but fears it’s only the connection to his soul fueling his interest. He’s vowed to never fall in love, but fate has different plans. The more he fights his growing feelings, the deeper in love he falls. Cassidy not only holds his soul, but his heart. Now, he will fight Heaven and Hell to protect her.
Heaven abandoned them, but they did not abandon their calling. Once they were the Watchers, teachers, and mentors to human kind. Now soulless and exiled from Heaven, forced into an endless war, some will fall while others rise to find their destinies. They are the Dark Knights of Heaven.
On the road to seek work in the cotton fields of Texas, an old Ford Model T truck breaks down and forces a change of destination that ultimately leads the protagonists to the Argentine Patagonia. Follow the anecdote-driven story of a devoted couple who spent their childhood in the U.S. Southwest during the Great Depression, met and married during World War II, and together undertook a lifelong journey of adventure and service.
In the spring of 1739, Gabriella Deza stands poised on the verge of womanhood. A product of her guarded upbringing, she is naive in the ways of love until dashing Manuel Enriques declares his love for her. Quite by accident, Gabriella uncovers a plot hatched by British spy whose job is to capture the town and fort, Castillo de San Marcos. Armed with her information, Manuel embarks on a dangerous mission to entrap the spy and save the town from being overthrown by the British. Unfortunately, Gabriella herself is caught in the trap and kidnapped. Can Manuel find and save her before it is too late?
Leah was a rebel. She chose to live her life outside the constraints of 19th century English society. She rebuked any parental control and choose to decide her own fate. From England to the Caribbean and then frontier America, she was loved by family and friends yet still had enemies. Sailing the seas with pirates lurking about helped chisel her character as she created a life of her own near the sea.
Friday, December 13, 2019
FREE Today Until December 17th! Defending Jagger - Book 1 The Search and Seek Series by Amanda Mackey
Jagger Reed has a secret that could destroy lives… And one life that could be destroyed is his disabled brother’s. Jagger is in jail for a crime he didn't commit, and believes it’s a small price to pay to protect his family.
Rosalind McAllister is the newest creative writing teacher at Arizona State Prison… Rose is determined to prove herself to her criminal students and not let them break her—like they did the last teacher. But when she meets Jagger Reed, she immediately knows the line between student and teacher could be easily blurred. Tall, intimidating, and way too handsome to be incarcerated, she vows to keep him at a distance.
A creative writing assignment turns into the discovery of Jagger’s innocence…When Rose reads Jagger’s creative writing piece, she’s both astounded and impressed. His written words call to her, providing a window into his private world. But as the assignment continues, she discovers facts about Jagger’s conviction that change everything.
Determined to piece together clues that leap out from the pages, she finds much more than an articulate prisoner.
How can she save a man who doesn't want to be saved? And can she stop her heart from getting involved while… Defending Jagger?
It's summer time and folks are flocking to the beach, the mountains, and anywhere else they can go (at least in their minds—there'...
Gasping loudly, she spun around, clutching her throat. She is a pretty thing, delicate of feature. Her dark brown eyes look nearly bla...
On the road to seek work in the cotton fields of Texas, an old Ford Model T truck breaks down and forces a change of destination that ultima...
Alone in the big city, Pia Donvan is feeling rather lost when she finally arrives at the majestic, old hotel in the downtown area. ...