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Distant Obsession

Author(s): M. W. Davis, Ciara Gold

After years struggling to succeed as an artist, Lilah Randal accomplishes here dream, only to return from her first sold out exhibition to find her husband, a US Senator, and his mistress in bed, murdered. With no proof, only suspicious, the police give up pursuing her for the murders, but not the news hounds, nor the discomforting phone calls or late night attempted intrusions into her home.
 
Reluctantly, Lilah stalls her career, assumes a different identify and begins fresh, hiding in a small town far away from the attention of DC. Her days are filled with new vigor as the serenity of the Cherokee Valley surrounding Watauga Lake feeds her creative muse under a fake alias. Yet her nights remain hollow, like her marriage to the senator, until she becomes obsessed by the allure of a stranger that glides by her cabin in his sailboat. Both his male form and solemn expression bleed into every painting, every midnight fantasy, until her new dream becomes reality. Lilah learns her future will remain corrupted by the past until she solves the secret behind her husband’s murder and explores her attraction to the mysterious sailor.

Excerpt


She encountered Ashley as she grabbed her purse. “Who was at the door?”
 
“Scott.”
 
“Is he still here? I’d love to meet him.”
 
“No. He just stopped by to see if I still wanted to go on an outing with him.” Ashley rolled her eyes. “Men. He’s like a puppy with a new bone. Oh goodness.” Her eyes lit mischievously. “Whoops, that could be taken wrong, couldn’t it?”
 
It took Lilah a moment to catch on, but finally she laughed. “You’re so bad.”
 
“Aren’t I just?” Ashley giggled louder, then sobered. “He was rather sweet, though. Being mister macho man, he checked the trailer hook-up for you and pronounced everything in sound working order.”
 
“As if this mere woman can’t hook up a trailer by herself, but if it made him feel good, that’s fine.” Lilah fished her keys from her bag. “Are you going out with him then?”
 
“Yep. We’re planning on a picnic Friday. He’ll pick me up early morning. We’re going to get in a little hiking before lunch, though I really don’t have the right shoes for a long trek in the woods. At any rate, whatever he has planned should be fun.”
 
“Enjoy. You deserve getting away for a bit.” She glanced at the kitchen clock. “Gotta run. I’ll be back around seven tonight.”
 
With her load in tow, the drive to Asel would take an hour, which would leave about the same for set-up. The booths opened at ten but she always liked having spare time to get psyched for the coming event. She chose her favorite radio station and pulled out onto the main road.
 
Her mind wandered to Reece again. Why he always crept into her thoughts no longer proved baffling. A mixture of guilt and pure lust seemed to control the recesses of her active imagination. How could she have screwed up such a perfect opportunity? She’d had two weeks to mull over her options for meeting the man. Giving him a painting seemed the best course of action, and she longed to put the idea into motion. After today’s show, she’d choose the best from one of the paintings left. Tomorrow, she’d deliver the gift and perhaps invite him to lunch.
 
Yes, that should be harmless enough.
 
The Jeep hit a bump and began to fishtail. Knowing better than to slam on the brakes, she eased off the accelerator and guided the vehicle to the side of the road. The tires hit a patch of loose gravel, again swerving awkwardly. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel, maintaining as much control as she could muster. Slowly, she brought her foot to the brake but not before sideswiping the guardrail twice. The car responded and came to rest against the metal barrier.
 
“Damn!” She leaned her forehead against the steering wheel to collect her thoughts.
 
After a brief moment, Lilah sat back and undid her seatbelt. Another driver pulled in front of the Jeep about twenty yards away and a man got out. His purposeful stride seemed far too aggressive. A baseball cap hid the color of his hair and shadowed his features. At her studious regard, he quickened his pace. Apprehension made her grab the cell from her purse.
 
Nervous fingers fumbled for the number pad. She had just punched in 9-1-1 when the man turned on his heel, ran to his late model sedan, and sped off. She set down the phone without hitting send.
 
I wonder why he spooked like that?
 
A tap on her window made her jump and gasp. She slumped in relief when Reece’s face popped into view. She unlocked the door and allowed him to open it before stepping outside.
 
“Are you all right?”
 
“Much better, thank you.” She sagged against the fender.
 
“I saw the trailer fishtail. You handled it well.”
 
“I-I feel drained.” She pushed away from the Jeep and studied the hitch. “The safety lock isn’t engaged. I’m always so cautious about attaching the trailer.”
 
Reece’s attention was focused elsewhere. “That’s not your only problem.”

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781771551151
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 08/04/2014
Publisher: Champagne Books

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