A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS - excerpt
Coming this November from Sapphire Blue Publishing, A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS from Vijaya Schartz.
Rookie Border Patrol Agent Kaitlin Harrington hates Christmas and all men, since her lover jilted her, and she lost her unborn child on Christmas Eve. This year, she guards the Mexican border in southern Arizona, but little does she know that her life is about to change forever. No amount of training prepared Kaitlin to arrest the gorgeous desperado who challenges her. His name is Miguel, and on this dangerous adventure through the Arizona desert, on the most magical of nights, anything can and will happen...
At the light dribble of sliding gravel, she dropped the cell and reached for the Beretta at her belt. Drawing, she turned around, her back safely to the Hummer. Her heart faltered as she held the firearm with two hands. "Sweet Mother of God!" She gasped at her target.
Apollo himself couldn’t have looked more handsome in the moonlight. Muscles rippled on the smooth torso beneath the open denim jacket as he held up his hands, jostling the backpack on his shoulder. Under glossy black hair that fell over his forehead, the dark gaze of the Latino man burned with intense fire. He pinned her under his stare, as if trying to say something important but no words came out. He looked unarmed, strong yet nonthreatening. Wasn’t he cold without a shirt? No, his forehead glistened with sweat. He must have been running but seemed hardly short of breath.
Fascinated, Kaitlin found it difficult to think. But who other than an illegal would roam the desert on Christmas eve? He didn’t look afraid. That couldn’t be good. He stood quietly there, waiting. For what? His friends? The memory of the group she spotted came to mind, but she heard nothing move in her immediate vicinity. How on earth was she supposed to arrest this coyote? Wrestle him to the ground? Somehow, the thought conjured appealing images.
Astounded by her sensual musings, Kaitlin realized she hadn’t felt that way in a long time. Although the gorgeous man looked unarmed, he probably concealed a knife or a small handgun. Staring back at him, Kaitlin hoped she looked fierce, like a predator hypnotizing her prey. She slowly moved forward.
The distinctive cocking of two automatic weapons snapped in the silence from behind the vehicle, disturbingly close. Kaitlin froze and a shiver ran up her spine. She’d made a mistake by leaving the protection of the Hummer.
You can win this story by entering a contest on my website at:
http://www.vijayaschartz.com Just click on CONTEST on the left.
Salvaged - Romantic suspense
by J.S. Marlo
available at: www.sapphirebluepublishing.com
Star Fisher refuses to let the scar marring her face dictate her choices or the dreams haunting her nights affect her life. A skilled underwater investigator, she is hired as a scuba diver in an underwater salvage operation.
Captivated by the feisty young woman who shares little resemblance with his glamorous conquests, captain Hauk Ludvikson struggles against his attraction as they explore a century-old relic linked to the unsolved disappearance of a rich heiress.
With danger lurking under and above the water line, Star fights for her future—a future she may not salvage twice.
“And you are?”
He leaned one shoulder against the wall and scrutinized the feisty blond diver. “Hauk Ludvikson. I talked to Dylan and he told me you investigate wrecks for a living.”
“I mostly investigate vehicles that are dumped in lakes and rivers for insurance scams.”
His right hand swept through thin air in front of him, urging her to elaborate.
“That’s it, Ludvikson.” Turning away from him, she resumed her packing in silence.
Low-cut jeans tightly hugged her hips and a black midriff shirt exposed her slender waist. For a moment, his imagination ran away from him, and he pictured a pirate flag with a skull and crossbones tattooed on her lower back.
He approached and gripped the open locker door. “Not fond of details, are you?”
Her muscular shoulders rose and fell in a shrug of indifference.
“Do you extract the vehicle or do you inspect it under water?” he insisted.
She shook her head and blond waves danced around her neck. “Why the interest?” From the top shelf, Fisher pulled out a plush, purple shark that she shoved in the side pocket of her bag.
“I run a salvage operation, and I’m looking to hire a new diver.”
She zipped the pocket before she turned to meet his gaze. Her nose twitched as she seemed to ponder her answer—unless she doubted his intentions. “In most cases, the water is too deep or the vehicle is too far from the shore to justify the cost of retrieval, so I inspect it under water.” A lock of hair dangled in front of her eyes, and she tucked it behind her ear. “Once in a blue moon, the damages match the story given by the owner, but usually the accident is staged.”
Faced with an empty locker, he let go of the door. “Doesn’t the owner dispute your findings?”
A smile curved her lips. “They can argue or bribe as much as they want, Ludvikson, it won’t change the facts.”
Spirited and confident, qualities he sought in a diver. “I have a job for you.”
“Thank you, but I already have a job.”
She dismissed him just as quickly as he’d earlier dismissed the idea of employing a woman. The poetic justice left a sour taste in his mouth. “Think about it. I’ll be waiting for you in the parking lot.”