July is known for celebrations and fireworks. In America, we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July. After the fireworks fizzle out, the real celebration starts! My new book, Heaven-sent Warrior, will be released with great fanfare on Wednesday July 18th. This full-length paranormal romance, set in North Carolina, deviates from my normal Scottish characters and shape-shifting dragons. Intrigued? Here is a taste:
Raleigh, North Carolina
Henrí Chevalier materialized in human form, stretched his naked limbs, and groaned. Bones, long unused, slid into place. He arched his back, raising both arms toward the night sky. Aching in a dozen places, he inhaled and savored crisp fresh air.
I am free.
Lowering his arms, he flexed all ten fingers, and shook the numbness away. His last memory was of a cold, damp wall at his back. No longer imprisoned, he relished his newfound freedom. Rubbing phantom pain at each wrist, Henrí soon relaxed, while he slid his fingers over one cheek. As he brushed the light stubble, the tips tingled. Moving his hand lower, he paused on the pulse pounding beneath the skin of his neck.
Life beats here. I am alive again.
A clean, grassy scent lingered on the night breeze. The sweetness made his lips twitch into a slight smile. Such normalcy, he thought, even as he turned in a circle with slow determination to get his bearings. Sleep-filled eyes adjusted to the inky night’s low light. Odd forms hovered near, and he fought the urge to crouch low, into a warrior’s stance.
I shall stand my ground this night.
Odd sensations cautioned him to move slowly. Rounded pebbles pressed into the soles of his bare feet until he tripped over something low and hard. His hand shot out into blackness, slamming against something smooth and icy.
“Mon Dieu!” Did God care that he was cold and achy, standing alone in a strange place? As if in answer, clouds moved aside, and the moon’s radiance spilled over a trio of statues. Familiarity made his eyebrows quiver. He brushed loose hair off his face and stared at the hard, cold bronze beneath his palm. His breath caught in his throat, remembering the pain, sorrow, and loneliness. Without love, there was no life. One-sided love did not count. This was not the time to feel sorry for himself.
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