Welcome to Fiction Friday. I can see it’s going to be lots of fun finding excerpts for you to enjoy from books I’ve written. Clearly the four ebooks I’ve recently put on line are the ones on my mind and therefore the ones I’ll be sharing with you for a while.
This is an excerpt from Smoke Screen. Since you can read the opening at my website, I thought I’d choose a section farther into the book for you to enjoy.
Paige Duvall, a sophisticated young woman from a well-to-do family in New Orleans has come to New Zealand’s North Island to evaluate a large piece of property left to her mother near Rotorua and to recover from a failed romance. (Paige is introduced in From Glowing Embers, the first book of the Tales of the Pacific series.)
Nothing’s turned out quite the way she’s expected it to. Among other things she finds herself drawn to a mysterious and irresistable Maori sheep farmer who lives nearby, as well as his young son. And Rambo, of course. Rambo? Read on.
In this excerpt, Paige learns she’s not the no-nonsense business woman she believed herself to be, and Adam, her neighbor, may well not be the hard-hearted farmer. A ewe that Adam has carefully bred dies giving birth, and the question hovering over them is what to do with the newborn lamb. No one has the time to hand raise it.
Paige swallowed. “Adam?”
She heard his next sigh even though his back was turned. “What is it?”
“Umm… What are you going to do with him?”
“Do you really want me to tell you, kaihana?”
“Suppose somebody raised him for you? Would he just end up on the table as Easter dinner?”
“He’d probably end up in a pen with all the little girl sheep his heart desired,” Adam said sarcastically. “But discussing his future is nonsense.” He opened the door and started outside.
Paige watched him go, his shoulders hunched, as if, even now, he was still protecting the lamb from the cool wind. “Adam!” She started after him. “Adam, how much work is it to raise a lamb?”
Adam headed toward the barn. “Hardly any, if you’re a sheep.” He stopped. “Go on back to the house, please, and let me get this over with.”
“What if you’re not a sheep? What if you’re a city girl who never even had a kitten?”
“About as much work as a baby. In other words, more than you’d want to do.” He started toward the barn.
Paige watched him go. Adam was right; she had no desire to miss sleep. She had no desire to subject herself to messy feedings, messy cleanups, messy anything. She didn’t like animals. She didn’t understand animals, just as she didn’t understand children. She wanted no part of this.
Adam disappeared into the barn.
For a moment she stood perfectly still. Then she began to run. “Adam! Wait!”
There was no response. She pulled the big door toward her, struggling with its weight. Inside, the barn was dark and smelled of fresh straw and manure. Her eyes adjusted too slowly. “Adam, wait.”
She saw him finally. He was sitting on a bale of straw, cuddling the lamb in his arms. She was surprised by the lump in her throat at the sight.
She joined him on the bale, and her arm crept around his shoulders. “Such a tough guy,” she murmured, resting her head against his neck.
Adam felt the silky tickle of Paige’s hair. The spiciness of the scent she wore struggled with the odors of lamb and straw and won. He turned his face to hers and kissed her. Afterward he wondered if every kiss they shared would feel new.
In his arms, the lamb baaed, then hiccupped. Paige laughed. “Once I was the queen of a Mardi Gras krewe,” she said, not knowing if he would understand what that meant. “I’ve been featured on dozens of society pages, and once I was rumored to be sleeping with the governor of a state larger than this island. Now I’m going to be a lamb’s mother.”
“Were you sleeping with the governor?”
She pretended affront. “He was a Democrat.”