It is a fantasy-- or is it-- which follows When Fates Conspire and picks up characters from that story in a new romance-- this one of an older couple (late 40s and early 50s). This is book two in the trilogy-- Diablo Canyon. In late June, I will offer all three in a paperback but in eBook format, they will remain three novellas.
A trilogy means the story has aspects that are not totally resolved until the third. They are linked together by characters and a common problem but each stands alone with a conclusion that does not leave a cliff hanger. There is a happily ever after but the why of what is going on-- that doesn't get resolved until the third comes out in mid June-- Storm in the Canyon.
Myra, who owns the Box Z ranch, lost her son Clayton in the first book. She has known a lot of loss and now faces someone trying to pressure her to sell her beloved ranch.
A stranger shows up, Pace Emerson. He offers to work for her but what are his motivations? Myra is a woman who has loved and lost. Pace has never loved because he has a secret that makes him different than others. He has become a warrior for light.
Cole and Jessica, from book one, are also in this one. Cole is disturbed by memories that he cannot explain. He let his step brothers get away with nearly murdering him and his now wife, Jessica. He recognizes that was a mistake. With Jessica soon to have their baby, Cole needs resolution and hires an agency to find out what his brothers are up to. It will eventually bring Cole and Jessica to the Box Z.
A mystery, a love story, questions of what can we really know about the other side, and the ranch land south of Billings, Montana are at the heart of this paranormal romance.
“Once we take care of whatever is going after your stock, you won’t need me.” He threw her saddle over the fence beside his.
“I started a slow cooker this morning.” She ignored what he had said. “Chili. Come on up in a bit. I am planning to make biscuits to go along with it.”
“No rocky mountain oysters?” he teased as he gestured toward the bucket of scraped off testicles.
“You two can have them if you are so inclined,” she said wrinkling her nose. “I would appreciate you cook them downwind from me.”
He grinned. “I had another idea for them actually.”
She stiffened. “You don’t mean the predator.”
“I can’t start on it right away; so I’ll put these in the barn refrigerator with the antibiotics. Tomorrow, I need to go into Billings. When I get back, I’ll set them out and then get myself to where I can get a shot at whatever comes. You can’t let whatever is out there continue killing your stock.”
“Maybe it does it at night.”
“Might be. I plan to be out there until I get it.”
“Maybe it left. There were no fresh carcasses in the north sections.”
“It’s too easy pickings here. It will be back. I sense it. I will head up to that canyon you mentioned. It might be hiding in there.” It was the most likely possibility.
She grabbed his arm. “I don’t want you going in the canyon.”
“Myra, if I can lure it out, I will; but it has to be dealt with. It might show up here someday.”
“I’m afraid. I forbid you to go there. This is my ranch. I give the orders in case you forgot.”
He smiled at the fervor in her voice. “Boss lady, you can tell me what to do in a lot of places.” His voice had softened. “A few of them I might really like, but that’s not one.”
“I’ll fire you first.” He saw then the fear in her eyes.
He stepped back, leaning his elbow now on the corral. “You want to tell me about it?”
“Take a shower and come up to the house with Toby in half an hour,” she said. “I’ll tell you after dinner.” She ran toward the house leaving him pondering what she’d just said. He glanced up at the barn roof at her red-haired spirit guide who was still watching him with clear distrust. He saw no other beings around.
“Well, Racine, go with her,” he hissed as he headed for the bunkhouse and the shower to get some hot water before Toby used it all up.