Welcome Anneli Purchase! I’m showing off Anneli’s beautiful new cover for Orion’s Gift, which I must say looks hugely intriguing. Anneli’s here to share a little bit more about it.
Thanks to Anita B. Carroll’s design skills, you can now judge a book by its cover,
Sylvia, our California girl, is walking away (from her old life), but she looks enticing enough for Kevin, her new love interest, to follow her. Actually, he did say he’d follow her anywhere—and he does.
But will it be enough? Does our California girl trust him? Can she ever trust anyone again after what she’s been through? Can he convince her that they can make it together?
But neither of them know that characters from their old life are catching up with them, and their pursuers have less than noble intentions.
Orion’s Gift will keep you turning pages.
Excerpt from Orion’s Gift:
Sylvia is driving the Baja Peninsula. It’s the day before she meets Kevin, her new love interest. Her van has a flat tire. She is alone (with only Annie, her mascot doll, hanging from the curtain rod) on the empty Baja highway.
Heatwaves rose from the pavement as far as I could see in either direction. It was unlikely that anyone would be coming along, but to be safe, I set up my emergency triangles. I didn’t want to get creamed by a crazy driver. And what about those bandidos Rose had told me about? A shiver of fear passed through me. I should hurry up and get this tire changed. I couldn’t shake off the creepy feeling. Don’t be so paranoid, I told myself. All the same, I placed my bear spray on the passenger seat.
Clumsily, I inserted the jack handle and turned it to raise the car. The van started to roll. I grabbed the nearest rock and put it behind the back wheel. I put one more behind each of the other wheels and pulled on the emergency brake. Then I raised the van again. I tried to loosen the wheel nuts. The tire spun around. I lowered the van a bit till the tire barely touched the ground. Better. It was trial and error, but I was learning. I raised the van a tiny bit again, got the old tire off, and rolled the spare over. As I fitted the spare onto the bolts, a compact car with a noisy muffler rattled up behind me and stopped.
A young Mexican in scruffy jeans and a black shirt jumped out. “Hola!” he said. “You need help?” He was alone.
“Thanks. I’m almost done.” Where was he when I needed him ten minutes ago?
“Permítame. Manuel Hernandez will do it for you.” He shoved me aside. The push was harder than the friendly nudge of a man saying, “Step aside, honey, and let a man do that.” I didn’t like it, and my fluttering stomach warned me to be careful. But he was already tightening the nuts on the wheel. The job was finished.
I took the jack and wrench from him and put them into the van through the open sliding door. As I turned my back to him, he laughed and said, “And now, pretty señorita, I will take my thank you.”
His grip on my arm sent adrenaline rushing to my knees. I thought they had turned to jelly. Thoughts of Mario and his unwanted attentions flashed through my head. No one was around to save me this time. I smiled and said, “Ah sí, momento. Mi bolsa.” With my free arm, I reached for the front seat. I hoped he would think I was getting my purse. The bear spray hit him full in the face. He spun away backwards and roared with outrage, filling the quiet desert air with Spanish obscenities. Recovering slightly, he staggered towards me cursing and batting at me blindly. I gave him a shove and another spray. While he lay in the ditch shrieking and gasping and moaning, I ran to his car and took the keys out of the ignition. Then I slammed shut the van’s side door, jumped into the driver’s seat, and locked all the doors. “You can have your keys back,” I shouted at him. “I’ll drop them on the road one mile from here.”
He lurched to his feet and yelled. He shook his fist at me, and staggered in my direction. As he slammed his fist into the side of the van, I punched the gas pedal. The tires squealed on the hot pavement. My hands were shaking so badly I could hardly steer.
“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. Calm down, calm down.” I glanced at Annie. She wouldn’t panic. But I wasn’t Annie. “I should never have come here alone.” I babbled incoherently, aware of what I was doing but unable to stop.
About Anneli Purchase:
Anneli Purchase has more hobbies and projects than she can pursue in one lifetime, but of them all, writing takes priority. Traveling, camping, fishing, gardening, mushroom picking, and birdwatching are her preferred pastimes when she is not writing. Anneli has lived on Vancouver Island, Canada, for most of her life. The island provides everything she needs for the activities she enjoys.
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