Monday, October 8, 2007

Sneak preview for The Noel Bandit

Well, it's time to give the first preview of The Noel Bandit, now officially on The Wild Rose Press "Coming Soon" page under "Young Adult" as the only holiday rosette!

By the way, I love to listen to music while I read and write. I plan to have a "suggested song" for each book and the chosen title for The Noel Bandit is "(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight" with Peter Cetera and Crystal Bernard. I must have played this song over a hundred times while writing this story and it fits Melinda and Kyle's love perfectly. And it's a duet!

And now... the excerpt!

Melinda was alone, except for the characters in her book. Not for long. An occasional knock against the window caught her attention. Melinda watched as small bits of hail hit glass. Or is it? She wrapped herself tightly into her quilt cocoon and hurried across the room, a skip every few seconds in tune with her expecting heart.

There he was. Seventeen year-old Kyle Audin looked painfully cold hiding behind an oak tree in jeans, leather jacket, boots, and work gloves. He gave a trite wave and motioned from his chest towards the house.

Melinda nodded, a smile cracking her terse mouth. He was the reason she woke before dawn, eager to catch a glimpse of him preparing the horses. The taut muscles in his legs when leaned forward and dug into the hay. The firmness in his grip as he hauled saddles and then adjusted them to the horses. The devotion to his job, the same he’d given to her for the past three months.

She unlocked the back door seconds before he hurried in, then she immediately cupped a hand over his mouth. “Shh,” praying the sudden flurry in the house wouldn’t bring anyone running.

“Mmm…” he kissed the tips of her fingers. Kyle unbuttoned his jacket, tossed it aside and pulled her to him. He kissed her forehead, her left cheek, and her nose before finding the perfect fit with her lips.

Melinda knew it was wrong to welcome an employee into her home at night, clandestine from her family. She let the quilt fall loose and broke free of him. “Here, you need this…“

“I need you.” His words spoke to her heart, his eyes to her soul.

“I’ve never heard that before.” The emotion welled in her throat and finally released in the form of tears. “Kyle, I’m supposed to be keeping watch.”

“Y’ should be sleeping.” He looked over her shoulder and around the house. “What’re we watching for?”

“We?” She arched a brow and poked him in the shoulder. “No, this is my job. I promised I would keep surveillance in case the Noel Bandit returns.”

“The what?” Kyle laughed, the rumbling in his chest radiated through his body. “Is that what you’re calling the person?”

She was compelled to join in his amusement. “Better than ‘thief’. It’s hard to believe someone could do this to us.” In his arms, an idea crossed her mind; if she captured the Bandit, just maybe she’d have enough of her father’s grace that he would accept Kyle. If Tucker wanted a reason for her to stay on the ranch, her love for Kyle would do it.

“They’re letters, easily replaced.” He shrugged. “I’m already working on them, your father’s orders. Besides, who would go out in this snow?” The crackle of the fire stressed his point.

Melinda grinned and looked him square in the eye.

“Unless for an extremely important reason.”


“Yes, my love. You.” Kyle paused

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