A Rebel’s Heart, Ashwood Falls #3.5
By Lia Davis
Part of the Fated Desires Publishing’s anthology, Ever After
Widow and mother of five wonderful, full grown males, Sarah Matthews lives the best she can—one day at a time. Now that her babies are having babies, she relishes in spoiling her grandkids. But her inner mountain lion is restless and Sarah can’t shake the feeling something is lurking in the woods surrounding her home. The unease becomes a reality when a man she thought died with her mate five years ago is found on her property beaten and unconscious.
Damian Archer never considered revealing his existence to his best friend’s widow. Hell he didn’t know how she’d react to knowing that he was alive for the last five years while her human mate was dead. When he got word that Sarah has become Shield’s—a human rebel organization set up to hunt and kill shapeshifters—next victim, he must go to her and uphold his best friend’s dying wish to keep Sarah safe.
Buried pain, old lies, and dangerous secrets aren’t enough to keep the sparks from flying as they try to survive a new threat against their race.
Sarah Matthews was tired. Life had become lonely and less exciting. Sure she had her kids, but they had their own lives, their own families. It just wasn’t the same, and considering she’d lost a part of her soul it had become an effort to just get out of bed some days. Her mate had died a little over five years ago in a car accident that, until today, she’d believed just that.
A case of being in the wrong place and all that.
However, today she received a package that made her wonder if her mate was indeed murdered. She opened the mailbox and frowned at the small box inside. Pulling it out, she studied it, suspicion twirling inside or mind. She put the thing to her ear and listened. She didn’t know what she’d expect to hear. A ticking from a bomb? Now she was being ridiculous. She rolled her eyes. “Ever so suspicious,” she muttered to herself.
There was no return address, nor was there a receiving one. That was odd. It was like someone had placed it in the mailbox. She didn’t hear any vehicles stop or even slow down in front of her house last night or this morning except for the mailman a few minutes ago. With her supernatural hearing, she’d heard a car pull up. Even her puma would had sensed another shifter in the area. Yet her senses didn’t go off.
Another mystery about the box in her hand.
The only writing on the top of the box was her name, hand-written.
Curiosity crept in, and after a quick sniff to make sure there weren’t any non-ticking explosives inside, she opened the box. Cold sensation went up her spine, and a hot fear burned her belly as she peered at the contents. Tears blurred her visions, and each heartbeat hurt as the wound that had slowly healed over the years was ripped back open. Inside the box was a gold wedding band with the words my love, my soul engraved on the inside. It was identical to Walt’s.
The ring he’d said he lost while working.
Underneath the ring was a slip of paper that read: You’re next.
Unable to go back into the house she and Walt had bought together, lived in, raised Nevan, and filled with their love, she ran into the woods, seeking some kind of peace. The tears fell in fat drops, soaking her cheeks and making it even harder to breathe.
She came to a stop at a large oak tree and dropped to her knees while she cradled the ring to her chest. The raw pain transformed into anger toward the sick bastards that could have done it. Whoever they were.
She peered back at the note. The two ugly words blurred as a tear dropped on them. Did this mean that Walt had been killed? If so, why? What would be the point of killing her? She didn’t have any enemies that she knew of anyway. And Walt…he was the most gentle and caring male she knew.
The sound of footsteps running in her direction made her stand and shove the note and ring into her pocket as her cat instantly went on alert. She scented the air and was relieved when she didn’t smell the acidy sweet smell of the Onyx Pack’s mutants. The half-animal, half-human creatures were not only gross; they were more powerful than she was.
The scent she did pick up belonged to a human, but there was another scent she couldn’t place, though it seemed familiar. The pounding of shoes hitting the earth grew closer, and she ducked behind the tree, unsure of what the human was doing in this part of the Smoky Mountains.
A human male ran past the tree, turned to look right at her as if he knew all along she was there, and pointed a gun right at her. Sarah gasped and fell to the ground a split second before he fired. Scrambling on hands and knees, she crawled around the tree and froze as another man barreled past her toward the human. The new man wasn’t a man, but a male puma shifter.
And she knew him.
No, not possible. Damian had been in the car with Walt at the time of the accident. He’d died right along with his best friend. She’d seen his body, damn it.
Writing novellas in a series
I love reading the short novellas in a series. Especially in a series I’m totally addicted to. They keep me in the world while I’m not-so-patiently waiting for the next book.
Writing them is kind of the same for me. It give me a change to veer off the current path of the series and write a story about a secondary character or two and weave their lives into the everyday happenings of the series.
What about you? Do you like the series novellas?
Ever After Anthology
From five bestselling authors comes five brand new novellas sure to heat up the night.
From Carrie Ann Ryan‘s Dante’s Circle series, a demon from the fiery depths of hell must make his choice to follow in the footsteps of his father or love the submissive wolf who lays claim to his heart in His Choice.
From Marie Harte‘s Beasts of Burden, Eira, a fierce valkyrie, has spent fifty years trying to get a rise out of her goddess’s guardians. But when the battle-cat shifters give her what she wants, can she handle the heat—and the danger—that comes from loving them?
From Rebecca Royce‘s brand new series, the Alphas of each Werewolf Pack are on the brink of war. Travis Michaels will use all in his power to keep innocent Lilliana out of danger and into his arms…away from rival Alpha Cyrus Fennell.
From Lia Davis’s Ashwood Falls series, buried pain, old lies, and dangerous secrets aren’t enough to keep the sparks from flying as Sarah Mathews and rebel leader, Damian Archer, try to survive a new threat against their race.
From Leia Shaw’s Shadows of Destiny series, a war is brewing in the supernatural world. Rebel shifter Dalton’s only passion is protecting the colony, and flirtatious misfit, Eden, is a distraction he can’t afford. But as danger approaches, he learns that underestimating the sexy little wolf is a big mistake.
Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing started out as a stress reliever that allow her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs. Now it has become her career. A real life dream come true.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.
Lia will be giving away a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice) and a swag pack.a Rafflecopter giveaway