A Shadow on the Ground
by Rebecca Lee Smith
Morgan Maguire is afraid to believe in second chances. The family orchard is failing, her twin brother is being framed for murder, and the sharks are circling. The tough exterior she's spent years hiding behind is beginning to crumble, just as the man who shattered her heart is back in her life. Gage Kirkland is as compelling and magnetic as ever, and he's offering the kind of help she may not be able to refuse. But can she trust him?
To finance his troubled son's therapy, Gage, a former investigator, takes one last job--recovering a stolen Civil War artifact. Unfortunately, it's in the possession of the woman he left behind, the woman who's haunted his dreams ever since. The electricity between them still crackles, but unless he helps exonerate her brother and finds a way to confess his true reason for returning, how will he ever recover Morgan's heart?
“Stay where you are!” Morgan cried. “I have a weapon!”
Gage didn’t move. Beneath the mercury vapor lamp, his shadow stretched across the ground in front of him like a dark crack in the earth.
“Morgan.” His low baritone sounded distorted and gruff, as if his voice had pushed her name through the thick night air. “It’s Gage.”
“What are you doing here?”
He stepped forward and cupped his hand over his eyes to shield them from the glare. Beneath the light, all he could make out was her silhouette standing on the porch. If her weapon of choice was a loaded gun, and it was pointed at him, he hoped she knew what she was doing.
“I asked you a question,” she said.
“I’m here to beg a favor.”
“Well, that’s easy. The answer is no.”
“Look,” he said. “I get that you don't want to see me. I understand. But I can’t change the past.”
“Neither can I. Go away.”
“I don’t care what you need. Get back in your car and drive toward the mountain. Or off the mountain. Your choice.”
“Not a good time to stop by, huh?”
A long, silent pause. “No, Gage, this isn’t a good time. This is a terrible time. The only thing that could make this time any worse was if I was covered head-to-toe with poison oak and had scarfed down the Fried Clam Special at Maxie’s Diner. I can’t talk to you right now. I can’t talk to anybody.”
He edged closer. “I know you’ve had a bad day, but please, hear me out.”
“A bad day?” She laughed harshly. “This just keeps getting better and better.”
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
Off the top of my head it would be Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Anne never stops loving the hero, even when all hope is lost. I have always loved that book, and her journey culminates in one of the sweetest, most well-deserved happy endings ever. Although, Elizabeth Bennett does snag Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And Mr. Darcy was played by Colin Firth. So, I might have to rethink that.
What is the first curse word that comes to mind? How often and why do you use it?
I’m not proud of this, but I’m very fond of dropping the F-bomb. And it is always the first thing out of my mouth when I get hurt. I came home from the store one night, carrying two huge paper bags of groceries in my arms, trying to navigate the toy-strewn yard from the car to the house. I accidentally stepped on my son’s soccer ball (one of those slow-motion moments) and watched helplessly as my feet and the food flew into the air. I landed with a thud on my behind, and the string of curse words that spewed out of my mouth was shocking, even to me. As I sat on the ground, I noticed my elderly neighbor sitting on her front porch across the street, reading. She never looked up, and I was relieved she hadn’t heard me scream every curse word I knew. Then, in a small voice, and clearly trying not to laugh, she said, “Are you all right, Rebecca?”
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
I would give some to charity and spend the rest traveling. And get a better haircut.
What are 5 things within touching distance?
A hand-blown hourglass, my computer mouse (a real spider encased in clear acrylic with colored lights that slowly change from blue to red to green), my iPhone, a ceramic pencil holder that’s a replica of the evil queen’s head from Snow White, and a framed picture of a medieval fool that says, “Life’s too mysterious. Don’t take it serious.”
Do you have a crush on anyone?Celebrity crushes? Oh, the usual suspects: Colin Firth, Nathan Fillion, Patrick Stewart, Dale Midkiff, Jonny Lee Miller. I never use real people as models for my heroes, though. They are all composites of different men. I just make them up in my head.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rebecca lives with her husband in the beautiful, misty mountains of East Tennessee, where the people are charming, soulful, and just a little bit crazy. She's been everything from a tax collector to a stay-at-home mom to a house painter to a professional actress and director. When she's not churning out sensual romantic mysteries with snappy dialogue and happy endings, she likes to travel, go to the Outer Banks for her ocean fix, watch old movies, hang out at the local pub, and make her day complete by correctly answering the Final Jeopardy! question.
Twitter - @rbeccaleesmith
Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/1aEqJo4
Buy link for digital - http://amzn.to/1chj56X