So today I have an extract for you from the newly released The Forgotten by NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda S. Prather.
About The Book
Loki Redmond is positive her grandfather’s 100 acre farm in Mississippi will be the perfect
place for Jake Savior to heal after the murder of his wife and his banishment from law enforcement before they begin their partnership in Redmond Private Investigations.But fate has other plans. The discovery of a month old baby and young girl with no memory of her name, running from a man she calls The Devil, plunges them into danger. Loki’s native American connection to the spirits makes her a target for the delusions of a madman who is determined to kill her.
Tension continues to rise when a special unit of the FBI enters the case, and Jake is forced to decide what he believes in. Can he change the future seen by Special Agent Brian Wilkes, or is Loki destined to die?
This extract follows on from yesterdays post on chataboutbooks.wordpress.com
Swish. Thud. The arrow bounced off the tree, two inches above the target. “Not bad, Jake.” Loki Redmond reached for her bow and grinned at him. “A few more weeks of practice and you might even hit the target.” Jake Savior shook his head and watched as she quickly drew an arrow from the quiver, nocked it, pulled back the string, and released it, all in one smooth motion. “Bull’s-eye.” “Show-off,” Jake grumbled. Loki handed the bow to him. “Want to try again, or have you had enough? I need to lay out the steaks for dinner.” She followed his gaze as it strayed toward the rambling old farmhouse, his lips puckered and his eyes narrowed. Loki knew Jake wasn’t seeing what she saw when she looked at the house. To onlookers it was weather-beaten and tired, badly in need of a new roof and windows. To her it was still warm, inviting and felt like home. It was inside that farmhouse she’d felt the first stirrings of pride in her heritage. Her grandfather, although a white man, had taught her what it meant to Choctaw. “Have you thought about what you’re going to do with the farm?” “I think Grandpa would want us to keep it.”
The death of Loki’s grandfather the month before had come as a complete surprise but not as much as finding out he’d left the homestead and over a hundred acres to her and her brothers. “Dadron, Jules, and I talked about leasing it out, but we don’t want someone here full time. We’ve been visiting since we were little, and I can’t imagine not being able to come whenever I want to.” “You could stay in Mississippi and run the farm. I saw some wild horses up on a ridge yesterday. And there’s several nice places to build a cabin. Plenty of room for Dadron and Jules.” Her heart skipped a beat. There was nothing in the world she would love more than staying here—except Jake Savior. “I thought you wanted to get back into law enforcement? Harry and Jenna both say the governor would be willing to overrule Judge Burkette’s order.” “Regardless of my reasons, Loki, the judge was right.” He turned toward the trees surrounding the property and sighed. “I took the law into my own hands and killed people. I don’t deserve to wear a badge again.”
Jake bent to retrieve the arrows, placed them in the quiver, and handed it to her. “I’ve already told Harry I wasn’t coming back. I’m done with police work.” Loki studied his shoulder-length hair, a vast difference from the crew cut he’d worn before. As was the beard that partially covered the scars on his face. I’m never going to convince him not to blame himself. “You don’t want to cut your hair or shave,” she teased. He ignored her and continued to gaze at the forest. At least we have something in common—the forest pulls him, inviting long walks clustered in the shelter of its dark foliage, with only the sounds of the wind through the trees.
He may not be Indian, but he has the soul of a warrior. Her mind was flooded with childhood memories of the house surrounded by a mass of vibrant colors in the fall as the leaves turned shades of gold, yellow, and red, and Loki couldn’t imagine not being able to walk out in spring and watch the forest come to life as dogwoods bloomed. Even if they decided to return to Corpus Christi, she could never sell the farm. “Dadron and Jules will be here in two weeks.” Loki walked toward the house. “If we’re going to stay, we’ll have to talk to them about the private investigation business. We could easily close the office in Texas and open one here, or you and I could open one here and let Dadron and Jules run the Corpus Christi office.” “I think I’ll take a walk.” “Grab a radio and don’t go too far. There’s a storm coming in, and the temperature can drop fast.” Jake laughed and waved a hand at the clear sky. “The Little People tell you that, or was it the wind?”
Loki licked a finger and held it up. “The wind isn’t talking, but I did watch the weather forecast this morning, and according to them, we’ve got more snow on the way, as well as below-freezing temperatures for the next week or longer.” “I thought the temperatures were always warm in the South.” Loki rolled her eyes. I hope the walk gives him an attitude adjustment. “Normally yes but not always. Don’t go too far.” She stomped the snow from her boots, opened the front door, reached in, grabbed a radio, and tossed it to him. “If you’re late, I’m feeding your steak to Bruiser.” Loki forced herself to close the door and not watch him walk away. She had hoped that in time, he would share his grief with her, not the forest. We’ve been here three weeks, and he still hasn’t mentioned Cara’s death. She knew he was healing in his own way. The nightmares came only once a week now instead of every night. Her thoughts turned to Jake’s wife, Cara, and a deep sadness enveloped her as her shoulders slumped. We all suffered at the hands of that crazy bomber, but Jake suffered the most. Not only from watching Cara die, but he’d violated his own moral code when he’d killed the men responsible. Loki knew eventually he’d get past his grief, and she’d fooled herself into thinking she could be content with him treating her like a sister, or a good friend and partner, and being with him would be enough. It isn’t. I want more. Bruiser whined, and she stopped to rub the head of the German shepherd they’d rescued on the way to her grandfather’s home. Some bastard had hit him with a car and left him to die along the roadside. What’s wrong with people that they have no empathy for the suffering of others? “It won’t be long before you get to run after him, big guy. The two of you have a lot in common. Come on. You can help me fix dinner. We’re having steak.” Her mind refused to shut down as she jerked the steaks from the freezer and tossed them in the sink to thaw. The other subject they’d avoided since coming to Mississippi was her visions.
She knew how Jake felt about anything paranormal, and sometimes it hurt, like his comments about the Little People and the wind. She was Choctaw, and she believed in the old ways even if she didn’t always live them. Loki felt the presence even before a hand lightly touched her shoulder and made her smile. “I know, Grandpa, I should tell him about you. I will in time, I promise.” Would she, or was she lying to Grandpa to make his spirit happy? Her connection to the spirits had grown stronger since she’d been here, and it hadn’t taken her long to pick up on the fact her grandfather was still hanging around. Bruiser limped in to sit beside her. “You would have liked the old Jake, Bruiser. He was always teasing, laughing, and his Texan drawl had me tied up in knots since the first time I saw him.” Bruiser flopped to the floor, placing his head on his paws. “I was sixteen, and he was my cousin’s partner.” Loki stopped to run cold water over the steaks. Had she really been in love with Jake Savior for ten years? “I was devastated at first when I found out he was married, but he was happy, and when you love someone you want them to be happy.” Grabbing a bowl she filled it with water and set it in front of Bruiser. “I miss Harry and Jenna and my friends in Corpus Christi, but what I want is to stay here forever. I want to take long walks with you and Jake in the forest. Teach him all the things my grandfather taught me.” Bruiser barked his agreement, and Loki chuckled. “I know, he can’t shoot a bow worth a darn, but he’ll learn.” ~ ~ ~ Jake followed the footprints he’d been tracking for over an hour. In the beginning it had been out of a natural curiosity because Loki had told him there was no one else around for miles. Now darkness was closing in, the wind had picked up, and the temperature was dropping fast. With each step, an increasing sense of foreboding settled over him, and he knelt to examine the tracks closer. Too small to be a man. Maybe a young woman or a child. The tracks weren’t made by boots or even shoes. Moccasins maybe, but he doubted it. He might not want to go back to law enforcement, but he’d been a cop far too long to ignore the instincts screaming at him. I can think of only one reason a young woman or a child would be out in this weather, choosing to freeze to death over what waited for them at home. And if that’s true, whoever they’re running from is probably looking for them.
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