Enjoy an excerpt from AVALANCHE where the hero and heroine meet! First meetings are the best!
Fireworks exploded across the dark sky, but Jenny Snowfeather hardly noticed. The news about the cabin break-in had cast a shadow over her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue. She’d suspected a bear at first, until she learned two hunting rifles and ammo had been stolen, along with food and blankets.
A bright flash startled her.
“Watch out!” a man cried as the stray spark zoomed toward her like a small meteor.
She spun around to escape, slamming right into the man and his plate of barbecued chicken.
He grabbed her, stumbled, and pulled her with him to the ground.
A second later, the blazing miniature rocket whizzed over their heads and crashed into the lawn only a few feet away.
She squeezed her eyes shut at the near miss. When she opened them, Jenny found herself face-to-face with the handsome stranger.
His large, brown eyes stared back in surprise.
Her gaze traveled to his arm, sheltering her body.
Quickly, he withdrew it and rolled over, raising himself to his elbows. “That was a close one. Are you okay?”
She sat up and lightly brushed the grass from her blue sweater and faded jeans. “Other than a few grass stains, I’m fine.” Glancing back at him, she noticed the food plastered to his chest and smiled. “But you’re not.”
When she leaned over to flick the remnant of baked beans from his white cotton shirt, her eyes zeroed in on the holstered Glock beneath his jacket.
She drew back. “Look, I don’t know who you are or why you’re here, but nobody comes to my brother’s Fourth of July party packing a gun.”
He glanced at the exposed weapon on his belt and pulled his jacket over it. “I can explain.”
She scrambled to her feet. “Save it for Deputy Patterson. I’ll go get him.”
As she turned away, he jumped up. “Wait, Jenny, let me explain.” His voice was low and insistent.
How does he know my name?
“Are you okay, Jenny?” Billy Norton stood nearby with his grunge-style stringy hair, Nirvana T-Shirt and baggy jeans. Concern shrouded his freckled face.
The tall stranger wrapped his arm around her before she could respond. “She’s fine. Aren’t you, Jen?” He smiled at her as if they were sharing a private joke.
His bold move stunned her. And what was up with the familiar way he addressed her? No one called her Jen except her father and brother.
His disarming smile diffused her temper long enough to notice he was not much older than she, probably in his late twenties. Black, wavy hair framed his tanned, chiseled face. Like dark mirrors, his eyes flashed, pleading for her not to give him away.
She paused, then shifted her gaze to her old friend. “It’s okay, Billy.”
The crimson stain on the man’s shirt captured Billy’s attention. “What happened to you?”
The stranger glanced at his chest and returned a wry grin. “A head-on collision with a plate of barbecued chicken.”
Billy looked at Jenny. “Are you sure you’re okay with this guy?”
The man met her scrutinizing stare with an affectionate squeeze and a wink. She flinched, but the boyish gleam in his eye and his playful smile sparked her curiosity and overruled her better judgment. “Yes, I’m fine, Billy. Go on back to the party now. Don’t worry about me.”
As soon as Billy left, she turned and confronted the mystery man. “Okay. The show’s over. Now get your hands off me or you’ll wish you were packing more than that Glock.”
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Peril in the Park
When Park Ranger Jenny Snowfeather runs into Deputy Marshal Chase Matthews at her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue, she suspects there is more going on in Eagle Valley, WA than fireworks. After Chase confides that he believes the fugitive who killed his partner may be hiding out in the area, Jenny is skeptical at first. But when her peaceful town is besieged with a sudden crime spree, she realizes Chase’s theory may be true.
As the manhunt advances to the rugged backcountry of North Cascades National Park, Jenny is confronted with her past mistakes. But she soon discovers the greatest threat of all is losing her heart to Chase, who is obsessed with capturing the fugitive at all costs.
Risking everything to help Chase find the man who could kill them both, Jenny’s faith is put to the test. Like an avalanche waiting to happen, their path is fraught with danger. Will the enemy get away with murder? Will Jenny and Chase reach freedom and safety, or be buried alive? They must tread carefully. One step in the wrong direction could mean the difference between life and death.
About Gayla K. Hiss
Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce the recent release of her debut novel, Avalanche, book 1 of her Peril in the Park series. Visit www.gaylakhiss.com to learn more, and connect with her on Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads.