Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rose Quartz

Isabella Tremaine's credo is always look your best even when you're running from the bad guys.

This modern Southern Belle has an ancient secret. Bella, as Isabella is known to her friends, is the possessor of a primeval amulet empowered by the gods with creativity and beauty, and this spunky blonde has an abundance of both. Unfortunately a madman has discovered Bella's secret and is determined to gain possession of the amulet, even if he must kill her to do so. It will take every wile in Bella's formidable arsenal of tricks to outwit the megalomaniac who is after her.

At the same time the madman is trying to steal her amulet, a ranch hand is trying to steal her heart. Bella is determined to not only stay alive but to keep her size five stilettos foot loose and fancy free. Who will prove the greater danger? The madman who wants her amulet or the ranch hand who wants her heart?


A streak of silver flashed as the knife sailed through the air. Hank shifted and the knife went flying by him. The two men closed in from different directions. He crouched, waiting.

Bella watched, helpless.

When the two men rushed him, he reached out grabbed them each by the nape of their necks and knocked their heads together. The sharp crack made Bella wince and cradle her own aching head.

The men went down without a sound.

Hank ran to her side and dropped to one knee. “Bella,” he said his voice hoarse with anxiety.

“Amulet,” she whispered.

“I got it, honey.”

She gave him a loopy smile. He kept spinning toward her then away from her. “My hero,” she said. She was going to make a joke and tell him she could have taken them but she lost her train of thought. She tried to raise her hand to pat his cheek, but it fell limply to her side. The world tipped then turned black.

“Wake up, Bella. Come on, ole girl.” The voice came from a long way off. Closer , an irregular thumping sounded in her ear. The scent of blood and sweat mingled with the musky sent of man and aftershave.

Arms around her tightened, as memory tried to slither in through the black wall of oblivion. “Where’s a cop when you need one,” Hank muttered.

He gave a tiny jiggle of his arms that sent the hammers hitting against her head pounding.

She moaned.

“I’m sorry, Bella, but you need to open your eyes.”

Someone must have stuck a sticky, weighted substance on them because she just couldn’t do it.

“Come on, woman. Show me how tough you southerners really are. No wonder you lost the war.” The sneer in his voice angered her enough to pry one eyelid halfway up.

“That’s my girl. Come on, Bella.”

“A. I’m not a girl I’m a woman. B. I’m not your girl.” She meant to say but realized the words that had formed in her mind had never passed her lips.

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