THE FALL BOOK BASH continues! Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my Inspirational suspense novel, ALIAS RAVEN BLACK. It is the 2nd book in the Second Chances Series, but it can be read as a stand-a-lone. There is also a bit of romance for you die-hard romantics, and plenty of suspense to keep you turning pages.
~~Brenna has gone undercover as Raven Black, taking a job as nanny to the children of a widowed mobster. Working for the FBI, she needs to find evidence that will put him away for good, but taking care of children is a lot harder than taking on a new identity, and kids aren’t nearly as easy to manipulate as she’d anticipated. Her role takes on a whole new level of danger when she discovers secrets about their mother that could get her killed. ~~
ALIAS RAVEN BLACK (excerpt)
She sat on the ground and loosened the laces of the skates she’d borrowed for the occasion. They had obviously belonged to Carlotta. Maria had dug them out of a closet along with her own. They were only a half size too big so she pulled on an extra pair of socks and slipped her feet in them. The laces were long and took some time to tie.
“I see you’ve kept your word to the children.”
Giordano’s voice startled her out of her reverie. He stood behind her, his arms crossed and a smug smile on his handsome face. He wore a soft brown leather jacket over a turtleneck sweater with tan cords and hiking boots. He looked like he’d stepped out of the pages of a department store catalogue. He reached down and gave her a hand up as she finished tying the skates.
“Thank you, Mr. Giordano,” she said and tried to balance on the blades.
“Call me Anthony.” He tucked a lock of her hair back inside her knit hat as she faced him. His touch was velvet smooth and she couldn’t help smiling.
“Anthony. It seems a bit strange,” she admitted.
“What? My name or calling me by it?” His teasing tone made him seem more human. He took her arm and helped her out on the ice. “Have you ever skated before?”
She shook her head. “Not on ice. But when I was a kid I did roller skate a couple times at the rink. Not enough to excel at it of course, just enough to learn I should take up skiing instead.”
He laughed, and the sound echoed across the pond. The children turned to stare at their father. “I find that hard to believe. You look as though you’d be good at whatever you set your heart on.”
“I guess that was the problem. I didn’t have my heart set on it. I do have a passion for skiing though and I admit that I excel at it,” she bragged. She pushed off and glided slowly forward. It was easier than roller-skating. The blades slid along the ice with little effort, unlike the old four wheels she remembered. She started to fall but caught her balance almost immediately and turned back with a self-satisfied grin. “I may be better at this than I thought.”
“Pride cometh before a fall,” he called out.
“Falling doesn’t take pride, just clumsiness.” With ever lengthening strokes, she glided across the width of the pond, confidence building as she kept her balance and remained steady on the blades. Nearing the edge she tried to turn and took the corner a little too fast, spun around and landed smack down on the ice. She heard a loud crack. Was it her head or the pond? She lay there for a few seconds trying to catch her breath and heard laughter around her.
“Miss Black, are you all right?” asked Rico. He stood over her wearing a wide grin. He put out his hand as though to help her up, but his father was already kneeling beside her.
“I see you’ve mastered ice skating as well.” He grasped her hands and pulled her to her feet. His laughter was an appealing sound on the morning air and Brenna, slightly embarrassed, smiled too. She tried to pull away but her skates began to slip and he pulled her back into his arms to steady her.
“Watch out, kids, Miss Black is on the ice,” he warned. His brown eyes were filled with laughter although he tried to sound serious.
“You should let her go, Daddy,” Maria admonished. “She needs to learn on her own.”
“Very wise advise, but I’m afraid if she falls again she’s going to be concussed and won’t be able to take care of you two. That would put me right back in the predicament I was in before she came.”
“You can let her go, Dad. I can teach her to skate.” Rico watched his father strangely as though he’d never seen him act playful.
“I’m really fine.” Brenna pushed against Anthony’s chest and tried to put some distance between them for the children’s sake. They seemed uncomfortable with the situation.
“If you’re sure.” His expression turned impassive, his eyes cold as the ice beneath them. He turned to go.
“Aren’t you going to skate, Daddy?” Maria called after him. She skated haltingly to his side and took his hand. “Watch me, Daddy. Rico showed me how to turn.” She skated a few yards away and took the turn but tripped herself up with her own skate and promptly fell to the ground. She looked up eagerly, hoping for a word of encouragement.
“Keep practicing!” he called out as he strode away. “If you can’t make a simple turn without falling, there is no sense in my wasting time standing around to watch.”
Brenna slid carefully to Maria’s side and dropped to the ice beside her. The little girl’s heart was breaking. She’d thought she was doing so well until Giordano had to burst her childish bubble. The man should be horsewhipped! Maria looked up, her eyes filled with tears.
“It’s all right, honey,” Brenna said. She swept her into her arms. “I think you did just great. And with a little more practice you’ll be flying around this pond like a pro.”
“I hate him,” Rico said. His hands were balled into fists inside his gloves and his jaw was rigid with anger. “Why does he always have to ruin everything?”
Brenna didn’t know what to say so she remained silent, watching Giordano’s retreating form. Rico skated off, taking his anger out on the ice. He skated fiercely, as though each stroke of his blades took him farther away from his father. Brenna knew exactly how that felt and wished she could take away the pain that lay beneath his anger. Instead, she watched him skate, hugging Maria tighter, and wondered if there were fathers in this world who really cared for their children.
~~~ Download your copy today! Or pick up a gift copy for a friend. Christmas is right around the corner… ~~~
Thanks for stopping! Hope you enjoyed the excerpt of Alias Raven Black. Leave a comment and let me know what you think or just to say hello.