I focused a lot of my promotional hype these past couple of months on the release of Solus (Walking Shadows #2) BUT I am really happy to share with you Dust to Dust, a novella that fills in that three-year gap in Alarum to give you more time with Fury and Riker! And it’s available TODAY!
I love these characters so much and I felt like I wanted to spend more time with them than I was able to in the book. So what did I do? I wrote a novella! Huzzah! A lot happens between these two, plenty of ups and downs and all of it with guns ablazin’, but to include it all in Alarum really caused the story to lose focus and get stretched too long. They’re a bit of a Bonnie & Clyde type of couple and they deserved to be a story of their own, not a plot distraction. Even so I’m considering creating a combo version with the novella embedded into Alarum (although that will make it over 600 pages long!!) but that won’t be for a while and that’s if I decide to do it. Let me know if you’d be interested in owning an “Extended Edition” copy!
So now that novellas have been declared an option…how many will we be getting exactly? Well, I don’t know. Haha. I’m not promising anything at the moment but I will say that I’d love to write a novella for Bones, for Mara, and for Connors. And who knows? There may be other ideas that come to me as I continue writing the books in the main series. But also let me know if there’s anyone you’re curious to spend more time with. Ya never know, your suggestion just might spark an idea in me!
Thank you for your love of my characters and your support of my books! It means so much to me! We’re two books and one novella into the Walking Shadows series and if you’re curious to know what will happen next, just stay tuned…
Anyway, without further ado, here is Dust to Dust!!
A novella set within the story of Alarum…
Fury and Riker’s paths first crossed as children, although they went by different names then, and now years later and against all odds they’ve found one another again. Dressed in the blood of their enemies, the dirt of their journeys, and the ruthless fire of an angry sun, they have no one but each other to turn to. But are they still the people they remember?
Fury has just buried kin and her blood heats at the thought of running wild and free, screaming at the devils who took from her until she can breathe no longer. There is no room in her hardened heart for love, not even when it comes riding up in the handsome form of a gunslinger straight out of her haunted past.
Riker is reunited with his childhood love whom he never confessed his feelings for and thought he’d lost for good. But now she’s standing by his side and he’s determined that nothing will ever tear them apart again. She might face the world with fire in her eyes and a shotgun aimed at its heart but he knows somewhere inside there’s still a burning ember of hope.
A duo of defiance they tear up the wild west with steel in their hands and chaos at their backs knowing they head full tilt into a fate of no return. The true question is whether they will face that day with love or madness pounding in their hearts.
A bystander calls out to a guy approaching the scene with sudden glee. “Hey Gator! We got a little girl who’s slipped the Corral over here!”
The man called Gator reaches us and gives me a long look up and down. “So you’re from a Corral, eh? What’s it like knowing you’ll never be worth more than a rag or a quick shag?”
Riker steps forwards with a growl poised in his fangs but I merely tip my head back just so, managing to look down on a man nearly twice my size.
“You’d be lucky if a Corral kid gave you that much before blasting your brains against the wall,” I state matter of factly.
“A scrub like you has nothing on me,” he sneers.
I ignore his friends’ jeers and I block out the familiarity this moment brings to so many from the Corral. Loosening my limbs I subtly slide one foot back and shift my weight, the red hot eager to fill my veins. “Why don’t we find out?”
Gator laughs and I can feel the derision wafting from each note but as my gaze drills through his a bit of unease turns his humor hollow.
“Leave him alone,” Riker whines with a mischievous glint in his eye. “It’s clear he’s all bark and no bite.”
That gets Gator’s attention. With a scowl he rolls back his shoulders. “I’d shut it if I were you unless you want your sidepiece six feet under.”
Riker flat out laughs nearly folding in half at the threat. And that’s all it takes. Gator’s pride grabs hold of the strings on his limbs and he’s a charging bull headed straight for me. I bend down in preparation for impact and manage to grab his arm and twist it forcing his body into rotation. Taking advantage of his blind emotions and the sudden shift in momentum I flip him easily slamming his meaty body into the ground. In an honorable fight I’d step back and let him get onto his feet before attacking, but honor died when the world fractured into before and after. Before breath can return to his stunned lungs I aim a swift kick to his head earning a loud groan of pain before landing another which rewards me with his nose broken and his throat crying.
I stay crouched, ready for his friends to retaliate but they stare at me like I’m a demon held too long in an asylum. Silence holds us in place until Riker swaggers to my side and throws his arm around my shoulders pulling me in for a quick kiss on my temple.
“And that, gentlemen, is why you never cross a Corral kid,” he shares proudly. “Because she’s twice the monster you’ll ever be and she wears a damn crown.”
“You sleep with that thing?” One man asks aghast.
Riker beams. “Every damn night.” And with that he leads me leisurely out of town knowing full well I need to be alone to calm down, not surrounded by a crowd of horrified witnesses judging me for my madness.
When we reach the edge of town we mount our waiting horses and ride out to our camp, each beat of the hoof pressing the weight of what’s passed deeper on my shoulders until I practically kiss the horn on my saddle with exhaustion. Slowing Lady to a halt I swing my leg over and drop from the saddle where Riker instantly clamps me in a tight hug. I allow it. In fact I crave it.
“You’re loved, Fury,” he whispers in my ear. “You were loved by your parents, you were loved by Hero, you were loved by Connors, and you are loved by me.”