Title: Hidden Gypsy Magic
Author: Tena Stetler
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
The Salem Wildlife Sanctuary is Gwen Taylor's life work. Her Irish Gypsy heritage provides a hidden talent she uses to help the creatures under her care. But even her magical skills can't help new rescues in dire need of veterinary care.
The opportunity of signing on as the vet for Gwen's sanctuary dropped into Brock Scutter's lap after he expanded his practice to include wildlife. The personal attraction he and Gwen experience is undeniable the more their professional and personal lives collide.
Touring the only "non-haunted" house in Salem they both feel a spark of magic. A trip to his family's cabin uncovers a heritage he didn't know existed. If they want a future together, it means facing the consequences of awakening hidden Gypsy magic and a race against the clock to correct past wrongs
Despite a busy day, Gwen danced around his thoughts, interrupting his concentration more than once. Most of his clients were dogs, cats, a couple of bunnies and a guinea pig. The highlight of his day came as he was closing up. He'd just flipped the sign to closed and was locking the door when a semi-truck bobtail, swerved into the clinic's parking lot. The driver jumped out of his cab, paused at the front of his cab for a split second, then sprinted through the mist toward the building.
Brock opened the door and before he could get a word out, the trucker barreled in.
Out of breath, the man gasped, "I was on my way home. It flew right in front of me. I couldn't help it. The owl smashed into my grill and radiator. I stopped right away. When I went to extricate the bird from my grill it hooted and flopped one wing. Poor thing was still alive. I looked around and that's when I saw your sign. Can you help it? It's not moving now."
Brock grabbed several clean towels from a pile kept at the reception desk and followed the man to his truck. The snowy white feathers covered in crimson. He moved a few head feathers, then the wing closest to him, but couldn't see where or how badly it was hurt. "We gotta get this bird out of the grill so I can assess its injuries." He watched for the rise and fall of its chest. "Still alive, but the owl has gone into shock."
The driver rushed around the side of the truck and yanked out a toolbox. The man flipped open the box and took out a large pair of cutters. "I can cut the metal around the bird so we can get it into the clinic. Rather than spending time trying to extricate her from the grill."
"Excellent. The sooner we get the owl inside, the better its chances of survival." He carefully supported the owl's body, covered the head as a precaution, while the trucker carefully cut through the metal bars around the unconscious creature.
An hour and a half later they'd cut the owl out of the semi's grill. He took it directly to surgery. The most damage was to one wing, the chest and shoulder area. The right foot was swollen but an x-ray verified it was only a bad sprain. Head trauma was unknown until or if the bird regained consciousness. Stress is a common killer of birds. This one was lucky to be alive at all.
The Snowy Owl may never fly again, but after surgery its vitals were stronger than he thought possible, considering… The owl was a survivor and he intended to give the bird every chance to do just that.
Gwen appeared at the clinic door with food after learning why Brock missed their dinner date. He opened the door, escorted her in and flopped back in the desk chair exhausted.
“Sounds—” She paused, held her finger to her lips. A weak hoot sounded from the back.
He pushed up from the desk and strode through the hallway, turned into the in-patient area where the owl was unsteadily trying to get to its feet inside the cubicle. Haunting yellow eyes wide open peered at him then blinked once. Allowing a few feet between him and the bird, he slowly lowered himself to its eye level.
In the soft light he’d left on, he could just make out both pupils were the same size. He breathed a sigh of relief. I can rule out head injury, so far anyway. The bird toppled over hitting its injured side against the enclosure and screeched.
“It’s okay girl,” he cooed. “No one is going to hurt you.”
Gwen sucked in a breath behind him. “What a beautiful bird. And huge.”
Only Gwen could see the beauty in the blood matted feathers of an injured owl. He shook his head. It was the reason he was drawn to her. There was no way he was going to let her get away.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Rescue animals, animal sanctuaries, and veterinarians for the animal lover. But then include a spooky, eerie, mystery of a “non-haunted,” house with ties, history, ghosts, and secrets related to the Salem Witch Trials. This added for a feel-good, fun, adventure-filled read I know you’ll love!
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Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors.
Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with wildlife rescue and a few companion animals to round out the tales.
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