Title: JAGGED FEATHERS
Author: JAN SIKES
Genre: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.
On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.
A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.
Will these two not only survive but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?
Vann scraped a hand through his wet hair as hard rain continued to pound on the roof of the tiny motel room. “I think the best thing I can do at this point is find out what the mystery key fits. Our search showed three Vertoe storage facilities in Dallas, but only one near the Greyhound bus station. Call me crazy, but for some reason, I think they would want it near a transportation hub. If I can find the locker, we can at least see what it is they are so hell-bent on retrieving besides the cash.”
“What if they’ve posted men there?”
“I’m ditching this parka for sure.” He reached for his laptop and booted it up, frowning in concentration. “I’m looking for a military supply store. They’ll have what I need.” He tapped the screen. “Here’s one, and it’s not that far away, just over on Harry Hines.” He scribbled the address on a piece of motel stationery.
“I want to go with you.”
“I know, but I really need you to take care of you for me. I’ll bring back antibiotic cream and bandages for your scrapes. I promise not to be gone long.”
“I’ll hold you to that promise.”
Her brown eyes held unshed tears. With all bravado gone, she suddenly seemed small and vulnerable. Every protection instinct he possessed filled him. He squared his shoulders and stood taller.
He sat on the side of the bed and pulled her against him trying to block out the danger. “Everything is going to work out somehow. We have to keep believing that. We’ll figure out a way put an end to this madness.” He released her and stood.
She sniffled. “I know you’re right. Please hurry back. And for God’s sake, be careful.”
“I promise. Here.” He unzipped the gun case, inserted a full cartridge and handed her the weapon. “Keep this beside you. And don’t hesitate to use it.”
She brought a shaky hand to her forehead. “Okay. Just hurry.”
It took every ounce of his resolve to walk out the door after making her promise to bolt it securely behind him and reapply the ice.
He had a plan, and it all depended on finding everything he’d need.
Between the rain and traffic, it took him over half an hour to reach his destination. Another half hour to make his purchases brought him an hour closer to the arranged call. He had to make it back to Nakina in time.
He emerged from the store’s dressing room looking every bit the part of a soldier. Desert tactical pants, shirt, camouflage rainproof overcoat, boonie hat, and combat boots were exactly what he had planned to find. He tucked his hair under the hat. Now he was prepared for battle.
The store clerk raised his eyebrows. “Recon mission, soldier?”
“Something like that.” Vann paid for his purchases, which included a Dallas city map.
Following the map, he drove toward the first Vertoe location on his list.
On impulse, as he passed a gun shop he made a quick turn into the parking lot. Might as well stock up.
By the time he reached the Vertoe location, an hour and a half had passed. Time was of the essence.
He strode into the facility with confidence, key in hand. He’d ditched the skull keyring. Row after row of lockers covered an area the size of a football field. How on earth would he find the right one?
Instinct told him to start at the back. Something that valuable wouldn’t be placed near the entrance where it would be more easily accessible. No, it would be as far away as possible. Inserting the key into first one lock and then another, he kept an eye on the entrance. Thank goodness there were no windows.
No luck on the first row.
Using the same strategy, he moved to the back of the second row.
Two men entered through the front door, and he ducked behind the third row of lockers and waited.
They opened a locker, removed their belongings, and left.
He breathed a sigh of relief.
Halfway down the third row, he hit pay dirt. His heart pounded as the metal door swung open. Inside lay a small package about the size of a book.
“I guess it’s true that big things come in small packages,” he muttered. He stuffed it into a pocket and sprinted back to the car. That’s when he noticed a black SUV parked near the end.
“You assholes weren’t expecting a soldier.” He chuckled.
That was almost too easy.
He put the car in reverse and sped toward the motel and the trouble that lay ahead.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
This book deals with the aftermath of a devastating IED in Afghanistan that not only shook Vann Noble’s mental stability but took part of his leg. Now he’s left to deal with PTSD, depression, and a physical disability. Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning and Vann was running out of reasons until Nakina Bird stumbled into his life bringing him a big reason. Anyone who loves to cheer for a hero and heroine and who still believes in happy endings will enjoy this book.
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Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.
She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. The entertaining true story comes to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books.
And now, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published numerous award-winning short stories. She published her debut paranormal romance novel, Ghostly Interference, Book 1 in The White Rune Series, in 2020, which won a bronze medal award from Reader’s Favorite. Jagged Feathers released on January 31, 2022, as Book 2 of that series, and Saddled Hearts will release later in 2022.
She is an active blogger, an avid fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.
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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK