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?
“Wait.” Vann held up his hand. “Start at the beginning. Who gave you the package?”
“My boss, Mr. Gordon.” She paused and coughed into her arm. “I worked for a law firm in Newton. I’ve only been there a couple of months.”
“Okay. Go on.”
“So, I came to work on a Friday morning, and there were two Latin American men dressed in expensive suits waiting to see Mr. Gordon. They weren’t on his schedule, and I’d never seen them. He hadn’t arrived yet, so I asked them if they wanted to wait. But Mr. Gordon didn’t come in. When I tried to call him, he didn’t answer. I started getting a bad feeling. And I got flashes of men with angry faces, cursing, and the sound of a shovel connecting with hard ground.”
“What did you do?” Vann tried to imagine her fear.
She cleared her throat. “I told the men that I didn’t know where Mr. Gordon was, and he wasn’t answering his phone. They left after an hour or so.”
“Who do you suppose they were?”
“I’m getting to that. Almost the minute the two men were out of sight, Mr. Gordon crawled through the window in his office and called for me. He was disheveled and looked as though he’d been trekking through the woods, with dirt and pieces of leaves and grass on his clothes.”
“I hope you locked the office door behind the two men when they left.”
“I hadn’t, but as soon as Mr. Gordon came in, I did. He was wild-eyed and almost incoherent. He shoved this package in my hands along with the key and told me to deliver them. Then he handed me a bus ticket. I was totally freaked out and tried to ask questions. The only thing he said was that the Montoya Cartel was going to kill him. He said this package would take care of his wife and son and that I was the only person he trusted to deliver it.”
Vann scrubbed his chin and leaned forward. “The Montoya Drug Cartel?”
“That’s who is after you?”
“I suppose so. I was on the bus, and I kept getting a strong premonition they were following, but I couldn’t figure out where to get off or what to do. When I’d ran from the office, I only grabbed my backpack and not my purse. That was a big mistake because I didn’t have any money. And then my phone died, and I didn’t have any way to get a charger.”
“How did you wind up in Cedar Springs?”
“When the bus stopped, I decided it was time to make a run for it. I thought I could hide for a few hours and then catch the next bus to Dallas. But, every time I got close to the bus station, I saw them. So, I hid in the alleyways behind dumpsters until the morning you found me.” She stopped and bent over coughing. “That’s how I got sick.”
“So you hadn’t had any food and were exposed to the elements for days before I found you?”
She nodded. “I managed to find a few scraps to eat. Enough to keep me alive. I truly don’t know what would have happened to me if you hadn’t come along when you did. I had decided to try to make it to either a fire or police station and figured I would find them in the middle of town somewhere.”
“Then why wouldn’t you let me take you to the police?”
“Because then I got even more scared. What if they were in cahoots with them? All I can say is that it was a strong feeling.”
Vann leaned back in the chair and stretched his legs in front of him. “You don’t know what’s in the package?”
She shook her head.
“I think it’s time to find out.”
Nakina pushed it across the coffee table toward him. “Will you open it?”
Vann picked it up and turned it over. Guessing from the feel, it weighed close to twenty pounds. “What if it’s drugs?”
She chewed her fingernails. “I don’t know. My only choice, regardless of what it is, will be to deliver it to the address and be done.”
“Do you really believe that? I seriously doubt they will just let you walk away. But first things first.” Vann carefully removed the tape and unfolded the paper from around the bulk.
Champion got to his feet and let out a growl.
Vann and Nakina exchanged glances.
“Holy shit!” Vann exclaimed.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
My characters, Vann with his PTSD and physical injuries, and Nakina with her psychic visions, are sure no one could ever love them. It simply isn’t the cards for them. But with the magic of the white rune and a lot of help from circumstances, they find more than they ever dreamed possible while trying to outrun a drug cartel and stay alive.
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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 releases 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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