Don't forget, I have several books at 99 cents right now for the holidays.
A MIRACLE FOR MARI (YA)
ALL ABOUT ROMEO (YA)
SOMETHING ITALIAN (The Italian Series #3)
LOVE AFTER SNOWFALL
Links to all formats can be found on the book page of my blog.
Today's excerpt comes from my latest release, LOVE AFTER SNOWFALL, now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and soon also at KOBO. I featured the first portion of this book on the blog before.
Nathan hadn’t kissed her like that, but Ezekiel would have no way of knowing it. His overtures had been bold, like he was, daring. Not sensitive and giving like this.
Ezekiel pulled back and unspeaking, tucked her head to his chest. One of her hands raised, almost involuntary, scooping beneath his shirt to a place in the center. “I’m not Nathan,” he said quietly.No, he wasn’t, and she understood that now. He was different and deserved to be seen on his own terms. “Who are you then?” she asked.“Ezekiel Knapp. Right now, the luckiest man on the planet.”-----The death of Clementine Button’s husband left her to fend for herself in the wilds of Alaska, and she was doing pretty well until one cold day after the first snowfall when she shot a moose.And a man. Or did she? Because the wound in Ezekiel Knapp’s leg seems all wrong for her gun, and now, his life hangs in the balance.Everything that brought about her husband’s death seems to have come full circle again. Only this time, the last thing she’s going to do is wait and let another man die. Especially not one who in three days has managed to become everything she needs.
In this scene, Clementine Button discovers the bullet in Ezekiel Knapp's leg is suspicious.
She reentered the cabin, locking the door behind her, and crossed back over to Mr. Knapp. Pulling a stool over beside the bed, she peeled back the covers and peered into his wound. Good thing he was out cold because this would hurt. No helping that. But, first, she had to clean the wound and that meant removing his pants.
She eyed him. Having seen a man before, this would be no surprise to her. She and Nathan had been wed, after all. But seeing Nathan was vastly different from Mr. Knapp. Chances were Ezekiel wouldn’t like it.
She reconsidered. She could remove the pants leg itself. That’d ruin his clothing, but, better decency than death. She’d remind him of that if he asked.
Pulling a knife from her pocket, she made a slice through the fabric, then cut in a circular fashion around his leg. She laid the cloth open and proceeded to slice into his long johns. The wound stared up at her from his naked thigh. It was a clean shot, embedded not too deep for her to get to it, but deep enough it’d take a while to heal. Dried blood had sealed much of it off.
She rose and moved over to a wood stove in the corner. Stoking the fire, she filled a kettle from a barrel inside the door and set it to boil. She’d need to boil her knife and some rags to prevent infection.
Nathan had done this once before when he operated on Timmy. Timmy had gone and gotten her hide stuck with porcupine quills, one buried pretty deep in her rump, and it’d taken both of them holding the dog and a few bites to the fleshy part of her own palm to get them all out.
She laid a hand to Ezekiel Knapp’s forehead. He was cold, too cold. She could warm him up; body heat worked best. But the bullet had to come out first.
The whistle of the kettle set her to work. Dipping her knife into the scalding liquid, she aimed the point at the wound and carefully pried beneath the bullet. Then sticking her fingers inside the hole, she plucked it out and rolled it over in her palm. She pressed her thumbnail against it.
“That ain’t right,” she said. She’d used a two-eighty bullet and this was a thirty-aught-six. That meant she didn’t shoot him. Her brow furrowed of its own accord.
And another thing … wasn’t likely her bullet went through the moose and out the other side anyway. Possible, but not normal.
But if she didn’t shoot him, then someone else did.
Someone else. She clutched the bullet in her hand, the uneven edges digging into her flesh. There wasn’t one stranger in these parts, but two; and whoever the other person was—
She studied his wound. Inner thigh. Could have come from a random shot. But if someone was shooting at a moose, they’d aimed too low. To kill a moose you wanted to hit the heart or the lungs, the shoulder even. The angle was wrong. They’d done this on purpose.
The chatter of Ezekiel Knapp’s teeth and steady tremor in his limbs sped up her work. Swabbing his wound clean, Clementine wrapped it in boiled strips of an old shirt of Nathan’s, then shed her jacket and shoes and climbed in beside him. She wrapped her body around his and tucked the blankets over them both. Timmy hopped up at their feet, circling three times before settling down.
She shut her eyes. This was a fine pickle to be in. Nathan gone; a stranger on the loose maybe shooting people down, and her in bed with a man who so far, hated her guts.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.