This is my way of saying Merry Christmas to all of you who’ve shared my writing journey this past year. I hope you enjoy the excerpt:
“The scent of broiled Arctic char, roasted elk, and deep-fried potato wedges enticed Lukas into the Great Northern Lodge restaurant. Christmas music played in the background, and the lodge’s huge floor-to-ceiling Christmas tree sparkled with multicolored lights and gold ornaments. The tide of voices from the laughing, excited guests sailed over him.
He pressed up against the log wall for a second, searching the crowd for Kira and Sophie. He rolled his shoulders, trying to ease the muscle tension giving him a headache. Exhaustion overrode his hunger.
He spotted Kira by the back window, snowflakes whirling against it like a ballet. She made a swooping motion with her arm, bringing Sophie a bunch of fries towards her ketchup. Kira made airplane noises when she scooped up ketchup with the fries, and Sophie giggled and threw her head back laughing. Then she reached forward for another fry, jabbing it in the pool of ketchup. His chest tightened at the sight of them together. He’d never considered himself an emotional guy until Sophie’s birth. Counting those twenty, perfect, little fingers and toes had driven him to tears for the first time since his mother died.
Raising Sophie meant experiencing life through her eyes. He’d learned patience and to enjoy the small pleasures of butterflies, birds’ eggs, and birthday cake. She was a precious gift. Kira’d only been with them two days and a night, and already Sophie was passing food back and forth with her, rolling from side to side in her booster seat, laughing back as if it were Ruby eating supper with her. They looked as though they were mother and daughter already.
He shook his head to clear his vision. Already? What’s wrong with you? This is temporary. Sophie loves everyone; you have to protect her from getting too attached.
Why had Kira fled from him in that restaurant five years ago? He’d never know the answer. She’d made no reference to their past relationship since he’d found her in the cemetery.
Stick to the plan. Maybe Sophie needs to stay with Ruby till we get answers from Winnipeg and figure out who’s after Kira.
His throat tightened watching the two of them giggling and mopping up the last of the ketchup on their plates.
Kira had broken his heart the way only young love could. She’d been beautiful and wild. He found her outlook on life unusual, coming as she did from a non-Christian family. She’d questioned everything he’d grown up believing about God. In his family, everyone believed what his parents believed. And their parents before them. Period. In youth group, Pastor Hines had fielded her outrageous remarks with humour, doing his best to keep her in check, but her sharp intelligence had made even him scramble through his Bible for answers.
Lukas had admired her sarcastic wit, used to being at the top of the class. She’d been game to try any physical challenge he and Michael had come up with, even drag racing them along Jefferson Street in her best friend’s car. But the night she’d prayed to accept Christ, he’d thought he’d never love anyone the way he loved her.
As he stood against the far wall of the restaurant watching Kira, reality punched him in the chest. He was still angry she hadn’t answered his texts and emails back then, and angry she had acted these past few days as though they’d never been in love at all. Part of him wanted to demand answers, and the other part wanted to protect her and love her.
So she can break your heart again? And, is it her fault I never got over her? She needs my help and protection—that’s it.”
***Northern Deception (Heroes of the Tundra: Book 1)©Laurie Wood 2018
BOOK LINK: Amazon
After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.
Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.
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