Friday, 22 June 2012

Thanks so much for supporting Petie during her spotlight week. Leave a comment on any of her posts during this week and you'll be entered in a random drawing to receive a PDF copy of her novel, "Everglades." Make sure you leave your email address so we can get ahold of you if you win. The winner will be announced on Monday, 25 JUN on the DB Blog and on the Yahoo Connections Loop.

Moderator Steph

That did it! The little witch!

Skye gripped the stick so hard his knuckles turned white, and the creases went blood-red. He punched down on the accelerator and threw her back in the seat.

Hah. Mess with me, will you?

His chest heaved like a bellows. Bad enough she dressed him down in front of the district boys, but in front of Jameson? He ground his teeth and swerved the airboat off to the right to pull even with the other boats and skipped the craft sideways, knowing the move would put Kayli's heart in her throat.

A black heart.

He fairly shook at the image of her wriggling her fingers forward to get him to follow like a -- he growled hard and deep -- lap dog. She had just crossed the line. A lesson she needed, and a lesson she would get. You stick together in the Glades; Wren taught him that. Sticking together did not mean control. Now he would teach her.
The boats approached a deep water channel that led to Graydon's collection sites. Skye had studied Jimmy's airboat maps for a week before this trip. Graydon had to veer left, and he would. Skye pushed the stick forward hard, and the boat veered to the right into a dangerous skate across beds of maidencane. Kayli grabbed her seat with both hands, and he felt a grin smooth his scowl. Heck, it was her fault he scowled in the first place. She would learn to stick together out here all right and not try to control things.

Or me.

The airboat flew all out across the open marsh. Enormous beds of torpedograss lay ahead, and Skye felt a shot of adrenaline spike his gut. This ought to be good.


Kayli shrieked when the airboat veered violently to the right and skated sideways across the vegetation. Totally unprepared for the maneuver, she grabbed her seat with both hands to fight the centrifugal force she feared would fling her overboard.
Snatch him bald when we stop! That's what I'll do.

The boat screamed across the open marsh, and the vegetation bowing beneath the prow turned into one long mottled blur. Landers had never driven this fast before, and Graydon had turned off, so now she was out here alone and trying desperately to swallow the clot of terror wedged in her throat.

He won't kill himself, she thought. Stay calm. He's just trying to scare you -- she grit her teeth -- and doing a darn fine job.

Huge beds of torpedograss lay ahead, and Landers must have experienced a wave of guilt for the boat backed off its breakneck speed and settled down to a hair more speed than usual.

I can handle this.

The thought no more than skiffed across her brain when the boat reached the first torpedograss bed. A thin gray cloud emerged and levitated about two feet above the water. In the span of a few seconds, Kayli's bare legs simultaneously felt dozens of pin pricks, dozens of black spots erupted on her shirt, and pin pricks stung her cheeks and arms. She glanced down in horror and watched minute insect bodies pelting her entire person. She flung a forearm in front of her face and immediately felt a dozen microscopic squishes on her skin. She yanked her camera bag up and held it like shield in front of her head and shoulders, all the while feeling like she suffered through a blinding sandstorm.

Except it's bugs, she thought with a shiver. I'm covered in bug guts.

The airboat raced on, and she feared the bug storm would never end. After several interminable minutes, the airboat shifted right, and she could see open water to the sides of the boat. The tingling sensations on her exposed skin ceased, and she knew the bug storm had ended. She lowered the camera bag to assess damages.

"Eeewwww!" she wailed beneath the din of the propeller.

The entire front of her camera bag wore a bug-gut blanket of minute wings and bodies, some still squirming. Her gaze shot down to her legs, and she wanted to scream. She could see no skin on her shins and knees, only more bug bodies twisted in instant rigor mortis with bug guts spewed out in all directions. The bottoms and sides of her elbows were covered, too, and she fought back the gag reflex in her throat. She balled her fists and refused to cry, knowing at least a million dead insects were now squished on her person.

Landers had done this on purpose. She almost twisted around to scream invectives at her torturer, but instead she gripped her seat to stifle the urge.

"Aaaahhh!" she wailed as thousands of broken insect bodies peeled off in her hands. She wiped them off on the few open spots of fabric on her shorts and took at least a dozen deep breaths to keep from flinging herself at his seat and choking the veritable life out of him.


Skye watched her attempts to discreetly wipe her hands on her shorts, and he chuckled out loud. He couldn't see the front of her, but he already knew what she looked like. Tearing through a torpedograss bed to drive up the midges was an old airboat trick and guaranteed to put a hitch in the woman's get-along. Lord knew she needed it. The muscle in his cheek twitched.

So why didn't he enjoy this more?


The airboat slowed in an open water bay surrounded by bulrushes, and the massive propeller wound down and floated to a stop. Nothing slowed Kayli's rage, as it bubbled to a blister that stretched and exploded and sent her leaping up to face Landers as close to eye level as she could get.

"You did that on purpose!" she shouted.

Landers yanked his shades up on his cap. Instead of facing her glare head on, his gaze slowly perused the indeterminate number of bug corpses which stiffened on her legs and arms in the bright afternoon sun.

Enraged beyond reason at his blatant disregard of her tantrum, she resolved to climb his pinnacle and finally snatch him bald. Her foot stretched forward and so did his. Down on the accelerator. Hard. The boat lurched. She did not. Her foot sliced through thin air, tilting her sideways and sending her careening over the edge of the boat.

She hit the water sideways, and the dark wave closed over her head. She suffered a brief spate of panic until her sneakers found purchase in the mucky bottom, and her head pushed back above the water's surface. She gasped for a lungful of air, not having the presence of mind or time to grab one on the way in. Her eyes blurred with water, and she could barely make out Landers leaning on the side of the boat. Close enough to grab her, but he didn't. She felt her hair plastered to her skull, and water trickled down her forehead and dripped off the tip of her nose. She blinked rapidly until her eyes cleared, fully expecting to see Landers' scowl or worse yet, his smirk.

She wiped the hair back from her face and froze. No scowl. No smirk.

"Prop wash," he said, the engine now silent.

She nodded. Concern flashed in his incredible green eyes. The battle ended. A draw.
Her rage had chilled when she hit the water. Maybe his had, too.

"A truce," she said and watched his eyes widen slightly.

He nodded.

She tilted her chin up. "We'll call it a draw."

Review for "Everglades:"

Romantic Times Review of EVERGLADES
Genre: Contemporary Romance, General Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: HOT
RT Rating: 4 Stars
Loaded with gators, snow-white water lotus and cypress trees, as well as an incredibly fast-moving plot with a romance that readers will not soon forget, this book definitely has a variety of pieces that all come together to form a truly entertaining story.
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor

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