On August 21st, Lion in the Shadows releases! It’s a very erotic story—so consider yourself warned! 🙂
This opening scene I’m sharing today includes details of rescue procedures I gleaned from reading articles and speaking to a fireman in the Texas Hill County, who specialized in cave rescues. That was one fun conversation!
In Lion, things get hot…and weird…really quick. So, if you love a hot paranormal with hints of ghosts/demon possession/shapeshifting, Lion might be what you need.
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me whether you could see yourself crawling through caves for fun!
Lion in the Shadows
When a teen dies inside an unexplored cave, it’s Lani Kimmel’s job to bring him out. This is not a pleasant job, but one she’s handled many times as a member of the local fire department and an expert in cave rescues. The trek into the cave awakens a creature that will push this no-nonsense woman’s boundaries of belief and test her newly emerging love for one man.
Rafe Chavez, the new sheriff in this small Texas town, has already staked a claim on Lani. He’s a man with a goal in his sights, and he’s not letting anything get in his way—until he dreams about an Indian brave who died in that unexplored cave, savaged by a mountain lion. When his dreams cross into reality, Rafe realizes he may be possessed by the Indian’s spirit—but the spirit isn’t alone, and it wants Lani.
Just when Lani’s resistance to his erotic persuasion crumbles, Rafe must push her away to protect her from another creature that has also cast its gaze upon her…
The earth shook, and the air stirred.
Sounds other than the usual chirping of cave crickets and the incessant drip of water intruded on the sleeper’s dreams, echoing down the cavern. Voices, laughter, feet scraping over stone.
The sleeper opened his eyes and found that, for once, the exercise wasn’t futile. A sliver of grayish light penetrated the gloom.
He stretched, willing blood to quicken through his body, to heat and ease muscles that had remained dormant too long.
Then a new scent—musky, warm-blooded, human—entered his tomb. He rolled to his feet.
Then gathering his strength he roared up the cave wall.
* * *
Lani Kimmel drove over the cattle guard onto the gravel road that marked the beginning of rancher McKelvey’s property. She followed the ridgeline of the steep, oak and cedar-covered hill, bouncing in her seat despite her truck’s heavy-duty shocks. The tires churned in caliche, the fine sandstone gravel pinging on the wheel wells.
She tried to keep her mind focused on the task of keeping her pickup on the rough road and away from the reason she climbed to the remote spot. But her stomach already burbled, her palms grew moist, and that little voice in the back of her mind—the one that sounded like her father’s—taunted her, What do you think you’re playin’ at, little girl? You aren’t strong enough.
As she rounded a curve, a long line of parked vehicles forced her to pull onto the shoulder to continue forward. Further along, she passed an EMS unit, two county squad cars, and the trucks and SUVs belonging to other members of the volunteer fire department. Parking in a narrow space between two vehicles, she had her door open before the engine finished chugging to a halt. Heat blasted her, and she grabbed her volunteer’s baseball cap to shield her eyes from the bright afternoon sun. Then she slid her duffel from behind her seat, kicked a booted heel against the door of her truck, and headed toward the mouth of the unnamed cave.
She nodded to the EMS team crouched beside two boys huddled beneath blankets, shivering despite the late afternoon heat. Compassion could have swamped her, but she quickly tamped down the emotion. If she thought too much about it, she wouldn’t be able to get through the next few hours. Their buddy likely lay on the bottom of the cave floor, and it was her job to bring him up.
Lani approached the group standing in front of a narrow black hole. Stones and gravel were already piled to the side as the men worked at widening the opening. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves. “Anybody looked inside yet?”
Cale Witte, the captain of the volunteer fire department, turned and gave her a crooked smile that creased his suntanned face. “Glad you could make it, Lani. Did you bring your vertical pack?”
Lani lifted her duffel. “Got it here, boss. So, we have a drop-off? Anyone hear from the kid inside?”
He shook his head, his grave expression telling her he expected the worst. “Those skinny runts shimmied through that hole carrying ropes and Maglites,” he said, sounding disgusted. “Said they didn’t know there was another level until their friend dropped out of sight.”
Lani swore under her breath.
Cale spat a stream of chewing tobacco. “A couple of us crawled in. The entrance is blocked with loose-packed gravel and stone. It’s pretty unstable, but the cave opens wide once you’re through the mouth. About twenty feet inside, it bottoms out. We shined our lights around, but it was too deep to see much. We need to climb down.”
“Well, that’s what I’m here for, huh?” Lani said, willing confidence into her voice.
He nodded. “No one knows caves like you do—that’s a fact. You better have a look for yourself.”
Randy Brandt, another member of the department, leaned on his shovel. “Think we’ve got this hole wide enough for your butt now?” His grin stretched across his handsome face.
Not for the first time, Lani thought Randy’s lean, muscled frame, and sun-tinted brown hair belonged in a firemen’s calendar. “Better put your back into it.” Lani gave him a teasing glance. “Gotta make room for that big head of yours, too.”
The men chuckled.
Lani took no offense. She’d long ago figured out she was one of the team when the men included her in the insults they traded. Besides, the banter helped drown out the voice that ate at her composure. The sooner she was in the cave—her world—the sooner she’d be in control. Read the rest of this entry »