Cross-posted from my personal blog
The Missing releases in mass market on July 6th…
Now it’s already out in trade, still available in a few places, although if you wait until it releases in paperback on 7/6/10, it would mean lots and lots to me.
I’m going to be posting some excerpts between now and the end of the month. If you haven’t read it yet, maybe you’ll decide to check it out when the book hits the shelves in July.
And…if you haven’t seen it, do you know about the contest?
As a teenager, Taige Branch was able to do things with her psychic gift that others couldn’t understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy her stole her heart. He did his best to accept her abilities, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing her death.
Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragic event. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her.
A LOVE THAT NEVER DIED
Working together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them…
“You’re going to have to let me in. You’re going to have to deal with me.”
Pushing her hair back from her face, she sneered. “I already have dealt with you, Cullen. There’s no damn reason for you to come down here. You said your thanks. Your daughter is safe. Go live your life, and let me live mine.”
“Life? That’s exactly why I’m counting the days until I come back for you, Taige. You are my life.”
He moved closer, close enough that if she leaned forward, their bodies would be touching. She held herself still, completely still, even though everything inside her yearned for him. It should have been so easy to reach out to him, so easy, but it wasn’t.
Staring into his clear blue green eyes, she held his gaze and then took a slow, deliberate step back. “I’m not your life, Cullen. I never was.”
A faint grin curled his lips upward, and he reached up, caught a wayward curl, and tucked it behind her ear. “I miss your braids,” he said softly. Then he skimmed a fi nger over the soft, delicate skin under her left eye. “The swelling’s gone.”
She gave him a sardonic smile. “Been a month. It ought to get better.”
Cullen shrugged restlessly. “A month? Yeah. I guess. Seems longer–and not. I see your face almost every time I close my eyes. And I see that bruise some bastard left on your face. Because of what you are, what you do. What I forced you into.”
Taige tugged against the arm he’d wrapped around her belly, but he wouldn’t let her go. “You didn’t force me into this, Cullen. It was my choice.”
“And what I said to you, what I accused you of, had nothing to do with that choice?” He rested his hands on her hips, stroking absently. He didn’t even seem to realize he was touching her, and that was just another little torture, because she was so damned aware of him, she could hardly follow the conversation.
“So what if it did?” Taige stiffened her body and tried again to pull away. This time, he let her go, and she got a good five feet between them before she turned to look at him. “You gave me a kick in the ass, a much-needed kick.”
“You didn’t need to be forced into a life where you’re constantly risking your neck, your safety–your sanity. You live in hell, doing what you do.”
Bitterly, Taige thought, I’ve lived in hell all my life. It’s pretty much about all I know.
But that wasn’t entirely true. The few years she’d had with him hadn’t been hell. Not until she failed him.
She glanced at him from the corner of her eye as she turned to stare out at the rolling blue green waters of the Gulf. The water was rougher than usual today, and the waves crashed into the sand. Turning her head, Taige stared back over the beach where they had walked. Already, the waves had washed away their footprints. It was like they had never walked there. If only something could come and wipe away her memories that easily. Memories of Cullen, memories of the people she’d failed to save–including his mom.
“I’m not in hell, Cullen,” she said quietly. Granted, there were times when she would agree with him, times when she was certain she did indeed live in hell. But then there were times like when she had looked through the curtain in the hospital and seen Jillian’s sleeping face. She hadn’t dreamed of the girl once in the month since she had left Cullen in the hospital with his daughter.
Looking back at what she’d done with her life, she knew it was worth it. It would have been worth the heartbreak, the rage, and the tears if she saved even one life. Instead, she’d gotten to see dozens of kids safely home to their parents. Kids she had pulled out of their own hell. Whatever hell she had to live in, it was worth it for that.