Monday’s Child.

This week, you’ll get one blog a day as I work my way through Monday’s Child – the series.

First a little series background.

Monday’s Child must hide for protection,
Tuesday’s Child tenders direction
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul
Thursday’s Child chases the whole
Friday’s Child is a man obsessed
Saturday’s Child might be possessed
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.

 

That’s the poem that sums up this series. And it’s a lot better than the version I came up with–fortunately the editor in chief at Pelican Book Group, Nicola Martinez, fixed it. Else you’d have had something a whole lot less brilliant as the series poem. I still have it and maybe, if someone asks nicely I might share it…

In writing this post, I dug out all my original notes, and wow, things changed. Not just the book order, but characters names and even the stories themselves. Originally Monday was Sara, Tuesday was Liam, Wednesday was Niamh (pronounced NEEVE), Thursday was John (that got taken out of this series and became An Aussie Christmas Angel), Friday was Patrick, Saturday was Aaron and Sunday was Alana who became Kiera who became Hattie.

Monday’s Child actually had several different titles as it was written. It began life as The Beach and had about ten different POV’s in it. That changed a lot. But it was always Sara and Luke. And it’s more or less how I wrote it, minus about 8 POV’s.

John’s story was removed, Nate’s put in it’s place, and the story order changed to fit the ones I’d already completed. The poem came last.

And then there’s Saturday’s Child. Yes, I didn’t want to write this one. I suggested it, planned it, but when it came to writing it, life just fell apart. Things went wrong: left, right, and centre. I emailed Nicola and Lisa. Begged them to replace it with something else instead. They said no. I wrote something else, but kept going – in the daylight – with Saturday’s Child. Because most of the demonic stuff in the book happened. Either to me or someone I know. And yes, the infamous bed scene did happen. I was there. Likewise with the exorcism bit, and the mirrors. That was our house. Not the one we live in now, the previous one. No, I no longer have that mirror. Still don’t like them now.

Anyway. As it’s Monday, here’s Monday’s Child. And because I can’t decide on one, you can have three extracts 🙂

MondaysChild_w5143_680

Blurb:

Monday’s Child must hide for protection…

This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.

When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection programme, she becomes the “wife” of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke’s American bravado, she finds he’s kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was.

But things aren’t always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he’s fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he’s no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it’s a race against time to find her husband’s killer before Sara is silenced forever.

Extracts:

Introducing the heroine:

Just a perfect day…Sara leaned into Jamie as they walked the damp, dark streets towards the car. The movie had been great, her new husband’s company magical, but the thought of the rest of the evening made her heart sing. Not even the drizzling rain could quench her joy. God had been gracious to her, by placing a wonderful man like Jamie Barnes in her life, at a time when she thought she was destined to be alone.

Jamie was a charmer, with dark curly hair and movie star looks to match. She wasn’t sure what she’d done to deserve his attention, never mind his sudden proposal, but she wasn’t complaining. He loved her, so she could overlook his foibles and long days he spent travelling for work.

A jarring thud jolted her as the bag twisted violently off her shoulder. “Hey…” She gripped at it to find herself flying through the air, her head hitting the ground hard.

“You all right, babe?” Concern flooded Jamie’s voice.

“Yes…don’t let him get away.”

Jamie set off after the thief, as Sara struggled to her feet, seeing stars. Her head spun, and she felt sick. So much for the perfect day. She turned to see Jamie and the thief struggling under the streetlamp. A flash of metal, a swift upward movement of an arm and Jamie hung writhing, looking down at his chest. She screamed his name, her heart pounding as a stab of fear and shock hit her hard. “Ja-a-a-a-m-m-m-m-i-i-i-e-e-e…”

The tall thin man turned to face her, the knife in his hand. He released Jamie, letting him slump to the ground. The man’s piercing gaze, the hatred in his eyes, and the cruel thin hardness of his lips burned into her memory as Sara ran towards her husband’s motionless body. Long greasy locks and fine rain outlined against stark white streetlight framed the assailant’s face like a halo, reminding her of the angel of death.

The terrifying sound of a gunshot tore through the misty night air. The sound ricocheted off the alley walls, blue smoke expanding outwards little by little. Pain exploded though her as a bullet ripped into her body. Sara screamed as the blast knocked her to the wet ground. She landed hard, next to where Jamie lay in an ever increasing pool of blood, her breath coming in short gasps.

She grabbed her leg in pain as slow, deliberate footsteps squelched towards her. Black lace-up combat boots stopped in front of her face. There was a loud click as the hammer on the gun rose, but she wasn’t as scared as she thought she might be. Lord, if I am to die now let it be swift.

Footsteps ran down the street towards them, shouts echoing. A closer voice called. “We have to go. Someone’s coming.”

The man gave her a cold stare. “You’ll keep, doll. I’ll be back for you. That’s a promise.” The threat in his voice echoed in the empty recesses of his eyes. Sliding the gun under his jacket, he vanished into the night, taking her bag with him.

Sara’s whole body shook with pain, but she pushed it aside. “Jamie…” Reaching out she clamped her hands over his shirt in a vain attempt to staunch the flow of blood.

“Somebody help us, please.” She peered up into the growing crowd around them. “Please, phone an ambulance.”

“It’s on its way.” Someone in the crowd spoke.

“Sara.” Jamie’s voice was so faint, and his breathing so labored, she had to put her ear to his mouth to hear him. “It…was…Austin…”

“Jamie, hold on. Help’s coming.”

He shook his head and groaned, putting his hands on top of hers. “I…do…love…you. Remember…”

The sirens wailing in the distance grew closer. “I love you, too. They’re coming. Just hold on a little longer.”

“Ohhh…Sara.” Jamie’s eyes opened wide for an instant, then glazed over. His body went limp, and his eyes closed.

Tears spilled down Sara’s face, and her stomach twisted within her. “Jamie, no, don’t leave me.”

Pain from her leg raged through her. Her heart broke, and huge sobs shook her frame. Tears welled up and spilled out, mixing with the blood on the path. Pulling him into her arms, Sara’s fingers clutched him tightly, as if that alone would bring him back, calling his name over and over again. “Jamie. Jamie.”

And introducing the hero:

Detective Lieutenant Luke Nemec, LAPD, pulled up the handle on his suitcase, grabbed his weapons case, slung his rucksack on his shoulder and exited into the arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport, London. Scanning the crowd for the person meeting him, he spotted the card with his name on it and headed in that direction.

Thank You for bringing me here safe, Lord. Oversee the liaison with the British police. We both want the same thing, despite our different ways of going about it.

“Lieutenant Nemec? I’m Detective Inspector Wilcox. Welcome to England.”

Luke shook the offered hand. “Thank you.” He followed the dark-haired officer out to the car, trying not to yawn. He didn’t sleep on planes, and the fifteen hour flight was starting to tell. All vestiges of sleep vanished as Wilcox explained the change in his assignment.

He wants me to do what? “I’m not protective services, I’m narcotics.” Luke baulked. “Excuse me for being blunt, sir, but can’t one of your own cops do this?”

“The Chief Constable and Captain Harriman both agree you would be the best choice. Having spoken to him, I agree.”

At the mention of his commanding officer’s name, Luke sat straight in his seat. “You spoke to Captain Harriman?”

“I did. You know Austin, and you know how he works, which makes you the ideal choice. Your original assignment still stands. We need your expertise on this. Sara is extremely headstrong. She spent three weeks in hospital and the last four months in a safe house, with just a guard outside, as she refused anything else. Things have changed. I want you with her at all times. As far as everyone is concerned, you’re man and wife.”

“Sir, with all due respect—”

“It’s not up for debate, Lieutenant. You’ll move in and not let her out of your sight.”

Luke scowled out of the window. “I know what witness protection involves, sir.”

I just chose not to work it. Does doing two jobs mean double pay? And a pretend marriage? She won’t like that idea any more than I do.

Wilcox smiled as he parked outside the chalet. “Good. I’ll take you over and introduce you.”

Luke stifled a yawn. “Do I have time for a shower first, sir?”

“Of course.”

Luke followed him inside and carried his hand luggage though the minuscule apartment to the bathroom. He could fit the whole place into his living room.

Knowing from past experience warm water would just make him tireder, Luke jumped into a freezing cold shower. The additional assignment made no sense to his sleep deprived brain no matter which way he looked at it. Lord, I trust You have a reason for this change in the workload. Show me what it is and work it for the best outcome for all concerned. Be with this woman I am meant to protect and help me to do my job to the best of my ability.

And when they meet each other… sparks fly. But not the usual kind…

A sharp knock on the door interrupted her train of thought, and she went to answer it, coffee in hand. “Good afternoon, Inspector Wilcox.”

To her annoyance, Wilcox and the man with him came in uninvited. He shut the door and looked straight at her. “Sara, I’d like you to meet Lieutenant Luke Nemec. Lieutenant Nemec will be your new protection officer. Lieutenant, this is Mrs. Sara Barnes. Sara, things have to change. Lieutenant Nemec is moving in here with you. The cover story is that you are man and wife. You’ll take his name. The papers are being done now.”

Luke smiled at her and offered his hand.

Sara ignored it, staring aghast at Wilcox, shock resonating through her, and not just at his abrupt tone. Was there something wrong with her hearing? There was no rank of lootenant in the English police force, for one thing. Or leftenant come to that. For another, he didn’t look like a soldier, and—wait a minute, did he say marriage? “I’m sorry?”

“Lieutenant Nemec will be with you on a full-time basis. As far as the world is concerned, you’ll be his wife. First name terms only.”

Furious, Sara shook her head. Her eyes narrowed and her lips set. “Oh, no. There is absolutely no way, either in this lifetime or the next, that—”

“Sara—”

“Don’t you Sara me. I am not going to live with anyone, Inspector. Especially someone I’ve only just met. And I am definitely not marrying him.” She glanced at Luke, deliberately pronouncing his title the English way. “No offence, Leftenant Nemec.”

Luke slid his hands into his pockets. “None taken, but my name is Luke. If it helps any, I was just told myself.”

Taken aback by his accent, Sara did a double take. “You’re American.”

“And you’re British.” He tilted his head, flashing his teeth in a broad smile.

Sara scrutinized the American cop. He was everything Jamie wasn’t. He was taller, at least six feet. His shock of pale brown hair stood upright in places, almost spiked, and he could do with a shave. He had at least a day’s growth there. Not that this look was bad, but it was definitely different and rather unprofessional.

Running her gaze over his taut figure, Sara took in the way his shirt hugged his broad chest. His body tapered in at the waist and out at the hips. She raised her eyes back to his face. He was eyeing her the same way. Her gaze met his blue, fathomless one. He was taking Jamie’s place as her protector. This whole marriage thing turned her stomach. She’d lost her husband, their home, and now his name. How much more could she take? Lord, if this is Your idea of a joke, it’s a pretty poor one.

Sara turned back to Wilcox. “I’m not marrying anyone.”

“This marriage is in name only and just on paper. You won’t need an annulment or a divorce when this is over. But I am going to have to insist on the first name terms—at least in public.”

Sara huffed and wrapped a protective arm across her stomach. No way was she calling Leftenant Nemec by his first name. Ever. “The spare bedroom is that way, Leftenant. I’m going for a walk.”

Luke hefted his bags. “Give me two minutes, and I’ll come with you, Sara.”

She tapped her watch. “That’s one minute and fifty-five seconds, Leftenant, and counting.”

You can find the whole series in paperback and ebook from:

Links: Amazon UK   Amazon US

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