26 July 2013

WHEN I FIND YOU by Dixie Lee Brown - Book Tour

When I Find You
A Trust No One Novel
By: Dixie Lee Brown
Avon Romance
Releasing July 16th, 2013

Dixie Lee Brown continues her heart-racing Trust No One series with a sexy veteran determined to protect an innocent woman on the run.

As a former Marine, Walker could find a needle in a haystack. But when he's asked by the U.S. Marshals to track down a nanny fleeing from the mafia, he's sure she'll be more trouble than she's worth. Especially after the sexy little thing clubs him and leaves him for dead. Walker's stunned by her courage—and her curves—and can't help feeling drawn to this damsel trying to dig her way out of distress. He'll find her, and when he does, it'll take more than the mafia to tear him away.

Darcy Maddox never expected to be running for her life. But when it suddenly looks like foe may become friend, Darcy's faced with a choice: Go it alone or trust a man she just met—never mind the way his touch gets her heart pounding. The choice seems simple enough until she realizes it's not just her life at stake—it's her heart. 
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Darcy woke abruptly when her forehead bounced off the side window. Her hand flew to her head and she opened her eyes, staring in disbelief at the landscape that now surrounded them. Grass, brush and rocks edged an overgrown dirt road that wound up a steep hillside and disappeared into the trees ahead of them. Where were they? They’d left Portland…the freeway…the traffic. Wow, her head throbbed. She felt funny—dizzy and nauseous. Why were they in the middle of nowhere? It made no sense. Why couldn’t she remember? She glanced at Grant as he stopped the car in the middle of the road. 

 “Get out.” His voice was cold and his eyes lacked any sign of friendliness. 

Fear flickered somewhere in her groggy mind. “Where are we?” Her words slurred together. What was wrong with her? 

“This is as good a place as any.” He reached beneath his seat and pulled out a gun. “Get out.” 

She inhaled sharply. “What…what are you doing?” As she stared at the cold, black steel in his hand, bands of fear tightened around her throat. 

“I’m sorry, Darcy. This wasn’t my idea. I like you, but I’ve got family in Chicago, and when one of them asks for a favor, I can’t say no.” He motioned with the gun for her to get out and opened his door. 

Terror, laced with adrenaline, provided her first lucid moment and she finally started to think clearly. Reggie wanted her dead. He must be Grant’s family in Chicago. Grant drove her out here, away from anyone who might witness…My God! He was going to kill her. Was he that blindly loyal to his family? She’d trusted him—thought she knew him. The cold determination in his eyes told her she’d been wrong about that. Through the terror that pounded in her heart, one thought ran through her mind over and over again: Don’t make it easy. 

The instant he turned his back to climb out of the car, Darcy threw open her door, struggled to her feet, and ran. 

The tree line was fifty feet away. Her body moved sluggishly as she stumbled through the brush. She’d never make it to the safety of the forest, but giving up was an automatic death sentence. Ducking her head, she zigzagged around rocks and stumps and downed trees. Behind her, Grant swore. A bullet ricocheted off the rocks to her left. She pushed herself faster. Her chest burned with the effort to breathe. Her foot tangled in the underbrush, and she fell against a log. Pain shot through her shoulder and down her arm, and she stifled a scream. Forcing herself up, she swung her legs over the log just as his second shot slivered the wood two inches from her hand. 

Darcy pushed herself away from the log and broke into a run again. She had to keep going. Nothing else was acceptable. Don’t make it easy. She could feel the gun aimed at her back, and she braced herself for the pain that would explode through her and send her crashing to the ground. Five feet from her goal, the gunshot cracked and echoed through the stillness. She almost stopped, so sure the bullet would tear through her. One more stride and then another and another…she was still on her feet. Somehow he’d missed. 

She broke through the dark forest curtain and kept running. The trees gave her cover for the moment, but it wasn’t over. There was no way he would quit. Obviously, he couldn’t go back to Reggie and tell him he’d failed. Grant would keep coming until she was so exhausted she couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. Then he would catch her. 

 She had to think—come up with a plan—but her mind was already on overload, panic the order of the day. 

Twenty feet farther she stopped and collapsed against the trunk of a tree, the scaly bark scratching her skin through her cotton shirt. No sounds of pursuit carried through the forest, but that could change any minute. Keep going. Don’t give him a chance to close the gap. She rested barely long enough to catch her breath before she stumbled to her feet again. At a more careful pace, she moved deeper into the shadows. 

Even if she managed to evade Grant, she was in trouble. Her father taught her how to survive in the wilderness when she was a kid, but she’d slept when Grant drove the car up the dirt road. Plunked down in the middle of a mountainous forest, she was on foot and ill-prepared. If she got too far away from the road they came in on, it would be that much harder to find her way out. It was only about an hour until sunset. The possibility of spending the night here with no light, no warm clothes, and no way to start a fire alarmed her. Wild animals roamed the forest at night. She pushed that thought away. No sense worrying about that unless she had to. 

Thirty minutes later, a group of three large fir trees gave her cover as she dropped to the ground and leaned back against one of them, lungs aching with exertion. Her bruised shoulder and arm throbbed with each beat of her heart. She still had no real plan beyond staying ahead of Grant. Should she circle around and try to find the road? Was there any chance he’d given up and left? There was still no sign of pursuit. She couldn’t keep going deeper into the forest or she’d be lost for sure. No one knew where she was. No one would come rescue her. 

She rested longer than she’d intended. A dry branch snapped somewhere close by, and she jerked to attention. Was that…? Don’t jump to conclusions. It was just a deer walking by or a squirrel dropping a pinecone from a tree. No need to panic. She drew a steadying breath. 

Another crack—closer this time. Whatever it was, it moved toward her. She went still and strained to hear. Was it her imagination or had the birds and chipmunks scurried for cover as well? Frozen in place, she waited, listening. Nothing. There was no one there. She’d let her imagination get the best of her. 

Then she heard his voice, deeper and gruffer than his obvious charade in the plane and in the car, and the sudden sensation he was right beside her, whispering in her ear, sent shivers up and down her spine. 

“Darcy, it’s over. You could save us both a lot of trouble and show yourself. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.” 

What a load of crap! Did he think she was a fool? That she’d really fall for that? She’d been stupid to trust him, but she wouldn’t buy his hometown boy routine again. A wave of anger rolled over her. The next time she trusted a man, there’d be twenty feet of snow in hell—if she lived that long. 

His words pinpointed his location. He was too close for her to make a run for it, and he moved toward the trees she hid behind. Don’t make it easy. The words screamed in her mind. She looked for something to use as a weapon and found a broken branch on the ground. Not too heavy. She could handle it even with one shoulder that throbbed like crazy. The limb clutched in her hand, she rose to her feet. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on hearing his approach. She gripped the branch like a baseball bat and stood ready. 

A whisper of sound against the trunk of the large fir to her left snapped her eyes open as she pivoted. The next instant, she stepped toward the sound and brought the limb around in an arc toward the man who stepped into view. Gray eyes regarded her with surprise as he brought his arm up to block her swing. He didn’t have a chance. Her blow caught him on the side of his head and dropped him where he stood. 

Blood ran from a gash above his eye. Sickened by what she’d done, Darcy dropped the tree branch and backed away. She shook uncontrollably as she stared at the man slumped against the trunk of the tree. His long black hair pulled back in a ponytail and tied with a leather strip, his close-cut beard, and his army green canvas jacket were easily recognizable. It was the man from the airport—the one who stared at her. 

 Damn. There were two of them hunting her. She backed away, and when she could no longer see the man slouched against the tree, she whirled and ran.

DIXIE LEE BROWN started writing romantic suspense nearly twenty years ago. Then life took a few unexpected turns, and the writing career was put on hold in favor of starting a new life and a new job. One’s passion is not easily forgotten, however. Two years ago, Dixie started writing again-a YA novel-but, before she could finish, another idea pushed to the forefront and wouldn’t go away until a full-fledged novel was completed.

That idea became All or Nothing, the first book in the Trust No One series. All or Nothing placed third in the 2011 TARA Contest (Tampa Area Romance Authors) in the romantic suspense category.

Dixie now lives in sunny Central Oregon with two small dogs and a cat for company while she writes the third book of the Trust No One series. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies and trips to the beach.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for featuring When I Find You for today's tour stop! Hope readers will let me know what they think!