It’s A Brand New Cover For:
TITLE – Do You Believe In Magic
SERIES – The Magic Series
AUTHOR – Susan Squires
GENRE – Contemporary PNR
PUBLICATION DATE – April 7, 2012
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 302
PUBLISHER – Indie
Tristram Tremaine has never fit in with his large and boisterous family. They believe they carry a magic gene that comes alive only when they fall in love with another who carries that gene. After disappointing his parents one too many times, Tris, the bad-boy brother, hits the road on his cycle, drifting away from his destiny.
That is, until he meets Maggie O’Brian, a spit-fire rodeo rider with a strange ability to calm wild horses. Maggie lives on the road too, avoiding relationships. Her mother left her, the boy she loved left her, even her dog left her. The last thing she wants in a man is a tomcat with “love ‘em and leave ‘em” written all over him.
But the connection between Tris and Maggie is instantaneous. After a mysterious accident nearly kills Tris, he and Maggie must learn to believe in their destiny and each other to stay one step ahead of those who will do anything to prevent them from claiming it.
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The sickening crunch of metal was audible even over her Ford’s squealing brakes. Two objects flew almost over her hood in an arc of spokes and.…
Oh, God. The other flying object had a helmet on. Her truck swerved as she struggled with control. The big rig’s engine roared to life and it barreled away into the night. The semi driver must have felt the impact. The smell of burning rubber and brake lining filled her nostrils. Her chest hit the steering wheel as her truck screeched to a stop.
For a long minute she just sat there, trying to get her breath. Her sternum hurt. But it was kind of a vague feeling. The highway was empty. The semi was only fading red taillights in the distance. Her breath came fast and uneven. How had she not seen that truck? And why didn’t the driver stop to help? Help.…
The guy on the motorcycle.… Nobody could have lived through that. Could they?
What to do? No cell coverage out here. She craned around to check the highway. No lights in either direction. Oh, boy. She was going to have to get out and look for the rider. Hands shaking, she pulled her rig slowly off to the shoulder. She swallowed past a lump in her throat and got out of the cab into the cool air of the high desert night. She had to steady herself with a palm on the side of her Ford. Her knees were wobbly. She took a couple of panicky breaths.
Get hold of yourself. You weren’t the one hit, for God’s sake. She leaned back into her truck and popped the glove compartment. The flashlight felt solid in her hand. She flipped it on and began walking back, swinging the beam. It wouldn’t be him. It couldn’t.
Low moaning drifted up toward her. She swallowed. Moaning is good. At least the rider isn’t dead. She cast her light down the shallow embankment. It caught a twisted mass of black and silver metal. The cycle’s front wheel was canted at the wrong angle. It spun almost silently.
She stalked ahead, determined to be angry at being put in this situation, not weak or timid. She really, really didn’t want to see what that lump was in the sagebrush just beyond the bike. The flashlight stuttered over leather, helmet, jeans, boots. Uh-oh. One leg had an odd angle in it.
I won’t think about that. She breathed in and out through her mouth and stumbled over the edge of the asphalt, sliding down the sandy dirt. As she got closer, she quit fighting her instincts. It would be her beautiful biker guy. She knew it. She shone her light onto the figure.
Did I have to be right? He blinked against the light, the green of his eyes startling. They were swimming right now. He raised one hand ineffectually to block—what? Her? Did he think she was the one who’d hit him and was coming to finish the job? One leg was clearly bent at an unnatural angle below the knee. Was that something white poking out of his jeans? Bad. Very, very bad. She battled her rising gorge. Damn it, Maggie! You’re strong. Anger helped. Damn the asshole driver of that big rig. And damn her motorcycle guy for being in this situation.
His cheek was scraped. Blood dripped toward his jawline. Lip split, chin scraped too. “It’s Maggie,” she said stupidly. “That truck hit you.” Understatement of the year.
Of course he’d hit his head with a fall like that. Probably just as well he didn’t remember. She pushed through sagebrush and knelt in the dirt. This close she could smell the rich, metallic scent of blood. “You … you need an ambulance. I’ll … I’ll.…” What? What could she do?
“You, uh, you feel any pain in your back or your neck?”
“Just …” His voice was a croak. He cleared his throat and started again. “Just the leg.”
“Well, at least you can feel your extremities. Could be worse.” Better to make light of it. “Let’s get this helmet off.” She released the chinstrap and gently lifted the helmet. “That okay?”
“Yeah,” he whispered. His eyes closed slowly and reopened, as if he couldn’t quite get it together to blink.
She tossed the helmet behind her. “Look, I can go for an ambulance. I figure you’re only alone out here for a little over an hour. Maybe three hours total to get you to the ER. Or …” She almost couldn’t offer it. “If we can get you into the truck, I can take you. Maybe an hour and fifteen total to the ER at Washoe Med.” She shrugged helplessly.
“Gee, what should I choose?” he said, lips tight. He seemed more aware now.
“We could screw you up worse trying to get you into my truck.” Truth in advertising.
“In ten minutes I’ll start to feel this,” he said through gritted teeth. “I don’t wanna be alone. Call me chicken.”
“I wouldn’t call you that.” He must know how painful getting to the truck would be. She looked up to the road. How the hell would she get him up the embankment? “Okay. How about I get my loading ramp? You roll on it and I drag you up the embankment?”
“You got a horse in that trailer to pull it? I’m six-four, two twenty-five. Plus the ramp.”
“You could push with your good leg,” she said doubtfully.
He rolled his eyes to her. “You’re what, a hundred pounds?”
“A hundred and ten, all muscle.” Well, a hundred and six. That rounded up to ten.
“Get real.” In the baleful glare of the flashlight his pale, sweating face looked green. “I can hop if you can get me up.”
That would hurt like hell. “Your funeral.” Not the best metaphor. “Let me get the truck.” She scrambled up the bank, trying not to think too far ahead, and ran for her truck, fumbled with the keys, and backed it up to where the cycle had gone over the edge.
As she slid down the bank again she could see that he’d pushed himself up on one arm. His other arm hung limp from his shoulder. Not good. He hung his head. “Go away,” he rasped. Then he vomited into the dirt. She turned away lest her own stomach rebel in sympathy. Poor guy couldn’t even wipe his mouth with one arm out of action. She stripped off the flannel shirt she wore over her tee and knelt beside him.
He turned his head away, but she cupped his cheek to pull him back around. The jolt that shot through her was like she’d touched a battery cable. Well, not quite. The charge was definitely sexual. What the hell was that? Slow down, girl. You’re kneeling in the dirt next to an injured guy who just lost it all over the desert. Not exactly sexy. She set her lips and wiped his mouth and then used the other sleeve to wipe the sheen of sweat from his forehead.
“We’d best get to it,” he gasped.
She surveyed the situation. Okay. Damaged shoulder was on the opposite side of the broken leg. Don’t think about how much this is going to hurt him.
Susan Squires grew up among the giant redwoods of California. She thought she was being practical by changing her major in college from theater to English literature. Immersed in a PhD. Program, she slowly realized that none of her graduating friends had work. So she dropped out after receiving a Master’s degree to take a paying job in the business world.
As an executive in a Fortune 500 company, she returned to her love of writing while continuing to hold her day-job, much to the amusement of her fellow executives. Her novel Danegeld, had already been purchased by Dorchester by the time she accepted a Golden Heart for Best Unpublished Paranormal Manuscript from Romance Writers of America. It was the first of an eclectic group of historical and contemporary paranormal stories known for their intensity. Body Electric was named by Publishers Weekly one of the ten most influential paperbacks of 2002, for blending romance and science-fiction. Book List compared No More Lies to the works of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton, but it was also a Rita finalist for Best Published Paranormal Romance by Romance Writers of America.
Susan’s Companion Series for St. Martin’s Press, continued to garner attention with admiring reviews and several visits to the New York Times Bestseller List. Publishers Weekly named One with the Shadows a Best Book of the Year, and several of the series received starred reviews. Her books have won the many regional contests for published works of paranormal romantic fiction.
Susan no longer has to use tales of romance and adventure to escape budgets and projects. She finally left her day job, and researches and writes her books at the beach in Southern California, supported by three Belgian Sheepdogs and a wonderful husband named Harry who writes occult mysteries as H.R. Knight.
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