Please make welcome to the Tavern a dear friend and talented author, Jan Sikes! We're celebrating her new book release Jagged Feathers. I'm eager to read this story and have it downloaded on my Kindle.
We're serving champagne, so grab a glass of bubbly and let's hear what Jan has to say...
Thank you, Mary, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.
People have been using disguises for eons to maintain anonymity. And some use disguises as ways of pretending to be someone different. Halloween is the most common time of year when any kind of disguise is acceptable. Kids can dress up like their superheroes or heroines and adults can do the same.
In Jagged Feathers, Vann and Nakina choose disguises for different reasons, mainly as ways of staying undetected and alive. Vann felt more comfortable in army fatigues than any other clothing, especially when facing a fight. So, the first excerpt shows what he did and how the disguise worked.
He emerged from the store’s dressing room looking every bit the part of a soldier. Desert tactical pants, shirt, camouflage rainproof overcoat, Boonie hat, and combat boots were exactly what he had planned to find. He tucked his hair under the hat. Now he was prepared for battle.
The store clerk raised his eyebrows. “Recon mission, soldier?”
“Something like that.” Vann paid for his purchases, which included a Dallas city map.
Following the map, he drove toward the first Vertoe location on his list.
On impulse, as he passed a gun shop he made a quick turn into the parking lot. Might as well stock up.
By the time he reached the Vertoe location, an hour and a half had passed. Time was of the essence.
He strode into the facility with confidence, key in hand. He’d ditched the skull keyring. Row after row of lockers covered an area the size of a football field. How on earth would he find the right one?
Instinct told him to start at the back. Something that valuable wouldn’t be placed near the entrance where it would be more easily accessible. No, it would be as far away as possible. Inserting the key into first one lock and then another, he kept an eye on the entrance. Thank goodness there were no windows.
No luck on the first row.
Using the same strategy, he moved to the back of the second row.
Two men entered through the front door, and he ducked behind the third row of lockers and waited.
They opened a locker, removed their belongings, and left.
He breathed a sigh of relief.
Halfway down the third row, he hit pay dirt. His heart pounded as the metal door swung open. Inside lay a small package about the size of a book.
“I guess it’s true that big things come in small packages,” he muttered. He stuffed it into a pocket and sprinted back to the car. That’s when he noticed a black SUV parked near the end.
“You assholes weren’t expecting a soldier.” He chuckled.
That was almost too easy.
He put the car in reverse and sped toward the motel and the trouble that lay ahead.
When Nakina donned a blonde wig, a stark contrast to her dark straight hair, it made her feel different, more daring.
He stared at her for a long minute.
“What?” she said.
“Nothing. I just can’t get over how different you look as a blonde.”
“I feel different, if that makes any sense.”
“I suppose. Maybe that’s why people love dressing up in costumes and cross-dressing. For a different kind of feeling.”
She laughed. “That’s a strange comparison, but okay.”
What a welcome sound, and one he’d like to hear often. She’d had too much sadness. After tomorrow, he hoped there would be nothing but smiles ahead for her.
“Well think about it. Why else would people spend so much money on Halloween costumes and go to Masquerade Balls if they didn’t want to step out of themselves for a little while?”
“Good point. I do feel more daring.”
He almost choked on a bite of food. The thought of a more daring and carefree Nakina made his heart do double-time.
“Oh? Does that mean I’m in trouble?”
She grinned. “I’ll never tell.”
Have there been situations where you disguised yourself? Did it make you feel different, more confident, more daring? I think sometimes, hiding behind a mask makes everyone a little bolder, even criminals. Let’s talk!
Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master's scars. If only the white rune's magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.
On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann's cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.
A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.
Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?
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