Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Shelter for Sharla by Deanndra Hall Spotlight

Welcome to La Tana del Lupo. It’s a deadly place to be.

The college student who shot and killed a Kentucky State Trooper on the side of the highway committed “suicide by cop,” and the bullet that ended her life came from Trigg County Sheriff Carter Melton’s gun. He wants some answers, and so does her beautiful, grief-stricken aunt, Sharla Barker. On top of being insistent that the Tamara Kent she knew would never kill an officer, Sharla’s also insistently pursuing Carter, and he’s definitely not playing hard to get. His battered, aching heart needs the forgiveness she offers him and the passion she ignites in him.

The medical examiner’s weird findings, an odd tattoo, and an even stranger on-campus rally prior to the shooting begin to point in a direction that Carter could never have imagined. Before he knows it, he’s working with San Antonio FBI Agent Cruz Livingston to uncover a threat never before seen in far western Kentucky. It’s a criminal element with only one thing on their minds—money—and they’re determined to find it. It’ll take multiple agencies and some help from a very unlikely source to bring the case to a close before someone dies in “The Den of the Wolf.”

Built on an actual crime that took place in western Kentucky in 2015, Shelter for Sharla is an over-18, panty-melting tale of undying love, suspense, crime, and dedication as officers from Kentucky and Texas work together to save Carter, the woman he craves, and the two kids she loves, while bringing those truly responsible to justice.

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Book 1
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He sat for a minute, wondering if he should ask the twenty-million-dollar question, and decided the time was right. After all, she’d brought it up. “So I have to ask… Could you live that way? Knowing every time someone you loved left the house, they could be stabbed or shot?”

Her voice was soft and a tear rolled down her cheek. “After what’s happened with Tam, I think I could live through just about anything.”

“Doesn’t matter. This is different. It’s the constant threat. Long nights. Long days. Weekends. Holidays. Not everyone would want to deal with all that. You need to think about that. You need to be sure before this goes any farther.”

A sound came from her throat, a tiny choking sound, as she reached for his hand and clutched it. Another tear rolled down her cheek, but her eyes were clear. “I’m sure. Carter, I’m falling for you, and if you don’t feel the same way, you need to tell me. Please. I’ve had so much heartache and disappointment in my life. I don’t need more.”

It wasn’t how he’d pictured it, but with the air moving across the surface of the water and the light fading, Carter had one simple, shining moment, and he had to make it count. “Honestly, I think I fell in love with you the first second I saw you.”

There wasn’t a chance to say another word. Sharla stepped up to him and kissed him, her arms locking around his neck almost as though he were saving her from drowning. Clutching her to him, Carter could feel it all around them, the magic of love newly found, of broken hearts mending and tired ones starting over. When she broke the kiss, she gave him a smile that he’d remember on his deathbed. “I love you, Carter. No man has ever done to me what you do or given me as much of himself as you have. I know it’s fast, but I don’t care. If you disappeared from my life tomorrow, nothing would ever be the same.”

He chucked her under the chin and whispered to her, “I’m not going anywhere, little girl. I’m here to stay. It’s a shame that it took a tragedy for us to find each other, but we have, and I won’t apologize for that, not now, not ever.” The kiss he gave her was sweet and warm, and his tongue teased the seam of her lips until she parted them slightly. When he deepened it, she opened to him as her tongue explored his. They stood like that for a time they’d never have again, the first kiss of confessed love, and Carter hoped that kiss would go on forever. He’d given up, and just when he’d thought it was hopeless, he’d found her, the woman he’d always wanted. As the kiss cooled, they both leaned in, their foreheads touching, and he heard her sigh. “Sharla, we’re going to get through this. I promise. And we’re going to come out the other side and have a good life.”

“You sound so sure of that.”

“I am. Come on. Let’s go home.” Taking her hand, he led her back up the hill, walking together in silence until they reached the truck. Once he’d helped her in, he patted her hands as they lay in her lap. “The kids will be home tomorrow night because of the funeral on Wednesday. Want to come to my house tonight?”

The nod she gave him was almost childlike. “I’d like that.”

“Okay. Let’s stop somewhere and pick up something we can have for breakfast. You’ll have to get up early tomorrow to get to work.”

“Doesn’t matter as long as I get to be there with you tonight.” Her fingers stroked down his cheek and he felt that little quickening in his chest, the one that told him it was really happening. A woman was giving him her heart. He couldn’t break it, bruise it, or drop it. He’d be the man who kept it safe. He had to be.

Deanndra Hall is a working author living in the far western end of the beautiful Bluegrass State with her husband of over 35 years and small menagerie of weird little dogs. When she’s not writing, she’s editing. When she’s doing neither of those two things, she’s having dinner with friends, spending time with family, kayaking, eating chocolate, drinking beer or moonshine, or looking for something that she put in the wrong place and can’t seem to find (which is pretty much everything she owns).

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