WHERE THE RAIN IS MADEKeta Diablo, multipublished author of hot, haunting romance, has kindly agreed to share an excerpt from her newest release WHERE THE RAIN IS MADE, an Erotic Romance/Paranormal from Decadent Publishing, http://tinyurl.com/37oepsy
A decadent savage has captured Francesca DuVall and her brother, Marsh. Now she must spend every waking moment planning an escape. However, she didn’t count on the powerful draw of desire interfering with her scheme in the camp of the brutal Cheyenne dog soldiers.
Ethan Gray is a curator at a national museum . . . most of the time, but when he travels through time to help his beloved People he becomes Meko, leader of the most revered and feared tribe of the plains.
Although their worlds are decades apart Meko can’t resist the dark beauty he kidnapped during a raid. He has many battles to fight but none he wants to win more than the one that will capture Cesca’s heart forever. From the windswept plains of Colorado and the harsh life of a Dog Soldier to the placid life of a curator their love was fueled by passion and kindled by destiny.
Meet Cesca, the heroine from Where The Rain Is Made
From Chapter Two
Near Denver City
It rained last night. Warm air blowing over the Rockies from the Gulf of Mexico had conjured up a violent thunderstorm, rare for this part of the country. Francesca Duvall missed the sound of rain dashing against her window. She missed New York. Four years ago, she'd bid a final, tearful farewell at her mother's grave and steeled herself for the overland journey.
She hadn't been able to dispel the gold fever consuming her father, LeGrande, or dissuade her brother Marshall, two years her junior, from the wanderlust claiming their souls. Now their home stood along the Platte River near the mining camps of Charles City and Auraria in Colorado. A lonely life for a young woman of eighteen whose father insisted she dress like a boy.
"Miners are an unscrupulous lot," her father often said. "They'll slake their lust on the nearest woman while I'm panning for gold."
She'd grown accustomed to binding her chest with strips of cotton fabric, donning a pair of Marsh's old britches and one of his cotton shirts to camouflage her soft curves, but that didn't mean she liked it. Her long, black hair tucked beneath an old straw hat completed the masquerade. Everyone in camp believed the old widower Duvall broke his back day after day flashing for gold in Cherry Creek while his two motherless sons kept the home fires burning.
Francesca cracked open six eggs and tossed them into the skillet next to a slab of bacon.
Battling impatience, she walked onto the porch, cupped her hand over her brow, and searched for Marsh across her father's wheat field. The scent of damp earth reached her nostrils and next, the enticing aroma of dew-kissed bluebells and prairie grass. The land was so eerily still, she jumped from her skin when the hoarse trill of a raven in a nearby cottonwood split the air.
She scanned the flat windswept prairie and cupped a hand over her mouth to call out for Marsh. In the distance, black ribbons of smoke snaked skyward and scattered under the clear blue sky.
Cesca clasped a hand to her throat. Mrs. Peabody, their closest neighbor, insisted the day would finally come. "The Cheyenne and Arapahoe are on the war path," the woman had said. "Not all went willingly to the reservation, and now the country blazes with terror."
Cesca's father had agonized over the woman's admonitions, threatened to abandon his claim and head back east. Shanghaied by an almighty lust for gold, he dashed the notion the moment Mrs. Peabody had fled to safety. The woman swore on the Good Book not a soul would survive. "Anyone with a whit of sense would flee. Gold or no gold." True to her word,
Elmira had taken flight last week in a buckboard, her jowls aflutter, her keen eyes wide and alert.
Her brother's voice came to her now on the wings of panic. "Run, Cesca, run!"
He sprinted over a small knoll, his hand clasping his side. His sandy locks shone brilliant beneath the harsh rays of the morning sun. Terror struck his blue eyes and Francesca felt the color drain from her face.
With fright choking her, Marsh pushed her into the cabin. He ran to the sideboard, pulled a derringer from the drawer and shoved it into her hand. "Through the bedroom window!" he shouted. "There's little time!"
"Oh, Marsh!" Sobs cracked her voice. "We're going to die!"
"No, Cesca!" He grabbed her arm and dragged her to the other side of the room. "You'll live if you do exactly as I say."
The pounding of hooves against the earth reached them, and next, the triumphant cries of banshees. Cesca peered through the open door and nearly crumbled. Riding well-muscled ponies, ten braves trampled through her father's field. Their faces awash in hideous black, blue and yellow war paint, they advanced on the small cabin.
Marsh lifted the sash and pushed her through the open window. "Run as fast as you can to the river, hide in the tall grass."
"Oh, please don't ask me to leave you. Come with."
"You must listen!" He grasped her shoulders through the open pane, his expression grim. "Do you know what they do to white women? Please, Cesca, go now!"
Through an open field she sprinted and glanced over her shoulder, stunned to see the invaders had already entered the house. Gunshots bounced off the trees. Papa's rifle. Marsh would try to hold them off until she made it to the river. His face loomed before her—so innocent and brave. Agony gripped her heart. He'd forfeit his life so she might live. The thought that she'd never see him again tore at her innards.
In the pale light of morning, Francesca spied the tall prairie grass ahead, smelled the ashen waters of the river. A blue jay screeched from a low-hanging branch as she passed, the derringer clutched in her hand. Thank God her father had taken the time to show her how to shoot. A single shot, that's all that stood between her and death.
She remembered the acrid, black smoke and the direction from which it had come - Auraria, the miner's camp. Her father must be dead too. Please, God, don't let them find me. Tall spikes rose to her hips and rustled against her twill pants as she threshed toward the river. A desperate desire to survive coursed through her blood. She'd grab a hefty branch, float down the river so they couldn't track her, would never find her.
Moments later, she emerged from the tall grass and her stomach lurched. On the opposite bank of the river stood the most frightening sight she'd ever laid eyes on.
She froze, her heart pounding in triple beats. Pewter eyes locked with hers and she uttered a low cry of fear. Grotesque war paint covered his face, and bloody scalps hung from his waist.
She was as good as dead.
Recovering her senses, she raised the derringer, her hands shaking like a rattler's tail. "Don't come near me! I know how to use this. Take one step and I'll shoot."
A flicker of admiration flashed in the gunmetal orbs. And something else. Oh, God, had he seen through her ruse, knew she wasn't a boy? Her heart sank.
Treading through the shallow water, he advanced and she retreated, tripping over her feet. She drew back on the trigger and fired. Morbid fascination gripped her when the bullet whirred by his head and carved out a shallow furrow along his temple. A stream of blood trickled from the wound and ran down his cheek.
And what cheekbones they were. Every feature of his face was finely chiseled, reminding her of the savages in her father's picture books.
She sprinted toward the marsh grass, only to be knocked to the ground when a rock-hard body struck her from behind. Crushed by the man's weight, she clawed at the earth. Gritty sand and damp moss spiraled up her nose. Amid the white-hot pain in her ribs, she struggled to remain conscious. Her life depended on keeping her faculties.
Strong hands bound her hands behind her back just before darkness found her.
WHERE THE RAIN IS MADE is available here: http://tinyurl.com/37oepsy
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