Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Claimed the first book in the Hunter’s Moon Series and Giveaway by P. J. O’Dwyer

   “O’Dwyer displays an unfailing instinct for building and maintaining story tension and intensity, and for creating complications as believable as they are compelling.”
—USA Today

One girl. Two horses. And a past itching to catch up. . . .   

Fourteen-year-old, Colorado juvenile delinquent Mackenzie Lynn Stonebreaker doesn’t do horses. But the volunteer gig at Hunter’s Moon Ranch has its perks. With cold, hard cash she lifts from its boarding fund, Mac’s poised for escape to search for her birth mom when an Arabian mare named Bella is viciously struck by a shotgun blast. Alive and talking—well, telepathically only to Mac—the horse begs for her help.

Talking to horses totally freaks Mac out. But leaving Bella and her colt Raider isn’t an option. Ditching her plans for now, Mac becomes a modern-day Dr. Doolittle, looking for justice. Only Mac tends to act first and ask questions later. When her protective instinct for the horses gets in the way of her good sense, Mac finds herself, once again, on the other side of the law.

Dodging a return trip to juvie, thanks to the ranch owner’s partner Dr. Rachel Hunter, Mac is now in the pediatrician’s custody and living a life she could only dream. With newfound friendships, the gift of gab with two quirky horses, her first kiss, and a chance at that family she’s always wanted, she can’t quite let go of one thing.

Abandoned and unloved by her mother, Mac wants to know why. But sleuthing for answers puts Mac on a collision course with the past—one that will shatter everything she believes in about herself and those she’s come to love and trust at Hunter’s Moon.
Mac just may find that what she’s been looking for her whole life is the exact opposite of what she will get.

Excerpt from claimed
 “Bella.” Mac slipped through the stall door and hugged her tight, avoiding her IV. “I missed you.” Mac kissed her muzzle and stroked her face. The scratch between her eyes was barely noticeable, but the angry sutures on the right side of her jaw remained jagged. If Mac had hoped by some miracle Bella would emerge unscathed, she better think again.
Mac checked her water. Particles of food floated on top, and she unsnapped the bucket from the screw eye. “I’ll be right back.” She slipped out from the stall and went over to the concrete sink and dumped out the old water.
Put a bullet in her head—it’s a lot cheaper.
Kai’s heartless voice played in her head over and over again. Mac made a face and slammed on the faucet. Cold water splashed her in the eye, and she dropped the bucket in the sink, grabbing the edge of it. “Jerk.”
“That’s real nice. Haven’t seen you in four days . . .”
Mac spun around, the heat creeping into her cheeks. “I-I didn’t mean you. I meant that bonehead Kai Montgomery.”
“Yeah, Gil told me.” Cade sauntered over, his totally cool, shaggy brown hair partially covering his tough-guy face. “Called him something else though.” He grabbed the bucket, rinsed it, and filled it with water from the tap. “This for Bella?”
Mac nodded, all the while her mind going back to two words—“four days.” He’d actually counted them.
Cade dipped his head. “Hello?”
“Ah, yeah, it’s for Bella.”
He motioned for her to go ahead of him. “So you’re staying then?”
Mac shrugged. “That’s the deal.” Now that she was in the aisle, she waited for him to catch up. “Bella still has her IV?”
“Yep. Doc says another day or two, and he’ll remove it.”
“How’s Raider doing without his mama?”
“A total brat.” He laughed. “Thanks for leaving me and Troy to pick up the slack. Guess who had to milk her dry and bottle-feed the beast while you were gone?”
Gil must have pawned it off on them. She would have done it. Mac swung on him. “I-I didn’t have a choice. They wouldn’t let—”
“Relax. I’m kidding.”
Oh. Sorry.” That was the old Mac. Defensive—about everything. Mac opened the stall door, holding it for Cade, and couldn’t help but laugh at herself and the image of Cade milking Bella.
He snapped Bella’s water bucket to the screw eye. “What’s so funny?”
You.” Mac angled her head down toward Bella’s stomach. “I get milking cows. Not so sure about a horse.”
“Yeah, well, it wasn’t enjoyable for either one of us.” She could tell he wanted to laugh. The corners of his mouth were that close to turning up.
“Hey, I’ve been looking for you two.” Troy stood outside the stall. “Gil needs us to pick up some supplies at Hyrup’s.”
Cade frowned at Mac and then turned to Troy. “Guess the girls can’t come.”
Troy laughed. “No, man. Gil’s cool. Caroline’s already in the truck.”
“Cool. Let me grab my Stetson, and I’ll meet you at the truck.”
Troy sauntered out of the barn, and Cade leveled a curious gaze at Mac.
“Didn’t you say your grandparents live in Glenwood Springs?”
“Got an address?”
Mac nodded. “Yeah. Why?”
“The supply store is near Glenwood Springs. Wouldn’t take us long to pick up supplies. We could swing by after.”
Planning and doing were two totally different things. She wasn’t ready to see them—confront them. “What if they’re not home? They could be out and taking one of those stupid classes that old—”
“You’re afraid.”
“Am not. It’s just they won’t be home.”
He gave her his back and sauntered out just like Troy—all full of himself. “Afraid,” he called back.
Mac bit down on her lip. She wasn’t afraid. They weren’t worth being afraid over. They’d done this to her—not the other way around. Mac ran down the aisle after him. “I’m not afraid. And you’re the one being a jerk now.”
“Prove it.”
“That you’re a jerk?”
He chuckled. “No. That you’re not afraid to tell your grandparents off.”
Mac breathed deeply through her nose. “Fine. I need to run up and get their address. I’ll meet you at the truck.” Mac took off toward the cabin and climbed the stone steps.
Miss Rachel stepped out from around the corner of the wraparound porch and her pediatrician’s office on that side of the cabin. “Hey, Mac, where you going in such a hurry?”
“Ah . . . bathroom, then me and Caroline are going with Troy and Cade to the supply store. Gil said we could go.”
She walked toward Mac in jeans, cowboy boots, and her doctor’s coat. “That’s great, sweetie.” She nodded toward the steps. “I have a few house calls to make and a class I’m taking so I can understand all these new health insurance forms.” She rolled her eyes.
Mac laughed. Miss Rachel’s arm remained around Mac’s shoulders, comforting and warm. She was so not like any other foster mother she had over the years, and truthfully, she couldn’t wait to spend her first night at the cabin. “What time will you be home?”
“About ten. I’ve got a roast in the Crock-Pot for you and Caroline.” Her arm fell away. “I’ll see you tonight.”
Miss Rachel traveled down the grassy hill, using the stepping stones, and said something to Gil who had come from the barn. Gil remained at Cade’s truck while Miss Rachel hopped in hers and headed out.
Mac darted in the house and grabbed the paper from her backpack, shoving it in her jean pocket. She met her friends at Cade’s truck in time to catch Gil’s speech.
“No detours,” he called out in a deep, gruff voice, his dark brows bunching together over his sharp nose.
Uh, oh.
Mac’s stomach dipped—and not like the first hill of a killer rollercoaster.

Author Bio –
P. J. O’Dwyer is an award-winning author of young adult and romantic suspense. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America. When asked where she gets her story ideas, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” She lives in Maryland with her family.

Connect with P. J.

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 by Heroine Mac Stonebreaker


Pam said...

Enjoyed the excerpt!

Kris said...

Sounds like a good read. I'll have to add it to my TBR list.