Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cold Horizon has won First Place in Romantic Suspense!!

I'm so excited to share that COLD HORIZON has won First Place in Romantic Suspense for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction!! This award is sponsored by the First Coast Chapter of Romance Writers of America, based out of Jacksonville, Florida.



This book was a challenge to write, so I'm absolutely thrilled it's resonated with readers. Lindsey Coulson is a favorite heroine for me and has proven to be an inspiration to others with her fortitude and tenacity. And Ty Galloway's work ethic and obvious devotion to Lindsey was a pleasure to write.

If you haven't read it yet, I hope you'll give it a try.


Available in eBook (Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo and Google Play) and in paperback

Learn more here

Excerpt from Cold Horizon

“All the 8000-meter peaks have been conquered with winter ascents now, except for K2,” Ty said, seeking to change the subject. “As usual, she’s holding out. Here’s another interesting fact—K2 is the site of the most famous belay in mountaineering history.”

“I’m hoping to get a photo as we pass the spot,” Packer said. “I’m gonna put it on my social media with hashtag ‘BadAssBelay.’”

“Why is it so famous?” Brynn asked.

“One man held the force of six falling men,” Ditch replied. “It was in 1953 and the summit of K2 had yet to be reached by anyone. The expedition—only the fifth one here—wouldn’t reach it either. It was an American team led by a man named Charles Houston, an excellent and well-respected climber. They had made it quite high on the mountain when one of their teammates, a man named Art Gilkey, for whom the memorial here is named, became very ill. They had to bring him down in a makeshift stretcher, which is a very dangerous thing to do. At one point, each man slipped in fast succession, becoming entangled in the ropes. A young climber named Pete Schoening was at the end, and he held them all, saving their lives. It was an incredible feat, really. Unfortunately, later, they anchored Gilkey to the mountain while they set up a tent, and he disappeared, likely swept away by an avalanche.”

Brynn took a sip of coffee from her mug. “Don’t all of you find the death in these places unsettling?”

“You can’t let it get to you,” David said. “On Everest, some of the dead are still where they died. You walk right by them.”

“One of the markers to the summit is Green Boots,” Ditch said. “I think he was an Indian climber.”

“They just freeze and are left there?” Captain Juneid asked, having remained silent during the meal.

“It’s too dangerous to move them,” Ditch replied. “It sounds unfeeling, but if they’re dead, they don’t need to get down the mountain.”

“Sometimes climbers try to bring bodies down,” Ty said quietly, glancing at Lindsey. Alison’s body was somewhere on K2. “But most of the time it’s all they can do to get themselves down safely.”

“Well, if I freeze my ass to K2, I give everyone here the green light to leave me,” Packer said. “I’d be happy to spend eternity here. Then everyone can pass me by, referring to the Packer marker.”

Ditch smirked. “You mean they’d be saying ‘The summit is just beyond the asshole blocking the route.’”

Packer let out a whoop. “I’ve been called worse.”

Brynn’s face took on an expression of concern. “I know climbing is addictive—I surfed for years, so I get the mentality—but really, why do you all do it?”

“It beats working,” Packer said.

Ditch finished off his coffee. “Which I don’t think you’ve ever done.”

“If you’re nice to me, I’ll let you rope up with me.”

“I think I’ll rope with Lindsey.”

Packer released an exaggerated sigh. “God, I hate it when there’s a better climber on the team than me. I have to work so much harder. Wait a minute, why do you get to rope up with the lady?”

Lindsey looked at Brynn. “Are you sure you don’t want to take up climbing?”

“Maybe I will. But I can see why you always climbed with your sister.”

“You girls are too picky,” Packer said.

“Just watch yourself,” Ty cut in. “There’ll be no messing around with my sister.”

Glee filled Packer’s face. “But Lindsey’s fair game?”

“No.” Lindsey answered at the same time as Ty.

He immediately regretted the force of his opposition, the hair rising on the back of his neck. The protectiveness for his sister didn’t surprise him, but hell if he wanted anyone laying claim to Lindsey.

Shit. So much for keeping his feelings under the radar.

 

Copyright © 2019 K. McCaffrey LLC

 


Monday, June 7, 2021

A Navajo Hex

 

By Kristy McCaffrey

When I was nine years old, I lived on the Navajo Indian Reservation. My dad, who has long had a deep and abiding respect for Native Americans, saw this as a chance to give back with his life, so he took a job as an accountant with an arts and crafts store in Window Rock, Arizona—capital of the Navajo Nation. We obtained a house just across the border in New Mexico, in a small town aptly called “Navajo,” supported by a local sawmill. It was 1975.

Navajo, New Mexico (photo taken by author)

One day at one of the stores that employed my father a worker found a Styrofoam cup tucked away on a shelf. Inside were various items that included a torn corner of a $5, $10 and $20 bill. It was immediately clear to those who discovered it that a hex had been placed. Soon thereafter, a medicine man was called. Since it involved all the employees, my dad was allowed, despite being a white man, to participate in the ceremonies conducted.

Window Rock, Arizona (photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

At the first ritual, the medicine man found a buried pot outside the building at the base of the famous local landmark, the window rock. This was accomplished when his hand trembled over the exact location. On the outside of the pot, stick figures represented the employees, and lightning bolts painted above indicated death by lightning strike. At the time, we were having terrible storms every day. Inside were pieces of coral, turquoise, and silver, and a section of human skull.

At the second ceremony, a bowl filled with some type of tea was passed around to ingest, and then each employee was asked to look into a crystal to identify who had placed the hex. My dad says he saw nothing, but it was generally agreed that the perpetrator was a former employee who had been fired. She was part of a major Navajo clan, and her dismissal had possibly angered the wrong people. But the curse spoke of deeper problems within the Navajo and their way of life. The crafts people—those who made Indian jewelry and the iconic Navajo weavings—were at odds with the administration, which included my dad. There were those who wanted progress, and those who didn’t. At the conclusion of the ceremony, after a sand painting was created, the piece of skull inside the pot was burned. Two female employees reported instant relief from a terrible headache that had plagued them all evening. Back at home, at the same time, my mother said I’d been distraught and crying for hours from pains in my head, which immediately stopped when the bone was destroyed. It seemed family members had also been included in the hex.

My dad never attended the third, and final, observance—the Blessing Way—because we had moved back to Phoenix. He has always joked that the hex was never fully removed. As evidence, he cites various mishaps that occur whenever he and my mother return to the Navajo Reservation: car breakdowns, money stolen, and in one instance missing a critical turnoff because five Indians stood in front of a directional sign.

In my recently re-released standalone historical western novel INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, I included the hex in the story. 

Digital copies are on sale this week for 99 cents.

It’s been five years since a woman came between Ethan Barstow and his brother, Charley, and it’s high time they buried the hatchet. When Ethan travels to Arizona Territory to make amends, he learns that Charley has abruptly disappeared after breaking more than one heart in town. And an indignant fiancée is hot on his trail.

When Charley Barstow abandons a local girl after getting her pregnant, Kate Kinsella pursues him without a second thought. She’s determined he set things right, and even more determined to end her own engagement to him, a sham from the beginning. But an ill-timed encounter with a group of ruffians lands her in the company of Charley’s brother, Ethan, who suggests they search together.

As Ethan and Kate move deeper INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, family tensions and past tragedies threaten to destroy a love neither of them expected.

A sensuous historical western romance set in 1893 Arizona Territory. Into The Land Of Shadows is a stand-alone, full-length novel with paranormal elements.

This book was previously published in 2013 under the same title. While the text and cover have been updated, the story remains the same.

Click to read Chapter One and find buy links.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Ancient Winds Is Now In Hardcover

 


I'm so excited to share that I have my first book in hardcover!

Ancient Winds is now available in digital, paperback, and hardback.

Buy from Amazon

Signed copies available through my Esty Store

Archaeologist Brynn Galloway partners with sexy mercenary physicist Dr. Tristan Magee to track down a rare Sumerian artifact, but in the Bolivian jungle there are no barriers … least of all between them.


Ancient Winds Excerpt

Brynn couldn’t sleep and found Tristan sitting by a small fire near the main building. With elbows on knees, he was hunched forward, his gaze intent on the flames as shadows ebbed and flowed across the angles of his face. He sported a few days’ growth of whiskers and his dark hair was curling along the collar of his shirt. The wilderness was slowly consuming them, making them wild in the process, or maybe it was simply the jungle stripping away societal barriers and laying them bare. Brynn suspected, however, that Magee had never paid much attention to such niceties.

“Communing with aliens?” she asked, keeping her voice low so as not to disturb the others who might be nearby. Tristan had been right—privacy was in short supply.

The glint in Tristan’s gaze conveyed annoyed amusement. And maybe something else. The tug in her belly was immediate, and she all but lifted her nose to catch his scent. For a moment she let herself revel in everything male that was Magee: muscle, strength, and possibly the biggest aphrodisiac for her—irreverence.

He motioned for her to sit as he said, “Well, if you consider talking to Dimar interacting with something not of this world, then the answer is yes.”

She took a seat, leaving the one between them empty. Wouldn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

“Sometimes I have trouble sleeping in the jungle,” he said.

“Is that a sleeping aid?” she asked as he took a sip from his canteen.

He replaced the lid. “Nah. Just water. Can you play backgammon, Galloway?”

“Yes. I used to play with my grandfather.”

“I’ll be right back.”

He disappeared, and then returned with a mini version of the game. He unfolded the board and proceeded to set it up on the empty chair between them.

“Why backgammon?” she asked, helping him organize the pieces in the glow of the firelight.

“It was my dad’s favorite. Did you know it’s one of the oldest known board games?”

“I do. They’ve found evidence of it in Mesopotamia. Maybe it was a gift from their alien benefactors.”

“The dice were made from human bones, so no alien intervention likely.”

“You do know your artifacts.”

“I try.” He handed her a die, his hand brushing hers. “Need a refresher on the rules?”

“Nope, I’m good,” she replied, pretending his touch hadn’t left a burn mark.

 

Copyright © 2021 K. McCaffrey LLC

 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Into The Land Of Shadows has been updated

 


By Kristy McCaffrey

I'm pleased to share that my standalone historical western novel, INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, has received a makeover and is now available wide. 

This book was previously published in 2013 under the same title. While the text and cover have been updated, the story remains the same.

 


It’s been five years since a woman came between Ethan Barstow and his brother, Charley, and it’s high time they buried the hatchet. When Ethan travels to Arizona Territory to make amends, he learns that Charley has abruptly disappeared after breaking more than one heart in town. And an indignant fiancée is hot on his trail.

When Charley Barstow abandons a local girl after getting her pregnant, Kate Kinsella pursues him without a second thought. She’s determined he set things right, and even more determined to end her own engagement to him, a sham from the beginning. But an ill-timed encounter with a group of ruffians lands her in the company of Charley’s brother, Ethan, who suggests they search together.

As Ethan and Kate move deeper INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, family tensions and past tragedies threaten to destroy a love neither of them expected.

A sensuous historical western romance set in 1893 Arizona Territory. Into The Land Of Shadows is a stand-alone, full-length novel 

2014 Carolyn Readers’ Choice Award Finalist 

“… a must read … a story that is engaging and edge-of-the-seat gripping. [McCaffrey’s] vivid descriptions and great cast of characters, with exceptional dialogue, bring this story to life.”
  ~ Coffee Time Romance & More

 “With a vividly painted background, engaging and compelling characters and pages that just fly by, Into The Land Of Shadows is a superb read for any western or historical romance lover.”
  ~ Romance Junkies

 “…as if ‘Romancing The Stone’ and ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and ‘Dances With Wolves’ got together and had a kid.” 
 ~ Reading Alley Reviewer


Excerpt – First Kiss

Kate hid in the shadows at the far end of the hallway hoping neither of the men would see her. They opened the door to Harry’s room and went inside. She would have little if no time to escape before they realized she was gone. Rufus didn’t completely close the door behind him. Kate tiptoed as fast as she could past the room she had occupied for the last several hours and moved quickly down the stairs, her legs still aching from misuse.

“Where’d she go?” Clive roared as Kate ran out into the street. She looked right then left. The road was dark, windy, and deserted. The sound of loud thumps on the stairs told her Clive and Rufus were right behind her.

She darted around the building and then ran behind another, and then hustled toward the end of the street.

“Spread out! We’ll git her!” Clive yelled.

Kate moved around a trading post but sensing a presence from behind, she jerked her head around and stared. A four-legged creature ran past, disappearing.

With a hand on her chest, she struggled to calm her breathing. It was just a dog.

She peeked around the building and saw Clive walking down the street carrying his gun. Rufus wasn’t in sight. She needed to find a place to hide but most establishments looked closed. Movement to the left caught her eye. Joe Tohonnie? Maybe she hadn’t dreamt him after all.

The shadow moved across the street and disappeared behind a blacksmith building. Kate ran to the other side of the street, hunching over to hide herself. Once she made it to the blacksmith, she glanced around.

“Joe?” she whispered. “Mister Tohonnie? Is that you?”

No answer but the wind. Kate began backing up toward the rear of the building, dread gripping her stomach. She swallowed hard, feeling uncertain. Staying close to the structure, her heart wouldn’t stop pounding and her hands were clammy from fear. She swallowed hard again then turned to run but was caught short, letting out an involuntary gasp when the four-legged creature cut her off with a growl.

The animal’s yellow eyes glowed by the light of the moon and he watched her with rapt attention, his body poised for attack.

A wolf.

Another low growl emanated from deep in the animal’s throat and Kate fought the urge to flee. The wolf’s head easily came to her chest; he would have no trouble chasing her down and ripping her to pieces. The gash on her face would pale in comparison to what he would do to her.

A commotion from behind startled her. Someone grabbed her, and in a frenzy Kate fought back, kicking and straining against the iron grip the man exerted around her waist. His hold loosened and Kate fell to the ground. She grabbed a loose board, and screamed as she swung it around, hitting the man’s leg. But he didn’t go down. She scooted backward and scrambled to her feet. The man grabbed her this time, facing her. Thinking it was Clive or Rufus, she continued to struggle.

“Katie! Katie! It’s me. It’s Ethan.” He held her tight against the building. A sob escaped from deep inside her throat, a maelstrom that matched the wind roaring in her ears, and then Ethan’s mouth was on hers.

Hot, insistent, devouring. She molded into him, her lips and tongue hungry for the sudden and consuming contact. She pushed her body against his, clinging to his broad shoulders, desperate to be closer still.

He didn’t abandon me.

His mouth crushed hers and she felt on fire, head to toe.

“Rufus, you find her?” Clive yelled in the distance.

Ethan broke the kiss, and Kate reeled back against the building. “Let’s go,” he said and grabbed her hand, pulling her behind the blacksmith building.

“Wait.” She tugged his hand to stop him. “There’s a wolf.” Her voice shook—either from the men chasing her, the wolf challenging her, or the man who had just devastated her defenses with one kiss. She could take her pick. She’d had a busy day.

“He’s with me,” Ethan said quietly. “He won’t hurt you.” The wolf suddenly appeared. “Bart!” Ethan cocked his head. “Come.”

“Get back here,” Clive yelled.

Kate looked over her shoulder and saw him in pursuit. He began shooting. Ethan ducked down and pulled her with him.

“Dammit, Clive!” Ethan yelled. “Give it a rest!”

“Bring her back,” Clive said. “We need her!”

“I need her more. Run, Kate.”

Copyright © 2021 K. McCaffrey LLC


Find buy links and more at Kristy's website

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ancient Winds Playlist


By Kristy McCaffrey 

Here's the playlist I listened to while writing Ancient Winds. It's mostly 70's music, but there's also a few from the 80's, 90's and 2000's. Maybe it will spark a long forgotten gem for you.

Love Takes Time – Orleans
On the Border – Al Stewart
Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
Tiny Dancer – Elton John
Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston
How Much I Feel – Ambrosia
A Horse With No Name – America
Feels Like the First Time – Foreigner
Change – John Waite
Dust in the Wind – Kansas
Dream Weaver – Gary Wright
Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
Kiss You All Over – Exile
Let It Ride – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Brandy – Looking Glass
Tin Man – America
Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
Games People Play – Alan Parsons Project
Let the River Run – Carly Simon
Just What I Needed – The Cars
Baby, I Love Your Way – Peter Frampton
One Night in Bangkok – Murray Head
Rock the Casbah – The Clash
Y.M.C.A. – Village People
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Rainy Days and Mondays – The Carpenters
Top of the World – The Carpenters
We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters
Close to You – The Carpenters
I Won’t Last a Day Without You – The Carpenters
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
The Eagle and the Hawk – John Denver
Rocky Mountain High – John Denver
I Got U – Duke Dumont
Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
Jungle Love – Steve Miller Band
Mad About You – Sting
Lady ’95 – Styx
Times Like These – Dan Fogelberg
Sweet Emotion – Aerosmith
Midnight Rider – The Allman Brothers
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Young Americans – David Bowie
Rocket Man – Elton John
Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – Elton John
Tracks of My Tears – Linda Ronstadt
In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Head Games – Foreigner
Could It Be Magic – Barry Manilow
Copacabana – Barry Manilow
Ready To Take A Chance Again – Barry Manilow
Walk Me Home – Pink
Got To Be Real – Cheryl Lynn
Marrakesh Express – Crosby, Stills & Nash
Don’t Disturb This Groove – The System
Heaven Knows – Donna Summer


Find more info at



Monday, February 15, 2021

Release Day!! Ancient Winds is out!!

By Kristy McCaffrey

I'm so excited to share that Ancient Winds (The Pathway Series Book 3) is now available in ebook. Print should be ready in a few days.


Can Brynn resist the charm of Dr. Magee in this high-stakes archaeology adventure?

In the jungle, there are no barriers …

Brynn Galloway doesn’t know it, but her academic career in archaeology is about to become a laughingstock. When a rare Sumerian artifact surfaces, her presence is requested in Bolivia, but nothing is as it seems. Soon, she’s entangled in a desperate hunt not only for a valuable antiquity but also for answers to humanity that might stretch across time. And by her side is a sexy mercenary physicist with a maddening belief in space aliens.

Dr. Tristan Magee is in a bad mood. When his latest acquisition—an unusual and as yet untranslated Sumerian cuneiform tablet—is stolen right out from under him and spirited away to the Bolivian jungle, he’ll do whatever it takes to get it back. Unfortunately, that includes partnering with a female archaeologist who proves to be the kind of distraction that brought down civilizations.

A combination of Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone, with a dash of The X-Files … get swept away in this romantic suspense adventure.

Available wide for one week only. Grab your copy here. On February 22, Ancient Winds will enter the Kindle Unlimited program and will be available exclusively at Amazon.


Would you like a bookmark from any or all of the books? Fill out this google doc and I'll drop them in the mail to you.


Excerpt

Brynn couldn’t sleep and found Tristan sitting by a small fire near the main building. With elbows on knees, he was hunched forward, his gaze intent on the flames as shadows ebbed and flowed across the angles of his face. He sported a few days’ growth of whiskers and his dark hair was curling along the collar of his shirt. The wilderness was slowly consuming them, making them wild in the process, or maybe it was simply the jungle stripping away societal barriers and laying them bare. Brynn suspected, however, that Magee had never paid much attention to such niceties.

“Communing with aliens?” she asked, keeping her voice low so as not to disturb the others who might be nearby. Tristan had been right—privacy was in short supply.

The glint in Tristan’s gaze conveyed annoyed amusement. And maybe something else. The tug in her belly was immediate, and she all but lifted her nose to catch his scent. For a moment she let herself revel in everything male that was Magee: muscle, strength, and possibly the biggest aphrodisiac for her—irreverence.

He motioned for her to sit as he said, “Well, if you consider talking to Dimar interacting with something not of this world, then the answer is yes.”

She took a seat, leaving the one between them empty. Wouldn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

“Sometimes I have trouble sleeping in the jungle,” he said.

“Is that a sleeping aid?” she asked as he took a sip from his canteen.

He replaced the lid. “Nah. Just water. Can you play backgammon, Galloway?”

“Yes. I used to play with my grandfather.”

“I’ll be right back.”

He disappeared, and then returned with a mini version of the game. He unfolded the board and proceeded to set it up on the empty chair between them.

“Why backgammon?” she asked, helping him organize the pieces in the glow of the firelight.

“It was my dad’s favorite. Did you know it’s one of the oldest known board games?”

“I do. They’ve found evidence of it in Mesopotamia. Maybe it was a gift from their alien benefactors.”

“The dice were made from human bones, so no alien intervention likely.”

“You do know your artifacts.”

“I try.” He handed her a die, his hand brushing hers. “Need a refresher on the rules?”

“Nope, I’m good,” she replied, pretending his touch hadn’t left a burn mark.

Copyright © 2021 K. McCaffrey LLC




Friday, January 29, 2021

Pre-Order Ancient Winds


By Kristy McCaffrey

Greetings to everyone in 2021. I hope you’re all well and safe and healthy. I’m pleased to share that I finally have a release date for ANCIENT WINDS – February 15!! Keep scrolling for the pre-order links.

Brynn Galloway and Tristan Magee’s journey is a combination of Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone, with a dash of The X-Files. I hope you’ll have fun reading it. It’s a bit of a departure from the tone of the first two Pathway books, DEEP BLUE and COLD HORIZON. Those entailed rigorous and detailed research regarding great white sharks and climbing K2. While I did quite a lot of reading about the Bolivian jungle and historic Mesopotamia, this story is a bit more whimsical. It includes the creatures of the South American wilderness, shamans both good and bad, questionable archaeology, the search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, and time travel. I definitely relied more heavily on my imagination for this tale. So come along for a wild romp through the jungle with a skeptical Brynn Galloway and an irreverent Tristan Magee.

In the jungle, there are no barriers …

Brynn Galloway doesn’t know it, but her academic career in archaeology is about to become a laughingstock. When a rare Sumerian artifact surfaces, her presence is requested in Bolivia, but nothing is as it seems. Soon, she’s entangled in a desperate hunt not only for a valuable antiquity but also for answers to humanity that might stretch across time. And by her side is a sexy mercenary physicist with a maddening belief in space aliens.

Dr. Tristan Magee is in a bad mood. When his latest acquisition—an unusual and as yet untranslated Sumerian cuneiform tablet—is stolen right out from under him and spirited away to the Bolivian jungle, he’ll do whatever it takes to get it back. Unfortunately, that includes partnering with a female archaeologist who proves to be the kind of distraction that brought down civilizations.


Excerpt from Ancient Winds

Tristan has recently become acquainted with Brynn while both are looking for a Bolivian guide named Dimar Castanos.

When they disembarked at Copacabana, he (Tristan) made his way to a bus, following Dimar and his group of customers. Once aboard, he grabbed a window view, and Ms. Galloway swiftly occupied the seat beside him.

“Good gravy,” she (Brynn) huffed. “It’s difficult to get a seat together.”

“I didn’t realize we were together.”

“So this tablet is why you’re after Irene?”

“I’m only after her, as you put it, to get it back, since she stole it from me.”

“Where did you get it?” she asked, plowing forward.

He supposed he should’ve been happy that she’d given him a night free of an interrogation.

“I’d rather not say.” He leaned against the window and shifted his hat to cover his eyes, hoping to sleep.

“Was it found in Iraq or Iran? An excavation? An accidental discovery?” She seemed to be mostly talking to herself at this point. “Has its whereabouts been known for years and hidden from the public?”

When he didn’t reply, she went silent, but that didn’t last for long. The bus pulled out and she started chatting again.

“Are you certain it’s not a forgery?”

Tristan gave up his nap and dropped his hat to his lap. “Well, if I wasn’t sure a few weeks ago, I am now that Irene swiped it.”

“Why would she steal it? I’ve never known her to be a thief.”

“Look, I’m not here to debate the moral character of Dr. Caridad with you, since I’m guessing you’re her friend, but if you’re in on this, then tell me now.”

Brynn straightened her shoulders. “You think I helped her steal it?”

Tristan waited. Galloway’s countenance didn’t budge as she watched him. Shrugging, he turned away. Either she was a very good liar, or she really didn’t know anything about the piece.

“All right,” he conceded. “You didn’t help her. Maybe Irene took it because she’s a lunatic, and she’s managed to keep her mental illness hidden from her family and friends all this time.”

“Really? That’s your answer? That if a woman does something subversive then she must be crazy?”

“No, sorry. I’m just a bit frustrated. Irene is a smart lady. That’s why I don’t understand any of this.”

“Look, I can assure you that I had no idea the tablet even existed, let alone that Irene had it,” Galloway said. “She asked me to come down here to help on an excavation.”

“That must be it then,” he murmured. “She’s gonna plant the tablet here and pass it off as a South American discovery.”

“That’s quite an accusation. Maybe she has a reasonable explanation. And what if evidence of Sumerian culture could be found in the Americas?”

“I’ve heard this song before.”

“Did you get the piece illegally?”

“You think she’s acting as a de facto police force against the illicit tradings of Tristan Magee?”

She answered with a silent raising of both eyebrows. He could hear the duh as clearly as if she’d spoken it aloud.

“No, I didn’t get it illegally. At least, I don’t think so.” He muttered the last bit. He never purposefully went after hot items, but that didn’t mean he didn’t stumble across them in the underground antiquities market. He also wasn’t about to tell Galloway that he hadn’t actually seen the piece before Irene got her grubby little hands on it. There was no denying that mistakes had been made during the acquisition process, but Tristan didn’t have the stomach to be censured at the moment. Not by this woman.

“So you don’t know where it was discovered?”

“All the information on provenance is back in the States.” Kinda. “I didn’t want to travel with any documentation. I’ll admit, I really didn’t care where it was found, just that it had been found.”

“Why?”

“I have my reasons.”

“If Irene does have this tablet, why would she bring it down here?” she asked. “She’d never be able to get it through customs. Maybe she doesn’t have it with her. Maybe you’re wrong.”

Tristan sighed. “It wouldn’t be the first time.”

Copyright © 2021 K. McCaffrey LLC


Read Chapter One: https://kmccaffrey.com/ancient-winds/


Pre-order now at all platforms for $2.99. On release day the price will increase to $4.99. Please note: Ancient Winds will become Amazon exclusive and will enter the Kindle Unlimited program on February 22. If you buy your books from other vendors, don’t delay.