Happy Saturday, folks. If you're looking for a quick shifter read for the weekend... well.. you're in luck. Check out T. Lee Garland's new release Lily's Loner :-)
T. Lee Garland
Release date: July 7, 2017
Lily, a cougar shifter, is on her first assignment as a reporter. She has to infiltrate a cult run by a mad man. When she witnesses the murder of two followers she runs for her life to her older brother, Ben. Ben is a special-ops soldier, who is determined to protect his sister, but his wife is expecting their first child and he fears he can’t give Lily the security she needs. So he drives her to his former CO and asks Max to protect his sister.
Max is a cougar and a loner and he likes it that way. He lives on top of a mountain in a cabin away from those who would be horrified at his battle scars. He takes one look at Lily and knows she is meant to be his mate. But first he has to protect her from those who want her for their own.
The truck bounces and weaves its way up the dusty, deserted country road that leads straight up the side of the mountain. I glance my brother’s way. Ben’s mouth is set in a hard line, his forehead wrinkled as he concentrates on the curves ahead. His alert eyes constantly shift from side to side, seeing nothing. There is nothing to see on this desolate piece of land, nothing except trees, brush, and an occasional skittish rabbit. For the first time ever, I feel closer to the rabbit than the cougar shifter I am.
Ben must have noticed my anxious glances, because he reaches his hand across to snag mine and gives it a squeeze before saying, “It’ll be okay, Lil. Everything will be okay.”
“I’m sorry,” I say again. I must have said it at least fifty times over the past two days.
“It’s not your fault. What happened is not your fault. I’m just sorry you can’t stay with Amber and me, but with the baby due any day now I need my focus to be on them. I can’t protect you like you need—like a big brother should.”
I hear the regret and the stress. I have put a lot on him in the past couple of days. At twenty-two, I need to do a better job of taking care of myself. So far that plan is not working out so well.
“So this guy Max that you’re taking me to, you trust him?” I ask.
“Yes,” he answers simply. When he doesn’t elaborate I push further.
“Do you trust him with my life, Ben?” I whisper. I am almost afraid to say such a thing out loud for fear that the gods that be may see fit to test the theory. I am scared, terrified actually, and I have good reason to be. As a result, I am apparently having some trust issues as well.
Ben takes his eyes off the road for just a moment, but it was long enough to give me “the look”. The look that said if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be taking you to him. He turns back to the road before answering.
“Yes, I trust him with your life, my life, and Amber’s life. He’s the best there is. He will keep you safe, Lily, I promise. He was my CO, until his injury. He never asked one of us to do something he wouldn’t do first. He’s good, real good.”
I turn away from Ben and look out the window. The landscape flies past. Ben is speeding, and the road conditions are sketchy at best. I didn’t admonish him because I know he is in a hurry to get back home to Amber. His wife was due to have their first child any day now, and he hated leaving her. Amber isn’t a shifter like us. She is human, which makes her more vulnerable. Fragile, like the two humans I had witnessed torn to shreds days ago.
I close my eyes, but within seconds they pop back open. A scene of blood and horror plays over and over again in my head every time I close them. Like a damn horror movie stuck on repeat in the scary parts. A scene I know I will never be able to wash from my memory.
But Lord, I am tired, weary to the bone. Sleep, though, means nightmares in which I wake up screaming, even in the daylight. I had terrified Ben and Amber my first night with them. It is best to just keep my eyes open. Ben, my Special Ops older brother, was taking me to the woods at the top of this mountain, to stay in a cabin with a retired Special Ops buddy of his. A stranger, a fellow shifter, Ben said he had become somewhat of a loner since an accident had left him disfigured.
“I just wish he knew we are coming.” I am so exhausted I don’t even realize I have spoken the words out loud until Ben answers.
“Yeah, Max’s phone service out here is almost non-existent. He likes it that way. He’s not much into chit-chatting. It will be okay though. He won’t let us down. I promise.”
“A man who lives so far removed from civilization is doing so for a reason,” I point out.
“Okay, yeah you’re right. Listen, Max was injured in Afghanistan, an IED explosion that took out a couple of guys in our unit. Max has some scarring and he lost an eye, and because of it he just prefers his solitude. He’s the best, though, make no mistake about that. One of the strongest cougar-shifters I’ve ever seen. You will be safe with him, even safer than if you were to stay with me. You just have to trust me on this, Lily, okay?”
T Lee Garland lives in Clarksville, Tennessee. One of her first memories as a child is her Uncle Roy giving her a Little Golden book for her Birthday. That’s all it took, she was hooked on reading. She read her first romance book at seventeen and never looked back. She loves a bad boy who doesn’t know how good he really is. As a matter of fact she married one! She loves writing strong female characters who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it.
She shares her home with about one hundred Barbies, countless books and movies, a rescued beagle named Samwise Gamgee (Sammie for short) and a plump, elderly cat named Coco. She is most proud of her two sons and the beautiful, talented ladies they married.
And in case you were wondering that Little Golden book is still one of her most priceless treasures…forty-nine years later.
authorTLeeGarland on Instagram