Blog tour, Blurb

Serenade by Heather McKenzie

Serenade
Nightmusic Trilogy Book 1
by Heather McKenzie
Genre: YA Romance, Thriller, Suspense
Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her
abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get
her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns
deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.
Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being
heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant
danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she
develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver –
a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He
wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger
has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love
and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when
she’s kidnapped. Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with
raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father
scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the
discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the
arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark
secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what
her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…
An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings
a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love
that will leave you breathless.
 se- excerpt

With every shifting of the breeze, my heart sped up. Every shadow made me jump. The small campfire crackled and smoked, playing with my vision.

            “It’s him, isn’t it?” Luke said quietly. “Your fiancé… you think he’s out there somewhere?”

            “Yes. My father would have sent him.”

            “Why?”

            “Because he will stop at nothing to get me back.”

            “But the sky has been quiet for a while,” Luke said softly.

            I looked up. There hadn’t been the sound of helicopters this morning, even though the sky was clear now and vibrant blue above the treetops.

            “Do you really love this guy?” Luke asked softly, and I heard him hold his breath.

            I forced my head to nod. “Yes.”

            “Then you have my word that I won’t hurt him,” he said.

            I adjusted the blanket and stayed by his side while he fell asleep. On the edge of my nerves, I kept a watchful eye on the bushes and the gun ready in my hands

***

           This was it, now or never.

            I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.

            I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…

            I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…

            Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.

            “Stop fighting,” he said.

            His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.

            “Stop… please,” he begged.

            His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.

            “Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.

            “It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.

            We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.

            “They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.

            He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”

            He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.

            “I promise,” I said.

***

           As casually as possible, he weaved through the over-perfumed and over-made guests, and then made his way out into the garden. At the end of the path, a small door hidden in the stone wall was his escape. He pushed away the tightly woven vines and pulled on the handle—still locked.

            The click of fast-approaching footsteps made him duck for cover. Someone stopped a few feet from where he was hiding and began to pace back and forth. He dug out the knife he’d stolen from the kitchen and hoped he wouldn’t have to use it.

            It was a woman, and she was alone. He peered at her from behind a huge Mayday tree for a better look. A shiny dress hugged her slim body, and long, dark hair fell past her shoulders to a tiny waist. She seemed upset and her chest heaved slightly as she tried to catch her breath. He caught a glimpse of milky-white shoulders and a hint of her toned thigh peeking through a slit in the dress. She turned toward him, and he thought he’d been caught. He steadied the knife… but when he saw her face, he forgot why he even had it.

            Her features were defined, but the edges were soft. Glowing skin covered high cheekbones, and a hint of pink was noticeable on them even in the silvery moonlight. Her nose was small and dainty, her lips full and berry red, and her wide eyes seemed on the verge of tears which made them sparkle. She was gorgeous. He was captivated.

            The knife fell to the ground.

            She said something. Did she speak to him? The whole world seemed to come to a grinding halt—he had to meet her even if it meant risking everything. His body moved toward her like it wasn’t his own, and as if in a dream, he found himself sitting next to her, wiping at a tear on her cheek. The heat of her skin under his fingertips and the look in her eyes woke up his heart. Suddenly, he wanted to soothe her, comfort her, and protect her from whatever caused her to run out alone into the night.

            He was absolutely compelled beyond reason to hold her hand, and when he did, the most startling, earth shattering revelation hit him with full force: she was the reason he was here on this earth.

            He didn’t believe in luck. He didn’t believe in fate. He certainly didn’t believe in love at first sight, but there she was, standing in front of him, wearing an emerald dress the same color as her eyes.

****

            I wasn’t dead. I knew this because I was freezing and everything hurt—every muscle, bone, and toe—I could feel them, but I couldn’t move them. I tried to open my eyes, but they wouldn’t budge. It was as if they were glued shut. I tried to raise a hand to pry them open, but my arms wouldn’t cooperate. My toes wouldn’t wiggle, my knees wouldn’t bend, and my tongue wouldn’t shift around behind my teeth. What the hell was happening?

            Relax. Don’t panic. Breathe… that seems to be working just fine… breathe… try again…

            Fingers. Toes. Tongue. Nothing.

            I was paralyzed.

            Okay, now panic.

            I tried desperately to scream, but I couldn’t even swallow. Was this hell, or was I caught in a strange deep sleep that I couldn’t wake from? Maybe I was buried alive. Maybe I couldn’t move because the earth was holding me down… but there was heat on my cheek and chest… I would be cold head-to-toe if I was in the ground…

 

Heather McKenzie is the Canadian author of Serenade, book one of The
Nightmusic Trilogy. Also a professional singer/songwriter with five
albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years
and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel
her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a
mom of three, an aspiring painter and a lover of animals, she is kept
grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

Listen to a sample
of Heather’s songs HERE!
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Advertisements

1 thought on “Serenade by Heather McKenzie”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s