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Monday, October 29, 2012
HatH - Guest post and giveaway from author Kate Douglas
Here is a great guest post from author Kate Douglas, stay tuned after and enter to win a copy of her upcoming book Dream Unchained.
The air was crisp and the stars shining so brightly overhead that they hardly looked real. There was no moon, but they didn’t need it this beautiful Halloween night. Mac held tightly to Zianne as the two of them walked down the broad street that marked the only area of shops and stores in this tiny mountain town.
Children laughed and raced about, garbed as witches and demons, cats and fairies. A few wore more intricate costumes, but this was a small rural community and the majority of kids were in homemade costumes. It didn’t seem to matter. They were all having a ball and working toward a healthy sugar high before the night ended.
“Tell me again, Mac.” Zianne hugged his arm and smiled up at him. “Tell me why they dress in costumes. What is this Halloween they celebrate?”
“It’s celebrated all over the world,” Mac said, loving her questions. She didn’t ask to placate him or pretend—human customs were totally new to her, and she honestly wanted to know. “It began as a way to honor the dead but it’s evolved into an excuse to dress up in costumes and beg for treats. Personally, I think it’s a conspiracy by the Dental Association so they can drum up more business.”
Zianne turned and stared at him out of those gorgeous violet eyes of hers. He tried to hold a straight face, but she was so sincere and he loved her so much, that he couldn’t tease her. Instead, he kissed her, groaning with the sweet taste of those full lips, until she pulled away and frowned. “Mac?”
“Yes,” he said. “I’m teasing. It began as a serious day of remembrance, but it’s become a fun holiday. A chance to wear costumes, to pretend you’re someone you’re not.” He cupped her face in his hands and smiled at her. “Now you, my sweet, would make a perfect little gray squirrel. I can see you with those sparkling eyes and a big bushy tail and...”
Her smile slipped. “Not funny, Mac. Not funny at all.” She turned away and walked ahead of him. He followed, but somehow she drew further ahead, walking faster and the kids were everywhere, laughing and jostling each other, getting between Mac and the woman he loved. He broke into a run until he was racing across the high desert, running like a madman beneath the stars. The kids were gone. The town had disappeared and instead all he could see was the array, those rows of satellite dishes; huge antennae pointing out into space, linking his dream team with
the Nyrians aboard their ship.
Nyrians who were still enslaved, still held by their captors, but they were a proud people willing to sacrifice themselves rather than continue their journey across the heavens, pillaging and raping untold worlds, leaving destruction and death in their wake.
Zianne’s people. The ones he had sworn to save. Blinking, Mac gazed about and realized he was sitting in the big Adirondack chair on his deck overlooking the array, and the little gray squirrel was curled up in his lap. The squirrel that held the consciousness of the woman he loved.
It had all been a dream. Zianne was still trapped in the squirrel’s body, her people were still prisoners in the Gar ship on the far side of the moon, Earth was in more danger than ever, and his dream team was hoping for miracles.
And all Mac wanted was the woman he’d loved for twenty years. Twenty long years of working toward Zianne’s rescue with only a slim chance of success. They’d be making the rescue attempt tomorrow. One shot at saving the remnants of an entire race of people—Zianne’s people. He thought of the dream, of walking hand in hand with Zianne, of hearing the children’s laughter, celebrating the holiday.
Halloween was only a few weeks away. By then, Zianne and her people should be here, safe and sound. They’d have their soulstones and most of all, they’d have a future, not as slaves, but as free citizens of Earth. The squirrel sighed, and Mac wondered if Zianne had picked up his dreams for their future.
He hoped so. Hoped that by this coming Halloween, if he suggested she’d make a cute little squirrel, she’d be able to see the humor in it. For now, though, he stood and held the warm little creature in his hands and carried her inside.
She’d need her strength for tomorrow. They all would, but MacArthur Dugan expected success. He’d learned the importance of believing in himself, and now he wasn’t alone. He had his dream team, and he still had Zianne.
And the powerful certainty that failure was not an option.
Dream Catchers: Dream Catcher in Night Shift, Dream Unbound and the exciting conclusion coming October 30 from Kensington Aphrodisia —Dream Unchained.
Thanks to Kensington, we have a copy of Dream Unchained to giveaway. This is open to U.S./Canada residents only. Read event rules and guidelines before entering.
a Rafflecopter giveaway