Legacies and Secret Babies and Blogs…

Rule of thumb to keep in mind… When you go away to recharge from the stress of your life, stress builds up to fill every available second once you’re back ;o)

That’s okay, because I have visions like this (my last day at the beach) to sustain me…

sun from the porch

And I’ll need it. 

In my office waiting for me this fine Monday (while sea sounds play on my white noise machine) are:

  • The galley proofs of The Firefighter’s Secret Baby (to celebrate, I’m sharing a new excerpt below ;o) that need to be printed and read and commented on.
  • Drafts of THREE blog posts that go live this week: my I Write THOSE Books out Wed, including thoughts from literary agent Michelle Grajkowski; a Fresh Fiction guest blog, also out Wednesday; and a Borders True Romance guest blog that should be up on Friday.
  • The first half of Secret Legacy that I worked my butt off drafting on retreat, which needs to be printed and rewritten like the dickens, so I can draft the second half (to celebrate, I’m including a new play list I hope you’ll enjoy ;o).
  • The Dark Legacy contest prizes you’ve all been waiting so patiently for, which WILL get mailed out tomorrow…

So, I’m back and not going to be bored any time soon.

But I’m also feeling better and determined not to let stress take so firm a hold again. We need to breathe easy, if we’re going to be all that we’re meant to be. At least I do.

Here’s me breathing… And sharing some of the bounty with my blog buddies (enjoy a playlist AND an excerpt, while I clear my desk…):

Secret Legacy Play List, Take 2:

This is just an taste. I’m still weeding out a long list…

Richard Metting (the “mad” scientist from Dark Legacy) is Sarah Temple’s soul mate. Even if she won’t let him love her the way he longs to, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her… Here’s some of the music that moves me when I think about his scenes (Click here for a VERY early draft excerpt and Sarah’s playlist):

Click on the song/link to listen at YouTube.

The Firefighter’s Secret Baby, Excerpt 2:

Click here for the earlier excerpt, if you need to catch up. This scene doesn’t immediately follow the earlier excerpt, but I think you’ll likie ;o) Those of you who’ve read my other Atlanta Heroes, enjoy catching up with recurring characters…

“What do you mean, it’s too early to tell?” Randy had been badgering Atlanta Memorial’s top pediatric nurse for ten minutes.
He was being an ass, but his head was too full of pointless questions. He needed some answers, and Kate Rhodes had been a family friend for years. As soon she’d gotten wind that he’d ridden along with Sam’s ambulance and staked out the OR waiting room, she’d found him and stayed glued to his side, no matter how much he growled.
“Emma will be here soon,” she said. “I’m sure she headed over the second you called her. Once she’s here, I’ll find your victim and get more information. Her injuries looked surprisingly minor, considering what I’ve heard about the accident scene. But her pregnancy puts her at greater risk for complications–”
“I don’t need you to hold my hand until my big sister gets here. I need to know what’s going on. Go–”

“Not while you’re making the kind of scene that’s going to get you tossed off this floor.”

Kate dragged him to a chair. She was a tall lady, but Randy still towered over her. She got him to sit, regardless, then settled beside him. The room settled silently around them, and that’s when Randy realized they were alone, at least for the moment. He was still soaking wet and filthy from the accident scene. And Kate was right–he was punch drunk. Reeling from everything that had happened. He’d been running on adrenaline and instinct for hours.

“Why are you so hung up on this victim?” she asked. “You’re usually thrilled to be the hero who walks off into the sunset. Not that anyone you’ve saved’s ever complained. But it’s not like you let the job get personal, Randy. Or much of anything else, for that matter.”

No, no one complained. And no one ever got close enough to mess with the calm Randy had carved out for his life. That’s how he wanted his career. That’s how he wanted his relationships outside his family. Except for his bond with the brothers and sister he’d do anything to protect, Randy just wanted peace. A peace that had been unsettled for months by his bizarre attachment to a woman he barely knew. And now…

Don’t let him destroy our baby, too…

Your victim is a principal in one of my operations…

“Who is she?” Kate asked.

Randy managed a careless shrug. “A pregnant twenty-something who’s banged up and giving birth.”

“Yeah. I could have read that off the EMT’s report. But who’s she to you? Where’re her people? It’s been hours since the accident. You’re the only one here waiting to see what happens.”

Randy nodded, even though was certain Federal Marshal Max Dean was ruthlessly asserting his authority somewhere nearby. Which only added to Randy’s determination to know what the hell was going on. He had no reason to believe that this woman’s child was really his, or to feel responsible for either of their well being. But there had been cold deliberation in Dean’s eyes. Randy couldn’t shake the unreasonable compulsion to protect Sam from the man and whatever else had her so terrified.

Reason was how the world of fire and rescue worked. Weighing the odds, making the tough choices, getting the job done, then stepping away before getting emotionally attached. Except fear had been riding Randy hard when he’d surprised his team and insisted on riding in Sam’s ambulance. Fear had kept him pacing at Atlanta Memorial ever since.

“I have no idea who she is,” he finally said. “But… I have to know she and her baby are okay.”

Kate nodded slowly.

“Martin said alerts have gone out, trying to find contacts for her ID and description.” Kate’s hulking brother taught at the Police Academy. He could easily use his contacts at the Atlanta Police Department to quietly feel things out. “I suppose it’s possible no one knows she’s missing yet.”

“It’s also possible the ID we found in her purse is a dead end, and we’re not meant to find out where she and her baby belong.”

“Is that why you’re calling her Sam when her license says her name is Robyn?”

“Something like that.”

Don’t tell anyone that you know…

“You don’t think this wasn’t just another accident, do you?”

“A witnesses at the scene said someone hit a minivan, sending it skidding it into her car.” Randy stuck to the facts. Letting the rest in would accomplish nothing. “It sounds like the vehicle that caused the pile up had been dogging Sam for miles.”

“And how, exactly, do you know this Sam? Why don’t you want me using any other name but Robyn Nobles with the staff?”

Kate’s perfectly logical questions hung in the air, waiting for perfectly logical answers.

“Got a dollar?” Randy asked.

When Kate fished into the pocket of her scrubs and handed a bill over, he headed for the hall and the dilapidated vending machine that had already denied him Yoohoo twice. Ignoring that his friend was walking at his side, Randy inserted the money into the machine.



It spat the bill back at him.

“Damn it!” He pounded the side of the contraption with a clenched fist and inserted the dollar again.

“So, your plan is to make Herbie pay,” Kate said, “because you can’t smack around anyone else?”

“Herbie?” The bill flew out of the slot and drifted to Randy’s feet.

“This old wreck picks and chooses who it wants to bestow its bounty on. It’s not mercenary. Herbie will always give you your money back if he’s not feeling the love. But he’s fickle. Reacts badly to stress. An from the looks of you, I kinda feel bad for whatever soda you get your hands on. You’re crush it to oblivion when you’re done. You can understand why Herbie would feel protective.”

Randy eyed Kate. Never-ending overtime on the pediatric ward and dressing daily in cartoon scrubs had shredded her sanity. He wadded her dollar into a ball. Kate chuckled. He threw the money to the floor and stomped away from the evidence that a tyrannical drink machine had gotten the best of him.

He was furious. Deadly furious–at himself. He didn’t know anything about the woman his team had extracted. Not her mind. Her fears. Her secrets. All he knew was the instinct to pull her close. The memory of her contented sighs in Savannah. Both had been messing with his head for months. Was that really all this was–him being hung up on a one-night-stand?

He might be a shallow sonovabitch when it came to relationships. But this was about more than him not being with another woman since St. Patrick’s Day. Seeing Sam again had stirred up more than a physical itch he needed to scratch. He was terrified for her and her unborn baby, and it had been a lifetime since any emotion had had that kind of power over his life.

The elevator by the soda machine dinged. Randy’s sister emerged.

“Emma!” Kate said.

Emma stepped onto the floor, stalled beside Herbie and pulled a wrinkled bill from her purse. She feed the machine, scooped up the can that was agreeably provided, collected her change and marched down the hall toward them. Her expression was worried, but her determined stride said I’ve got this covered.

Classic Emma.

She’d had had everything covered for as far back as Randy would let his memory go.

She reached his side and held out the can.

“You must be needing a chocolate fix something awful by now,” she said.

Kate hugged her, the she and her pink scrubs with yellow ducks floating all over them headed down the hall.

“I’ll let you know when there’s an update on the patients,” she said over her shoulder.

“Patients?” Emma asked while Randy sat in one of the lounge’s chairs and snap open his drink. She joined him. “You said you knew a woman in the accident. That you might need Rick’s help with information about her. Was there someone else in her car?”

Randy downed half the Yoohoo and let its coolness smooth the edge off the drive to go hand-to-hand with Herbie.

“There’s baby.” He tunneled his free hand through his hair. “The victim is pregnant. Very pregnant. No one’s saying anything about either of their conditions yet.”

“And?” Emma had on her lawyer’s face. The one that revealed nothing about what she was feeling, while she listened to absolutely everything that was being said.

“And it sounds like Sam and the baby were in trouble a long time before the MVA,” he added. The kind of trouble that Emma’s APD Detective husband could look into.

“And?” Emma asked again.

“And I owe it to her to–”

Owe it to her?” Emma slipped her hand into his, like she had when he’d been a little boy and their world had fallen apart. “Randy, this woman. How do you–”

“We…met. On my trip down to Savannah in March.”

Emma watched him drain the last of his drink. When he didn’t say anything else, she headed back to the vending machine and beguiled another can out of the beast. She returned to Randy’s side, her eyes narrowing.

Her mind had always been able to sift through facts faster than should be legal.

“You met this woman the weekend you and Chris and Charlie and some of the guys headed south to blow off steam?” she asked. “Only you came back more uptight then ever. You’ve been impossible to deal with, the few times any of us have seen you off the job. All because of some hook up you haven’t wanted to talk about. And now she’s here…and she’s very pregnant?”

“Yeah.” Randy took the fresh Yoohoo. He handed over his empty can, which he didn’t remember crushing. The thing was little more than a ball of aluminum. “That weekend… It was strange. We were both looking for something easy and fun. It shouldn’t have meant anything more. Except it did, somehow. Being with her was…different. There was a connection. At least I thought there was. But when I woke up the next morning, Sam had bolted. I figured I’d never see her again and tried to tell myself it was a good thing.”

“And now that you have seen her again?”

Randy curled his fingers around his drink.

“She’s in trouble, Em. I’m sure of it. Nothing she was saying at the scene tonight made any sense. But I think she was in trouble when I met her in March. Maybe that’s what stuck with me all this time–what I couldn’t let go of.”

“You do have a weakness for saving people.” Emma nudged his shoulder with hers, only half kidding. “My little brother, the hero.”

Her biggest worry for him–for Randy and all his brothers–was how much of themselves they buried in their jobs. For Randy and Charlie and Chris, navigating personal relationships was the impossible thing–not walking into a blazing infernos for a living. So far, Em had been the only one who’d carved out a life with someone.

“If Sam wanted a hero,” Randy reasoned out loud, “she wouldn’t have run that morning.”

“I don’t know about that. I almost torched what I had with Rick, before I learned how to stop shoving the him away.”

“That was different.”

Emma had always been different.

“Yeah,” she agreed. “I wasn’t pregnant with Rick’s baby when he gave me the space enough to realize I couldn’t live without him. If I’d been carrying his child, he wouldn’t have let me out of his site, whether I wanted to be saved or not.”

“I don’t know what this woman wants. I don’t have the first clue what’s going on.”

It wasn’t an admission anyone who knew Randy was used to hearing. His sister’s eyebrows disappeared beneath her honey-colored bangs. But she didn’t push. Her silence was a open invitation to trust her with more, whenever he was ready.

And Randy did trust her. There was nothing his family wouldn’t do for him. Whatever secret Sam was keeping, even if the danger she’d been rambling about was real, Randy’s brothers and sisters were his safety net.

“She said someone was after her,” he admitted. “That whoever it was would be back, and she and the baby were in danger. I don’t know how much of it is true, or even if the child is mine. But she was terrified. Then a federal marshal showed up on the scene…”

Emma nodded. Her lawyer’s face was back, but she kept hold of Randy’s hand.

“And you need to know what about Sam’s situation is real,” she said. “So you’ll know where you stand once she’s stable enough for you to ask about the rest.”

The rest.

Sam and the baby and what the hell they meant to Randy…

“I need Rick’s help, Em. Your husband’s a bulldog. He knows exactly how to bend the rules without breaking anything important. He’s served as APD liaison on tasks forces with God knows how many federal agencies. He has to have a few favors to call in. I need to know everything he can dig up on this woman, her federal handler and whoever she’s running from.”





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7 Responses to “Legacies and Secret Babies and Blogs…”

  1. RobynL says:

    sorry but where do we find the Dark Legacy winners? Thanks.

    Breathe easy, Anna; I am going to try that also.

  2. Anna says:

    LOL, Robyn!

    The mass-o-winners that are mailing out today (those who’ve sent me their mailing addresses over the last month) are here:


    Remember that you can always click the Where Contests Go When They’re Over link on the blog (under the Blog Links list) to see past contests and their winners:


    Once all those are out, I’ll announce the Dark Legacy “critique” winner from here:


    Bear with me. This is a new approach (rather than doing a day-by-day release party, as before), and having it all hit in the midst of Dark Legacy release promotion with another book due at the same time, was a lot. But we’ll get everything shipped out before the holiday so everyone has their goodies to enjoy!

    Thans for asking!

  3. Skye Hussain says:

    Enrique Iglesias is just like his father. They all make good music.:~,

  4. Ellis Gibson says:

    Enrique Iglesias have inherited his father’s greatness in music.*~`

  5. decent piece of work. stay writing. :)

  6. the Iglesias family really have the talent for singing, Enrique is just one the best singers that i know .*”

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