Gayla K. Hiss – Romantic Excerpt – Part 2 of 2

Shannon here: Gayla K. Hiss shares a romantic excerpt from her debut Romantic Suspense, Avalanche. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Feb 7 – 10 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Feb 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Gayla:


Excerpt from Avalanche by Gayla K. Hiss:

Fireworks exploded across the dark sky, but Jenny Snowfeather hardly noticed. The news about the cabin break-in had cast a shadow over her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue. She’d suspected a bear at first, until she learned two hunting rifles and ammo had been stolen, along with food and blankets.

A bright flash startled her.

“Watch out!” a man cried as the stray spark zoomed toward her like a small meteor.

She spun around to escape, slamming right into the man and his plate of barbecued chicken.

He grabbed her, stumbled, and pulled her with him to the ground.

A second later, the blazing miniature rocket whizzed over their heads and crashed into the lawn only a few feet away.

She squeezed her eyes shut at the near miss. When she opened them, Jenny found herself face-to-face with the handsome stranger.

His large, brown eyes stared back in surprise.

Her gaze traveled to his arm, sheltering her body.

Quickly, he withdrew it and rolled over, raising himself to his elbows. “That was a close one. Are you okay?”

She sat up and lightly brushed the grass from her blue sweater and faded jeans. “Other than a few grass stains, I’m fine.” Glancing back at him, she noticed the food plastered to his chest and smiled. “But you’re not.”

When she leaned over to flick the remnant of baked beans from his white cotton shirt, her eyes zeroed in on the holstered Glock beneath his jacket.

She drew back. “Look, I don’t know who you are or why you’re here, but nobody comes to my brother’s Fourth of July party packing a gun.”

He glanced at the exposed weapon on his belt and pulled his jacket over it. “I can explain.”

She scrambled to her feet. “Save it for Deputy Patterson. I’ll go get him.”

As she turned away, he jumped up. “Wait, Jenny, let me explain.” His voice was low and insistent.

How does he know my name?

“Are you okay, Jenny?” Billy Norton stood nearby with his grunge-style stringy hair, Nirvana T-Shirt and baggy jeans. Concern shrouded his freckled face.

The tall stranger wrapped his arm around her before she could respond. “She’s fine. Aren’t you, Jen?” He smiled at her as if they were sharing a private joke.

His bold move stunned her. And what was up with the familiar way he addressed her? No one called her Jen except her father and brother.

His disarming smile diffused her temper long enough to notice he was not much older than she, probably in his late twenties. Black, wavy hair framed his tanned, chiseled face. Like dark mirrors, his eyes flashed, pleading for her not to give him away.

She paused, then shifted her gaze to her old friend. “It’s okay, Billy.”

The crimson stain on the man’s shirt captured Billy’s attention. “What happened to you?”

The stranger glanced at his chest and returned a wry grin. “A head-on collision with a plate of barbecued chicken.”

Billy looked at Jenny. “Are you sure you’re okay with this guy?”

The man met her scrutinizing stare with an affectionate squeeze and a wink. She flinched, but the boyish gleam in his eye and his playful smile sparked her curiosity and overruled her better judgment. “Yes, I’m fine, Billy. Go on back to the party now. Don’t worry about me.”

As soon as Billy left, she turned and confronted the mystery man. “Okay. The show’s over. Now get your hands off me or you’ll wish you were packing more than that Glock.”

About Gayla: Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce her debut novel, Avalanche, book 1 of her Peril in the Park series, which releases Feb. 1st.

About the book – Avalanche: When Park Ranger Jenny Snowfeather runs into Deputy Marshal Chase Matthews at her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue, she suspects there is more going on in Eagle Valley, WA than fireworks. After Chase confides that he believes the fugitive who killed his partner may be hiding out in the area, Jenny is skeptical at first. But when her peaceful town is besieged with a sudden crime spree, she realizes Chase’s theory may be true.

Avalanche is book 1 in a 4-book series set in the national parks of North America, and releases Feb. 1st. Avalanche takes place in North Cascades National Park.

Learn more and connect:

Gayla’s Website             Gayla’s Facebook               Gayla’s Amazon Page              Gayla’s Goodreads

Question for Readers: My book Avalanche is set in North Cascades National Park. What is your favorite national park, and why?

Come back Feb 14th for Brenda S. Anderson!


9 Responses to “Gayla K. Hiss – Romantic Excerpt – Part 2 of 2”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    love the smokies

  • Gayla Hiss says:

    Hi, Shelia, I love the Smokies too! I think I mentioned in my previous blog that we tried to go there in Dec. but the wildfires hit the week before and the road to Gatlinburg was closed. Maybe next year . . . Book 2 of my Peril in the Park series is set in the Smokies, by the way.

  • Donna Brookmyer says:

    I don’t think you can beat The Great Smoky Mountains area. My sister lived there for several years and we loved to visit especially in the fall when all of the trees are absolutely beautiful!

  • Edward Arrington says:

    My first thought is Shenandoah National Park because it is in my home state. However, it is hard to beat the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was fortunate to visit there this year with my wife for our anniversary. We went in the summer before the fires. Of course, we had no way of knowing at the time that some of what we were seeing would be destroyed by wildfire a few months later. We had a wonderful visit there.

  • Gayla Hiss says:

    Great to hear from you, Donna and Edward!

    Sounds like Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the winner so far. No wonder it’s the most visited national park in the country. 🙂

  • I think I would have to say White Sands here in NM. It is REALLY unique and cool! 😀 You can play in the sand dunes and when it’s REALLY hot, since the sand is white and deep it’s really cool under. I have a picture of my brother and sister “burring” me and I can still remember how cool it felt! 🙂

    Many Blessings, Amada

  • Gayla K. Hiss says:

    Hi, Amada, I was in NM last summer but didn’t make it to White Sands. It sounds very interesting! Thanks for replying!

  • Carol says:

    I have only visited a few national parks, but many state parks. Of the most unique national parks, is Everglades National Park in South Florida. When I lived in Miami, I would join cycling groups and ride bikes down “Alligator Alley” which is the nickname for the interstate that connects Miami to the Naples (west coast Florida area). It cuts through the marshes of the Everglades and cyclists sometimes encounter alligators and other reptiles up on the road. There are some very interesting “hammocks” you can tour along the Alligator Alley as well. A hammock is a elevated land area built-up from the marshes on a bed of limestone. In the everglades they support huge amounts of tropical wildlife and have their own unique eco-systems with plant and animal life unique to the area. (That’s what I remember about my visits there about 20 years ago. I did not research any of this recently.)

  • Gayla K. Hiss says:

    Hi, Carol, funny you should mention the Everglades. My husband and I plan to go there next winter and check it out. It sounds great! Thanks for responding!

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