Today we have the must anticipated novel from Dixie Jackson and a guest post from her for our readers here at Pine Enshrined Reviews! Without Further adue…
Six years later, Trent Wayland still isn’t over his spring fling. Probably because he was convinced when he married Captain Leila O’Neil, their fling would go on a lifetime. Leila is his soul mate and Trent knows it. He might not admit it on a regular basis, but that doesn’t negate the raw emotion she draws out of him each and every time he thinks about her. Forget the fact his heart splits in two all over again when he’s afforded the luxury of hearing her voice. That doesn’t happen often, however. Leila only tosses a handful of words his way when she initiates the weekly video calls he’s allowed with the other love of his life, their daughter Lucy.
Once upon a time, Leila O’Neil wanted to be a Marine when she grew up. She worked hard, she landed a seat at the Academy, and she was the head of her class. Then her dream was destroyed and she traded it in for a new one at the nearest Coterie portal. She wears so many faces and so many hats, at some point she lost track of her soul. That didn’t really bother her until Trent Wayland came along and almost peeled her dressing room curtain back nearly exposing her innermost person. The real person, the real Leila, who once upon a time wanted to be a Marine when she grew up.
Leila misses the real person, and realizes it at the worst possible moment. With her daughter’s life on the line and Trent on the scene of the crime, Leila figures out she’s been using her hurt and anger to fuel all the wrong goals. In a daring move, she puts it all on the line, hoping it’s enough to gain her freedom from her handlers and her husband’s forgiveness.
By Dixie Jackson
Publisher : Paisley Creek Writers (October 1, 2020)
Genre: Suspense, Romance, War/Military Fiction, Adventure
Print Length : 217 pages
Amazon | Goodreads
“Does your mother know?” Trent asked. “Does she at least know you’re alive?”
“No. No one in the real world does. Well, except you.” Leila waved one hand toward him then jerked it back and tucked her hair behind her ear. “Now you do.”
For a few bloated moments, Trent just stared at her with a look in his eyes which told Leila he was trying hard to wrap his head around what she’d just revealed, but was having a hard time making two ends meet.
“You need to pack.” Standing, Trent stuffed his hands in his pockets and shrugged. “We’re moving out of here within the hour.”
With his eyes to the floor, he shuffled away, left the room, and didn’t look back.
Leila pulled her hands down her face, growled, and flopped back onto the bed. Insufferable daddy issues. Why hadn’t she just sought the counsel of a good therapist instead of trying to be super daughter? But no. Absolutely not. She couldn’t let life be that easy. Leila had to take the hardest route she could map out. Except now she was lost along the road in a blinding snow storm with no GPS. Honestly, at this point, she didn’t even have a Cracker Jack box compass.
Easing back up, Leila palmed the top of her head and sighed. Pack? A half-chuckle popped out of her. When was the last time she’d been on assignment without Lucy and a situation presented itself requiring her to bug out?
She didn’t want to do this anymore.
Shhhhhhh…Reading in Progress
When I saw mention of the library on the suggested blog themes list, I was immediately taken back to my childhood and excited to get started. Before I dive in to that topic, though, let me first shout out a huge thank you to my host for today, Pine Enshrined Reviews. I appreciate you letting me come by and share my writing with your audience.
So, back to the topic at hand, memories of the library as a child. I grew up in the rural Ozarks. I mean really rural! We were on a rural mail route and at that time it entailed our mailbox being attached to a long board attached to two poles which had all the neighbors’ mailboxes on it, as well. It was about a quarter of a mile or so from our house, so that meant each day we had to drive up to the row of boxes to check our mail. We had a lot of packages stolen. The myth that crime is non-existent in small town America is just that. A myth. That being said, being so rural also meant I went to a tiny school which housed grades kindergarten through the eighth grade, up until 1977. At that point, we leveled up to K-12 all in one building and had our first ever high school graduation. Until 1977, our high schoolers bused over to one of two neighboring school districts for secondary education. As you can imagine, being that small meant there was a severe deficit in funding and one of the things we were deprived of for years was an in-house school library. Once or twice a month, the county bookmobile came by. One by one each of the classes were allowed to go out a few students at a time and check out books from the bookmobile. That was my first experience with the “library.”
When I was around eight, my Mom went to work outside the home in a factory in a neighboring town where there was a real library. It wasn’t long after that, we were introduced to that wonderful place. We, my sister and I, my mom and grandma, each got our library cards and we would visit the library without fail every two weeks. Each of us would check out the maximum books allowed and spend two weeks devouring the titles until it was time to go back and trade them in for new ones. Of course, it was a smallish library, so I found myself recycling titles and checking favorites out over and over again. I can still remember having to fill out the “check out” card located in the front of the book. It was always fascinating to me to see who else had checked out the same books as I had. Sometimes I knew the person who’d also checked it out, sometimes I didn’t. My imagination ran wild with the names of the people I didn’t recognize, wondering what they were like and if we’d ever meet.
I’ll always remember the smell of the library, the odor of books…old paper and stale ink. Even now when I go into bookstores which specialize in used or older books and I catch a whiff of that musty goodness, I’m taken back to that time in my life when I was just a kid completely consumed by the written word, devouring books at an alarming rate if my teachers were to be believed. Those times, those trips to the library, were particularly special for me because they were girl days. It was always me, mom, my sister, and our grandma. It was our carved-out time to spend together and we’d often spend hours perusing the shelves and making our selections. I can remember moving from the junior’s section containing The Little House titles and Encyclopedia Brown to the teen section containing some of the very first teen romances, to include the Sweet Dreams line. And eventually I moved on to the adult section at around age fifteen or so and started reading the romances and mysteries my grandma loved so much. I can’t recall the name of her favorite series, for some reason it escapes me, but I do remember us reading Agatha Christie titles together.
I won’t lie. The Kindle has made devouring books much more convenient and my TBR list is long. I find myself reading on it more than I do paper books. But I have to admit, I will forever be in love with the library and will forever treasure those hours and hours spent running my fingertips along the spines of books alongside my reading posse, my sister, my mom, and my grandma.
Thank you again for hosting me today and thank you to the readers here who stopped by to visit with me!
Born and raised in the heart of the Ozarks, Dixie Jackson learned a love of the written word at a young age. She remembers spinning tales before she could even write them down, but it was the encouragement of her sixth-grade creative writing teacher which would plant the idea that just never seemed to go away. She wanted to someday see her works in print.
Dixie makes her home in the Great Smoky Mountains with her retired Marine husband, two rescue dogs, and her beloved chickens. When she’s not writing, you can find her digging in the dirt and nurturing her plants while plotting the next step in one story line or another. She also loves experimenting in her kitchen, embroidering, quilting, crocheting, tracing her family’s twisted tree, and of course reading.
You can find Dixie at:
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