Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy
Release Date: February 13, 2019
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Adventurous American nurse Samantha Winters is on a study abroad program in Australia. But after one perfect night with a handsome stranger, she finds herself with child. Intrigued with an elderly patient’s tales of a local creek where pregnant women drown themselves, Sam agrees to help end the curse.
Historian James Campbell keeps a vigilant watch on his family’s haunted land, hoping to prevent more deaths. A loner in his personal life, he’s stunned to discover his grandmother’s nurse is the one woman he can’t forget.
Sam is a believer. James is a skeptic. With the legend’s anniversary looming closer, the two work together to solve the mystery of Crying Girl Creek. Amid the tangles of secrets and lies Sam has a secret of her own: James is the father of her baby. And he doesn’t want children..
James Campbell knew what to expect. A breeze whipped up against the cloudless blue sky, and soon turned into a wild wind that tore through the canyon carved into the Broken Back Range. It chilled him to the bone, even though the noonday sun beat upon his shoulders.
“Steady.” He held tight to the reins with one hand and stroked the horse’s neck. “Good boy, Blaze.”
The skin on the back of his neck prickled, and the hair on his arms stood like a tangle of spider legs. The wind abated as swiftly as it had started. He stared toward the canyon. New South Wales had suffered an extreme drought, hell, for that matter so had most of Australia.
His dog whimpered.
“Ruby, come on, girl.” He patted his thigh to encourage the pup. She was barely a year old. An Australian kelpie, chocolate brown with a hint of red, and while she enjoyed being out here at the creek instead of the apartment, he understood there were many new things that created some nervousness. Hell, even he had to shake off a chill. He ran a hand inside his shirt. Sweat clung to chest hair. The sweat of fear? Nah, the legend was based on rumor, and the bloody thing kept alive by the curious.
Ruby slunk through the tall, dry grass.
“That’s good. There’s nothing to fear.”
With binoculars raised, he scanned the banks of the creek. The normally still water rippled like someone had skipped a rock into its midst. The sounds—moans that whispered through the grass and rustled the fronds of the willow trees—had been soft today, like a mother crooning to a baby.
Stuff it. Those sounds were purely scientific. They happened when the coastal breezes met the heat of the valley and channeled through the narrow gully. He turned the chestnut gelding, pushed back the brim of the Akubra, and wiped his brow. Binoculars dangled from their strap and bounced against his chest as he headed for the stables. He took off Blaze’s saddle and tossed it over the stall door, rubbed him down, then released him to the lower paddock.
Whatever the hell is going on here, it will be okay. It has to be.
He ambled across the dry land toward the old house, kicking at the red dirt with the tips of his boots. Inside, he pulled a bottle of water from the ancient refrigerator and strode to the front verandah. He loved Crying Girl Creek, but there had been difficult days. So much loss over the years, and that weakened a man. He sat in Grandma’s old rocker. Memories he needed to dig into, things that might help him heal, flooded his senses. After the anniversary of the legend, then he’d give them some thought.
About the Author
Robena Grant is Australian by birth but resides in Southern California. She has two adult children, enjoys reading, swimming, friends, simple dinners, a glass of wine, a board game, and heaven forbid…karaoke! Travel has always been her greatest love. France, Australia, Italy, England, and Scotland have featured in her stories. She often chooses a setting that has captured her senses through travel.