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:~: Thursday, November 01, 2007 :~:

Free Read: Chapter One of THE BEGINNING (Prequel to HOLD ON TO ME) Now Available!

Over the next six weeks, I'll be posting a chapter weekly of The Beginning, the prequel to my December release Hold On to Me, exclusively to my newsletter group. To subscribe, send a blank email to Linda_Winfree- subscribe @ yahoogroups. com without spaces. If you join before December 1, you'll be eligible to win a gift basket full of Southern goodies and a signed copy of my debut novel What Mattered Most.

I'm including a snippet of The Beginning for your reading pleasure. Happy Halloween, everyone, and I hope you enjoy this little treat!

The Beginning -- A Prequel to Hold On to Me
Coming December 11, 2007 from Samhain Publishing


She wanted him gone? Fine. He was gone.

Jaw clenched, fighting off an intense nicotine jones, Tick Calvert rested his chin on his fist and watched the Atlanta skyline as the plane banked for final approach. Her voice, her words, pounded in his head, echoing as they had for days. He’d done everything he could possibly do to change her mind.

But you could only kick a dog so many times before it got the message it wasn’t wanted anymore.

As of yesterday, he definitely had gotten her message, loud and clear. Now it was time to move on. Maybe being home again would help him figure out a way to do that. The landing came off without a hitch and with his FBI credentials, he made it through security with relative ease. With only his carryon, he didn’t have to worry about looking for luggage and strode toward the rental car kiosks.

“Where are you going?” The familiar female voice, filled with teasing fondness and a hint of laughter, had him spinning around.

“Tori.” He barely had time to say her name, warmth and affection spurting through him, before his baby sister launched herself at him. His carryon hit the floor, and he wrapped both arms around her, giving in to the impulse to swing her around in his embrace. His eyes burned. Lord, he’d missed her.

Once he’d set her on her feet, she plopped a kiss on his cheek and pulled back, wrinkling her nose. “You smell like cigarettes. And you look like hell.”

“Don’t curse.” The correction came automatically and she rolled her eyes. He studied her, unable to resist a wide grin. Her dark hair was longer than he remembered, pulled into a sleek ponytail, and her eyes, the same dark brown as his own, sparkled up at him with a familiar impish light. “What are you doing here?”

He’d intended to surprise his mother and the rest of his family by turning up a day early.

She reached up to tweak his nose. “Stanton ratted you out. I couldn’t wait to see you and there really wasn’t any reason to let you rent a car if I could drive you home, so here I am.”

He leaned down for his bag and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’m glad to see you.”

Her even white teeth flashed in a grin. “Same here.”

They walked toward the bank of glass doors and she nudged his side. “Mama doesn’t know you’re here, though. I can’t wait to see her face when we turn up this evening.”

The idea warmed him further, driving out some of the chill he’d carried with him since that final confrontation yesterday afternoon. Holy hell, he was ready to be home, to be surrounded by his family and all things familiar.

He needed that. Needed it to get Mississippi out of his head. Needed it to get her out of his head.

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