Navajo medicine man Lucas Tso had a special gift--psychic powers, coupled with vivid dreams about a mysterious woman. But when he came face-to-face with her, he wasn't prepared for the feelings that stirred within him. FBI agent Teal Benaly was investigating a murder on the reservation, and Lucas wanted to protect her from the evil shapeshifters that had declared war on the Navajo people. Dark forces tempted him to their side, and he'd need Teal's help--and her love--to keep him alive
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February 28, 2007
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Excerpt from Shadow Surrender by Linda Conrad
The Four-Corners reservation hung suspended in the bluish-lavender twilight that only comes to high desert in early fall. Winds blew down canyons and across bloodred spires of sandstone, spreading the scents of sage, cedar and the pungent odors of smoke and musk.
Special Agent Teal Benaly's nose itched as some-thing light and gossamer blew past her face. She never allowed herself to be struck by flights of fancy, most things were easier to deal with in terms of black or white. But when a feather's shades of sand and desert gray had caught her eye, even in the low light of dusk, it seemed like a kind of message. She dropped one hand from the shale-rock ledge and bent to pick it up.
Drawing the softness of feathers across her cheek while she stared off into space, Teal let herself forget for the moment the potential dangers of Many Caves Canyon. Instead of thinking about business, her thoughts turned to birds. She'd both heard them calling and seen a few in flight earlier. But why had this par-ticular feather got caught on the breeze and managed to glide by her nose right then? It seemed a strange thing to happen in the stillness of twilight.
There were so many things about her birth home in Navajoland that currently confused and confounded her. Of course, even as a child she hadn't known a damn thing about birds. She'd grown up a city Navajo.
The fingers of her left hand were still gripping the ledge to keep herself from sliding down the one-hundred-foot drop-off. However, she imagined it might be smart to start paying greater attention to her surroundings. Teal stuffed the feather into the back pocket of her heavy khaki pants then grabbed for the granite outcropping with her free hand and held tight with both hands. It was clear, even to a city Navajo, how easy it might be to fall down this steep path and break her neck.
But there was a job to do here. So she kept moving. The call to check out an abandoned truck at the bottom of a ravine had come too late in the afternoon for her to arrive before sunset. She had no idea why a tribal police officer hadn't been sent to check it out instead of the newest FBI special agent.
Damn her superiors in Washington, anyway. They knew the last station she'd wanted to be assigned to right out of training at Quantico was the Navajo res-ervation. Just because she spoke the language--a little.
And looked like she belonged here--sort of. It was still not fair to post her to a field office in the one place in the entire world that she hated most.
Taking a breath, she reminded herself she'd been brought here to the reservation at the Navajo Nation's request. The Bureau had sent her in to work on a special joint tribal and FBI operation.
It had been an honor to be given such an important assignment right out of training. But she couldn't imagine that an old abandoned truck would have anything to do with her job.
Nevertheless. She had been sent to check out the truck, and check it out she would. Thank goodness a three-quarter moon would soon be helping to light her way.
As she stood in the growing shadows, straighten-ing her jacket and checking her holstered weapon, something brushed her cheek. Holy hell. Looking around, she saw nothing in the deepening dusk.
It happened again. Cripes. She let out a shriek and reached for her Glock, but never managed to get the weapon out of its holster.
All of a sudden, small dark flying things were zipping past her from all sides. Oh. My. God.
Swiping wildly at the air around her head, trying to keep them away from her face, Teal took both hands off the ledge. And immediately regretted the move.
The rocks under her feet began to slide--a little bit at first. Then the good rubber soles of her shoes refused to catch hold against the sharp granite surfaces, even as she was trying desperately to keep her balance.