"If you are looking for a series that keeps you on the edge, wondering what will happen next, wondering how an author created a jaw-dropping, heart-stopping book. Then look no further. Genie has created that with this series." --Bunnies Review

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE OUT THERE…


CHASING THE LEGACY
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A hulking, hairy figure similar to depictions she had seen of Bigfoot stood silhouetted in the headlights of a black truck. Adrenaline pumped through Layla's body as she cranked the ignition. "Come on, come on." 

The figure lumbered closer and closer as Layla pumped the gas pedal and once again tried to start the car. In slow motion, the beast-man drew nearer as Layla pumped and cranked. Pumped and cranked. 

"Get out of the car." The blade of a knife on the other side of the window, pointed at her throat. Okay, maybe not Bigfoot. 


He stopped and frowned at Layla. "You an innocent one?" 

Lie in the hopes of saving herself? Or tell the truth and risk being raped before Swaggerty killed her? "A long time ago. I thought he would love me forever." 

"Never trust a guy." Swaggerty looked around as if just realizing he intended to be somewhere else. "Give me your shoes." 

Layla looked down at the pale blue boots she had bought on the return trip to Halo. The ones the same color as Pop's eyes. These boots had been through Halo's explosions and Pop's guarded welcome and so many other experiences since she had come home. 

Home. 

Yes, Halo was home. And she wanted to stay here. Wanted Pop to look at her with pride shining in his blue eyes. 
Eyes the same color as the boots Swaggerty demanded. "Both of them?" 

Swaggerty's laughter roared across the meadow. "You got more balls than brains, Missy Reporter. I like that." 

He held out a hand. "One boot it is. And your car keys." 

Balancing with one hand on the car, Layla slipped off her left boot and handed it to the beast-man. 

"I'd tell you not to follow, but know it wouldn't do any good. With only one boot and no car keys, that should slow you down enough you won't get in the way of what I have planned." 

Swaggerty walked away a few steps, then turned and looked back at Layla. "Use an old picture and be sure to spell my name right." 

...

"It didn't stop with Swaggerty's death." Claudia looked Layla full in the eyes. "He's not the only one out there."

(Excerpts from Chasing the Legacy, copyright Genene Valleau writing as Genie Gabriel)


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

PART OF OUR LIVES...


CHASING THE LEGACY
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Grady tossed his tuxedo jacket and shirt over a chair on the way to the basketball court. 

He and CJ hadn't played one-on-one for a long time. His brother's first move was a basketball thrown hard into Grady's midsection. Okay, so that's how this game was to be. 

With a grin, Grady dribbled the ball toward the basket, slamming his elbow into CJ's ribs as he tried to block the shot. For a half hour, they slammed the ball--and each other--back and forth across the cement pad where many grudge games had been played. 

Finally, CJ leaned his hands on his knees, breathing hard. "Alright, have you had enough?" 

Grady bounced the ball toward his brother, breathing just as hard, and fell into their familiar pattern of teasing each other. "Getting wimpy, big brother." 

CJ chuckled and threw his arm over Grady's shoulders. "What do you think of Norah?" 

"She's not trying to take Tallie's place. She just wants a chance to be part of our lives." 

(Excerpt from Chasing the Legacy, copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel)

Monday, July 20, 2015

HELLO, I'M YOUR MOTHER


CHASING THE LEGACY
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Grady strode into the house with his usual smile on his face. Immediately, he sensed something different. His siblings stared at him just a moment too long before saying hello, and Tallie seemed very serious. 

"So, what's going on?" Grady asked. 

The siblings turned back to their own concerns as Tallie took Grady's arm and led him toward the study. "Someone's come to see you." 

"Okay. Why is that such a big deal?" 

Tallie hesitated. "She says she's your biological mother." 

...

As soon as Grady closed his arms around her trembling body, one of the pieces that had been missing in his life clicked into place. He held the woman while she cried softly, silently offering comfort the way Tallie did with him and his siblings. Norah seemed too fragile to be a mom in the take-charge way Tallie had been, but he felt a connection with her nonetheless. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

LAYLA & HER DOG, SOLSTICE

CHASING THE LEGACY
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A gutteral growl drew Layla's attention. She turned, meeting the eyes of a tattered brown dog slunk low to the ground and watching her warily. 

"I know how you feel." Layla spoke softly and turned her attention back toward the water. A pair of ducks drifted by with several babies following in their wake. She felt no fear of the dog; simply compassion for another creature struggling to find a way into someone's heart. 


A few minutes later, the woman returned and held out a bag. "Looks like you could use a good meal yourself." 

To her chagrin, Layla's belly rumbled as the salty warm smell of burgers and fries swirled out of the bag. 

Yet when Layla held out a bill to pay for the food, the woman shook her head. "Just don't dump her somewhere. Make sure she has a good home." 

Layla's gaze connected with the woman's. Her eyes held the same sad wisdom Layla felt in her heart. A longing. Yet a fear too. Of wanting too much, and watching it be snatched away again. "Thank you." 

The dog's tail wagged in a ragged plume as drool dripped from her mouth. "Come on, girl, let's go home." 

...

Where did you find the dog?" 

"Actually, she found me. The restaurant owner said she's a stray. So I thought I'd just--you know..." 

"Take her home with you." 

The admiration and respect in Grady's eyes looped and swirled in Layla's belly like a roller coaster. "Well, she's not so big, so she can't eat much, right?" 


"Say, do you mind giving me a ride back to Halo?" Grady asked. "I told the others to go on home..." 

Layla laughed as lightness filled her heart. Had she ever been as guileless as this man? She didn't know how someone who had been through as much as Grady surely had been could still look for the best in people. But her heart lightened when he turned that gaze on her. 

"Just watch out for my dog--she might drool all over you." 

Layla gathered Grady's laughter in her heart and held it close, letting it drift over her body like the sun on a summer's day. If only for the next few hours, she vowed to let joy into her life in the form of Grady O'Shea. 

(Excerpts from Chasing the Legacy, copyright Genene Valleau writing as Genie Gabriel)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

HAUNTED BY THE PAST


CHASING THE LEGACY
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Finally, Collin and Beth came out of the exam room. With no preamble but a silly grin, he announced, "We're pregnant." 
The world began spinning in slow motion. In the excitement over Collin's announcement, no one noticed Layla as she dropped back into the chair with a thump. Her stomach lurched. Her head began throbbing. She couldn't catch a breath. 
Layla slipped out of the hospital and walked. Her memories chased her to a green space. Under trees that stretched high above both sides of a stream until they touched in the middle. 
The gurgling of the water swirling around stones drew her. Calmed her distress. She sat on the grassy bank and stared out over the water. Where was her son? Did his adoptive parents love him? Was he happy? 

(Excerpts from Chasing the Legacy, copyright Genene Valleau writing as Genie Gabriel)

Friday, July 17, 2015

MORE THAN A HIGH SCHOOL CRUSH

Layla & Grady from
Chasing the Legacy

CHASING THE LEGACY
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***EXCERPT from CHASING THE LEGACY***

Grady stood on the sidewalk looking at the Waring House. He had always loved this house, right down to the ghost of Miss Stella who had sat in the turret for a hundred and fifty years waiting for her husband to return. His crush on Layla since high school didn't seem so long compared to Miss Stella's vigil. 
...

When they arrived on the second floor, Layla opened the double doors to the grand ballroom with a flourish. 


"Miss Stella and her husband used to dance in this room. All by themselves, sweeping and swooping around the entire room to music only the two of them could hear--" Layla stopped abruptly. Laughed self-consciously. "At least, that's how the story goes." 

The curtains at the windows fluttered, and a soft sighing like the muted music of an orchestra drifted around the room. 

"If Miss Stella says it happened that way, I believe her," Grady said. 

Layla looked at Grady for a moment. "You see her too?" 

"Doesn't everyone?" 

Slowly, Layla shook her head. "Most people think I'm crazy when I talk about Miss Stella." 

"Most people don't see beyond their own lives." 


"What are the other rooms on this floor?" Grady followed more slowly and glanced into the open door of a room tucked into one of the turrets. 

"Just...old stuff." Layla slipped between him and her old bedroom, deftly closing the door on the private world of her childhood. 

Unfortunately for her peace of mind, that left Layla standing with her back to the door, facing Grady. Up close. 

"Why did you leave town and not come back for so long?" 

(Excerpt copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel.)