"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

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Layla's photographer and friend has accompanied her on many assignments for The Messenger newspaper, including her return to Halo, the hometown she had fled in shame so many years ago...

"I've got to have those boots." Layla Dalton swung into a parking space in front of the two-story brick building that housed a bootery. This entire Eastern Oregon town felt like stepping back into an earlier era, complete with a horse-
drawn wagon clopping down the street among the automobiles. 

"We're already running late." Her photographer companion didn't bother to look at his watch before commenting. 

"The real story is with the mother, and we have that interview lined up. A short stop isn't going to kill this assignment." Her editor thought she could deliver a woman's perspective on the story of a mother being reunited with a stolen child sold to a wealthy couple under the guise of a legal adoption. But authorities had discovered the scheme and tracked down the birth mother, who would be reunited with her child today. 

However, Layla's editor had no idea how emotional her perspective would be. The birth mother had been located in Eastern Oregon's old gold mining country near a small town named Halo. 

The same town of seventy-five people Layla had fled under the darkness of shame when she was a teenager. 
Little wonder she was dragging out the return journey. 

Valen removed his booted feet from the dash of the rental car and looked around. "Quaint little town. Very Old West." 

He got out of the car, then lifted a camera slung around his neck and snapped several pictures as Layla walked into the shop. 

The window display drew her with the same emotional magnet as returning to her hometown. She stared at the stonewashed lizard cowboy boots nearly the same color as the watery blue of her Pop's eyes. Fifteen years ago and she still remembered his sorrow and disappointment as if he was looking at her right now. 

"I want those," Layla told the sales clerk. 

The woman smiled and brought a pair in Layla's size. She dug her credit card out of her wallet and emerged from the store wearing the boots. 

"Nice." Valen clicked a couple shots of the boots before he slid into the driver's seat. "You drive slower than my grandmother." 

Layla stowed the bag containing her older shoes in the back, then climbed into the 
passenger's seat. Without the focus of driving, memories crowded her mind. What have you done, girl? Your mother would be so disappointed... 

She stared at the toes of her new boots. Just like looking into Pop's eyes. Perhaps buying them hadn't been such a good idea after all. 

With Valen behind the wheel, the miles sped by and the years receded, until Layla the award-winning journalist faded into a lost sixteen-year-old girl again. Now, those haunting memories she thought she could keep at bay pounded in her head like the sirens screaming past them. 

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