I’m excited to have a writer and blogging friend I admire as my guest today. Please welcome Jan Sikes and her new release, Jagged Feathers!
Thank you, Jacquie, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of guns. I have shot them before, but not without trepidation and hesitation. The only gun I ever comfortably shot was a 22 rifle. I know women who love guns and have no problem carrying and shooting them. In my story, Nakina is one of those women who swore she’d never pick up another gun after an incident that occurred when she was a teenager.
But when life or death may depend on her ability to use a firearm, Vann is determined to at least give her some basic lessons.
After an hour, Vann pulled off the roadway down a two-lane farm road.
“What are we doing?” Nakina asked.
“I’m looking for an isolated place to give you some handgun lessons.”
“But I don’t even have a gun. And besides, I don’t think I could.”
“Colt and I talked about it. We would feel better if you have a weapon. Of course, I hope you never have to use it. Just in case you do, you at least need to know the basics.”
He slowed the SUV, and Nakina fought to tamp down the panic that crawled up her spine.
It was probably a good idea for her to have a weapon, but pulling the trigger, to wound someone, or possibly to end their life was another matter entirely.
It went against everything her gentle soul believed.
She tensed when Vann stopped in front of a deserted piece of an old house. Only the rock chimney and one wall remained of what was at one time someone’s homestead.
“Perfect.” He got out and reached into the backseat to retrieve a leather zippered pouch. “Come on.”
Nakina opened the door and hesitated. “Vann, I don’t think I can do this.”
He walked around the vehicle and offered his arm. “Of course, you can. Trust me.”
She did trust him. That wasn’t the issue. It was the idea of holding a loaded weapon that gave her a bad case of nerves.
An unbidden memory of one summer on the Indian Reservation flooded her mind. The young boys had taunted her and called her names, saying she didn’t have the guts to shoot a gun. She’d been determined to prove them wrong, to save face.
She’d vowed that day never to hold a gun again.
And here she was, about to get a shooting lesson. Circumstances were different. Lives were at stake, including her own, and she wasn’t a teenage girl anymore.
“Look. I understand that this isn’t something you’re comfortable with. Humor me. If nothing else, it will make me feel better for you to at least know how to load the gun and pull the trigger.”
“Okay.” She followed him with lagging steps to the ruins.
He gathered an armful of old tin cans and set them in a straight line on a piece of fence that still stood.
“Ready?” he asked.
As ready as she’d ever be. She stood next to Vann, and he unzipped the pouch to reveal a small handgun.
“The first thing you need to know about this gun is that it has a safety latch.” He pointed to a button on the side. “See? It’s within easy reach of your thumb when the gun is in your hand.”
“I see it.” Nakina peered over Vann’s arm.
“And this disengages the clip.” He slid a button backward, and the clip popped out. “This gun can actually still fire with the clip out if there’s already a bullet in the chamber, so that’s good to remember.” He pulled the slide back. “Come closer so you can see that right now the chamber is empty.”
Nakina took two steps closer and drew in a shaky breath. “Okay.”
Vann loaded the clip and popped it back in. “Here. I want you to hold it. It’s not heavy, and it won’t have any kickback. Have you ever fired a gun before?”
“Only once. And I promised I’d never do it again.”
“Sorry to make you break your promise, but I’d rather see you safe.” He placed the gun in the palm of her hand.
“It’s cold.” She held it loose and away from her body.
Vann stood behind her. “Don’t be nervous. There’s nothing here that you can hurt. I’m going to support your arm and help you aim.”
With his hand on her arm and his breath on her neck, her fear began to dissipate. He had a special way of making her feel safe and warm.
I think for guys, it just comes naturally to be comfortable with firearms, but not always with the ladies. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I could certainly identify with Nakina’s fears.
Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.
On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.
A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.
Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?
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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK
I’ve read a few of Jan’s stories and enjoy her slightly damaged heroes and their healing journeys. Jagged Feathers is high on my reading list, is it on yours?