How *did* Rowena meet the love of her life?

Dear All!

How is it the end of November already?!? How time does fly! If you’re in the US, I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and wherever you are, I hope you’re staying safe and enjoying the changing seasons.

I’ve been having some adventures this month, both good and bad. I signed up to do NaNoWriMo for the first time, and have been working feverishly on a book for my other pen name. This may delay some Sid Stark stuff, but don’t worry, I’ll be back! I have no intention of abandoning Rowena & co. anytime soon.

I’ve also been having (big sigh) computer trouble. After the excitement of all the basement work this summer, followed by the even greater excitement of the emergency main drain replacement this fall, I was more than ready for some smooth sailing. Famous last words! My computer crashed during a storm a couple of weeks ago, and is now limping along on its last legs. I just ordered a new one, so I devoutly hope that will be a big improvement. I decided to go for a desktop, in the hopes that it would last longer and be more comfortable and cause less eye/neck/back/wrist strain.

[And–breaking news–I was interrupted while composing this update because my neighbors called the cops on the crew working on my roof. Never a dull moment, never a dull moment…]

What about you? Any recommendations for reducing computer-caused work injuries? I think I have a safe job, but I keep discovering that is not the case!

In writing news, I’m excited to include a never-before-seen snippet from Honor Court, my upcoming release in the Doctor Rowena Halley series. But first, I thought I’d mention that the audiobook of Trigger Warning is currently $2.99 for a special Black Friday deal on Kobo only.

And now, without any further ado, here’s an excerpt from Honor Court! This is the first time Rowena describes how she met Dima:

Dima and I had a history. We’d met back when I had been working for an NGO in Russia. I’d been collecting the stories of victims and eyewitnesses to various human rights abuses. Dima had come into my shabby, half-underground office and said that he’d been sent by a friend to tell his story.

“But maybe you don’t want to hear it,” he’d said. “After all, I’m not one of the good guys.”

I’d said I listened to all stories without judgment. And I told myself that my willingness to listen to him had nothing to do with the way his shoulders strained against his shirt, or how his dark stubble emphasized the sharp lines of his Eurasian features, or how his eyes, so dark gray they were almost black, went from staring at the desk to staring at me as we spoke as if we shared some special secret.

The next day I met with him again. “To talk.” About his former life in OMON, the Russian special forces riot police, and his current life as an investigative reporter. The next week he took me home to meet his mother. She had a story to tell too, about being the daughter and widow of war heroes. Eight months later we were engaged.

Eight years had passed since then. We’d never gotten married, or had kids, or done any of the things that we’d promised each other we were going to do. Instead, Dima had sent me away after I’d been kidnapped by men intent on stopping him from releasing his latest story. Then he’d left Moscow for the war in the Donbass, and not spoken to me for a year.

After both of us had ended up in life-or-death situations and decided we had to make peace with each other, we had come, very gingerly, back into contact. I had even thought last fall that Dima wanted to get back together. Then, after the shooting, he had told me he couldn’t stand seeing me in danger anymore, and tried to cut off contact again.

That had lasted for all of three weeks before he’d texted me to wish me a happy New Year. He’d gone silent after that, but here he was, on January 11th, texting me again.

***

So there you have it! Stay tuned for more coming soon, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

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