Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cold I got, but... Where is the HOT?

by Jena Galifany

Winter this year has been something else. In the east, it has been horrible from what I've seen in the news. I'm in the west, in the high desert. It's been cold, but not like back east. I feel so sorry for those that are in it.

I should feel guilty that I complain all year round that I'm cold. Winter is cold, in the 40s and 50s which is nothing compared to what some of my on-line friends endure. We have summer weather around 100 to 110, so when it gets to the 50s, I'm freezing.

Our summer can last from May until well into November (I once went water skiing on New Years Day) so when winter gets here, I'm cold. I'm also cold all summer. I know it sounds silly but I have 3 blankets on my bed all summer and another couple on top of that in the winter. My husband works as an auto mechanic. He is outside all day in that 100 to 110 degree heat. When he gets home, he wants it cold in the house. Once it gets down to 65, I'm cold. I wear a jacket in the house all summer.

I live in a brick house that was built by my husband's grandfather when Steve's mother was 12 years old. Steve was born into this house and has lived here most of his life. Grandfather had A.D.D. and did some rather creative things when he built the place. I was told that he never completely pounded in any one of the nails in the place. Someone had to go along behind him and finish the job. Anyway, there is no insulation in a brick house other than the thickness of the paint on the walls. I can now appreciate tapestries mentioned hanging in castles of old. I don't have any but I can appreciate them.

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband, the Ice King. He screams like a little girl when I put my frozed hands under his shirt and touch his sides. I love my house and the 2.5 acres of land that came with it. I love where I live. But I'd really love to be warm at least one month out of the year. Is that too much to ask?

A snow storm brought Ty Synclair and Alexis Rivers together. Spending time working with the men of ShadowsForge are one of the few ways I can get warm.

Alexis Rivers
Ty Synclair
ShadowsForge 1: Three Times a Hero

Bass player Ty Synclair is discontented with the women that come through his life who love him for his money, image, and fame.  He believes there has to be one woman, somewhere, who will love him for who he is, not the package sold to the public.

Alexis Rivers is finished with her abusive boyfriend and finished with love altogether.  She wants a man who would simply love and appreciate her.  Since he doesn't seem to exist, she wants to remain alone for the rest of her life.  The problem is her heart doesn’t agree with her decision, a decision that crumbles fast after literally running into Ty Synclair in the middle of a blizzard.

Can two cold hearts spark a fire, when they collide on a snowy mountain road and spend three days alone together in a snowbound cabin?



Ty jogged through two hundred feet of calf-deep snow at the side of the road, to where tracks went over the side. The Nova had continued its uncontrolled slide off the road, dropped about fifteen feet, and slammed dead center into a fair sized pine tree. The front end hugged the tree, keeping the vehicle from falling into the gorge. It was on a greater incline than the Honda with only one lone pine to hold the much heavier vehicle. Ty couldn't see anyone moving or trying to get out. Not a good sign.

Ty lowered himself carefully down the hillside to the driver’s door and found a dazed young woman behind the wheel. Blood trickled down the side of her face from a cut across her forehead. Her lap belt was snug around her heavy lavender coat. She was looking around, quite confused.

“Bloody hell,” Ty exclaimed, at the sight that met his eyes.

With the fender pushed back over the seam of the door, it took several tries to get the door opened. Ty wedged his boot against the edge of the fender, gripped the door handle, and pushed as hard as he could. The metal screeched in protest before it crumpled out of the way. Ty was thankful that he found the strength, thinking it had all drained from him in tonight's performance.

He searched through her car, trying to locate something to press to her bleeding forehead. Seeing nothing, he unbuttoned the bottom of his jacket long enough to rip the tail from his yellow shirt.

With the door open and the windshield broken, the warmth from the interior was quickly escaping. Ty unbuckled her lap belt and gently moved her over. He slid in beside her, pulling the door closed to preserve what heat he could. She proved to be very light as he settled her, getting her to lean her head back. He carefully brushed a few strands of blue-black hair from her delicate face and pressed the cotton material against the cut, trying his best to remember what to do for a head injury. Her eyes searched the ceiling of the car, wandering aimlessly.

“Do I look like a bleedin’ Boy Scout?” Ty spoke to himself, attempting to calm the anxiety that was creeping up, trying to overwhelm him. “They’re always prepared. I’m not. Come on, Synclair, stay calm.” He moved closer to her. “Miss?”

Ty hoped to bring her back to coherence long enough to find out who she was or where she was coming from. Hopefully she didn’t live too far away. If he could get his car up on the road, he could at least get her some help. Or walk there if it wasn’t too far.

The mobile phone.


He quickly searched his jacket pockets with one hand. Gone. Must have fallen out when he hit the trees. Have to check when I get the bleeding stopped. He pressed firmly against the material held to her brow.

A moan escaped her lips, startling Ty from his thoughts. He shook back his thick hair, placing his mouth close to her ear. “Miss?”

"Oh, Lord.” She turned toward him. “You’re up already?”

The girl stared at him with deep, brown eyes. But in those dark pools, Ty saw something he didn’t like.


She gave a startled cry, sliding from his touch, pushing his hand away as she grabbed the handle of the passenger door, tugging franticly. Her knit gloves would not allow her to get a good grip on the handle, her hands slipping continually from the metal lever.

“Calm down, lady.” He tried to hold her, fearing she would hurt herself further as she pulled with futility at the door handle.

“Don’t hurt me, Les.” She screamed in breathless terror, using the last of her strength to pound her fist on the glass. Panic quickly overcame her. She slipped from consciousness.

Ty heard a crunching sound. The car lurched to the side, swinging around the tree about a foot before it stopped. It was obvious that the car had no intention of staying where it was for very long.

Ty caught the girl as she slumped against the door, leaning her against his chest. He had to get her out of the car before it decided to give in to gravity. Ty grabbed her bag from the floor, placing it on her lap. Carefully, he pushed himself backward to the door, gently pulling the girl along by her coat. He tried to move as smoothly as he could, not wanting to make any jarring moves that might set the vehicle into motion.

Pretty daft of me to climb in here in the first place.

Her struggle had apparently upset the balance of the vehicle and he had no intention of making it worse. He reached behind his back, pushing the door open as slowly as he could while holding on to her.

With the angle of the car, it was difficult to push the door open. After several tries, he turned, giving it a shove. When he did, the door sprung all the way open. He jammed his boot against it to keep the door from rebounding closed again. He cursed as the car shifted again, another foot toward the gorge.

Ty held his breath until he felt the car stabilize. He slid out of the Nova, planting his boots as firmly on the snowy hillside as he could. Now that he was standing, he dragged the girl across the seat. He grabbed her bag and threw it behind him while holding on to her collar. Once he was sure of his footing, he tugged gently on her jacket, sliding her slowly out. She was dead weight and he didn’t know what injuries she might have, so he feared moving her too quickly.

He had her upper body clear of the car when there was a creaking sound and the snow beneath the tires crunched in protest as the heavy vehicle began to slide in earnest. Ty wrapped his arms under hers, leaning uphill away from the car, digging his heels in as he tried to pull her clear.

Her booted foot caught on the steering wheel as the Nova gave in to gravity.

ShadowsForge 1: Three Times a Hero



Margo Hoornstra said...

Great tension in that scene, Jena. Here in Michigan, I've had my fill of cold. Then again, I'll be the one cranking up the air in the house this summer. Loved the bit about your grandfather-in-law.

Jannine Gallant said...

I'd get along with your husband. I keep my house at about 62 degrees in the winter, except at night when we have a fire in the woodstove. I like to drive with the heat off in the car, even in the winter. Makes my family crazy!

JenaGalifany said...

Thank you, Ladies, for your kind words. Jannine, your comment made me smile thinking how quickly you'd send him back! Apologies for taking so long to respond. In-laws came to visit for Steve's birthday coming up.

Alicia Dean said...

What a cliffhanger in that excerpt! I'm with your hubby and Jannine. I can't stand to be hot, would much rather have it cool in the house. I am NOT looking forward to the 100 degree plus summer coming up here in Oklahoma.

Leah St. James said...

Great excerpt! And I love your description of your hubby, "the Ice King." :-)

Barbara Edwards said...

good excerpt. Added the title to my wish list. And I am also cold in mid-summer. weird.