Multiple award-winning author Sally Brandle writes clean, contemporary, romantic suspense stories hoping to empower her readers to connect with their inner gifts. Growing up in a tightly knit, multi-generational community, Sally’s core values reflect those of the village where she was raised.
When she gets time away from her functional engineer husband and spirited sons, Sally hunkers down in her office. Her trusty Aussie, Tallulah, waits patiently at her feet for belly rubs as adventures unfold. For a head-clearing ride in fresh air, Sally saddles her Quarter Horse, Lance, and trots along wooded trails in the Pacific Northwest.
Sally holds a BA in Special Education from MSU and a Fine Arts Minor. She left a career as an industrial baking instructor so she could bring to life her stories of courageous women supporting one another, while they discover men who deserve their love.
A member of Romance Writers of America, Greater Seattle RWA, Eastside RWA, and She Writes, Sally’s current series, Love Thrives in Emma Springs, is set in rural Montana. The first story, The Hitman’s Revenge, will be released by Soul Mate Publishing. Her newest series is Double Vision, romance with a scientific twist. Check out her website at www.sallybrandle.com
She needs his trust, he needs the truth. After Miranda Whitley stops crooked cops from assassinating a prominent Seattle judge, she’s next on the hit list, and her survival depends on the man she’s had one awkward encounter with—buff FBI Agent, Grant Morley. But can she find him in time?
The last person Grant expects to discover on his annual horseback trip delivering supplies to a Montana mountain hermit is alluring Miranda Whitley, nearly dead from a bullet wound in her side. An accidental witness or the cold-blooded accomplice to would-be assassins?
Miranda must convince Grant of her innocence, evade the killers intent on preventing her testimony, and fight her unwanted attraction for the agent…an attraction which seems to be mutual. Fortunately, love thrives in Emma Springs. If you love sizzling chemistry, determined assassins, and Montana scenery, then you’ll love Sally Brandle’s galloping thriller.
Frissons of apprehension raised the fine hairs on her arms. A shadow moved near the stairwell.
Stepping inside the elevator car, she hit the button for the lobby with her fist, refusing to allow the reminder of her heartbreaking mistake to take hold in her head. Must be weird evening lights playing tricks in the empty building.
The car bumped to a stop on the ground level of Seattle’s Justice Building. Taking a deep breath, she stepped from the elevator onto the slate floor. The energy that normally pulsed from harried workers and pre-jailed patrons had dissipated into an eerie void.
Hesitation inched over her skin. She’d sworn she’d never ignore that warning again. Stuffing her pruning shears in her apron pocket, she shook her head and chided herself. Serene Interiors Plant Care is yours. Be thankful, and quit moping about working late.
She pressed her palm into the embroidered purple stalk of lavender on her apron bib and looked out front.
Hazy bulletproof windows allowed a view of the dwindling stream of pedestrians in their typical Friday night exodus to their families.
No open arms would greet her tonight. Her stomach tightened while a bleak, wintry pall settled into her heart. She tugged on her ball cap. It restrained her braided auburn hair while she worked, but more importantly, it provided a lifeline.
Time to start pruning. Her hand brushed against a branch of her oldest bonsai, a Douglas fir. The bark had cracked and split for the tree to grow in diameter. If only a shattered heart did the same.
She studied her collection of potted, six foot tall green sentries jutting out in a perpendicular row from the elevator doors. They neatly concealed the ugly wall behind them and farther down, the corner stairwell holding her storage closet.
“Live shrubs produce a calming effect on visitors” was the pitch she’d given to GSA’s building manager to get the contract. She’d repeated the phrase today at noon to the Regal Hotel’s upper management. And they’d bought it, ensuring a few more dollars each month toward owning a wooded lot of her own, where she could build a fire pit and pitch a tent on weekends.
A hollow chant of regrets beat in her chest at the thought of watching a campfire fade to dull gray, all alone. Her hand touched her brother’s Mariner’s cap. The smoky scents had faded, but images of smudged faces and starry nights stayed woven into its threads.
She plodded across sunbeams of September’s golden light, walking beside knee-high pots containing her ten foot indoor hedge. Her gaze swept heavenwards, up to the atrium ceiling. She blinked. Streaks across the glass distorted the brilliance of the setting sun.
Geeze. Wasn’t anyone proud of their work? The creepy window washer on the scaffold last week should’ve been working harder instead of staring at her.
Her breaths of still air quickened. He’d watched her working.
Big deal. Maybe he had a sicko mommy-thing for women in aprons.
A trowel and her spritzer rattled in her tote while she rounded the end flower pot and moved to the backside of her overgrown fourth plant. Dim light flickered through the leaves, casting shadows onto the brick wall, barely illuminating the narrow aisle leading to the stairwell door.
She took a swig of coffee, sat with her back to the stairwell, and set her drink on a cold slate tile. Facing the front windows did little to help. The lighting in the corner sucked. After stuffing a clean cloth for polishing leaves into a side pocket of her cargo pants, she tugged on gardening gloves.
Squeaks from her mom’s old pruning shears echoed in the large, vacant room. She pulled another uneven limb of the Chinese Elm closer to her face and squinted. While she clipped, a peppery fragrance released from the wood.
A twig grazed her cheek, making her flinch. She brushed the neckline of her purple T-shirt with the back of her hand.
The place threw off the vibes of an abandoned morgue. Chill. She released the limb, let out a long breath, and grabbed a lop-sided branch from overhead. Tonight, even a rude prosecutor’s voice rupturing the tranquility would be welcome.
Not happening this late, but Ike would be descending in the elevator any minute. Hopefully in a better mood than when she’d watered the jade plant in his judge’s chambers earlier. He’d been tense, without the fatherly banter he doled out when she visited him and his wife, Shirley.
Soft taps came from a few feet behind her. She tilted her head.
Footsteps? From the stairwell? Miranda released her grip, and the tree limb sprang free. She swung her head and watched the branch skim the fly of the trousers on the man now towering over her right shoulder.
Not Ike. She froze.