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TimeRider

Caytlyn James, RN, had always been a strong woman, in control, mistress of her own fate. Until she found herself near death after a bad fall from a horse and a bite from a deadly Coontail Rattler. The strong arms that held her belonged to an incredibly handsome Apache Warrior, dressed in the old way. There was something different about the Mountains called Superstition that she'd lived in all her life, but she couldn't make her muddled mind work well enough to figure out what is what. Black Hawk, Apache warrior, is a member of the fierce Black Legion Tribe whose home was the Sacred Mountain in the Arizona Territory of 1882. No woman could touch his heart, no love had ever warmed his unusual blue eyes. Yet he was incredibly drawn to the worthless "white eyes" in his arms who dressed like a man. Strong man, strong woman. Cultures clash. Sparks ignite. Can Caytlyn and Black Hawk overcome their differences, work them out in a place that holds more secrets, more danger than most any on earth? Will she stay in his time? Will they find love bigger than the Arizona sunsets?

Book 1 of the TimeRider series

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release


Susan C. Yarina

    Susan Claybaugh Yarina had a terrible time with lying as a child. In fact by the time she was nine, she was having serious talks with God about this problem. It seemed she would rather lie than tell the truth. After all, it sounded so much better her way. When she told her mother her awful secret and just knew she was going to Hell for her sin, her mother enlightened her. "No sweetie," she said, "You are simply a story teller." With a gentle hand on her cheek she admonished, "Just be sure to tell people that you are telling stories." 
    Susan has been delighted to tell stories ever since and has done so the whole time she got married, became a wife, mother and registered nurse, horse rider and trainer, trail rider, rancher, artist, seamstress, business woman and finally writer. When she was a nurse she worked to make people feel better, and now writes for the same reason. An avid speaker about e-publishing and proponent of the medium, she is convinced this is the "wave of the future" and has spoken in person, on the radio and on television about it many times. 
    Though her two grown children, Natalie and Martin, (wife Jennifer) live on their own, her husband and hero, Joe, their two horses, one dog, two cats, and a wide variety of wildlife wander in and out of their home in the wild Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix, Arizona where they laugh, love and live. Visit Susan's web site at:http://www.SusanYarina.com.

Reviews

"For me the historical aspects of the book were fascinating. It is more of a sweet romance than sensual ... well worth reading. Fans of both western Indian romance and time travel will certainly enjoy it."

Romance Foretold -- Review Realm



4 Stars!

"Full of action and adventure, TimeRider tugs at your emotions, a real page-turner from beginning to end. I especially enjoyed the way Susan Yarina gives a most satisfying ending to tis action-packed book."

Romantic Times Magazine


5 Stars!

"Yarina's adventure will delight fans of this popular genre. Her novel is a well-written time-travel in the tradition of Romancing the Stone."

Affaire de Coeur

"With a superb grasp of Arizona's old west history, Susan Yarina's TIMERIDER steeps the reader in rich, lush details. Sit back and enjoy a high-risk adventure in tis fascinating trip through time."

Denise Agnew -- author of best-selling Best of Buddies
Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Superstition Mountains of Arizona

Present Day

THE FAINT, rhythmic rustling called Caytlyn to consciousness, reminding her of aspen trees quaking in the breezes. She raised her hands, placed her palms on the sides of her face, eased it to one side in the gravel. Taking a deep, shaky breath, she tried to open her eyes. It was as though she couldn't wake from a dream. Wondering briefly if this was really a dream, she tried to hear what was going on around her. She heard something behind her, grass being torn by some grazing animal, leather slapping leather, like stirrups dangling from an empty saddle. A riderless horse? As the jingle of loose reins confirmed her thought, a dog nudged her leg and whined. She whispered dryly, "It's okay, I'm all right Buck, good boy. Head hurts, though. Must have hit my head and passed out."

Though her eyelids were still compressed to slits, she saw that her dog, Buck, was at her knee and her horse, Tigger, nosed along the ground at her feet. Even though she was trying to speak louder she could only manage to whisper the conclusion, "Oh, Lord, I remember, the ground crumbled at the side of the wash, we both went down, Tigger." Thinking she had better get up to check her horse for injuries, she pushed up to her hands and knees.

A staccato buzzing jerked her eyes open and froze her movements. Facing her, coiled and ready to strike was woman's ancient enemy, the serpent. Coontail rattler. Death by poison. The tip of its tail vibrated rapidly, producing a warning that was unmistakable. The deadly buzzing, combined with Buck's furious barking, bounced off Caytlyn's nerves, suddenly drawn bowstring tight. Fear was a living thing, writhing in her stomach. She smelled the viper, musty, like mice. Involuntarily, she shuddered. The buzzing amplified.

Oh God! Not this way. Don't let me die! Her thoughts disintegrated into a heaving, indistinguishable mass. Sweat trickled into her eyes, causing her to blink rapidly. Just that small movement caused the snake to focus its gaze directly on her face. Her back strained to hold her in a frozen push-up. Out of the chaos of her fear-maddened thoughts rose the warning from her deepest instincts. Stay absolutely still. It's your only hope.

Enraged by the rattler's refusal to move away from his mistress, Buck lunged at the snake in a deadly dance of chance. Caytlyn saw the reptile coil tight, then pain exploded in her cheek.

"I've been hit!" she shrieked in mortal terror.

Through a yellow haze of incredible pain, Caytlyn saw her dog with the snake in his huge jaws, killing it. Now, lights exploded behind her swelling lids, her vision distorted. She fought her way to her hands and knees, gasping for air.

"Water, I need water!" Pain muddled her mind. She fought for control. Towards the mountain, she strained for cohesive thought. Water in the springhead, has to be.

Caytlyn lurched forward in a crawl. With her hands and knees protesting the rugged terrain, she struggled to her feet and staggered up the dry streambed. The world tilted madly, misted over with a garish red. Light exploded at intervals in the eye above the stricken cheek. She smelled blood and snake musk, combined in the profuse drainage running from her nose. She shuddered and retched, pressed her hand over her face. Her right cheek was grotesquely swollen. She had to find water and mud. Her chances of surviving were small, she knew. Her heart and respiratory rate were fast, too fast. She staggered onward, realizing she shouldn't have ridden alone, not this far in.

After what seemed like hours of staggering, falling and pain, her dog Buck sniffed at her side, whining, shoving against her legs. She grasped the collar of the oversized shepherd and hung on. It's getting cooler and darker. Reaching out, she felt the stone walls of the cave she sought. I'm at the spring head cave! Caytlyn opened her eyes as wide as she could, looking for life-saving water and mud that would draw the venom out.

"The cave! Buck, you found it!" she croaked. It was pitch black and quiet except for a rhythmic beat she could feel, as well as hear, at the outside of her consciousness.

Threads of pale blue gray smoke began to tentatively wind a wispy essence around her, curiously giving her the impression that it was pulling her forward. The struggle to breathe lessened. A curious peace settled over her.

Is this what dying is like? Shouldn't I be struggling? Shouldn't I be fighting this?

She leaned back, but still Buck pulled her forward and she couldn't let him go. She tightened her grasp on his collar and reasoned that he was still alive and with her. Therefore, she must still be alive. He couldn't still be with her unless the ancients of many cultures were right and your animals and belongings did go with you when you died. If that was true, she knew a lot of people who were going to be really angry, having been buried alone.

"Ha, ha!" she croaked, in a parody of her usual laugh, giddy and light headed. The beat was now truly audible and accompanied by a low, soothing chanting. The smoke swirled everywhere now and she began to spin. Am I fainting? No, Buck is here, spinning with me. What on earth? The spinning accelerated, peaked, then decelerated.

Slightly further back in the cave, Caytlyn saw something move. Squinting, she could just make out an elderly Indian gesturing to her. Though his lips had not moved, she heard him clearly in her mind saying, "Come, come to me." She had a very strong urge to do as he asked. Even as the thought to go to him formed, Caytlyn's pain lessened. She took a step and the lights stopped exploding behind her lids.

"That's it!" she whispered. Marshaling her strength and her will, she urged Buck forward. "Find him, boy!" she wheezed. The dog gazed at her again and leapt forward. The darkness threatened to envelop her. Her last thought before it blanketed her was, Hang on, I must hang on....