Hi guys, we have Dirk Greyson popping in today with his upcoming release Flight or Fight, we have a short guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Flight or Fight
Hartwick County, South Dakota, represents a fresh start for Mackenzie¬—“Mack”—Redford. Life in the big city wasn’t what he expected, and now he’s home and serving as sheriff.
Brantley Calderone is also looking for a new life. After leaving New York and buying a ranch, he’s settling in and getting used to living at a different pace—until he finds a dead woman on his porch and himself the prime suspect in her murder.
Mack and Brantley quickly realize several things: someone is trying to frame Brantley; he is no longer safe alone on his ranch; and there’s a definite attraction developing between them, one that only increases when Mack offers to let Brantley stay in his home. But as their romance escalates, so does the killer. They’ll have to stay one step ahead and figure out who wants Brantley dead before it’s too late. Only then can they start the new life they’re both seeking—together.
Flight or Fight is one of those stories that started with a question for me. I wanted to do a western suspense, so the first question that came to mind was, what would happen if a man who moved west came home to a dead body on his porch? Of course there was so much more to it, because my next thought was that the sheriff shows up immediately and our hero is being framed for the murder. Smokescreens and red herrings abound in this tale of romance, suspense, and mystery.
I have always loved a good mystery and I have to say that this particular one was inspired by and even aided in an interesting way by Rhys Ford herself. She is awesome and I wanted to write a book that was worthy of that incredible fabulousness. I hope I succeeded.
Brantley’s legs held out until he closed the door, and then he collapsed into the nearest chair. During all of the activity, he’d been able to keep his mind on what was happening and managed to remain aloof, but now everything hit him like a semitruck at freeway speed. Someone had been shot on his front porch, and it was obvious that whoever had done it was either trying to send him some sort of message or it was a clumsy effort to frame him. Either way, it scared the living shit out of him.
He picked up his phone and made a call back East. “Linda, pick up,” he said under his breath as the phone rang.
“This better be good, sweetheart. I finally got Jim to take me out to that new restaurant. It took three months to get a reservation, and we have to leave in ten minutes.”
Brantley could practically see her hurrying through the bedroom of her Upper East Side apartment. “I came home today and found a dead body on my porch. Someone shot my real estate agent, and I think they tried to pin it on me.” He leaned forward, trying to get oxygen to his head. “I lived in New York for God knows how long, and I’ve spent a week out here, where it’s supposed to be open and where everyone knows everyone else, and there’s a dead body on my porch.” He was tempted to fucking sell the place and go back home.
“Honey, wait. Are you serious?”
“Yes.” He held his head and stroked his forehead.
“So come home. We miss you, and those people are obviously weird out there. What, do they kill each other off and put the bodies on each other’s doorsteps? Hello, Welcome Wagon,” Linda said, and Brantley knew she was throwing her hands in the air dramatically.
“I don’t think that’s how it works. But I have to tell you that being out here alone is starting to freak me out. I have every door locked, and I’m sitting in the middle of the room away from windows in case anyone is watching me. Have I told you that it’s freakishly quiet out here? There isn’t a sound except bugs and birds, and at night it’s just the bugs. No cars, nothing.”
“Then come home.”
“I can’t. You know that. Everything there has been sold, and I bought this place here.” He’d uprooted his life to find something he thought he was missing. He hadn’t expected a murder on his doorstep.
“Is there something you need, Mack?”
“Not particularly. I just wanted to tell you that I will make it clear in town that you are not a suspect in Renae’s murder. Some people will believe it and others will stick to their stubborn ignorance, but it should lower some of the barriers to getting to know people.”
“Thanks, but I think yesterday made that process doubly hard. What people are going to remember is that she was murdered at my house, so therefore I must have had something to do with it.”
“I’ll catch the real killer, and then that will put an end to all this.” Mack came around to where he was standing. “I was wondering if you have plans for dinner.”
“Just heating something up.”
“Then how about coming into town with me? We could go to the diner. It’s where everyone meets. If people see you eating with the sheriff, they’ll know you aren’t a threat because I don’t usually eat with criminal suspects.”
“You don’t have to go out of your way just to be nice. I’ll figure out a way through this.” He was a New Yorker, after all. He could do anything if he put his mind to it.
“Suit yourself. I figured you’d need to eat and might be getting tired of your own cooking.” Mack cocked his eyebrow just so. It was both hot and disarming.
“I’d like to get some dinner. Do you want to meet in town?”
Mack’s radio sounded. He answered the call and returned his attention to Brantley. “That would be great. Meet you at the diner at six.” Mack turned back toward his car but stopped before he opened the door. “One word of advice. Wear what you’re comfortable in.”
“Why does everyone seem to comment on my clothes?” Brantley asked. They were supposed to be the latest style in this sort of thing.
“Because they aren’t you.” Mack tilted his hat, climbed in his cruiser, and began to pull out of the drive, but stopped. “Don’t forget to call if the cattle aren’t moved,” he yelled out his window, and Brantley waved his hat, keeping it in his hand when he was done.
Once Mack was gone, Brantley went inside, tossed his hat on one of the chairs, and wandered through to the kitchen. He got some water and peered out the window. There were just a few of the dark shapes toward the one side of the field, with men on ATVs around them. Andy was moving his cattle as promised. At least that bit of excitement was over.
Brantley made a light lunch and ate it in front of the television. Afterward he ended up dozing on the sofa for a little while. When he woke, he wasn’t sure what the hell to do. He was bored stiff. People in the West always seemed so busy in the movies. There were always things to get done and never enough time to do everything. It hadn’t occurred to Brantley that he’d have nothing to do and enough time on his hands that he’d want to wring his own neck. In a week he’d unpacked everything and done the little chores around the house. Maybe he could explore and clean out the barn. He hoped to have animals to fill it at some point, but he needed to find people to help with that. But the chances of finding good people had probably died along with Renae. Who would want to work on a ranch where someone had been murdered? This whole situation sucked.
Dirk is very much an outside kind of man. He loves travel and seeing new things. Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades. He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job. But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built. Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.