Hi guys, we have new author Lucie Archer stopping by with her debut story Taming the Wyld, we have a short intro from Lucie, a fantastic excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link <3 ~Pixie~
Taming the Wyld
The Witness Protection Program dumps JD Smith practically at the ends of the earth—in Two Pines, Alaska—to protect him until he can testify against a dangerous gang. He tries to stick to his story and keep his head down, but it’s impossible to ignore bush pilot Jake Wylder, a sexy loner with quite a reputation around the small town.
Flying medical supplies around Alaska suits Jake’s wild streak and love of freedom. He’s perfectly content to keep his romantic encounters casual—at least until he meets JD. Something about the nurse makes Jake think settling down might not be such a hardship. Now he just needs to convince JD he’s serious—which won’t be easy, given his past.
For a relationship to stand a chance, JD must testify so he can return to Two Pines as the man he really is—and Jake must grow into the man JD needs him to be.
Lucie Archer & Excerpt!
Hello all! I’m Lucie Archer, and I’m so excited to kick off my first ever blog tour (yes, I’m a blog tour virgin) with MM Good Book Reviews! Forgive me if I over use exclamation points, but it’s just what I do. Since I’m new to this whole thing, I thought I’d ease into it and offer up an excerpt from my upcoming debut novella, Taming the Wyld.
Jake was startled awake by the ringtone blaring from his phone on the nightstand. The sound tore through his skull like an ice pick, shrill and sharp, and he rolled over with a groan, fumbling for it in the darkened room. He had to rub the sleep from his eyes before he could take in the name of his copilot, and it took a few uncoordinated swipes before he was alert enough to get the thing to answer.
“Can this wait till after I’ve had my coffee?” Jake asked through a yawn, stretching out his stiff limbs.
“Please don’t tell me you’re still in bed, Wylder?”
“Good morning to you too, sunshine.”
Denny sighed on the other end, and he could almost picture the frustration on his face and the way his eyes became more pinched than usual when he was angry. Jake’s goal in life wasn’t to be an infuriating asshole to all who knew him; it was just a natural talent.
“We’re scheduled for takeoff in fifteen minutes, Wylder. I’m already running preflight checks.”
“All right, I’m getting up,” he said, throwing off the blanket he was buried under so he could sit up. It was nippy, and the shiver that coursed through him spread the belated realization to his consciousness that the room wasn’t his.
Early May meant rising temperatures, and despite the fact the previous day brought with it a dusting of snow flurries, he could feel the change in the air. Jake was Alaskan, born and bred, cold was in his blood, but that didn’t mean he was happy about leaving the comforts of a warm bed. Even if it was one currently occupied by a complete stranger whose name escaped him.
“Were they hot at least?” Denny asked.
Jake looked over his shoulder to the covered lump behind him. He couldn’t make out any features, the room was too dark with the curtains shut tight, and his memories of the previous evening were sketchy at best. It didn’t help that his head was achy from his hangover. Getting drunk the night before an 8:00 a.m. flight wasn’t the wisest decision he’d ever made. Maybe one of these days he’d learn his lesson.
“Can’t tell,” he replied, his voice dropping to a whisper now that he knew he was on unfamiliar territory.
“If you aren’t here by eight o’clock, I’m leaving without you.”
Jake retorted with a sarcastic, “Sure thing, boss,” before ending the call. He switched over to the flashlight app on his phone and began searching for his clothes. Somehow he was able to hold in a few choice curses when he ended up whacking his elbow against a dresser, but the thud was loud in the small room.
“Come back to bed,” a feminine voice called out from under the mountain of blankets.
Female. That was good to know. He was pansexual and didn’t give much thought to gender, though he did lean slightly more toward stubble-covered jaws and sucking on Adam’s apples.
“Sorry, baby, but I gotta get to work. I’m running late,” he said as he thrust a leg into his pants.
“Did you want my number?”
Not particularly, he thought. “Yeah, sure.”
He let her program her number into his phone as he finished getting dressed. Then he was rushing out the door with no intention of looking back. He had ten minutes to get to the airstrip because he learned long ago that when Denny said he was leaving at eight, he was most certainly leaving at eight.
The engine of the Cessna roared to life as Jake stopped his truck at the edge of the makeshift airstrip. The runway was nothing more than a track of dirt at the end of which was a small hangar used for storage and repairs. Just beyond that was the house he grew up in. It was a little big for him alone, but he didn’t have the heart to sell it.
His company, Wyld Freight and Transport, owned two bush planes used for delivering medical supplies to small towns and villages north of Fairbanks, Alaska. During the summer months, he opened his services up to flying tourists out to remote areas on camping excursions, but the medicine always took precedent.
Jacob Senior founded the company after retiring from the Air Force when Jake was still in high school, but it fell to him when his father died a few years ago. Jacob had been performing a rescue for a couple of hikers who were stranded out on a glacier when the ice broke apart underneath his plane and swallowed him up. It took Jake several months before he could fly again, but Pops—his grandfather, also a retired Air Force pilot—encouraged him not to give it up.
He was glad he hadn’t, because he loved to fly. It was in his blood just as much as the Alaskan wilderness was. His earliest memories centered around flying, his dad and Pops taking him and his brother, Pete, all over the state with them on flights. It was Pops who taught him how to fly as soon as he was able to see over the controls, though he was mighty disappointed when Jake refused to join the Air Force like the rest of his family. Pete was far less of a disappointment and was currently stationed in Colorado.
But Jake loved what he did, and the work suited him just fine. It might not have been defending his country, but he was doing a service he thought was just as noble. It allowed him the opportunity to work where he loved while he did what he loved. Plus, he got to spend a lot of time out in the wild.
He hopped out of his old Chevy and made his way toward the high-winged orange-and-white plane. The Cessna was the bigger of the two he owned, and while a copilot wasn’t necessary, he liked having Denny around. It always made the trips more fun and the time seem shorter.
Denny was a little on the stout side, with caramel skin and dark hair courtesy of his mother, who was a Native Alaskan. His father had been a pilot with Jake’s, stationed out of Eielson Air Force Base, and the two of them had known each other most of their lives. They were brothers in every way but blood.
“In case you’ve forgotten,” Jake said, slamming the door as Denny set the bird in motion, “I’m the boss here.”
Denny rolled his chocolate eyes. “In case you’ve forgotten, the world doesn’t stop for Jacob Wylder.”
Jake smirked, more to himself since Denny was concentrating on the controls. “See, that’s where you’re wrong.” He picked up the coffee Denny had brought for him and took a long drink, smacking his lips afterward to illustrate his point.
“You’re insufferable,” Denny said as he pulled back on the control stick and lifted the plane off the ground.
Takeoffs were always Jake’s favorite part. The initial feeling of fighting gravity always gave him a rush. Denny preferred landings because it meant they arrived in one piece, but that was why they complemented each other so well.
Once they were at a nice cruising altitude, Jake thought it would be a good idea if he knew what their day entailed. He wasn’t usually so unprepared, but he’d recently gotten out of his longest relationship to date, and his head was not in the game, something Denny loved reminding him of—not that seven months was record breaking to anyone else.
Denny meant well, Jake knew that, but not everyone got to have what he and his wife had. Denny was lucky and often told him that his time would come. It was a nice sentiment five years ago, but he was now pushing thirty and starting to lose hope. Maybe jumping from bed to bed wasn’t the best way to go about finding love, but what else was he supposed to do?
“What’s our route look like today?”
He watched the corner of Denny’s mouth curve up into an impish grin. “Chalkyitsik, Fort Yukon… then Two Pines.”
Jake grimaced at the thought of the last time he did a supply run to Two Pines. He’d admit it was partially, if not mostly, his fault he was run out of town by the local nurse after she found out he slept with her brother. Of course that was after he’d slept with her and never called her like he said he would. Regardless, this was not going to end well for him.
He ran his hand down his face, fingers combing through the thick, dark stubble on his chin as he growled, “You planned this, didn’t you?”
Denny’s smug smile told him that he did. “I don’t see how, Jake. You have a copy of the schedule on your phone.”
“This is payback for telling Ronda about the moose burgers you’ve been sneaking, isn’t it? Because a true friend would’ve given me a heads-up that we were about to descend into hostile territory.”
“Not hostile for me. Besides, you don’t think she’ll still be mad, do you? That was like three months ago. And for the record, I haven’t been sneaking moose burgers.”
“You can lie to your wife, D, but I’ve smelled them on you.”
Denny glared at him before turning his attention back to the gauges. “Anyway, I warned you not to sleep with customers, but you never listen.”
Jake groaned as his head lolled back against the seat. He couldn’t be mad at Denny, not when the man brought him coffee, but he wasn’t happy with him either. If he had known they had a shipment scheduled for Two Pines, he would’ve taken the Cub and let Denny handle this run alone. That way they could’ve done twice the business and he wouldn’t have had to take any chances with running into Cheryl. Although he had a fifty-fifty chance that Stephen, her brother, would be working instead.
They were only on the ground thirty minutes in Chalkyitsik. The tiny village only had sixty-something residents, most of whom were indigenous people, so there weren’t a lot of supplies to unload. After the paperwork was signed, they were back in the air. Jake took over the controls for the next leg of their trip. They hit a little bit of sleet, but they’d both flown through worse.
Fort Yukon was much bigger, with about five hundred residents. There was a lot more to unload, and it took them a while to help transport the medical supplies to the clinic in town. He might’ve been stalling as he chatted up the receptionist, but he could tell Denny was starting to get impatient at the fifteen-minute mark as he sat in a chair by the door bouncing his knee. Unlike Jake, he had someone worth going home to.
“I’m sure it won’t be that bad,” Denny said after they had taken off. “It’s been three months. It’s bound to have blown over by now, the worst of it anyway.”
Jake grunted as he gazed out the window at the thawing tundra beneath them. Everything looked so beautiful from above. Forests composed of evergreens stretched for as far as the eye could see, with rivers snaking through the trees and a few lakes speckling the landscape. It was easy to let go of the troubles weighing him down when he was so far above them. Unless, of course, his copilot kept bringing them up.
“I appreciate your undying support,” he deadpanned.
“I’m behind you either way…”
“Ugh, that was one dream.”
“…unless she has her bat this time,” Denny said with a chuckle, and if he wasn’t Jake’s best friend, he would’ve thrown him out of the plane. That or fired him.
It wasn’t long before he could see the airstrip coming into view as they fell back to earth. The landing was smooth, and he shut down the engine when they rolled to a stop at the edge of the runway. He gave himself a brief pep talk about accepting his fate, then pushed open the door and climbed out of the Cessna, dead set on getting the supplies delivered as quickly as possible.
But when he spun around to greet whomever it was that had come out to meet them, he was frozen in place by the brightest green eyes he’d ever seen.
Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?
When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.