Archive for the ‘Delos Series’ Category

RELEASE DAY! Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna

February 1, 2018

RELEASE DAY! Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna
Book 8, Delos Series
Romantic Suspense

Excerpt #1
Exceprt #2
Excerpt #3

Chapter 1 from Amazon: McKenna

CONGRATULATIONS to all my readers who have impatiently waited for this ‘edge of your seat’ book!!! Happy reading!


#3 EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna!

January 31, 2018

Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna
Delos Series, Book 8
Release Date: 2.1.18

Pre-order now!
Paperback, ebook and audio

Tucking her phone into the white straw purse hanging over her right shoulder, Teren nodded. Again, women here never led the way; rather, they followed the men. She was curious about Nolan having been in Sudan before. He walked like he owned the place, but it wasn’t arrogance. It was utter male confidence of the finest kind. She’d seen that same type of confidence in Captain Taban, the man who had won her deepest respect. It was quiet authority that no one dared breach or challenge. And yet, when Nolan barely turned his head, she saw his profile, felt his protectiveness envelop her even though she was a few feet behind and to the left of him.

Farida, Kitra’s director, had been urging her to leave and go stateside, back to her family home in Somerset, Kentucky, but to do that, Teren would have to revisit her past. She’d grown up in the small town, mostly full of devout Christians, and their set of morals and values were strong and unwavering.

She’d honestly tried to live up to that impossibly high bar of expectations but had failed. Not only had she paid for it personally, she’d also lost the baby she’d been carrying. Teren had been profoundly shamed by her family, who had lived in that area for over a century. The generations before her had been hardworking farmers, plowing the land, raising cattle, and keeping their large families fed. To go home was to resurrect a past between her and her parents and the townspeople who lived there. None of them ever forgot-or forgave her for-the sin she’d committed.

Teren had tried to go home once, but after a few days, she felt the shame, the guilt, the horrible grief of loss, and she’d had to leave. And all the friends she’d grown up with were now married and had housefuls of children.

And here she was: single and alone-and lonely. But not lonely in all ways, because Kitra soothed her wounded heart and scarred soul. Her family loved her. They had tried their very best to move beyond their intractable beliefs to forgive her. Some days, Teren believed they had done it. Other days, it was painfully clear that the people in the community had not forgiven her for her actions. She was the town’s “bad girl” and her reputation was forever ruined. It was a sin that kept on giving, and kept resurrecting itself every time she was home. It was just too much for her to deal with.

As she passively followed Nolan, her mind lingered painfully on the past. Could it be that this crazy feeling had taken over because she hadn’t been home for the last three years? Talk about confusing! Teren had her life all sorted out, organized, every hour accounted for. She was needed, respected, and loved at Kitra. In fact, the village would plunge into chaos if she weren’t there with the magic of her computer skills, her knowledge of electronics, and the world at large, far outside the country of Sudan. Here, she had a sense of purpose and knew she made a positive difference, and that meant everything to her. She worked closely with women who had been badly abused, raped, or kidnapped and forced into sex slavery or marriage. Teren felt lucky in comparison to them. All she’d received was abuse and the loss of her baby. These Sudanese women, with fear embedded beyond their eyes, had fled to Kitra to heal, to be protected from abusive husbands and families, to learn a trade and then be able to confidently start their lives all over again.

Their children would not starve. The women would not be beaten again, or end up with a nose or ear cut off, or have acid thrown into their faces because they were “bad wives” to their husbands, or worse, stoned to death.

The village of Kitra was Teren’s life preserver, just as it was for the Safe House Foundation, whose entire reason for being here was to act as a protective haven for such women, no matter what tribe, skin color, or nationality they were. If they came to the gates of Kitra, small children or babies in arms, Farida’s team took the young mothers in. Then they were fed and received medical care, as did their children. Each woman was given a hut of her own, clean and with rugs on the hard-packed clay floor, and mats, mosquito netting, and sleeping bags for all. She was then taken to Samar, the female psychologist, who was thirty-five years old, but seemed like she was a thousand years old to Teren. Samar had even helped her sort out much of her own guilt and shame.

Her mind moved forward as they left the escalator, and she saw Nolan read the overhead sign written in Sudanese Arabic, telling him which carousel would be dumping out his luggage.

Teren again noted how few women were here at the airport. She disliked certain Sudanese traditions and longed for the freedom not to wear a tob or other concealing garments. Instead, she longed to throw her leg over a horse and wear her beloved jeans and sleeveless tees. She could do that at Kitra, but not outside the walls of the village, where she again adopted the bearing of a meek, subservient woman. It was the only part of working in Sudan that she rebelled against. On most days Teren could handle it, but on other days, not so much.

At least she had the freedom of American clothes and she could move freely about the huge, enclosed, thriving village. It felt wonderful. Right now, she longed to be back within the embracing walls of Kitra, wanted to tear this tob off her body, and toss it aside. But to do something that stupid would land her in Sharia court, and more than likely she would be publicly whipped or stoned to death for her insult to Islam.

There was just something about Nolan Steele that made her feel rebellious and want to throw off the trappings of her soiled past so she could feel free once more.

Nolan turned and eased the handle of his laptop bag into her hand. “Hold this for me for a moment? I see my luggage.”

Her fingers curved, closing around the canvas and leather handle. “Sure.”

He smiled at her then, that same deep warmth gleaming in the depths of his eyes, nurturing the spark of hope he seemed to bring her. Hope for what, Teren wasn’t sure, but there it was. Nolan walked toward the baggage carousel where she saw two green canvas bags. Vaguely, she remembered Ayman’s having had one too. They were called duffel bags by the U.S. military, if she remembered correctly. She watched as Nolan easily pulled them off the carousel, one in each hand.

“You okay carrying my laptop if I carry these?” he asked, halting in front of her.

She smiled faintly. “If I can wrestle a hundred-pound sheep to the floor of the shearing shed, I think I can handle a ten-pound laptop. Let’s go out those doors to your right. The parking lot is just across the roadway, and my hafla is nearby.”

“Sounds good. I’ll lead the way.”

Teren realized Nolan knew what a hafla was: a minibus that had a flatbed component, the most prevalent vehicle in and around Khartoum. She hadn’t been looking forward to teaching her security contractor about Sudanese customs after he arrived, and it was a pleasant surprise to know that he knew Sudan and its conventions.

Often, she had to drive into Khartoum to pick up items that required a flatbed truck. Kitra had no fancy cars, and her hafla had no air-conditioning in this ninety-five-degree Fahrenheit heat.

Teren breathed another sigh of relief as Nolan moved out of the cool air-conditioned terminal and into the dry, scorching sun overhead. She wondered what else he knew. How often had he been in Sudan? And why? Teren had lots of questions for him.

The corners of her mouth curved as she held the lightweight, floaty hijab to her head. It would be a sin in this country to have it slide off, revealing her hair.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT #2 Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna

January 30, 2018


Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna
Delos Series, Book 8
Paperback, ebook and audio

Teren wasn’t prepared when she spotted him at the exit doors of customs, along with several other Sudanese businessmen dressed in their robes. He was moderately built, wearing a tan T-shirt beneath a loose-fitting khaki jacket and trousers. Their eyes briefly locked upon one another, and Teren’s heart began to accelerate. He was here! Why did it feel like a homecoming instead of a first meeting? Her lips moved and then tightened, and instead, she lifted her hand.

He gave her a bare nod, his eyes narrowing, and every nerve in her body reacted to that swift, intense perusal he gave her.

And then, just as quickly, he lifted his chin, his gaze sweeping around the noisy, busy airport. She had the distinct impression he was actually a lordly leopard in disguise, calmly surveying his kingdom, not a stranger coming to a strange country. He walked like a hunter, light on his feet, avoiding any living animal in the immediate vicinity.

She watched in amazement as he threaded his way through the crowd. He moved like water flowing around rocks, disturbing nothing, gaining no one’s attention. Teren’s respect for him as a security contractor rocketed.

His shoulders were broad, squared with pride, his hand on a single bag that appeared to hold a laptop. His right hand was free. And as his gaze swept to her once again and briefly halted, Teren felt in that one, scorching moment, he had memorized her from head to toe.

It wasn’t sexual. It wasn’t lust. It was something indefinable, but just the power of it stirred up the heat simmering in her lower body. Once he was clear of the bustling crowd, his gaze locked on hers once more, and Teren felt as if she were being surrounded by such intense protectiveness, it stole her breath away.

Protection! It had been so long since she’d felt safe. So long…and he seemed to be invisibly embracing her, the sense of safety he radiated even stronger the closer he drew to her.

For once in her life, Teren found herself speechless. Their gazes clung to one another, and something passed between them that made her throat tighten. She fought back old, wounded emotions as she absorbed the look in his eyes, feeling his quiet authority and power. Now she lifted her chin and realized that, on some level, she didn’t want him to step away from her. It was the craziest, most out-of-this-world sensation she’d ever felt!

Almost dizzied by his palpable masculinity as he drew to a halt about four feet away from her, she stared up at Steele-gawked was more like it. Teren suddenly felt like an innocent eighteen-year-old who held all the hopes of the world in her heart.

Steele was a stranger. Ex-military. Black ops. So different from the world she lived in that what he was bringing with him was alien to her culture. Then his eyes warmed as he smiled down on her, and she felt heat sheeting through her, arousing her dormant body, ripping away all her fear, the sense of danger that always hovered around her. She felt a fire sparking to full life deep within her body, as if on some unknown plane of existence, she was meeting him after a long absence.

“Ms. Lambert?”

His voice was low and quiet. The vibration, though subtle, tingled through every cell within her. Teren barely nodded. “Yes.” The word came out smoky and soft, so unlike her. Nolan Steele brought out her female quality with just his mere presence.

Looking deeper into his eyes, Teren didn’t see arousal or lust. What she saw, however, was even more powerful: gentle understanding and yes, compassion burned in his eyes, aimed directly at her. How could that be?

She felt tongue-tied, scrambling inwardly to snap out of that magical cocoon he’d just woven around her. The feeling left Teren unsure of herself-normally, she exuded a quiet confidence wherever she went. Whatever magic he possessed made her feel excruciatingly female, and she gratefully absorbed it.

Steele gave her a wry smile, his eyes crinkling, the lines in the corners deepening. “Are you all right? You look a little dazed.”

Teren felt heat burnishing her cheeks. She never blushed, but she was now. She managed an apologetic, “I’m sorry…long day.” Well, that wasn’t a lie, just not the whole truth. “The heat, too.” She lifted her hand gracefully toward the automatic doors.

“Understandable,” he agreed with a nod. Holding out his hand, he said, “Nolan Steele. It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Lambert.”

His large hand engulfed her thin, narrow one, and the touch of his callused palm sliding against hers sent wild electric sensations up her lower arm. His fingers were long, strong, yet gentle, as he lightly squeezed her hand in return. Teren felt his latent strength, reminding her once more of that proud leopard who, while in repose, looked tame and nonthreatening-but he wasn’t. Skin against skin she sensed much more and couldn’t hold off images that had nothing to do with a simple “hello.”

Unsteadily, Teren pulled her hand free, her skin vibrating with his energy. “Do you have luggage?” she asked, trying to restore the impression of competence she’d brought with her.

“Yes.” He broke contact with her flawless gray eyes, which brought to mind the color of the sky just before dawn. “I’ve been here before, and baggage is that way.” He pointed in the direction of the highly polished hall that led to the right.

She blinked, her mind slowly returning online. “You have? I mean, you’ve been in Sudan before?” The way his lips parted in a grin, part boyish, part secretive, told her that Nolan wasn’t wearing his game face. He was being genuine.

Wyatt had warned her that she probably wouldn’t be able to read him or know what he was thinking or feeling. But that wasn’t true, at least not here and now. It was as if they were both standing before each other, exposing themselves boldly and fearlessly. She could almost feel his essence, and it swept her away in a glorious cloud of heat, light, and promise.

“Yes, ma’am. In fact, I’ve been here too many times,” he assured her. Nolan knew better than to cup her elbow and guide her down the massive, gleaming hallway leading to the escalator down to baggage. This was a conservative country, and a strange man could not touch a woman. Only family could touch family, and even then, it mattered which person in the family it was. Earlier, when they shook hands, any passerby would automatically think they were related and from the same family. They would think nothing of the greeting. Nolan gestured and said, “This way.”

Pre-order: right now!
Release Date: 2.1.18!
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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna!

January 28, 2018

Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna
Delos Series, Book 8
Paperback, ebook and audio
Release date: February 1, 2019

Back Story:
Shy country girl Teren Lambert is used to being in the background…and she likes it that way. After losing her innocence-Teren lives with the guilt of that fateful day. She only feels whole helping the women and children at the Delos Charity’s Kitra Safe House in Sudan. But her new bodyguard brings to life feelings within her thought long dead. He is her sanctuary.

Ex-Delta Force operator Nolan Steele knows the agony of losing someone he loves. And it’s something he never wants to relive, so he guards his heart as strongly as he guards lives. But though he fights against it, he can’t help but be drawn to Teren’s quiet beauty. While on a mission to protect her and the women at the safe house, Nolan sees a familiar pain in her soulful eyes. Can he find the strength to love again?

Teren waited patiently outside the customs area at the Khartoum, Sudan, airport. She had her cell phone in hand, scrolling through messages from her two office assistants. Her mouth tugged at the corners as she looked up at the double doors, expecting Nolan Steele to come through them at any moment.

His color photo flashed on her screen. He had an oval face and large, hawkish marine-blue eyes that reminded her of the ocean’s depths. His mouth was something else-sensual, yet firm. He was almost painfully good-looking-far too handsome for his own good! He probably had an ego the size of Jupiter. She hoped not, because the moment the email from Wyatt Lockwood had appeared on her laptop, her whole body reacted to the stranger’s photograph. Those eyes…so full of secrets and, Teren sensed, pain. It didn’t appear on his unlined thirty-year-old face, but it was there.

She was just a year younger than him. She thought back to when she’d been an idealistic eighteen-year-old, filled with hope and the belief that the world was essentially a good place. She found out differently later that year and after her own traumatic experience, Teren had quickly revised her views about men. From that time on, they had been creatures she couldn’t understand or relate to. She’d become gun-shy around them, and now, over a decade later, she still felt that way.

But as she studied Nolan’s face, Teren felt her heart slowly begin to open, like petals on a lotus. Not wanting to feel like this, fighting it, she clicked her phone’s screen off but left the phone on, because he had her phone number in case they missed each other here at the busy, crowded airport.
A potpourri of spicy scents filled the air. Men wore either light-colored silk business suits or the traditional jalabiya, a loose-fitting garment, collarless, ankle-length, and long-sleeved. Some wore caps, others turbans. Because it was August, a season of dry, blistering heat, the jalabiyas were either white, cream, or tan, made of cotton-linen or silk, to deflect the burning rays of the sun outside this air-conditioned facility.
She nervously smoothed her tob, a head-to-toe gown of white cotton topped by a white silk hijab, the traditional scarf Muslim women wore over their heads when in public. She wasn’t Muslim, but Teren tried to fit in, not stand out. Knowing how dangerous it was to be a white, American woman in this third-world country, she didn’t want to draw attention to herself any more than necessary.

Normally, she wouldn’t have been here waiting for someone at the airport. She liked the red clay walls that surrounded Kitra, the sense of safety that was always there because Captain Ayman Taban ran his security force like the military man he’d been for twenty years.

So, where was this Steele guy, and was that even his real name or a cover one? After talking with Wyatt by sat phone, she knew he was going to be her personal bodyguard, and that he was ex-military, but Wyatt hadn’t said anything more than that. Tapping her slippered foot, Teren began to feel restless. She didn’t like being out in such a huge, bustling area with so many men and so few women. She knew she’d stand out because of her lighter skin.
In Khartoum, she dressed conservatively, the niqab, over her brow and nose, only a slit for her eyes, trying to hide her skin color. Here at the airport, her face was fully visible, the scarf draped around her head, neck, and shoulders. Steele had to be able to identify her once he came through the doors of customs. Sudan wasn’t a safe place in many areas and it was especially dangerous to a woman who stood alone without a male escort in tow. Too many terrorists were lurking around, and it always made her tense. Her nervousness this afternoon was heightened because she felt inexplicably drawn to Nolan Steele.

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BOXCAR CHRISTMAS by Lindsay McKenna blog and contest!

January 5, 2018

a deep, incisive blog on why I wrote this book. And there’s a giveaway contest as well!

CONTEST from Lindsay McKenna, January 1-6.2018!

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year to all my readers!!

Welcome to my contest page! I will be hosting giveaways monthly—plus on all the major holidays! Check back often. Contest open to readers worldwide.

It’s sequel

FORGED IN FIRE, Book 3, Delos Series
Pediatrician Dara McKinley loves her job. So how could she say no when her sister asks her to come to Kabul for a few weeks to offer medical assistance at a local orphanage? Terrified of the dangers surrounding her, Dara finds unexpected solace in the protective arms of Sergeant Matt Culver. Transfixed by the warrior with the exotic gold eyes, can Dara overcome her fears? Sergeant Matt Culver has always listened to his instincts, and they have yet to steer him wrong. So when he sees the alluring blond belly dancer at Bagram’s annual holiday show, he knows without a doubt that she’s “the one.” Now he just has to convince her to take a chance on him…and love. If they survive…

And NEVER ENOUGH, sequel to Forged in Fire, 3B1, Delos Series

Novella: When stunning Dara McKinley, a visiting pediatric physician, arrived in Afghanistan to help needy children, she had no idea that Delta Force Sergeant Matt Culver would not only win her heart–he would also save her life during an attack by the Taliban. Now, the couple is ready for a much-needed vacation in Hawaii, eager for days and nights of passion and relaxation. But once again danger stalks them. Dara knows she’s in good hands with Matt beside her, but her fears rise again that she and Matt can lose each other as they face an unpredictable new enemy..

January 01 – January 06, 2018
Winner will be announced on January 07, 2018 on the Lindsay McKenna Facebook page. If you aren’t subscribed to me on this page, you will NOT miss being the winner because I’ll be emailing you as well!

Good luck!!


December 18, 2017


Exclusive excerpt #3


Travis Ramsey was behind the counter of Ramsey Fishing Guides when the bell above the door tinkled, telling him he had an early morning visitor. His fishing guide business was mostly dormant during this time of the year and he had little to do over the coming winter months. Next April when the snows left the Bitterroot Valley where Hamilton sat, fishermen from around the world would stream in to take advantage of the world-class trout in the creeks and river. Looking up, he saw a young woman, her short black hair emphasizing the paleness of her features. Straightening, he saw her look around the large, two story building. As her blue gaze met his, he frowned. She was wearing an Army jacket. A real one, with patches that he quickly recognized. Had she bought it at an Army-Navy store or was she the real deal? She was tall, her shoulders thrown back, wearing a heavy Army rucksack on her back. His gaze dropped to her long legs wrapped in denim to her boots. Those were Army boots. There was something about her, a sense that she was probably ex-military. So was he.

“Can I help you?” he called, walking toward the end of the maple counter that had been in his family since the late 1800’s. He saw her blue eyes narrow upon him, silently evaluating him. There was a glittering intelligence in them, something he rarely saw outside the military. Her fingers tightened around the strap of her rucksack curved across her shoulder. He’d been a Delta Force operator and missed nothing. If she was ex-Army, she didn’t act like office personnel at all. No, she was carefully assessing him on every potential level as he was her. There had been women in Delta Force for over a decade. She certainly behaved like an operator and his respect for her was already amping up. He halted at the end of the counter. “I’m Travis Ramsey. How may I help you?”

The woman looked disheveled, but clean, her clothes showing wear and tear. Something pinged his intuition as she headed toward him, her lips set in a line that suggested she was afraid of his response to whatever she wanted or needed from him. Travis couldn’t prove it, but he never dismissed an intuitive hit. It had saved his life way too many times.

“I’m Jesse Myers. I was walking in the woods along the Bitterroot River when I saw a red caboose in the nearby meadow. I went to the county Recorder’s office here in Hamilton to find the owner and they said it belonged to you.” She hesitated and then said, “I’m looking for a place to rent. I have a part time job at Katie’s Koffee Bean down the street. I can’t afford much, but I would take good care of that boxcar if you’re open to renting it to me.”

Stunned by her request, he nodded, watching fear and hope alternate in her eyes. “You did your homework.”

Jesse managed a weak smile. “It’s my nature. I fell in love with the caboose and thought it would be a great place to stay. I’m not making enough money to rent something in town, yet. I could clean it up, maybe paint it and repair some of the things inside and make it livable once more. I’m pretty good with mechanical and electrical stuff.”

Travis liked her low, husky voice. She might be fearful that he’d say no, but she stood her ground and kept good eye contact with him. “You have family around here?” Hamilton was a town of four-thousand plus people and he knew all of them because his family was one of the first to settle in this town.

Shaking her head, she said, “No, sir, I don’t. I was born and raised in Billings, Montana, and that’s where my folks live.”

Things didn’t add up. “And you’ve come to Hamilton to get a job?” Travis knew there were no jobs after tourist season, which ended in late September and didn’t begin again until the first of April. Everyone who worked here was seasonal. What was her story?

“Yes, sir, I have. Growing up, my parents favorite place to go for a weekend or a vacation was Hamilton. I’ve always loved this small town, the people, and how it’s surrounded by nature.” She gave a slight shrug. “I’m not a city person even though I was born in Billings. I need the outdoors, the woods, the water and the quiet.”

She appealed to him on so many levels that Travis felt momentarily rocked by that unexpected awareness. Jesse’s short hair was mannish in cut and that triggered something in him that he hoped to explore with her. “Listen, I’ve got an espresso machine at the rear of the store. Why don’t we go back there, have a cup of coffee and we can talk?” He gestured toward the front door. “There isn’t going to be anyone coming in today. I just bought a half-dozen fresh pastries from the Las Palomas Bakery next door. Let’s talk further in my office?” He wasn’t looking for a woman, but damned if Jesse Myers didn’t call strongly to him, man-to-woman. She was clearly mature for her age, had morals and values because she went to the county office to find out who owned that caboose and then asked to rent it. He’d seen some vets who passed through the area in the summer who squatted and used the caboose, never asking if they could stay there or not. He liked her honesty.


He gestured toward the other end of the store. “Come on. It’s early and I don’t know about you, but hot coffee is something we can all use this time of morning.” Military people were coffee hounds of the first order. He saw her eyes widen momentarily, those thick dark lashes emphasizing them. Pleased, he saw the offer appealed to her.

“Sounds good, Mr. Ramsey.”

“Call me Travis and you can put the ‘sir’ away, too. I’m ex-Army. Are you?” he asked, walking down the length of the counter. He met her at the other end and opened the door to the tourist area of the shop. The waiting room was large, lots of wooden chairs with cushions spaced neatly around the perimeter. At one end was a long table filled with paper coffee cups, boxes of assorted teas, sugar, cream, and spoons, and a very expensive espresso machine. “Put your rucksack on a chair and have a seat,” he invited. Partly shutting the door, he went and turned the machine on. “Coffee? Espresso? What’s your poison?” He grinned a little, wanting the tension she carried to dissolve. He saw her gently set the fifty-pound pack on the floor next to the chair where she sat down.

“Just plain coffee is fine. Black. Thank you.”

Her manners were all military and Travis nodded, getting busy making her that coffee. “Reach over and grab yourself a donut or two,” he said, pointing to a box near where she was seated. “Help yourself. Alex Delgado, the daughter of Hector and Maria, now runs the bakery and she’s known as the queen of pastries around Hamilton. They all taste great.” Jesse was a tall, big boned woman and he noticed how the wrinkled Army jacket hung on her frame. He saw her look wistfully at the pastries and lick her full lower lip. Her hands were taut against the thighs of her jeans. She was hungry. The realization hit him hard. In black ops, it was the little things, jigsaw puzzle pieces that alone, didn’t tell much. But as an operator in Afghanistan for far too long, it was all these tidbits that came together to paint a fuller picture of a situation. Or in the case of Jesse, that she was definitely an Army vet. There was no question in his mind about that.

Further, she had hesitated momentarily at the door to the coffee room to thoroughly evaluate it. This told him she was clearly an operator, not some office assistant. Maybe she was an Intelligence officer or maybe an operator out in the field like himself? When she came into the room after sweeping it thoroughly in a moment with her gaze, she deliberately sat down in one corner, at the end of the table, her back up against a wall, facing the only exit door. An operator always did that. As he put the coffee into the machine, placing a white paper cup beneath the spout, he began to cobble more of her story together in his head. If she’d been in combat, more than likely she had PTSD. The fact that she wasn’t at home after leaving the Army told him that. He had many friends, ex-Delta operators, who had their marriages go bust after coming off a deployment because of the years of accumulated PTSD and being unable to adjust to civilian life again. They couldn’t go home to their parents, either, because they wouldn’t understand the flashbacks, the nightmares, and the ongoing anxiety they carried in them 24/7/365, either.

His mouth flexed in sympathy as he watched her from the corner of his eye. She rose in one fluid motion and picked up a paper napkin, her long, elegant looking fingers hovering over the mouth-watering array of pastries. When she leaned over, her jacket opened and he saw she was wearing a desert tan shirt he was very familiar with. It was an operator’s shirt, with camouflage print on both long sleeves and a tan torso core of one color. Yeah, she was black ops, no question.

“Where were you stationed in Afghanistan?” he asked, turning and placing the steaming brew on the table next to where she’d sat down.

Jesse froze for a second, transfixed by the man’s large, slightly narrowed gray eyes as he buttonholed her with that question. His dark brown hair was cut military short, his beard clipped close, showing off his square face and giving him an air of dangerousness. Trying to slough off her shock that he knew what she was in the Army, she replied, “Nangarhar Province.” Tensing, she saw several emotions flit across his face. How the hell would he know that about her? She hadn’t answered his question earlier about being in the Army. The chocolate éclair teased her wide-open senses. Her mouth watered. The scent of the sugar, vanilla pudding and chocolate was too much to resist and she bit slowly into it, savoring it as if her life depended upon it. Closing her eyes, she made a humming sound in the back of her throat. The world stopped in that moment as she tasted the luscious, thick chocolate coating. He finally swallowed, feeling it hit her hungry stomach, the urgent amount of strength that it created within her as the glucose shot into her system.

Slowly, her senses moved outward once more and she heard Travis tinkering with the espresso machine, the fragrance of chocolate surrounding her as the machine hissed and steamed. Opening her eyes, she saw he was making a large mocha latte. He was a tall man, at least six-foot-tall and broad shouldered. The blue plaid flannel cowboy shirt he wore stretched against his powerful chest, with a black leather vest worn over the shirt. He was someone who was in top shape, probably in his late twenties, she would guess. There were a lot of crinkles at the corners of his gray eyes, telling her he was outside a lot. She liked his short dark brown hair that sported reddish strands among them.

She decided to take a closer inspection of him because no one was a mind reader. His hands were large, square and calloused. When he made a gesture, she saw that he sported a thick callous on the inside of his right index finger, his trigger finger. Black ops all had that telltale sign. She had it on hers, as well. And he might have spotted it on her hand after she’d removed her gloves. When she’d come into the store, she’d seen him suddenly shift almost invisibly, into a heightened space of alertness aimed at her. It was nothing obvious, but her senses were far too honed not to pick it up and now, she was beginning to put together that this man standing in a cowboy shirt, jeans and scarred, well-worn leather boots, was black ops himself, not regular Army–otherwise he wouldn’t have recognized who she was. Questions came, but she sat on them. Right now, she needed a place to rent. Besides, he’d probably find her personal questions rude.


Stay tuned for next Monday’s installment #4 BOXCAR CHRISTMAS on 12.25.17!!

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Have you missed the 2nd Exclusive Exerpt?

If you missed Lindsay’s Blog on the “Story behind the story” of BOXCAR CHRISTMAS?
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Happy Holidays!

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December 11, 2017

CHAPTER 1—continued
Exclusive excerpt 2

Jesse opened the door, feeling guilty about trespassing. It creaked as she pushed it open. Stepping inside, she shut the door and turned, peering around the gloomy interior of the caboose because the sun still hadn’t risen above the carpet of evergreens on the slope above where it sat. She spotted a propane gas stove, a table with two simple, carved wooden chairs nearby, and a bed at the other end of it. In the middle of the car was a kitchen sink and opposite the sink was a long leather couch. To her delight, there was also a rocking chair and an overstuffed leather chair that probably housed a lot of field mice, the stuffing looking like popcorn along the thin, separating seams of leather. The couch was long enough to sleep on and was a possibility because the mattress on that bed looked very old and needed to be replaced. But she considered it a far better upgrade to her tent.

It was dusty and dirty, mouse pellets scattered here and there along the dulled oak floor. Some parts of the oriental carpet had been eaten into, probably by mice who took those fibers to make a warm nest somewhere else in the car. Walking to the other end of the caboose, she saw that the bedroom was roomy with a full-sized bed in it. A few blankets that were probably once folded at the bottom were now open and spread haphazardly across bed. Some of the drawers were partially opened, and appeared to be empty and in dire need of some deep cleaning.

This caboose could become a good place to protect her from the coming winter, and she could buy a tank of propane to keep the boxcar warm instead of freezing to death from hypothermia in her tent. Not wanting to think about her downfall during the last year she had been in the Army when all her hopes and dreams were smashed and shattered, Jesse walked toward the center of the caboose and studied the ivory colored Formica counter that surrounded the double aluminum sink. This was a place that could be cared for once again. Brought back to life. Seeing herself in the same condition as this boxcar made her want to stay here and use it as a place to begin to heal from her recent past. The last year of her enlistment in the Army had turned into a nightmare, because she’d been out of control, unable to fit in and be ‘normal’ in order to perform her duties.

She mentally calculated her weekly salary and compared it to what a tank of propane gas would cost, plus having to buy food, and needing a source of water in order to survive. The numbers churned in her head. Maybe some blankets and a pillow would be a nice addition as well. She’d seen a Goodwill store in Hamilton that would be the perfect place to pick up used bedding. Her parents had wanted to give her money to survive on until she could get a good job and manage her life once more, but she’d refused it. They had worked hard for their savings and Jesse didn’t want to steal from their nest egg meant for retirement. Maybe she could call them in a couple of weeks if she could keep this new job and ask for a loan. And then she would pay it back or else. Jesse had never taken a handout in her life. She’d always worked hard for everything she’d earned, just like her parents had.

The morning light filtered in through the windows of the caboose, illuminating the interior. She could see the electric lights along both walls, sconces that still had a hurricane lamp in each of them–dirty but still looking usable. There were no electric lines out here and she looked around for a generator outside somewhere, but saw nothing. At another time, there must have been one because the sconces would only work if there had been a generator present. Besides, even if there had been one, she couldn’t afford to pay for the gasoline needed to run it. And she didn’t have any wheels. She had to walk everywhere, no matter what the weather did around her. Still, she felt a trickle of hope because the oak tongue-and-groove ceiling looked solid–there were no leaks along it to indicate water had gotten inside, and that was good news.

Stepping carefully to the meadow-facing side of the car, she grazed one of the windows with her fingertips. They were in dire need of a good cleaning and the insulation around the frames needed to be replaced so heat wouldn’t leak out and make the car drafty. The tatty old red and yellow Oriental rug beneath her boots was smudged with dirt and hadn’t been swept for a long, long time. She looked around and spotted a long, vertical door near the kitchen table. Going over to it, she opened one side panel of the door. To her delight, there was not only an ancient looking broom, but dust clothes hanging off hooks, a mop, two small aluminum buckets and several usable sponges. Everything she’d need to clean up this place.

She treaded lightly, her Army boots heavy and clunky, the floor creaking here and there. Jesse closed the closet door, turned and simply absorbed this small, comfy looking place. It could truly become a temporary home for her. Her eyes adjusted to the low dawn light, and she realized this was more than a fishing and hunting cabin. The small kitchen table against the wall was still covered with a dusty red and white checkered tablecloth. A pair of cut glass salt and pepper shakers stood in the middle of it. On a shelf above the kitchen sink, she saw dust-laden, brightly colored Fiesta dishes. To her right, were more shelves that held a set of bowls, a couple of aluminum pans and some cookbooks. Jesse liked the feeling in this caboose. It truly had been someone’s home once. The person probably lived here full time, her intuition told her. Maybe years earlier it had been a warm, cozy house, but now, it had been abandoned for some unknown reason, no longer loved and cared for. She wondered who had made this caboose his or her home. She liked the small bathroom next to the bedroom. There was a shower stall in there as well as a Formica counter with an aluminum bowl in it.

The caboose was forty feet long and ten feet wide: four-hundred square feet of living space. It felt like a warm nest to Jesse and she couldn’t explain why this beaten down train car suddenly meant so much to her. She managed a strangled laugh because symbolically and physically, she was beaten down, too. The inside of her looked like the inside of this car. But even in disrepair, the caboose showed the potential of what it could become if a little care and love was bestowed upon it. Was the same true of her? Could that be her outcome as well?

The right thing to do was to walk back into Hamilton, locate the county Recorder’s office and find out who owned the caboose on this property. She needed to know because she wasn’t going to just move in without permission. Even though this train car was in disrepair, it was owned by someone. Maybe, if she could find the owner, she could ask them to allow her to live in it, hoping that the rent wouldn’t be very much and that she could afford it. Jesse adamantly refused to become a squatter. In her world of morals and values, one didn’t just take over a house of any kind without permission and without paying some sort of rent. She already felt guilty enough that she’d entered the place without permission. The door wasn’t locked, but that wasn’t an excuse to trespass. That wasn’t like her, but she was invisibly driven to explore the inside of it.

She turned and she left the caboose, shut the door and carefully made her way down to the concrete slab where it sat. She picked up her heavy pack and unstrapped her tent—there was a lot to do today. This was her off day from work and it would take thirty minutes to walk through the woods to the south end of Hamilton. Hope threaded through her, feeling grateful that she’d miraculously stumbled upon this place. She placed her rolled up tent on the metal and wood platform of the caboose. If she couldn’t find the owner, she would pitch her tent just inside the evergreen tree line for protection from the elements and stay in it, instead. Jesse took out her phone, a gift from her parents, she located the GPS for the caboose. That information would be instrumental in locating the owner. Hitching the heavy knapsack that carried everything she owned in it, Jesse gave the red caboose a wistful farewell look and then turned away, heading into the woods to walk back into Hamilton. Glancing at her watch, she realized that she would have to locate the county seat office and wait until they opened up at nine a.m. END OF INSTALLMENT #2!

Stay tuned for next Monday’s installment #3 BOXCAR CHRISTMAS on 12.18.17!!

Have you missed the 1st Exclusive Excerpt?
Go here:

If you missed Lindsay’s Blog on the “Story behind the story” of BOXCAR CHRISTMAS?
Go here:

Happy Holidays!

PRE-ORDER: BOXCAR CHRISTMAS on all platforms except for Google
paperback and ebook and audio!

CHRISTMAS CONTEST #2 from Lindsay McKenna!

December 10, 2017

Dec 10-15, 2017

Audio tape of a Lindsay McKenna Christmas novella!

Contest open to readers worldwide.
December 10 – December 15, 2017
Two veterans—one human, one canine—have returned to Montana to recover from the traumas of war. Former Army Ranger Nick Conway depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigate IEDs on the battlefield. Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with his PTSD and acclimate to civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals to the needy, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the kindhearted Holly—and Nick knows his trusty companion has never led him down the wrong path!

Winner will be announced on December 016, 2017 on the Lindsay McKenna Facebook page. If you aren’t subscribed to me on this page, you will NOT miss being the winner because I’ll be emailing you as well!

Just click on this link, sign up, and a winner will be randomly chosen after the close of the contest!

CONGRATULATIONS for signing up! Good luck!
and, Happy Holidays!


December 4, 2017

Hi Readers
A special series of “gifts” are coming your way between Dec. 4, 2017 and January 1, 2018 when BOXCAR CHRISTMAS is released!

I’m planning a special EXCERPT from this heartwarming Christmas story once a week. Every MONDAY, look for a new except from this book!

Exclusive Excerpt from Boxcar Christmas by Lindsay McKenna #1


November 1
Hamilton, Montana

“It wasn’t much to look at. The wooden slats that made up the ancient red caboose were weathered, the boxcar sitting on the edge of a flat yellow grass meadow, backed by thousands of evergreens in western Montana. Early November wind whistled and cut at Jesse Myer’s exposed face. She felt the icy morning coldness seep through her rain dampened olive green Army jacket as she emerged cautiously out of the woods. She had discovered the boxcar while hunting rosehips scattered along the banks of the Bitterroot River. It was a source of protein for her tightened, gnawing stomach in want of food.

The large, oval-shaped meadow bordered the water and the rose hips were a substantial source of food when in the back country. She chewed slowly on another one, knowing it was packed with nutrition. Shivering, she felt hope spike through her as she walked out of the woods that lay west of Hamilton, a small hunting and fishing tourist town. She had followed the river in search of a place to pitch her tent outside the city limits.

Standing on the edge of the meadow, she fully surveyed it. It rained at dusk last night and then snowflakes had fallen thick and fast throughout the nighttime hours, and toward dawn the ground was covered with about six inches of the white stuff. As a gray dawn sluggishly crawled upon the eastern horizon, the flakes had turned into a soft, constant rain once more. Most of the snow had melted as the temperature rose, but patches of white still existed here and there–it was an Indian summer event. Jesse sincerely hoped that it meant warmer weather would come into the area and warm it up for a couple of weeks while she hunted for a place to live.
She’d discovered the ancient Union Pacific caboose at the edge of the meadow by accident. There was no telling how old it was, the slats of tongue-and-grove wood that composed its sides were worn , the paint chipped off but still solidly in place despite the harsh winter weather that it had obviously endured over the years. There were no railroad tracks around from what she could see. The under carriage of the caboose had been removed and it had been set upon a rectangular concrete slab, reminding her of the tiny house craze sweeping through her Millennial generation.

Her gaze absorbed the forty-foot long boxcar and she could see that at one time, it had been well cared for. But now, it looked utterly abandoned, the paint dull and peeling off the sturdy oak staves beneath it. Someone had brought this caboose out here. Was it someone who lived in Hamilton? Maybe the owner of this plot of land used it as a cabin to hunt and fish on weekends? Jesse had no idea, but there it was. Maybe it could be a possible home for her instead of the tent she had strapped to the huge knapsack she carried on her back. She wanted to make sure no one was living in it presently and thought about trespassing to find out–even though it went against her grain. Jesse couldn’t explain the allure to do just that.

She called out several times, her voice echoing around the meadow. There was no response or movement from inside the boxcar. The four windows along the meadow side were dirty, and she longed to clean them. Deciding either no one was home or living in it, she curved her hand around the rusted metal railing at the rear platform of the boxcar and took the first tentative step upward. The ends of each wooden step curved upward from age and now rested precariously on the metal frame beneath each one, the nails pulled out by rain and snow over the years. The step groaned. Not that she weighed that much. In the Army, she had been a hundred and sixty pounds; but three months ago, when she received an honorable medical discharge at the end of eight years of service, she had slowly lost at least twenty-five pounds due lack of appetite and no money to buy food. Her Army jacket, the only reminder of her life since age eighteen, hung loosely on her frame.

Her gloves were threadbare, her fingertips numb. She hauled herself up the rest of the creaking wooden steps and leaned forward, cupping her hands around her eyes and peering through the dirty glass of the door to see what was inside the caboose. It was a possible place to live but she had no money for a room rental. She’d just gotten a job at Katie’s Koffee Bean in Hamilton as a dish washer. But it was part time and Jesse had no money yet to rent a room in town, much less an apartment. She had lived in her tent since leaving the Army and was prepared to do it now, but maybe her luck was about to change.”

Stay tuned for more exclusive excerpts from Boxcar Christmas!

Release Date: 1.1.2018
pre-order: now
Visit: and click on “BEHIND THE STORY” of why I wrote this Holiday novel! Enjoy!