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Colorado Chronicles Book One
BY TR FISCHER
After walking away from her job as a teacher, Skylar Biondi drives a brown truck and delivers packages. It keeps her busy and out of the bars. Skylar closely guards the painful truth about why her romance with a Colorado Rockies pitcher ended suddenly. She relives the past in her dreams, only to wake to the brutal reality of being alone.
Former army medic, Enrique Avalos, keeps his distance from Skylar, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his ex-wife. When she sets up a contest to name the cat he rescued from a dumpster behind his motorcycle repair shop, new business begins to flow in, forcing Enrique to bolster his armor.
While on her route, Skylar comes across nine-year-old Mia and knows she’s in peril. When Enrique spots Skylar skulking around at night, he assumes she’s casing the neighborhood. Can Enrique and Skylar set their differences aside in time to help Mia?
In this warm, sometimes heartbreaking tale, an extraordinary confluence of events leads three people from different worlds to the doorstep of a journey none of them could have foreseen.
Later that day, Skylar pulled up to Smile & Relax, elated that Devlin’s car was nowhere in sight. The memory of him in her truck brought a chill to her spine.
“I’ve got the package right here.” Bailey held up an envelope. “I just need you to check that I filled it out right.”
As she perused it, she saw something move in her peripheral vision. He nudged a pink backpack out of her view with his foot. “Looks good,” she said.
The music was louder than usual. Bailey turned it down when the phone rang. Skylar was halfway to the door when she heard a whimper from the other room. Her heart flooded with rage. But she kept walking.
Andy lifted a hand in greeting when she entered The Bloody Knuckles Garage. “Are you okay, Sky? Enrique told me what happened with Devlin.”
She quickly scanned his box and set it on the dolly. “Is he here?”
“He’s doing errands. He should be—”
“Good. Andy, do you have an extra set of coveralls? Sometimes you wear a cap. I need that, too.”
She grasped his arm. “Answer me.”
He gaped at her. “No. My other ones are at home. My hat is in the shop.”
“Come here.” She sized him up. “Are you dressed under these?”
“I need to borrow them. And your cap. I won’t be long.”
“What’s going on?”
“There’s no time.” She glanced across the street. “I have to move my truck. Go take these off and find your hat. Open the back door for me when I knock.”
“Andy, please. It’s important.” She gripped his arm again.
Skylar circled the block and sped down the alley, slamming to a stop behind the garage. She locked her truck and raced to the door. Unemployment, here I come.
Andy opened the moment she knocked. He passed her his sweaty clothes and his cap as she stepped inside. “Skylar, tell me what’s up.”
“I can’t.” He’d pass it on to his boss. Plus, she had no way of knowing if Andy also had an affinity for the business across the street. She untied her boots and kicked out of them. “Don’t tell Enrique.”
“Don’t tell Enrique what?” Enrique rounded the corner, his countenance darker than ever. His hands went to his hips. “Get lost, Andy.”
Andy vanished like a shadow in the face of the sun.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Skylar backed away and pulled the coveralls up. “Borrowing Andy’s clothes.” She undid the knot in her hair and reworked it into a low ponytail which she stuffed inside the back of the clothing.
“Like hell you are.”
“Stop swearing at me.” She tugged on a boot and worked the lace. “What side are you on, Enrique?”
“De que me estas hablando.” He rolled his eyes, as though he’d hadn’t meant to speak Spanish. “What do you mean? What war are we talking about?”
She tied her other boot and stood up. “Good versus evil. Are you a bad guy or a good guy?” She placed the cap on her head. Too big. She whipped it off and adjusted it.
“Depends on who’s asking.”
“Are you blind? I’m asking.” She tried the cap again. Snugged it down low over her eyes. “Something is going on over there that doesn’t involve consenting adults. I don’t care if you’re a customer. That’s your business. But I can’t look the other way.” She yanked the door open.
He grasped her shoulder, his eyes filled with concern. “I don’t remember your name.”
“I don’t have time to discuss your lousy manners.” She wrenched free and sprinted down the alley.
Enrique stared dumbly as the nameless woman slipped out the back door like a special ops pro. Then he ran and got his gun. Again. He hadn’t handled a weapon this much since his tour.
“What is she doing?” Andy ventured out of the shop.
“Tell me her name,” Enrique ground out.
Por fin. Finally. “She thinks they’re doing something illegal over there.” Enrique pointed at Smile & Relax.
“Is she an undercover cop?” Andy stared out the window.
“No idea.” Enrique patted his pockets to check for his cell. “But I’m gonna give her some backup.”
“I’ll be right out,” Andy said.
“She’s wearing your clothes. You might give her away.”
Andy groaned. “Shit.”
“Keep an eye out. If this blows up, it might not matter.” Enrique went out in the yard and pretended to check a machine near the front gate. He got to one knee and watched for her across the street. Skylar shot from the alley, darting to the same window as before. She spoke to someone inside. Then she moved her hands along the window frame and tried to pry off the screen.
Devlin came out the front door with a bag of trash and headed her direction.
“Hi, Dev.” Enrique called loudly, hoping she’d hear. He strode to the gate and fiddled with the lock, trying to look like he had a reason to be outside.
Devlin slowed briefly, lifting a hand to block the sun from his eyes. “Hey. Did you find your keys?”
Devlin turned the corner and passed by the window. Skylar had flattened herself on the far side of the big tree near the driveway. Devlin returned a moment later, paused in front of the tree and slipped something from his pocket.
Enrique exhaled when Devlin put his cell to his ear and kept walking. Skylar glanced over and Enrique held up a hand, telling her to wait. When the front door banged shut, she was already gone. Enrique sagged against the seat of an ATV. Hijole. Unbelievable. He headed inside and followed Andy down the hall. A minute later, she knocked. Andy let her in and she hurriedly unbuttoned the coveralls. She was panting and glistened with sweat.
“Are you okay?” Andy asked.
“Fine.” Next, she untied her boots and yanked them off.
“What did you find out?” Enrique asked.
She slid out of the coveralls, not bothering to tie her boots when she shoved her feet back in. “I have to go.”
“She’s like a ghost,” said Enrique as she sprinted to her truck.
Andy stared with worshipful eyes. “Yeah.”
TR Fischer grew up in Boulder, Colorado. As the ninth of ten girls born to a nurse and a firefighter, day to day life was brimming with estrogen-laced drama, thrilling firefighting stories and hospital tales.
An avowed tomboy, TR wanted nothing to do with the drama some of her sisters cooked up. Her main interest was real-life adventure. When she wasn’t in school, she was busy exploring every street and back alley in what she viewed as the tiny kingdom of Boulder. Her insatiable curiosity and penchant for adventure took her all over town on her bike and occasionally on the double decker buses that frequented Pearl Street not far from her home.
Now that her children are out of the house, she is living a new dream. TR somehow balances writing with raising bison and running a rustic wedding venue alongside her husband on their ranch outside Denver. Adventurous couples can tie the knot as bison roam in the foreground of a stunning panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains.
Links to TR‘s website, blog, books, etc.
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