Meet Caleb: A teaser from the first Cambio Springs novel

I’m having a blast writing the new Cambio Springs series. It’s a paranormal romance series set around a small town in the Mojave desert. I love the desert. I love shapeshifter mythology, and I also love family and small-town dynamics, so this series is a great fit for me.

The characters? Well, they’re an eclectic bunch. And I’m in that stage where I’m just in love with all of them. The heroine, the hero, the best friends, the annoying guy at the diner, all of them. That moment will probably pass during the editing stage, but for now, I’m enjoying it.

If you’re not following me on Facebook, then you missed this teaser I posted last week. Writing books is fun. (That’s why I do it.) And I love the feeling when a story picks up momentum and seems to write itself, like I’m just seeing it all play out in my mind and narrating it for all of you to read later. I hope you like this series, even though it’s very different from the Elemental World (which I will return to—never fear!); I think you will.

For now, head into the desert and meet the hero of the story, Caleb Gilbert. He’s an interesting guy whose life takes a very… curious turn when he ends up in the Springs. But then, in Cambio Springs, everything changes.

The music was good. Loud, but good. The beer was cold, and Caleb Gilbert was just a little drunk. Not too much, but if he was going to make it back to his hotel in Indio that night, he’d better switch to coffee. Which was too bad, because the brunette behind the bar who’d been serving his drinks had grown a little more flirtatious with every beer. Or maybe that was wishful thinking.

The band on the stage was good. The hard rock with a bluesy edge was just what he’d been looking for when he’d been out the night before. The hotel bar didn’t have much to offer, but the band who’d been bragging about playing The Cave had invited him to come catch their show the next night. When he’d heard the name “Cambio Springs” Caleb knew he couldn’t pass it up.

“Another beer?” The brunette was smiling at him and he gave her his most charming crooked grin. He hadn’t shaved that morning. Hadn’t thought he’d be trying to impress anyone, but then Caleb knew his looks weren’t what drove most women away after a few months. Looks had never been the problem. So, he cocked his head at the waitress, rubbed a hand over the stubble on his jaw, then back through the curling black hair on his neck.

“I’d love one. Love to keep running up my tab for you, too, but I gotta drive back to Indio tonight. So how about some coffee?”

“On the house.” She winked. “And aren’t you responsible?”

“Pathologically.”

She raised her eyebrows at him before sliding away to grab a mug for coffee. She’d been drinking, too, but only a couple all night. And she bantered back and forth with the scary guy behind the bar with no hint of fear. He’d been listening to the band and watching her all night. It was the best entertainment he’d had in months.

She was really damn cute. Tall and lean. Long, sexy legs and nice hips that begged for grabbing. She was no girl, but then he wasn’t exactly a kid, either. Caleb Gilbert had more than a few miles on him. Over five hundred according to the odometer he’d reset when he left Albuquerque. Taking the job as a police chief in the Mojave Desert wasn’t what he’d planned on, but plans change, especially when life and family got messy.

The brunette came back after arguing with a more surly customer down the bar. That had lasted all of about two seconds before the giant bartender—the owner, if he was guessing—stepped in. The woman put a cup of steaming coffee in front of him. Despite the fact that it wasn’t beer, it did smell fantastic.

“Cream or sugar?”

“Just black, thanks. Who is he?” Caleb nodded at the big guy. “Owner?”

“Ollie? Yeah, his family’s had this place for years.”

“And who are you?”

She smiled and he blinked a little. Her smile was gorgeous. It made her eye light up. Dark eyes. More than cute. She was beautiful. “I’m Jena.”

“I’m Caleb. So, is Ollie your boyfriend? He seems pretty protective.”

“Ollie?” She laughed. “No. No boyfriend. Ollie’s like a brother. A big, snarling one if I want him to be.”

“Is that right? No boyfriend, huh? That’s hard to imagine.”

“It wouldn’t be if you knew me.” She winked at him and he let himself get his hopes up, just for a minute.

Hope you all have a great weekend! If you feel like it, let me know what you’re reading in the comments! I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading,

Elizabeth

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