Cast in Stone Treasures of the Heart Book 2 by Lawna Mackie Genre: Romantic Adventure, Suspense
Emma Taggart is a headstrong determined woman who knows exactly what she wants. That would be Finn Avery—not because he’s a multimillionaire with a mountain of gold—literally, but because all her life she’s had a crush on him. He also happens to be her best friend’s brother.
When Emma finds herself in the small town of Dawson City, Yukon, for a second time, she realizes the beauty of the wilderness has grown on her. Granted the place is a far cry from the glamorous city of Chicago. Her job was to film and produce a special story for a prominent Chicago fashion magazine. It seemed a perfect way for her to spend time with Finn.
Trouble begins when Finn’s best friend and partner passes away. Finn blames himself for the death and turns away from those who care. Emma knows he cares for her, the heated moments spent together spoke the truth, but now she can’t seem to break through to him.
When a pompous billionaire, Marco Bishop, comes parading into town offering to buy the Charlie Avery Gold Mine, Finn is furious. The man has little respect for the town and its heritage, even worse he has come to fancy Emma and is determined to have her as his next conquest. Not only does Marco want the gold mine, but he’s certain he knows where to find diamonds. Marco persuades Emma to take a day trip with him up into the mountains, but by the time she realizes there is more to his plans, she knows she’s in terrible trouble.
Finn suspects Emma has been taken against her will. He is determined to find her and bring her home. It’s another adventure into the brutal wilderness, where the rivers are as wild as the animals they encounter.
Along the way Emma, Finn and Groot…the baby wolverine…yes, a baby wolverine, discover some interesting clues cast in the stones. Finn refuses to let anything happen to Emma but wonders if it might be too late. His great-great uncle once wrote—true treasures come from the heart.
“I’m not jumping,” Emma declared.
Finn couldn’t help but laugh. “I can’t believe you’re scared.”
Not one cloud danced in the bright blue sky, and the golden sun reflected the magnificent jade colored water below.
“I’m not scared.” She placed her hands on her hips. “I just don’t want to get my hair wet,” she stuttered through the lie.
Finn’s eyes danced over her five foot six toned, tanned body. Perfect from head to toe. Her shoulder-length blonde hair bobbed at her shoulders with every move she made.
“Face it, you’re terrified.” Finn continued mocking her.
From way below in the water came a voice. “Come on Em. Jump.”
It was Finn’s sister Samantha, beckoning from the swirling pool.
“I’m going to kill her for this,” Emma seethed. “Just wait till I get my hands on her.” She stomped closer to the edge.
Finn followed. “You know you want to.” He smirked at her angry glare.
She turned and stared at him. “All right,” she responded. “I’ll go if you go.”
He lost his smile. “I don’t have my trunks on.”
“You don’t need trunks. Just wear your briefs,” she said with a conniving smile.
“I’ve done this a hundred times. I live here, remember?”
“Maybe you’re the one who’s scared,” she countered.
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m not scared,” Finn ground out.
“Prove it. Drop ’em and jump.”
“You really are a vixen, you know that?” He unbuttoned his jeans, kicked off his shoes and approached the edge. “I’m too old for this.”
“You’re not too old. I’ll follow if you go first.”
“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Finn stood looking over the edge down at the mighty Yukon River. “You better keep your end of this bargain, Emma Taggart.”
“I will.” She nodded while Finn watched her eyes travel over his body.
Finn turned and jumped from the ledge. His body hit the water and plummeted into the cool depths of the river, never hitting bottom. Slowly, he began the ascent toward the surface, happy for air he gulped into his lungs.
His sister Sam squealed with excitement while she treaded water. “I can’t believe you jumped.” She smiled at him.
“She goaded me into it.” He pointed up at Emma.
He spied her up above chewing on her finger. “Come on scaredy cat,” he shouted, knowing she’d be angry.
From over on the shore just a bit downstream stood another man watching them. “How’d he get out of this?” Finn glared at Sam.
“If Hunter jumped off the ledge Savage would follow.” She shook her head.
“Yes, really. He’s a tough wolf, but he’s still recovering from his injuries.”
“Thank heavens for Savage.” Finn smiled at her.
On the ledge Finn watched Emma turn and walk away. “I’m going to kill her if she doesn’t get that body of hers in this water.”
“I don’t know if she will.” Sam shook her head.
To their surprise Emma returned to the ledge holding something in her hands.
“What? She wouldn’t.” Finn stared up at her in disbelief as she dropped what was in her hands over the edge, then plugged her nose and jumped.
“That little…” Finn watched his pants and shirt fall to the water. “Damn her!”
Emma screamed the whole way down until her body plunged under the surface.
Samantha laughed while Finn managed to rescue his pants and shirt before they sank.
Emma broke the surface sputtering and coughing. “Ouch!” she yelled. “You didn’t tell me to hold my arms in,” she ground out. “It feels like a belly flop but worse.”
Finn swam toward her with his wet clothes in hand. “If you think that hurts wait until I get my hands on you. Your butt will have my finger imprints all over it,” he shouted back.
“Oh shit!” Emma glanced at Sam. “See you by the fire.”
Finn watched her gracefully break into a front crawl and pull away from them. “Get back here you little brat.”
“Fun times.” Sam laughed, making her way toward the shore.
Emma waded out of the cold water greeted by the large black wolf named Savage. Since the accident, the animal had to be kept under the watchful eyes of Hunter Gray and Samantha. The animal had gained huge respect from all of them, considering he’d taken a bullet that saved Hunter’s life and most likely Sam’s as well. Hunter had told her the story about how he’d come across Savage as a pup after the mother had died. Savage seemed to adopt Hunter as a parental figure from that time on. Now, only weeks after the incident, Hunter and Sam needed to ensure the furry critter didn’t get overexcited.
The tall large man handed her a towel. “By the shouting I heard I’d say Finn’s a bit unhappy with you.”
“He’ll get over it,” Emma said nonchalantly and made her way over the rocks toward the fire.
Hunter laughed. “He doesn’t look so happy.”
The sun warmed her back as she held out her hands over the fire. “Thanks for this.” She nodded at the flames.
“I’m starving and we couldn’t very well eat cold hot dogs,” he responded.
“I love hot dogs, hot or cold.” She squeezed the water from her hair.
Finn and Samantha started their way out of the river with Savage jumping like a puppy up and down waiting for Sam.
“I think he loves you more than I do,” Hunter said to Sam, wrapping the towel around her and picking her up off her feet.
“Put me down.” She swatted at him playfully.
“No, because then he’ll have you and I won’t.” Hunter glared at the jealous wolf.
“Don’t be silly.”
Finn emerged on the shore, and from a distance Emma threw a towel at him. She could see the glint of anger boiling in his dark brown eyes as he dropped his wet clothing, caught the towel and wrapped it around his waist.
“Payback’s gonna be a bitch Ms. Taggart.” He strode toward the fire.
“I look forward to it Mr. Avery.” She reached over and popped a marshmallow in her mouth.
At the early age of sixteen and wearing braces and pigtails, Emma had set her sights on Finn Avery. Eight years apart didn’t mean anything. Of course Finn hadn’t noticed a thing about her back then, but now at the age of twenty-four, she could see from his stare that he noticed a lot about her, and Emma intended to take full advantage of that. Let the games begin, she thought and smiled.
Gold Fever Treasures of the Heart Book 1
Could it be true? The gold existed. A treasure map alluded to such a find, but for over a century it was rumored a fable, one told by an old crazy man—Samantha (Sam) Avery’s great-great-uncle.
One huge problem existed. Her brother Finn sent her the map and told her to run. Sam knew her big brother was in trouble and she had to help him.
In Dawson City, Yukon, Hunter Gray, outfitter and guide had been hired to do a job. At the airport, pick up a Sam Avery and take him to the old Charlie Avery cabin up the mighty river.
What Hunter Gray hadn’t expected was for Sam to be a Samantha, who wore fashion designer shoes, had a sharp tongue and a goddess-like appearance—the vast wilderness of the Yukon was no place for somebody like her.
Sam had to learn quickly. How hard could it be to ride a horse and live without running water and restaurants for a week? It didn’t matter, her brother needed her and Sam had to convince the ruggedly handsome man and his wolf… yes…wolf, that she was up to the adventure.
Spending night and day together, Samantha knows the attraction between them is growing quickly. Not only is Samantha determined to rescue her brother, but she must now save her heart from a man who doesn’t believe in love.
Samantha glared at him. He was no gentleman. Pulling her suitcase behind, she watched as he approached what must be his vehicle. That thing was no truck! It looked like a bulldozer. She scrutinized him from the back. He must be at least six foot maybe four inches she thought. He was very tall and getting in the thing with four wheels wouldn’t be a problem for him. However, how the hell would she climb up. Sure enough he leapt in and closed the door. When she got to the side of the monstrous vehicle, she had to reach way up just to open the back door. How the hell was she going to get her suitcase up there? Hell would freeze over before she gave him the satisfaction. A regiment of weights, running and swimming made her tough and strong. She slammed the handle down on the suitcase and grabbed it by the side, attempting to lift it in. With all her might she managed to get it off the ground, but to get it over her head into the backseat would be almost impossible. Hoisting it up and using her legs to help she got it up to the running board of the truck. In her state of determination she didn’t even hear him exit, where he now stood behind her. He put his arms around her and grabbed the suitcase, lifting it effortlessly into the backseat.
“Oh,” was the little squeak that came out of her mouth.
“You’re welcome to sit in the back on the other side if you like,” he said. “The front is reserved.”
At that moment a very large black head with yellow eyes looked between the front bucket seats at her and made a tiny growl.
Alarmed Sam stepped back and tripped over herself. Before she could fall in an unceremoniously heap onto the ground, Hunter reached out and caught her around the waist. She almost let out a sigh of relief.
He continued to hold her, and she realized how awfully small she was in his arms. She stared up into his face and they locked eyes. Damn him for being so ruggedly handsome. Not the type of man she’d find in her polished Chicago lifestyle. Sam took a deep breath of air and realized she was now staring at his lips and wondering what it would be like to have them pressed up against hers. Time seemed to halt, but before she knew what had happened he had her standing fully upright.
Wow. Did she really just act like that? Embarrassed, she pulled herself together and out of the trance. Make a note to yourself Sam. When you get home go out for a date and hopefully get lucky! I can’t believe you were just thinking that.
In the pickup truck, she peered around the door to the massive animal in the front seat who glared back with yellow eyes.
“That does not look like a dog.” The concern in her voice was clear.
“He’s not, but then that would be illegal so for all intents and purposes he’s just a very large dog that looks like a wolf.”
The statement left her speechless. How did a normal person respond to that?
“If you’d really like to sit in the front seat your welcome too.” Hunter closed the door.
Sam put her hands up. “Heavens no! I don’t need that beast looking at me like I’m dinner.”
He chuckled. “Did you mean my wolf or me?” He winked at her.
All right—things didn’t catch her off guard, she expected unusual outcomes and lived by that. In the past five minutes this man had caught her off guard a few times.
“No. Thank you. I’ll take my chances in the backseat, unless there is something else I don’t know about?” She asked the question with a weary glance at him.
“You should be okay for today at least. Since I’m out here would you like a hand getting into the backseat?”
“No, I’ll be fine.” Sam walked around to the other side of the truck and opened the back passenger door. The rain made everything slick and the way her luck was going she’d slip and end up on her ass. With one hand on the inside of the door and the other on the seat she managed to lift her foot up onto the running board and thrust herself up with the standing leg. For Pete’s sake it was like a workout getting into the beast of a machine.
“Good to see you managed on your own.” He looked over his shoulder at her.
The wolf also looked at her. Sam pushed herself as far back into the seat as she could and tried to shake the rain off her head.
“Welcome to Dawson City, Ms. Avery.” He looked at her from the rearview mirror.
I'm a small town girl with big world dreams. I was born in Jasper, Alberta, and my parents were outdoor enthusiasts. My dad was an avid fisherman and I'm certain my mother was Mother Nature.
The love of my life is my husband. He, along with my animals are my inspiration for everything I write.
I live for romance, and truly believe true love conquers all. From an early age you could always find me with my nose buried in a romance novel--that hasn't changed. I write various forms of romance from contemporary, paranormal and fantasy to erotica.
Interview with one of Lawna Mackie’s characters from Cast In Stone, book two in the Treasures of the Heart series.
Interviewer: I can honestly say that I’ve never interviewed someone like you before. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself to the readers out there.
Groot:I’m Groot. I’m happy to be here. My mom, Emma told me I had to behave myself. *He lays down licking his paw.*
Interviewer:Well I think you’re behaving very well. Groot why don’t you tell the readers what kind of animal you are and how you met Emma who is one of the main characters in the book.
Groot: *Gets up pacing around the room* Oh…I’m a wolverine. I’m not very old yet. Emma saved me from drowning. One night I was with my real mom and my brother and sister, we are called kits, when we heard a big rumbled. Trees started falling and the boulders came rolling down the mountain. My real mom tried to get us out of the den to safety but she couldn’t. *He pauses lowering his head* Next thing I remembered was flying through the air and landing in the river. I tried my best to keep my head out of the water, but my leg hurt bad. Then I ran into the logjam and struggled to hold on but the water was so powerful. It was sucking me under. That’s when mom, Emma helped me out and onto the shore.
Interviewer: That sounds terrifying Groot. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss.
Groot:I was so scared and cold. My leg was bleeding and I didn’t know what a human was, but I didn’t want to be left alone. I missed my real mom and other kits. We couldn’t find them.
Interviewer: Emma sounds like a nice person to have helped you like that.
Groot:She helped with my leg and fed me. Now she’s my Mom.
Interviewer: Is your leg still sore? It looks uncomfortable.
Groot: *Shakes his head* Sometimes it aches but it’s okay. It’s deformed the doctor told me. I would have drowned if Emma didn’t help me and I was too little to be alone.
Interviewer: Groot you are adorable. I’m glad Emma saved you.
Groot:I’m really glad. We had an adventure and I was really unhappy when the bad guys kidnapped my mom.
Interviewer: That’s sounds horrible! But I’m glad she was okay. Groot it has been a pleasure speaking with you. I can’t wait to read more about your adventures in the book Cast In Stone. Thank you Groot!
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