The Challenge Series
At twenty-two, Leanne Declan has graduated from college and hopes to take over the family farm until a tragic accident changes her life forever. Unable to do the simplest everyday chores, she must depend on her family and friends as she learns to face life’s challenges. But when her fears threaten to destroy her future, can an unexpected love be strong enough to help her dreams come true?
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, western romance
Heat level: 3
Word count – 16k
Cover art by Mina Carter
A million needles pierced her wrist. She had to get away from the fire. Leanne flicked open her eyes, screaming, longing for the agony to stop.
White walls surrounded her. Machines beeped. Taking in the new scenery, she closed her mouth, the pain forgotten. Bags filled with clear liquids as well as blood hung from a metal pole. She followed the tubes from the bags into her left hand. Was that where the burn came from? She glanced at the other arm, the end of which was wrapped in thick bandages. The image of spinning blades and her mangled flesh flashed before her eyes. She screamed again, tears falling down her cheeks. This can’t be happening.
Bodies rushed into the room, many in scrubs. With her vision blurred, she didn’t recognize anyone. All strangers. She was in the foreign place by herself. A nightmare. Has to be.
“Shh, calm down, sweetie. You’ll be okay.”
A familiar voice. She glanced to her other side to see her mom standing beside her, her eyes glassy. She held her hand, but Leanne couldn’t feel it, only the throbbing which had returned to her other one, the one that was…gone? She groaned, turning on her side, and pulled her knees up to her chest.
“Mom, is it really…?”
She brushed her fingers over her forehead. “Don’t worry about it right now. You need to rest.”
“It hurts so bad.”
“I know.” Her mother stroked her face again. “But the nurses will help it go away.”
“Leanne,” one of the nurses hovering around her said. “I want you to take deep breaths and count backward from ten.”
“Ten.” She sucked in air and cried out in agony.
Between clenched teeth, she continued. Anything to stop the pain. “Nine.”
Ice traveled through her veins. “Eight.”
The throbbing slowly ebbed away. Seven.
Darkness swept over her and pulled her down with it.
Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.