03 August, 2020

Read an Excerpt from Vala by Michelle Dalton - #WomensFiction #Romance

About the Book:
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Is Love Enough, Or Will The Darkness Takeover?

Can Calla acknowledge the truth of her past, accept her gift, and embrace an open invitation to love?

On the anniversary of her father’s untimely death, forensic anthropologist, Doctor Calla Conroy, is thrown in the deep end of a murder investigation.

To complicate the situation, the voice in her head has returned.

With everything to lose and no time for a psychotic break, Calla ends up in the small highland’s village of Lairg. Here she meets the handsome Detective Hamish Bell, who elicits powerful emotions that frighten her.

Can Calla make peace with her traumatic past and the reality of her gift? Or is she simply losing her mind, her heart, and possibly her career?

Read an Excerpt from Vala

FANDANG: Pretentious idiot.
SCUNNER: A person who is a A**hole
SLEEKIT CHANCER: Sly or untrustworthy
HAYIBO: a very South African/ Zulu explanative. (Hi – boh)
UMFANA: Zulu for boy.
MOOTI: The herbs and magic of African Sangoma/witchcraft.
TSOTSI: A criminal. (ts – hot – si)
BOKKIE: A term of endearment – dearie. (Boh-ky)

“Vala …

“F-fuck … offf …”

Calla punched—left, right, left. She steadied the bag then leaned with her gloved fists on her thighs as she caught her breath. God damn dreams … She hated how they clung to her like a bad smell. Last night had been the worst. Hiking through a forest. The feelings of terror rushing through her veins and arteries … ach.

True, the past weeks had been difficult leading up to today.

Had it truly been ten years? She resumed her workout.

She didn’t need this—not when there was so much at stake. Perhaps a visit to Dr Coetzee was in order again?

Her medication required modification. Not only was she hearing voices but she was hallucinating.

Calla slowed her punching and waited for the bag to steady before recommencing with meaningful body shots, making sure to twist her fist at the last moment for maximum power output.

The butterfly-wing pendant Pa had gifted her days before his death bounced and shifted around her neck with every jab. She’d only taken it off a handful of times over the last decade and a half.

The memory of that day still cut like a butcher’s knife through fresh meat.

Pa was gone and there was nothing that could bring him back.

Calla continued her workout, forcing herself past the burning ache in her muscles and lungs.

The dank KwaZulu Natal air clung to her skin as the intense humidity rolled over her like a wet blanket. It was a hot autumn morning and the open industrial-sized windows circling the top of the warehouse did little in the way of aerating the stuffy gym. She and three other women were the only early birds who ever worked out at this hour.

Straightening to her full length, she nodded a good morning to the buff Zulu mama at the far side of the gym readily punching the snot out of the ten-inch speedball. A soft dark fog hugged the woman’s shoulders, it told of the painful past she’d beaten down and fought to avoid everyday of her life.

Calla shook her head – no it didn’t, and she was seeing things again.

Calla nodded a second greeting to two other women, sparring in the ring.

Her pain acknowledged theirs.

She didn’t know their names, and like them, she wasn’t interested in getting to know anyone any better.

Six a.m. sparring before a day’s lecturing at the University of Durban helped her beat back the ghosts and ensure she kept up with her self-defence techniques.

Seer of the bones …  “

About the Author:
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G’day, howzit, sanibonani, goeie dag.

My readers know me as Michelle Dalton, and my friends, as the call-a-spade-a-spade-South-African.

Originally from Pretoria, South Africa, Michelle Dalton and her family fled the rising violence taking over her beloved country and now lives near Brisbane, Australia with her husband and triplet sons.

While juggling a nursing career and teenage sons, she loves to escape into her fictional world. Michelle has a deep love of horses and enjoys weaving them into dramatic stories with honourable men and strong women.

Her other hobbies are gardening (usually trying to save her precious herbs and bulbs from an overactive miniature Jack Russell), painting, and reading.

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