On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Elephants, Africa’s wild savannah and three best friends…
When attorney Maddie Corallis returns to Kenya to fight a humanitarian vs animal rights case, the last thing she expects is for her childhood friend, wildlife veterinarian Haki Odaba, to be the very man she’s up against. Loyal and protective, Haki would never turn his back on the elephants he’s devoted to saving, any more than Maddie could abandon the native tribes she’s come to protect. An impossible battle…but nothing compared to the fight they face when old feelings surface and the soul-deep connection they’ve always shared threatens the worst kind of betrayal…that of their dearest friend Pippa. The one Haki is expected to marry.
Denying their feelings is torture, but giving in is not an option. Not with the suffering it would cause. Besides, Maddie left Kenya once and she’ll be leaving again soon. An ocean, a case and a friend between them. Maybe love can’t always find a way…or can it?
(This snippet takes place the morning after Haki finds out that Maddie is opposing him in a humanitarian vs animal rights case. She needs a guide to take her to some of the Masai villages for testimony. Feeling upset and betrayed, he initially refuses to take her. Oh, and Mosi is a manipulative little vervet monkey that hangs around Camp Busara.)
Keep your enemies closer. That was essentially manipulation. The word had such a negative connotation, but what if it harmed none? Mosi got what he wanted by tapping into a human’s emotions with one harmless look. Nature was full of lessons, wasn’t it? And Jack was right. Spending time with Maddie meant having the chance to sway her. He needed to find the old Maddie, the girl who’d once dreamed of visiting Kenya and going on safari, and had had that dream come true in spades…then abandoned it. He needed to find the Maddie who used to love tagging along with the keepers and begging them to let her bottle-feed the baby elephants. He needed to save her from that high-achieving, put-together, lawyerly facade.
The sun uncovered its full self and cast a blend of shadows and reflections across Busara. He stood and stretched his back. Perhaps progress could happen today after all. He simply needed to appeal to her emotions and conscience. Sure, he’d take her wherever she wanted to go, to get whatever information she needed, but she was going to get a lot more than she bargained for.
The screen door opened and clattered softly shut behind him. He glanced over his shoulder.
Anna had always been an early riser. She held her mug of coffee to her lips and closed her eyes.
“Mmm. Sorry, I needed that sip too desperately to talk. Good morning.” She leaned against the porch banister. “Plans today?”
“Do you need help in the clinic?”
“No, I’m good. And you don’t take enough time off. As soon as I guzzle this mug, I’ll check on Etana. The baby from yesterday,” she explained.
“Interesting name choice. I hope it helps.”
“You know Pippa. She insists it can’t hurt.”
Pippa had been naming the majority of their baby orphans since she was just out of babyhood herself. Etana meant “strong child” in Kiswahili; as weak and malnourished as Anna had said the baby elephant was when they found her, Pippa was no doubt trying to give it hope in her own way. Haki tipped his head to the side.
“No, it can’t. Is Mac picking her up?”
“Yes. Very soon. I told her if they get too busy at Camp Jamba Walker, she can always stay overnight to help until he can bring her back.”
“I might be able to loop around and get her, depending on how the day goes and if she wants to wait for us.”
Anna took her last swig of coffee.
“I was afraid to ask what you’d decided. Are you taking her?”
By “her” he knew she meant Maddie. He inhaled through his nose and let it out with a sigh.
“I’ll take her. Jack made a good point last night.”
“Ah. So you plan to change her mind about the case?”
He shrugged. Anna smiled as she set down her mug and pulled her hair back into a ponytail.
“And here I thought that all you men in the family learned long ago how hard it is to change the mind of a strong woman.”
The image of Maddie stuck to the ladder and looking like her pride would never recover came to mind. Strong woman? If anything, she seemed unsure of herself.
“You’re frowning.” Anna’s voice softened and she put her hand on his arm. “Haki, the ones who’ve had to overcome the greatest hurdles usually have the greatest inner strength. Having a gentle soul doesn’t make a person weak. Take your parents, for example—especially Niara. And Maddie. And you, you’ve had a good life, but you’re so much like your father.”
He flinched. His father as in Kamau, not the man who fathered him.
“I helped to raise you, didn’t I? Just like Kam. Always the strong, quiet protector.”
The back of his neck warmed and he tucked his hands in his pockets.
“Just remember,” she continued, “Maddie is not so different.”
Anna patted his back and headed to the clinic to check on Etana and the others.
Maddie a protector? Anna was right in a sense. She’d always been the older one, making sure her brothers’ or Pippa’s feelings weren’t hurt growing up. Same for Haki. But now, she was here to defend the villagers and Haki was born to defend the elephants.
The problem was that only one of them could win.
And someone was going to get hurt.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
National and USA Today Bestselling author Rula Sinara lives in rural Virginia with her family and crazy but endearing pets. She loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard, planting trees, raising backyard chickens and drinking more coffee than she’ll ever admit to. Rula’s writing has earned her a National Readers Choice Award and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, among other honors. You can discover more about Rula at her blog A Writer’s Rush, on Twitter, on Facebook as RulaSinaraAuthor or on her website www.RulaSinara.com, where you can also sign up for her newsletter.
November 13th: Launch & Colorimetry
November 14th: Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
November 15th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Hearts & Scribbles
November 16th: Kimber Li’s Cowboy & Fairytale Book Reviews & Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 17th: Deal Sharing Aunt & Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
November 20th: Backing Books & Book Lover in Florida
November 21st: Wishful Endings
November 22nd: Heidi Reads… & I Am A Reader
November 23rd: underneath the covers
November 24th: Becky on Books
November 25th: Grand Finale
Prize Pack #1: (one winner, U.S. residents only)
– A set of three, 15X15 in cotton canvas ‘From Kenya, With Love’ tote bags
– A handmade wooden ‘Believe’ star ornament
– A set of 3 plush wild animal TY Teeny Tys (great stocking stuffers!)
– An autographed copy of A Heartwarming Christmas Craft & Cookbook
– An autographed copy of After the Silence
– An autographed copy of Through the Storm
– Every Serengeti Sunrise bookmark
Prize Pack #2: (one winner, open to U.S. and International residents)
Amazon Kindle (gifted) copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence (Winner may substitute a different backlist book by Rula Sinara, if one of the above titles is already owned. No other substitutions apply.)
Ends November 29th