A Change of Scenery Media kit:
Belly dancer Cyree Heat is headed from Memphis to the Caribbean for a vacation after a horrible divorce. A Change of Scenery is just what she needs to forget her troubles. At the Atlanta shuttle station she is handed a letter, which says she cannot board the Zuilund Super Shuttle until she receives an injection of Sendot, a new drug that prevents a new deadly gastrointestinal illness. She stops in a shuttle lounge for a drink on her way to check in and gets locked inside the wrecked deserted room with no one to hear her calling and no cell phone service.
Navy SEAL Warren West finds Cyree sleeping in the lounge and rescues her. Soon they are on the run from the agency because she missed her injection and shuttle and is now on the list. Is a change of scenery what she needs or is it Warren?
Atlanta, Georgia 2035
A change of scenery, that's what I need. I want nothing more than to lounge on the beach in the Caribbean and to leave the past behind.
Cyree Heat paused off to the side of the Zuilund shuttle terminal, digging her ticket out of the back hip pocket of her jeans and took a deep breath. Atlanta’s Zuilund shuttle station bustled as if swarmed by an army of ants, each person clutching a bag while rushing toward their destination. A strange feeling surrounded Cyree, like everyone knew a secret, but kept it from her. She frowned.
The feeling that others knew things she didn’t, that they kept secrets from her, had haunted her ever since the divorce.
Joseph C. Heat, the man she now thought of as Joe Cheat or Cheater Joe, was the cause. Funny how she’d never put his name together like that in all the time they’d dated, been engaged, or married. She’d not known the real Joe until it was almost over. The ultimate smooth salesman, for the first two years he could talk her into almost anything.
They’d met after one of her belly dance performances in Memphis. He’d been charming and attentive, telling her with a wink from the first night that he could lend her his name, Cyree Heat was the perfect name for a belly dancer, he said. Once upon a time she’d agreed with him, thinking it was way better than Cyree Small. Now, she couldn’t wait to change her name back.
Not only had he cheated on her, he’d even slept with the attorney representing her in the divorce. That one had nearly knocked her flat. How low would the man sink?
He’d tried to cheat her out of the home she’d bought with her inheritance and the little bit of money left over. It all came rushing back as she stood in the Atlanta shuttle station, fighting feelings brought on by her memories as people rushed by.
It’s no wonder I have trust issues, but these feelings need to stop. None of these people know me. What kind of secret could they withhold? They’re just hurrying to catch their flights, not keeping secrets. This is ridiculous. Stop it. Remember who you were before Joe met you. Get a grip.
She took another deep breath, willed the crazy thoughts and uncomfortable feelings away and put her mind back on her beach vacation. She approached the Zuiland counter and showed her identification card and her ticket. “I was told to check in here before our boarding call.”
The woman behind the counter took the ticket Cyree handed her.
“Yes ma’am. We have you on the twelve forty-five flight to Grand Cayman.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Good, now if you will just read this letter,” the woman placed a paper on top of the counter, “and then sign here that you have read and understood.”
Cyree hefted her shoulder bag, collected her carryon and headed to get something to quench her thirst before hurrying to the check in point. Her mouth was so dry now, probably from nerves.
Seeing a sign that said Lounge, she entered.
The heavy door slammed behind her.
Bang. Click. Darkness enfolded her. Sudden panic rose in her throat. She spun and grasped the door handle, tugging hard. It didn’t budge.
She was locked inside the dark lounge, an empty lounge.
Where is everyone? Why isn’t this lounge open?
Balling up her fist she pounded on the door. “Hello? Hello? Help! Let me out!”
After several minutes of pounding and yelling it was clear no one would.
She heard only silence. No annoying loudspeaker, no beeping cart, no hurrying people, no chattering voices. Nothing, but dead silence. If she couldn’t hear them, how could they hear her?
Her eyes adjusted to the dark and she took in the room. The upholstered seats of club chairs were shredded; foam stuffing, overturned tables and broken glass covered the floor. Some white substance covered the surfaces and an odor she couldn’t place assaulted her nose.
Had they sprayed something? Maybe that was the smell.
No wonder they kept the door locked. Something odd must have happened here. But what?
They'd closed the lounge to repair it, but the door hadn’t been locked.
Had someone locked the door behind her? Or was the door set to lock itself? Who would know she was locked in?
I'll miss my flight. So much for a restful getaway vacation in the Caribbean. So much for lounging on the beach. This is not the change of scenery I was looking for.
She pulled out her cell phone to call one of her friends. If she could reach one of them and get them to call the Atlanta shuttle station surely they'd send an employee to get her out.
She stared at the only light in the room, coming from her phone and wanted to scream.
Plunking down on the floor against the wall where there was no white stuff covering the surface, she leaned back and closed her eyes.
Could it get any worse? No. Don't even go there. You know better than to go there. Because you ought to know by now it always can. So, don’t think that. That was the old way of thinking brought on by Cheater Joe.
I’m trapped in here and feeling helpless. I hate that feeling.
A tear ran down her cheek, but she was too tired to wipe it away. Tired, she was just plain tired and damn it, she needed this vacation. She wanted to be relaxing on the beach, not here on this nasty floor, stuck in between home and her destination, while locked in a room with no one even knowing she was missing.
Navy Seal Warren West cracked open the door, his eyes scanning the supposedly deserted lounge before slipping inside.
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Debra Parmley is an author whose goal is to spread love, one story at a time. Happiest writing in more than one genre, her published works to date are in the genres of western historical romance, 1920’s romance, contemporary romance, futuristic romance and poetry. Debra enjoys writing, reading, coaching her writing students, medieval re-enactment events and world travel. Her work as a travel consultant gave her the opportunity to visit many countries and travel often appears in her work.
Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each letter, card and email is a treasured gift, like finding that perfect shell upon the beach.
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