Living in Sunnyside, Texas, and working nine-to-five at her brother's chiropractic office, Jennifer Cloud's life appears to be perfectly normal.
But when the moon is full, she's a transporter for the World Travel Federation, going back in time to help stop the Brigands from stealing the keys to the vessels that time travelers have been secretly using throughout history.
Jennifer is on a mission in 1602 Scotland with fellow time traveler and current flame, the green-eyed Caiyan. Her inexperience and a bit of distraction cause them to let the bad guy slip through their fingers, and they're written up back at WTF headquarters-by Jennifer's longtime on-again, off-again lover, the handsome CIA agent Jake.
Jennifer is torn between the two men. But when she discovers that Caiyan has gone off to 1985 Hollywood, chasing some unknown traveler, and become trapped there, she turns to another sexy man in her life, a gorgeous racecar driver named Marco.
With multiple love interests and a frantic rescue mission involving a mystery traveler, a vicious Brigand, a famous rock star, and a vindictive serial killer, book two of the Jennifer Cloud series delivers yet another hilarious romantic time-travel adventure!
About the Author
Janet Leigh was born in Garland, Texas, and has remained a loyal Texas native her entire life. After practicing chiropractic for twenty years, she decided to write her own novel. She began taking writing classes at night and eventually published her literary debut, The Shoes Come First, a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. Today, she is a full-time chiropractor and acupuncturist who splits her time between seeing patients and working on her next Jennifer Cloud novel.
Leigh lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, three children, one mean cat, and a dog with allergies. After working all day, chauffeuring kids around, and writing at every opportunity, she enjoys relaxing with a funny romance or mystery novel. Her favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich, Leigh Michaels, Diana Gabaldon, John Grisham, and for those times when she needs a good cry, Nicholas Sparks.
Visit Janet Leigh at www.Janetleighbooks.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Janetleighbooks.
Read an Excerpt
I was sitting with my forehead resting on my knees, cursing Caiyan for leaving me here alone. My body ached from two days of riding on horseback around the Scottish countryside, looking for our mark. The mud oozed around me, stuck to my tartan skirt, and slipped inside my loafers. The icy rain drizzled down around me, and I wondered how much longer we were going to lie in this pigpen, waiting on our bad guy to appear. Damn him for leaving me here to wait.
I moved deeper into my shelter and sighed, reminding myself that I, Jennifer Cloud, had chosen to be part of this. Well, I'd chosen to continue to be part of the WTF, or World Travel Federation. When I was eighteen, I discovered I had the gift of time travel. Apparently, I inherited some special gene that allows me to travel through time. Great-Aint Elma Jean Cloud left me her time machine. The WTF refers to it as my time vessel. I call it a smelly old outhouse that scares the crap out of me every time I travel in it. I smiled at the memory of the argument my parents always had about the word aint. My dad is from the backwoods of East Texas, and everyone down there has aints, not aunts, as my East Coast parochial school mom would have corrected.
The friendly and much-wrinkled face of Aint Elma flashed to my mind. The vision of the little old lady with eyes the color of a summer sky, clapping with excitement over my gift, surfaced from my memories. When I met her at the age of nine, I didn't understand what was in store for me. A warm tingle caressed the skin above my heart. I reached up to touch the other gift Aint Elma had left me — her key. A or medallion made from moonstone hung from a dainty but inviolable titanium chain around my neck. The unique medallion lay flat on my chest, hidden under the high-necked blouse with the plaid buttons. Carved in the moonstone was a crescent moon surrounded by tiny blue diamonds that sparkled like they had been freshly polished. I could feel a slight hum from the key, almost as if it were alive. In order for my outhouse to take me back in time, I have to wear the key and say a magic word. Sometimes I feel like I fell out of a Disney story.
I pulled the wool coat closer, trying to keep the wind at my back. My hair was secured under an ugly brown toboggan that matched my equally ugly wool coat. But I could feel the tendrils of my blond hair brush against my neck as they made their escape from the cap. One of the rules of the WTF was no hair dye. This rule was just in case I was sent back to a time when hair dye was obsolete. I think that might be the Stone Age, in which case, the locals wouldn't give a hoot what color my hair was as long as they could grab it and drag me to their cave. I put my foot down about going back to the dishwater blond from my childhood and finally compromised on a Marilyn Monroe blond. No highlights, no lowlights. Other rules included no tattoos, no fake fingernails, no body piercings (too late for that one — I had my ears pierced when I was five), and above all no implants. A prior transporter was injured back in time, and the local doctors operated on her, revealing her breast implants. The doctors promptly removed them, and she remained under arrest until the WTF could rescue her and convince the authorities the "water balloons" were not some kind of secret smuggling device. Thankfully, I inherited my mom's slim hips and voluptuous bustline.
The rain was tap-dancing above me on the small troll bridge that provided my shelter. How much longer was I going to wait? I had my limits. Caiyan had disappeared into the twilight, telling me to, "Wait here, lassie." I should have known the important question was "How long?" Instead, I just shook my head and smiled up into his gorgeous green eyes. The thoughts of last night's passion-filled frolic still embedded in my mind clouded my judgment. Caiyan is a defender. He works for the WTF and is sent back in time to capture the bad guys, or what the WTF calls brigands. I am a transporter. The defenders can't haul the bad guys around, so it's up to me to come back and transport any brigands that Caiyan may catch back to headquarters. I am also his backup. Well, at least his backup in training. Since I am new to the WTF, Caiyan had to pull a few strings to allow me to assist him on this mission.
Before I left on this assignment, I was given a history lesson by my boss, Jake, on seventeenth-century Scotland. Jake was my childhood friend, and we had history together. I was as surprised as he was when our paths met again after a long on-again, off-again love affair. He took a job with the CIA, and I discovered how to time travel. Mamma Bea used to say, "Things happen for a reason, sugarplum." Those things keep happening to me like flies drawn to a cow pie. The reasons remain unknown.
Jake speed-tutored me for this trip, even though he didn't want me to travel until I was better trained. He threw all the customs and rituals of the very poor to the upper elite at me like darts at a dartboard. If only I could have unscrewed my head and poured the information in like cake batter, I might have recollection of them. Right now, all the information was a jumbled mess. Maybe Jake was right; I needed more training. The main brigand Caiyan usually followed was a smarmy guy named Rogue. Our mission was to capture him and bring him into custody at the WTF. I had helped capture Rogue on our first adventure together, but sadly, he escaped.
Rogue is after the missing key, allegedly owned by Mary Stuart, the queen of Scots. Although she didn't have the gift — that we can prove — we have a picture of her wearing the key. It was one of the few oils painted of her while Queen Elizabeth I imprisoned her. Although they were cousins, we believe Queen Elizabeth I was in cahoots with Lord Byron Mafuso, a known brigand. Rumors say they were responsible for the death of Mary's second husband, Lord Darnley. Blown up ...
Rogue knows she gave the key to her lady's maid for safekeeping before she was beheaded on drummed-up charges of betraying Queen Elizabeth I. The trail is lost there until we get to 1746, when the key appears in a painting around Flora MacDonald's neck.
The MacDonalds are known for having the gift. We assume she used the key to transport Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, to safety during the Scottish rebellion. Rogue has attempted many times to retrieve the key before it gets to Flora.
There is some confusion as to what happens to the key after that, but Caiyan assures me the key is safe, and we need to keep it that way.
The boggy scent of decaying vegetation rose up from the river bottoms. Huge naked trees hugged the sides of the riverbank and extended their branches like skeletal hands intertwined in prayer. I sighed as a small mud-covered frog leaped over my loafer. Jeez, the inhabitants of the river that ran under the bridge were starting to come after me. What was probably a beautiful babbling brook in the summer had turned into a raging river in November. The water below me swooshed and churned as I watched a tree branch float by at maximum velocity. I pulled tight on my coat and carefully exited my hidey-hole into the cool rain.
"Going somewhere, lassie?" Caiyan asked from above me. He was leaning casually on the railing of the bridge, staring down at me. Water dripped from the brim of his hat and cascaded down the shoulders of his black riding coat.
"How long have you been up there?"
"Only a minute. I rode back toward the village, and I saw Rogue stop at the inn."
"So is he coming?"
"Aye, I think Rogue will come this way after he has rested a bit. It's not an easy journey to cross the Minch by boat this time of year. He is most likely tired and hungry, but he knows he is out of time."
The rain had slowed to a light sprinkle and tickled as it hit my face. I scrunched my nose as I looked up at him. His silhouette was dark against the full moon over his left shoulder. A murky gray sky had hidden the sun all day, and the remaining light was waiting for the night to pull its cover over her.
"We should get under the bridge. It may be an hour or more before he passes here."
I grumbled at the thought but crawled back into the alcove. My feet squished in the mud as I moved over to allow Caiyan room in the space.
"Are ye cold?" He moved closer and drew me into his arms. It is
"Are ye cold?" He moved closer and drew me into his arms. It is impossible to carry anything with us when we go back in time. Money, food, and weapons are all things we have to acquire once we travel. We have the clothes on our backs and the keys around our necks. The only place items can be smuggled from present day is in our mouths. Before he met me, Caiyan would sneak condoms on his travels, in case he needed to sacrifice his body for the greater good. This random act of kindness would not have met with approval from our superiors. If the boss found out we'd brought an item from the present back in time, he would ground us. This meant our key would be locked up, and we could not lateral travel, which is the best perk about having this gift. I can go anywhere, anytime in the present, in the blink of an eye. I can also carry things in my pockets like money and cell phones. Last weekend I was in Paris buying macarons at Ladurée and dining at Le Soufflé.
"What's wrong?" he asked, removing his hat and placing it on the ground next to him.
"Nothing," I said.
"No, I didn't."
"Aye, ye did."
Maybe I did. "I'm tired and cold and wet. Why can't we just go catch Rogue in a dry place?"
"Aye, today is dreich. Fetching the bad guys is not always done under sunny skies." I arched an eyebrow at him, and he snuggled in closer to me.
"Did your contact tell you this is the best place to get him before he gets the key?" I asked with a hint of sarcasm.
The last time we had to catch a brigand, Caiyan's contact was his past lover. She looked like she belonged on the cover of a fashion magazine, with a body like Jennifer Lopez and hair like spun silk. I knew that even if there was a contact, he wasn't going to divulge that information. Last time I found out by accident, actually by spying on him, but that's beside the point.
"No contact this time, lass." His face was inches from mine, and his green eyes seemed to glow in the shadows of the troll bridge. "I'm afraid we have to sit and wait this one out," he said, moving closer. He started to run his nose up the inside of my neck. Hot flashes nipped at my jaw and ran straight to my boy howdy. I turned my head and pressed my lips gently to his. A muffled, "Jeez," rumbled from deep inside his throat, and he kissed me hard. I intertwined my fingers through the back of his thick, dark hair. He moved slightly and ran his hand up my thigh and under my skirt. I was working the buttons on his wool coat when the sound of horse hooves beat overhead.
"Shite!" He scrambled from under the bridge. I made it out just in time to see Caiyan run up the hill and take a flying leap onto the back of Rogue's unsuspecting horse. The horse reared up and threw both men to the ground. I recognized Rogue from our previous meeting, when I was eighteen and had time traveled by mistake. Our first encounter was from a distance, so I was surprised when he spoke with a strong Russian accent.
"Not this time, McGregor. You are not getting me before I git that key."
"I am afraid so, my friend. Ye cannae have what doesn't belong to ye."
Excerpted from "Dress 2 Impress"
Copyright © 2016 Janet Leigh.
Excerpted by permission of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
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