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Contemporary Romance
Vijaya Schartz
Contemporary  Romance with a Kick

Blurb  |  Reviews  |  Excerpt



Arizona Game Ranger Madison Huntley, investigating a wild animal attack on a ranch in Cave Creek, discovers disturbing details. If she didn't know better, she'd say the legends frightening the ranch hand might be true. But Madison isn't just a wilderness cop. As a biologist and a wild life expert, she believes in facts and science, not scary tales.

Kaletaka, a Hopi Native, enjoys fame among the white man, forging haunting sculptures of half gods, half humans. When he awakens bloody, with no recollection of what he did the night before, he remembers the legends of his tribe, and the meaning of his name. But as hard as he tries, can he escape his destiny?

Can Madison solve the mystery killings and insure the safety of the town? Let alone her own safety? For each step closer to the truth and to Kaletaka, unleashes an unspeakable evil, and no one is safe...


"Phenomenal world building, characters the readers cares about, and an intriguing mystery… COYOTE GORGEOUS has all the elements one expects from a Vijaya Schartz story! Easily recommended!"
4.5 Shamrocks - Debbie, CK2sKwipsandKritique

"So many times my theory of who done it was thwarted and yet I was thrilled to stay on the edge of my seat until the very last word just to find out"
 Five stars - Book Junkie Reviews

"excellent characters... well written.  Fascinated about the subject matter and the legends..."
Five hearts - Romance Book Scene

"I'm not sure Kaletaka could have been more scrumptious if he tried...and he knows his way around a kitchen to boot...  a fast-paced, action-packed and enjoyable read."
Four stars - The Hope Chest Reviews

"...a fantastic story, with the integration of Navajo legend into the modern setting... this volume is a real page turner... I am a Choctaw Indian myself... I was truly impressed with the seamless integration of the Navajo legends of skinwalkers. This is a fun read that I highly recommend to anyone with a passion for shapeshifters, Indians and mystery."
Four stars - Cassie - Bitten By Books

"Ms. Schartz has blended ancient Hopi lore into a beautifully descriptive story... opened my understanding of the importance of keeping traditions alive... Kal's works of art bring his heritage to life for everyone to see and appreciate. Thanks go to Ms. Schartz for an intriguing story."
Four Angels - Fallen Angel Reviews

" entertaining light read. I found it interesting as a resident of Arizona."
Four Stars - Laurraine Tutihasi - Amazon reviews 2011





Nothing moved in the backyard. She called toward the house, "Anyone home?"

No one answered. Madison circled the white tent to peek inside from the open flap. She came face to face with a life size... Chupacabra? A cloud moved across the sky, hiding the sun and bathing the tent in shadow. Her heart raced and she reached for her sidearm. She stopped mid movement. When did she get so jumpy?

The object of her fright was a tall metal sculpture, an armored muscular man with the head of a coyote. Or was it Anubis, the Egyptian god with the jackal head? The bright silver finish and turquoise decorating the black metal could indicate either. Madison had never made the connection between the jackal and the coyote. In this representation, they looked identical.

More sculptures crowded the concrete slab inside the tent, all stylized, teaming with life, strikingly beautiful and awe-inspiring, with bright enamel colors.

* * *

Something growled behind Madison. She whirled about, holding the 9mm .357 SIG pistol in a two-handed grip. Aiming, she stared into the yellow eyes of a large bobcat, sitting atop a flat boulder in the shade of a pine tree. The animal had an orange top coat and white spotted belly. Forty pounds of quick muscle. Was this the killer? Was it rabid? The bobcat growled again but didn't crouch to pounce.

"Felix seems to like you."

The low baritone at her back made Madison's skin prickle all over, but she maintained eye contact with the bobcat. Never take your eyes off a wild animal in a standoff.  "Felix?"

"You better put that thing away. He's like me. He doesn't like guns." The calm male voice seemed to caress her. "It's okay, little brother."

The wild cat grunted a response, lay down on the flat rock and yawned. He licked a front paw and rested his head on it to resume an interrupted nap.

Madison lowered her firearm and relaxed her finger on the trigger, but her heart beat like a jungle drum. Reluctantly, she turned to face the man who had spoken in such a smooth voice.

Tall, with a welding mask flipped up over his head, he stood legs apart, boots firmly planted in the ground. The top part of his leather apron had fallen, and his black open shirt exposed a thick silver chain resting on the copper chiseled muscles glistening in sunlight. Madison allowed her gaze to linger on such male perfection.

"Sorry if Felix startled you." The Native American man removed the welding mask with gloved hands, revealing a face streaked with soot like black war paint. He wore his long black hair in a ponytail and stared at Madison with the most startling green eyes she had ever seen, fearless, with intense fire, like a wild animal.

Shaken, Madison buried her lusty thoughts under a gruff attitude and returned her sidearm to the holster. "A bobcat is not a pet. There are laws protecting wildlife."

"Felix chooses my company." He didn't seem sorry at all and grinned, showing white teeth, as if he'd enjoyed her fright. Something was odd about him.

The man's bold stare made Madison uncomfortable. "This is a dangerous animal to keep around, mainly for your neighbors' pets. Don't they complain?"

"Felix and I have an understanding. I feed him, and he doesn't kill." He grinned at her with insolence. "My name is Kaletaka, and I own this house."



Award-winning author Vijaya Schartz


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