TITLE: In an Instant
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Beth Rhinehardt was smiling when the white SUV came out of nowhere and clipped her back bumper on the passenger side, spinning her around and depositing her in the path of oncoming traffic. She cursed as the old Honda skidded on unseen ice. But a split second later, she caught some traction, enough to regain a measure of control. "Whoa," she said, clenching the wheel with shaking fingers. "That could have been ugly."
Adrenaline coursed through her veins. She glanced in her rearview mirror, but the SUV had vanished. Great, she thought. That's just great.
And then, something warm tickled her right ear. She uttered a startled shriek; her head jerked around, the steering wheel dragging to the right. Rubber hissed on black ice, and suddenly the world was going by sideways--ground, buildings and sky blurring like numbers on a roulette wheel.
The car straightened out just in time for her to see a tree rushing toward her, filling up the windshield with impending destruction--a fitting bookend to the wreck she'd made of her life. I'm going to die, she thought, and two faces flashed before her eyes, one doe-eyed, one crinkling hazel. And I never even got to tell them I'm sorry.
She threw out both arms as metal collided with century-old wood. The reek of smoke filled her nostrils; something smacked her in the face, and as safety glass rained down, her left arm exploded in agony.