A trilogy from Silhouette Romantic Suspense
“I curse you Brody Ryan! May you and your children be forever barren. From this moment forward no Ryan shall parent a child, and the adult Ryan children shall leave their home and scatter to the ends of the earth. No grandchild will you live to see! No child of yours will return to the fold! Your family name ends with you, Brody Ryan!”
High on a tropical mountain in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz lives a black witch, Maria Elena Ixtepan. Fifteen years ago, this ancient bruja (Mexican witch) put a curse on Delgado Ranch owner Brody Ryan. Blind with fury at the time, the old woman wanted the entire Ryan family to suffer for the sins of the father. Now each of Brody’s three children share his fate.
The Delgado/Ryan family Of Texas
The Delgado family has owned the south Texas land known as the Delgado Ranch for generations. Since the Mexican government bestowed a land grant on Don Esteban Delgado in 1840, the family has worked the harsh land and made their fortunes in cattle and oil.
In 1948, Delgado family descendent and current owner of the ranch Juan Delgado married Lupe Ixtepan, a curandera (or white witch) from the Veracruz region of Mexico. Lupe’s family have for centuries been renowned for their witchcraft. In fact, her mother, Maria Elena is a powerful black witch (or bruja.) Lupe and Juan had no sons and only one daughter. Their daughter Maria Estella married Brody Ryan in 1970, and soon Brody took over running the entire Delgado Ranch empire.
Maria Estella Delgado and Brody Ryan had three children:
Josh Ryan – At 35, oldest son Josh refuses to acknowledge his witchcraft roots. As a boy, he learned to use the magic but he would never admit it for fear of being too different than the other guys. As an adult, Josh has buried his heritage. He’s a take charge kind of guy. He acts and then thinks it over later. Josh left Texas years ago and prefers not to think about either the witchcraft or the family curse. He craves a family and was devastated when the black witch cursed the Ryan children. Josh has much to learn. Join him on the journey in SAFE WITH A STRANGER.
Ethan Ryan – Middle son Ethan is the handsome charmer in the family. Ethan doesn’t care a thing about the curse. Not able to have kids? Great, that’s just one less worry when he’s dating his models and celebrities. He loves being single. That’s just who he is. But Ethan does have a strong sense of responsibility and wants his family to run the very best security firm that specializes in guarding children. Find out what happens when Ethan has trouble keeping his clients from harm in SAFE BY HIS SIDE.
Maggie Ryan – The family’s curse has left younger sister Maggie desperate for a child to love. She uses her witchcraft only for good. As a young girl, she first learned to help sick animals, especially the horses. As an adult, she can now cure and heal people too. Instead of becoming a curandera like her grandmother, Maggie would prefer to run the family security business and to guard lost or helpless children. Read about what happens to Maggie when she is comes face to face with black witchcraft during her quest for a child in IN SAFE HANDS.
An Interview with Brody Ryan
Question: I understand you’re a widower. How did your wife die?
Answer (BR): Rather a personal question to start, don’t you think? It was over fifteen years ago. Ahem… Well, I suppose I don’t mind telling you that my wife died when the plane I was flying had a mechanical malfunction and I was forced to set it down on the range. Hit some power lines and unfortunately the mother of my children was killed instantly. Not something I like to remember. Thanks for bringing it up.
Question: Just doing my job. Now, about the curse…were you aware that your wife’s family were Mexican witches when you married her?
Answer (BR): At the time, there were many people who claimed that I married Estella in order to get my hands on The Delgado. The truth is, I loved my wife very much. The ranch, the witchcraft heritage, none of it mattered in the least. I loved her and wanted to spend my life making her happy. The curse was a surprise, and to tell the truth, at the time I didn’t much believe it. I hadn’t meant to drive my mother-in-law off the ranch for good. But we were all hurting at the time and I really thought she would be happier back with her family in Mexico. Turns out, I was mostly right about that part, and so wrong about the curse.
Question: Tell us about your children; Josh, Ethan and Maggie.
Answer (BR): In truth, I’m not the best person to tell their stories. I love my children very much, but I haven’t been able to talk to them about their hopes and dreams since before their mother died and the family was cursed all those long years ago. All I know for sure is that my wife raised each of them with a strong sense of family. I’m guessing that not being able to have children must grate on each of them, and I just wish there was some way I could help.
Question: Okay, then. Tell us about the Delgado. What’s the place like today?
Answer (BR): The Delgado Ranch covers over a million acres in south Texas and millions more in three other states and South America. It’s a complicated operation and there’s hundreds of thousands of people who are involved. I feel closest to the south Texas land because I was raised nearby in Zavala Springs. Today, Delgado ranch operations in south Texas raise cattle and horses as we always have, but we also specialize in many other areas. We raise goats and exotic animals. We lease hunting rights and are heavily into conservation techniques. The Delgado also continues to be a major player in the gas and oil market both in Texas and abroad. And just recently, we leased a couple of sections out to an electricity coop who have erected over a thousand windmills on the property. It’s a lot to keep track off. There are many days when I wish my children would’ve taken a bigger interest in the ranch.
Each of them do seem to have an affinity for the land, even today. It’s a special, magical place. Fairly flat land with a preponderance of cactus and sand, it’s still a place that can get into your bones and call you home.
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