“Yak” by Lois Cloarec Hart

cover_yak_miniFrom this Friday Yak by Lois Cloarec Hart will be available for purchase – as e-book only. For all those looking for an interesting paranormal romance we decided to share one scene:


After a month of containing my curiosity and getting nowhere with my crafty inquiries, I decided to take the bull by the horns on my next shift. I stayed at the normal lunch break table long enough for Elliot to introduce the new cook, Ed, to everyone, then I quietly picked up my tray and walked over to Yak’s table.

I could just about hear the collective gasp behind me, but Yak seemed oblivious to my approach. She always took off her hairnet during our lunch breaks, and let her straight, dark, shoulder length hair dangle like a curtain hiding her face. Her empty soup bowl was pushed to the side and she was reading…as always.

I sat down across from her. “Mind if I join you?”

Yak looked up with such an expression of shock, you’d have thought I’d just done a striptease in front of her. The thing that really got my attention was her eyes. I’d never really looked Yak directly in the face, even though we’d worked in the same kitchen for over a month.

It wasn’t so much the colour, though they were a nice shade of brown. It was that even though her mouth wasn’t saying a word, her eyes were speaking volumes. Shock, disbelief, consternation, fear… That last one really brought me up short.

She was afraid of me? Me? Nobody had ever been afraid of me. Even my baby sister walks all over me.

Yak lowered her head again, but I could see her fingers trembling where they held her page down. It made me feel oddly protective of her, and for an instant I second guessed myself. Maybe I should just leave her alone. It was pretty obvious that no one in this restaurant, aside maybe from the new guy, thought my being at Yak’s table was a good idea.

But I knew my intentions were good…weren’t they? I certainly didn’t want to hurt her. I just wanted to understand what was going on—why this perfectly ordinary, if extremely quiet woman inspired such apprehension and ostracism. And if I could maybe bring her back into the fold, so to speak, where was the harm? Surely she’d be much happier if she felt free to sit with the rest of the staff, kibbitz with us through the night, go out for a beer now and then. I mean, who wouldn’t, right? It can’t be any fun being alone one hundred per cent of the time.

“What’cha reading?” Okay, not my smoothest opening, but apparently I was working alone here.

Wordlessly, Yak closed the cover and turned the book so I could see it. Future Science: Life Energies and the Physics of Paranormal Phenomena by White and Krippner. Damn, it looked like it was about six hundred pages long. Nothing like a little light entertainment.

When I didn’t say anything, she turned the book back to herself and opened it again. I’d have been discouraged, but I saw the tiniest hint of a smile on her face and, like a drowning woman, I grabbed for that life preserver.

“Pretty heavy reading. Are you into that kind of stuff?” Well, duh, if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be reading it, would she?

She raised her head and those remarkable eyes regarded me like she was trying to figure out whether I was friend or foe. Suddenly wanting very much to be the former, I gave her my most innocent smile.

It backfired. I wouldn’t say she stared daggers at me, but if I’da been a fine piece of beef, she’d have turned me into stir-fry.

Without a word, Yak closed her book and stood up. I watched her retreat into the kitchen, then reluctantly took my tray back to the other table.

As soon as I sat down, Sharon hissed at me, “Leni! Are you crazy? Do not make her mad!”

Before I could defend myself, Elliot chimed in. “Please don’t aggravate Yak, Leni. It’ll be much better for all of us if you just leave her alone.”

I looked around the table at my co-workers. Except for the new guy, they were various shades of pale; my actions had obviously upset them. “Look, I was just being friendly. I didn’t mean any harm.”

“Susie never really meant much harm either, but look what happened to her.” Elliot, Sharon, and Darla Mae nodded in unison at Ella’s emphatic words. Ed leaned in and casually draped an arm around Darla Mae, who was the youngest and prettiest of the waitresses.

“Who was Su—” Before I could finish my question, I heard a massive clang from the kitchen and everyone froze. A trucker who had been chowing down on chili and cornbread jumped to his feet, but before anyone could move, a voice came from the kitchen.

“It’s okay. I just dropped a pot. Nothing’s damaged.”

It was clear that no one believed Yak, including me. It would’ve taken a pot the size of Great Slave Lake to make that kind of sound. But no one was willing to get up and go see what had happened either.


Now… wasn’t that a nice little teaser?

Yak is a novella (around 17,500 words) and will be available from amazon and Smashwords on Friday. Bella Books, Rainbow eBooks and other platforms will follow soon.

On Sunday (25th August) we’ll be doing a book give away. Three e-book copies of Yak will be looking for a new home.

The Ylva team

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About the Author : Astrid Ohletz

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