#WIP – #AmWriting (I hope!) – #ColeCole&Dupree

Oh, I SO know how he feels! I’ve been dragging around in Subpar Mode for so long, it’s ridiculous. (And to think that at my age, I consider every minute of wasted time to be a cardinal sin!) But the good (or at least better) news is, I am going to fix this problem, one way or the other! 

Yes, yes, Snape! I should be writing and I’m GOING to be writing, because after all, Cole, Cole & Dupree cannot finish itself, now can it? But I wanted to share my earthshattering improved health news here on TWS first. Plus I thought maybe sharing here might get me even more in the mood to move on with this story. I mean, it’s got a lot going for it, I think. From a very strange mystery for CC&D to solve, to Rabbit’s astonishing find of a Fairy Cross (staurolite) on a wooded trail, to the fun (I hope) relationship between Rabbit and his adopted family, including his sort-of adopted big brother, Austin Dupree. 

Oh, fairy crosses, you ask? Well, they look like this, and are a completely natural and totally REAL (though very rare) rock formation, wherein a natural “twinning process” produces these amazing stones in every size. See:

And here’s one more: a precious little miniature one sent to me from my friend in Wales, Trish, alias Alex Craigie. (Thank you again, Trish!)

But putting all that aside, the main reason to post about what I hope will be my return to Cole, Cole, & Dupree is that it gives me an excuse to share an excerpt with you good folks, and perhaps find out if this prologue would make you want to turn the page for the rest of the story.  So without further ado, here you go:

Just Past Midnight in a Frosty Winter Pasture
Sunday, January 11, 2015
~~~

“THOUGHT YOU NEEDED to see this, boss. Called as soon as I found ‘em.”

“You were right to call, Kip. Any idea what the hell happened here?”

“Not a one. Never seen anything like it.”

Alvy Ballard moved his flashlight in a slow arc across the scene in front of him, as he struggled to make sense of all the darkened forms humped along the ground. With a look of dread in his eyes, he turned back to his foreman. “Big Red?”

“Big Red, too, boss. He’s over by the east fence.”

“Show me.”

The two men walked around the fence line, stopping to check each bloody body along the way. Alvy gave a slow, stunned shake of his head. “All dead. Every single one of them dead. What could have done something like this, Kip?”

“I got no idea. Every throat torn out. All ten horses, gone. It ain’t natural.”

When they neared the middle of the east fence line, Kip stopped and laid his hand on Alvy’s arm. “You sure you want to look at him?”

Alvy nodded. “I need to see for myself.”

Kip watched as his boss continued along the fence to where the body of his prize stallion lay. For a moment the big man stood staring in shock, then he dropped to his knees. Draping himself across his horse, Alvy Ballard wept like a child, shoulders shaking with loud, heartbroken sobs.

Kip knew his boss well enough to understand his need for privacy, so he remained where he was until Alvy stood, wiped his eyes, and returned.

“I still don’t understand what happened to them,” Alvy said, his voice husky with emotion.

“Me, neither, boss. For sure, it wasn’t no animal I’ve ever seen. Animals don’t kill ‘less they’re hungry. All them horses are dead, all right, but not a single one’s been eaten on.”


Well, there you have it. I hope you are intrigued and ready to find out what the heck happened in Alvy Ballard’s pasture. And you can rest assured, when the good sheriff Raleigh Wardell shows up to consult with them, Cole, Cole, &  Dupree will be ready to take on this case!


Thanks for reading this morning,
and here’s to a GREAT start to your week!

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update – #Excerpt – #TheEmissary2:ToLoveSomebody

THIS

Thought I’d take a break from physical labor and let you guys know that my new Time Management Plan is working great, so far. Both of my venues were amenable to having me visit every other month, so that alone cut my presentation workload in half. And I’ve scheduled my regular series posts as far in advance as possible, freeing me up a bit more each week. #GrannySays is now scheduled through the end of December! WooHoo! 

THAT

Speaking of scheduling, just want to let you all know that I’ve still got some dates open for both my #TenThings series, and my #GuestDayTuesday series. If any of you are interested in doing a guest post for either one, here are some upcoming dates you can choose from:

#TenThings: July 6, August 17 and 31, and September 14.
#GuestDayTuesday: July 12 & 26, August 9 & 23, and September 6 & 20

That’s as far ahead as I want to schedule for now. If any of these dates will work for you please email me so I can hold it for you. While I may not be running these quite as often as I was, I still want to keep them going when I can. I love having guests here on TWS, and hope you’ll take advantage of one more opportunity to get your books “out there.”

THE OTHER THING

Just for kicks, I thought maybe I’d share an excerpt with you today from one of my books. I may do this now and then going forward, but not on a strict schedule or anything. Just when the spirit moves me and I have time to do so. Hope you enjoy this one, which is from the second novella in my Emissary series. This scene features the Archangel Azrael putting the first two human Emissaries to the Angels to work with his idea of what rigorous physical training should be. Enjoy! 

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

Three Weeks Later, on the Same Swelteringly Hot Deserted Island,
Two Exhausted, Frustrated Emissaries Dreamed of Escape,
While One Ginormous, Cranky Angel Rethought His Entire Career. 

“TWENTY-FIVE MORE and you may take a brief swim break to cool down. Then we will focus on the ground exercises.”

“Push-ups!” Dodger snarled, sweat streaming down his face. “Just call them freakin’ damn push-ups, why don’tcha?”

Jake counted off the last of his jumping jacks then flopped down on the sand, too tired to argue much less walk down to the water’s edge. Dodger dropped right beside him, every bit as exhausted and frustrated. The boy’s chest heaved, and Jake knew exactly how he felt. Time to speak up, perhaps.

“Azrael, we’ve been at this all afternoon. It could be time to call it a day. There’s such a thing as heatstroke, you know.”

“Too late,” Dodger muttered. “Already there. My blood is boilin’, and my eyeballs are melting.”

The angel snorted in disgust.

But Dodger wasn’t done with Azrael. “This is crazy. Why do we have to exercise like this, anyway? Our job is mostly mental stuff, but you’ve got us on a workout schedule elite military units couldn’t keep up with. I don’t get it, man.”

“I find it difficult to believe we are about to have this same conversation, yet again, but fine. If that is how you wish to spend your break, instead of cooling off in the ocean, I shall do my part. A strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand. It is my belief that both mental and physical training will enhance and strengthen your ability to do your job as emissaries. Do I need to keep saying this?”

Jake sat up, raising his hands over his head in surrender. “Peace, Azrael. Come on, Dodge. Let’s go cool off before he changes his mind.”

They slogged across the wet shingle and waded out just far enough to be able to sit shoulder-deep in the calm, green water.

“We’re gonna die here on this island, you know,” Dodger muttered.

“You do remember he can hear us, don’t you?”

“Let him listen. I don’t really care anymore.” He paused, then yelled out, “You hear that, Azrael. I don’t care! I’m two steps away from dead, here, thanks to you.”

Jake thought about reminding Dodger he couldn’t die, but then figured the boy might decide continuing to live in these conditions would be even worse—and he might be right.

“Okay, kid. I’ll talk to him. Even with the extra strength we’ve been given as emissaries, we have limits, and it’s probably time to ease back a little.”

He spent a few minutes going over how to approach Azrael, then they headed back across the sand. The angel was nowhere to be seen.

Shocked, they stood under the palms looking this way and that. Surely, they hadn’t made the angel angry enough for him to abandon them in this remote spot? Had they? The only food and shelter they had was what Azrael had been providing. Hell, they could be in another dimension, for all they knew! Alone, they really might die here.

Dodger was visibly shaken, chewing on his bottom lip as he studied the shoreline in each direction, and Jake could offer no reassurances. He hadn’t a clue what they should do, other than wait. Just when he began to think maybe Azrael really had abandoned them to their fate, a voice behind him said, “Looking for me?”

Fighting mad, Jake whirled around, only to see the angel standing beside an elegant dining table set for three. A white and gold tablecloth, china, sparkling stemware, and silver serving dishes from which mouth-watering aromas rose, awaited them. He gaped in complete silence, and amazingly, so did Dodger.

“If you two are ready to cease hostilities, I am ready to admit I may have been pushing you somewhat harder than necessary. My intention was to enable you to become the best you could be, but it is possible I overdid it a bit. I am aware that at least one of you has a very high regard for food and hope this meal will prove I have not been trying to kill you. Please accept this as my peace offering.”

He paused, waiting for their reactions, and Dodger rewarded him with half a smile. “Well, it’s a good start, anyway.”

“Smells like a delicious start to me,” Jake added.

Azrael pulled out their chairs. “Come. Let us enjoy our food. We have much to discuss about what you’ll be doing next.”

Dodger stopped. “Next as in what kind of torture you’re plannin’ to put us through tomorrow?”

“Next as in I think it is possible your first round of training might be complete.”

Jake grinned and punched Dodger in the arm. “Hear that, kid? We made it through this grueling process and have survived to tell the tale.”

Dodger balked. “I heard the words ‘possible’ and ‘might’ in that sentence. Did we finish, or didn’t we?”

Azrael’s face grew serious. “You have completed this portion of your training, though there may be more to come at a later date, if needed. And you surpassed all of my expectations, by the way, which were quite high. I am proud of you both, and I am also amazed it took you until today to mount a serious rebellion. Now, I hope you will join me in a celebratory dinner. You have earned it.”

They ate a meal 5-star restaurants could only dream about serving, then toasted the sun as it slid down behind the emerald waves. For the first time in nearly two weeks, their conversation was peaceful and relaxed. It consisted of things that didn’t involve sweaty workouts under the hot sun, nor laborious mental exercises focused on helping them control their ever-expanding powers. And it was exactly what they needed.

The meal ended with a dessert so chocolatey and decadent, it nearly made Dodger swoon, then Azrael waved his hand, and voila! Dishes, glassware, leftover food, tablecloth, table, and even the chairs disappeared in a blink.

“Handy trick,” Dodger observed.

Azrael simply smiled, and Jake marveled once again at the healing power behind that gentle, pleased expression. They were, indeed, blessed—even before Azrael whisked them back to where they’d left their truck, delivered a quiet benediction over them, then rose into the starry heavens.

They stared into the night sky for some time after the angel’s departure, silent, until Dodger’s soft comment. “Sometimes I forget what a wonderful and holy miracle he is.”

The night breeze carried the gentlest whisper of a reply. “I love you, too, Dodger.”

Jake put his arm around his boy’s shoulder and they climbed into the back of their big semi, crawled into their bunks, then drifted off to sleep. In the morning, they’d be ready to hit the road again, better prepared than ever to help those who needed them.


You can download The Emissary series here:
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3: Love Hurts


And that’s it for today’s update. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt,
and please email me if you want to set up a guest visit between now and September.
Have a great afternoon!

#GuestDayTuesday – #Bold&BlatantSelfPromo – #Excerpt – #TheEmissary2: To Love Somebody

See, this is what happens when you guys don’t have any news or ideas you want to share: when #GuestDayTuesday rolls around, you just might get ME as the guest! Et voila! Here I am! 

Decided to share an excerpt from my second Emissary Trilogy novella. It’s a scene I hope you’ll find amusing, even without knowing all the particulars of the story at this point.  And for those who think they’d enjoy reading more, these three novellas should definitely be read in order.

But for now, Happy Reading!

 


EXERPT:

Sitting in a Booth Where Cracked Red Vinyl Had Run Amuck,
Ordering That Too-Late Breakfast or Too-Early Lunch,
While Studiously Avoiding Each Other’s Eyes. 

“WHY DO YOU supposed diners always have red plastic seats and red Formica tables? I mean, is it like a law, or somethin’? Part of the original blueprints? Or building code?”

Jake watched Dodger drumming nervous fingers on that very Formica tabletop and knew the boy wanted to talk. He wasn’t going to push him, however. As proven once again by this morning’s events, that never worked. When he was ready, he would talk. Until then, apparently diner décor was what interested him most.

“No idea. Maybe you can research that while we’re on the road so we’ll learn what’s what before we stop at another one.”

Dodger stared out the window. “You’re bein’ condescending, you know.”

“Sorry. Just trying to help you find something to talk about.”

“Well, don’t. I don’t really wanna talk about diners or Formica or anything else like that, and you know it.”

“Yeah, I guess I do. But to be fair, you did talk about it, so I was just playing along.” Jake took a sip of his iced tea, waited a beat, then tried again. “Dodger, you don’t need to explain anything to me. I’m in your corner, no matter what. But that doesn’t mean you have to tell me every detail from your life before we met.”

Finally, Dodger’s face swung back toward Jake. “But I do—at least I do, if it’s somethin’ I need you to understand. And this is.”

“Okay, then. As long as it’s what you want, I’ll always listen. And I’ll always help if I can.”

“I know that. I think I’ve known that since that day in the hospital parking lot, when you told me you wouldn’t take me back to the crap life I was livin’ before you rescued me. And I do trust you. It’s only that I’ve never talked about stuff like this to anyone. Ever. I don’t have any idea how to start.”

“Well, before you go any further, let me say that I didn’t mean to act like there was something wrong with you. Not at all. The honest truth is, as I look back on my own life and think about what was going on with young people around me, I suspect there were way too many of them having sex before they were emotionally mature enough to take that step. But the right time and circumstances are different for everyone, and I didn’t mean to sound like I was judging you.”

Dodger appeared to be inspecting the Formica all over again while his face turned just as red, but waiting was something Jake was good at. It was a skill the boy had helped him perfect.

A few minutes crept by, then Dodger plunged in. “Don’t know if I was ready for it or not, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Not at first, anyway. I was a shrimpy little kid, and way too young to interest the girls. A couple of years later, I’d put on some weight, and must have looked better. Next thing I knew, there was some coked-up, empty-eyed girl or another backin’ me into a corner every time I turned around.” He paused, then ground out, “I hated it!”

“Okay. Do you want to tell me why?”

It took three tries before Dodger was able to answer, and Jake wasn’t surprised at the pain in the boy’s voice.

“I had this dumbass idea when I left home that I’d find someone who cared about me. Someone I’d matter to.” He looked up, eyes glittering with unshed tears. “I guess I just wanted somebody, somewhere, to love me. No one ever had, Jake, and even as messed up as I was by then, one thing I knew for damn sure—none of those girls followin’ us runners around were gonna love me, either.” He paused, then stared out the window again.

“So, you waited?”

Nodding, Dodger went on. “Yeah. I waited. And kept waiting. Not like I was holdin’ out for something permanent or anything. I just wanted it to matter. I wanted me to matter. Stupid, huh?”

“No, Dodge. Not stupid at all. Love is the one thing in the world that truly does matter, above all else. Of course you wanted it. We all do. We’re born reaching for it, and the fact that you already knew the truth of that at the age of sixteen is one more example of how special you are. Azrael was right in telling me to save your life at all costs, and right again in bringing you back. You have so much to give this world, and you’re making a real difference in the lives of others every single day. And as for someone loving you, I know this isn’t the same, but I couldn’t love you more if you were my own son.”

“Thank you for that,” Dodger whispered. “I can’t even put into words how much that means to me.” The boy stared at the Formica again, his face still forlorn.

“But?”

“But I still wish I’d managed to get laid. At least once.”


You can download The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody HERE
(But don’t forget, these 3 novellas are meant to be read in order.)


BLURB:

They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?


#Excerpt – #ABoyNamedRabbit – #MegaSale – #AlertTheMedia

Back again with one last excerpt in connection with this Valentine’s Day Sale, which ends today. This one was a little bit harder to choose, as I couldn’t find a good scene that wasn’t way too long. But maybe the one I decided on will work to give you a feel for who Rabbit is. Hope you enjoy meeting the little boy who took over an entire series. Happy Reading!


The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him.


EXCERPT from  Sarah’s POV, during their first breakfast with a goggle-eyed Rabbit, following his long journey through the wilderness:

If there was one thing this little boy was more interested in than the wonders of electricity and running water, it was my husband. He could barely keep his eyes off Mac, sneaking peeks every time he thought he could get away with it. It was time to find out why.

Last night, he had been so overwhelmed with the experience of being inside “Angel House,” we hadn’t spent much time asking him more about his life before reaching Wake-Robin Ridge. I thought maybe we’d sprinkle our questions in among other topics, so he wouldn’t feel like he was being interrogated. He was pretty talkative, if you approached it right.

“Rabbit, when you saw Mac yesterday, you said something about your gran, and about Mac having hair like a crow, is that right?”

He glanced at Mac, who was studying his own breakfast as though he’d never seen eggs and toast before, then he looked back at me and nodded.

“Can you tell me what you meant?”

His voice was sad and soft when he talked about his gran. I could tell he missed her very much. “My gran told me I had to find him. She said she seen me with a man with eyes like winter skies an’ hair like a crow’s wing. She said it was important for me to find him, because that’s where I belonged.”

Mac stopped eating, fork midway to his mouth, and eyes still glued to his plate.

“What do you mean, she saw him? Where would she have seen you with him?”

Rabbit’s face was solemn, indigo eyes round and serious. “My gran … she had dreams sometimes. Seein’ Dreams, she called ‘em. I never did have no dreams that came true, an’ my grampa said he never did, neither. But my gran did. She dreamed ‘bout the weather gettin’ cold when there wasn’t no reason to think it was gonna. An’ where to find ripe blackberries, when we thought they was all gone for the year. An’ ‘bout stuff that was gonna happen to Grampa when he went to get supplies. They always come true, her Seein’ Dreams.”

“And your gran dreamed about you with Mac?”

Rabbit aimed those adoring eyes at Mac, but Mac stuck to his pretense of eating his breakfast, as though he couldn’t hear this little boy telling his remarkable tale.

Turning back to me, Rabbit continued. “She was dyin’, you see. She was tellin’ me stuff I needed to know so’s I’d be okay by myself. She couldn’t hardly talk, her breathin’ was so bad, an’ Grampa hadn’t come back with medicine for her cough.”

His eyes filled with tears, and he was silent for a minute, but I stayed where I was, and let him tell me at his own pace. With a little shuddery gulp, he tried again. “My grampa, he’d never left us alone at night. No matter what, he was always back before dark. Only this time, he didn’t come all day, nor all night. And Gran and I, we knew somethin’ bad had happened. Maybe if he had gotten back to us, the medicine would have helped. I been thinkin’ ‘bout that for a long time. But she were bad sick. Never seen her coughin’ so much before.”

His voice dropped to a faint whisper. “There was blood.”

He stared down at the countertop, swinging his foot back and forth as he gathered his thoughts. “Gran, she held my hand real tight, an’ she told me what I had to do. She said I had to find my new people. I didn’t never know I’d have to do somethin’ like that someday. Grampa, he never would take me where there was other folks, ‘cause he said people was bad. He said they lied, an’ cheated, an’ couldn’t be trusted, an’ we was better off by ourselves. But my gran told me that some people was like what he said, an’ some people wasn’t. She said there was Good People in the world, too, an’ I had to leave the mountain an’ find them. An’ then she told me she seen me with a man with eyes like winter skies an’ hair like a crow’s wing, an’ that was where I belonged. The last thing she said to me was to find that man.”

He paused and looked straight at Mac, a profound longing shining from his eyes. “I promised her. An’ I found him.” His voice was so soft, I could barely hear him.

From the way Mac’s mouth tightened, though, I knew that he had heard, loud and clear. Without a word, he pushed his stool back from the island, put his plate in the sink, and walked out the back door.

Rabbit looked at me with a sad little smile. “He don’t like me much yet. But Gran weren’t never wrong. I can wait.”


Sale ends today, so don’t miss out!
Download  A Boy Named Rabbit for just $.99 HERE


Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the second Wake-Robin Ridge novel! 
And my heartfelt thanks goes out to each of you for reading along, and for helping me get the word out about this Valentine’s Day Sale!
You guys are the BEST!

#Excerpt – #FindingHunter – #MegaSale – #AlertTheMedia

Still having fun sharing excerpts–something I seldom do on The Write Stuff. (At least not from my own books, though I do intend to get my #ExcerptWeek series for guest posters going again before long.) Today, I’m sharing one of the lighter scenes from Finding Hunter that I hope will make you chuckle. To say Hunter Painter has issues would be an understatement, but he’s a kind and gentle soul through and through, in spite of the things life throws his way. Happy reading!


Finding Hunter takes a look at the devastating effects of a family torn apart by a horrific tragedy, pitting brother against brother, and focusing on battling PTSD with the redemptive power of unwavering love and support.

EXCERPT:

HUNTER GROANED, PULLING his feather pillow over his head not only to block out the world, but just in case he started shouting in frustration.

What the hell happened? What the bloody hell just happened? Everything was fine. It was going better than I ever thought it would, and then suddenly it all went crazy. She kissed me! Why the hell did she kiss me? How the hell was I supposed to resist that?

The memory of that kiss rocketed into him so hot and fast, it scorched a path through his soul. Never in his life had a kiss transported him that way. He could still feel her mouth under his, sweet and yielding, and burning like fire. The raspberry scent of her hair lingered on his hands, and he would never, ever forget the taste of her skin. Every nerve ending in his body felt burned raw from the experience—so sensitive, the slightest breeze sliding over it would cause unbearable pain.

But somewhere in his torment, he also remembered how she had responded to him, moaning into that kiss, and whispering his name over and over as they clung to each other. She wanted him, too, a concept that had never once seemed a possibility in all the years he had loved her.

Doesn’t make it any better, does it, you stupid fool? Still never gonna happen. You don’t belong with Willow Greene, and nothing’s going to change that. All you’re doing here is torturing yourself.

He swore into his pillow. “’Take a chance,’ Gunn said. ‘Call her up,’ Gunn said. I’m gonna find that bastard and pound him to death with one of his own cameras!”

That image distracted him from his woes for about thirty seconds, and then he slid even deeper into the hole of misery he’d dug for himself.

Never gonna leave this room again. Can’t be trusted to go out into the real world and behave like a person with a single, functioning brain cell. Just gonna have my meals delivered right here, and Dad can walk Biscuit. I’ll tell him I’m sick—and keep telling him that for the rest of my life.

A sudden rap on the bedroom door interrupted his maudlin thoughts. “Hunter? Are you awake?”

“Yeah, Dad. You can come in.”

His father stuck his head in the door. “Sorry to bother you, son, but … well … there’s a young lady down here says she wants to talk to you.”

Horrified, Hunter bolted upright. “What? What’re you talking about?”

“I’m talking about this pretty little thing at the front door, says she has to talk to you. Real long hair, sweet smile, named … um …”

Hunter smacked his head. “Willow.”

His dad nodded. “That’s it. You wanna come down?”

“No! Did you already tell her I’m here?”

“Well, sure. Should I be lying to young ladies who are looking for you?”

“Yes! I mean, no, not generally. Just this one.”

“You do something to her, Hunter?”

“No, of course not. Well, not like you mean. It’s just … aw, it’s complicated, Dad. Can you just tell her I wasn’t up here, or I’m asleep, or I’m sick, or I’ve gone to China? Something? I’m not coming down there!”

His dad gave him a disapproving look. “Okay. Have it your way, but no, I’m not gonna lie to this little gal. I’m just gonna go tell her you don’t want to see her.”

Flinging himself back down on the bed, Hunter growled in frustration. “Fine. If that’s what you want to do, do it. I’m still not coming down.” He clamped the pillow back over his face, and refused to say anything else.

His dad sighed, closed the door a little too hard, and stomped down the stairs.

Two minutes later, Hunter heard a tap, and the sound of the door opening again.

This time, he didn’t bother to lift the pillow. “Did she go away?”

“No, I didn’t go away, Hunter. And I’m not going to.”

Once again, Hunter bolted to a sitting position. He dropped his pillow and stared at Willow, mouth agape. “Willow! You can’t just walk into my room. It’s … you … this isn’t …”

“Oh stop, Hunter. I’m here. And you and I are going to talk.”


Available on Amazon for only $.99 thru Valentine’s Day!
Download  Finding Hunter HERE


Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the second Riverbend novel!  Thanks so much for reading and helping me get the word out!

#Excerpt – #TheEmissary – #MegaSale – #AlertTheMedia

I’ve been having so much fun finding excerpts to share with you guys, I decided to keep going. Hope you’ll enjoy this scene between the Archangel Azrael and his first Emissary, Jake Daughtry. (It was such fun writing about these two!) Happy Reading!



Chapter 1
“Angel Eyes”
The Jeff Healey Band

~~~

Cowering in Terror,
At That Still-Dark, Still-Deserted Truck Stop,
Halfway Between Here and There.

AZRAEL STOPPED ADVANCING. Jake squinted against the brilliant white glare that surrounded the angel towering over him.

“Do you have to be all bright like that in order to kill me?”

Cocking his head to the side, Azrael bellowed, “What?”

“It’s like staring into the sun. Go ahead and cleave, if you want to, but can’t you do it without first making me blind as well as deaf?”

Azrael grimaced. “Better?” He’d turned the volume down a hundred decibels or so, and the fiery aura surrounding him faded.

Jake nodded. “Okay. Cleave away.”

“You are not making an ounce of sense. Why do you keep going on about cleaving?”

“Off the top of my head, I’d say it’s because that big sword you’re swinging around looks like it was designed for cleaving all over the place.”

Azrael stared at the sword in his hand as though he’d never seen it before, and couldn’t imagine why he was holding it. In a nanosecond, it whooshed out of sight, faster than Luke Skywalker’s light saber.

To Jake’s amazement, Azrael flushed flamingo pink. His golden curls fell back into place around his face, and his size returned to something less monolithic in nature. For a moment, the angel looked as though he might even apologize, but he appeared to think better of it. Instead, he drew himself up straight, squared his shoulders, and cleared his throat.

“I am not going to cleave you in twain, Jake, but do not try my patience again. Perhaps you and I need to have a serious discussion. We do not seem to be . . . on the same page, I believe you would say.”

“A discussion? Is that angelspeak for telling me I can’t quit?” Jake tried to stand, but gasped as his back refused to follow through on that idea.

Azrael scowled. “Emissary in training or not, you are still too fragile. This will have to be corrected.” He waved a hand in Jake’s general direction, and the pain disappeared at once.

Jake scrambled to his feet. He preferred to face Azrael eye to eye, even though it didn’t increase his chances of being able to defend himself from the angel at all. The few bits of power he’d been given would be all but useless against that kind of strength, but standing still felt better than cowering on the ground at the feet of an infuriated behemoth.

“Is the pain gone?” For a fleeting moment, Azrael looked genuinely concerned.

“Mostly. What now?”

“Now we talk. I have put a Pass By compulsion on the entrance to this place, but it would still be more comfortable and quiet in your truck.”

Jake turned to follow Azrael back to the semi, then froze in his tracks. “What the—? You found time between all the thundering, and glowing, and . . . and . . . sword-waving to put the door back on?”

“Nonsense. I was focused on you. The door took care of itself.”

“Huh? What’s that mean?”

“It means your truck heals almost as fast as you do.”

“I heal fast? Since when?”

Azrael’s expression flip-flopped between anger and frustration, finally compromising on irritated resignation. He stalked across the parking lot, and Jake trailed behind, painfully aware he’d just had a narrow escape. Maybe more than one.

A hardheaded temperament and big mouth had gotten Jake in trouble throughout much of his life, and it looked like it would still be a problem in the afterlife, as well. He’d have to work on that—assuming Azrael did not accept his angry resignation.

“What exactly does a ‘Pass By compulsion’ do, if that’s not forbidden knowledge?”

“Knowing what one does is not forbidden. Performing one at your current status level is. Therefore, all I will tell you is that as long as you and I are here, drivers will not notice the exit road and will pass by.”

“Hence, the name.”

“What?”

“Never mind.” Jake shook his head. For a liaison angel, Azrael didn’t seem to understand humans all that well, especially their senses of humor, but antagonizing him wasn’t smart. It might be time to shut up, and let the big guy speak his piece. And he would. As soon as he sorted out one or two more things.


Available on Amazon for only $.99 thru Valentine’s Day!
Download  The Emissary
HERE


Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Emissary. Thanks so much for reading, and for helping me get the word out! You guys ROCK!

#Reminder – #HugeSale – #AlertTheMedia – #WakeRobinRidge1 – #Excerpt

Just a reminder that there are only ten days left for my Happy Valentine’s Day $.99 Sale. ALL my books are on sale until February 14, so I hope you’ll take take advantage of this low price to check one or two of them out. And please, by all means feel free to spread the word, anywhere you’d like. Some of you might want to consider donning a sandwich board and taking to the sidewalks. Okay. Maybe not. But I do hope you’ll share the news with your friends and neighbors and anyone else you can accost without being arrested. 😂 As for me, I’ll be busy sharing excerpts from several of my books now and then, just to whet your appetites.



Today’s excerpt comes from the book that started it all, Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1, and is  one of the creepier moments in the story. (It can’t ALL be flowers and romance, after all. At least not in this book.😁 ) 

EXCERPT FROM WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 1965
WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE, NC 

AT EXACTLY 2:00 A.M., Ruth’s eyes flew open and she sat up with a gasp, momentarily confused at finding herself on the couch with General Penny snuggled against her. Shivering, she noticed the dying embers glowing faintly from the cooling hearth, but the only sound she heard was the thudding of her own heartbeat. She wondered what had awakened her, but a glance at Penny showed the little dog was still sound asleep, so she told herself one of her bad dreams must have roused her, and nothing more.

Huddled under the afghan, she was trying to muster the energy to grab Penny and head upstairs to her bedroom, when a wash of light spread over the back wall of the living room. For a split second, she thought it might be from Frank’s headlights, but she discounted that idea, knowing Frank would never come up here, unannounced, in the middle of the night. She stared in growing horror and shock as the light began a slow crawl around the room, sliding in oily silence from wall to wall. Hand at her throat, Ruth rose from the couch to watch the pale, greasy-looking light disappear toward the back of the cabin, then reappear on the other side of the room seconds later.

I’m still dreamin’. This isn’t real. It isn’t real. It can’t be!

She watched, dry-mouthed and trembling as the light came to a stop. It remained smeared on the back wall in a nasty, sickly stain, only vaguely resembling the clean, sharp gleam of real headlights.

The faint rumble of an engine insinuated its way into the quiet of the night, a low throb, barely loud enough to be heard. She spun to face the front door, eyes wide with disbelief. Growing in volume, the sound projected a sense of bone-chilling menace that brought Penny scrambling to his feet, growling in fear. Ruth stood frozen, unable to make sense of what she was hearing, but too afraid to look out the window. The muted snick of a car door opening sent Penny into a frenzy of shrill barking, yet Ruth stood in the center of the room, paralyzed, fear rising thick and clotted within her.

The rumbling vibration of the engine faded away, and was replaced by another noise coming from right outside the living room window. Creak-creak. Pause. Creak-creak. Pause.

Ruth gasped. It was unmistakably the sound of the porch swing moving back and forth in a deliberate, steady rhythm, slowly and softly at first, then growing louder and faster.

Creak-creak. Pause. Creak-creak. Pause. Creak-creak. Creak-Creak. Creak-Creak-Creak-Creak-Creak.

Louder and louder, the harsh sound of metal grating on metal grew more shrill and horrifying every second, until it became a mind-shattering shriek that rent the night. Penny’s barking took on an insane pitch, and Ruth clapped her hands over her ears, screaming in mindless terror.

And then—nothing. Silence, complete and absolute. A dead hush settled over the room, muting even the sounds of Penny’s miserable whimpers and Ruth’s ragged breathing.

Shaking from head to toe, and filled with a nauseating horror she’d never imagined existed, Ruth wanted to believe whatever had just happened was finished. The sickly, greenish light began to fade from her wall, and she whispered a frantic prayer. “Oh dear God, please let it be over! Please, please let it be over, let it be over.” She choked back a sob as she turned to comfort Penny, and then she heard it—an answering whisper as cold and evil as damnation itself.

“Ruuuthie … I’m hoo-oome”.

Ruth Winn dropped to the floor in a dead faint.


BUY WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE HERE

I hope this sparks your interest in checking out WRR, if you haven’t already done so.  And thanks so much for stopping by today and for all your support!

 

Time for Some #BlatantSelf-promotion a/k/a #TootingMyOwnHorn #Excerpt

It’s Friday, and I have no guests today, not even Granny, so I decided to try something I seldom do: a bit of bold and blatant self-promotion. Today’s horn tooting features one of the poems from my book, Summer Magic. This time of year always makes me a bit emotional, hence the poem I’ve chosen. Hope you enjoy it!


Promises

Up we climb again, My Love
On yet another autumn day,
Our trail meandering, higher, higher,
Amidst October’s blazing glory.
The pines are dressed in mossy green,
And glowing maples shed flaming leaves,
Keeping us brilliant company
Under the blue silk sky.

Remember our first time
Climbing this trail?
My God, we were young, and
Filled with each other!
You held my hand, and urged me on.
Wait until we’re there, you said,
Just wait! You’ll see it’s worth the climb.
And it was, My Love.
Oh, it was!

We stood at the top,
Locked in warm embrace,
Our hair, whipped by the wind,
Our hearts triumphant.
Gazing across the rolling hills,
Your radiant face was lit with pride,
As though you had created
All this wonder
Just for me—a wedding gift!
A thing of splendor our hearts shared,
Over and over, every autumn.
Our place. Ours alone,
As though no other lovers
Ever climbed this way.

Years and years ago, it was,
That first ecstatic, heavenward climb.
Yet here we are once more, My Own,
Returning to this ancient spot.
Proving some things do prevail—
Deepest faith, and promises
Sworn in love
Abide,
Just as the land before us does,
Rolling on into eternity.

Take me back, you begged,
Back to our mountain.
I will, My Love, I swear it.
I will.
And here we are.
I’ll keep my promise. No tears today.
But oh, for another smile, another kiss!
Another chance to see your face,
To touch your cheek, to hold your hand.
Gone by so fast, like wind-blown leaves,
All our precious hours and minutes!
But didn’t we use them well, My Love?
Oh, yes! We used them well!

My heart in pieces, I let you go,
And watch as you drift away,
A swirl of grey against the blue.
Your soul soaring, riding the wind,
Then settling lower over the valley,
As you become one
With our hills.
And someday, My Love, my only love,
You’ll feel my soul come drifting down,
To rest with yours once more,
Part of the earth in this sacred place,
You and I, together.
Forever.


Thanks for your indulgence today, but brace yourself. I might do something similar again from time to time. Turns out tooting your own horn now and then is fun! 

Download Summer Magic HERE

#ReblogAlert – Swamp Ghosts featured on Smorgasbord Today!

Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of one of Sally Cronin’s newest features, Sharing an Excerpt from a Previous Book.  I hope you’ll stop by and check out the excerpt I’ve chosen, part of the Prologue from my second book, Swamp Ghosts. It was a trip to write this scene, and I hope you’ll enjoy it. But rest assured, the entire book is not a walk through this guy’s mind. It’s an introduction to a small, Florida town, filled with mostly friendly, though often eccentric folks, who have no idea what’s lurking in the shadows. And oh, yeah, there IS a love story, too, as the wonderful review Sally included mentions.  

Hope you’ll head over and see for yourself, and will remember that this is an offer open to all, as well. Sally includes instructions on how to submit YOUR own excerpt from an older book, and you really should take advantage of the opportunity. 

My heartfelt thanks to Sally for all she does to help us promote our work! And to see what’s afoot in Riverbend via her wonderful post, click HERE. 

THANKS!

Sharing an excerpt & 0.99c SALE – THE PRINCE’S MAN by Deborah Jay

Yesterday Marcia shared my review of THE LIGHT from Sally Cronin’s wonderful Smorgasbord blog.

Today, I’m sharing an extract on that same blog from book #1 of my Five Kingdoms fantasy series, THE PRINCE’S MAN, while it’s on sale for 0.99c/0.99p until May 28th

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract -#Specialoffer #Fantasy The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

Deborah Jay shares an extract from her epic fantasy The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series. The book is on offer for just this week at 99c/99p

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him. And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.
Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.
They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.
For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.
Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

An extract from the book.

“Remove your hand, Chalice,” Risada hissed, “unless you want to lose it.”
Rustam released her, and lay back with a sigh. “Don’t you ever get tired of making threats? Or is it the only form of conversation you know?”
“It seems to be the only sort you respect. And I hardly think the kind you’re used to is appropriate outside the bedchamber.”

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https://books2read.com/PrincesMan