Thursday, December 30, 2010

Excerpt from Edge of Escape

Edge of Escape

Chapter 1
            Mmm. Sleep. She took an involuntary sniff through her nose and made an audible sigh out her mouth, loud enough to pull her almost all the way up from the strangest dream. It was a soft nightmare, not scary but very unpleasant. Weird, the way dreams sometimes are. She rolled to her right and jerked herself completely awake. The room was pitch black but her eyes were wide and searching. Her left wrist seemed tethered to the side of the bed. She reached with her right hand and felt blindly from her wrist to a cold metal pole. She was handcuffed. Panicking, she rattled the pole and started to scream. The screams turned to grunts and groans as she struggled with the shackles. She paused to listen, holding her breath. Nothing. Still pitch black. There were faint sounds from somewhere. Far away expressway noises, a breeze through tall trees, closer crickets. But no house sounds, no refrigerator hum, no creaks, no ticking clock. She let out her breath and tried to calm herself. She was fully clothed but shoeless. Her watch was gone. She pulled her legs up under herself for leverage and started to stand, intending to rip her wrist restraint free of the metal. She placed the chain links in her left hand and grabbed the wrist metal with her right. She braced herself, tilted her head upwards, gritted her teeth and straightened her legs fast. Her head met an unexpectedly low ceiling hard enough to knock her back into the soft nightmare.

                                                            *          *          *

            “Is she awake?” the nurse asked. A handsome man was hovering over the young woman’s bandaged body, continually checking the monitors and lightly kissing her cheeks, her right hand, and her forehead.
            “She’s been moaning and her eyes fluttered once. I’ve been squeezing her hand but there’s no response.” He touched her face again, “Come on, Becca, wake up.”
            The nurse scanned the chart again. Rebecca MacPherson, 18, unmarried. And what a hunk of man at her bedside. The nurse admired his devotion. He had not left her side in the 36 or so hours that the unconscious girl had lain there. Her injuries did not appear severe though her left wrist was bandaged. There was a lump on her forehead, which must have hurt, but the patient was unaware of pain and oblivious to her surroundings. The nurse checked the monitors and frowned. Rebecca should have awakened by now. She didn’t want the guy to worry any more than he already was so she smiled at him and gave him an encouraging thumbs up sign. “She’ll awake soon. Everything looks fine.”
She headed for the door and glanced back. Such a handsome young man, she thought. No matter the age, the good ones are always taken.

                                                            *          *          *

            Rebecca was unconscious for only a few minutes but she had no way of knowing that. It was still pitch black in the low ceilinged room. This time she was more cautious. She felt around first with her feet and then with her free arm, stretching and twisting in order to get as clear an idea of her position as possible. All the way to the right she could feel the side of the bed. She could dangle her feet over the side and outwards three feet but could not feel anything solid. The top of the bed had a crib-like railing instead of a headboard and when she stuck her right arm through the slats there was no wall immediately behind it. She clicked her fingers in an effort to sense the space as if she had sonar abilities. She even squeezed her eyes tightly shut to concentrate on her hearing. She guessed that the wall was near, maybe a couple of feet away. She reached up and felt again the low ceiling. Rebecca was only 5 feet two inches tall and identifying ceiling textures was not on the list of things a short girl like her would do, but this felt like concrete, more like a basement floor than a ceiling. No wonder I knocked myself out, she thought, raising her fingers to her forehead. Whoa. She had a huge knot above her eyebrow, tender to the touch.
She continued her blind search, first feeling with her feet down the left side of the bed beneath the metal pole. There was a horizontal pole along the bottom of the mattress, then nothing. She couldn’t feel the floor. She placed both hands on the pole and lowered herself. Still no floor. She was dangling like a kid on a trapeze. She pressed one bare foot against the pole and made a 180-degree arc with the other. Her big toe grazed something hard and smooth. Glass, she thought, a window. She changed position and used her other foot, stretching harder and scraping with her toenail. A sliver of gray night bled through the blackened window. She continued to stretch and scrape until her muscles ached and her cuffed wrist bled.
Exhausted, she pulled her body back onto the mattress. She tilted her head toward the window and tried to think. The last thing she remembered was shopping with her friend, Sarah, and feeling a little nauseated from an ice cream drink. She was walking alone down a corridor to the restrooms when … what? Obviously I’ve been abducted, she thought. She had been suppressing this thought since the moment she awakened. Rebecca was stronger than her small frame indicated, physically and mentally. She was an iron-willed person, always wanting to be in control, and always the center of attention.
Her stomach growled and she realized she needed to go to the bathroom as well. She refused to acknowledge the chilling fear that was creeping up her spine and instead stared at the window, at the gray strips of light that were appearing to brighten. She worked the handcuffs along the pole and reached further but still nothing. She twisted until she could get her head over the bedside and then she vomited. Time to cry. The frustration and fear, the handcuffs and the darkness were overwhelming. Rebecca wept.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Gift - 50% discount to YOU

If you get or give a Kindle, Sony or other type of e-reader for Christmas, please feel free to use and to pass along to anyone the following promotional codes for 50% off two of my books. These codes can be used multiple times until Jan. 31, 2011. is a great site for finding lots of free books, too.
EDGE OF ESCAPE:      code: LQ74W
Brilliant but emotionally impaired Eddie has fixated on popular Rebecca. He abducts her and then tries to be her rescuer as she escapes his traps. Whose delicate spirit will break first? Will she accept his fragile devotion or reject his special love? Stalking gets a strangely sympathetic turn in this story of obsession and survival.
Two 12-year-olds, Missy and Kevin, explore the old lodge, the woods, the cemetery and the dark caves beneath the lake and find surprises, danger and secrets. Can they solve the riddles, follow the clues and save the place from destruction? Or are they being used by someone smarter who needs help to reveal “The Secret in the Hidden Cave”?  Book 1 of the Big Pine Lodge series

Monday, December 20, 2010

The REAL Meaning of Christmas

The REAL meaning of Christmas
This is so simple. What is the real meaning of Christmas? First I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not what Hollywood and New York would have you believe. It’s not the syrupy plots of countless classic movies and new movies that add the word Christmas to their titles. It is not all about Santa and elves and giving presents and donating to the food bank. It’s not about helping the poor and opening our hearts to the unfortunate. It’s not about family gatherings around a beautiful Christmas tree, a roaring fire in the fireplace, a turkey and all the favorite dishes on the table. It’s not about buying presents for a family you don’t even know and delivering them anonymously. It’s not about Scrooge, the Grinch, the Nutcracker, Toyland, Frosty and on and on.
It’s about the birth of one who was wholly man and wholly God. All that I mentioned above is what the world has tacked onto the commemoration of one wonderful day, the day our Savior was born. I love all the things I listed, especially the part about family, but the REAL meaning of Christmas is that Jesus Christ was born. And let me tell you that we wouldn’t even think of celebrating his birth if it weren’t for his death. He died for ALL of us. This is where we get the phrase “once and for all” and every time I think about it I remind myself that Jesus died for every single person. Every human’s sins are forgiven.
We bought presents for needy families, but they had to accept them. That sounds simple enough, but we’ve had people in the past who have refused the gifts. What an apt analogy to salvation. Jesus gave us the gift of eternal life by paying for our sins. All we have to do is accept Him. Come on, you know you’re not perfect. There’s no way you could please the Creator of the Universe. But wait. There is one way you could please him . . . accept His gift. Accept His Son Jesus Christ.
And that’s the REAL meaning of Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finally blogging

Okay, so I'm a slow starter. Since it's December now, I'll look like I've been at this for a year in just a few weeks. (Muahaha)
I did all of my Christmas shopping online this year - 14 people, various gifts for each and I didn't have to lug a single package through a revolving door. Yeah!
Now I can devote some much needed time to writing.
Here's a look at my YA novel EDGE OF ESCAPE :
EDGE OF ESCAPE reveals the fractured heart of Eddie, an emotionally impaired 18-year-old who has spent most of his school years in special education classes. Placed there by an over protective mother who also blames her son for his unintentional part in his father’s death, Eddie is kept separated from normal student interactions.  Eddie’s guilt and his place among the unaccepted serve to keep him invisible to the rest of the students, especially the popular ones. His uncontainable obsession for the popular Rebecca compels him to devise a plan to pull her into his world and win her over. What should have been appropriate advances become, for Rebecca, the terror of stalking and abduction. She wakes up trapped, she escapes, and then she makes a wrong choice and is trapped again. Throughout her ordeal as she escapes again and again, there are flashbacks into both Rebecca’s and Eddie’s lives and how those lives have been intersecting all through their school years. If she falls for the fragile spirit who stalks her, does love erase evil intent? If she fails to see the innocent infatuation for what it is, will she be responsible for the inevitable tragedy that foreshadows their tangled fate?
EDGE OF ESCAPE is a work of fiction; however the personalities of the characters are based on actual students from my experience as a high school teacher. The setting is also founded on my familiarity with the affluent suburbs of Detroit and the scarcely populated back country woods of northern Michigan – the perfect place for love or terror.