Friday, September 25, 2015


They chased after the sound of crying and doubled their pace. The extra effort made Jedidiah cry out; he felt the warmth of blood as the sores on his leg broke open.
“There!” Allison screamed.
The chief was carrying Domingo on his shoulders and was using a stick and his machete as canes for balance. He was more than halfway across the river. Twenty feet behind him was Chaska. She held the basket on her head, balancing it with one hand while she used a stick to beat the waters around her.
Allison started screaming at her. The woman turned, lost her balance and dropped the basket with its precious contents into the dangerous water. Allison plunged in as Chaska grabbed hold of the basket and threatened to tip it. Allison froze. Then Chaska started screaming in terror.
She pushed the basket away and turned for the other shore. Chaska emerged on the far side of the river; the chief pulled her the last few yards. Lines of blood streaked down her bare legs.

Suddenly Allison screamed in panic and pain as tiny sharp teeth started to rip her flesh.

Friday, September 18, 2015

SHELTERED, excerpt #2

Emily hurried from the car to the house and tried to slip out of her shoes and coat quickly, hoping to get out of the cramped entry before she was forced to share the small space with Ben. Being fourteen inches apart in the car several times a day was almost too much. She smelled him, breathed in the delicious scent of his cologne. She had bought it for him for their meager Christmas exchange and he had worn it every day since.
Ben came in as she hopped up a step to the kitchen.
“Em, your pants are soaked. We really need to find you some boots.”
She only nodded and turned away. Her socks were wet, too, and she left a damp trail across the worn linoleum, the long frayed hems of her black pants mopping the dirty floor. She was saving up for boots . . . again. Perhaps, she thought, if she chose something more feminine than army boots this time, Cori wouldn’t take them.
Emily paused at the door to the staircase and listened to the newscaster’s voice as it filtered through Mrs. Kremer’s door. For the seventy-third night in a row she wished it was her mom in there listening to the radio. She wished the door would open and loving arms would enfold her. She wished . . .
The radio broke off mid-sentence and out went the soft glow beneath the door taking away that strip of hope. Good night, Mrs. Kremer. Emily only thought the words. She closed the staircase door and fingered the hook and latch. The one time she dared to lock it Cori screamed a tirade. It was all right, though, for Cori to lock Emily out. Maybe the new girl would stand up to Cori’s outbursts.
Maybe the new girl would be equally as bad.

Friday, September 11, 2015

OUT OF EXODIA, excerpt #2

We’re on an outcropping of rock, our thousand foot descent abruptly stopped far short of a deadly plummet. Barrett has cushioned my landing and taken the shock of the long fall.
“Bear?” I don’t dare move, but his right arm still circles around me. Limp.
I can see straight up, maybe thirty or forty feet to the bank where frightened faces peer down at us. I scan the rock face; there are no marks, no scratches to define our trail, no path to ascend. My scrutiny ends a foot above me where only a dew-beaded spider web, one end split from its harness, proclaims our helplessness. I lift my right hand to wave and Barrett’s arm slips off my chest.
If his back is broken if his breath is knocked out of him and I’m too heavy if
They shout at me from above, but I can’t wave for rescue. I can’t because I’m holding Bear’s wrist, not feeling a pulse, not sensing his life at all. My head is tucked below his ear, cradled like that child I saw in his mother’s arms. Tears track from my eyes as more faces appear above. I don’t need to count to know there are eighteen. Eighteen spot us. Hundreds more are hanging back.

Time slows to an eerie beat. Two minutes. Three. Four. I’m crushing Barrett.

Friday, September 4, 2015

EXODIA, excerpt #3

I round a corner and head up Burnell Street. I slow a bit when I see a group of Red kids, probably all around fourteen, lucky to have missed the Culling Mandate, lucky to be alive. They’re bullying a smaller kid and for some reason I think of Lydia’s smile, her eyes, and the whole pleasure of her beauty and how she looked at me. And I imagine her now prodding me to intervene. So I do.
“What are you doing to him? Leave him alone,” I say this with all the confidence of my height and weight advantage, not to mention my combat training.
“Who are you to boss us around?” the ringleader says. He waves a stick in my face. “Are you going to kill us, too, like you killed Sarkis Tait last night?” He shocks me with these words. My heart skips a beat, restarts with a hollow thump.
I forget about Lydia. I forget about the pages of notes in my sack. My tongue is stuck and I can’t swallow. If my awful deed is known here, and among children yet, how is it that I have not been seized by my grandfather’s men or shuttled off by my mother’s servants?
I look at these children’s bold faces and panic. I run. I reach the fence, the capitol grounds, the side door. I make it through unseen. I search for my mother. She’ll know what to do. Maybe she’ll send me to my nanny.
Punishable by death … punishable by death. But maybe not. Maybe being the Executive President’s grandson will have its privilege.
I come to my room. My hand is on the knob, but I hear voices behind the door. And scuffing, and banging. Guards are searching through my things. It won’t take long. My heart’s in my throat now; my mind’s racing through a million things. I step away as quietly as I can, turn down the back hall and take the farthest stairwell.
And run.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cover Reveal: Dangerous Obsession by M. M. Roethig

Here's a new book my an author friend of mine, M. M. Roethig. I thought I'd help her spread the word. DANGEROUS OBSESSION releases this month, September 15.

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A dancer and a Marine—two worlds collide.
Chloe Johnson is no stranger to the spotlight. A prestigious member of the LA Laker Girls, she’s in the public eye regularly.  Her world is perfect. 
Eric Taylor, on the other hand, is damaged, both body and spirit. Injured overseas, he returns home with fresh physical wounds, invisible emotional scars, and a bad attitude. 
When Chloe becomes the object of affection to an unknown stalker, she must leave her life behind and rely on a total stranger, and the only man she’s ever met who’s never happy to see her—Eric. Can she trust this hardened soldier with her life?
Adjusting to civilian life hasn’t been easy for Eric. Swearing off women forever, all he wants is to be left alone. However, his world is thrown into chaos when Chloe appears on his doorstep as an invited guest of Eric’s twin brother. Bewitched by her innocent charms, Eric fights to keep her at arm’s length, putting his No More Women resolve to the test.
Everything soon changes when Chloe’s stalker tracks her down, making her a pawn in a cat and mouse game of Dangerous Obsession.