Friday, May 27, 2016

A Soul's Kiss - random excerpt

I stand in front of one of those curtains that curve around a hospital bed, hiding the sight but not the sound of a sick or injured patient. I hear a groan. Anxious parental voices cry out Keith’s name, hopeful and soothing, yet guarded. I duck under the curtain and stand at the foot of Keith’s bed. At least I think it’s Keith. It looks like his hair. His face is bandaged and the parts I can see are swollen. His mom and dad are holding his hands and cooing his name. This must be Keith. The clothing he was wearing is in a clear plastic bag under his mom’s chair. Bloody. His leg is held aloft by some contraption.
“Cool, huh?” he says. He stands next to me again, pointing at himself, or rather his body in the bed. “I’ve been in and out of consciousness for hours, popping back home or to school. Even went to church once.”
I want to ask where Michael is, if he’s dying, too, because it certainly looks like Keith doesn’t have much time left in this world. Instead I say, “Hey, you’re barefoot, too.” He smiles and I ask the question that is burning hottest in my head: “How come you knew my address?” As soon as it’s out of my mouth I know it’s not the question I should be asking.
His laugh is sweet, such a contrast to the weeping of his mother. His father, or it must be his stepfather, keeps up a steady stream of soft words in his mom’s ear.
“Tyler’s been talking about you for years. Had me drive him by your house. But he’s shy, you know. He’s just gonna keep his feelings to himself and never even ask you to—”
“Ask me to what?”

Friday, May 20, 2016

THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE - excerpt 4 (last sneak peek)


She was unconscious and only opened her eyes one more time.
And yes, I saw death on her face. Time to move on.
I hoisted her up on the platform where she lay breathing shallowly while I mopped up all the blood from the back door through the hall, up the stairs and into the tower. I even had to take off my jeans and use them to swab the steps.

I wasn’t positive that she was dead, but I was sure that she wasn’t going to feel any more pain. I piled my bloody clothes on top of her chest and stood at the controls in my underwear. The crazy machine blinked the last coordinates in blood red numbers. The date had to be changed. I dialed it back thirty years to 1989. I subtracted ten feet and sent Erica Wills to a junkyard grave directly under the rusty car. And then, with a most iron will, I blocked the whole thing from my memory.

MY MOM PATTED my hand, but my dad sat perfectly still. I looked at him first. Those kind eyes of his held sorrowful regret, as if he himself were responsible for my wrong-doings.
Why wouldn’t the ground open up and swallow me when I needed it to?
I cast my eyes to the floor then over to my mom.
“Nothing we can do about that,” my mom said, switching from patting my hand to grasping my dad’s hand. She looked at him and repeated, “Nothing, Conner. We can’t change a thing. We stick to the plan.”
My parents had a plan? Mom glanced at the wall clock. “Somebody’s going to show up sooner or later. Hurry up, Laken, tell us about the next one.”
She took my hand again and the thought occurred to me that she was checking my pulse and temperature. If they knew about all my travels maybe they knew about the side effects I’d suffered and were watching for more. I felt fine though. Well, hungry enough to eat a bear and a little itchy around my neck and waist.
“Technically the next one was Ciera,” I said, “but I’ll tell you about Melissa first. That was the younger girl who taunted me along with Erica at Homecoming.”
Telling that story wouldn’t take as long.

Available at most online bookstores

Friday, May 13, 2016

SHELTERED is now Available as an Audio Book

I was blown away by the incredible job the narrator, John Thompson, did with all the voices. He got the characters down (male and female) with just the right expression and spooky page-turning intensity.

You can find SHELTERED as an audio book on and on Amazon (it's also in paperback and digital, of course).

Friday, May 6, 2016



“Help me.”
Erica was impaled on the bumper of the old vehicle. Part of her left leg was buried in the ground along with her left arm up to her elbow. She looked like someone rising out of bed, but sinking down at the same time. Blood dripped into the dirt.
I choked back bile to keep my hysteria at bay. “Shh, I’ll get you out. Stop screaming.”
I searched around for something to dig with and used a couple of sticks to free her leg and arm from the ground. I pulled on her to help her stand and the shriek that pierced the night was unearthly. A rusty shard of metal broke off and more blood gushed.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” I really was. She didn’t deserve what was happening to her, not for being mean to me, or for being a bully, or anything. But what could I do? She’d seen the time machine. Even drunk she had to realize she traveled from the lab into the forest, into the ground actually, by incomprehensible means.
I tore off my shirt and tied it around her, hoping to stem the flow of blood. I needed her to walk back. We got halfway back before she dropped to her knees. She’d soaked through my shirt and neither of us could hold enough pressure on the wound.
“I’ll carry you,” I said. I bent down in front of her and told her to climb on my back. She managed to keep her legs around my waist all the way to the lab door, then she gave up. I dropped the flashlight and used both hands to lug her all the way up to the third floor.
Available at most online bookstores