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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

CHARLI: Excerpt

“No, no, no,” Charli growled. Her hand shook, but she reached into the holster on her hip and pulled out the flare gun. “Please, God …” She only hesitated a second before pulling it out and pointing her arm straight up in the air.

The flare arched up high with a shriek like the cub’s, and for a moment vanished among the cloud cover before exploding in brilliant blue and gold.

“Rangers!” one of the poachers shouted. He dove into the back of the Jeep, over the buck’s carcass.

The others cursed and shouted and scrambled to get into the Jeep, nearly forgetting the guns and the flashlights. Charli stared, unable to believe their reaction. She leaned out further, watching them as the Jeep bounced and jolted out of the clearing. The grinding of gears nearly drowned out the thudding of her heart. She leaned out as far as she could, following the bouncing and sliding of the headlights until they vanished entirely.

Too far.

Charli let out a little shriek as she overbalanced and lost her grip and slid down the slope. She twisted, trying to miss that lump that was probably a boulder, then another, long dark shape that was definitely a tree knocked down during the winter storms and heavy ice load. She flipped over onto her side. Her good leg hit something hard and she pushed off, grunting at the impact.

Then suddenly she was down, rolling across the clearing, until she landed in a depression on her face. A wet depression. Charli lay still for a few seconds, catching her breath. A gasping chuckle escaped her. Then she struggled to her feet, pulled her backpack straight, brushed herself off and hobbled over to the cub. He whimpered when she bent down and touched the top of his head.

“It's okay,” she murmured. “Nobody's going to hurt you anymore.”

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wouldn't You Rather Be a Minion, Too?

Actually, you're not going to be a minion, but part of my Croo.
No, that's not spelled wrong. That's a revision and deliberate twisting to get your attention.

I need a CREW to help me promote my books. Because honestly, there's just too much to do, too many places to reach, and I have too many commitments to handle it myself.

So, would you join my CROO?
It's just in the planning stages, but here are some definites:
Inside news on upcoming books.
Sneak peeks at artwork
A chance to weigh in on works-in-progress
Goodies, like T-shirts, mousepads, and other fun stuff as I find it.
A chance to voice your opinion on stories and characters and offer suggestions/requests for future stories, and advice/volunteer to help me promote my books.
And .... FREE books. Actually, ARCs -- Advance Review Copies. You'll get the uncorrected ARCs for my books when I get them, when my publishers send them to me for last-chance-to-fix-that-really-STOOOOOOPID-glitch-before-you-embarrass-yourself-in-public.

Well, maybe the books won't be free, and not everyone in the CROO will get one -- just the people who are interested in that particular series -- because I will ask you to very kindly write and post REVIEWS of the books you get to read before everyone else. Yeah, places like Amazon and Goodreads and B&N and other review sites. Be honest, but be nice??? Okay???? If you don't like the book, if it let you down completely, hmmmm, maybe just don't say anything? I'm not asking you to lie through your teeth and be like the worst used car salesman in the world, but if you could convince other people to read the book, that would be splendiferous!

Here's how to join:
Go to Facebook, find either of my pages, either personal or writing -- they're both public. Send me a message saying you want to join the CROO, and then send me a friend request. When I approve the friend request, I'll send you the invite to join the CROO page -- because this is a private, closed group. Only people who join can see what everyone is saying, can join the fun, participate in our plotting for world domination. You know, like Pinkie and the Brain did every week for three seasons ...

Interested?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Quarry Hall, Book 6: CHARLI


Years ago, Charli Carson and her father surprised a thief searching his laboratory. She was crippled and he died.

Nightmares plague Charli, so a reclusive life is easy. Joan Archer comes to the Carsons’ hidden forest lab, seeking to save her father’s life and prompting Charli and her mother to reevaluate choices they have made.

When they shelter the children of friends in danger, a chain of events leads to the enemy striking once more. Charli must conquer her fears and nightmares to protect the children and find answers before it is too late.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NIKKI: Excerpt

"Please, Lord, help me. Show me what to do." Nikki shook her head and watched the teardrops fall on the Bible's pages. "I know what I have to do, but I don't want to. I'm a coward. I'm selfish. I'm--" She slid to her knees again, resting her head on the open Bible, sobbing.

She didn't hear the door open, didn't feel anything until Brock caught her by her elbow and lifted her to her feet.

"You are pathetic! How long are you going to lay around, crying and talking to a God who sure isn't listening? Can't you figure out what you need to do? What's it going to be, Nikki? Me or that baby?"

Later, all that she could remember clearly was that he called it a baby, not a thing, a problem.

She knew what she had to say, what she should say, but the words still caught in her throat.

"Are you gonna abort it, or not?" He dropped her on the bed. "How long are you going to put us through this?"

"I can't--"

He swung back, agony twisting his face. Time slowed, but she couldn't move out of the way as his hand came down and connected hard with her face. Her vision shattered, her neck snapped back and half a heartbeat later she was airborne. The thud when she hit the wall seemed to deafen her and knock the air from her lungs. Nikki slid down, gasping and blinking.

Brock snatched up her Bible and tore it apart at the spine. He yanked and ripped and threw pages across the bed, then across the room.

"Choose!" He threw the cover into her face and stormed out.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Quarry Hall, Book 5: NIKKI


Nikki lives a faerie tale existence, but after a chance encounter with Joan Archer, she starts to rethink her choices. Brock has changed since convincing Nikki to run away from home. Now his goal is to protect her from his drug lord boss. When his DEA contacts say they can't protect Nikki, Brock must act. He must break her heart to drive her away to be safe.

Ashamed to be the prodigal, Nikki doesn't go straight home. Joan and the Quarry Hall sisters find her and start her healing and the journey home. When the drug lord decides to bring Nikki back use her to camouflage the organization's activities, he kidnaps her. Quarry Hall and its friends marshal their resources to find her before it is too late.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DARCY: Excerpt

"Coals," Josh murmured. "A new gang," he flung over his shoulder as he broke into a run. Vincent followed. They were only half a block away from Darcy, but right that moment it seemed like miles.

Knives flashed. The three Coals blocked Vincent's view of Darcy. The sidewalk cleared and the traffic on the cluttered street seemed to come to a standstill. A little old lady shrieked. It sounded more like injured pride than pain to Vincent's ears. Then he heard dull thuds and sharp smacking sounds; flesh against flesh.

"Darcy!" Josh shouted as he flung himself onto the back of the nearest Coal. The two went down in a heap.

A second gang member turned, swinging his knife at Vincent. From this close, it looked more like a short sword than a knife. Vincent ducked and turned, kicking high. His foot hit the target, bones snapped, and the Coal went down, shouting in pain, holding his hand. The knife went flying. Vincent turned, looking for the third -- Josh had his opponent well in hand, kneeling on his back and twisting an arm behind him.

The leader of the trio faced Darcy. He had her backed into a doorway, surrounded by barrels and crates of trash, with the Plinkney sisters cowering behind her. Darcy held a four-foot length of rusty, one-inch pipe in a two-handed grip, crouching low, eyes narrowed as she studied her opponent. Her sweatshirt sleeve gaped where it had been sliced and blood soaked into the material, radiating out in a spreading stain, turning the green cloth purple. Darcy seemed not to notice the wound.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Quarry Hall, Book 4: DARCY


Black Ops doesn’t begin to describe Vincent’s former paramilitary team.

When a friend of the Arc Foundation requests help for a rescue mission facing scandal, he learns two former teammates are involved. Vincent must investigate for the sake of his conscience, but can his instincts be trusted? Who has reformed, and who still waits to destroy those who betrayed him years ago, when their team disintegrated?

Joan comes along, to provide balance and a second pair of eyes. Josh is in charge of renovations. Karl is the fundraiser. Darcy, Josh’s daughter, is an idealistic young woman ready to give her life for what she believes. As Vincent and Joan track down the enemies of the mission, they uncover lies and an insidious scheme, with Darcy as pawn and prize.