Annie woke up feeling tired, like she’d thrashed around a lot in her sleep. Not tired enough to notice she wasn’t in her room, though. She jumped up, heart pounding, almost slipping on satiny sheets. She was in a small, lush room, all embroidered brocade and rich cloth in carefully-coordinated earth tones. Her favorite colors. There was even a small china plate of chocolate chip cookies on a tiny nightstand that was built into the wall. They smelled like they were freshly baked. She herself was in a silky negligee, but it went down to her feet, very classy like.
She didn’t understand. She didn’t know how she’d come here. But if she’d been kidnapped or something, this was somebody really sick—who treated their hostages like royalty? She tried to remember what she’d been doing last, or at least what she’d been thinking before she’d fallen asleep, but her mind was a blank. She had an impression that she’d been with Derek—that she’d been breathing in his cologne and the smell of the ocean in as he kissed her neck—but as she ran a hand over the same spot, the certainty skipped away, out of her grasp.
I sense the moment she walks into the room.
“A little early for lunch,” I call over my shoulder, glancing at the large clock that hangs above the white board. “Just couldn’t wait to see me, huh?” I smirk, pour another liquid into the vial hanging above the Bunsen burner. “Don’t blame you. I’m pretty irresistible.”
She doesn’t speak, doesn’t laugh. My hands freeze where they are, the liquid in the beakers sloshing from side to side at my sudden lack of movement. I don’t turn around. I don’t have to. I know she’s there. I feel it.
She brings a mass of unspeakable energy with her everywhere she goes. Usually, it’s vibrant and warm, like being touched, embraced by a brilliant star. Today, it’s not. It crashes and cracks within her tiny frame like a thousand lightning storms.
The skin on my back prickles and burns where she stares. My eyes slip closed. I choke on the emotion her very presence conjures. My chest fills to the brim with pressure I can’t afford to release. So I exhale slowly, placing my equipment on the lab table, and force a smile as I turn to face her.
She stands no more than three feet away, her arm extended.
I’m staring down the barrel of her gun. Continue reading
We interrupt our normal weekly schedule to announce something exciting… Books are for Lovers!
So, in case you haven’t seen it, there’s this article going around about how Barnes & Noble and little Indie bookstores are the “last stand” against Amazon taking over the book industry completely and you never again having a real opportunity to be in a store where you are surrounded by a plethora of books.
The idea of this is, to me, a travesty. And so, on my blog, I’ve asked readers and lovers of books to band together and show a little love to their brick-and-mortar stores. Really all I’m asking is for something you probably already want to do if you’re reading this blog: Buy a book on Valentine’s Day.
That’s simple, isn’t it? Just make sure you buy it from your local store, and not online. If you must buy it online, order it from an Indie store via IndieBound.
I know, I know… times are hard and money is tight for a lot of us. But if we can make a difference, even a teensy, tiny difference—isn’t that worth ten or twenty dollars, even in the hardest of times?
If you want to be a part of this, join us on facebook or Goodreads, and please, please, spread the word! Invite your friends, blog or tweet about it. Let’s give our bookstores a big “Thank you!” for all that they do to support the written word.
And come back here or to my original post about this and tell us what you bought! We’d love to know!
He is not handsome.
I watch the man sleeping on his side, one hand under his pillow, as if he had a sword stored there, and I know it as well as the rest of the kingdom does. His face is twisted in such a way that it seems as if he always has a surly expression, almost grotesquely enhanced, like some churlish tavern pamphlet illustration.
No one could believe that a hero could be so ugly. They don’t have to believe it—they see his face only when it is covered by his helmet.
He is not like my husband.