A HERO'S SPARK: the final book in the Wicked Women series!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sneak Peak Sunday: A Hero's Spark

Good afternoon!

My release of the third and final book in my Wicked Women series will soon be upon us so I wanted to make an announcement before "A Hero's Spark" actually hits the web.

I will be pulling all of my other work from other sites and offering it exclusively on Amazon.

This is a marketing strategy I'm trying based on a couple things I've noticed:  1) I haven't sold anything to a Nook reader in more than a year.  2)  Sony just closed it's e-reader store. 3)  Other authors I know have done this and been able to make Amazon Kindle Select work to their advantage.

The truth of the matter is, while I write to tell stories, I need people to actually read those stories, and right now having my books available everywhere doesn't seem to get reaching anyone.

If you are a Nook user, you can still purchase all my novels by clicking here.  If you want the Elsie books, you can purchase those by clicking here.  This change will happen very soon, possibly in the next couple days.

Meanwhile, "A Hero's Spark" is happening this week.  To get you excited for the release, I'm sharing a tiny bit with you today!  Enjoy!

“What is your deal?” Mira stopped playing and stared at him. “You are really off beat today and not in a good way.”
            “Yeah, well, I sound like you look.” Collier wanted to bite back the words immediately. It was clear Mira had lost more weight in spite of their nightly trips to Dave’s for burgers and cheese fries. While she’d always been thin, she’d always seemed vibrant, like some internal furnace burned hot. Today, Collier noticed, she shivered even though she was wrapped in a turtleneck, a sweatshirt, and a heavy cardigan sweater. There were dark rings under her eyes.
            “My one bad hair day is not going to ruin this chance for me. But, your weak excuse for talent will, so either use whatever drama you’ve got rolling in your head to finish this song, or push it out of the way.”
            Her argumentative tone irritated him. “You’d be the one who knows about drama. You create plenty for yourself.”
            She put her guitar in the case. “And now we’re done.”
            Collier shook his head, weeks of pent animosity bubbling to the surface. “Sure, go ahead. Run away like you always do. You pretend to be grown up, but then you run away any time anyone confronts you.”
            Mira closed the guitar case and hoisted it off the floor. The effort, Collier noted, was a mighty one, as if the guitar weighed more than she did. “I don’t have to listen to this from someone who’s never had to live in the real world.”
            “Like you know anything about me.”
            Mira’s laugh was short, and mocking. “Please. You weren’t in Rock Harbor ten days before everyone knew everything about you. And now here you are, playing the part of a struggling musician, cooking for Dave a couple nights a week, looking all artsy and sad.”
            “And what’s wrong with any of that?”
            “It’s crap. It’s not true.” She rested the case on the floor and leaned against the piano.
            “How would you figure that?”
            “Really? We’re going to do this now?” She gave him an exaggerated sigh. “Fine. You’ve got a sob story about how your world fell in on you,” her eyes flashed with fury, “and it’s all bull because reality is you have a rich uncle who is tight with Shara. Your life is a golden ticket and you’re too busy wallowing in some misery you made up to acknowledge what a freaking gift your life is compared to most people.”
            Collier slammed the piano cover closed and swung a leg over the bench to face her. “Oh, really? You’re one to talk. You grew up in the biggest house in town, and then you moved to a state senator’s house. Next I hear you’ll be riding your sister’s checkbook to the governor’s mansion. I’m pretending? You’re a twenty-eight-year old spoiled brat pretending you have so much to overcome when what you’ve managed to do every time someone challenges you to be better is beat them over the head with your silver spoon.”
            “You don’t get to judge me.” Mira’s eyes narrowed as she set her jaw. “You don’t know a damn thing about me.”
            “Oh, no, Princess, you started this, we’re going to finish it.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah, I have a rich uncle. He’s been nothing more than a Christmas card for the last ten years. The only reason I went to him this summer is because I was left flat broke a thousand miles from home and I needed a place to crash.” He took a breath and waited for her to respond. Mira’s face remained stony still but her eyes flared.
 Collier couldn’t stop himself. “Beyond that I’ve worked my whole life and lived on what I earn. Meanwhile, you could be really great, but prefer moping around, acting the part of the angry, misunderstood Goth chick. You’ve got talent, but you’d rather assault your audience because they aren’t cool enough to ‘get’ you. You pick up guys in some pathetic attempt to give yourself a bad girl image.”
“Shut up, Collier. I’m serious.”
Collier took her words and tone more as a challenge than a warning. “So, why not me, Mira, huh?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ve seen you leave Dave’s with a guy now and again. You’re not all that selective. Why not me?” He stood and took a step toward her.
She tensed, a predator ready for the kill. “Maybe you’re not man enough for me.” Her faced glowed in conquest. “Maybe I’m not interested in standing in for that ghost you won’t let go.”
Collier took another step. He stood inches from her, close enough to feel her icy tension. “What would you know about my ghosts?” He forced his words out though his throat tightened.
“I know you’re freaking out because you have to go back to Nashville. You don’t want to because there’s some woman there who rejected you.” She returned his glare. “You want to talk about waste of talent? I might get a little wild, but at least I feel!” She made a fist and pounded a spot over her heart. “I feel. I react. That’s what humans do. You’re frozen. You’re frozen and you can’t function because of some bitch who doesn’t want you.”
“Shut your mouth!” Collier leaned in, his arms braced on either side of her. He leaned closer, desire crackled and sparked between them. “You don’t have any of the qualities she has.”
Mira tipped her head to whisper directly into his ear. “I must have something, though, Collier, because you’re here with me, not with her.”
For a heartbeat, Collier locked his gaze with hers, a toxic mix of rage and desire coursing through him. “You’ve got nothing but bad attitude and tattoos, and you wear them both like some kind of armor.” Collier grabbed her arm and shoved up the multiple sleeves. He stared at the exposed skin, stunned. Shooting a glance at her face, Collier saw the tears well up in her eyes, though her face remained frozen. “Mira, what the hell?”
            She yanked her arm away and jerked her sleeves down. “You have no idea what real problems are. You think you’re so wonderful because you survived a break up. And it wasn’t even a real break up it was a break up all in your head. How about if you just live your little romantic drama and leave real life to people who have real shit going on?”
            With that, she shoved past him and grabbed her guitar case. She stormed out of the studio, the door slamming behind her. Collier stared at the space she had just occupied, as if she were still standing there.
            Just how much weight had she lost? Collier couldn’t shut out the image of her arm, her skin almost translucent, her veins obvious, giving her tightly stretched skin a bluish quality. Her hands, always slender and delicate, had a glass-like quality to them. Her whole arm was thin enough to snap with little force.
            And then there were the scars.  Like blank measures on a sheet of music, thin red lines in varying degrees of healing circled her pale skin. It was clear to him she hadn’t eaten or slept well in a long time, and now, he was faced with the evidence she was also hurting herself.
            Anger faded to concern for a moment and he wondered if he should follow her. Then Mira’s words about his feelings for Izzy echoed and his anger returned. She can go wallow in her own problems all by herself.

            He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The anger left completely, leaving him weak and remorseful. He put on his coat and headed for the door.

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