Hi Everyone! Hope your 2015 is off to an awesome start!
Great News! Both First Impression and Chronicles of Steele: Raven have been nominated for the RONE Award! If you’ve read one or both and agree that it should be a finalist for the award, could you please go vote for me?
I’m going to giveaway this awesome mug to a randomly chosen person who just leaves a comment (or sends me an email) to tell me they voted!
Voting ends on May 10th, so I’ll choose a winner on May 11th!
–This is a personal giveaway in no way associated with Facebook or any other affiliate network and no purchase is necessary to enter–
I’ve been busy converting my mermaid novella, Scales, from 3rd person past tense to 1st person present, to give it a personal touch! It’s in the hands of the editors and will be in your hands soon! It’s available for a PRE-ORDER special price of 99¢ ~
Here’s an Excerpt:
To keep from screaming, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingle on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.
Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.
The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths came quick and shallow, my heart pounds in my ears faster. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.
The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”
My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.
Exile. My Reckoning has begun.
I open my eyes and rub my wrists. The ropes slide over my hands and sink to the sandy floor. My gaze darts about the clearing, but not one Mer remains in the crystal green sea east of Bermuda.
What should I do? Swim for the shore and live as a human or go for deeper waters and try my hand against the sharks.
Don’t do it, Verona. I hear my father’s voice in my mind as fear engulfs me. Nothing is worse than starving and suffering abuse at the hands of Land Walkers. Stay in the sea where danger wears no mask.
My father almost died in his Reckoning. He had chosen his month on land and bore freckles—the mark of a Land Walker—for the rest of his life. Any Mer immersed by air in the light of the full moon remains human for a full lunar cycle. If I went on land, I’d have to await the night of the next full moon before I could return to the sea. If I survived.
There’s no way I could do it.
I dart toward the open sea.
A Mer is faster than a shark, but what a shark lacks in speed he makes up in endurance. Although adrenaline pumps through my veins and my fear drives me faster, I force myself to slow. I need to conserve energy until I actually see one of the sharp-toothed beasts. If I continue to the open sea and sink deep enough, I can avoid the Great Whites and the breeds that do the most harm. The bottom-feeding sharks aren’t likely to bother me, even if I am bleeding. How many miles would it be until I reach the deep? Can I make it?
My ear pulls back at a buzz in the current. The gentle hum of electro-magnetic pulses from the snout of a shark is approaching. No. Three sharks. A panicked chirp escapes my lips. I need help. But what Mer will help me now?
A thought pops into my head so suddenly that I stop swimming. Maybe I could find a pod of dolphins. I follow my chirp with a long squeal and veer away from the electro-magnetic pulses in the current.
I strain my ear. No answer.
I repeat the chirp and long squeal.
In my panic, I swim away from the magnetic current with all the strength I have. Black spots crowd my vision. Have I lost so much blood? This can’t be happening. Fainting would not help. My muscles ache from lack of oxygen, so I slow down and try to catch my breath.
Please heal faster, I tell my body. At least stop bleeding.
I force my panicked heart to slow so that the sharks won’t see me as prey.
I scan the area for anything to use as a weapon, but the sea floor produces nothing to use as a spear, nothing that would stab at a shark and keep it away from me. Even a sharp shell would work. I could cut one of the sharks and the other two would commence their frenzy on the victim of my attack. Sharks don’t care what they eat, as long as it was bleeding and panicking.
A vicious cycle.
Sunlight glints off a white body near the surface. It dives deeper and darts back and forth, scenting the current.
Stay still. It’s too late to run.
I close my eyes.
Salt water in; salt water out. I breathe slowly and deeply.
They will ignore me if I calm myself. If I don’t act like prey, there’s a chance they might leave me alone. A nudge bounces against my shoulder, and my breaths quicken. They are testing me. First a nudge, then a test bite. If I can resist the panic, they might still ignore me even after taking the bite. I’m not their first choice for a meal. I have a chance.
Unspoken prayers burst from my heart and mind. There has to be some way to survive this. My heartbeat pounds in my ears and take over my every thought, my every sense. Every nerve ending on my body stands alert, waiting, wondering where they will bite me. Where will the pain come from? My arm? My fin?
I wait… and wait. But after a long time, nothing happens.
Slowly, I open my eyes. No more than twenty-arms lengths away, the three sharks have begun a frenzy on the remnants of a marlin. I blink.
Then a face appears in front of me. Bailey. Long blond curls surround his golden face and his blue eyes twinkle. He’s holding a spear. “Hurry—before they finish.”
I’m shocked stiff and barely manage to nod.
He grabs my arm and yanks me away.