I passed a milestone a month ago that I totally forgot to announce: My 10,000th page view. As of writing this, 12,571 people have reached out to touch us. Okay, so a few of those were the same person more than once, but that's still pretty cool. So join me in a libation to celebrate: *pours coffee/hot chocolate/tea for all* Wassail!
Anyway, this week I need to announce something else: My publishing house, MuseItUp Publishing, has established another deal with a new, established vendor who is helping us reach a whole new level in helping folks to see what we have to offer. At this precise moment, iBooks is running a package special for four complete novels in one volume, for 99 cents! So, check this out: for one ridiculously low price at the Apple bookstore, you can get four top-notch sci-fi books.
I get to join the likes of Rosalie Skinner, John B. Rosenman, and Joanne Elder for our first-ever package deal in The Prodigies of Science Fiction.
Click on the cover to go there. I'll let ya.
As for my part in this project (for you new fans), I wrote the EPIC-Award-winning Best Thriller of 2012, Becoming NADIA.
And now, the promised Excerpt:
“I'm not me,” Nadia moaned, curled up in her seat. She wrapped her arms around her knees. Her hands shook. “I'm somebody else, and I'm not me anymore. I never was me, was I?”
Jon leaned over to touch her on the shoulder, but a hand shot up and she writhed away. “Don't touch me. Don't even come close to me,” she cried. He could see that her cheeks were already wet. She cried softly to herself, “If I hadn't known, I could have gone on. If I hadn't known—”
“If you hadn't known,” Jon interjected, “You'd still be wondering who Phillip was. If you hadn't known, you'd still be in their hands.”
She looked up, indignant. “Those people saved my life, Jon. They said it took more than twenty surgeries, just to save my face. They put that much into me so I could have a life again. They even had Jenna move in with me so I could adjust—”
“Or be monitored,” said Jon.
“What are you talking about?” Her eyes flashed angrily.
“Have you ever, at any time, been left alone since you woke up?”
“Of course,” she snorted. “I went to work—”
“To be with the people who just tried to kill you.”
“I went shopping by myself. There was a little grocery store just around the corner.” She stopped and went back to hugging her knees.
“What happened there? Alicia, what happened to you?”
“Don't call me that!” Her voice lowered threateningly and her eyes flashed. “Don't you call me by that name.”
“Then who are you? What do we call you now?”
“I don't know.” She sat curled up on the seat, her eyes locked on the lighting control panel by the cabin door. He watched her for a while, her chest wracked with silent sobs.
Jon got up and rummaged through the tiny galley behind the copilot's seat. He opened a drawer and took out a couple of small bottles. After he opened them both, he sat back down and held one out to Nadia.
“Peace?” he offered. She said nothing. “Nadia, I'm sorry. I should never have said that. I don't think I can ever understand what you're feeling right now. But maybe we can relax a little and figure some of this out.”
Nadia didn't respond at first, but after a few seconds, she released her knees and dropped her feet to the floor. She took the bottle of Scotch and sipped it. Her face wrinkled in disgust and she almost spat it back out. Holding the bottle up, she tried to read its contents through watering eyes. She couldn't seem to make words come out of her mouth.
“It's Scotch,” Jon offered. “Don't tell me you've never drank alcohol before.”
Finally, she found her voice. “I can only answer for one year. And the answer is 'no.'“
“I can get you some water, if you want.”
“What does this do?”
“It relaxes you.”
“I think I need this more,” she said, tossing back the bottle in one swallow. She squinted hard and gulped once, then lay back in her seat, feeling the warmth radiate from her stomach. “Let me know when we're there, please. I want to close my eyes for a little bit.”
Jon picked out a magazine from the rack in front of his seat and tried to read it, but couldn't concentrate. He kept stealing glances at the petite figure of the woman across the aisle. Her blonde hair poured in a golden, curly waterfall past her shoulders. Her squarish face complemented the slim build. From first appearances, it didn't seem as if she wore any makeup, but as Jon studied her full lips, he noticed a subtle shade of lipstick, and just a trace of makeup around her closed eyes. Brown, he remembered. Captivating, almond-shaped, brown eyes. A guy could fall into those eyes and never want to come back.... He admired her figure for several seconds. Give it up, Daniels; she's work, not play. And besides, she's way out of your league, something inside him whispered. The flight continued, silent save for thedrone of the engines and the muffled conversation in the cockpit.