Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Feature: Excerpt from DECEPTION, Son of a Mermaid, Book 3

My YA publisher called me this week. On the phone. Because yet another deadline slipped for Book 3 of this series. Today is the first full day of Autumn, so saying the book will release "Summer 2017" is no longer an option.

So we talked. And she made me commit to a hard and fast deadline, no more of this wishy-washy finish-it-when-you're-ready stuff anymore. Family crises be damned. Well, not really, but she lit a fire under my backside and I committed to meeting her deadline, and being in her holiday release brochure as a December release.

Yup. DECEPTION will be arriving in bookstores and
on Amazon  in DECEMBER

When the release party is organized, I'll post about that too, but for now I thought I'd share another little taste of what I've been working on....
* ~ * ~ *

Shea wanted to believe that Kae hadn’t been lying to him from the beginning, but it was getting harder and harder. His heart thudded against his ribcage in an unfamiliar way, his teeth clamping tighter as he swam down the murky hallway.
Once upon a time, he thought they shared everything and nothing could come between them. That illusion was slipping away like the pastel clouds over the ocean at dawn.
Kae had secrets, a fact that hurt more than he wanted to admit out loud. How could he trust her? Should he trust her?
When they reached the end, he faced a large stone door with no windows, only elaborate metal strapping bolting it shut on both sides. The key slid smoothly into the first padlock on the right, which he dropped to the ground before trying the second. With another click, the metal hinges creaked open. Shea dropped the key next to the locks on the ground and pushed the door wider. The inky blackness of the cell made it hard to see anything, but he heard the rattle of iron chains.
Kae put both hands on his arm to peer around him into the darkness. “Alexander? Are you in there?”
Alexander? Since when did she call the sorcerer by his given name?
“Go away,” came the hoarse reply. He could barely make out the words, and could only assume it was the sorcerer’s voice. “You shouldn’t be here, Kae. They’ll be back any minute.”
“There’s one thing we agree on,” Shea muttered, earning an elbow in the stomach from the mermaid.
The chains clattered sharply, echoing in the darkness. “Who’s there? Who’s with you?”
Shea didn’t answer. Kae unhooked one of the lanterns from the corridor wall and entered the room, casting a pale glow into the gloom of the windowless cell. Shea flinched when the light found Zan huddled in a corner, arms bound over his head with chains attached to a hook on the ceiling. His bruised and swollen face was barely recognizable. Kae set the lantern on the floor before swimming to his side. Cradling one of his cheek in her small hand, she used the other to inspect a nasty bruise along his ribs. “This looks so much worse than I thought.”
Shea crossed his arms over his chest, trying not to feel pity for the battered merman. “Why would they beat you?”
“Because I gave the wrong testimony.”
“Wrong?” Shea frowned and swam closer. “You mean you lied under oath?”
Zan’s swollen eyes cracked wide enough to stare up at Shea. “No. I told the truth.”

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