Under a false identity, Joan finally has the life she has always wanted. With pressure to deepen a relationship on one side, and the threat of an old nemesis finding her on the other, she refuses to run, no matter what it costs her.
Into this chaos comes a letter from a man claiming to be her unknown father, and an invitation to visit him at Quarry Hall. He has a proposition for her.
Joan can make a big difference for good in the world, using her father's money. She hungers for the family and sense of belonging that Quarry Hall offers. To rescue her closest friend, she would sell the soul she doesn't believe she possesses.
In the end, Joan will have to give up the lies that have kept her alive all these years.
What kind of villain used twine to tie up his victims?
Joan's wrists itched from the fibers as she hobbled down the aisle between tall metal shelves full of grimy crates and packing boxes, and gave another experimental tug with her wrists bound behind her back. A sharp sensation flashed up her arm, followed by warm wet. Either sweat, or she had cut herself with the effort. She was betting on blood, because she had sat for four hours in a dark, grimy storage shed, sweating. The only thing that kept it from being a sweatbox straight out of a prison break movie was that it was made of plastic, not metal. All the time she sat there, no one had asked her any questions. She could have been another crate stored in the shed, for all the attention her captors paid her.
That was about to end, obviously. She would have preferred that they had put a hood over her head, but maybe that was a waste of time, since she had seen three of them. They didn't care what she saw, meaning they could keep her quiet and unable to use what she knew against them.
The man leading the way opened a door at the end of the shadowy aisle. Joan guessed the room was a pre-fabricated module, meant for dividing up large spaces to make them usable. All that mattered was that this room sat near the center of the warehouse. The man walking behind her grabbed her shoulder and half-guided, half-shoved her into the room. She stumbled, but the man who went in first, the beardless, taller one of the two, caught her. He copped a feel before pivoting her around, shoving her into a chair in the corner.
Matt sat in the other corner, hands bound behind him, his ankles tied to the battered wood-and-metal-tube chair with the same brown twine her captors had used on Joan. From the sweat and grime marking his face, darkening his clothes, matting his hair, he had been given the same temporary storage shed treatment. He had some bruises on his face and his bared arms, but no other signs of rough treatment. What was happening now, that they were brought together?
His eyes asked a thousand questions, but he didn't say anything.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
We finish up the Spotlight on The Hunt, YA Fantasy from Writer's Exchange with book 5:
The storms are increasing.
The Hounds are on the move.
Gahlmorag approaches Earth.
The time has come for the Hunt to reunite--and return home.
There will always be unanswered questions, but after years of searching and investigating, all the members of the Hunt have been accounted for--dead or alive--faithful or traitors. Energy is building up in Neighborlee, and something is about to happen. Whether it is for good or ill...
Monday, February 15, 2016
Actually, I think this is an unconscious bid for sympathy. Because when I think of all the work that goes into ONE new book, and here in the space of a few days, TWO new books came out, from two different publishers ... makes me tired.
Especially since right now I am working on the second draft of what will eventually be THREE books.
Why am I working on all of them at the same time?
Besides the fact I'm a glutton for punishment? Because all three books take place at the same time and their storylines overlap -- they even take place at the same location. So look for the next three Quarry Hall books and keep in mind that while you're seeing some events happening at the same time, there are three different lives being changed, three different viewpoints, and three different stories that need resolving -- but I'm not going to tell you three different enemies and problems to deal with because .... well, I haven't solidified that part of the stories yet! Anyway, keep alert for books 9, 10 and 11 of Quarry Hall: SOPHIE, HALEY, and SU-MA.
Speaking of Quarry Hall ...
The newest Quarry Hall novel, Book 8, NIKKI'S TEST, just came out from Desert Breeze Publishing.
Joan's little sister has finished her training and she's out on the road with her first assignment as a courier. It should be easy -- drop off some supplies at a women's shelter, drop off more supplies in Greenleaf at the clinic the Arc Foundation sponsors, then swing through a little mountain town called Harper's Point and pick up Brooklyn, who is on vacation with a childhood friend.
The only problem is, just before Nikki is supposed to pick her up, Brooklyn calls with a very cryptic message, and when Nikki arrives in Harper's Point, Brooklyn and the sheriff are nowhere to be found. Nikki starts asking questions and doing what the Quarry Hall girls do best: get involved and help. Only this time, helping find a missing child throws Nikki into trouble. Before long, she's proverbially "hip-deep in alligators." But as the "alligators" in Harper's Point find out, they're the ones in trouble when it comes to the Quarry Hall girls.
The second new book is a return to another familiar series, Neighborlee, Ohio.
HERO BLUES follows the trials and tribulations of Jane, a semi-pseudo-superhero who is assigned to a town with a real entitlement attitude .... new from Uncial Press.
Superheroes have it rough -- especially when the towns they protect expect them to fix everything, from forgetting to fill their gas tanks to children running wild to the consequences of a lack of common sense. Jane is finally fed up with being the Ghost, notifies the citizens in her town of mental midgets that she’s quitting, and sets off to make a new life and solve some mysteries of her own.
First item on the list: return to Neighborlee, the town where she was found as an abandoned child. Jane knows there are others like her: abandoned children with unusual powers. Where did they come from, how did they get to Neighborlee and other towns like it, and why are the Gifted -- as they call themselves -- the way they are?
As Jane retraces her childhood, she is pleased to discover that some people remember her. She settles in, makes a new place for herself, and is welcomed by the people and the town itself. That’s important, because Neighborlee protects its own -- and those who don’t fit in are soon driven away. She makes contact with others like her and slowly earns their trust and confidence.
However, it’s a bumpy process. Living in the “weirdness capital of the United States, possibly the world,” means being extra cautious. Even when it comes to someone with superhero powers. Or maybe especially someone with superhero powers.
Then someone -- or something -- from outside her understanding makes contact. It or he or they promise Jane not only answers to the questions she’s had all her life, but a way to go home, wherever her real home might be. It’s everything she’s ever wanted … or is it?
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Today's spotlight is on Book 4 in the Hunt series of YA fantasy published by Writer's Exchange:
Iris Davenport hated the memories that came with world-shaking thunderstorms -- because she didn't want to remember she was a member of the Hunt. She was perfectly happy with her adopted parents, helping run the lodge on Smokeytop Mountain, exploring the mountainside, and doing search-and-rescue. The last thing she wanted was to face one of the Hunt and be reminded of the vows her parents had made when they gave her to the guardianship of the Hounds of Hamin.
But when a plane taking a sick boy to a life-saving operation crash-landed on Smokeytop in a thunderstorm, Iris had to help. Even when one of the searchers turned out to be a member of the Hunt, who reminded her of everything she hoped to forget. She had her own life now -- a home, friends, parents, and a boyfriend. None of which she was willing to give up for a world she barely remembered.
Until the past caught up with them in the form of a traitor to the Hunt, and pieces of an old puzzle that could get her and her boyfriend killed if they didn't find all the clues in time.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Today is the 3rd book in the YA fantasy series The Hunt, published by Writer's Exchange.
Beth considers herself a geek, one of the invisible and awkward in her school, too smart for her own good, part of the Gifted and Talented program. During a summer internship at a government weather station, she notices strange weather patterns. The storms remind her of the ones when she was brought to Earth by the Hounds of Hamin. Remembering that she is a member of the Hunt, Beth sets out to remake herself, to be ready when the gathering of the Hunt occurs.
When she returns to school in the fall, she is a new person, physically and mentally, and she attracts the attention of another member of the Gifted and Talented program: Tommy DiCorsi, supposedly one of the "bad boys" in town. As their friendship grows, and Tommy protects her from trouble and learns about the Hounds and the Hunt, Beth learns he isn't at all what he appears, either. Then another member of the Hunt shows up, and both their lives are changed forever.