During the past few months, I’ve not completely fallen away into obscurity.
Between my day job and real life, I’ve completed the first and second draft of the next installment of the Between the Veil series: Fae, Fire, & Faith. Where there is not a definitive release date at the moment, I hope to have this out to readers within the next month or so. I also hope to be able to share a teaser of the cover art for the next book, I do believe the artist has outdone herself. I can’t wait to share it with you all!
Additionally, I’ve also worked to bring my first novel, Not So Picture Perfect, to you all in paperback, as well as electronic copies.
I don’t have much more to report at the moment… so here’s a little teaser from the next book… Enjoy!
“I want you to close your eyes, and relax.”
I wanted to roll my eyes, but I did as I was asked. I leaned back in the plush chair, almost large enough to envelope the tiny frame that was me completely. I doubted anyone walking into this office would even notice I was here. “What next?”
“You need to relax, Miss Matthews.” The feminine voice held a note of annoyance, or at least I thought it did. I bet the esteemed Doctor Rachel Higgins would never deign to be annoyed with a patient – if this hypnotherapy could really be classified as an actual science.
Then again, I was the one paying her to try this so-called science on me. Ever since I had stumbled across that photo of my brother at the Esplanade homicides two months ago, I had been turning over every corner I could to find out more information. The only thing I had to go on really was the photo of my brother, his class ring, and these weird symbols that had been at every crime scene. In two months, I had failed to get any other information on the symbols. There had been a book at the library I had found, called Smithfield’s Tome, but it had been written in a language I didn’t understand. I had made copies of the pages that had been relevant, but when I went to look for the book again, it was nowhere to be found. To make matters worse, every linguistics expert I approached had said that they were not familiar with the script on the page. I was grasping at straws now.
So, I rolled my shoulders and leaned into the squishy cushion behind me. I tried to think of standing on a beach, burying my toes in the warm sand, as the sun beat down on my shoulders. It helped that Dr. Higgins had one of those wave machines going, and the lull of water filled my ears.
“I’m going to start counting backwards from ten. When I get to one, you will be in a state of deep rest.”
I doubted that relaxation would come if I had to listen to her shrill voice. A smirk spread across my face, but I did my best to focus on the beach scene I had conjured as she counted backwards. As she reached the bottom of her count, my head lolled forward slightly and I almost felt a heaviness weigh down on my shoulders.
“Where are you now, Miss Matthews?”
I opened my eyes, looking around. I was at the beach, but something was wrong, off. The sand was an inky black beneath a brilliant pink sky, a shimmering pearlescent moon rising over the water as the sun set. The water lapped on the shore, glowing green. A heat exuded from the air all around me, and a very uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. “A beach. A very odd beach.”
“What’s odd about it?”
“It feels wrong. I don’t know why.” I wasn’t sure why, but I found I couldn’t articulate the whole poor color scheme that my brain had conjured in this image.
“Let’s not focus on the beach. I want you to walk forward, toward a closed large oak door.”
I looked around the weird scenery, looking for this door she wanted me to go towards. I felt like I was trapped in a cover for some art nouveau book. I spied a door at the far end of the beach, closer to a copse of trees than the water. I walked towards it, my feet sinking into the sand. As I drew closer, the sand became a tar-like substance, impeding my ability to get closer, and a wave of panic crawled across my skin. “It’s too far. I can’t get there.”
“You can get there, Miss Matthews. Focus on the door.”
A tiny whimper escaped my lips, but I forced myself to move on, as Dr. Higgins suggested. It was more than hard though; it was exhausting. The sand swallowed my legs to almost the knee by the time I made it to the halfway point. I could see a pale light shimmering from the crevice under the door. I had to get there; I had to see what lay behind it.
I couldn’t sprint with the way the sand gave way underneath my weight, so I settled for a stride that let me almost wade. I pushed myself forward, feeling like I was fighting against increasing pressure to hold me back. The heat grew more intense, and I could feel the sweat rolling down my spine. “It’s so hot.”
“It’ll be cool once you open the door.”
The door was just out of my reach now, and I felt my body sink into the sand, like it was a sprawling black ocean. I had to swim now, as it threatened to pull me into the dark depths. The light seeping from under the door was almost blinding. I lunged towards the door, hoping to catch the edge of the hard ground the door sat on. My fingers grabbed the earth, digging and biting, and I began to pull myself from the sludge.
Just as I dragged myself onto the ground, something wrapped itself around my ankle. A biting sensation ripped through my leg as I struggled to break myself free. I rolled onto my back, and terror seized me. The creature from the garage, with its broken limbs, grotesque smile, and eyeless gaze gripped my leg with its taloned hand. I screamed as I tried to scramble away from it, but the more I tried to get away the more it was able to pull me closer.
The sand was almost scorching hot by the time I was dragged back into its depths. Every inch of my legs burned as the claws dug and twisted into my ankle. I could still see the door, as I was pulled away, and the it swung open with a violent throw. A dark imposing figure stood in the doorway, silhouetted by the light. “I told you to stay out of this business!”