Below you’ll find an excerpt to whet your appetite, and a few words from Bette!
I’m so pumped that Stephanie invited me to end my official blog tour for Phoenix: The Rising on her website! She’s a fantastic author and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of SHRAPNEL this Friday. Have you seen that luscious cover? Getting a look at that is enough to convince me to buy it!
Although this is the end of the official “christening” blog tour, rest assured that you haven’t seen the last of me! Phoenix: The Rising will be visiting other blogs in the future as reviews start coming in.
Now, I’d like to share one last excerpt as this blog tour ends. It’s where I introduce a new character. Let’s call it “Lucy”. Enjoy!
Sandals were not a good idea. Of course, she hadn’t planned on spending more than a few hours in the dry, desert heat of Death Valley, and that time would be spent in the cool comfort of the white Lincoln that picked her up just outside of Las Vegas. The driver, a balding, grandfatherly curmudgeon, complete with snap-on sunglasses and suspenders, seemed safe enough. Even said she reminded him of his youngest granddaughter.
The old man toddled along at a cool forty miles an hour, recounting stories of his youth as the girl sat silently staring out the window. Her mind was on other things. When he slid his hand across the seat and grabbed her inner thigh, she thought of that granddaughter and got a feeling of righteous satisfaction as she wrenched his thumb back, snapping it at the base. Of course, the car careened out of control as the screaming man clutched his hand to his chest.
“You little bitch!” The old man slammed on the brakes and the car skidded sideways on the shoulder of the road, raising a whirlwind of dust. “Get out!”
The girl already had the door open before the car stopped.
“My pleasure.” She grabbed her bag and turned to him before slamming the door. “You’re lucky it was just your thumb, old man. I could have broken your neck.” The man floored it, screaming profanities as a new cloud of dust and desert rocks pelted her.
She trotted clear of the cloud and looked down at her stinging legs. Small, red welts spotted the surface of her bronzed skin. Blood oozed. She reached down and touched a glistening spot, then brought it to her tongue. Disgusting, but she couldn’t help herself.
The girl looked around. Nothing but rocks and dirt. Off in the distance, tufts of pale green poked out behind some larger boulders. She trotted over to the closest one, and as she got closer, she knew she found what she’d been hoping for. The fat, green spikes of the Aloe plant would provide her with the healing juice she would need to take care of the pesky wounds. They would also provide her with needed moisture for her time in the desert. She plucked a leaf. Aloe oozed from the broken end. She carefully swabbed all the spots she could, then plucked a few spikes to take along. Just in case.
Two hours later, two hours without a single car in sight, she squatted behind a boulder a good hundred yards off the main road. The sun was just setting. That’s when the first scorpion scuttled across her exposed, burnt toes. She screamed and shot upright, expecting pee to run down her leg. But there wasn’t any. She was already feeling the effects of dehydration, and her body sucked up all the moisture it could, reabsorbing the excess water. This was not good. At least she had the cooling darkness of night on her side. It would get chilly, but not cold enough to kill her. She could spend one night out there. Alone. In the dark. Of course she didn’t plan on sleeping. Sleeping meant one thing. Nightmares. There was no way she was going to chance that. She’d had enough nightmares to last a lifetime. Instead, she climbed up on the boulder, retrieved one of the Aloe leaves, split it down the middle, then pulled the length of it across her bottom teeth, scraping out the inner contents. She rolled the slimy mess around in her mouth, savoring the wetness on her parched tongue. Then she waited. Five minutes. The other side would most certainly dry out if she let it set any longer, so she scraped it across her teeth, then swallowed. She knew there was moisture left in the leaves, so she chewed them, extracting every last drop of juice, then spit the tough outer shell on the ground. Rejuvenated by the treat, she hopped off the boulder and trotted back to the road.
Her destination: Bishop, California.
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