I haven't posted an excerpt in a very long time, so I'm going to post one today.
First, though, I want to let folks know that the second Gavin English novella is nearly finished and I'm hoping to publish in the next 4-5 weeks. Because of this, I've pulled To The Bone from other platforms and signed it up with KDP Select. I wasn't going to do Select again, but I've decided not to rule anything out until I get a little more shelf space out there. With the launch of the second Gavin English story, I'll be making To the Bone free for five days on Amazon.com in the hopes of finding a few new readers for the series. I might even have a big giveaway (did someone say Kindle Fire?) but I won't have all that info until I get closer to launch.
So, now for the excerpt from To The Bone (Gavin English Stories #1):
She ran through the lifeless park faster than she had ever run in her life. The cold night air pressed against her tear-soaked cheeks like sandpaper, forcing her to wipe her face with her sleeves as she went. He was behind her somewhere, but she no longer heard the sound of his pounding feet. There was a stitch of pain raging in her chest, and another in her side, as her muscles cramped in protest.
She slid herself under the old jungle gym, hoping that the orange glow from the old streetlights around the playground might keep him from coming after her. She swallowed and gasped and gulped in the air selfishly, trying to refill her aching lungs and give her body a chance to recover. Wood chips dug into her skin wherever it touched the ground, but she refused to move a muscle.
She was startled as a breeze spun the merry-go-round at the opposite end of the playground, making it creek. Her heart was a drum line, crashing within her chest. The loudest noise she heard was her pulse, throbbing deep in her ears. Keeping her body as still as possible, she looked up and down the street she had come from. There was nothing to see. Yet. Maybe, he had given up.
A stick cracked somewhere off to her left, making her gasp and jump, slamming her head against the underside of the jungle gym. She bit her lip as stars blurred her vision. She wanted to yell or scream or cuss, but if he was close by, her only chance was to conceal her hiding place. She gingerly ran her fingers along her scalp where she smacked her head. A trickle of blood was soaking her hair and her fingers came away warm and wet.
Dread. It was a word she didn't think she had ever used, but the only one that seemed to describe what she was feeling in that moment.
Then a pair of headlights turned onto the road which outlined the west edge of the park. The engine sounded soft, and the lights were bright. In those lights, she saw her salvation. She would run to the street, wave down the car, and get the driver to give her a ride to the police station. Even if he was hiding in the park, close to the playground, there was no way he could beat her to the fence if she ran with everything she had.
The car was getting closer. She took in a deep, steadying breath through her nose and scooted forward using her elbows and knees. Carefully, she inched her way out from under the jungle gym. Once out, she climbed to her feet and dusted the wood chips from her knees. She flinched and looked around in a panic as the debris rained softly to the ground. No movement in the park. No sound.
The car was only a hundred yards away. It was now or never.
She counted herself down silently.Three.
Before her first step landed, something above her snatched a handful of her hair and she screamed, all thoughts of running lost. With no time to react she was yanked off of her feet, pulled over the bright red railing of the jungle gym, and slammed to the hard plastic grating next to the swinging bridge. More pain. More stars.
He pinned her body with one knee on her sternum and the other on her stomach, and clapped his hand down over her mouth. "Ssshhhh, Jennifer," he whispered, bringing his nose only an inch from hers. His breath was hot and wet on her face. His eyes shone wide and hungry in the pallid light of the oncoming car, and there was only a sliver of green bordering his overly-dilated pupils.
She took in shallow breaths through her nose. He held her still and silent until the car passed. It felt like an eternity.
Once the car was safely beyond the park, he gave her a grin that made her skin prickle. A second without his hand over her mouth, and then something rough and wet took its place. The smell was awful and overpowering and with her next breath the world turned gray.
Thanks for reading, I hope you liked enough enough to go check it out! To The Bone is only $1.99 at Amazon right now! :)