I’ve got two books coming out tomorrow. One is the novella, “The Robber Bride”, which will be released in the anthology, Huntress. And the other is the second book in my Hunter Kiss series, Darkness Calls. Both are vastly different stories, but I hope you like them.
Darkness Calls, I’ll admit, is my baby. Today the fourth and final installment of Grant’s letter comes out. I’ll post all the links as soon as I have them, but you can see it here at the Penguin website.
In the meantime, here’s another excerpt from the novel.
One night while staying in a cheap motel in Lubbock, Texas, I saw a news report on what to do if you ever got stuffed inside the trunk of a car.
People were all fired up at the time. Some big case in a town thirty miles south had started it. Four vehicles found inside a lake, girls trapped within every one of them. According to the papers, the teens had still been alive when the waters started coming in.
The security expert interviewed for the report was a pudgy white man with silver hair, a flat nose, and jowls that trembled every time he used a vowel. Break out the taillights, he rumbled. Find the release lever. Better yet, be vigilant. Don’t get caught. Fight like hell.
Fine advice. Problem was, people froze. Got taken off balance. Behaved in unanticipated ways. Something I should have remembered.
Maybe if I had, I would not have been thinking of those murdered girls—four years later— and feeling ridiculously, impossibly, irritated. Mostly at myself. Rocking and rolling in a small dark space with my arms and legs bound in crushing knots, a strip of duct tape over my mouth.
I was not in the trunk of a car. I was inside a box. A box that had once been a coffin, but with all the bells and whistles stripped off. Just plain wood. No silk. No other body but mine. I was hot, and the air was bad. My nose felt stuffy.
The coffin was sliding around the back of a windowless white van that I glimpsed just before being passed inside like a loaf of bread. I was a strong girl—stronger than most men—but I lost my chance to fight in the first two seconds of the attack. My fault. I had forgotten my own rule: Expect the unexpected. Worse, the men were professionals, and I had not dealt with many of those. Calm, fast, with an exact knowledge of what I was. No guns, no knives, no attempts to hit me over the head. No sedation. Just brute force, and nothing else.
I thought about that as I lay in the coffin. I thought about those four girls in Texas and how it had been the end of their world—the same end others faced every day, and that yet more would endure, in different and varied ways once the veil came down. I remembered the zombie who killed those girls, and the look on his face as I exorcised the demon living in his soul. I had made him a man again.
He was arrested twenty-four hours later, and after a speedy trial, given the death penalty for four murders he barely remembered committing. Quickest execution in Texas history. Up until the day he died, he claimed he was innocent. That someone had framed him.
I understood how he felt.