Free Chapter From My Upcoming New Thriller

Hello, my fantastical sci-fi friends! Welcome to another installment of my blog. I’m trying to blog a bit more than I used to. I hope you’re enjoying it.

If you’re like me and my wife, and you have kids in school, you’re probably counting down the days until your next vacation. I know I am. Spring break in our neck of the woods can’t get here fast enough.

Let’s jump into it.

I’ve been a busy writer any chance I can get. But before we get into the wordsmithing, I’ve had some amazing design sessions with Tom Edwards. If you don’t remember, he’s the designer who does all of my covers and the work for my Kickstarter. Well, I’ve been working with him on some upcoming art for my next Kickstarter, Dead in the Water. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

Think fantasy meets submarine meets naga drag race in an all-out brawl under the water. But even that would be missing half the story. Now, imagine turning that into artwork, and you’ll get what I’m talking about.

Embark on a daring voyage with the HMS Bancroft’s crew as they navigate the dangers of an alien world to uncover humanity’s future and past in Dead in the Water.

For those of you who’ve messaged me about how my thriller writing is going, my answer is simple: great!

I’m ~70k words into that novel I mentioned. It started as a backstory for one of my new main characters, a female agent. Except, this piece is from when she was a teenager and tells the story of how she got into computers and why she wanted to become a cop. Or an agent; that part I’m still deciding on.

Anyhow, below is the opening scene where you first meet her.

Alex Mercer : Flashback

A clenched fist sailed toward her head in a slow-motion arc, each moment stretched and magnified, as if time itself had paused.

Perfectly manicured fingers and sparkling jelly bracelets were intertwined in the blur of the girl’s outstretched hand as it cracked sharply against Alex’s cheek, sending her reeling sideways in a sudden whirl of pain and surprise.

The cold, hard concrete rose upward, greeting her with a firm smack to the side of the head that resounded like a gong.

Ringing filled her ears, and pain exploded from her shoulder as the blonde twat pounced on top of her. She reached out, her hands closing in an iron grip around her neck.

Tiny shaking fingers squeezed together as blood dripped down from the girl’s face. Alex could still hear the crunch of the full water bottle in the bottom of her book bag smashing into her nose, flattening it against her face only moments earlier.

She should’ve seen the response coming, but no words had been spoken since she silenced the ethnic jeers of the two girls, one blonde and one redhead. At least that’s how she thought of them.

With the first cheerleader down, her attack continued with a kick to the gut of the redhead, followed by a physics book against the cow’s face.

The equal but opposite reaction of the girl tumbling down for the count would’ve made even Sir Issac Newton proud. She never did get up after that.

The mere thought of the rain cascading down on the motionless form of the redhead made her smile as the blonde witch squeezed her throat, dripping blood all over Alex’s face in the process.

With one hand pushing upward against her attacker, Alex reached out with her second, sliding it along the edge of the damp sidewalk, searching for something. For anything that could help.

And then she found it, buried in the grass.

The yellow cab blared its horn, barely swerving around Alex and sending a wave of funky brown water splashing against her already grubby jeans.

She drew in her breath, staring down at the droplets in the puddle and the chunks of what she hoped was road debris clinging to her legs. That was the second time in the last hour her life flashed before her eyes.

The visions of the fight still lingered in her thoughts as she clenched her bloody fingers in her pocket and winced. They still stung from hitting that racist cheerleader bitch.

Swallowing down another mouthful of blood, the story replayed in her mind. At least the one she was planning on telling her parents.

The last thing they wanted to hear was how she’d gotten into another fight. Good girls didn’t use fists. They ignored naysayers and problems, like her Taekwondo sessions had drilled into her.

What they’d neglected to teach her in her dojo, however, was how deep the sting of bullying went. Challenging a person’s identity without understanding their situation didn’t sit well on even the most rigid follower of nonviolence. Especially when they attacked the ones she loved.

With the faint glow of her building coming into view down the misty street, she could feel her heart rate tick faster. Lying had never come easy for her. It wasn’t in her nature. She preferred brutal honesty over sugar coated bullshit.

Maybe it was from being an orphan for so long. Or the simple fact that she finally found a family to take her in. She’d been with the Mercer’s ever since she could remember, but then again, she didn’t remember much before the age of eight.

Her mom said it was because of all the things they did to her at the orphanage, but she wasn’t so sure. The smiling face of Sister Gene was the only memory she had from those days, and picturing it gave her comfort even today.

Ever since she’d been taken in by the Mercers, they’d treated her as their own. She called them Eomma and Appa almost instantly, and unlike her neighbor friends, she never sassed her parents.

While most people thought it was because she was scared of being sent back to the nuns, she knew better. The Mercers were good people. She didn’t behave out of fear, she did it out of respect.

Well, maybe a little fear. Sister Gene would often take her dessert if she got lippy. It was amazing what you could make a kid do by taking away their pudding a few times.

About the only way you could tell she wasn’t the Mercers kid was because they were both asian, and she wasn’t. In fact, she looked like she’d fallen off a tractor in rural Idaho.

Blonde hair, blue eyes, and ruddy cheeks that turned bright red any time she lied. That, and when she’d been crying. Either because she was sad, or like today, when the tears came out while she was kicking people’s asses.

What do you think? A decent start to an epic little story, right? Alex is my badass introvert who’s always struggling to find her way. And as an adopted orphan, life hasn’t been easy for her.

I started thinking the piece would only be around 10-15k words, but if quickly grew to over 70k words.

I’m still deciding what I’m going to do with it. Maybe I’ll give it away to my newsletter subscribers, or perhaps I’ll sell it online as the first book in my new series. I’m still figuring that out. If you have any ideas, drop me an email. I’m all ears.

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