Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pre-order "One Breath at a Time"

Good news! My next novel, One Breath at a Time, is now available for pre-order. It's still several months before the books hit the shelves, but you can reserve your copy right now.

Here are the Amazon links:

Get "One Breath at a Time" at Amazon US

Get the book at Amazon UK

And here's a bit of a tease...

I pulled the covers back up and threw pillows on the center of the bed. I looked out the wide picture window at the blue water below. Boats kicked up wakes and in those wakes, men and women rode on skis. Kids splashed near the shore. Gulls flew every which way, hoping for fish churned up to the surface by the boats.

Looking at the water made me think of Michael, and the pain took my breath away.

I sank down to the edge of the bed. The mountains of Tennessee seemed to be light years away, not just a few hours. If there were only miles between us, I’d be there in a day’s drive – but there was more than that. There was her.

I tried to shake the images in my head, the ones that haunted me every night since he had said he wanted to sleep with her instead of me. Her, the woman who came before me, and the woman he might be seeing again now, for all I knew. He had told me so many things during those long nights while we made love until the sun came up, and soon I learned that the fantasies he weaved with his words weren’t fantasies at all, but memories.

There was one image that never left my mind, no matter how much time had gone by. The images of her tied to that weight bench he loved so much, the sordid things he described to me long before I knew the fantasy he was weaving wasn’t a fantasy at all. It was a memory that he held so sacred, he let it taint everything about our relationship.

I could hear the voice of the man I loved so much, saying things I couldn’t stand to hear: ‘I fucked her so hard I moved the weight bench across the floor...’

Suddenly angry as hell, I kicked a pillow across the room. It bounced off the wall and lay innocently, alone on the carpet. Just as alone as I felt.

One of the dogs came up the stairs and sniffed at the pillow. I stared out the window and thought of other things, any other thing at all, until the images started to fade. I watched a man on a jet ski. I watched a boy on an inner tube. I watched the gulls pick up fish and then fight over them. I watched a Coast Guard cruiser make its way into the channel. By the time he was out of sight, my tears were gone.

I went down the stairs. The dogs already wanted to go back outside, so I opened the back door and let them go. As I turned to leave, I noticed the basement door was ajar.

I pulled the keys out of my pocket and looked them over, then looked back at the door. The basement housed what was lovingly called the Jungle Room. Filled with mounted animals, pictures of safaris and guns big enough to bring down elephants, the room was definitely a man’s domain, not the kind of place children or most women would go. The walls were lined with gun cabinets filled with every kind of weaponry imaginable, and I knew better than to ask if all of them came with proper permits. That door was kept double-locked, for good reasons of both safety and security.

And now the door was open.

That creepy feeling hit me again; it was the same mixture of fear and fright that had assaulted me at the front door. This time I couldn’t write that open door off as an accident. This time two happy dogs wouldn’t be able to sway me into thinking everything was okay.

I was not alone in the house.

And whoever was there with me was much closer to the guns.

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