THE OFFICIAL PAGE FOR CATE’S EXCERPTS – PAST AND PRESENT.
July’s Excerpt Monday…
Oh yes, it’s that time again. My favorite - Excerpt Monday.
Time to share a little snipit. I decided this month to post something different. Oh, don’t go yet. I promise to bring a new chapter of Redd next month. For July, I thought I might post the opening to an adult paranormal I’m working on, and that I hope to submit to Samhain for their new anthology. This opening section is from Jagged, and it’s still a works in progress. So please bare with me. I hope you enjoy!
To check out the main Excerpt Monday page click HERE.
Tomorrow could come and go, and I would not be fazed. I’ve seen my share, what with living for millennia. Sentenced here to purgatory, not the damned place of lost souls but the human plane, I wander. I am the most loathsome of all ethemereal creatures. I am a Renegade with no loyalties to anyone save myself. My path walks a solitary jagged line between good and evil, love and hate, Heaven and Hell. My name is Ash, and I’m an angel. I roam the streets of New York always on the watch.
“Ash! Ash, get the hell up! It’s almost five in the afternoon.” I heard Madame Rose, banging on my door.
I rolled over and stared at the plaster chipped ceiling. Madame Rose’s brothel once boasted the finest in décor- two decades before. Now, the run-down, four-story brownstone in the Lower East Side, was just that- rundown. But it provided me a cheap place to stay and offered me solidarity and inconspicuousness. No one here dare ask questions when you came home with a broken bone or a knife wound the size of California in your side. I needed it that way because I had a bad habit of picking nasty fights with demons, especially Mercurials.
The incessant knocking came again. “Ash, now!”
I groaned and rolled off the bed onto my feet. I grabbed a pair of jeans off the floor and hopped into them. I walked to the door and peaked out. The best way to shut Rose up was to answer the door half-naked. For some reason, even the whores found me overwhelmingly beautiful. I found their judgment lacking. Beautiful was a word that could only be associated with perfection, utmost compassion and the capacity to love; all of these qualities I have never posessed.
I flung the door half way open and stared down at the petite, bulge of a middle aged woman.
“Yes, Rose?” I crooned, using my most husky voice.
“Hmm, Ash you’ve been in that room for three days now. It’s scaring the girls, and I can’t have them scared. They don’t work.”
“Oh, that’s all?” I started to close the door. She placed a hand on the edge then thrust a manila envelope at me.
“No. This came priority mail yesterday.” She blinked as her chubby fingers brushed across my smooth chest.
She couldn’t feel anything but warm air. Yet I knew she savored the touch just the same. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I attempted to shut the door, but she threw out her foot and prevented it from closing. I turned my back on her, and she followed me into the bedroom. Despite her less than respectable profession, she considered herself a mother hen. She clucked about the room, picking up my discarded clothes and piling them in one arm. She tossed them out into the hallway and called for Giselle to pick up the laundry. I sat down at the one chair and table that fit into the tiny efficiency room. I threw my feet up, knocking off a couple of half-eaten boxes of Thai take-out. A hiss escaped her lips as she bent over to pick them up. I tore open the letter and shook out the contents. I shuffled through them like flashcards while Rose continued to scuffle about my room, cleaning up. Finally, I seized her hand. She had interrupted me long enough.
“Leave it. I’m outta here within the hour. You can clean then.”
She stared, unblinking. I raised my eyebrows and she nodded. Watching her go, the corners of my mouth dropped with sadness. How long had I known the woman? Ages I supposed? I remembered the soft cheeks of youth and the supple curves of blossoming womanhood. I had met her decades ago, living in the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen. She wasn’t much better off now. Then she had been a feisty spirit of youth, passionate beauty and wild abandon. Now all that was left of her was a broken spirit and a feisty stubbornness. She insisted on caring for me and still harbored some disillusioned flame of hope toward unrequited love. I had never loved her, only felt sorry. I didn’t interfere with humans; I just tried to co-exist. She chose her life style, and I had my own to contend with. She was just one of a handful of humans who knew my true nature. I didn’t like leaving myself exposed as such, but sometimes it was a necessity for them to know.
The bedroom door shut with a resounding slam. She’d return with more determination and probably a mop.
Scattering the photos across the table, I picked up the letter with the assignment. I leaned down and pulled my laptop out from under the bed. I booted it up and logged into my email. Technology continued to impress me. How much easier my life and job would have been centuries ago if communicating globally had been so efficient and fast.
I checked and found I had three new messages. I clicked open the first message, a communiqué from Angelique that I immediately deleted. I refused to talk to her at the moment, especially after her botch on the last job that almost got my head chopped off. The second was from Caleb, and I didn’t even bother to open it. The stupid, little romantic fool had been babbling incessantly about finding a way out. I didn’t know how to do it. Those possibilities were legends; myths of our own making. I opened the the third one, and my heart rate increased. I licked my lips when I noticed, as usual, the absence of a return address, no name on the sender line and just an attached doc. This one contained my instructions, and the price for my involvement. Despite having very few needs, I still required a large cash flow. The kind of weapons I needed were not easily come by, even on the black market.
I grabbed the first picture from the packet and found a pair of most alluring brown eyes staring back at me. Two delicate, slanted brush strokes amidst the most beautiful face of a young woman. She could not be more than twenty-six or twenty-seven. An unmistakable large red X marked the back of the photo. She was the target, and my heart sank a little. I shrugged and tossed the photo to the side. What a waste. She must have some connection to the ethereal plane for my targets were rarely simple humans. In the second photo, the same young woman waited outside some office in downtown Manhattan. I thought I recognized the statue in the plaza, but I would have to research it. She froze in mid-sentence with a man twice as old as her. What the normal photo lens could not pick up my eyes could, making out the faintest trace of Mercurial traits. The man’s eyes were slightly tinged red, and the skull slightly elongated just above the ears. She dealt with a very dangerous demon whether she knew it or not. I wondered why the demon was not the mark. But then I wasn’t paid to ask those questions. I studied the Mercurial more closely. He dressed in an expensive Armani suit, and there was something about the way he stood in the plaza like he owned the place. Mercurials tended to gravitate toward assimilation just as many Renegades had done. But they enjoyed the darker side of humanity, the power struggles, the grift, the mob, and the drug lords. This was where most Mercurials and their minions resided. And this Mercurial displayed an air of extreme power not just in the human world, but mine as well.
I clicked on Google and started a search for abstract art work in New York City, narrowing it down to commercial plazas. A thousand hits popped back, and I started my slow search to match the statue from the photo. After about fifty sites, I finally found what I was looking for. The Plaza comprised part of the Draco Tower complex, and the building, plaza and statue belonged to Alexandre Sephrael Draco, the older man in the photo. The young woman was his only daughter, Alexis Raphael Draco. I shut down the internet explorer and snapped close the lid on the laptop. I heard Rose on the steps about to make a second attempt at disturbing me. I shrugged a black t-shirt over my head. My leather duster lay draped over the bedpost, and I grabbed it. Slinging it over my shoulder, I decided to go to Angelique’s. We needed to have a little chit-chat because this job was going take some careful planning, and unfortunately, I required her abilities.
I brushed past Rose without a second glance as I tucked the envelope in the interior pocket of my duster. I hauled myself over the banister and dropped two floors to land on my feet in the main foyer. Rose hated it when I did that; I found it fun. I went out the back door to the gravel pit of a parking lot. Here an old garage sat dilapidated, but on the inside it held my renovated workshop. I kept my Triumph primed in here as well. The only toy I had allowed along with my Astin Martin. I straddled the Triumph and kicked the engine to roaring life. Peeling out, the garage door banged closed in my wake. A second later, the damp streets of the Lower East side rolled under the motorcycle as I headed uptown.
Angelique kept a studio apartment in the Village. I paid her well. She wasn’t much more than seventeen. A street urchin when I first stumbled across her and her rare talents for hacking computers at the tender age of twelve. Her parents had been crack heads, the diseased scourge of Harlem. Her father had abandoned both her and her mother when Angelique turned two years old. Then her mother disappeared into the haze of crackdom. Angelique didn’t care as she had very quickly established herself as the foremost hacker in New York, but it didn’t keep her off the streets. Not very many people would take stock in a twelve year old with a suspiciously large bank account; one they couldn’t even touch.
She saved my life and I hers, so to speak. I was face down in a gutter when I first met her. Down meaning that I had come across a pretty nasty sentient that intened on inhabiting the poor bastard he had possessed. I didn’t agree. The sentient overpowered me, and he got a good swipe at my lower intestine. I would have bled to death if it hadn’t been for Angelique. She took me to her squatter’s nest and helped to mend my wounds as best she could for her age. After that, I owed her my life, but her help came at a price. She needed an adult to sign for an apartment and all of the things as a child she could not acquire, and that’s where I came in. I agreed. What was the worst that could happen? The worst happened to be, like most other female humans, the silly child developed a crush. This of late had put a crimp in our blossoming professional relationship. I tried to discourage her at every instance, but like Rose she was unrelenting. So I went back to staying at the brothel, except when absolutely necessary. It was now necessary for me to shower, get a clean change of clothes, and have her start on the next assignment.
I pulled the Triumph into the side alley behind an overflowing dumpster. Using the front door would prove useless as Angelique still harbored anger after the last assignment. She wouldn’t buzz me up. Her stupid attempt at intimacy almost got us both killed. Her anger stemmed from her feelings and mine from her lack of control and slip. I needed her though, and she knew she had that much hanging over me.
I leapt up to the fire escape that jutted outside her apartment. The windows reflected dark pools of glass. She was home because I could hear her inner voice, her soul’s song. As an angel, I could hear the soul of every living thing on earth. Not that I wanted to, but I didn’t have much choice unless I blasted Metallica twenty-four seven on my iPod. I didn’t bother knocking or whatever constituted alerting her that I was at her window. I never did, and she never acted surprised when I suddenly showed up. Tonight the atmosphere crackled with intense difference. She hurt, that much I could gather from the melodramatic sound of her soul. I closed the window behind me and glanced about the darkened room. The only light came from the computer in the corner.
“You’re still mad.” I called out to her.
“If I could hate you, I would,” her tiny little voice answered.
An image on the screen flickered and changed, and I knew she sat in the oversized leather chair in front of her workstation.
“You’ll get over it in time. They always do.”
“I can’t believe you just lumped me in with the rest of all the women in your life.” She stood up and turned to face me. I could see the streaks of tears down her face, like quicksilver in the light from the monitor. “One day, you’ll fall in love Ash. She will hate you, and it will destroy you.” She spat.
“That’s why I don’t.”
She pouted, readying herself for another strike. “It doesn’t have to be love, Ash. It could just be–” She pounced on me, wrapping her petite little fingers in my hair and trying to pull my mouth down to her lips.
I carefully extracted her hands from my neck and took a step back. “I can’t have you acting like this Angelique.”
I had told her the same thing before the last job. With each narrowing escape, her heart longed for me more and more. I did love her, but not like she wanted me too. She fell under something that needed protecting in the mildest sense. But we both knew that she had made it quite a ways without me and would do just fine, even better, when I was gone.
“You have a new assignment?” She asked as she drew her petite frame up to full attention, brushing her tank-top clad breast across my chest. I sighed as i took a step back.
“Yeah.” I pulled out the packet and tossed it on the desk behind her.
She flipped on the lamp beside her and dumped out the contents on the desk. She studied the photo of the striking woman. Even I couldn’t help but let my eyes drift back over the photo, drawn to the woman’s eyes.
“Who is she? She’s awfully pretty.” Angelique commented handing me the photo as if I needed to look again at the smoldering eyes or the dark chocolate brown waves of her hair.
“Alexis Raphael Draco.” I replied.
Angelique whirled around in her chair. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
I stared at her. “You’ve heard of her?”
She lifted her eyebrows up at me. “You haven’t?”
I shook my head condescendingly. “No.”
Angelique rolled her eyes. “That’s right. I forgot you live in a brothel and sleep under a rock! She just happens to be the daughter of the wealthiest man in all of Manhattan, that’s all. And she’s the mark? Good luck with that one. Any clues as to why her?”
“Of course not. The supplier is not in the business of supplying details. That’s your job. Her father is Mercurial, that much I know.”
“That makes sense. He’s a very powerful business broker.”
“Draco’s in the habit of buying and selling businesses.”
I shook my head. “Whatever.” I cringed when I heard the favorite phrase Angelique used slip off my tongue. “See what else you can find out, you seem to know quite a lot already.”
“How are you going to get close enough to her? This is the first time your assignment has been so high profile for a human.”
“We don’t know that she is human. If Draco is her father, then she has demon blood in her.”
“She may be adopted. Wouldn’t she have some Mercurial traits that you could see if she was a demon?”
I shrugged. “I’ve only come across a few half breeds, and none that were parented by Mercurials. They are powerful enough. It is possible their offspring do not carry visible traits.” I ran my hands through my hair.
This thought spurned another, a bad one. If someone learned that this Alexis Draco happened to be the daughter of a Mercurial but showed no signs, then elimination must be immediate. It could send a message to other Mercurials to procreate, and that was the last thing any of us needed- half breeds running around untraceable.
“Find out all you can on this Alexis Raphael Draco.”
Here’s the rundown on everyone participating. Enjoy some other great excerpts and Happy Excerpt Monday!
Joining us this week:
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Christina DeLorenzo, YA (PG 13)
Nika Dixon, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)
Bryn Donovan, Paranormal Romance (PG13)
Kaige, Historic Romance (PG-13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Adelle Laudan, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG13)
RF Long, Paranormal (PG13)
Rebecca Savage, romantic suspense (PG 13)
Crista McHugh, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Michelle Arroyo, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Jax Cassidy, Contemporary Romance (R)
Maya Doyle, Paranormal Romance (R)
Cate Hart, Paranormal (R)
Ali Katz, Historical Erotic Romance (R)
Inez Kelley, Romantic Comedy (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Paranormal Romance (R)
Elise Logan, Fantasy Romance (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Paranormal Romance (R)
Alina Morgan, Urban Fantasy (R)
Vivienne Westlake, Erotic Historical (R)
June’s Excerpt Monday…
Excerpt Monday is the fabulous brain child of Mel and Bria. To catch all the action, zip over to their site and check out other authors’ posts. You can get there by going HERE. And stay tuned…at the end of this excerpt is a list of everyone participating.
Just a little warning - while the characters are in high school, they do use foul language. So, Ye Be Warned!
My eyes flicker forward as I raise my arm. My iPod slips undetected from my hand into my backpack. I flip open my textbook, refusing to acknowledge the snickers that accompany my name. I’ve come to expect it. Heaven is a torturous joke because in reality I’m so far from it.
Mr. Roberts teaches first period Ecology. As the only senior in the class, I sit in the back row. The freshmen are curious. I’m annoyed because I’m not allowed to take chemistry, like the rest of my senior classmates.
Last year’s little explosion in the chemistry lab had no less than three of Chattanooga’s full size fire engines screeching across Baylor’s campus. My father donated a healthy portion of my trust fund to pay for the damages and keep me in school until the end of the spring semester. All with the promise my parents would enroll me elsewhere my final year. Baylor was fun. Probably one of the few boarding schools I enjoyed. I found it easy to latch onto a bunch of earthy, hippie type kids with too much money…little parental supervision, and extremely creative ideas… Meth lab on campus my ass. Someone had the bright idea to experiment with the color spectrum of various chemicals – to see what burned what color. The freaky Campbell kid tweaked and started mixing liquids of every sort, even the dangerous ones. Poor guy lost his eyebrows, and he was lucky.
So, I’m stuck in Ecology with a bunch of freshmen. They take turns whipping their heads around to stare at me. Thank God, it’s a small class.
Roberts continues to call roll, and I doodle on my notebook. I glance at the clock, counting the minutes till this class is over. Not that my day gets any better. European History is followed by Advanced French. Lunch period for the entire school is from noon to one, after that I have my elective – Acting class – then study hall, and last is Senior English.
Ah… the dreaded cafeteria of a boarding institution; a cesspool of cliques, loners, faculty and misfits swirl into one grey glob as they scrutinize each other as they pass. I figure if I keep my head low that will be a deterrent. I can’t be much of a curiosity to them. After all, this is a delinquent depository and new students pop up all the time. I take my tray of mystery casserole that slowly seeps into my corn tinged Jell-o and search for closest empty spot I can find. Thank God that my milk’s in a sealed carton.
Deep, rich mahogany tables fill the matching dark paneled dining hall. The sunlight is the brightest thing that penetrates the room. It pours in through long casement windows that arch to a point near the ceiling. I feel like I’m in church.
To my dismay, my first goal to avoid contact upends – like a tray of food during a school fight – a minute after my uniformed butt hits the wooden seat.
“Nice shoes.” A brunette slides her tray across from mine, and scoots her chair closer. I look up to find her studying me with curious brown eyes.
“Jillian Carothers. What are you in for?”
I stifle a groan. I prefer to keep my past to myself.
“This and that.”
“Right.” She opens her milk carton, and shoves a straw in it. “So, what’s your name?”
Picking up my fork, I focus on pushing around the questionable yellow-green glob. I avoid her gaze, hating to watch people react to my name.
I hear her choke on her milk, a cross between a snort and a cough. Good, I hope the milk went up her nose.
“Heaven? What kind of name is that? I mean, it’s pretty and unique.”
And some kind of freak joke.
“Yep.” I scoop up the glob and watch it slide through the fork tines.
“Holy shit! I just saw Jason Carde sitting in the Headmaster’s office.” A guy’s voice attracts my attention.
Fabulous, they have multiplied like Gremlins (those furry demon monsters from that old movie). I glance across at the tall, lanky boy with messy brown hair. He slides into the chair beside Jillian.
“Why are you sitting over here?” The boy glares at her.
“Because the Ice Queen isn’t in the cafeteria today, and her court has scattered. Besides, I wanted to be the first to meet the new student.” Her eyes dart to me. “I am the first?”
I sigh. “Yep.”
“Good. Heaven this is Topher, resident pest and computer slut at large.”
“Ah Jills, I didn’t know you cared. Did you hear what I said?”
She rolls her eyes. “I don’t care. Goober, this is Heaven Nelson.”
“I already know.
My mouth drops, but before I can reply Jillian answers, “The only reason dork, here, is allowed to hang is because he’s handy with a computer – too handy.”
I look at Topher. He appears normal, but then those are always the ones to watch. “Oh, I take it Pemberly’s mainframe is an easy target?”
Jillian snorts. Topher rubs his apple on his sleeve before sinking his teeth into it.
I watch with raised eyebrows as he chews with deliberate slowness. “What’s the point in hacking the student records?”
Jillian spoons a bite of the jiggling glob into her mouth. “Blackmail,” she replies between bites.
“Blackmail is such a… negative word. I like to consider it my reputation stimulus package. I’m guaranteed complete toleration by the popular kids, and no one fucks with me.”
“Yeah, tolerate is the operative word there.” She twitches slightly like she has a shiver.
“It’s just a little hobby.”
“You have more?” I lower my chin and stare.
“Not as many as you, Miss Heaven Amelia Nelson. Or should I call you Redd.”
I cringe, and dig my fork in to the Jell-o.
Changing my focus, my gaze drifts to the far end of the room. My eyes linger on five guys as they saunter across the dining hall. The midday sunlight gleams through the beveled windows, throwing their shadows long and lean across the flagstone. Even in Puritan drab they stand out, a pack of male hunks. I can’t take my eyes off them, especially the blonde in the middle. He aimlessly walks behind a dark haired guy and one with shoulder length, auburn hair. Two more take up the rear, carrying trays. The first guy snarls at a freshman, who sits alone at the last table in the corner, while the red head pulls on the puny kid’s chair. The boy grabs his tray and scurries off. The brood claims his spot, like it’s their marked territory.
“Don’t worry.” Topher’s voice jars my thoughts.
My eyes waver back in his direction. “Worry about what?”
“Everyone at Pemberly has something on their records, some just more… interesting than others.”
“All but the Pets,” Jillian adds.
Jillian bites her lip, and Topher answers, “Headmaster Grave’s pets. They don’t get kicked out of boarding schools. They don’t do anything illegal, and I think they like being here.”
“Oh, you mean teacher’s pets.” I laugh. “For a second there, I though you actually meant animals.”
Jillian snorts. “Funny you should say that.”
I arch my eyebrow. “Funny how?”
Jillian glances over her shoulder. She shakes her head and presses her lips together.
I look back at Topher. “Why would anyone want to go to school here?”
“They came with the headmaster. All orphans or something. They live up at Haven’s Rest, and go to school here.”
“What’s Haven Rest?”
Jillian jerks her head toward the casement window. My eyes flicker to the glass. In the distance, I see the monstrous grey manor house looming on the hill.
“That’s Haven’s Rest? That’s the queen’s friggin’ summer home.” My mouth drops, and Jillian coughs, snorting her milk again. “You’re telling me, they’re orphans and live there?” I poke my fork toward the window.
Jillian shrugs. “They all have huge trust funds or something.”
Topher clenches his jaw, annoyance visible in his eyes. “They’re the only ones without any kind of record. Nothing, zilch, cleaner than white laundry on a line. ”
“Oh, that’s a shame. Can’t find anything to blackmail those unfortunate kids into being your friend?”
Jillian laughs. “They are so far from unfortunate, it’s comical.”
“Which ones are they?” I scan the crowded room.
She shares a look with Topher. Their eyes drift to the far corner table, and I follow the direction of their glance. My breath catches in my throat as my gaze meets with icy blue eyes under the thick fringe of pale blonde hair, silver in the bright sunlight. I dart my eyes away, embarrassed.
“Those guys? They look like bullies.”
“They keep to themselves, unless you step out of line. But trust me, their shit stinks just as much as ours does. I just haven’t found where the stench is coming from -yet.”
“Lovely metaphor.” I push my inedible lunch to the side and chance another peek.
The five of them huddle together. And like Topher points out, they keep to their territory and boundaries – no one goes any where near them.
“Why are you so hell-bent on exposing them? Did one of them give you a wedgie? Steal your gym shorts? Rat you out to the headmaster?”
My final statement causes his face to brighten and his jaw to lock. A wicked smile crests my lips. “Ahh, poor thing. Listen, I don’t care what you do on your path to expulsion, just keep me out of it.”
Jillian leans over her tray, emphasizing each word with her fork. “No one gets expelled from Pemberly.”
I hear the challenge. “No one? Ever?”
“Nope. The headmaster is like a superhero saint with patience. He never makes students leave. You’re stuck here till graduation.” She glances at the back table.
“But it doesn’t mean your actions don’t have consequences.” Topher slams down his apple core.
“What do you mean?”
“The headmaster’s pets, they’re like watchdogs.”
It’s my turn to snort. Thank God, I didn’t have milk in my mouth. “Watchdogs? Them?”
“Trust me, you don’t want to mess with them.”
My eyes dart to the far corner, but the blonde has his back to me. I stare too long, and his head snakes around with a distinct scowl on his lips. I turn to focus on Topher.
“I don’t plan on it.”
“You’re with us then?”
I shrug. “Sure.”
“Good. I have a plan and need your…expertise. We’ll meet tonight.”
How easily I’m swayed, stepping beyond a polite decline to the offer. I can tell there’s no refusing this criminal mastermind in the making anyway. I just hope they’re right about Graves and his no expulsion policy. I believe Topher plans to test that theory.
Check out these other authors’ excerpts. Check the ratings some are rated extra steamy, and have mature content. Happy reading!!!
Joining us this week:
Christina DeLorenzo, YA (PG 13)
Bryn Donovan, Paranormal (PG)
MG Braden, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Cynthia Justlin, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Adelle Laundan, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
RF Long, Paranormal (PG 13)
Crista McHugh, Paranormal (PG 13)
Dara Sorensen, Paranormal (PG)
Evie Byrne, Historical Romance (R)
Grace Draven, Fantasy Romance (R)
Aithne Jarretta, Paranormal (R)
Inez Kelley, Contemporary Romantic Comedy (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Paranormal (R)
Kim Knox, Erotic- Sci-fi Suspense (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Erotic- Contemporary Romance (R)
Alina Morgan, Urban Fantasy (R)
May’s Excerpt Monday post…
It’s Excerpt Monday!
Pemberly Preparatory is the last in a long line of elite boarding schools. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not some enchanted country estate school with Bennetts, Bingleys and Darcys running around between teatime; it’s not even in England. No, Pemberly Prep is a modern reform school for the uber rich. A collecting house filled with the spoiled, misguided misfits and misbegotten youth – someone like my self.
I never intentionally start trouble, it just seems to hone in on me. I have a knack for always being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This I attribute to my adventurous streak, coupled with my innate ability to pick up unsavory habits. I can pick any lock in thirty five seconds flat – it’s been timed – boost a car, even a brand new Mercedes, and hack just about anything with an internet connection.
And I am too trusting. That’s what gets me in these messes generally. No matter what sort of clique I filter into, my past sneaks up and all of a sudden I’m corrupting upstanding students. Never mind that nine times out of ten, it’s their industrious, little conniving minds that start the problem to begin with. Whether it’s the captain of the cheer squad, the future valedictorian, the outcast loner or the geek patrol, they find me and all hell breaks loose. I trust and they exploit.
So, this is my final chance at actually graduating from high school. I mean some semblance of a normal school, not that Pemberly resembles that in any shape or fashion. But the final threat is military school – in Alaska. Okay, just kidding. But seriously, military school in some remote location like Montana. This is my father’s sadistic plan. My mother thinks juvie hall is even better, because maybe I will learn a lesson and it’s free. Lucky for me, maybe, Pemberly promotes a policy of non-expulsions. And there lies the taunting challenge.
I will remain guarded, tight lipped and on my own. This time I won’t have friends, and certainly not boys; they tend to be my Achilles’ heel. Besides, it’s not like the students of Pemberly are the type to build a lifelong bond with anyway. I just need to get through senior year, and then I’m free.
The funny thing is, I completely and wholeheartedly blame my misdirected failure for love and attention on my parents. I’ve clocked hundreds of hours in numerous detention halls, studying psychoanalysis and psychology. The books say I lash out at the neglect. My parents’ answer to my repeat offenses is to take extended personal vacations, have lavish affairs and throw money at me like they’re dousing a fire. I have one hell of a kick-ass 5th Avenue wardrobe, too bad it’s of no use at Pemberly. The compulsory uniform is black and white, a Massachusetts Puritan horror of colorless shirts, jumpers and skirts.
My first day of school I boldly lace up my cherry red sneakers – let’s see how many demerits I get for this one.
To check out Mel and Bria’s brainchild, Excerpt Monday Blog, follow this path.
Check out Babette James’s excerpt and blog here. She’s got a great little story that’s paranormal and PG-13.
LOL. I just snorted coffee reading Inez Kelley’s excerpt from JINXED. You must read, you must read. It’s R and RomCom.
For a fascinating paranormal historical check out Gina’s excerpt.
Here’s Annie Nicholas’s excerpt from Bait, really cool twist on a vampire romance. It’s paranormal and R.
Check out Crista’s historical paranormal too!