Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Only When They Blink

Whew. The Last Ship had one of the best finales I've seen in a while. I'm so thrilled season four and five are already on tap and we'll get more of this terrific show. I'm honestly excited to see where things go with Tom, who's so broken right now, the Greens and their new family, and the rest of the crew of the Nathan James. Gonna be a very loooonnng wait for 2017.

Still need to catch up on Dark Matter so I haven't seen the finale yet. Hopefully next week I'll have some final thoughts on this season.

I think Gotham starts this week and I'm interested in where things will end up. With so many disturbed and unbalanced people on the loose, Gordon and company will have their hands full.

Fall television will be in full swing soon so there might be more shows added to the roundup.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Only When They Blink, a novella written as an updated and modern spin on The Princess and the Pea.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Hale Easterson has fae blood running in his veins, but he won't follow the family old school traditions and mate by the designated age. He escapes to his private lake house to find an unconscious Winter Sorn, a beautiful woman, sprawled on his doorstep and realizes he may not be able to avoid what destiny has in store.

And a preview snippet…

A slap of cold air pushed Winter back into consciousness. She opened her mouth to scream, wildly trying to figure out what happened. The air whooshed from her lungs when her gaze caught sight of rolling pavement, the sound of wind screaming around her ears. The door of a speeding car hung open.
What the hell?
Pain rushed to her nerve endings and the memory crashed through her brain. A fist to the side of her face. Her head snapping back to meet the end of the bar. Hitting the floor in a crumbling heap. Then kicking. Over and over again.
The stupid assholes beat her.
Fight or flight instinct kicked in and Winter struggled against the restraining arms holding her captive. "Let me go!" She reared back, the fast-moving pavement outside sending a wave of dizziness through her.
The bands of steel holding her tightened more. "Hey, boss. The bitch woke up." Fetid breath fanned her face.
Fighting the urge to gag, Winter growled. "Let. Me. Go." She fought against him, needles of agony prickling everywhere.
Her entire body ached, like a huge, throbbing wound.
Martin craned his head around. "The plan doesn't change. Toss her out, Butchie. We don't need her anymore." He hit the accelerator, increasing their speed. "Stupid bitch can't possibly survive. Not when we're doing ninety."
Winter went limp. No way would she make it easy to throw her out of a moving car. Butchie cursed up a storm, pushing and jockeying her closer to edge. The wind whipped her hair around her face and the roar of the speeding vehicle whistled along her ears. The rolling pavement got blurrier when Butchie manhandled her toward the open door. He gave a hard shove and Winter hurtled out of the vehicle.
With no other option, she tucked her head and rolled when she hit the ground. Jarring pain ripped through her and she swallowed dirt, but landed in a sprawled heap, rolling over and over until her shoulders and head met something hard and solid. Stars burst behind her eyelids and she moaned. Everything ached—even her teeth. She tasted blood and spit a mixture of reddened mud and saliva out of her mouth.
Gasping for air, she couldn't drag much in. Punctured lung or just winded? She didn't know. Too much agony to focus on a single injury. She tried to move but the stars got brighter and the thumping in her head turned into a massive bass line. Shutting everything out, she concentrated on getting her bearings. Butchie and Martin didn't have more than a dozen brain cells between them. They couldn't have gone that far.
Moving very slowly, she rolled to her stomach and carefully raised her head, glancing quickly around. Nothing but waning light, trees, and rocks surrounded her, including the craggy one directly beside her. The call of a seagull pierced the air. Okay, and water. But where? Crawling forward, she winced with the effort it took. Yeah, maybe not a good idea.
Tears filled her vision. She had to find shelter. Good idea or not, she would suck it up and proceed. The temperature already hovered chilly and cold.
With twilight turning to dusk, nocturnal sounds floated on the windy air. Easing forward, she weighed the option of turning around and making her way to the road or the better plan to try for the treeline, at least to get out of the wind and maybe find a house. Her vision swimming, she opted for the trees. She struggled hard, slowly getting her feet under her. She stayed low, fighting dizziness and slowly moved in the direction she needed to go, gritting her teeth against the searing agony.
Dusk headed toward full-on darkness by the time she reached the trees, a blanket of pine needles and leaves greeting her arrival. Collapsing, she sprawled forward, unable to stay upright. She cradled her head on her arms.
Dragging in a haggard breath, she exhaled slowly. "No more. Can't go any further."
A tinkling chime drew her attention. Angling toward the musical sound, she spotted a welcoming light through the trees. Please, please let that be a house.
Digging deep, she got to her knees and headed toward the warm, golden beacon. The journey took a lot longer than she expected, but she finally emerged from the woods onto a stone patio. To her right, moonlight shimmered off a lake. To the left, a set of six wide steps shaped in a semi-circle led up to a house with weathered cedar siding. The steps looked daunting, each one about ten feet across.
With no other option, Winter started forward on her hands and knees. Her head pounded, her throat hurt, and she needed help. Praying someone would be home, she hit the first riser, wincing when the splintered wood dug into her hands. What's one more injury, right?
Halfway to the house, her waning strength gave out. Her vision swimming again, Winter closed her eyes, fully intending to rest a while then continue the rest of the way to the top.
Fate had another idea and, a few moments later, Winter succumbed to the inky blackness of unconsciousness.

I'm having a terrific time putting a modern spin on this classic fairy tale. I'm also loving the paranormal element.

That's it for this week.



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