About your Book:
Pierce has been on the run for two years from the man who held her captive in a vampire compound for almost a decade. Life on the run would be a lot simpler if she didn’t suffer from several social disorders and ‘quirks,’ have a ten-year-old brat in tow, as well as have two characters from a 1945 classic film living in her head and guiding her at every turn.
Targeted Age Group: 18 and older
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
The Book Excerpt:
Calm down, Pierce. Take a deep breath. Veda tells me not to panic and to stand my ground. She tells me I am more than capable of besting this guy. He won’t be expecting you to fight back, she states assuredly. She reminds me once again of all the training in self-defense I have undergone over the last few years, and what a good teacher Oscar was to me. Do him proud, Pierce, Veda encourages.
My training with Oscar had started that last year in the compound and continued in earnest up until the week he died. I had spent this last year since his death, reinforcing all that he had taught me, while further complementing and adding to it by taking the odd class here and there when I could. Dorian, or anyone he sends after me, will never suspect that Ms. Crazy has made the sane decision to never be a victim again.
This guy is Dorian’s man. Like Dorian, he wants to hurt you, Veda says. This guy wants to beat you to a pulp. You are strong, you are a fighter, he will not know this, and you will win. Men will always underestimate the supposed weaker sex, even if they suspect them to be dangerous.
Although it is Veda who is uttering this to me right now, she is in fact quoting from something Oscar used to say to me over and over again.
She is impressively even trying to imitate his Spanish accent for good measure.
Mr. Pink appears to be in his late twenties – a good ten years or so younger than his cowboy counterpart inside. He has black or perhaps dark brown hair from what I can see of it under the sloucher beanie hat he is wearing. There is a haze of stubble on his face. His left arm is covered in an elaborate, intricate tattoo sleeve – all black and gray – with a large G-Shock, diver’s-style watch in bright blue around his wrist. It’s a splash of unexpected color. His right wrist sports a loose, knotted, thin piece of leather. The edge of a series of black kanji symbols are just peeking out from under the pale pink, short, sleeve of his right arm. I cannot see all of them, but those I can list words like: evil, death, insanity and sorrow. Yes, I can read Japanese.
And yeah, that is a bit disturbing, Veda, before you say anything.
He has no piercings from what I can see, though. Strange for someone with that much artwork on him. His dark brown eyes flicker with flecks of gold as he watches my perusal of him with a small dash of curiosity and a whole heap of predatory.
The former is definitely directed at my face armor.
I also notice, as I stare into their depths, a hint of something hovering on the periphery, something akin to a hint of crazy.
How can you tell? Veda asks me.
It takes one to recognize one I guess, is my reply.
As Pink continues to look with unabashed interest at my silver, I think, as I usually do, that no one will truly understand why I feel the need to make my outer freak appear greater than my inner one.
Well, maybe Oscar, but then again he died before this face mutilation phase went from a simple nose-piercing to the extreme it is today.
Veda and I consider Pink’s predatory look next. Is he daring me to make a run for it? It’s as if he can think of nothing that would delight him more than to give chase. He is wearing loose-fitting black jeans, Doc Martins and the logo on his form-fitting pink T shirt proclaims in loud silver sparkles, “Sexy Bitch.”
Or he is just gay, Veda adds.
She has a point.
I look up from reading to see the curiosity has been replaced with amusement. The predator is still very apparent. He raises an eyebrow in a challenging manner. I am up for a challenge alright, but maybe not the one he is thinking. He inhales deeply, sniffing the air, and I wonder for a moment how bad this alley must smell. There are some benefits to having anosmia I suppose.
We are now engaged in a standoff of sorts. Inner Veda is straightening her bandana with one hand and holding her gun sideways, ‘gangsta-style’ in the other.
I sigh inwardly at her. After all the shooting lessons of mine she has been present for, she should know better by now.
There is no sign of Mildred, but we can hear the sounds of pots and pans being used urgently in the mind-kitchen.
La Veda Loca shrugs at me, what is there to say, Mildred bakes when nervous.
Mildred bakes me nervous too. Veda chuckles at her own joke.
Really Veda? Is this really the time to be kidding around?
Reaching behind me, pretending to straighten my sweatshirt, my fingers close around the gun. I flick off the safety with my thumb. I have seen enough movies to know pulling a gun out and threatening the clearly stronger, bigger and probably professional killer of a man is not going to work. It never works on T.V., so chances are high it will not work now.
I know if Oscar were still alive he would encourage me to be ruthless and just shoot the cabrón where he stands, as he was prone to say. His words, not mine.
Although I do stand by the statement of if you point a gun at someone you had better be prepared to use it, I believe that surely there has to be a way to make my escape without going to those extremes. This kind of thinking will be my downfall, as Oscar would tell me often.
I leave the gun ready to use but where it is.
We stand facing each other, waiting for the other one to make the first move, I assume. I know I can defend myself should he attack – but how do I feel about doing the attacking? I have done it in practice – but my opponent never changed in training. While I have been working out with punching bags and weights – is it really the same thing? Will it be effective? Only one way to find out.
Go for it, chica!
I mentally review my fight repertoire and decide on some simple yet effective kick-boxing moves I am confident will get this guy down and out of my way for the few minutes I need to make my escape. He will not be expecting me to fight, as the only person in the world who actually knows how well I can defend myself, other than me of course, is dead, and has been for the last year. The timid, naïve, and submissive punching bag I used to be in my youth will never exist again. Dorian will not know this – and by extension, neither will anyone he hires to find me.
Mr. Pink Shirt closes his eyes for a second as if trying to recognize something he can smell.
This is my moment and I decide to seize it.
I take two steps forward, closing the gap between us to just outside arm’s reach. My thought is to throw a front kick straight up against his chin as hard as possible. Kickboxing thrives on this sort of move, and with Oscar as my relentless teacher it has been drilled into me with years of practice to make the move with such speed my opponent should not have time to react or counter it. Just like in either of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies, I can envision quite clearly the moves and steps I will take to bring my opponent to his knees. If the move is made correctly, Mr. Pink should be incapacitated for long enough for me to get away. If delivered efficiently, this sort of kick is perfected to the point that it can be delivered quickly, powerfully and without being telegraphed.
Or so I thought.
I make the move. Faster than anything I have ever seen from Oscar who I considered a god among gods in the training arena, Mr. Pink Shirt not only blocks my attack, but counters it with a lightning strike of his own that has me flying backwards through the air and landing on my ass.
So not like it went down in Sherlock Holmes after all.
As feared, my gun has flown out from its precarious hold at the back of my pants, and has landed several feet away from me to the right.
Ignoring my smarting backside, I flip up from my semi-horizontal position back up onto my feet. A classic martial arts move. Guess he knows I can hold my own now.
He doesn’t look too worried though.
Veda, helpful as ever.
Well I guess I did just end up on my ass after all. I can hardly blame him for not looking too worried.
If he underestimates you, that’s good for us isn’t it?
Shush Veda, I am trying to concentrate here.
Pink tilts his head and looks puzzled.
Damn. Was I talking out loud to Veda again? It happens. I shrug at him apologetically. His confusion can only help me…right?
Of course Pink has noticed my gun too. He raises an eyebrow at me, or at the fact I actually have a gun in the first place, and via his body language he makes it quite clear he will not let me get anywhere near it to pick it up and use it. I move back to within range of him and we start a series of upper body exchanges, blow, counter, cut, counter, punch, counter. It’s as if he can anticipate my every attack and has a response for it ready and waiting.
What’s more, he does not seem to even be breathing heavily after several minutes of this fist and arm bantering. My breathing on the other hand is labored, and I am sweating like a whore in church.
Veda rolls her eyes at the corny cliché, which momentarily distracts me and the result is an upper cut that has me flying back and onto my ass again, mirroring the move from earlier. I stay down a few seconds to catch my breath and peer up at him, the afternoon sun behind him momentarily obscuring a clear view of his features and expression.
Is he enjoying himself?
Yes, he sure is. He is kicking your culo too.
I also get the funny feeling that he is holding back. If that is in fact the case, then that is pretty scary to be honest.
Veda agrees with me.
Pink, bouncing lightly on his feet, extends his arm towards me and gives me a beckoning ‘bring it on’ gesture.
I gasp to Veda. Did he just Matrix me? He fucking just Matrixed me didn’t he?
Yup, Veda answers. Cheeky asshole – go kick his butt!