Good morning! I’m blogging from the chilly Four Corners area of New Mexico this morning.  Brrrrr!

I’m excited to share some new excerpts with you this morning. I have posted a few for THE CURSE over on the Resplendence Readers form on CoffeeTime but what you will get here are a few that I’ve  not posted yet anywhere. To catch up on previously posted excerpts you can go to Resplendence Readers here:

This morning I’m sharing a piece of Chapter Six. Claire had returned to the Outer Banks after she left in a flurry during a hurricane. When she left she was confused and didn’t know whether the mystery man who had invaded her nights while she was staying on the beach (and who she’d made love with) was real or a ghost. She’d returned to Cincinnati to try to get her life back together but the ocean, and this mystery man’s voice, haunted her. Finally, after cutting off her relationship to her long-time boyfriend Rick, she sold her business, her home and moved to the ocean. Rick, however, has other plans….


Panting, nearly crying, she screamed as she swung open the gate and passed through.  No time to lock up.  Racing toward the shelter of the lighthouse, she tore through the short expanse of sand.

The heavy door of the lighthouse beckoned to her. 

Oh please don’t let it be locked.  Please, oh please…
Both hands gripped the old brass door pull.  She mustered up all the strength she had and pulled.  The door hesitated, and then swung open.  She slipped inside, turned, and pulled it closed.

Not thinking about the consequences of her actions—not thinking that if Rick and his goons got inside that there would be no escape, she swirled, looking for a hiding place.  There was none.  In fact, there was nothing but the tall circular stairway spiraling up from the ground to the top of the structure.

She took the stairs.  Running scared, running on pure adrenaline, she took them two at a time.  As she ascended, she felt safer, until about a third of the way up.  A faint shaft of light plunged upward when one of Rick’s goons opened the door.

Be quiet.  Be very still. 

Maybe they’ll think you went out the crack in the back.  Maybe they’ll leave.  So she waited in the shadows.  Barely seeing their movements below.  She waited…until the sound of heavy footfall echoed inside the round chamber below.

Keep running, Claire.  Keep going.  Up and up. 
Fight for it,
Claire.  Fight for your freedom.
But she was too winded.  Tired.  Too tired to fight it.  Too tired to run.  After all, what was at the top? 


Nowhere to go but down.  She didn’t relish the thought.  Her pace slowed and she knew she wasn’t going to make it. 

C’mon, Claire. 
The footsteps grew louder behind her.  She slowed. 

C’mon, Claire! 
Lifting her foot one last time, with a final burst of energy, she tried, but her toe slipped off the step and she fell forward with a scream.  Large hands, not Rick’s, grasped her waist and pulled her up.  Turning to face him, with one last bit of energy, she clawed at the man.

“Get your hands off me!  I’m not going anywhere with you.”

“Yes, you are, Claire.  You’re coming with me.”  Rick stepped up confidently behind the man.  She didn’t see the third man, and hoped he’d run off in another direction.  Pinned between the staircase rail and Rick’s goon, she felt his body press entirely too close, and by the look in his eyes, he was enjoying the position.

“Get him off me, Rick.  Now,” she snarled.

“If you stop struggling, I’ll agree for him to let go.”

She glared.  “Why are you doing this, Rick?”

His gaze narrowed.  “I don’t want anyone else to have you.  Ever.”  Fingers of panic spread across her back.  The man holding her crowded closer.  She wanted to puke down his neck.

“Get this slimy bastard off me, Rick.”  She twisted her body away from him.

“Stop struggling and I will.”

His face possessed the most irritating smirk.

“Fine.  I’ll stop struggling.”

He nodded to the man and he released her.  She immediately bolted up the stairs.

“Get her!”

It only took another instant, but again, she was caught in the man’s vise-like grip.  He pounded her against the iron railing, pain radiated from her spine.  “It’s not going to work!  You can’t force me like this!”

Rick sneered.  “It looks like I already have.”  He laid a soft finger on her sweaty cheek.  “I promised you adventure, baby.  Just think of this as a new kind of adventure.  One in which you have no control.”  His finger trailed down her neck to her breast and dipped into her cleavage.  The man holding her chuckled.  “The possibilities are endless.”

She looked from Rick’s face to the man holding her against the rail.  His eyes were too hungry.  And she didn’t like the way he was looking at her breasts.  My God!  What in hell did Rick have in mind for her?

Once more.  I’ve got to try once more.
With her breasts distracting both Rick and the other man’s, she acted quickly.  Bracing herself against the railing, she quickly thrust her knees up and kicked the man opposite her square in the stomach.  He faltered back.  Claire ducked under Rick’s arm, and tripped down three or four steps.

Reaching out, Rick lunged, catching the hem of her gown and yanked.  The satin ripped, she tripped forward against the wall.  Rick wrestled her until she stopped kicking.  He stood and pulled her up against him.  “You’re really playing the game aren’t you Claire,” he huffed.  His lips almost touched hers.

“I don’t play games,” she sneered back.

The lighthouse appeared to rumble then, with sparks of light rotating three-sixty inside the thing.  In an instant the deafening noise vanished, and the Claire heard the sweetest sound….

The sound of her name shot up through the cylinder, suspended there, drifting up like a life-rope.  Time stopped.  A contradictory sensation of fast-forward and silent slow motion grabbed her.  She glanced over her shoulder to the dark circle of floor below, and saw him.

She gasped.  Jack?
Her chest heaved with both exhilaration and fatigue.  Turning back         to Rick, she briefly studied his face and knew what she had to do.  Once more she looked over her shoulder and saw Jack’s outstretched arms and the slight nod of his head.

Trust me.
With a power she didn’t know she possessed, she kicked, clawed and screamed until finally, oh, so finally, she broke free.  Pushing Rick.  Kicking the other man out of the way.  She knew what she had to do.

In one swift movement, she leapt over the railing, teetering on the edge of the staircase, too many feet high above the floor.  Too many feet to think about surviving a fall of that distance.  And without another thought, she jumped.

The single word ripped from Rick’s throat and trailed behind her body as she dropped into the dark abyss below.

She fell. 

Falling free of Rick, free of her past, free of the pain, free of a life that had never really been lived.

Free.  Free at last.

With a soft thud she landed in Jack’s arms and they closed securely around her.  She felt him lovingly cradle her body to his.  At once he became her salvation and her life, meshing his soul with hers.  She trusted him, truly trusted him. 

Only him. 

He would never let her go.

He would never hurt her.  He would love her always.

In the next instance, within a flash of light and a soundless streaming vessel of colors, he stepped away from the center and carried her through the crack in the back of the lighthouse.  Claire felt a strange sort of sensation.  Like that of returning somewhere after a long absence.

Like coming home.



THE CURSE will be available for download on November 13. Look for print shortly after.



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