Posted: September 20, 2012 in My Books

Excerpts from the first two books in my Jukebox Heroes series.

From The Hand of Fate:

“Can I buy you a drink?” I heard someone say.  I glanced up to see a familiar-looking blond talking to my best friend.

Elizabeth turned away from her menu and leveled her best glare at the guy.  I heaved a mental sigh.  If he had asked to buy me a drink, I might have let him.  He was pretty cute and seemed harmless enough – and it was just a drink, not a car or an engagement ring.  But Elizabeth would probably shred his tender little feelings and kick him a few times as he scurried away with his tail tucked between his legs.  She’d just broken up with her boyfriend, Larry – for the second time.  She was into window shopping only these days.

“Have you heard of the women’s liberation movement?” she asked the guy.  “See, a while back a bunch of women got tired of getting the short end of the stick.  They busted their asses so that I’d have the right and the ability to buy my own damned drinks.”

From Call Out:

“My mom says I used to say and do some pretty strange stuff when I was a little kid.  I’d talk to people who weren’t there, or talk about things I shouldn’t have had a clue about.  My parents thought I was just imaginative and observant,” he said, making air quotes with his free hand.  “The older I got, the weirder I got.  I stopped talking to invisible people, but sometimes I would just…know things.  Like, one night I woke up crying, because I knew my granddad had died.  Mom didn’t get the call from Grandma until a couple of hours later.  Heart attack, out of the blue.  But I’d known about it before Mom did.”

I squeezed his hand.  I’d heard enough stories about this sort of thing that it didn’t shock or surprise me.  Hell, I’d had a couple of similar experiences myself.

“When I was fourteen, Jerry disappeared.”

“His brother,” Brian explained.

“He was 18, and the police thought he had just run away.  But my parents are awesome.  I mean, we fought with them, yeah, but…run away?  From what?”  London shook his head.  “We were all pretty freaked out.  No one had heard anything from him – his friends, his girlfriend,” he closed his eyes, remembering.

“His girlfriend came over, just needing to hang out with the family, you know?  And she showed me the ring he’d bought her.  A promise ring, because he couldn’t afford an engagement ring yet.  She showed me that ring, and I had one of my feelings.  I asked her to hand me the ring, and the second she laid it in the palm of my hand, I knew Jerry was more or less okay.  I didn’t know where he was, but I knew he was alive.”

London swallowed a couple of times, and Brian got up without being asked to grab a bottle of water from the minifridge.  He uncapped it and handed it to London, who gave a little nod of thanks before sucking down a couple of gulps of water.

“The police found Jerry the next day.  He’d been in an accident a couple of towns over, and he hadn’t woken up yet.”  He gave me a little smile.  “The story has a happy ending.  I’m telling you because you look nervous.”

I laughed.  I couldn’t help it.  In the middle of retelling a traumatic story, and the guy’s quoting The Princess Bride at me.  Or maybe misquoting.  I wasn’t sure.  “Maybe a little concerned,” I quoted back at him.

He smiled.  “Jerry made it through just fine.  Didn’t marry the girlfriend, though.”

I said the first thing that popped into my head.  “How did your brother manage to end up with a normal name like Jerry?”


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