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Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Minnette Meador

An urban fantasy thriller
By Minnette Meador
Click on the video to hear the author read the excerpt.

Chapter One – Part 1
From the Shadows
 (Join us over the next five days to hear and read the next segment)

A faint laugh echoed against the steel I-beamed ceilings—a man’s laugh.
Or was it?
Belle pirouetted on the hard asphalt. Her hips warmed when they hit the hot side of her car. She squinted at the blinking fluorescent lights. They stuttered against the garage in fitful illumination.
“Hello?” The word echoed back to her unaccompanied, sending pins and needles through her hand as it tightened on the strap of her purse.
Belle’s senses sharpened almost painfully: the metal keys biting into the flesh of her palm, the blood slamming against her eardrums. A gust of fear rushed through her spine, setting her ears ringing, preparing her to fight—or maybe run.
Instincts. The word pulsed through her thoughts quickly.
She pushed her head forward, straining to listen, trying to penetrate the shadows to locate that chilling laugh. Instead, all she heard was the tick-tick-tick of her engine cooling and the muted hiss of silence.
Was it real?
A moment of doubt made her step away from the car. She stared at the oily surface of the garage floor, mesmerized. The scuffed blacktop triggered a memory.
A pale hand coiled around her face, clamped hard against her lips and nose, cutting off her oxygen. She desperately bit, clawed and fought, but nothing loosened that unnatural grip. It clung to her face like an iron mask.
Belle squeezed her eyes tight, willing the memory to go away. She knew the deeply masculine violation had permanently infected her confidence. There was nothing she could do about it. Uncertainty was her constant confidante. She had to pull strength from a deep will to fight the trembling.
It’s just a memory. A memory can’t hurt you. The mantra lost juice in the silence.
Even with a year of therapy and all her martial arts training, a cold chill still ran through Belle in this eerie-ass garage. The attack was a year ago today, wasn’t it? She knew anniversaries sometimes triggered memories, but knowing that didn’t help.
Broken lights deposited black shadows in one corner. Peering into the darkness, Belle fancied she saw two beaming pins of white, like eyes. Another blaze of recall weakened her knees.
Sliding backwards on broken heels into the shadows, she was a rag doll in his arms.
Belle shook her head violently to dislodge the flashback and deliberately rushed toward an elevator that seemed to fall away from her as she moved. Frozen bumps formed on her neck.
Ripples of static tingled against her face, electrifying her hair until it danced. A sweet smoky smell enveloped her senses. His smell. She couldn’t move—wouldn’t move—a kind of desire pushed through her, forcing her to comply. Her body went limp in his embrace, as if he had opened her soul and thrust himself inside her—
Pulling in a shaking breath, she scanned the solid concrete pillars as she moved and found the exact spot where John had stood that night, hoping that memory would expel the others.
Her ears rang with the sound of a stranger’s voice bouncing across the concrete. “Hey! You! What the hell do you think you’re…”
The monster dropped her. Her tailbone snapped sending waves of nausea through her bowels. She threw up and curled into a ball of shock. Everything fizzled like an ailing balloon into black.
From out of the shadows around her, another sound eclipsed the laugh.
Her feet and heart stopped simultaneously. Fire rose in her cheeks and the back of her hands. The whispered word was soft, haunting—close. Ice wrapped around her spine.
“Who’s there?” she demanded, but only silence answered.


Minnette Meador said...

Good morning, everyone! I'm so glad I was able to join Whipped Cream this week for a week of features and to celebrate the release of The Belle Stalker. Please feel free to ask questions. Make sure to leave a comment for a chance to win the Portland Goodie Tote and for anyone who sends their name and address to mmeador at minnettemeador dot com you will receive a special package as my thanks for joining me this week! :o)

KirstenF said...

Love how you decided to do the audio clip! Seems to have worked out great!


Jean P said...

I really enjoyed listening to that chapter, it was riveting, had me on edge, wondering. Absolutely great!

skpetal at hotmail dot com

wanda f said...

Cant wait to read this book .It sounds like my kind of read .I love being kept on the edge of my seat , a book that just grabs me and wont let go.

Stacie said...

I love sneak peeks into new books. Makes me want to read them more. Wednesday needs to hurry up and get here. Good luck with your next book!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book. It looks like an exciting story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Bama said...

afternoon! :)

Leanne109 said...

Love love love the vid! You have a great voice :)It's nice to come visit you again, especially on one of my favourite sites :D


Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Kirsten - I'm a little nervous with these. This is my first time doing a book reading on tape. :o)

Thanks, Jean! There's more to come so make sure to come back each day this week for some more chills...

I hope you get a chance to read it, Wanda. It is definitely edge of your seat and goes fast from start to finish. I LOVE this genre!

Thanks, Stacie. I'll be posting links just as soon as I have them!

Thanks, Maureen! Thanks so much for coming over and visiting... hope to see you through the week!

There's my Bama! ~waves~ How are you darlin'?

I love it when you visit, Leanne, and I know how busy you are with your own blog (Books Read N Makeup Done, for those of you who LOVE books and makeup like me!) - I LOVE LASR and Whipped Cream a bunch. They were one of my very first websites when I first started writing. They have been amazing! Love you guys!

Bama said...

waves back... I'm ok I guess lol

Julie Robinson said...

That was fantastic, Minnette! I loved hearing you read--a nice bedtime story for me. lol
And a very appropriate one during this month.

Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Julie! It's probably a little creepy right before bed. LOL I'm glad you enjoyed it! :o)

Vanetta Q said...

Ok Found Chapter One! :) Can't wait to read this book in the entire!

Thanks Minnette!

Vanetta at ymail com

shadow_kohler said...

Congrats on the Bell Stalker! How awesome! Cant wait to get me a copy. ;) Awesome video! I loved it. Im so hooked on this. A definite get! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

WOW! That was one heck of a hook! I am really anxious to read it and see what happens next.

Molly AT reviewsbymolly DOT com