Excerpt-From Unpublished Work

Dame Rinda

Dame Rinda

 I want to be at the Romantic Times Convention with the other Dames.  I want to be a part of the mash up Mark Henry talked about at the end of this post.  Instead, I’m home working.  But that’s okay, because I want to be a Dame with a book cover in our sidebar and on our book page more.  I want it badly enough to be closing down the end of the first book in another series I’m writing. 

So, while I’m working hard, I thought I’d share an excerpt from Dweller on the Threshold—the book that snagged Agent Dame’s attention. In this scene, my heroine, Beri O’Dell, has managed to tear a rip in a pretty strong magic ward.  Oh, and she’s breaking into the hero’s place of business at the time. <g> Hope you enjoy! (And if profanity turns you off, you might want to skip. She’s pretty upset.)


     It sucked my hand through like there was a vacuum on the other side, causing my body to slam into the ward.  Even though I’d prepared for the zap, I hadn’t realized what a full body version would feel like.  Probably what wrapping myself in an electric fence would.  I cried out as hot tears squeezed from under my clenched eyelids.  Shaking uncontrollably, I gasped, sobbed and curled my arm up until I could grasp at the top of the ward.  It may have looked like liquid, but it felt more like hot, living steel.  
     Getting a good grip, I bit down on the inside of my cheek to try and stop the faint I could feel hovering at the edge of my mind and pulled.  Pain scrambled my brain but I reached through that rip and managed to get both hands around the top so I could do a sort of chin up and get my head into that opening.
     Blythe was clapping and jumping up and down.  With my brain screaming from the pain, she sounded far away.  So did Phro as she burst into loud laughter.  It was the best thing she could have done.  Reminded me that I must look a sight squirming in mid air through something they couldn’t see. 
     When both of them went quiet, I barely paid attention.  I did, however, notice when someone grabbed my hand and yanked me through the hole.  I hit the ground hard and just lay there, gasping air into lungs that felt singed to the core.  I blinked watery eyes, but had already figured out who had pulled me through.  I smelled Nikolos’ sharp, masculine scent despite the burning in my nose.  I swallowed back a curse.
     “You’re an idiot.” He squatted over me, fury making his eyes look like hard, unforgiving onyx.  His nostrils flared. “My wards could have fried you into a speck of dirt on my floor.”
     “They didn’t.”
     He shook his head, lips twisting on one side.  “I turned this one down when I felt you kick in the back door.”
     “Felt that, did you?” My words were slurred.  Come to think of it, his face was kind of uh, slurred.  I grinned and struggled to get to my feet.
     He frowned, then reached down to help, his big hands hot on my arm.  I sucked in air and pulled away.  I was too scared of what that writhing mass of life around him could do to me in this vulnerable state.
     But Nikolos didn’t know that.  He growled and pulled me to my feet before shaking me. 
     “Hey!”  I was still moving weird, like I was surrounded by syrup instead of air, so it took forever to pull out the ruby-handled knife that I had NOT put in a drawstring bag, thank you very much.  I swished it in front of his face, scowling when he suddenly laughed.  Why was he moving around so much?  I narrowed my eyes and went to jab him and just kept moving until I hit one of the real walls in his hallway.  I did manage to turn at the last minute and not stab it.  Instead, I kind of slid down it a bit. 
     Damn knees felt like Jello.
     “Beri, you’re magic drunk!” Phro yelled from the other side of the ward.  “Why don’t you wait a couple of minutes before you get your ass kicked, eh?”
     “I’m doin’ the kicking,” I garbled and closed my eyes for a second.  She was bopping around over there and it was making me sick.  One of her was enough…but two?  “Not drunk either.  Just stunned.”  I held up my thumb and index finger about an inch apart.  “Jus’ a little stunned.”
     “Suit yourself.”  She shrugged and sneered at the handful of spirits crowding her. 
     I shook my head and started moving unsteadily up the wall, then yelped when Nikolos swept me completely off my feet and carried me down the hall.
     “You want to see why I keep that ward so strong?”  His hand slid under my butt.
     My neck and a few other places went hot.  His chest felt solid and so incredibly warm against my cheek.  I squirmed.  “So you can feel me up?  Put me down!”  I felt around for my knife and realized I must have dropped it.  “I can walk.”
     “Shut up.  Just shut up.”  He gritted his teeth, tightened his grip on me.  “All you had to do was wait until I was here and then ask me.  I would have showed you anything you wanted to see.”
     “Anything?”  I closed my eyes.  Oh please, please, let me have just thought that.  I opened them to find an answering fire burning in his eyes.  I realized he’d been sliding his hand under my ass to get to the door handle, but instead, he turned it palm up and cupped one cheek.
     Yeah, I had most definitely said that aloud.  “What about Blythe?”  I peeked over his shoulder to find her standing where I’d left her—on the other side of the ward.  Her eyes were the size of half dollars.
     “She does not need to see this.”
     The door opened and I twisted my neck to see into the room, only to find myself suddenly glad he was still carrying me.  My legs would have given had I been standing because the first thing I saw was photographic carnage.  Image after image of things no one should see.  It hit me that the person carrying me was the one responsible for what was on these walls.  Stunned sober, I smashed my fist into his face.  Blood flew from his nose as he dropped me.
     I hit the floor, harder this time.  Scrambling back, I jumped to my feet and gathered the energy for a roundhouse, but he merely caught my ankle in mid air and flipped me.
     Fucking flipped me.
     His blood still flowed because it splattered the white floor before I hit it again.  My knees cracked on the hard tile.  With all the wind knocked out of me, I gulped, choking to bring in air, but I quickly stood.  My mind desperately tried to sort the images on the walls around me, to understand why he had them there and before I could stop it, acid washed up my esophagus.  Spotting a gray trashcan in the corner, I lunged and lost my fast-food breakfast.  “Oh man,” I gasped, knees wobbly.
     “See why I didn’t want the little witch in here?”
     His deep voice was right over my head.  I should have known he was a killer, shouldn’t have listened to my suddenly alive and begging female parts and focused instead on the mass of trapped victims around him.  Victims that now had faces.  People slaughtered like animals.
     A cold, wet towel flopped over the back of my exposed neck.
     “I didn’t kill these people.”
     “You can read minds?”
     “No.  Reason and deduction, Beri.  I warded this part of my shop so animated beings could not pass.  I covered the walls with news clippings and photographs of murder victims.  But I did not kill these people.  Stand up and look again.”


  1. says

    love this! the tension between Beri and Nikolos is fabulous–but what happens next??? It’s cruel to tease us like this 😉

  2. says

    I was so nervous about putting this up. 😉

    Glad you liked it. I love Beri and Nikolos and have such huge plans for their story, though it gets really dark. And next, is a pretty inportant reveal. One I can’t share yet, so I must tease.

  3. Dorthy says

    Oh, that was great! I want more!
    *stomps feet and jumps up and down throwing a fit like a 3 yr old*

    More, More, More.
    *Opens one eye and looks up, to see no sympathy and a now cranky author*

    Ok, so that didn’t work, doesn’t work when my 3 yr old does it either, but thought I’d try. :)

    I loved this little sneak peak. I can’t wait for the book. No pressure though…is it done yet? … is it done yet? Is it…;) Ok, I’ll lay off. Really though, this was a great glimpse into a new world and I can’t wait to explore.

  4. says

    Thanks Dorthy and Catie. Yes, this book is done. It’s the one that snagged my agent. :) It’s now out on submission along with part of book two. So maybe if everyone sends up a ton of positive wishes, an editor will soon fall in love with it. LOL!

    There’s a snippet of a scene on my blog from book two under the WIP tab. There are probably a couple of other bits and pieces on the blog–oh, there is one hot scene without any sex. In fact, this was written during the first draft when this was a third person book. I should blog about rewriting a book from third to first. But this scene stayed in. Just changed a bit.


  5. Cat in the Southern Fried US says

    I liked your action descriptions which is something of a struggle for me in my writing right now. Yours are very well done. I can learn something here, I think.

    Too bad I can’t read the whole book!

    P.S. I wish I were at RT Orlando, too. 😀

  6. Zita Hildebrandt says

    Well, you should take a page from your own book, bust through the wards of a publishing house, slam that book down and glamour them into printing it, along with all the rest of the series, written and unwritten, for as long as you are able to write about Beri and Nikolos, including spin-offs. I’ll write the spell, you kick the @ss.

    This is too good not to be printed. You can tell them I said so :-)


  7. says

    Cat, I love writing action scenes the most! In fact, Rachel and I have a way of watching each other’s action scenes for shorter sentences, tension, etc. I’ll talk to her about us doing some blog posts together on that.

    Zita, the long submission process can be a little difficult and it tends to make you second guess your work. You just made my entire week pick up. Thanks!

    Thanks for the vibes, Brooke. And I have to admit, I’m having probably a little too much fun as a tease…

  8. Jackie B says

    I agree with Catie!! Beta reading a story like this wouldn’t be a problem at all. : )

    You shouldn’t be nervous about putting snippets up–you’re a wonderful writer! Anytime one of my bosses walked by I cursed because I had to quit reading and pretend to work.

  9. says

    Thanks Jen and Bonnie! You know what’s funny, Jen? My YA voice is coming out so very, very different. But while rereading Dweller for excerpts, I realized I might be fighting that snarkier voice. Wait, is it snarkier or more snarky? (The new love for the word stupider out there has me confused. )

  10. says

    Dang it! Rinda, you are such a tease. I want more. Now, please. I can’t believe you haven’t had more nibbles on this! Awesome stuff, lady. Srsly.

    (I wish I was at RT, too. I’m on vacation. Fifty miles from Orlando. But I could pick RT or RWA this year and since my book isn’t out yet, it seemed like RT would be better for next year.)

  11. Irene says

    Wow, that’s amazing! Can’t wait to read the whole thing! Keep ‘teasing’ us please! You’re a brilliant writer!

  12. says

    Silver, I’m getting excellent feedback, so we’ll see. :)

    Thanks Jackie B. I’m having so much fun reading responses here, I’ve only reached a fourth of today’s goal, so I’ll be slamming again tonight.

  13. Cat in the Southern Fried US says

    Rinda–I’d love to read blog posts about writing action scenes. Maybe Rachel will think it’s a good idea, too. Hope. Hope. Hope.

  14. says

    Cat, It’ll depend on Dame Rachel’s schedule since she’s slammed for deadlines right now, but I have an idea on how it could be a fun two part post. My next post is the third ROD–where we’ll be announcing finalists now,too. (Had a few requests on that.) But possibly after.

    Thanks Sara. You have some lovely descriptions yourself, so I take that as a compliment!

  15. Dorthy says

    Ok, so let me see if I have this right. You wrote this great book, (I of course agree it is great because of the little sneak peak you just gave all of us, teasing all of us and making us all want MORE!) and you got an agent, but now you’re waiting for an editor to pick up said book?

    *Subliminal message*

    So Did I get that right? Well…what if(sometimes my two favorite words, sometimes the bane of my existence) I sent you money for the book and to take the book to Kinko’s or Office Max or somewhere to get it printed off, or heck even your own printer and I pay for ink. And then I pay for postage….are you catching on here? And you send me the book to read (I promise not to share unless you say I can). It doesn’t even have to be bound…no really no binding needed, I could be happy without binding :) Would that work?…No? Ah come on…still no? ok then back to plan B.
    *Subliminal message*

    **Sending many, many, and many more positive wishes for you. :)

  16. says

    Heh, heh-yes, that’s about right. And my boook will find a home with the right editor. It just takes time because there are SO many of us out there trying to publish. I can’t imagine the slush piles at publishing companies.

    But I love that you enjoyed the sneak peek! Thanks.

  17. says

    Oops, I missed Irene! Thank you for the kind words and it’s possible I’ll put up another teaser in the future. I have a funny scene with a ghoul’s reaction to bad magic you might enjoy. 😉

  18. Ericka says

    I enjoyed reading that snippet. I can’t wait for it to find a home so I can read the entire piece.

  19. says

    Late reading this b/c of RT but… DAMN, GIRL.

    Dear Kindly Editors,
    Pls buy this so I can read it.

    Dude. This completely rocks. the. house. So much sensory detail. I love her cutting sense of humor (so my style). And I have no freaking idea what’s going on but I felt all the hurt and betrayal — on both sides — packed into those last few paragraphs.