Getting back on track…

So…we’ve established that last year was rough for me and that I’ve fallen behind on a number of my projects—because of everything that has happened over the past two years (especially).

I have lost whole books, not just chapters. I have lost pictures, book covers that I have to remake, blurbs, teasers, various correspondence and mailing list materials…technology wasn’t my friend in 2016.

2017 was the year of the health crises (which also began in 2016 but really hit its stride in 2017). And yes, that’s ‘crises’ as in plural, and not just mine but nearly everyone in my immediate family that I’m responsible for in some way. I’m tired of doctors, sick of hospitals.

Now it’s 2018 and I’m starting to get my feet back under me. Jericho, the next in my Garguiem series has not-so-patiently been waiting for her turn. She’d demanding edits, she’s demanding I redo her cover, which I lost, except for a thumbnail that can’t be expanded without getting blurry. What I’ve got posted below isn’t big enough for Amazon standards, so that means I need to recreate the cover.

Right. I’ll get on that when I have minute to spare.

On the bright side, I’m writing again. The Garguiem are speaking to me, which is fantastic because I still have three books left to write. Avis is kicking at my conscience, too. I put her aside last year but she’s ready to get herself together. I’m still looking forward to so many other projects, too, but this time I’ll be a lot smarter about it. I’ll hoard my new series’ until I have them all complete. In fact, after I release Jericho this spring, I won’t put out Enoch until I have Antioch complete too.

For everyone who waited for over a year for Jericho and Isaac’s story, thank you. I appreciate your patience as well as your interest.

Big things are coming. It’s taken me a while to get it together, and I still have a ways to go, but I’m working on some things I think will be fun and intriguing for a lot of people.

In the meantime, enjoy a sample from Jericho…

(And if you haven’t started the series, check out Levi and Liah too!)

Quiet settled around the building. In bits and pieces, the silence descended, letting Jericho breathe again, giving her a moment of respite from her torture—then another moment and another. Minutes ticked by as she fell into her own memories, the past she ran from rising up to haunt her, just as it did every lonely night.

She’d tumbled head over heels the instant she’d met Isaac. Two years ago, her cousin Enoch, the only family she had left besides her sister Antioch, had brought her with him when he’d been transferred and promoted. The group they’d joined had been less than welcoming—except Isaac.

Navy blue eyes had landed on her and lit from within. He had a sense of humor that drew her closer and lips that edged into a smile wicked enough to twist around her heart and set her body on fire. His touch had heated her straight through.

In the space of a single heartbeat, Jericho had shivered and collapsed into love. And she’d been so happy.

“Until I’d lost it all.”

“Lost?” Isaac’s voice wended through the dark, much too close for comfort. “Or tossed it away?”

Jericho flinched violently. She leaped to her feet and focused on the dark silhouette in Antioch’s bedroom doorway. “What—?”

“Easy enough to walk the ledge from your neighbor’s window to this one,” Isaac sneered. “You really shouldn’t leave your windows unlocked in this part of town though.”

“It’s raining,” she said stupidly.

“Makes it more fun, right?”

Her heart clenched and she didn’t feel like thinking on the reason why. “Get the fuck out.”

“No. No more avoiding me, or this or us, Jericho.”

“There is no us. Not anymore.” Jesus, the words hurt—her throat and soul were both torn to ribbons. She lifted her chin, clenched her fists and repeated, “Get out.”

Isaac came forward in a rush, barely dodging the chair and table he’d pushed past in the dark. “Jericho, listen—”

He raised his hand and she batted it away. The skin on her knuckles blazed with heat as they contacted his. Raw panic flared, greater than ever before. She’d fought countless demons, had survived a horrific blast, and had even faced a woman’s worst nightmare, but the touch of this one man pushed her over the edge. Emotions erupted and blew rational thought to hell. For a moment, the darkness of her apartment was complete as Jericho’s vision faded.

She fought instinctively. Even as Isaac stumbled over the chair leg, she flew forward, fists launching. Her heart pounded and her muscles burned. It had been too long since she’d done anything physically taxing. She’d overestimated her strength.

Isaac easily subdued her. Gripping her shoulder, he spun her around and pushed her onto the chair’s seat. Jericho gasped, panting for breath as he pulled back. He stepped away and she jumped up again, ignoring the shaking weakness in her thighs and the spike of pain in her side. She kicked out. Isaac blocked her foot and sent her crashing back to the cushions.

The sound of his palm slapping the wall came a heartbeat before the overhead light flared. Weak yellow illumination, a faint buzzing sound. The light’s enclosure was beyond dirty, an unnatural filter that kept the radiance dim, but it was still enough to burn Jericho’s eyes.

And slice through her sanity.

Screaming like a wounded animal, she folded over her lap and slid off the chair. Throwing an arm over her head, she struggled to hide and fought to find some semblance of composure, but the exposure was too much. Her reaction was a beast of its own making, beyond her control, rampaging freely. Oxygen ripped from her lungs and her stomach burned under a wash of acid that climbed her throat.

Then Isaac’s arms were around her. Desperate, she turned her face into the damp leather covering his chest and denied the flash of need that exploded in her heart. Jericho was torn between pushing closer to fill her senses with one last immersion in all things Isaac, and pulling away so he couldn’t feel the texture of her skin, or the limp greasiness of her hair.

“Easy,” he soothed her. “Just be easy.”

“Go. Please go.”

“I can’t, Jericho. Now that I’ve found you, I won’t leave. I…can’t.”

“How?” She did try to push from his embrace then, but her muscle weakness didn’t let her get far. Isaac held her easily, not even exerting force. She tucked her head down, hoping the limp clumps of her hair hid her face. “How did you find me?”

“You received a letter a long time ago with a change of address on it.” Bitterness filled his sharp laugh. “It took a while to find my courage and come.”

“You shouldn’t have.”

“I should have come sooner,” he argued. “Then maybe you would have found your courage, too.”

“This isn’t about—” Using every ounce of willpower at her disposal, Jericho wrenched from her husband’s hold and lunged toward the wall. On her hands and knees, her movements were jerky and awkward, much too revealing, but she couldn’t help herself. She reached for the light switch.

Isaac caught her shoulder and hauled her back against his chest. She dropped her chin, letting her hair hide her. “Does the light hurt your eyes?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Do I hurt your eyes too, Jericho?”

Strength deserted her. The last gasp of sanity blew through her lungs with an agonizing burn. Her heart seemed to collapse in on itself. Unable to breathe or make a sound past the pain, she simply shook her head.

“Then look at me.”

She shook her head again, tucking her chin until her neck ached and squeezing her eyes closed.

“Who are you hiding from, Jericho?”

When she remained silent, Isaac pressed his lips close to her ear, burrowing through her dirty hair until his rough whisper abraded her skin. “Who the fuck do you think was at your side in the hospital? You really think I haven’t seen your face?”

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