A to Z Challenge: O is for On His Watch

a-to-z HEADER [2015] - aprilIt’s raining! And that’s a good thing. The brass needs to turn green and all those nasty little allergens need to be beaten down into the ground where they won’t bother me.

Badage linkedHappy Friday. I hope it kicks off a wonderful weekend for you. Well, day 15 brings me to the letter O and gives me the opportunity for shameless self-promotion. Note how I sneaked that O word in there?  I’m enjoying the challenge and hope you are, too. It’s been great connecting with others and reading their comments.  I’ve acquired new followers for my blog and followed a few myself. Some letters are more challenging than others, and it amazes me to see what other bloggers do with the ones I struggled with, either because I had too many ideas or couldn’t think of anything that might work.

Today’s letter had an obvious importance for me. O is for On His Watch.

Here’s the premise:

On leave from the FBI, Special Agent Jason Spark is enjoying some welcome peace and quiet when he’s called on to help the local sheriff’s department check out a 911 call. Expecting a prank or misdial, he unwittingly steps into a horrifying bloodbath straight out of a Hollywood slasher movie, complete with clues scrawled on the wall.

Nikki Hart’s husband and son are killed, but she survives, badly beaten and barely clinging to life in a coma. When she awakens, she doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. Terrified, and unsure of whom to trust, she clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments.

The investigation turns up a prime suspect: The Butcher, an elusive hired assassin for the Sicilian mob. As the news of Nikki’s recovery spreads, putting her in this ruthless killer’s sights again, Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love.

Nikki’s beginning to believe Jason might be the angel who protected her in her dreams. But when she learns about the secret role he played in the worst day of her life, can she ever forgive him?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

On His WatchOn His Watch  is a story of obsession and revenge. It also touches on greed, spousal abuse, and love–not just physical love, but healthy self-love and the love a parent has for a child, It’s considered sensual because it contains a love scene–not an explicit one, not even one you wouldn’t want your teenager to read, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under fifteen because of the violence it contains. One of the biggest challenges I had writing the book was involving Nikki in the story while she was in the coma. I did it through dreams. I’ve had surgery and remember bits and pieces of the disjointed images in my mind. I spoke to others who’d had similar experiences. In my book, In Plain Sight, I explored what’s known as lucid dreaming–when you know you’re dreaming, but can’t wake up. I used dreams to bring the characters together in Echoes of the Past too. So, since I like dreams and I think they’re a neat way to fill in back story without boring the reader, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at them. So…

O is for On His WatchO

She floats on a blood red sea of fire. Pain, so much pain. There’s nothing here but agony. Something forces air into her aching chest and sucks it out again. Hot knives stab her brain. This torture is unbearable. What has she done to deserve this suffering?

She wants to open her eyes. She needs to tell someone something important, but her mouth won’t cooperate. Her body no longer obeys her commands. Instead it sinks and bobs up again in this ocean of agony. Make it stop, make it go away.

A body drifts over to hers, its large brown eyes open, condemning her. “Why did you let this happen?” it asks before sinking beneath the surface. A smaller body bobs up, lets out a mewling cry, and disappears. Dead mice float all around her, and she tries to get away from them, but she can’t move. The Cheshire cat grins at her and drops more vermin carcasses into the sea.

A fire-scarred demon, wearing a necklace of diamonds and blood-red-tipped fingers, rises Poseidon-like out of the water, sneers at her, and walks away, a metal instrument clutched in its clawed hand.

Strange voices yell disconnected phrases into the gloom. “This is all your fault … You asked for this, bitch … If you hadn’t mollycoddled him like that, I wouldn’t have to discipline him … Dogs are vile creatures. I won’t have them in my house … So, you like it rough … It’s what our employer said to write … There’s no one upstairs.”

She flinches at each phrase as if the words are on the end of a whip, branding her with each stroke. Other voices speak from far away, their words low and garbled. The torturous ocean swallows them and leaves only their faint echo behind.

The sea bubbles once more, and her fear intensifies. He’s coming for her. A blackhaired demon walks along the surface coming closer and closer. She tries to flee. The pain he’ll inflict will be more than she can endure. Her body is a seething mass of confusion, fear, and anguish. Is this Hell? He reaches out a skeletal hand and grips her shoulder. Cold fills her, and the pain increases. She can’t take much more of this. Suddenly, it’s gone. Warmth fills her. He’s back. He’ll keep the monsters away.

Now, please click on the sunflower to visit more O blogs. Have a fabulous Friday.

Advertisements

About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A to Z Challenge: O is for On His Watch

  1. Wonderful book, Susanne. That is one powerful excerpt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s