Category Archives: A Sneak Peak

Excerpts from books.

Faded Denim Excerpt: What it takes to be a superhero

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An excerpt from chapter five of my new adult fantasy romance, Superheroes Wear Faded Denim. One of my main characters, Don Shimada, contemplates the sacrifices he’ll have to make to become a superhero.

Everything was going to change now that the fate of mankind was sitting on his shoulders.

Even after he gulped down his drug shots of caffeine, he couldn’t keep his mind off Santiago. He tried to feed his hunger by googling summer tourist spots, Spanish recipes, earthquakes, but it wasn’t enough. Finally he typed in Chile. Everything that came up was about Santiago. Clicking on the link he read, “Feb. 27 an 8.8 magnitude Earthquake occurred 3:34 a.m. local time . . . Over 340 people have been killed, authorities are still searching . . . not much is left of a beautiful city known for its cherished, historical architecture.” It was nothing more than a dry summary that did not do any real justice for the travesty.

Stunned, he didn’t move, not even to breathe. It had all been true. Everything was going to change now that the fate of mankind was sitting on his shoulders. He could wash away his dreams of being a normal frat boy on his way to law school with drain cleaner. Focusing his energy on training for war, he knew where his life would go and what he’d become.

He rubbed his temples with clammy hands. He’d become that stoic little boy he was when traveling the world with his mother.

He used to spend all of his free time dreaming of taking the women he helped to a place where they would no longer need a one room shack for medical care. Being a nurse and health advisor for women in third world countries called for efficacy not a social sphere. His mother and a motley crew of traveling martial artists set up portable hospitals wherever they traveled. Most of the time they were small, one bedroom apartments with no air conditioning or running water. Their waiting rooms were the dusty streets where the crew taught the women and children basic defense. Like the perfect aid, he did whatever his mother commanded him to do.

Afterwards, Don remembered never wanting to practice with other children. His nights would be spent alone, swinging a saif until he collapsed. Later the crew would always find him in the dusty streets staring at the moon. They’d coax him into a circle. After a few jokes, they’d shove him in the middle of Capoeira. A rhythmic dance and hand clapping would ensue. He’d back flip in the air dodging playful blows to his head. They would always let him win.

He cherished those few moments, but good memories were few and far between. Most of his life was filled with angst and—“I don’t want to relive it,” he said aloud. “Not on anybody else’s terms.” If he was going to be forced to save anybody it would be in a business suit in a court room.

He went back to the blinking cursor just waiting for him to write the first sentence to his thesis. It didn’t have to be anything magical. He just needed to start.

‘Sex trafficking is a modern day form of slavery.’ He felt powerful. One sentence down, a thousand more to go. All truths set aside, these were strenuous circumstances. Bull spitting was going to have to do.

“Don,” he heard from out of nowhere. Gabriel’s voice was inside his head, right next to his thoughts.

He kept on typing, ignoring it. ‘It is man’s indirect way of keeping women from obtaining equality with—’

“Don, head to the black streets of campus.”

‘Women.’ Typo. He erased women. ‘Men.’

“You are the Paladin. We await you.”

He wasn’t sure what to type after that. He could elaborate on popular perceptions that deemed women inferior. ‘They are objectified,’ he typed.

“The battle between evil and good wages on. Paladin, head to the black streets of campus. There you will meet the King and Queen of the Low Court. They will aid you and Blissany Cherry, the Key, in this war.” The walls blurred into a vision of a girl with sun kissed skin and copper hued curls dragging herself to bed. Seconds later he was sitting in his car, staring past the glare of his headlights at a girl with her arms stretched out. Wolves flooded streets behind her, transitioning into human form as they paced the black pavements.

Startled, Don burst from his seat, knocking over his coffee. “This is never going to end,” he yelled as his chair toppled to the floor.

“Sshhh.”

He slammed his laptop shut. He wasn’t putting up with this anymore. He was heading to the black streets of campus, wherever the hell that was, and find Gabriel to demand he stop messing with his head.

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New adult fantasy romance Faded Denim excerpt: Master of the Facade

An excerpt from chapter three of my new adult fantasy romance, Superheroes Wear Faded Denim. One of my main characters, Don Shimada, is getting his first taste of insanity.

“A million dollar grin could not stop his mind from going places he didn’t want to go.”

Don’s face became as blank as the screen behind him. The conversation with Cassandra was edged in his mind as if he had written it down. Fear kept him from standing. He could just imagine his true self coming out. He’d become laconic, a side of him he’d rather not show.

“Actually,” Cassandra approached the podium with her Versace accessories in tow. “I’ll take it from here.”

Thankful to Cassandra, Don relaxed in his seat.

“I love the idea of doing this joint week.” She began her speech in true corporate fashion. “This week is about bringing women’s issues to light. Without you beautiful men, it would not be possible to host a week of events focused on love, appreciation, and respect for women.”

Cheers rose from the crowd as the lights dimmed. Don noticed a portal opening between the fourth and fifth row of chairs. It was a luminous grey space. He blinked. The portal was gone. He took a deep breath. I can control this.

“Sunday of course I’m excited because praise is what I do for all who don’t know. Instead of holding church at Bethel of the Lamb, we’ve decided . . .” Cassandra’s words faded into a distant hum.

A grey haze covered the entire room in a thin veil causing everyone it touched to stop moving. Helplessly, Don watched the vestiges of the room morph into a tall, curving archway. The homely navy carpet became marble tiles. Soon four winged men swept through the archways bringing in gusts of cold wind. Rococo robes adorned their towering frames. The darkest of them all commanded Don’s attention. He was a warrior angel smelling of soot and grime. His dreads fell down his back, the tips wound in gold.

I’m becoming like my mother. He had only known madness through her. Her madness defied all logic: there were no hallucinations or anything dramatic. A master of her feelings, she seemed to fool everyone, even the doctors. The media lionized her as the real life superwoman. Open a magazine and there she would be wearing her scarves and artsy dresses, never any spandex. She always made sure to include in every interview this quote from her autobiography: ‘I couldn’t just sit around queen of a conglomerate knowing that there were women suffering around the world.’

Every time he read that quote, he got sick. His mother would never let the truth slip; her past caused her to flee. Packing everything but her sanity, she ran from the safety of her husband’s mansion to some of the most desolate places in the world. To this day, he could not get his father to explain why he funded her crazy expeditions, or why he allowed her to take his only son. Don survived twelve years of his mom’s madness. At eighteen, he ran far and fast, vowing to never lose his sanity. Now here he was, another insane Shimada.

On the outside he looked like the next cover model for a Nightlife campaign. He smelled of ocean beaches. Yet a million dollar grin could not stop his mind from going places he didn’t want to go. Just like his mother, a master of the façade, he was going to work damn hard to make sure no one was the wiser.

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Faded Denim Excerpt: Sex and war before breakfast

 

Excerpt  to new adult fantasy romance

This is it!  Gabriel was obviously in pain. She feared her favorite romance novels had not prepared her as much as she thought, but there was no better place to make love. Intricate portraits hung along the walls. Plush, red carpet led up to a fireplace surrounded by antiquated books inscribed in Latin. A balcony leading out to a view of open sky was behind them. Everything felt so right. Her chance to comfort Gabriel like the lover she so yearned to be had finally come.

Intuitively Gabriel lowered his hands, “I’m sorry.” Those two words were his favorite.

She rested her fingers just above his belly button.

Brows furrowing, Gabriel stared at her puzzled. She swore there were leaves falling in his pupils.

She leaned forward.

“Blissany . . . what are—?”

She kissed him. His lips were sweet and soft like cotton candy. When she pulled away, her lids fluttered open to see nothing, but red.

Flustered, Gabriel moved from the couch. “That was . . . that was . . .” he searched his armoire for a shirt with gaping holes for his wings. He even threw on a red fanon for good measure.

“Um . . . I . . .” he refused to look at Blissany.

She knew that she had done something wrong. Something in her had wished that Gabriel would have kissed her back. He had to want her, otherwise why would he have her awake in his bed every morning only to feed her biscuits? She was dressed in a silk gown that clung to her figure. These gowns were made for lovers.

“That is—was… Michael,” Gabriel stuttered unable to form a coherent sentence. He was ready to fully ignore what just happened. “He is Nivide’s personal assistant, ranked the First Highest of all the High Custodiae. He arrived today to discuss what happened earlier.”

“That’s nice.” Please tell me my kiss wasn’t out of place. She felt like an idiot. Things weren’t going like they did in the urban fantasies she read except she was talking to a man with wings.

“Shall we breakfast on the balcony?” Gabriel drew her attention back to him. He refrained from touching her as they walked to the balcony.

Eating on the balcony was usually the high point of her dream. It was beautiful out there. Up so high people rode by on solid masses of clouds. All were dressed in exotic cloaks. Now the same beauty failed to move her. Gabriel offered her a sort of golden tint tea. She stared blankly at it saying nothing.

“This is straneyberry tea,” he continued, filling the silence. He showed her the fruit. It was large, red, and shaped like a heart. The outside of the fruit were lined with seeds. She burst the seeds on accident with her nails. Honey splattered dripping down her fingers. She licked them, unconsciously. Gabriel should have kissed me passionately.

“Blissany,” he began.

A couple of winged beings flew out windows and past Gabriel’s balcony. They uttered, “Salve,” as they flew by. These winged beings were always male, always beautiful. She should have stuck to dreaming about horribly nerdy, unattractive males. Those were the only ones that would kiss her.

“Blissany,” he called again. He offered her cookies made of sun dew. She took three absentmindedly. The syrupy-doe bread would make her feel better.

“Please listen to me.”

“What’s wrong with me?” She asked.

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Faded Denim Excerpt: a day of death and shopping

 

Excerpt from Chapter one: Vendetta

Blissany’s heart skipped a beat. He was referring to her dreams. Am I in another? She could very well be. It wasn’t like her dreams gave her any warning. Coming sporadically, they were plane rides into other realms. Sometimes they caused her to sleep for a couple hours, sometimes several days. There a Roman boy with verdant eyes and curly hair black as fresh paint lived. Named Gabriel, he told her she was created to fight a grandiose war between good and evil. She ignored her dreams even though they caused her to oversleep for classes. What a mistake that had been. As soon as she awoke from this nightmare, she was seeking a neurologist. Such an endeavor took a lot of money and time. As a college senior, those were two things she didn’t have. Yet she was going to find it. She could not continue living with this mental disease.

“You don’t want to do this,” Wanikiya said. “If you did you wouldn’t have waited till the curse ate your heart.”

“I’ve contemplated my choices. I know what I’m to do.” Temeluchus asked Blissany the question again. “Will you fight or not?”

“I don’t believe—”

“Wait until you have all the information, Fairest. You have two choices. If you say yes, even though you’ve shown selflessness, you have waged war. War means a fight to the death, and I will slay you right here. If you say no, I will slay this clerk behind the jewelry counter. So the question really becomes lucid. Who do you want to live more, yourself or others?”

“This demeans you,” Wanikiya said.

“Answer the question, Fair Cherry,” Temeluchus said, ignoring Wanikiya.

Blissany’s lips trembled. She looked at Kristie frozen in time. Out of all the dreams I could have. Kristie’s mouth was slightly agape. Her eyes still wide with excitement. They matched the emerald towel she held in her hands. She was so young she only had a few smile wrinkles around the corners of her mouth. Blissany wanted Kristie to live just as much as she wanted to live, but she knew this was all a dream. For it to end, she would have to give an answer.

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Excerpt One:

Enraged, Tabbruis threw a punch at the blood-hunter and knocked him across two car lengths.  The blood-hunter turned and with superhuman speed knocked Tabbruis into another car, denting the door.  Growling with a roar, Tabbruis grabbed the blood-hunter’s arm, spun him around and pinned his fist behind his back.  The blood-hunter bent down and kicked Tabbruis, throwing him up into the air and Tabbruis landed on his back.

Tabbruis had underestimated the blood-hunter’s skills and was not going to do that again.

With a loud grunt-growl, the blood-hunter threw a punch intended for Tabbruis, but he rolled over quickly and the blood-hunter’s hand smashed into the concrete breaking it up in pieces leaving a big hole.

Tabbruis got up and threw a kick swiping the blood-hunter’s face.  The blood-hunter spun as he went down on the pavement.  Tabbruis leaned down and the blood-hunter growled swiping his legs and threw Tabbruis on the ground where he growled loudly. 

Charleen woke with a start, darkness and pain was around her.  She heard growling and punches being thrown.  Groggy from the blow to her head, she put her hand up and tried to stop the bleeding.

Charleen thought she had to get out of there now.  Trying to stand, she saw two figures battling in the parking lot.

The man who attacked her was being overcome by a tall man.  She felt instant relief this stranger had come to her aid.  Something was different was about him.

Charleen dizzily started to fumble for her cell phone to call 911, but she couldn’t make fingers work.

With a loud growl, the man who attacked her got the upper hand on her hero, the stranger.  Charleen felt sick and nauseous and reached her hand out to the stranger as he growled in pain from the blows that he was receiving.

Straddling Tabbruis pinning his arms at the side, the blood-hunter rained a barrage of punches into Tabbruis’ face and jaw.

That is when a glow emerged from Charleen’s hands and it became like a flow of electricity.

Tabbruis was growling in pain and losing consciousness when he saw a light, then his eyes rolled back in his head.  A bright white light hit the blood-hunter.  Tabbruis could hear him crashing into a car.  The blood-hunter made a loud growl and moan, and he melted like he was butter into the pavement, knocked unconscious from the shock.

Tabbruis could not move his head.  He was dizzy from the beating and his body was not responding to any commands.

As Tabbruis closed his eyes, he saw the face above him.  It was the face from the steam, from his dreams, from the clouds.

As he lost consciousness he thought, ‘I have found you.’

 

Excerpt Two:

Before Charmeine knew it, she felt fingers on her chin rousing her from her sunbathing induced sleep with a sweet voice saying, “Honey, it is time for dinner.”  She looked up, and it was Tabbruis standing above her.

Charmeine said, “Oh!”  She shot up saying, “I slept the whole afternoon away?”

Tabbruis chuckled and said, “Yes, it looks like you did and…”

Charmeine said interrupting him, “OUCH!”

Tabbruis started laughing in earnest now, “And you got a little sunburnt!”

Charmeine went into the bathroom looking and howled, “A little sun-burnt?  I look like a frigging cherry!”  She was trying to touch her skin, “It’s November 4th how in the heck did I get this burnt?  Ugh!  Darn-it!  What about practice?  I can’t go like this?  I can’t even put on clothes.”

Tabbruis was in the bathroom with her in an instant leaning into the door with a big smile on his face like the cat that ate the canary, “Only one thing to do to help that…” 

Seductively Charmeine smiled, “Oh…. You are such a bad boy.”

Tabbruis, with a glint of hope in his dark green eyes, said, “Yes, but you like bad boys.”

Charmeine said with her hand caressing his face, “Correction, I only love one bad boy.”

With desire rimming his deep green eyes in black, eagerly and haltingly Tabbruis said, “Do…. you want to bite…. my neck?  Or… do you want to bite… my wrist?”

Charmeine said seductively running her hands down his chest, “I have something else in mind… but we don’t have time for that.  So…I guess… your neck!”

 

Excerpt Three:

Tabbruis gently touched her head and said, “I can heal the cut and bump. Please let me heal you?”

Charleen said, “I trust you, but how?”

Tabbruis looked into her eyes and said, “Trust me, I will not hurt you.” Charleen not knowing what to expect agreed. Tabbruis took her head and leaned it over to him with her forehead on his chest.

Suddenly, Charleen felt a warm, wet bolt of lightning going through her which did not hurt. She grabbed Tabbruis around his waist to steady herself.

Tabbruis did not know why but her blood was exquisite. He had never tasted someone’s blood which fired his passion. He pulled her closer to him.

She could hear him softly growl as he licked the wound which thrilled her. She started to moan gently with feelings of pleasure.

He felt her chest swell and her heart race.

Tabbruis fought to keep his fangs in his gums. Her blood was like an answer to his hunger which had burned in him for centuries.

Tabbruis felt incredible power in her blood. The blood was intoxicating him with her sensuality.

Tabbruis’ feelings were intensifying, and he could not control the overwhelming urge to take her into his arms and never let her go until they both had sweet relief.

She moaned again louder digging her nails into his back.

Tabbruis knew she was as excited as he was. His breathing became heavy, and her body hummed with desire.

At that moment, Tabbruis felt his fangs had appeared! He quickly moved away from her turning around and covering his mouth.

Charleen opened her eyes. She had a hunger she never had before, a hunger for this man in front of her. She said breathlessly, “Why… did you… stop? What’s the matter? Have I done something… wrong?”

Tabbruis’ fangs retracted and he took his hand down. Tabbruis turned around panting and saw her brown eyes full of desire; he knew she wanted him also. 

Charleen could see the desire in his deep green eyes which had black rings of smokiness in them. He shook his head trying to catch his breath and said, “In my life, I have never tasted blood so powerful and intoxicating.”

The fun does not have to end just yet . . .

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