I'd never been to the Expo before as an exhibitor, and had only gone once last year to see what it was like. Whenever you sign up for something like this, you're told the foot traffic is incredible. The Write Authors were being cautiously optimistic, especially since this show cost us a ton of money. Guess what? She was right! I couldn't believe the crowds. It was amazing. Lines out the door and around the block of people waiting to get inside. Wow! It just blew me away.
All in all, it was a great venue and I'm thinking we might just go back again next year, but that has to be decided by the gang.
As a bonus, I thought I'd upload an excerpt of my newest release to whet your appetite. Enjoy! If you like what you see, Deadly Obsessions is at the low introductory price of $0.99. I haven't decided how long I'll leave the price that low, so don't miss out on this bargain. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JPTM6RW
“Wha…where am I?” Jennifer cried out in the darkness. An unexplained muzzy feeling clouded her mind. Had she taken something? A pounding headache throbbed in her skull. She tried to move her arms to rub her temples, but her wrists were bound behind her back as tightly as the blindfold covering her eyes. She touched the wall behind her with her fingers, sliding them over the rough surface. It was cinderblock. Was she in a basement? She tried to wiggle free, but the chains that held her securely in place only clanked against the cement floor. How did she get down here? She inhaled deeply, hoping to recognize her surroundings by the smell, but the only thing that assailed her nose was a moldy dampness and the strong odor from urine…and something else, she wasn't sure about. She jerked back trying to move away, but the shortened chains held her captive.
And then she remembered the cab driver. He was creepy. She knew the minute she’d slid across the backseat, something told her to get out. She’d even glanced back at her aunt, but it was too late. He’d taken off like a shot and her aunt had already entered the hotel. She remembered pulling on the door handle when the locks clicked into place…and then that smell. What was that horrible smell coming through the heater? That’s when she knew she was being abducted. But why?
The sudden awareness of someone standing close to her made Jennifer shudder. His foul smelling breath made her gag, and when he starting licking her face, she thought she might throw up. “Get away from me, you pervert,” she screamed, trying to wiggle free from the constraints. “Let me go, dammit!” No answer. The touch of his tongue, sticky and slimy, wetting her face caused her to shake her head vigorously hoping he’d miss her. But he wasn’t putting up with that. He grabbed her head held it in place and continued his deed forcing his tongue in her mouth. She bit down with all her might. He released an angry growl and backed off. Jennifer spit out his disgusting saliva hoping she’d hit him in the process. That angered him even more and the impact from his hard punch to her gut made her scream.
He finally spoke. “You shouldn’t have done that. Now, I have to punish you. She felt the coldness of steel prick her leg as it slid across her thigh. She felt a trickle of liquid slide down the sides of her leg and she knew she’d been cut. She jerked and released a loud scream.
“I love it when they scream,” The roughness of his voice irritated her as much as the blade of that knife. “You can scream all you want. There’s no one here but us.”
“Please mister, please don’t hurt me. I’ll give you anything you want. I’ve got lots of money coming to me.”
“I don’t want your money,” he sneered. “What I want is for you to understand what it’s like to have someone you love hurt you.”
“I never hurt anyone. Why are you doing this to me?”
“You use people, Jennifer. You use everyone in your life until you tire of them, then you toss them aside like that rag doll you had when you were a child. You did that to your mother when she married dear old Harlan.”
“How do you know so much about me?”
“Oh, because I do.”
“Do I know you?” He didn’t answer. “I begged her not to marry him, but she wouldn’t listen to me.”
“Were you paying her bills?”
“Oh, that’s right. She was paying yours.” He slid the knife across her other thigh and this time she screamed out.
She wondered how long she’d been there; wondered if the detectives would be able to track her? Find her before this maniac killed her? “Who are you?” she demanded.
He laughed. “You are in no position to demand anything from me or anyone else. And it was you who talked your mother into taking out that insurance policy because you wanted to be sure your meal ticket would always be there. Is that why you killed her?”
“No,” Jennifer said, “I didn’t kill my mother,” she shouted. “I loved my mother. She was wonderful to me.” Anger seeped into her chest and she fired back. “Did you kill my mother?”
He smacked her hard across the face and she began to cry. “That’s it. Cry,” he said. “You’ll get no sympathy from me.” He pulled her to her feet and removed the heavy chains. “Don’t cry,” he said and patted her shoulder as if trying to comfort her.
His sudden kindness confused her into thinking maybe he wasn’t going to hurt her after all.
“You’re welcome. Are you hungry?”
She nodded. “I am.”
“Okay. Then open your mouth. I made a chocolate sundae for you and it’s melting.”
“If you’ll free my hands, I could eat it myself.”
“Nice try. I wasn’t around when you were a baby and I want to know what it feels like to feed one.”
Jennifer wasn’t sure she believed him, but he left her no choice. Maybe he thought he’d scared her enough. She opened her mouth and felt him fill it with something from an aerosol can.
“You’re going to love the taste of this whipped cream.”
Whipped cream wouldn’t have been her choice of food being this hungry, but just knowing she was going to have something to eat made her happy and she stopped caring what it was. Having ice cream was a child’s dream, wasn’t it? Jennifer tried to swallow but quickly realized whatever he’d shot into her mouth expanded. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t swallow. She was gasping for air, until she couldn’t. She started crying again, but quickly stopped, realizing what little passageway she had left didn’t leave room for doing anything except breathing through her nose, and even that was bordering on impossible. Jennifer drew in a deep intake of air and filled her lungs, but that only made her lightheaded. The fumes from whatever he’d shot into her mouth was making her nauseous and she wondered if she’d choke on her own vomit? He seemed pleased by the noises she was making.
“You are such a fool, Jennifer. This is for your mother.” She jerked wondering how he knew her name—how he knew her mother. “Come with me,” he said pulling on her arm. He was leading her somewhere. When a rush of wind whipped around her she knew they were outside. Jennifer hated being cold, but the circulation of air was helping her breath better. All hope of getting away had now vanished. She tripped and his grip tightened helping her to remain upright. For some reason, the cold snow felt good on her bare feet, and for the first time, being cold no longer mattered. Nothing mattered.
“Step down,” he said gruffly. Jennifer did as she was told, stepping onto what felt like a wooden floor. “Lie down.” With what little strength she had left, she jerked back, shaking her head, trying to make it known she didn’t want to do what he was asking. He shoved her until she lost her footing and fell into the tight quarters.
“I’m doing what your mother should have done long ago, but she was too weak and allowed you to walk all over her. Now, you can’t.”
Was he leaving her alone in the dark? Didn’t he know she was afraid of the dark? Jennifer wiggled around wishing she could call out and beg him to set her free, but the only noises she could make came from deep within her throat, and only made him laugh. She’d do anything else he asked, but please not the dark. She stiffened, but it didn’t matter because the creaking sound of a hinge, the thud of the lid closing down on top, the lock clicking into place, and then the circulation of air quickly diminished. She knew the end had come when the thudding of her heart slowed down to just the slightest beat. And it wasn’t long after when she began to hallucinate. Her mother called out to her from the beautiful flower garden where she stood. Carly walked toward her just like she’d always done and reached for her hand, her mother’s smile as beautiful as she remembered. Jennifer took her outstretched hand and together they skipped along the golden path.