My debut novel Nightmares has been live since May 8, 2013, two days earlier than expected. Whoo hoo! Here is the longer Excerpt I promised:
Emily Preston looked up into her boyfriend Tony’s worried blue eyes and squeezed his hand. “You’ve been frowning at me for a month now. Can’t we just enjoy the prom?”
His frown deepened. “I know something’s wrong. Why won’t you tell me? Is it something I’ve done?”
Emily’s stomach lurched. “No, you haven’t done anything. It’s me.” She gestured toward the crowded, noisy room. “Look, we can’t talk here. Besides, I thought we were meeting up with Kaylee and Shawn.”
Tony took his gaze off her to look over the crowd of prom goers. “Shawn said he might be a little late…something about Kaylee having a problem.”
Strange, Kaylee never mentioned anything to her. “What kind of problem?”
Tony shrugged. “Don’t know.” He nodded toward the other side of the room. “They’re over there by the prom decorations. Looks like they’re arguing.”
Emily caught a glimpse of Kaylee’s black hair and pink prom dress. The music started and couples began to move to the dance floor, blocking her view of her best friend and Kaylee’s boyfriend, Shawn. Even with the brief glimpse, she thought Tony was right. “So you don’t know why they’re arguing?”
He leaned toward her with a grin. “Nope, but, since they’re busy, we could talk outside?”
He said it to her like a question, as if he wanted her to decide if she wanted to talk. She knew he wouldn’t let it drop until she agreed. Might as well get it over. She forced herself to smile. This was the moment she dreaded from the beginning of their date. What could she say? If she told him everything, he would think she had lost her mind? He guided her to the nearest exit while she fought the urge to run in the opposite direction.
The closer they came to the door, the greater the panic grew inside her. What was frightening her? Not Tony, he made her feel safe. But losing him? Maybe. His choice of a college did freak her out, since it was in another state. She would miss him horribly. Maybe deep down she feared he wouldn’t return. It would explain the feelings of impending doom. Maybe even the nightmares. But it didn’t explain the voice she had started hearing, or the warnings.
Maybe I’m losing my mind.
Outside, Emily shivered. A short, black, strapless prom dress doesn’t offer much protection against the cold wind, no matter how good it looks on you.
Her boyfriend slipped behind her, wrapping her in his arms, blocking the wind. The heat from his body was warming.
“Have I told you how great you look?” he whispered in her ear.
Emily giggled and turned in his arms to look into his blue eyes. “No, why haven’t you?”
His hold tightened and he pulled her closer. “Because I wanted to do this first.” He kissed her.
She grinned. “You clean up pretty good, too. I almost didn’t recognize you without all the grease and oil from that car.”
Tony laughed and reclaimed her hand. “Come on. You’re freezing. Let’s go sit in that car so we can talk.”
Emily giggled. “You know I’d follow you anywhere, but could you slow down a little. These shoes are new and I’m not used to walking in heels.”
Tony dropped her hand and put his arm around her. “Oh, sorry, I forgot”
For the moment, with his arm around her, she felt warm and protected, until she remembered why they had come outside. Tony wanted answers. From the determined look on his face, she knew he wouldn’t settle for anything less. But could he handle the truth? Did she even know the truth?
She remembered having nightmares about a thunderstorm as a child. Her mother had told her scary nightmares were part of childhood. She said they’d go away when Emily got older and they had. So, why terrorize her now, night after night, just like when she was little?
The nightmares were frightening enough, but the voice warning her of danger terrorized her. What she really wanted to do was run away and hide, but she couldn’t, not if Tony was in danger, too.
“Remember your past,” the voice had said, “so you can save Tony and yourself.”
It didn’t make sense. What was she supposed to remember from her past? What was she supposed to save them from, his going off to college? How could Tony and her past be connected?
She could tell him about the nightmares, but anything more, and he’d think she was a paranoid schizophrenic. Maybe he’d be right. What was wrong with her? From her earliest childhood memories, she planned to be a normal girl with ordinary problems. She couldn’t explain anything to Tony; not before she put her life back together.
The lights in the parking lot glistened off Tony’s black 1966 Chevelle Malibu. She didn’t need to ask him if he’d spent the entire afternoon cleaning and polishing it. Of course, he’d say he did it all just for her, but she knew better. Tony practically worshiped everything motorized, but the Malibu was special to him. His dad bought it and planned to restore it with the help of his two young sons, but was killed in a car accident before he had the chance.
Sometimes she wondered if she should be jealous of that old car. Tonight, she was just grateful to get out of the wind.
As Tony opened the driver’s door and Emily bent down to hop in the car, she caught a glimpse of a dark shape next to the bumper. She gasped and clutched Tony’s shirt. Her heart raced and the hair on her arms stood on end.
Tony wrapped his arm around her waist. “What happened? Are you hurt?”
She shook her head. “I thought I saw someone crouched down by your car. They were wearing a hooded sweatshirt.”
Tony looked around. “I don’t see anyone? Are you sure?”
She forced a laugh, pretending it was no big deal. “I think it must have been a shadow. Whatever it was, it’s gone now.”
She slid across the seat, pulling Tony inside with her. Every nerve in her body tightened. Her heart pounded in her ears as she peered into the darkness, trying to get a glimpse of…what? What did she think was out there? Was she being watched?
So, there you have the first chapter of Nightmares. It can be found at any of the live links below:
And don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me what you think.