Literary Intentions 

Excerpt from The Caretaker's Kiss:

Chapter One

The smell of sulfur lingered in the dank shack as her captor lit match after match attempting to coax the lantern. With each attempt, Hagan willed it to fail—to fizzle into darkness. After all, the shadows around her were the only camouflage. If he succeeded, she would come face to face with a reality she never thought possible. Her head throbbed with the certainty of it, and as her hand found its way to the large mass on the back of her skull, memories of the assault came in flashes. Two darkened figures, a van, and a thump to the head mirrored any girl’s worst nightmare. But Hagan’s story was real—they were real—and only the devil knew their intentions.

            A subtle glow split the darkness as one last match found its target. She closed her eyes, hoping whoever had struggled with the lantern believed she lay unconscious and impervious to his presence, his frustrations.

“Why is it always the last damn one that works?”

Hagan’s stomach turned as the sound of a gruff voice tipped her ears.

“Shut up and put your mask on.”

“She won’t see me. I knocked ’er out.” He laughed, deep and full of pride. “That one’s feisty, probably a whole lotta trouble, too.”

            “You’re sure it’s her—it’s Hagan?”

            Her eyes burst open. They knew her name?

            “As sure as a driver’s license.”

            She kept her eyes open long enough to see one of the men fling a black wallet at the other.

            “What did you do with the car?”

            “Let’s just say it went for a swim.”

            What did that mean? Hagan’s breathing accelerated. My car?

            “No more mistakes, do you understand?”

            “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” the gruff one grumbled.

            Hollow thumps on worn wood mimicked the sound of her heart as one of them shuffled toward her then stopped. His knees cracked as he squatted, before a gentle tickle swept across her cheek and brushed her hair back. Hagan curled her toes, resisting the urge to swat his hand from her face.

            “What’s so special about this one anyway?”

            There was a pause, while his hand grazed the side of her cheek with a gentle touch. But then he spoke, obliterating any tenderness with his crisp tone. “What’s special about any of them?”

Excerpt from Reply Hazy, Try Again
Chapter One

“Having a threesome with doom and gloom?”

            Avery Jacobs turned to see her best friend, Paige, approaching Avery’s car.  She had one hand on her hip and the other around a cocktail glass—Screaming Orgasm, most likely.  As Paige sauntered toward her, Avery couldn’t help but smile.  She dressed to kill or thrill, whatever her whim fancied, in a red sleeveless cocktail dress brimming with cleavage.  Avery tugged at her simple black number, feeling her usual insecurities creep up.  

            “How many of those have you wrapped yourself around?” Avery asked.

            Paige raised her glass and took a sip.  “Just enough to make me forget Bobby Swanson is now Roberta Swan.”

            “Who is Bobby Swanson?”

            “Come inside and find out for yourself.  Unless, you’d like me to bring the party to you?”

            When the invitation arrived for her twenty-year high school reunion, Avery immediately tossed it into the trash.  If Paige hadn’t coaxed her into coming, she wouldn’t have thought twice.  High school was a means to an end, nothing more.  Paige couldn’t wait to dive back into the popularity cesspool and hobnob with old friends.  Avery had feared the assumptions and questions from old classmates would torture, rather than insight enjoyment.  But for Paige, she would do anything—including hopping on a plane to return to Idaho for the first time in twenty years.

            “This is going to be a riot,” Paige said.  

            “Yeah, a barrel of fun.”  Avery folded her arms and rolled her eyes.

            “Look here, sister tonight isn’t about old wounds.  It’s time for us to push up our boobs and shake our asses.  Let loose . . . for me.” 

Avery scowled at her most cherished friend.  Then, in a white flag gesture, she clutched her bosom and gave it a quick nudge upward. 

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