Monday, April 1, 2013

NICK OF TIME: Prologue

I'm over at Just Romantic Suspense today talking about NICK OF TIME and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Be sure to check out the post.

I chose to post the Prologue excerpt here because it's a bit -- okay a lot -- graphic and it's too long for a regular excerpt. So, here it is. The rough draft prologue of NICK OF TIME. I don't have a release date at this time, but I can tell you I'm working on getting it ready for editing.



PROLOGUE

Houston, Texas.
Sarah Jane Jones slowly peeled the blouse off her shoulders with trembling hands. She could feel the blood trickling down her back from the worst of the wounds that had re-opened when her husband, Seth, had thrown her on the ground. She knew they were infected—could feel the throbbing heat of fevered skin stretched taught—but even if they could afford it she didn't dare go to a hospital, or her doctor. One look and a medical professional would have little doubt how she'd received her injuries; they'd be required by law to report their suspicions.
Sarah couldn't let that happen. She knew that if anyone questioned Seth he'd find a way to make good on his promise. He'd have her committed, or she'd wind up dead, the whole speculation of abuse cleanly swept under the rug. With his connections, she had no doubt he could do it, too. And other than the two helpless children she'd leave behind, she doubted anyone would notice, or care if she permanently disappeared.
Feeling the material sticking to her raw skin, Sarah looked over her shoulder, eying her reflection in the mirror. Though she'd chosen a dark colored blouse, she could clearly see where the blood had seeped through, then dried, holding fast where the wounds were trying to scab over. After a moment's debate, she turned on the shower. The water would burn, but surely it would hurt less than tearing open those wounds. She removed the rest of her clothing, what little there was left. He'd torn her skirt shoving it up her body, before he pulled his boot-knife, using it to slice her underwear off, all the while threatening to do vile things to her body with it as he did so.
God, she'd been so careless when she answered the phone earlier. She'd thought Seth had already left for work, so when she'd heard Enoch's—Nick, Seth hated when she called him Enoch—friendly voice she'd responded to his ever warm greeting in kind, and answered his questions about how she and the children were doing even laughing over his attempt at humor; none of which she'd dare do when Seth was around.
Seth hadn't left for work, as she thought, and when she looked up from her perch on the bedside and saw the mask of fury fall into place, the rage burning clearly in his eyes, her moment of happiness quickly faded. She'd known what was coming. He'd taken the phone from her and spoken to his ex-patrol-partner. Pretending the whole while that everything was okay, even as he laid his duffel bag full of duty-gear down and slipped the belt from the loops around his waist. His gaze never left Sarah's, and as he said goodbye and hung up, she fought not to show any reaction to what was coming because if she did he'd only make it worse.
“How many times have I told you, you stupid slut, not to seduce my friends?”
Sarah stared at his feet, she didn't make eye contact, didn't dare answer. If she claimed she hadn't been trying to seduce Enoch he'd beat her until she recanted, then he'd punish her for the seduction. No, it was best to stay quiet through it all. Especially with her children, Malachi and Olivia sleeping in their cribs just down the hall.
“I fucking asked you a question, you whore!” Her head snapped back and pain exploded in her cheek and behind her right eye from the force of the backhanded blow. It was only when he was truly angry that he touched her places that would be visible. The rest of the time he kept his punishment hidden from the world, literally and figuratively.
“I'm sorry,” she managed to choke out past the mouthful of blood. Not that he cared about her answer, but she hadn't seen him this angry in a long long time. Not since that first time...
“Do you bring men into this house the moment I'm gone, you filthy bitch?”
This time he didn't wait for an answer. He dragged her off the bed and onto the floor. And when he was done beating her, after he'd used that knife to threaten the baby that he'd planted inside her the last time she'd been so thoughtlessly careless, he forcefully reminded her that she belonged to him, and only him. That her body belonged to him. After he'd pulled out of her, cleaned himself off, and righted his clothing, he'd pulled her up from the floor.
“I don't understand why you make me do that, Sarah.” He shook his head, his tone bewildered, all the anger gone. “You just can't seem to learn. I expect better of you. I expect more from you.”
There was nothing to say, so she merely looked at the ground as she fought back the waves of nausea. The thought of what he'd make her do if she vomited in front of him made her stomach roil harder.
“I'm sorry, it won't happen again,” she whispered, her voice trembling as violently as her body. She didn't dare make eye contact; she could not afford to let him see the hatred that she knew he'd see shining in her eyes at that moment. They both knew the statement was a lie, it would happen again, it always did, but it was what he wanted to hear, and it was the only means of self-preservation she had at the moment.
He leaned in and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead, and she fought desperately not to flinch. “I'll see you in the morning, baby.” He turned and walked out the door without another word. This time she followed behind, at a safe distance, and locked the door once the tail lights disappeared down the road.
She had no idea how long she's been standing there staring at her bruised and swollen face in the mirror when the glass finally fogged up making her all but disappear. Sometimes she wished it were that simple, but it wasn't. Her children depended on her.
Sarah tested the water, making sure it was comfortably warm, but not hot. She climbed into the tub and pulled the curtain shut before stepping under the shower-flow. As cool as the water was it still burned upon contact with the open, throbbing wounds on her back, making her gasp. She fought back tears of pain and sorrow, and refused to let herself imagine a different life. A life where she was a better wife who knew how to make her husband happy instead of constantly angering him at every turn. One where she and her children were safe and happy. Loved.
But it was useless. No matter how hard she fought it, the images still came. Memories of dreams she had deep in the night. The hope would not die a quite death. Sarah slowly slid to the floor, wrapped her arms around her up-drawn knees and finally let the tears flow.  

8 comments:

  1. This book sounds really good and is going on my TBR pile!

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  2. So powerful Julieanne...........

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  3. This is so good. I am sorry Amazon does not have it up-I couldn't find any other publisher. I can't wait to read it!

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  4. Can't wait. Do you know when it will be available?

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  5. So looking forward to this book.

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  6. Do we know when this is out? I've been looking out for it since I read Razing Kane at the beginning of the year. Can't wait!

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  7. Can't wait for this book. Just read raizing Kayne in one sitting (nothing got done today! House work tmr :0) ) As it was so brilliant I couldn't put it down - even to get a tissue for my tears. Fantastic book by a fab author. I will be waiting anxiously for book 2 to be released.

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  8. Waiting and waiting for this to be published. Do we have a new date yet? Goodreads states June 2014 but it wasn't released.

    Thanks!

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