This month I’ll celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Portents‘ release. Amanda Ryder is one of my favorite heroines: young, smart, and snarky. I sure love doing all the research about ESP and quantum physics that has gone into her series. If you’re interested in paranormal suspense without those pesky vampires or werewolves, I hope you’ll give Amanda’s stories a try! Here’s a snippet of Portents, book 2 in the Amanda Ryder, V.I. series, to whet your appetite…
In a lightning move, Eric leveled a .45 at the intruder. “I strongly suggest you turn around and go back to wherever the hell you came from.”
The beast of a man shook his head and sneered. “If you think I’m leaving without her, you’re an idiot.”
Amanda’s heart seized. The brute’s East Coast accent wasn’t the same one that had lured her here over the phone. Damn!
Eric didn’t flinch. “If you think I’ll let her go, you’re dead.”
“Tell your clingy boyfriend he’s about to pay for his caveman attitude with his life,” the man growled.
Amanda fingered the hilt of the knife she’d pilfered from the kitchen, easing it out of her sleeve. Whoever he was, she decided Nash must’ve sent him. She took a slow, cautious step toward the guy, away from Eric. “He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Like I give a shit,” the creature grunted. “Get rid of him. Now. Or I will.”
She tore her eyes from him to look at Eric. “I’ve made my decision.” Whatever dreams she had of belonging to the Academy were just that: dreams. Not reality. It’s for the best, she added mentally. Trust me and just go.
But Eric shook his head. “She’s not making a fully informed decision.”
Fury singed through her like a pyrotechnic flare. He thought she was stupid?
“Don’t give a fuck what you think,” the man retorted. “She’s comin’ with me.”
“And I say she isn’t,” Eric countered.
Hearing them fight over her like she was the last slice of meatloaf on the table brought to mind her father, how he used to snap at her mother for all his daughter’s many failings. Her father, who thought education was wasted on a female mind like hers. Her father, who believed every awful thing imaginable about her. Her father, who contemplated killing his own flesh and blood, but mercifully threw her out of the house instead on her eighteenth birthday.
“You sure this job is worth dyin’ for?” Eric taunted.
But his voice was drowned out, as was the man’s response, by an emotional dam breaking within Amanda. Her fury gushed forth, finally free of the repressive wall she’d built within her, the one that had kept her safe in her father’s house. Amanda’s skin cracked and itched like a dry winter’s morning as she seethed, riding the crest of this new wave of ire. It lifted her, bearing her upwards like a geyser releasing.
How dare they? she screamed in her mind, her breath coming in lung-jarring gasps. No one else was the master of her fate. She decided what happened to her, dammit!
“Stop this,” Amanda hissed in warning.
Both men glanced at her, then did a double take.
The stranger narrowed his eyes in a suspicious scowl. “The fuck?”
Eric’s eyes widened. “Um, Amanda?” he muttered tentatively. “You okay?”
“I will do… whatever the hell… I want to do,” she snarled. “It’s my choice. Not yours!”
“What is this shit?” the man demanded, a note of fear coloring his voice.
“Amanda? Buddy?” Eric tried coaxing, his attention fully on her. He lowered his weapon and took a step closer. “I need you to try to calm down now, okay?”
“Back off, loverboy,” the man barked, jabbing his gun in Eric’s direction.
Heat boiled off her, to the point she imagined waves of it distorting her vision, altering her perception of the room. Fear suddenly gripped her. She had no idea how to rein in all this powerful anger. Like a Pandora’s box of ire, the wildfire was out of control.
“Stay back,” Amanda begged, her nervous system in full rebellion.
Eric spread his hands in supplication. “It’s okay, Amanda,” he soothed. “You’re not in danger,” he lied.
But that only made her angrier. This was so clearly not okay. She’d leaped off the cliff of okay and was hurtling toward seriously fucked up at breakneck speed…
Portents is available in ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.