This excerpt comes from one of my most controversial and critically acclaimed series to date – Underground.
HERO’S HOPE is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever had to write. There’s a whole lot of me — emotionally speaking — in this book. Underground is the only series where I’ve allowed myself to interject my own emotion into one of the character’s responses. Mostly because Tamia’s emotional characterization is built off of my own emotions. And yet, Tamia also has facets to her character that are completely her own, and are reactions I only wish I could muster, at times. Still, writing this book was heart-wrenching for me, which is why it took so long to get this close to being released. I’m almost finished with the final “clean-up” edits — minor word choice edits — and then it will go to the Publisher.
HERO’S HOPE asks one thematic question that can’t be avoided: What do you do when the choices you make are ones you can’t take back?
“Sins of the Past” — excerpted from HERO’S HOPE (Underground, Book #4)
He stopped in the shadows of a snow-draped oak in the cemetery, his gaze fixed on the empty hole into which an empty casket would soon be lowered. There was irony in this, somewhere. At the moment, with the memory of her tear-streaked face fresh in his mind, he couldn’t say where that was. The guilt settled like a rock in his gut.
“It’s not too late, you know.”
He whipped around at the sound of a voice, and faced sad green eyes. “How—?”
“I knew you’d be here. You always took penance a little too far.” She took a step closer, and her eyes held his as she repeated, “It’s not too late to end this.”
He turned away, to look back out over the snow-crusted cemetery. His stomach burned, and the image in his head refused to be banished. Was she right? He wasn’t so sure. She didn’t know what he knew. Besides, he still had a job to do. “I can’t go back. Not yet.”
He heard her booted feet shuffle in the snow, and then the warm pressure of one dark-gloved hand squeezed his forearm. “Then when?”
“Maybe never.” He faced that bitter truth like the barrel of a gun pointed straight at his heart. He made the woman he loved cry. He promised never to hurt her, never to be like the men who used her, and then he caused her more pain than those twisted bastards ever could have. Who was the bastard, now? “She’s better off without me.”
“You don’t believe that.” The severity of her tone was familiar. She turned that same tone on him more than once in his misspent youth, determined that he not end up in the same hole as so many of his friends. Now, he stared at the empty hole before him, and knew it was a little too late, this time.
You can purchase the first three books of Underground (TAMIA, MIND KILLER and TERMINAL HUNTER) at Amazon and the first two books (TAMIA and MIND KILLER) at Barnes & Noble.