After months of research and waffling I've decided to publish it myself as an e-book. Part of me wants to go the traditional route with an agent and publisher, just for the validation, but vanity aside, it just doesn't make sense. I am opposed to the whole "gatekeeper" philosophy and would rather my readers decide whether or not my work has any value. I also don't like the way traditional publishers overprice e-books. I mean, come on! There's no overhead, printing or distribution costs so why should readers be expected to pay the same price for an e-book as a paperback?
Anyway ... I plan to publish ENCHANTMENT on Amazon, iTunes, B&N and Smashwords by the middle of June. (Depending on how long the final edit and polish takes). If you would like to be notified when it is available, please send me an email at email@example.com with "Enchantment News" in the subject line. Feel free to subscribe to this blog for automatic availability announcements.
Here's a sample from the first scene ...
Channie Kerns peered over the edge of the cliff at the outcropping of granite where Toby Hansen died two years ago. She wasn’t here when it happened, but she’d heard the story so many times she could picture it in her mind. How he’d bounced when he hit the rocks, cracking his skull and spilling his brains. It was ninety degrees in the shade, but a chill crept up her spine and made the little hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. This was crazy … she was crazy.
But Hunter Feenie was waiting … and watching. And she’d be damned if she’d chicken out after he’d already jumped.
She backed up ten paces and glanced at Hunter’s clothes, draped over a fallen log. He’d made a point of peeling his shirt off in slow motion, like some movie star in a love scene — flexing his newly developed muscles, trying to impress her. It annoyed the hell out of her that it actually worked. She’d rolled her eyes for his benefit, but enjoyed the show nonetheless.
Channie had begged Aunt Wisdom to cast a development spell on her every day for the past two years — just boost her hormone levels a tiny bit, what would it hurt?
But she’d always refused. “Be patient, sweetheart. Your time will come. You’re just a late bloomer, that’s all.”
She was a late bloomer, all right — hadn’t even needed a bra until after her sixteenth birthday. But Aunt Wisdom was right. Channie’s time had definitely come. And without the help of magic, thank you very much. She was proud of her new curves, but she wasn’t about to strip down to her skivvies just because Hunter did. Jumping off a cliff was one thing, swimming half naked was quite another.
She tucked the hem of her t-shirt into her waistband, dug her toes into the dirt then took off like a beagle after a rabbit. Her stomach flipped as she hung weightless for a split second, then lurched into her throat as she fell. Toby’s Rock zipped past on her right, a near miss that shot adrenaline into her bloodstream. She tucked her knees to her chest, wrapped her arms around her shins and prepared for impact.
The cold, emerald water needled the small of her back and took her breath away, but the look on Hunter’s face just before she cannonballed him was worth it. He didn’t think she’d do it. Ha!
She came up laughing, sucked in a quick breath of air and grabbed Hunter’s wrist before he dunked her head beneath the surface. They splashed and teased each other until they were so cold and water-logged they looked like plucked chickens.
Somehow, during all the horseplay, the hem of Channie’s shirt had worked its way out of her cutoffs. Hunter slid his hands around the bare skin of her waist and licked his lips. The muscles of her lower belly tightened, but it was a pleasant sensation, not like cramps. The water was cold, but her skin flushed with a rush of heat. What was going on? Her heart was racing and it was getting hard to breathe. Maybe she was getting sick.
Hunter let go and crawled onto the first ledge of the sheer cliff. He offered Channie his hand and said, “Come on, let’s go get warmed up.”
Ordinarily, she would have raced him to the top. She would have won, too. But she still felt a little breathless and lightheaded, so she let him help her.
When they got to the top, Hunter grabbed a faded drunkard’s path quilt out of his basket, scooped his clothes up off the log and headed towards The Shack. Before the quarry closed twenty years ago, it had been the foreman’s office. Now, it served as a hideout for underaged drinkers and secret lovers. Hunter retrieved a key from a hollow stump and unlocked the door.
There were holes in the tin roof and the warped floor was littered with trash, empty beer cans and broken glass. But it was the stained mattress in the corner that captured Channie’s gaze. Hunter covered it with his quilt and sat down. What exactly did he have in mind when he suggested they “get warmed up?”
He patted the quilt and cocked an eyebrow.
Everything Momma and Daddy had ever told Channie about boys flooded her mind. It was bad enough she’d let Hunter talk her into meeting him out here. The old bauxite quarry was off-limits for several reasons. It was outside her clan’s boundaries, the Empties from Whistler’s Gulch claimed it as their own, and it was dangerous. Toby wasn’t the only kid that had died out here. Every year at least one idiot would drown or break their neck diving off the cliff. Or worse … wind up pregnant.
Channie squeezed the water out of her hair and edged closer to the door. “I gotta get home.”
“Oh come on, Channie.” Hunter patted the quilt again. “I don’t bite.”
Channie didn’t need to read Hunter’s energy field to know what was going on. She could see it in his eyes.
The way his gaze travelled up and down her body made her skin crawl. Her cheeks burned when she realized he could see her bra through the thin fabric of her wet t-shirt. She folded her arms across her chest and raised her shield in case he decided to cast a come-hither spell on her.
Hunter wrinkled his nose and curled his upper lip, scrunching the left side of his face. “What kind of scumbag do you take me for?”
Channie had known Hunter all her life, but she didn’t trust him. Nobody did. It wasn’t his fault, and he’d never done anything to deserve suspicion — until now. But his momma was an outsider. She swore a death pledge to prove her loyalty and bound herself to the Feenie clan by marrying Hunter’s daddy. That was twenty years ago, but mages have long memories and an unshakeable belief in the power of blood. It didn’t matter what any of the Feenie clan did, they’d never be accepted — not completely.
Hunter yanked his cutoffs on over his wet boxers but didn’t bother with the zipper. “Why’d you even agree to meet me out here?”
Channie shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know.”
She didn’t want to admit it, even to herself, but she’d sort of hoped that maybe he would kiss her. But now that they were here, miles away from prying eyes, gossiping tongues and chaperones, she wasn’t so sure.
Hunter jerked his t-shirt on over his head and jammed his arms through the sleeves as if he wanted to punch something. “I swear, Channie, you are such a tease.”
“And you’re a royal pain in the ass.” She backed out of the shack, grabbed her willow-twig basket and her bike then headed down the trail. She was attracted to Hunter, but she didn’t love him. Momma and Daddy were always warning her about how even the nicest boys were ruled by their carnal desires, but they’d neglected to mention that girls could feel lust too. That’s all this was … lust, not love. And it wasn’t enough.
I would love to know what you think, feel free to leave a comment. Check out the book trailer on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=char2556#grid/uploads