Hey all, figured I’d give you a quick update on my upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. In case you missed the news a few months ago, the tentative December 2012 release for book one was pushed back to 2013 for a few different reasons. I never formally announced this, since the release timeframe was tentative anyway, but I did mention it a few times on Facebook, and I wanted to clarify the news now for anyone interested.
Basically, I didn’t expect Preservation to do so well. I had no idea what to expect, and I just put it out there knowing some would enjoy it and some wouldn’t. Needless to say, I was surprised when readers started asking for a sequel and showed interest in the other characters. I’d never intended to continue the story, but the more I played around with Ryan’s POV, and the more I spent time talking to readers about the story, I realized it would be fun to turn it into a series. And if people wanted to read more, then why not?
So Reservation, book 2, bumped Repossession back a bit. And the last thing I wanted to do was rush both stories and half-ass everything. Repossession, being the introduction of a new trilogy, is especially draining and challenging to work on. It’s very heavy, full of intense world building, and is probably one of the most emotional things I’ve written yet. It takes a lot out of me and is so personal in so many ways, that I just really wanted to make 100% sure I’m able to be wholly focused on and committed to the story.
That being said, Repossession does not yet have a release date. However, it is still set for a 2013 launch, so you can expect to see it available in the near future. In the meantime, I’m posting the very first excerpt for you–the prologue. Hope you enjoy, and I look forward to revealing more about this book and the series after the New Year.
Repossession (The Keepers Trilogy, #1)
All the flowers are gone, I thought, as I stared at the demolished flowerbed, the gun dangling from my lifeless fingers. My mama’s favorite garden destroyed.
I loved that damn garden.
It was the only sanctuary I had, giving me a cozy spot to bask in peace and quiet while I looked out over the yard. I could watch Cooper and Riley play, could toss them a Frisbee and laugh as they chased the neighborhood cat. Our black and yellow lab retrievers were inseparable. Mama always said they went together like cookies and cream. When the invaders first touched down, they disappeared, just like every other animal in the neighborhood, retreating into the nearby woods, like they’d gone into hiding or something. There was no more barking, no sign of them since.
I used to just sit and watch them in that garden, waiting for the moments to pass, wondering when life would evolve, when I’d see progress. Sometimes things were so damn boring and uninspired in our little town. Mama told me to never allow restlessness to become a burden, because before I knew it, the tide would turn and a new season would be upon me. Sometimes, though, I couldn’t help feeling antsy.
Morton, Alabama, wasn’t known for much except a surplus of Baptist churches and Wednesday night Bingo matches after Bible study. The town and the people were sweet, alright, and I was damn lucky to live in a place where people knew your name. They had big hearts. Good people, they were. Hell, I grew up in one of those churches, and they did right by me, always teaching me about grace and whatnot. I like to think I have all they taught me about God figured out now, but the truth is, I’m not sure if I ever will. Did that make me less Christian than them? Was I one of the heathens they preached about on Sunday mornings? Because I didn’t interpret the Good Book the way they all seemed to?
Hell if I knew.
Daddy taught me to do the best I could to understand the Holy Gospel, to listen to my conscious and all that, and then leave the rest to God. Said it wasn’t for me to understand. Not all of it, anyway. He’d go on and on about how I needed to just accept that I’d never find all the answers I was looking for. Said if I ever did, he reckoned I wouldn’t like what I’d find, and no matter what answers I’d stumble across, they’d never be enough to satisfy my curiosity anyway.
“Human,” he’d say. “That’s what you are darlin’, just human. God don’t expect you to have his all-knowing super powers. Jus’ you let it be, now.”
But for a girl like me with big dreams and bigger questions, Morton, Alabama, was suffocating. I hated Bingo, I figured looking for answers was better than not looking for them at all, and I was far from content just sittin’ on my behind waiting for something interesting to come along and get me outta this town.
They always say if you stop looking for something, that’s usually when you find what you’re looking for. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me when the invaders finally made their way to our tiny town, arriving on a warm spring afternoon. They’d sent our nation into mass hysteria just days before, first stationing themselves along the coasts and in harbor towns. That’s when Cooper, Riley, and other neighborhood pets started disappearing.
Not long after, the sightings began around Morton, and that’s when we knew things were changing.
We were an inland town, far from the Gulf or any ocean, and the invaders seemed to like water. They were starting to spread out, exploring even the most rural, isolated areas. We thought we’d lucked out at first, thinking they weren’t interested in coming to our neck of the woods.
We were wrong.
I remember I’d just given up any hope of leaving this place. Kyle dumped me, I failed my first college exam, and I lost the last ten bucks in my bank account to an overdraft fee. Working at the town pet store wasn’t exactly ideal for raking in the cash. Every dollar meant something to me, and damn it, that ten buck loss was a bitterness I’d taste for at least another month. Optimism wasn’t in my favor when it came to a future in Morton.
When my parents’ screams rang from inside the house that balmy, sunny afternoon, I saw the first one, right there by the backyard shed—trampling through mama’s garden. Tall and decrepit, drippin’ with some kinda clear ooze, like it’d been going for a swim in a pool of diluted Vaseline or somethin’. It stood on two feet, hunched over with sunken-in eyelids, dark glowing, gaping holes staring back at me. Extending its long, frail arm, it released a wheezing sound, a small cloud of white emanating from its ghoulish mouth as if it was breathing cold air.
The next thing I knew, its long, graceful fingers splayed wide in the air and a round, aqua colored metal container shot forth, aimed directly at me. I stumbled backward over the garden bench, dodging it, and smashed into the back door, the metal capsule lodging tight to the left of my head, smack into the wall exterior. The creature released another low wheezing sound and turned to reach for the latch on the shed, the back of its head to me.
My eyes darted to the left, burning holes into the piece of metal just inches from my ear, wondering what this thing would do. Explode maybe? Release some kind of toxic gas? I sure as hell didn’t want to wait around to find out. With one more quick glance at the foreign intruder, I slipped in through the back door when I realized it was more interested in our shed than finishing whatever the metal device had failed to do.
Tiptoeing into the hall, I ignored the terrifying fact that my parents’ screams had halted and reached up to the top cabinet on the cherry brown china hutch, pulling out one of our Glocks. My fingers trembled as I checked the ammo and cocked the weapon. My shaky hands found the screen door latch and I stepped back outside, hoping the thing was still in the shed.
Thank God, the back of its head was still facing me while it rummaged through our stuff. The shade of the shed surrounded the white, skeleton-like form, leaving me mesmerized for a moment at the sight of its elegant, phantasmal shape. As quickly as I observed this, its head snapped around to meet me and its wheezing sound morphed into a high-pitch screech, its hand extending again, probably to launch another one of those metal cylinders at me.
My reflex was lightning.
Forcing my hand steady, I raised the gun, released a deep breath, and aimed and pulled the trigger, unloading the entire clip into the creature’s head. The casings burned my knuckles, the pops deafening. As I watched the intruder jerk and drop to the ground, a wave of thoughts swamped me.
I did not have all the answers. I did not know if I’d deserved God’s grace or wrath, or what would become of me if I ever fled this town.
But I did know how to shoot a gun.