Okay, I need your help. Each and every person who follows this blog!
‘Guarding Charon’ is up for Preditors & Editors Best of 2016 as a scifi/fantasy novel. Right now, it’s sitting in 3rd. It’s hit the top spot off and on during voting, so I know it’s close. Which means every single vote counts.
Here’s what you do:
- Go to this site: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml
- Vote for ‘Guarding Charon’. It got listed twice, so be sure to hit the first one so we don’t split the votes.
- Enter your name, email address (you can vote once per email address), and do the captcha to prove you’re human.
- Go to the email you used and click on the link to make your vote count!
Solstice Publishing is in the running, too, for best publisher! Please help!
I’m done groveling and begging now, so here’s the teaser for the week!
“Mr. Dixon, is this a safe place to talk? After what happened with the limo…” her voice trailed off.
“Very secure and safe, I assure you. No one would’ve been allowed to come close enough to the plane to put any sort of devices on the exterior, let alone gain access to the inside. Bruce will not be listening in.” He smiled. “If you like, you can call me Larry. Mr. Dixon is extremely formal. ‘Stuffy’ is what your great aunt called it. We will be working closely for the next several months, getting the estate transferred to you. There is no reason to be formal when we’re alone.”
He leaned back, his face taking on a more serious appearance. “Grace, this is a hard thing to ask right now, but it must be discussed. You have the chance now to reinvent yourself, disappear in some ways. Amanda knows what Bruce tried to do, and how he was forcing you into a corner so you’d have to marry him. She was making plans to bring you to her home herself, when she passed away. If you want, everything is in place for me to create a new identity for you. A new name, new social security number, new driver’s license. We can get the paperwork started now, have it all in place by the time we arrive in Cavendish. I only need your permission, and a name you’d like to be known by.”
She stared at the bottle in her hand. To truly disappear, become someone else, would guarantee Bruce would never find her again. Even if she didn’t stay in Maine after her six months were up, he would never find her.
“What about my parents?” Her voice was hushed.
“They accepted a check. Enough to guarantee your father can retire; their debts are paid in full if they choose to do that. But the money is conditional that they tell no one where you went. They know it is likely they’ll never see you again, and traded the money for contact with you.”
Grace slouched in her chair. Her entire body shook. They abandoned her, cut her out of their lives forever, for money. She knew she should be shocked, upset. But she felt numb. “I think I need a drink,” she whispered.
She kept staring at the bottle of water in her hands, fascinated by the motion of the water as the tremors continued. Distantly, she heard ice hitting the bottom of a glass, followed by liquid being poured. It appeared on the edge of the table.
Shaking, she put the water on the table and grabbed at the glass. Amber liquid swirled around a giant ball of ice. Before she could stop herself, she downed the scotch. It burned as it traveled down her throat, numbing her stomach to match her emotions.
If they were ready to be done with her, then she would be done with them. “Let’s do it.”
“Very well. What would you like your new name to be?”
She stared at the glass in her hands. “Did she have any family with her last name?”
“No. She was the last Cross. Her sisters took the names of their husbands, and she had no brothers.”
“That’s it, then. I’ll be Amber Cross.” She raised her glass. “Here’s to new beginnings.”
He raised his as well, “To new beginnings, Amber Cross.”
Swallowing some more of the alcohol, she began to try and adjust to the new name. “So, this house. What’s it like? And why’d she choose me?”