I'm Still Here!!! And an excerpt from Building Courage
It's been a long time since I've posted anything. It's taken longer for me to fight my way back from a year of grief, upheaval, and injury, and it's still a work in progress, but I'm working my way back. I'm 53,000 words into my next book, and I've finally hit my stride.
I'm posting a short excerpt of my next book Building Courage. I've tweaked the blurb a tiny bit.
Here it is:
Photographer Brynn Barrington spent two years on the road. taking pictures, podcasting about survival, and working through the trauma of a brutal attack by embracing life. She's taken up surfing, sky diving, and now wants to learn to scuba dive.
But when she meets Tucker Giles, she's wary. The handsome SEAL triggers desires she long ago buried deep and never thought to feel again.
Navy SEAL Tucker Giles has been a certified diver for years. After a dangerous encounter with a bull shark during a mission, he decides teaching Brynn to dive is just the ticket to shake off the lingering aftereffects. His instant attraction to Brynn is strong, and when he discovers what she's endured, he's determined to convince her to give romance another shot. With him.
After her first open-water dive, Brynn commemorates the event by taking a photo of her and Tucker. When, out of the blue, her apartment's broken into, Brynn feels like she's living the nightmare all over again.
Or has her past come back to haunt her?
Here's an unedited excerpt from the book:
On his way to the hold, Tucker set to work laying in the explosives along the farthest bulkhead opposite the seam where the ship had been mortally wounded. Finding a buckled breach in the deck, he peeked downward into the space. Most of the catch had spilled out into the bay as the ship had tumbled to the bottom and settled on the ledge, but there were still piles of carcasses resting in stagnant heaps on the port side. Their decomposition filled the hold with a foggy stew of tissue that drew smaller fish. He thanked God he was spared the smell underwater. His dry suit would stink like death after this, and he didn't relish scrubbing it. If it could be salvaged at all.
Dropping down into the hold, he swam upward to what would be the starboard side of the ship and set to work laying the explosive devices in a straight line ten feet apart from one side of the hold to the other. As he set the fifth charge and swam forward to position the sixth, a pale gray shadow shot out of the haze. He had only a second to recognize it as a shark before it struck him. It was a hard glancing blow to his hip, a test to see if he was edible. The force of the blow spun him around. He hit his arm on a jagged piece of metal. The tough fabric of his dry suit protected his arm but didn't cushion the full-on blow of a huge shark butting him.
Heart racing, his breathing ragged, he jerked his dive knife free of his belt and held completely still, suspended by his buoyancy vest, just above the deck.
Fuck! With all the food shoved against one side of the hold, this fucker had decided he wanted fresh meat. Out of all the scenarios that had run through his mind, being trapped inside the hold with a shark hadn't been one of them. He tried to calm his breathing, but the surge of adrenaline kept his heart racing.
When the beast didn't appear again, he sheathed his knife. Every nerve in his body seemed to be on red alert as he hugged the deck and glanced over his shoulder every few seconds. Setting the last four devices seemed to take forever. With every muscle in his body tensed and ready for battle, he followed the dim blinking lights of the set charges back the way he'd come. Pausing to get his bearings, he looked up and spied the edge of the opening through which he'd entered. He was almost home free.
He caught quick movement to his right. Like a gray shadow, the shark pierced the cloudy water and came straight at him, its powerful tail whipping back and forth like a sickle. Tucker jerked his dive knife free but realized it would be like trying to stop a torpedo with an icepick. Out of options, he pushed off the deck and swam upward, kicking for all he was worth.
I hope you enjoy the excerpt.
I'm working hard and hope to finish the book within the next month. I'll put it up for preorder as soon as I send it to my editor.
Thank you so much, dear fans, for sticking with me this last year. I've had so many setbacks, but I'm writing steadily now and finally feel like I'm truly back!!
And thanks to all my new readers who have signed up for my newsletter. I'll be sending out news soon.