I want to thank everyone who’s been kind enough to buy Nocturnal Origins. It was a fun book to write and one that is very near and dear to my heart. I know, I know, all my books are supposed to be near and dear. And they are. But there are some that just seen to hang around and demand more be written. Origins is one of these. I have several more books in the series outlined and the immediate sequel about half-way written. However, I have to be pragmatic. As much as I love the book and its characters, I need to work on other projects until we see if Origins sells well enough to warrant a sequel. So, for those of you who have asked about the next book, here’s what I need you to do — spread the word about Origins. That’s the best form of promotion there is.
Now for the promised tease, here’s a short excerpt from the sequel, Nocturnal Serenade. This will be the last snippet from it until we see if I’ll be finishing the book. As much as I’d love to keep doing the snippets, it’s too much of a temptation to finish the book when I have another I have to finish to meet a deadline.
As with the previous snippet, this one is out of order. It is also from the rough draft, so there will be changes in the final — fingers crossed — version. Just a little background and I guess this deserves a snerk warning, even if only a little one. For those who haven’t read the snippets, or who haven’t read Origins — and why haven’t you 😉 — Mackenzie and her mother have what is best described as a strained relationship. Mac simply never did fit her mother’s ideal of what a daughter should be or do. Becoming a cop certainly wasn’t on Elizabeth’s list of approved professions for her eldest daughter. Strained relationship or not, they are going to have to talk about what’s happened to Mac and why her mother hadn’t warned her.
* * *
Elizabeth slammed down the phone, frustration building to the point she wanted to scream. How dare that little chit tell her Mackenzie wasn’t in! That she hadn’t been in all day. She knew better, especially since Mac wasn’t home. Since her eldest daughter took vacations about as frequently as did she – in other words, never – she had to be at work.
So, as usual, Mackenzie was avoiding her calls.
Well, that wasn’t going to work. Not this time. This time they had to talk, whether either of them wanted to or not.
Dear God, did they have to talk.
All it took was a glance at the photos spread across the top of her desk to remind her of just how important it was to do just that. A dozen photos, all time stamped. All taken over the last several months. Some looked as if they’d been taken at Mackenzie’s house. Others were taken in a wooded area, perhaps a park of some sort. All showed Mac in the midst of changing, part human and part-part monster.
A sob choked Elizabeth as she tried to hold it back. No matter how much bad blood there was between them, she’d never wanted this for Mac. It was her fear of the family curse that had led to so much of the trouble with the girl. Mac had resented the way Elizabeth watched her, how she demanded to know about every aspect of her daughter’s life. To Mac, it meant her mother didn’t trust her.
It would have been so easy to prove to Mac that wasn’t it. But it would have meant telling her why she was so worried, and that was something Elizabeth simply hadn’t been able to do. She couldn’t even discuss it with her own mother, despite all the times her mother had tried. So Elizabeth had watched Mac, waiting for the day when the curse would manifest itself in her. And Mac had resented her, as any normal teen would resent it. All of which led to a breach in their relationship neither of them had tried to heal.
Now, somehow, Elizabeth had to put all that aside as she reached out to her daughter. She had to find a way to make Mackenzie listen. They couldn’t risk anyone revealing what Mac had become. But how? How was she going to get Mac to listen to her, much less talk to her?
Since Mac wouldn’t take her calls, there were only a few alternatives available, none of which appealed to Elizabeth. She could call her own mother and ask Ellen Santos to contact Mackenzie. Or she could go park herself in the squad room until Mac finally realized she wasn’t going to leave.
Both options could, and most likely would, explode in her face. Still, she had to do something.
Elizabeth sighed heavily, once more looking at the photos. When she’d found them mixed in with the mail the night before, she’d known she couldn’t ignore them. Someone not only knew about the family curse, but they were targeting her – and Mac. But who? And, more importantly, why?
Yet she hadn’t called Mac right away. She’d done her best to find something, anything about the photos or the envelope they had come in that would help her identify who had sent them, only to find nothing. There wasn’t even a note with these photos. It was as if the sender wanted her off-balance. They were playing with her, and she knew it. She just didn’t know what to do to stop it.
So, after a sleepless night, she’d called Mackenzie. She’d called early enough that her daughter should have still been in bed. But there’d been no answer. So she’d tried calling Mac at the station, only to be told Mackenzie wasn’t there. Just as she’d been told the other three times she’d called.
Damn her daughter’s hard head and stubborn pride. It really was a good thing nothing had happened to either of the twins or to Ellen.
It would be so easy to fall back into the habit of relying on Ellen to act as intermediary between her and Mackenzie. Unfortunately, as easy as that would be, she couldn’t do it. First, because it meant she’d have to have that talk with Ellen again – the discussion not only about what the family was, but also why she should have told Mackenzie and the twins long ago. Second, and in some ways worse, Elizabeth was afraid that if she did talk to her mother, Ellen would tell her she knew about what was happening with Mackenzie, and Elizabeth wasn’t sure she wanted to know her daughter had gone to Ellen instead of her.
Not that she could blame Mac if she had. The two of them hadn’t had a heart to heart talk since Mac’s fifteenth birthday. To be honest, they really hadn’t talked since that day. And that was yet another memory Elizabeth didn’t want to think about just then.
Mac simply wasn’t leaving her any choice. They had to talk, and they had to talk now. So, whether Mac like it or not, her mother was about to track her down and force her to listen.
Heaven help them both.