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Thursday, 5 June 2008

Thursday...

I had this dream last night. It was so real that I woke up shaking. It was eerily similar to a book I have just written and got a contract on with Cerridwen Press. What was the dream about? Lots of things but it culminated with this man, I know, standing so close to me that his cheek brushed mine and I panicked – hence the shaking. Not sure why I panicked…hell, 3am the other morning I was downstairs with a broom in attack mode. Weird. It was even weirder that I saw him when I was out shopping this arvo. What did I do? I nodded and smile and walked on. Some things you just don’t mess with and shaking should only happen with margaritas.

I was driving home and there was this huge accident – cops, ambos and firies…er…ambulance officers and firemen… it was a mess. We had to drive by it. People slowed down to look. What the fuck is wrong with some people? What if that was a loved one and everyone was staring at them? How would you feel? Some people make me sick. Curiosity is fine but have some respect. You never know when that could be you. Pull your head in and move on.

Sex in the City…I never understood the fascination with this TV program. The movie is just hitting Aussie shores and people are getting all hyped up to see it. When I say ‘hyped’ up, I mean the cinemas are telling them to get excited and that ‘everyone wants to see it’ and people are naturally following the drum. But then that’s great publicity. Tell people what they want. Make them see, feel and buy. You can’t fault that kind of marketing. Now, I’m sure someone will tell me why Sex in the City is a great movie to see. Please do. I don’t understand how four scrawny, expensively dressed women have anything in common with the average woman other than similar body parts. Yes, I know its all fantasy and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all need escape. But I find advertising that tells me ‘this is a must see movie for all women’ curious. Why is it? I know that women can be strong and independent and in control of their lives. I just don’t see how these women are role models for the average woman. Please explain….

The Unbreakable contest – please see the headless model wearing the t-shirt picture at the end of the blog - is almost over but if you scroll down to yesterday’s blog you still have time to enter – read, answer and email…too easy.

Too Young To Die by Anita Birt has been released today at Cerridwen Press. Yes, you can click and buy on the cover.

For the first time since she graduated from college, Ellie Paxton is unemployed and broke. She accepts the position of "nanny with computer skills" to care for a three month old baby boy and agrees to live in her employer's mansion located deep in the Cascade Mountains north of Seattle
Dying young isn't on Ellie's personal time line and her contract doesn't call for heroics on a grand scale but when the mansion is invaded by armed gunmen threatening to kill her and the baby if she doesn't reveal the passwords protecting her employer's files, she has to choose. Co-operate. Abandon the baby and escape. Or take him with her.

The excerpt

Misery dogged her footsteps. Her feet hurt. Her legs ached. Being scared out of her wits didn’t help. For Nicki’s sake she had to keep going. Had to reach safety.
She plodded on. What time was it? How long had she been walking? Had she made a mistake leaving the house? Maybe she could’ve bargained with the man in black, given him access to the computer in exchange for her freedom.
She shook her head. Not in a pig’s eye, her mother would have said. Why a pig’s eye? Ellie wasn’t sure and shifted the baby from one arm to the other to ease her tense shoulders.

Do pigs know who to trust and who not to? She puzzled over that. Miss Piggy might know. Don’t trust the boss man.
“What do you think, Nicki?” He slept peacefully in her arms. Every step wearied her. Her legs had taken on a life of their own. If she got out of the forest alive and in one piece would her legs know how to quit?
She stopped for a few minutes to catch her breath, glanced around and suddenly realized she could see. A faint pink glow filtered through the leaves overhead.
“Nicki, honey, I think it’s getting light.”
When had they left the house? Midnight?
Her spirits lifted. People lived and worked in the Cascades. Maybe she’d find a logging camp or a house with helpful people who’d phone the police.
She longed to rest. Longed to put Nicki down safely. Longed to sleep.
She plodded on. One foot followed the other. Don’t stop. Keep moving. The forest had to end somewhere.
“Oh no!” She choked on the words.
Two large dogs bounded towards her. Hackles raised they approached stealthily. She huddled Nicki in her arms and buried her face in his blanket. “They’ve sent tracking dogs. We haven’t a hope in hell of getting away. I did my best, sweetie.”
The dogs circled, closed in and sniffed at her and the baby. “Don’t bite,” she pleaded.
Torn to pieces by dogs or shot quickly? She’d choose the gun. Quick and easy if they aimed at her heart or blasted a hole in her head.
As for Nicki. Please God don’t let Nicki die because I failed him.
At the sound of a loud whistle the dogs stiffened. A man emerged from the trees, a threatening rifle slung over his shoulder. The dogs left Ellie and stationed themselves beside the man, their eyes remained fixed on her.
The man walked up to her, frowning. “In the name of all the saints and the Pope himself, what are you doing here with a baby?”
Ellie backed away and bumped into a tree. “Don’t kill Nicki. He’s only three months old. He’s innocent. He doesn’t deserve to die.”
Nerves strung to the breaking point she sank down on her knees. Eyes blurry with tears she gazed up at the man.
“Give me a few minutes to pray then shoot me. Promise not to kill the baby.”
He knelt beside her. “I don’t kill babies and women.” He pulled a red and white polka dotted hanky from his jeans pocket and handed it to her. “Dry your eyes and tell me what you’re doing here. This is private land. No trespassing. Didn’t you see the signs?”
Crackling laughter erupted from Ellie’s dry throat. “No trespassing.” She rocked back and forth. “No trespassing. That’s very funny.”
She couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t stop laughing. She’d been through too much. He’d caught her trespassing. Where was she? Would he shoot her for trespassing? She clamped her lips together choking back the laughter.
The man slapped her sharply on the side of her face. “Stop it, you damned fool. You’re scaring the baby.”
She jerked sideways and punched his arm. “What do you think you’re doing?” The hysteria died.
“Stopped you screaming, didn’t I?” He smiled showing even white teeth. Even in the early morning light he was better looking than George and the man in black.
Intelligent eyes. No boxing scars. Probably an expert tracker.
“So what’s next?” Too tired to think clearly Ellie waited for the end. He said he didn’t kill babies and women that’s so she’d calm down and make an easy target. A sitting duck and a duckling.
It wouldn’t hurt much. A single shot would do the trick. “Kill me and get it over with.”
“Stop babbling about killing. Got that? Explain what you’re doing on Vinnie’s land.”
Ellie shook her head. If he wasn’t one of them she was safe. But was she? Whoever raided the Blesnicoff’s home would be searching for her and the baby. She’d witnessed the carnage, could identify two of the men.
Sucking in a deep breath, her brain spun out of its death spiral and emerged intact with an alibi. No way would she tell him her name. He might hand her over. She used his hanky to wipe her sweaty, teary face and plucked a name from the past—her high school English teacher.

“I’m Sarah Hargreave. I’ve run away from my husband.” She raised her head. “He threatened me and the baby.”
The man’s gray eyes darkened. “Did you spend the night in the forest?”
Ellie nodded. “I had to or he’d have found us.”
“Then you’re damned lucky. There’s a cougar lurking in the neighborhood. It killed and mauled some range cattle. Good job it didn’t find you.”
A stalking cougar was too much for Ellie. “We could’ve died,” she wailed and sagged against him.
“But you didn’t.” Grasping her hands he stood and helped her up. “You’re worn out. I’ll take you to my cabin. You can rest there.”
“Is it far?” She’d walked all night. Her nerves were frazzled. The soles of her feet burned. Her ankle throbbed. If he said a mile she’d never make it.
“I’ve got a vehicle.”
Ellie almost kissed him. “Show me.”
For now she had to trust him.

www.freewebs.com/amarindajones/
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

9 comments:

barbara huffert said...

Very interesting, dreaming about the man and then seeing him.

I think I must be the only person in the world who never watched Sex in the City. Nope, not going to see the movie either no matter how they advertise.

Sandra Cox said...

Amarinda, that is getting just a little too weird.

Anita, Wishing you many sales.

Anny Cook said...

I never watched SITC either. Wasn't much there for me. Of course, at the time I was working and a co-worker insisted on giving us a blow-by-blow account of it...

Hate rubber-neckers...

Congrats on your new release, Anita!

Molly Daniels said...

You're not alone; I've only watched one episode of SITC and wasn't impressed.

I think Anita's first book is next on my TBB list...I know, I'm about 6 months behind! This one sounds like another good one!

Ashley Ladd said...

Curiosity and decency aside, it's also dangerous to rubber neck. I was almost killed in a wreck that was caused by people rubber necking at a little accident. A big truck rammed us from behind and our car caught on fire. We were lucky to get out alive - cop's words.

JacquƩline_Roth said...

As someone who deals with traffic daily I hate when I sit in creeping traffic for 20 minutes only to find out it was because everyone had to slow down to watch something happen to someone else.

Never watched Sex in the City. Didn't see why I would want to, never saw the relevance even as an "escape."

Congratulations on the release, Anita. Excerpt sounds great.

Regina Carlysle said...

Sorry about the nightmares. This was very REAL,wasn't it? That's just creepy.

I saw the most awful thing on tv today and your mention or rubber-neckers reminded me. In Connecticut a 78 yr old man was hit by a car. The whole thing happened in a busy, downtown area and was all caught on film. The poor man just lay there in the street, the car went on and other cars just swerved out of the way, not stopping. I think they said 8 minutes passed before the gawkers on the sidewalks finally walked out to see if he was okay. Awful. It just pissed me off to see this.

LynTaylor said...

Add me to the list of people who have never watched SITC. Hasn't interested me in the least so I won't be going to see the movie.

Now. What's this about your dream? You actually SAW the guy the next day??? Ooooooh ... cue Twilight Zone music ;)

Anita Birt said...

I have never watched it either but I find the television offerings are for people with small brains and short attention spans. It's my age, ladies. I like watching sports and wish the Toronto Blue Jays would get their fingers out and start winning. That "fingers out" expression is from the Royal Air Force in which my husband once served.

Thanks for the book boost for Too Young To Die.