Tumble into Tuesday: Excerpt from “Circle Unbroken”

I didn’t really have anything to say yesterday, so I didn’t. I don’t have much to say today, either. I will just leave you with a small excerpt from my upcoming Science Fiction novel, “Circle Unbroken.” It will be available (I hope) on pre-sale from August 2-17, and will be released on August 18. I’ll be doing a promotion along with the pre-sale, so watch for details on that as the date gets closer.

And now for the excerpt:

“Is something wrong?” Kaili stopped at Jeff’s question. He was looking at Humfrid, who glanced down the hall toward a narrow staircase that curved up to the balcony level.

“It may be nothing,” Humfrid said. “But when I came out into the hall, Taryn’s brother was hurrying up the stairs. He has not come back down that I have seen.” Jeff looked at Kaili, who thought a moment. She looked up at Jeff.

“They have a private box on the balcony,” she said. “Many of the families do. They are open and look out over the arena floor. It would put Jace in position to help.” Jeff followed her gaze to the stairs.

“If you can handle things down here, I’ll go deal with him,” Jeff said. “Do you know which one is theirs?” Kaili chewed on her lower lip, thinking.

“It’s toward the middle, but I haven’t been up there in years. I’m not even sure where ours is anymore.” Jeff frowned.

“I know where he went.” They turned at the sound of a new voice. Jessa’s son, Thom, was standing in the hall behind Humfrid. He walked slowly up to the three adults. He looked up at Jeff. “I was up there to see if I could see better from the top. I can show you.” Kaili knelt down and put her hands on Thom’s shoulders.

“Thom, this is important,” she said. Her tone was gentle, but she held the boy’s eyes with hers. “People could get hurt if we don’t stop what is happening.” Thom nodded, his upper lip sticking out just a little. He kept his gaze steady on Kaili’s gray eyes.

“I know,” he said. “We heard Mom and Dad talking. They didn’t know we were there. Desiree is just a baby. She didn’t understand, but Sylvia and I know they want to hurt Mom and Dad. And cousin Laira.” He stared at Kaili for a long moment. “The Kaili in there? She doesn’t really look like you. You’re prettier.” Kaili smiled.

“Thank you, Thom.” She stood up. “Now, if you can show Captain MacKenzie where Jace went, you will have helped us a lot.” The boy nodded.

“I’ll go with them,” Humfrid said. Kaili nodded, and Humfrid gave her a tight hug. The two men and Thom hurried to the stairs, and started climbing quickly, Jeff’s hand resting on the boy’s shoulder. Kaili watched until they were out of sight around a bend in the stairs, and turned back to the door leading into the amphitheater. She squared her shoulders and reached to open the door.

At the top of the stairs, Thom pointed the way and Jeff let the boy lead him to one of the dark-grained doors leading to the private boxes. Thom stopped and laid one hand flat on the door. He stood with his eyes closed for a moment. He took his hand away and turned to Jeff.
“There are two people in there,” he told Jeff. Humfrid gestured them to the other side of the hall. They huddled together, and Humfrid spoke to Jeff.

“Perhaps the young man and I can provide a bit of a diversion,” Humfrid said. Jeff glanced down at the boy. Thom looked up, his chin tilted.

“I can help,” the boy said. “Just tell me what to do.” Humfrid outlined what he had in mind. Jeff listened, and dropped a hand to the boy’s shoulder.

“Okay,” Jeff said. “But you do exactly what you’ve been told. And stay out of the way. No one will forgive me if anything happens to you. Understand?” The boy gave a solemn nod. Jeff looked at Humfrid. “Let’s go!”

They crossed the hall again, and Jeff pressed himself flat against the wall on one side of the door. Thom backed off a few steps to give himself a running start, and burst through the door to the private box, throwing the door open against the inner wall with a crash.
“Dad!” he called, his voice high-pitched and whining. “I can’t see…” He stopped when he was almost halfway into the room. The room curved with the wall of the balcony. Thom was standing in an aisle that led from the door to the solid railing at the front. Chairs with plush seats and wooden arms lined both sides of the aisle in rows three deep. The two men inside turned. Jace was standing at the edge of the box, one hand cupped as if to throw something. The other, almost as tall with hair that was more silver than blond, took a few steps toward the boy. Before he could reach him, Humfrid hurried into the room, looking harried. He took Thom by the shoulder and turned him around.

“Thom! I told you to wait for me. This is not your family’s box.” Humfrid looked up at the man standing in front of him. “I am sorry, sir. The boy is a bit faster than my old legs, and I couldn’t keep up.” While he was talking, he deftly drew the man out of the path from the door. He stood blocking the aisle, with Thom in the row in front of them.
“Just get him out of here!” Jace growled, taking a step away from the edge of the balcony. “This is a private box. Otherwise…” He was cut off by Jeff, who came running into the room and right at Jace. The second man tried to grab Jeff’s arm as he barreled past, but Humfrid threw an arm out to block him. He tried to push Humfrid away, but the older man was stronger than he looked, and pulled him away from Jeff.



Available now:

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.






tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.






tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

Coming in mid-August, Circle Unbroken, a science fiction novel. After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.