Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a new feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at The Bawdy Book Blog. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story.
This Week’s Excerpt: Word and Breath by Susannah Noel!
Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy Publish Date: August 2012 Purchase: Kindle
Riana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules. Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.
Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.
Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.
Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.
Mikel walked her to her door, and Riana waited for her kiss.
She wasn’t disappointed.
He took her face in his hands as he had the day before, and she felt the surge of excitement even before their lips connected.
He was gentle at first, almost questioning, breaking off as he leaned his forehead against hers.
Riana gasped for a moment, dizzy with feeling, and then wound her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
Sensation roared in her head as the kiss deepened, and he slid one hand down to the small of her back. Mikel was all that existed, and she surrendered to the feeling. It was more than physical—it felt like they were connected spirit-deep. Ending the kiss would tear something inside her.
He was the one who broke the kiss at last, breathing raggedly as he pulled her into a hug. “We better stop,” he rasped, sounding just as affected as she was. “Unless you want to invite me upstairs.”
“No,” she admitted. She wanted to, but that wasn’t something she was going to do. He might be annoyed. After all, accepting an invitation for a date usually meant agreeing to recreational sex, but the idea of this experience turning into an empty, Union-approved activity made her vaguely ill. “I better not. I should get back home and check on my sister.”
He must be the most understanding, patient man in the world because he didn’t sound the slightest bit frustrated. “Okay.” He kissed her hair a few times and released her. “Can I see you tomorrow?”
As she walked up the stairs, too hot and too breathless, she realized Mikel had made her forget the stress of the day. He’d made her forget the trouble Jenson was trying to bring upon her, forget all the guilt and terror she’d been struggling with all afternoon, forget the dry nature of her days before she’d met him.
When she reached the loft, she unlocked it and wondered if Jannie was asleep.
“Jannie,” she called out, softly so she wouldn’t wake her if she was already in bed. “I’m home.”
There was no answer as she put down her keys and bag.
Riana glanced in her sister’s bedroom and was surprised to find it empty. The bed was still made. She walked through the rest of the loft quickly. “Jannie?”
A prickle of fear awoke in her chest. There was no note on the entry table, which was where they always left them.
Where had her sister gone? She couldn’t travel on her own, and she never would have gone somewhere without letting Riana know first.
Going back into the living room, Riana looked around carefully. Jannie’s books were piled up next to the comfortable chair, and the lamp on the side table was lit.
But one of the pillows had fallen on the floor. Then Riana noticed a glass of water had overturned. It must have been sitting on the table next to the chair. Now there was a pool of water on the wood floor, and the cracked glass had rolled under the table.
There was no way Jannie would have left the loft like this willingly.
Something was wrong.
Riana experienced a wave of terror so intense it made her physically ill.
Jannie was gone.
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About the Author
Susannah wrote her first paranormal novel when she was twelve years old–a time-travel romance written in a spiral-bound notebook that eventually starred all her friends. Since then, she has been writing romantic fiction of all varieties, including paranormal, contemporary, and historical. She can usually be found working on her laptop.
She has a PhD in British literature and teaches at a university in Virginia. She is currently working on the second Wordless Chronicle.
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