Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a 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: Marking Time by April White!
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Fiction Publish Date: October 2012 Like this excerpt? Buy it: Kindle
Seventeen-year-old tagger Saira Elian can handle anything… a mother who mysteriously disappears, a stranger who stalks her around London, and even the noble English Grandmother who kicked Saira and her mother out of the family. But when an old graffiti tag in a tube station transports Saira to the 19th Century and she comes face-to-face with Jack the Ripper, she realizes she needs help after all.
Saira meets Archer, a charming student who helps her blend in as much as a tall, modern American teen can in Victorian England. He reveals the existence of the Immortals: Time, Nature, Fate, War and Death, and explains to Saira that it is possible to move between centuries – if you are a Descendant of Time.
Saira finds unexpected friendships at a boarding school for Immortal Descendants and a complicated love with a young man from the past. But time is running out for her mother, and Saira must embrace her new identity as she hides from Archer a devastating secret about his future that may cost him his life.
Across the street was an open gate to what looked like an empty yard. There was a little wooden sign above it that said “Dutfield’s Yard” which became one of those useless facts that got lodged in my brain. Just like the pointy black woman’s shoe in the yard that was still attached to its owner’s foot. I gasped and suddenly a shadow moved. A figure in a black cape was crouched over the woman’s body and I must have surprised him because he stumbled backwards.
“You!” In my shock I wasn’t even aware that I’d spoken. The pale face of Wolf stared up at me in alarm as I yelled at him. “What are you doing?”
“I was determining her condition.” His voice sounded very nervous and formal, totally different than he sounded an hour ago before he kicked me to the curb at Upminster Station. He got his feet back under him and stood up, blocking my view of the woman on the ground.
I stared at Wolf in complete disbelief. I’d never met the guy before tonight and he’d already managed to freak me out more than anyone had in my entire life.
“As in…dead? What did you do to her?”
Wolf looked appalled. “Do I know you, sir?”
“It’s me.” I pulled off my hood, releasing my long braid from the confines of my sweatshirt.
Wolf’s eyes widened in surprise. “I’m sorry, Miss, but you have me at a disadvantage.” A clatter of what sounded like hooves was entering Dutfield’s Yard from the other side. “But unless you’d like to find yourself associated with the lady’s demise, may I suggest we make ourselves scarce.”
Wolf moved toward the gate so fast I could only follow. We left the yard just as a horse-drawn cart came down the path, and I could hear the driver shouting “Whoa there, girl! Whoa!” For a second I thought the driver meant me and I almost stopped, but a light touch at my elbow kept me moving forward.
“In here.” Wolf’s voice was low and his hand at my elbow directed me toward a narrow covered alley. He practically shoved me into the doorway and put a finger to his lips.
“The official-sounding footsteps of the Bobby tapped down the road. He paused for a moment outside the entrance to our alley and I held my breath. A shout of “Police!” came from the direction of Dutfield’s yard. The Bobby hesitated a moment, then finally took off running.
“He saw us come in here. When he realizes the woman’s dead he’ll come looking for us.” Wolf’s voice had the same low tones I knew, but his words seemed more formal…and less sure… than before. “We should go.”
“Why should I trust you?” This whole thing felt wrong, like I’d been thrown in the middle of a weird play. That had to be it. This whole thing with the ‘dead’ woman and the Bobby, and the horse and cart, it must be all part of one of those Haunted City tours. Why Wolf was part of it mystified me, but for some reason he was penciled in as my tour guide for the night. I decided I would play along for a minute to figure out why he’d targeted me since he didn’t seem willing to break character.
“You’re right. You don’t know me and have no reason to trust me.” Wolf looked me up and down with a critical eye. “Despite your choice of garments you are a woman. And given your strange way of speaking, a foreign woman at that.” He looked me in the eyes. “That places you in a certain amount of danger. If you choose to travel with me that danger will be somewhat mitigated.
“Assuming the danger isn’t coming from you.”
Wolf searched my face with a very frank gaze. “Quite true.” The edge of nervousness in his voice gave me goosebumps for a second. Shouts of alarm were coming from Dutfield’s Yard and running footsteps pounded by. Wolf turned away from Berner Street and faced down the pitch-black alley. “This alley leads toward Commerical Road East and a less… criminal district. You’re welcoming to join me if you’re willing to risk life and limb in my company.” I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic as he strode away down the alley with a quick glance over his shoulder at the growing foot traffic on Berner Street.
So somehow I’d managed to lose Slick and all his creepiness, and land myself in the middle of some murder mystery thing. I didn’t know who this guy was or why he was following me, but I did know that no amount of night vision was going to help me in that pitch-black alley, and Wolf seemed to have a road-map of London lodged in his brain. So I shoved my skepticism and pride down to somewhere around my ankles and took off down the alley after him.
And even though it made me cringe to think it, whatever this guy’s game was, the nighttime city seemed slightly less menacing with him standing next to me.
About the Author
APRIL WHITE has been variously a film producer, private investigator, bouncer, and is a prolific screenwriter with more than fifty produced teleplays and screenplays to her credit. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, their dog, and various chickens.
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