Today I thought I’d share an excerpt from A Second Chance with all of you. I know you can download samples at Amazon, but for those who have not installed the Kindle computer software, this is for you.
That Friday in mid-September dawned bright and hopeful for Annabelle Dixon. The air’s crispness marked the arrival of fall. Even the leaves on the trees in Annabelle’s front yard were beginning to change, transitioning from vibrant green to hues of orange, brown, yellow and red, preparing everyone for autumn’s cooler temperatures and flaming foliage.
As a child and teenager, Annabelle had always looked forward to the changeover from summer to fall, for it signified the start of a new school year and new beginnings.
Fall also meant hours spent outdoors, raking up the fallen leaves that littered the ground, carving jack o’ lanterns with her parents, and drinking ice cold apple cider from a local orchard, traditions she now practiced with her own children.
That morning, Annabelle sat on her front porch steps, drinking a cup of coffee before her doctor’s appointment scheduled for that day. While she sat there, her hands wrapped around the steaming mug, she watched a blue butterfly dance from bush to bush in front of her. The sight of the butterfly struck her as odd. It was unusual to see butterflies that late in the year.
It wasn’t long before the butterfly’s waltz was interrupted by the arrival of her parents as they pulled into Annabelle’s driveway and parked beside her car. They waved to her as they made their way up the walkway.
“Morning, Mom. Morning, Dad,” she said as she scooted to make room for them both to sit down beside her.
“Morning, Anna,” her mother, Evelyn, said as she lowered herself down next to her daughter, her bones creaking and protesting loud enough for Annabelle to hear. “How are you doing this morning?” she asked her daughter.
“Maybe I need to ask you that question,” Annabelle joked.
“Oh, hush. I’m fine. Seriously, how are you?”
“I’m a little tired, but that’s okay. It’s expected. I know I’ve got a long way to go before I’m 100 percent again.”
Her mother smiled and patted her on the knee. “You’ll feel better soon. The past few months have been rough, but you’ve pulled through. You’re strong, Anna. You make us proud.”
Annabelle’s eyes misted over. “Thanks, Mom. That means a lot to me.” She stood up and looked around her. “I guess I should head to my doctor’s appointment now that you two are here.”
“Okay, sweetie. We’ll be here when you get back,” her father told her as he took the empty coffee mug from her hand.
“Thanks. The kids are inside watching the television…cartoons.” Annabelle rolled her eyes. “Tell them I’ll be back soon.”
“We will. Drive safely.”
She nodded. “Will do.”
Before climbing into her car to head to her doctor’s appointment, she paused to turn her face to the sunlight beaming down on her from above; its rays warmed her inside and out. At that moment, her life felt almost perfect. She had two happy and healthy children and a husband who was everything she wanted in a man and more.
The sole dark spot in her life was her own health. But that Friday morning promised a new start for Annabelle and her family, a fresh start, which left her with the same giddy anticipation she’d felt when she was younger. She was confident her doctor would tell her that her cancer had finally responded to treatment and that she was well on her way toward being cancer-free, something she’d hoped desperately for since she was diagnosed with the ravaging disease many months before.
As Annabelle drove to her doctor’s office, she turned her stereo up and tapped her fingertips on the steering wheel to the beat of the music pouring from the speakers. Before climbing out of her car, she adjusted the baseball cap covering her pale, bald head. She couldn’t wait until she had long hair again. She missed washing and brushing it. She missed its softness. But she knew in time it would grow back, so she remained patient.
* * * * *
Inside the doctor’s office, soft music drifted out from behind the receptionist’s desk into the waiting room where Annabelle sat, her hands clasped between her knees, waiting to be called in to meet with her doctor. Several minutes ticked by before Dr. Lucas’s nurse entered the waiting room and gestured for Annabelle to follow her.
Annabelle stood up and beamed a grin that reflected the happiness and contentment she felt inside.
As she stepped into her doctor’s private office, the first inklings of doubt began to play along the edges of her mind when she noted her doctor’s somber face. He didn’t return her smile, which struck her as strange because even through her darkest hours, he’d been filled with encouragement and a dogged determination to help her get well. Was something wrong or had his morning gotten off to a bad start, she wondered to herself. She hoped it was the latter.
As she sat down in the old wooden chair in front of his desk, she pushed the unease from her mind and sat on the edge of her seat, waiting to hear the verdict on her latest test results.
Dr. Lucas’ steel-gray eyes met hers for a brief moment before he spoke. “I’m sorry, Annabelle. There’s just no easy way to tell you this, so I’ll get right to it. The chemotherapy and radiation treatments haven’t worked. They didn’t stop the cancer from spreading.”
I have some very exciting news for those of you who love to read fantasy novels. My very good friend, author Jennifer Hudock is holding one freaking awesome giveaway right now. And you can be a part of it.
If any of you are followers of Ms. Hudock, then you may have listened to her Podcast version of Goblin Market. This week she released the eBook edition and has set a goal of 50 sales by tomorrow night. Once she hits 50, she will be giving away five print editions of Goblin Market — the only five print copies available. No one else will have them.
Now, I wouldn’t tell all of you to buy this book if I didn’t know how awesome it is. Jennifer is an amazing writer who creates worlds that are magical. Her words have the ability to transport you to another place and time, something not all writers are capable of. I’ve read many of her stories and love them all.
In order for the giveaway to happen, Ms. Hudock needs help from all of you. Once you purchase a copy of Goblin Market, please pass on the link to friends and family you know who would be interested in reading it. Also, please feel free to Tweet about it or post the link on your Facebook page. MySpace works too.
Goblin Market is currently available for purchase at Smashwords and Amazon for $2.99. Honestly, you can’t beat the price. And don’t worry, if you live in the UK, you can still purchase a copy through Amazon UK.
Here’s the great thing about purchasing it through Amazon, you can download a sample of the story. I guarantee that once you start reading it, you’ll want to buy it.
Once you’ve purchased the book, you’ll need to email Ms. Hudock a copy of your receipt at email@example.com. You will then be entered to win one of the five print edition copies of Goblin Market. The receipt needs to say that it was purchased on 1/27, 1/28 or 1/29 in order to be eligible for entry. If the goal of 50 eBooks sold is NOT reached by the end of tomorrow night at 11:59pm ET, there will be no winners. So please, spread the word.
Goblin Market Description:
Beyond the Goblin Market lies the remains of a lost and broken kingdom divided by war. The war has been over for centuries, but the kingdoms still stand apart, overrun by a creeping goblin darkness known as the Darknjan Wald. It has been written that only one holds the power to destroy that darkness and reunite the kingdoms, but she has no memory of her former life.