From Imagination To Publication

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Morning Sneak Peek - INTERRED by Marilyn Almodovar

Did a weekend of reading leave you wanting more? 
Sneaking peeks of your newest novel from under
your desk at work? 

For the eternal is your 
Monday Morning Sneak Peek!


INTERRED (Chronicles of the Interred #1) by Marilyn Almodovar

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to Bend it.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life. Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender.

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

Chapter 1

My cell teases me. The moment I move to my bedroom window, it seems to perk up, only to stick out its tongue and die on me. I wonder if I should hold a funeral. It’s been hours since the thing worked. Maybe I should just give up on trying to communicate with the outside world. I place the phone on the nightstand and press my forehead against the window. With no cable and no cell phone, it’s as if we’re living in the eighties or something. It’s going to be a long winter break. Propelled by a need to satisfy my boredom, my feet take me back to the computer. No internet. Can this day get any worse? “Please, please, please,” I plead softly, staring at the monitor. The internet bar is dead, red cross over it and all. I look again out the window. The snow has been falling nonstop all day, a fact that I know wears on my mom’s nerves. She seems convinced that blizzards are health hazards. I guess I can understand why, seeing as her dad died during one. We moved to Florida when I was young, so I haven’t had much exposure to snow. There is something both alluring and terrifying about it “Hey, loser!” my younger brother, Drew, calls from my doorway. “Mom’s going on and on about you getting your bottom downstairs.” He smiles, showing his dimples. I know better than to fall for the sweet façade. He’s twelve and far from an angel, despite the innocent look in his blue eyes. “I’m coming.” Defeated, I turn the computer off and then move to grab my cell phone. I glance at the time on the phone’s display. It’s only a quarter after one. Painful hours without cell or internet access stretch ahead of me. “There’s no signal,” Drew reminds me. “Let’s call this wishful thinking.” I point to the phone and then stick it in the pocket of my jeans. “Yes, you think you can wish,” he laughs, scurrying away from me. I, on the other hand, drag my feet down the stairs. Some of them creak beneath my shoes, reminding me of the age of the Vermont farmhouse. Though the pictures hanging on the walls
are of my family, this house isn’t ours. It belongs to the parents of my stepdad, Dickie. They offered the house to us when we lost our Florida home in a fire earlier this year. I’m not ungrateful, but it’s old and creaky and not at all the type of house that Mom likes. She complains a lot when she thinks no one’s listening. It’s not big enough, according to her, even though there’s an attic, five bedrooms and a basement where she keeps her exercise equipment—which never gets used. Once I reach the living room, I force a smile before I realize that no one’s looking at me. Mom’s on the floor playing with my three-year-old sister, Lorelai, as Drew sits in a corner of the room with a book. Despite the chill, the fireplace sits cold and unused. Mom’s phobias have apparently now extended from snow to fire. “I’m going to help Dickie close the gate,” I say. I wait for a response, expecting Mom to freak at the thought of me going outside. Then I frown, realizing how distracted she looks. She nods, holding onto one of my sister’s dolls as she listens to the radio. The fall of her sunny blonde hair hides the blue eyes that I wish I had inherited, but I know she’s worried. I guess she’s trying to hear whether this blizzard will make the record books and give her more reason to stress. Shrugging, I grab my thick coat from the hall closet. After I zip it up, I step outside and shudder as the wind whips my long, brown hair around my face. I hate the winter. It’s a testament to my utter boredom that I’m venturing out at all. Spotting Dickie’s bright red winter coat through the falling snowflakes, I trudge along the narrow path he created when he walked out to the gate. By the time I reach him, I can barely feel my fingers or toes. “What are you doing out here?” Dickie asks as he turns and spots me. The gate’s already secured, but not locked. I smile, nodding to the fence. “I thought you could use a hand, but it looks like I’m freezing my butt off for nothing.” “It’s fine. I appreciate the company.” He returns the smile, picking up his tools and dropping them in the metal toolbox at his feet. “I’m going to leave it open so it doesn’t get stuck like the last time.” He secures the ski cap covering his ginger-colored hair before picking up the toolbox and walking alongside me back to the house. “Okay, then.” “How’s your Mom?”
I sigh, looking at the house. “She’s listening to the radio. I know she gets nervous because of what happened to her dad, but it’s sort of weird to see her this scared.” Dickie knocks his shoulder with mine. “Once spring rolls in, she’ll be fine.” He tilts his head toward me and offers a conspiratorial smile. “It’s the hormones.” I nod, but I don’t say what’s really on my mind. Mom’s been acting strange ever since the house fire. She’s been especially overprotective of me over the last six months, something I don’t know how to handle since she’s never been like this before. It got particularly bad after she received a phone call from England. I can only assume she received unwelcome news from her English relatives since she didn’t tell me what the caller conveyed, though I can’t imagine why the call would affect her behavior toward me. Part of me wonders whether she’s acting like this because of my upcoming birthday. Maybe knowing her firstborn child is about to celebrate her Sweet Sixteen is contributing to her behavior. She’s been extra sensitive about the subject over the past few weeks, refusing to discuss plans for a party. And here it is, just a few weeks until Christmas Day—my birthday— and no party invitations have been sent, no plans made. As I walk beside Dickie, I indulge in a sulk. Mom’s hormones aren’t the cause of her odd behavior. She’s only six weeks pregnant and this has been going on for months. Something else is at the root, but she’s not discussing it with anyone. “Look,” Dickie says, drawing my attention. “Someone’s driving in the middle of the storm.” He points to the lonely road that connects us with another farm about four miles away. “Crazy people,” I say, my breath whitening the air around my head. When we reach the front porch, I turn around and try to spot the car while Dickie continues around to the back of the house to check the fuse box. Through the heavy snow, the black sedan continues down the road at a snail’s pace. Something about the slow-moving vehicle inching through the storm strikes me as ominous. I shrug the feeling away, figuring the driver is just lost. “It’ll be okay,” Dickie assures me as he returns to the front porch. “This is normal for Vermont this time of year.” I swallow my response. Sure it’ll be okay…easy to say for people who grew up in the North. The only blizzards I’ve witnessed have been through the magic of television. This amount of snow should be illegal.

“Come inside before you really do freeze your butt off.” Dickie opens the door and I pull away from the view. “Baxter, can you make some tea please?” Mom asks as I walk by the living room. Nodding, I move to the kitchen where the lights flicker like mad. The storm must be wreaking havoc with the power. As I reach for the kettle, the lights turn off for a few seconds, then back on. It’s unnerving, especially with the wind outside roaring like a wounded animal. Fighting my unease, I carry the kettle to the sink and glance out the window facing the front garden. My heart stops. My brain has surely overdosed on scary movies. My hand presses against the window, leaving an imprint. It’s suddenly midnight black outside and I have to glance at the kitchen clock. Four minutes ‘til two in the afternoon, yet the only visible thing on the field is a boy who looks about my age with long black hair, a top hat and a coat. Around him shines a bright, eerie light, as though a permanent spotlight focuses on him. He walks toward the house. I’m rooted to the spot, unable to move, my body shaking as if I’m under a spell. Even though I can’t see his eyes, I’m convinced he’s looking at me. I’m convinced he knows me.