Beckett, the moment before.

Leveling: Season One: Episodes 1-7 by H.D. Knightley myBook.to/LevelingSeason1

Character: Beckett Stanford. Army. 22 years old.

I volunteered. I had signed up to sling sandbags against the always encroaching water, biding my time for the end of my six years of duty, when I heard the Government of the Unified Mainland wanted someone to man an Outpost, to sit out in the middle of the godforsaken ocean and warn the Nomads to head east. The water is coming. Go east fast. And me, stupid as always, volunteered without planning to, without thinking, without considering the implications. I hate the water. Every climbing, sucking, deep ass bit of it.

But now I’m here. The rooftop of a building that used to soar into the sky at some 120 floors, and now looks to be two stories, floating on top, but not, not floating at all, instead: Still Standing. Despite the water, the rust, the structural impossiblities, the currents, and storms: Still Standing—but for how long? The water is coming, this building could collapse from under me. Any day.

 

So I wait. I wait for Nomad families to paddle up and ask for food. I read the edict and tell them to head east, or else. I wait for my duties to be over, for the helicopter to come and pull me off, finally. But really, I’m waiting for that moment when the water will be one drop too many and with a creak, a crumble and a roar, the whole building will slide away and disappear carrying me with it. That’s what happens when a stupid, not thinking person volunteers.

 

To bide my time I watch the marks carved onto the port window of the 118th floor. I try to check them once a day but can’t stop checking them all the time, climbing down through the stairwell and noting that the water keeps getting deeper. Deeper and deeper unrelenting and always the same.

 

Until today. I was checking the marks, worrying about deepnesses, not paying attention to the empty endless terrifying horizon, when a young woman on a paddleboard, soft-paddling in a lazy circle, alone, a few feet away, asked, “Where’s Sam?”

 

And startled me so much I just about lost my footing.

 

But that’s the thing about finding someone in the middle of the endless ocean, it could be a near disaster with a splash, but it also might be a beginning; if the water doesn’t collapse us first.

Read the Book Now

Beyond (Book Two of the Estelle Series)

This book wasn’t easy to write. I was nervous. I wanted to know where Estelle went next, what she dreamed of, who she dreamed with, and yes, does she get to keep kissing the hunky William, but I was worried I might break the story, get bogged down, or I don’t know—blow it.

I’m happy to say that the first reviews are in and I didn’t.

I decided that book two would be a big adventure and a rescue. Estelle of course would be the heroine, but she needed a side-kick, so I chose Angela (you met her very briefly in book one.) So Beyond is two girls on an adventure. Hopefully that doesn’t spoil the story too much.

Here’s a pinterest page so you can get the feel: pinterest.com/hdknightley/beyond

It already has a review:

“I had greatly enjoyed reading Bright but I didn’t have such a visceral reaction as I did when reading Beyond. I can tell when a book is good when I get stressed out and anxious while reading (that’s a good thing) and I can’t put it down to go to sleep because I’ll end up tossing and turning thinking about it instead. By the end of this book I practically had no nails left!” – J.B. Fox

The kindle version will be free from October 14th-October 18th, 2015. I’ll remind you. But if you want to get the paperback version, here it is:

Beyond
Estelle must summon the courage to head into the Beyonds, with nothing but a phone, a pillowcase, and barely a plan, and risk everything to save someone she loves.

Thank you. I’m writing the third of the series now. And moments away from releasing a romance, Violet’s Mountain.

xox,

H.

Beyond…glimpses

Estelle and William, speaking in Beyond (Book Two of The Estelle Series):

“I hate talking at these things. The low-key ones are bad enough but with all this hoopla, yes, I’m nervous.” I took a deep breath and pulled at the middle of my dress to get more air in. An action that was futile.

“You’re getting better and better at speaking in public, but it hardly matters. You could stand and say turkey, turkey, turkey, and the citizens of New City would applaud and say yours was the best speech ever.”

“Aren’t we trying to win them over to our point of view?”

“True.”

William sat up straighter and turned his head and stared at me, stared so much that I grew self-conscious and then gulped and giggled. “What? Do I have something in my teeth?”

“You are absolutely beautiful. I know it doesn’t matter to you, you hardly care, but seeing you like this takes my breath away.”

“Oh,” I said, not at all capable of a response.

He took my hand in his. “You always looked like this before, when you were just a New City girl, or if not this exactly, put together, dressed, done up. You were pretty, don’t get me wrong, but you looked just like everyone else. Put together in all the same ways. Normal and the same. Now you wear your farm look, and you’re pretty then too, but this—tonight—wow.”

“Stop William, You’re making me blush.” I batted my eyes because I liked to be complimented. I remembered once, what seemed like forever ago, when I departed the farm in a dress and William hadn’t even noticed me or didn’t mention it if he did. This little speech made up for that. Definitely.

William said, “Sure. I know. I think I’m just trying to prolong some alone time with you, but I was thinking…” He paused, his familiar pause, the one where the gears turned, the one just before he said something that would end up in his writing someday. “All those days of sameness makes this night, you even more spectacular. Because it’s different. You’re different. I feel sorry for the residents out there, with their fancy clothes and their big hair. How can they get excited about all this, when they see a version of it every single day? It made me think that one of the biggest problems with New City is really a problem of sameness.

“Ever the philosopher.”

“Okay, I’m off track. I want to kiss you, but I won’t be held responsible for mussing your display.” He motioned about my face. “Suffice it to say, I want to.”

Have you nominated my book for publishing yet?

Beyond

It hasn’t been in Hot and Trending all day, I’m dyin’ over here. And tell a friend!

kindlescout.amazon.com/p/AO1R2RI3Q81X

yours,
H.D.