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.

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Violet’s Mountain

Violet’s Mountain tells the story of Violet, a mysterious young woman who lives atop a giant mountain of hoarded things. By day she is a heavy machine operator, piling more things up and up and up. By night she adorns the top of the pile with welded steel, sculptural whirligigs.

She builds, she creates, she welds, she lifts heavy boxes, she drives cranes, she’s a total bad ass.

But in the story you barely get to know her, before everything shifts.

Instead you get to know Lala, her cousin. Violet has been her guardian, but as Lala puts it, “I can’t leave her, she’s so arty that she forgets to eat.”

You meet Benjamin, the young man who falls in love, and wants to charm Violet down from the hoard, and take her away to the city.

And you meet Edmund, the surfing environmentalist, heir to an oil fortune, who wants to rescue her and doesn’t know how. He rocks her world.

The story is about love, duty, and rescue.  Love in spite of our shortcomings. Duty to family over all else. And rescue in spite of ourselves. And whether, when your world comes crashing down, you can find forgiveness for the one who caused your collapse.

violet polaroid

The first round of beta reading is done. Thank you Melody, Melissa, Mara, Fiona, and Isobel. I believe Violet’s Mountain has fans already. I’m making some changes and then it goes to the proofreader.

 

 

 

Covers!

While my new book, Violet’s Mountain, is being beta-read (by Mara, Mel, Melissa, Isobel, and Fiona, thank you!!!) I took a few moments to work on the cover. I have been posting the results on my facebook page  and have narrowed it down to two.

I haven’t created a professional blurb yet, but here’s a quickly jotted down synopsis:

Edmund and Benjamin are brothers. They surf, alot. They are also wickedly rich, not in the self-made manner, but in the inherit-it-all-and-don’t-care manner. Except Edmund, he’s an environmentalist.

They’re on an extended surftrip when they come across a mountain of hoard. The mountain is a gigantic trash pile, like 10 stories and a quarter mile, of collected things. The hoard belongs to one extended family who collects and collects and collects, and is tended by a young woman, Violet.

Violet is a hardhat wearing, crane driving badass, who tends her family’s junk with unwavering commitment. She also sculpts whirlygigs and adorns the top of the pile with their spinning beauty.

Her cousin Lala and her father live with her on the pile.

Benjamin and Edmund take one look at Violet and fall in love. They want to rescue her from the preposterousness that is the hoard. They want to…but should they? And when it all becomes too late, and trouble spills, who will be left living alone on the summit?

This book is a romance. check.

It’s got rich hotties. check.

It passes the Bechdel test. check.

Violet is a strong character (despite needing a rescue) yet she does the rescuing in the end. Did I mention that she’s a welder? checkedy-check!

Have a choice, opinion? Leave it in the comments ;o)

another version again more some better violet polaroid