Tuesday, January 14, 2014

As promised, an excerpt from "Better in Time"

Better in Time is the second book in the Time After Time series and the sequel to my debut novel, Distance and Time. This excerpt contains no spoilers for either book, so feel free to read without running the risk of ruining anything. 

I know what you're wondering, "When will it be published?!" And sadly, the only timeframe I can give you is "before the end of summer." As I've stated before when posting online fiction, I would much rather deliver a stellar story after a long absence than give my readers a half-assed book. As always, I will keep you posted so you don't miss the release and I appreciate your enthusiasm and your patience.

If you haven't already purchased Distance and Time, you can go to Amazon buy it here.

Now -- go enjoy the first part of Josh's side of the story:


Summer 1992
This place was like every other club I’d ever been to: loud, smoky and filled with girls wearing mini-skirts. Even though I’d just turned twenty-one a few months ago, I’d been a part of the club scene for years. It came with the territory of being in a boy band. 

I was lead singer for a group called South Station Boyz. My bandmates, Marc Reyes, Dave Butler and Bobby Callahan had chosen to go to other venues tonight. Marc opted for dinner and a movie with a couple of the girls from our wardrobe team and the other two chose some seedy strip club. I had no desire for that kind of attention, so I bowed out. I appreciated beautiful girls, don’t get me wrong, but stuffing singles in the oily G-string of some half-naked woman bathed in stinky perfume didn’t really appeal to me.

I sipped on a glass of Scotch as my eyes wandered the room. True to form, it was filled with short skirts, half-shirts and hair styled so big, it was like I’d gone to a singles bar for peacocks. 

“It’s a smorgasbord here tonight. Eh, Josh?” My friend, Mike nudged me and tipped his head toward the dance floor. He worked on our crew and convinced me to come out with him and a couple other guys in our entourage. I didn’t really feel like dealing with fans tonight; we’d had shows every night for the last five nights and this was my night off. But the only thing I hated worse than clubs was sitting alone in a hotel room. 

“Definitely a buffet of beauties,” I replied with utter boredom. 

Then my eyes landed on her.

She was with three other girls but she didn’t look like she fit in with them. Their smiles were big, as were their hair and high heels. Their skirts weren’t, of course. She, however, was wearing ripped jeans, some shimmery purple shirt and flats. They walked confidently through the crowd while she shuffled nervously, eyes not seeming to meet anyone else’s. I pulled my gaze away when Keith and Andre joined us and started telling us about some chicks they met up at the bar. I pretended to care but let my eyes wander again. 

I found the mystery girl again and watched as she and her friends settled in at a table across the dance floor. I sipped from my glass and nearly choked on my drink when her eyes met mine. I struggled to act casually as I tipped my head and smiled at her. She bit her lip, but the corners of her mouth curled up in smile before she quickly looked away.

For years, girls have thrown themselves at me. They’ve slipped their numbers into my pocket at fan meet-ups; they’ve snuck into my hotel room at two in the morning; they’ve sat outside my house for days on end during breaks from tour. I’ll admit, at first that kind of attention was flattering, but after all these years, it was getting old. I couldn’t take any of these girls seriously, much less date them. There was too much at stake. But this girl? I needed to get to know her. She seemed…different.

The guys retreated to our VIP room behind the DJ booth and I reluctantly followed them. Mike ordered another round of drinks, but since I was still nursing the Scotch I’d ordered almost an hour before, I passed. Only paying half-attention to their conversation, I stood at the glass and tried to watch my mystery girl, but she’d disappeared. Only two of her friends remained at the table. Anxiously, my eyes scanned the platform where their table was, then the bar and finally the dance floor, but I couldn’t find her. The knot in my gut urged me to leave the VIP booth and return to the spot I’d been standing before. I ignored the glances my friends gave me when I got up and left. I didn’t care what they thought.

Once I reached my perch above the dance floor, it only took a moment to spot her again. She was dancing with one of her friends and had her back toward me. She was thoroughly involved in the beat of the music and I was completely entranced by her. I couldn’t tear my eyes away or stop my feet from moving closer.

When I was finally behind her, I put my hands on her hips and began moving in rhythm with her, apparently giving her quite the shock. She spun around and stopped dancing. I flashed a smile and gently rocked her hips with my hands, reminding her of what she had been doing. When she began moving again, I slid my hand to the small of her back and pulled her closer to me as we began to move in sync. 

“Damn girl, you’ve got some killer moves,” I muttered to myself, seemingly louder than I’d intended because it warranted a response from her.

“Thanks, Josh.”

Shit. She was a fan. My radar had been wrong. Maybe this girl was like all the others. I faked a smile and mumbled something about the tabloids. Regardless, this girl was still beautiful and I couldn’t have been wrong about her innocent nature. That, at least, was a breath of fresh air in my world. Too many girls acted like sluts and would’ve climbed me like a spider monkey by now and this girl could barely touch me without pushing away again. Maybe she was different, after all. I had to find out for sure.

“Have a drink with me?”

I watched her bite her lip as she looked over at her friend, then followed the girl’s eyes up to the table. She was actually shy. How adorable! 

She nodded and I didn’t ask for a second confirmation before I wrapped her hand in mine and led her back to the VIP booth. By now, the guys knew to clear out when I brought anybody to join me, so they emptied out quickly. Not knowing how old she was, I ordered her the weakest fruity drink I could think of and myself another Scotch. 

When I asked her what her name was, she smirked and gave me some movie quote. Had I not been completely taken in by her eyes, I would’ve caught it, but I looked like an idiot when I didn’t respond right away. I wanted to kick myself. I was blowing it!

This girl was complex, that’s for sure. She came across confident. Her quick wit and responses to my questions made it seem like she talked to celebrities every day, but her body language said otherwise. She was clearly nervous. Her posture was rigid, she sat with her knees together and her back was straight as a board. She didn’t offer much conversation willingly and she kept nibbling her lips. Her perfect, plump, kissable lips. 

Jesus, slow down, McCarthy! I was getting ahead of myself. I didn’t even know her name or age yet. But part of me didn’t care. 

As the night progressed, we danced more, talked more and I spent the rest of the evening staring into her beautiful blue eyes. She finally relaxed a little and told me more about herself. I learned that she had turned eighteen just a few weeks earlier, was the baby of her family and that her name was Carly Cooper.

Carly. Her name flowed from my mouth with ease. It was a name I knew I wouldn’t soon forget. If I had my way, it was one I’d remember forever.

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