Excerpt from “Stand Alone”

Sample Sunday was originally an inspired idea by David Wisehart in December 2010 as a way for authors to leverage social media to share some of their work with readers.

The basic idea is that on Sunday the author puts some writing up on their blog, and then tweets it using the #SampleSunday hashtag. Folks on Twitter (commonly called tweeps) have a chance of coming across the tweet and clicking through to see the author’s writing. These are generally tweeps who are following the author or watching the #SampleSunday hashtag activity.

So, following is a sample from the recently published “Stand Alone“:


back cover

“Let’s go,” Christian said, and he was instantly on his board and picking up speed, racing Justine.

Justine hopped her board, grinning.

“No fair!” she protested, pumping her leg as fast as she could to catch up to him.

Christian laughed in delight, looking back over his shoulder at her for an instant. He kept going, cresting the hill in front of her and bombing down the long, steep incline on the other side at super speed. Justine crested the hill and looked down at him, as he again checked to see how close she was behind.

“Look out!” Justine screamed. Christian was going too fast and not watching ahead of him. He didn’t see the garbage truck pulling out of the lane. The huge dark chunk of metal loomed like a dinosaur in his path.

Christian’s face changed and he looked. Justine squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to see the impact; but instantly opened her eyes again. She was also speeding down the hill and needed to see where she was going. Christian had disappeared. Justine looked in horror at the garbage truck, looking for any sign of him.

“Here!” Christian shouted, and she swerved and instantly launched into the grass beside him where he’d bailed out. She landed with a jarring crash and went flying off of her board. The whole world twisted and turned around her, and she hit both her jaw and the back of her head with a force that made her head spin. Righting herself, Justine crawled over to Christian.

“Are—you—okay?” she puffed, reaching for him.

“I’m fine,” Christian giggled. “Did you know you did a somersault?”

Justine rubbed the back of her head tenderly.

“You’re okay?” she repeated, looking him over intently. He seemed to be in one piece. No obvious broken bones. He had a cut above his eyebrow, but it was barely bleeding. Christian was, however, as white as a sheet.

“That was close,” he admitted. “Thanks.”

“If you ran into that garbage truck, I never would have forgiven you,” Justine told him severely. She dropped beside him and lay in the grass, staring up at the sky, cushioning her bruised head with her hand. She felt nauseous, and the world lurched unexpectedly this way, then that.

“Are you okay?” he questioned. “That was a pretty sick landing.”

“Uggh,” Justine groaned. “That was crazy.” She stirred, trying to sit up, but getting too dizzy. “Is my board okay?”

“Yeah, it’s fine.”

Christian got up and retrieved his own board and Justine’s, laying hers beside her on the grass.

“You ready? Let’s roll.”

“Gimme a minute,” Justine told him.

Her heart was still racing like a sports car engine. She had been sure that Christian was going to collide with the dump truck. She had seen it happen in her head half a dozen times in the few seconds she was barreling down the hill. And here he was, ready to get right back to it again. Justine, on the other hand, was still feeling the effects of both the scare and the fall.

Christian sat watching her. He shifted, eager to be on his way again. His restless energy made Justine anxious, and she levered herself slowly into a sitting position, hoping that once she was up, she’d feel better.

“Walk it off, Bywater,” Christian quipped.

Justine grimaced.

“I’m trying,” she said.

“It’s okay. Take your time,” he said, not wanting her to take his rebuke too seriously.

“Yeah. I’m okay.” Justine drew a deep breath. “Help me up, here.”

Christian got to his feet and bent over to help Justine up. He grabbed hold of her elbow and levered her up. Justine leaned heavily on him, trying to get her equilibrium back.

“You sure?” Christian questioned, watching her face intently.

Justine breathed, willing the giddiness to recede. She tested her legs, tried to calm the shakiness.

“Yeah, let’s walk,” she said.

They started off, arm in arm, like an elderly couple. Justine found her head clearing and the steadiness starting to return. She eased her grip on Christian’s arm, and he glanced up at her.

“Getting your legs back?” he queried.

“Yeah, just about.”

They walked on in silence. Justine tentatively let go of Christian, and still felt okay.

“You gonna be able to skate some more, Just?”

“Just about,” Justine said with a smile.

Christian set his board down, and skated slowly beside her.

“You tell me if you’re going to faint or something.”

“I don’t faint,” Justine scoffed.

“We’ll, whatever you want to call it when you fall flat on your face,” he snickered.

“Knocked out,” Justine said. “I was KO’d that time, I didn’t faint.”

“Whatever. Tell me if you’re going to take a dive,” he said comfortably.

Justine put her board down and stepped on, to prove that she was fine and wasn’t going to faint. Her head was clearing, but she did still feel a little groggy. She wasn’t about to let Christian know that. He watched her like a hawk for the first couple of minutes, then started to relax. His movements and frequent looks at her told her that he was eager to move a bit faster, at their usual pace.

“Go ahead,” Justine said. “I’m coming.”

He picked up his pace, skating out into the street to do a few tricks, to work his restlessness out. Justine kicked off a bit faster, testing out her body. Everything still seemed to be working. Her muscle memory filled in the areas that her fuzzy head left blank and she gained in confidence. She jumped and ground the curb, and Christian glanced over at her, smiling.

“Keep your eyes in the road,” Justine told him irritably. “Don’t watch me. We don’t want you smushed by any more garbage trucks.”

“Yes, Mom,” he teased.


standalone v3 You know where to find the rest!

Image above: on license from Dreamstime and used on my back cover, please do not reproduce



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