First Excerpt from Spark Rising

In celebration of a fan milestone on my Facebook author page, I held a giveaway for a gift card and the opportunity to choose which excerpt from the novel I would share first. This is the selection she chose. I hope you enjoy it…there will be more to come!


Excerpt from Spark Rising, Chapter 8:

Lena sank back, allowing the restraints to pull her to the bed. A memory flashed into her mind: crying as her mother brushed her snarled hair. The brush caught; Lena’s breath caught with it. Her mother’s hands stilled as she caught the snarl in her fingers and gently untangled it, urging Lena to recite the Spark’s Rede, the code that all of the Spark children learned in their earliest years. She began, voice quavering, high and pained, “I will do no harm with my power. I will follow the will and the good of those without. This gift is my virtue; My Councilor is my guide.” By the time she finished, the knot, and with it the pain, were gone. Her mother told Lena many times the act of focusing on the words could keep pain at bay.

Her lips moved. The Rede came back to her, as if she was young again. The pain didn’t recede.

Lucas’s voice intruded, disgusted. Put upon. “I should have sent for the sister.”

The Rede stuttered in Lena’s mind. I will do no harm…. Her eyes lifted to Lucas. But they could? They could do whatever they wanted to the people she loved? No more. I will do harm. I will be free.

She focused the scream inside, rage making her immune to the effects of the current. Dust swarmed to answer her. The scream howled free. With it, white light arced across the room, seeking the men. Her electric-coated shriek of rage and grief released something within her. She convulsed, her body arching up in a corona of white light that flashed up and across the room with a concussive boom of sound that drowned out her scream. It sucked away her breath and her voice died, the electricity following it back, crackling away into nothing.

When Lena’s eyes fluttered open, the windowless room was dark. The brilliant after flare of the branching white heat etched her vision, glowing in the black. From somewhere nearby, Lena heard the faint metallic squeak of a fixture swinging. Voices shouted from outside the room. Someone banged at the door.

Inside the room with her, there was nothing. Lena pulled her body up to the right, trying to roll to the limits of the restraint straps, but they didn’t hold. As her body pressed against them, there were dry pops and faint metallic tinging as the leather cracked and fell away from the buckles. Waiting for the pull of the taut, thick restraints, Lena rolled up and almost off the bed. She caught herself with one shaky hand.

She leaned her face over the edge, eyes vainly searching past the vivid memory of light into the darkness below. Her mother was down there. She’d freed herself to go to her mother.

“Mama?” It hurt to make even the faint, hoarse sound she managed. No response. She pushed with her hand and eased up to sit, pulling her legs free of the cracked restraints to swing over the edge of the bed. She turned in the darkness. Something brushed her head and she jumped back from the sound of swinging metal. Pushing her hand out in front of her in the dark, she reached up, searching. Her hand made contact with one of the metal lights that had been trained upon her when she woke. It hung down over her now, loose and broken.

What had she done?

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