Archive for December 15th, 2013

The Scroll

on December 15, 2013 in Misc 20 Comments »

And the Winners Are…

Thanks to everyone who participated in Milo James Fowler’s ‘Tis More Blessed Book Giveaway on Friday the 13th.  Lots of people stopped by here for one of three chances on a free copy of The Compass Master.  I tossed all the names into a hat (literally) and have the winners.  They are…

Kristy F. Gillespie
Melissa B
TB Markinson

Congratulations!  This is a thrill of a lifetime for you, isn’t it?  I hope you enjoy my novel.

And now for our regularly scheduled programming…

For the remainder of 2013, my posts will be from Layla Daltry’s perspective.  She’s the hero of The Compass Master, a daring antiquities hunter, and while on the trail of a rare, precious artifact is living undercover in Denver as Helena Soister…

“Yes, we set you up,” the stranger admitted. “The stolen scroll is priceless, and my superiors were willing to do anything to retrieve it.”

“Like risk my life!” I shot back at him.

“You seem alive and unharmed.”

If he didn’t have such a perfect, gorgeous face I would have slammed my fist into it.  Instead I raised my knife and stepped closer to him.  He stepped away.

Behind me, Annie seemed to stumble and gasp.  I glanced back for only a second and saw the snoring rottweiler man rolling over in the grass and Annie tumbling down onto him and her purse landing next to his chest.

In the next second the stranger lunged at me.

I saw him out of the corner of my eye as I threw myself to the right.  Before I hit the ground my flying legs hit him hard in the gut.  He groaned and landed on top of my legs.  For a frantic moment I was pinned down and before I could stop myself my hand with the knife was instinctively swinging up and down toward his back—

But in the last second another instinct made hesitate and miss him.

The blade cut through his open blazer (an expensive designer one, likely a Tom Ford, the fashion-conscious part of my brain thought) and into the ground and pinned him instead.  As he struggled to free himself I scrambled out from under him.

“Let’s go!” Annie cried.

I was getting to my feet and saw that she was zipping shut her purse and slinging it over her arm.  “Hurry!” she demanded.  “The police are coming!”

Sure enough, sirens were screaming out on the boulevard and beyond the bushes I could see people pointing in our direction.

Already the stranger had freed himself and was lightly tossing the knife—handle first—in my direction.  As I caught it he said, “You don’t want the police to find this.”

“What I want is the police to find you with him!” I pointed at the rottweiler man.

Annie was rushing away and I was close behind her when I heard the stranger laugh and say, “Diplomatic immunity!”

For several blocks, we sprinted as fast as we could.  Finally Annie sank exhausted onto a solitary park bench.  As I joined her I felt defeated and frustrated and kept swearing under my breath.  What should I do now—go back and trail the mysterious stranger?  Contact a friend in the Egyptian Antiquities and ask him what the hell was going on?

“I think maybe I got the scroll!” Annie wheezed.

I looked at her in disbelief.  “What did you say?”

She unzipped her purse and pulled out a metal tube.  “When that man rolled over I saw something fall out of an inside pocket.  I pretended to fall on top of him so I could grab it.”

For a moment I stared at the slim tube in her hand.  Then I carefully took it from her and studied the steel cap at one end.  I twisted it off.  Looked inside.

“Oh my God,” I murmured.  “I think it’s the scroll!”

TO BE CONTINUED… (The final installment is next week.)