EXCERPT #1 from The Tree Remembers
 
In anticipation of release day for The Tree Remembers, I reread it to get some excerpts lined up for you, like the one to follow, and boy did that story suck me in and keep me reading to the end. Between the slowly revealing mystery of Minerva's origins and the rise and fall of emotions, there's Canada jokes, witty banter, and puns that still make me laugh.

It's one of the best things I've ever written and, when it's released, it'll be the best of all my published work so far.

And I just can't stop smiling. :D

Here's the first excerpt:

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Maybe it was a sign, seeing him in the cafe. An omen. I called up work and haggled a week off for a family emergency. (Sorry, Cathy.) Then a thought came to me and I pulled out my cell.

“Hey, Paul?”

“Hey, speak of the devil!”

I gave his description and asked if Paul and the other guys could keep an eye out.

“Got yourself a crazy stalker, do ya?”

“No.” I hesitated. “Boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend. Very much ex. Can you just tell me if he heads out on highway one?”

“Sure thing, sweet thang.” His attempt at a Southern drawl made me pull my phone away from my ear.

“Ew, Paul. You’ve got a girlfriend. Sweet thang her, not me.”

Then it was jacket, helmet—darn, better do a change of clothes first—overnight pack, and out the door.

In the parking lot, the sun reached through a gap in the clouds and stuck its fingers in my eyes. I closed them, and took the moment to let my skin absorb the warmth. Light washed through my veins, bathed my cells, smoothed out the late night and early morning, the lingering chest pain, the unwelcome familiar sight. When the clouds pulled to the forefront again, my whole body felt the absence like a lost embrace. I opened my eyes with a gasp.

“Min?” That voice. I recognized it too late to stop myself from looking at the man who said it. “Minerva Thiessen?” He stood by a rental car, its door still open, and pushed hair away from his eyes.

“Who?”

He made an exasperated sigh. “Look, I only know one person who reacts to the sun like that. And it could be that I’m wrong and you’re not her, but I got her address from her coworkers, so I know she lives here. Can you at least tell her that Br- that someone’s here to see her, and that it’s important?”

“What, are you stalking her? She dump you or something?”

It took him a minute to control himself, lips pressed together and hands shoved into his pockets. After all this time, did I really still matter to him that much? Did it really still hurt that much?

“Sorry, man, but she’s not here.” There was a catch in that sentence, right in the middle, and the vowels fell apart. He shot his head up and looked me straight in the eyes.

“Then tell her she needs to call her parents. Anytime after—” he checked his phone. “Any time after now. Okay?”

“Sure, whatever you say.”

The door of his car stayed hung open, and I willed him to get back in and drive off. He leaned back against the vehicle and his eyes never left me. I caved.

“Well, I hope you find her.” I lifted my bag and tried to look sheepish. “Forgot something inside.”

Scurry scurry back to my cave, my nest, hope the big bad predator will go away. Except he wasn’t a predator, nothing of the sort. He might have been the best thing that ever happened to me, if it hadn’t have been for the fact that the worst thing had made him possible.