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At Least Now Sara Knows that Flashing Means No

Some thoughts and an excerpt...

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In various places, I’ve mentioned the agent who told me to focus on one genre. We moved on from each other (it was mutual, but she dumped me first) and I moved on from her advice. This book, The Key, is one of the books that would never have been written if I’d “focused.”

I usually share excerpts from the first section of The Keybut I thought it would be fun to share a particularly favorite sequence from later in the book. Sara Donovan, my heroine, is helping to explore the Kikk Outpost…

Just then she heard the SO Henderson on the radio. 


“Yes, sir?” 

“You still in Zone Five?” 

“Yes, sir, I’m surveying Building Thirty-four.” 

“Thought you’d like to know the Patton has arrived. Both commanders will conduct an inspection at 1430, then there will be a dinner at 1800. Colonel wants you there.” 

“That shouldn’t be a problem, sir. I just have one room left to check out, then I’m heading back. I should be back by 1400 at the latest. Probably earlier.” 

“Roger that.” 

He signed off. Sara looked at the last doorway, but she was thinking about the Old Man coming to the city. Maybe Fyn would be with him. Maybe they’d return her to flight status. She slipped off her pack, pulled out her lunch and unwrapped the sandwich, absently taking a bite as she stared at the doorway. Ruby lit up some lights in front of it, flashing repeatedly. Did that mean go or not go? She really needed to get a better way of communicating with her. 

Sara wanted to leave, but it was just one room. At least, she figured it was. It was completely dark inside. She set down the sandwich and crouched down, feeling inside. Yes, there was a floor. It was kind of weird that no light from this room penetrated into that one, but weird was the new normal. 

She stood up and put one foot in. The solid surface held. She reached out with her hands, but any walls were just out of reach. She shifted her weight to the front foot and brought the other in, and found the back wall— 

Then she couldn’t feel it. It just faded away. Lights flashed, but not green, these were gold and they looked pulled, stretched out. She had the odd feeling she was being pulled, too, first one direction, and then the other. It didn’t hurt, but it didn’t feel good either. It stopped as abruptly as it had started. Sara felt a little dizzy and a bit nauseated. A moment to settle her stomach, then she turned around to pitch dark. She pulled her flashlight and shone it around. 

It wasn’t a huge shock to be looking into a completely different room. 

It did suck. 

At least now she knew flashing meant no. 

You can buy this book, or you can get it for free when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Check back for more next Monday and be sure to follow me on social media. I’ll be posting snippets there this month, too!

Perilously yours,


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