Tuesday Spotlight: Minnette Meador

THE BELLE STALKER
An urban fantasy thriller
By Minnette Meador
 Click on the video to hear the author read the excerpt.

Chapter One – Part 2
From the Shadows
Brahms’s Fifth Symphony suddenly buzzed like a hornet’s nest from her purse, impelling her into the air. Pinpricks like fireworks traveled up her arms. “Shit!”
Belle pulled the cell phone out of the side pouch and flipped it open. The neon green JOHN IAN on the screen fortified her enough to get her legs moving again.
“Hello?” She scurried toward the elevator, the jarring click-click-click of her heels against the asphalt vibrating up her naked legs.
“Are you all right?” John’s voice sounded strange, far away and full of static. She barely recognized it.
“John?”
“Who else would it be? Are you all right?”
“Yeah, fine.” Belle hit the up button next to the elevator door hard then turned around and bit her lower lip. “Thought I heard something. I’m sure it’s nothing.”
“Do you want me to come over?”
“All right.”
The elevator slid down to meet her and the doors whisked open.
“I—surprise—you.” The words broke into pieces.
“What?”
“—soon.” There was a strange lilt to John’s voice, but the phone went dead. She looked at the screen, and the call was gone. Probably just the connection. She’d call him when she got upstairs.
Putting the phone away, she backed into the metal box and jabbed the first floor button, a buzz of fear forcing her finger to hit it several times.
When the door closed, she blew out a breath and slumped against the cold metal wall.
The clang of steel on steel as the little room hummed its way up the cables was somehow comforting. Smells of cooking garlic mingled with flowery air freshener and the greasy mechanics of the old lift. Twisting her neck from side to side eased her muscles but not the persistent rapid beating of her heart.
Belle hated herself for being so paranoid. It was why she had let John talk her into his tae kwon do classes to begin with. It was also why she had allowed him into her life when she wasn’t looking for anyone. He did rescue you from that maniac, sister. She would have done just about anything he asked.
And I did…
A shot of guilt tensed her shoulders. She liked John, was grateful to him for everything, but she didn’t love him. They had become friends over the past year, but she knew John wanted something more significant from her. To make matters worse, in a moment of weakness spurred by his warm caring nature and a few glasses of wine, Belle had slept with him. That hadn’t helped at all. Another pang of guilt joined the first making it unanimous. Her roommate Cary asked her on a daily basis why she didn’t just dump John, but it was complicated. She didn’t want to hurt him.
A daily calendar taped to the elevator wall reminded her it was Wednesday; Cary would be out with his boyfriend tonight, so she’d have the apartment to herself.
The thought of spending the night alone in her little sanctuary helped to slow her breathing. Her wonderful office/bedroom was the only place in the world Belle felt safe. Smiling, she could almost hear her therapist saying in the background, Now, Belle, you need to expand beyond your little world into the bigger one. Go out. Have fun. Don’t stay cooped up so much. Belle couldn’t help it; her books, her research, her life was tucked into that four hundred square feet of security, and she wasn’t about to leave it for anything.
It suddenly dawned on her that she had just told John to come over. After spending several hours in high heels lecturing at Portland State, she just wanted to fall into bed with a book and a glass of wine. Her new graduate students were a lively bunch; they had questioned her raw. Belle thanked her stars that the adjunct professorship would end in the spring when she would leave for a Celtic dig in England.
The elevator eased to a stop on the first floor, and the familiar creak calmed her heart as the doors whisked open. By the time Belle stepped out, the voice in the dark seemed distant, almost silly. Maybe I should start parking on the street.

Comments

  1. Good morning, everyone! Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win the tote and for anyone commenting, you can email me your name and address and I’ll send you some goodies! Email is mmeador at minnettemeador dot com. M:o)

  2. That was another great excerpt, have really enjoyed listening to it. I am hooked, on pins and needles wondering what is going to happen.

    Jean
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  3. How fun! Hope you had a great day on the blog-o-sphere. Great to see you conquor another genre.

    I tried to comment earlier, but Blogger was being wonky, so don’t take it personally.

    juleejadams (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. I was listening to some pooky music as I read this excerpt and wow, it got my heart pumpin, sounds great!

    Leanne
    leanne_gag[at]hotmail[dot]com

  5. Thanks, Jean… Just want I want to hear!

    No worries, Julee – I don’t get home until late so don’t get to visit myself much either. I’m so glad you could come over! :o)

    Thanks, Leanne! I LOVE this music and will be using it in the video too.

  6. Love it minnette! The audio excerpts have been great so far! Can’t wait for tomorrow!

    KirstenF
    Cowgurlz_14@hotmail.com

  7. good evening:)

  8. Thanks, Kirsten! The book actually releases tomorrow, so I’m hoping to post a couple of links… ~fingers crossed~

  9. Ok now your just teasing me to much with these excerpts!

    Will have to read this one!

    vanetta at ymail dot com

  10. great excerpt! loved it! cant wait to read the bell stalker!
    shadowluvs2read(at)aol(dot)com

  11. Once again! Another great post! I am loving this tour with a passion!!!

    Molly AT reviewsbymolly DOT com

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