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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Friday, May 28, 2010

Breaking Point play list — and excerpt!

Natalie and Zach are being kept in an old Mexican
ghost town in the desert much like this one.


Sorry to be MIA again. Work gets busy, and with Benjy home this week, my evenings have been filled with other things.

I won’t lie — I love having him home. He’s been hard at work weeding the flower beds and catching up on gardening and yard work that I can’t really do. We’ve visited my parents in their new home so that he could have a chance to see them. My brother and his family came over, too, so the cousins were all together. Good times.

So, I'm behind on Breaking Point already — I’m disappointed with myself but not surprised — but I hope to catch up. And what music am I listening to?

I started out noodling around on iTunes looking for new music and had a preliminary playlist going. That has morphed a bit with some new downloads and now it looks like this:

Beautiful by 10 Years
Landing In London by faves 3 Doors Down & Bob Seger
Santa Monica by Theory of a Deadman
Believe by Staind
Save Me by Shinedown
Call Me by Shinedown
Breaking Inside Shinedown
If You Only Knew by Shinedown
Beautiful Day by Saving Abel
Drowning (Face Down) by Saving Abel
Oye Como Va by Santana
Suite Española, Op. 47: Asturias by Pepe Romero
Not Afraid by Eminem
Wherever You Will Go by The Calling
This Is Baghdad by Bruce Cockburn
Blow Me Away by Breaking Benjamin

I was listening to My First Kiss by 3OH!3 — they’re local boys for me — but it was a bit too happy for this part of the story. (We're going to have some exclusive 3OH!3 stuff in our paper soon when their new CD comes out.)

There's some Nickelback tossed in there, as well as Hinder and Hoobastank. The Bruce Cockburn piece is really evocative because he visited Iraq before he wrote it and the "war zone" element is reflected in the song, I think. (I interviewed him about it when he came back; he is amazing.) Even if Zach and Natalie aren’t in the Middle East, they’re definitely in a war zone... especially right now.

And because so many of you have said you need a fix, I searched through the 68 pages I've written and pulled out something I thought I could share without spoiling the story.

Yes, I'm posting an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Breaking Point! I won't be around much till next week, so hopefully this will tide you over. In the meantime, I wish my American readers a happy Memorial Day in memory of those who have served. To everyone else, have a happy weekend!

From Chapter 3 of Breaking Point

“Zach, wake up! I think they’re coming!”

Zach jerked awake.

Men’s voices grew nearer.

Gritting his teeth, Zach dragged himself upright, more aware of Natalie’s fear than his own discomfort or dread. He fought to catch his breath. “It’s okay … Cárdenas isn’t here yet. They’re … coming for me… not for you.”

“It’s not okay! No matter what you’ve done, you don’t deserve to be tortured or chained up like this. You are in chains, aren’t you? I can hear them when you move.”

“I guess they figure… I’m more of a threat than you are.” And then it hit him. She thought he was a criminal. Not surprising, given their situation and how little he’d told her.

In that instant, the door was thrown wide, daylight spilling across his blindfold. Familiar voices joked in Spanish about Natalie.

“She is pretty — and shy. Look. She doesn’t like it when I touch her.”

Zach thought he heard Natalie gasp, her shoes scuffing on the floor as she backed away from the door to her cell.

The men laughed.

“I hope El Jefe shares her when he’s done with her. Oh, she makes me hard.”

“Do you think El Jefe would mind if we fuck only her mouth?”

Anger and disgust burned through Zach, reviving him, clearing his head. “Cárdenas will feed your dick to his dogs, you stupid chingadero.”

That got their attention.

Zach heard a key slip into the lock of his cell door.

“Eh, cuñado, are you ready to talk? Or do you want to die screaming?”

He ignored the taunt. “You should feed her. Do you think your Jefe wants a weak, half-starved bag of bones? And if these scorpions sting her and make her sick — I wonder what El Jefe will do to you then?”

The odor of alcohol and sour sweat assaulted Zach’s nostrils as someone leaned down and spoke directly into his face. “Shut your mouth before I cut out your tongue, you stinking son of whore.”

His manacles were unclipped from the chain, then he was hauled to his feet, one Zeta on either side. He stumbled blindly forward, wishing he had the strength to fight them. He’d tried it on his first day here, but he hadn’t been able to get his cuffed hands in front of his body fast enough to pull his blindfold off so that he could see the men he was trying to fight. That’s when they’d broken his ribs.

Now, he barely had the strength to stand upright.

“Zach!” Natalie’s voice came from his right. “I’ll pray for you!”

He dug in his heels, fought to stand his ground for just another moment. “Listen to me, Natalie. Don’t let Cárdenas inside your head. Nothing he can do to you can change who you are. Remember that!”

“Stay alive, Zach! Please!”

“If I don’t, I promise to haunt these bastards for the rest—”

Then he was shoved roughly forward, pain splitting his side, stealing his breath. Sunlight hit him full in the face, cool stone giving way to familiar hot gravel beneath his bare feet. Every muscle in his body tensed.

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country…

He started to recite the code of conduct, trying to prepare his mind for what was to come, but a different thought replaced it. It was nothing much — just a name — but it seemed to put steel back into his spine.

Natalie.

So there you go!

And this just in...

THE GOVERNOR JUST SIGNED
THE SHACKLING BILL!
I think I need a drink.

12 comments:

Ronlyn said...

WOO HOO!!! The Gov. signed the bill! YAY!!!!! I'm so proud of you and all your hard work!

Love the excepert, of course.

I need to check out your playlist when I'm home and can download more music. Half my stuff was wiped out recently, so I need to recreate some lists. Boo...

Hope you and Ben have a fantastic weekend!

Crystal said...

Your child is home, the governor signed "your" bill - life is pretty amazing, Pamela.

No need ever to apologize or feel bad because you "fail" to meet some writing deadline - you do too much on a daily basis for real, live people who need it.

This Memorial Day weekend should remind all of us about the only thing that is truly important - the chance we have each and every day to make a difference while we have the opportunity.

Debbie H said...

I knew it could be done, it just needed your help. Were you at the signing? I've very proud of you!

I can tell, Natalie is just the type of woman Zach needs to make him strong in mind, body and spirit. I can't wait to get my hands on this book.

Thanks for the snippit. It will keep me thinking for a while.

Hugs

Mary G said...

OMG Pamela
You are a force. You've shown what one person can do. You're amazing.
Have a wonderful week. Have fun with the family. Thanks for the excerpt. I agree with Crystal, write at your own speed. We want you to keep enjoying it.

Hi, Ronlyn — Thanks! I'm so relieved that it's done. :-)

BUMMER that you lost half your tunes. That sucks!

Glad you liked the excerpt.

Have a fun weekend with your boys.


Hi, Crystal — You're so right! Thank you.

As for deadlines, sadly it's a matter of what's in the contract. So I really do need to get it together.

And very well said. The best thing a person can do in her lifetime is make a difference in the lives of those around her.

Hi, Debbie — Thank you! No, I wasn't at the signing. He didn't have a ceremony. He just grabbed a stack of bills and signed them, and it was in the pile.

You're welcome for the snippet. :-)


Hi, Mary G — Thanks so much! You're very sweet! Have a wonderful holiday.

Jackie P said...

Congradulations on the signing and your son being home. I thought the excerpt fit right in with this holiday. Thanks for thinking of us. Can't wait to buy the book when it comes out. Look forward to your next post.

Elise said...

Woo hoo!
Thanks for the playlist. No, no, no and no I won't read the excerpt!! (But it itches me really badly ;-)) SO I jumped to the end of your post and bless you Pamela, you did it finally!
Congratulations! You are just "extraordinaire" as we say in French!!
Take care!

Kara C said...

Pamela,
Sorry to be so late. Trying to wind down the school year. It's always nice to count down the days until summer, but somehow the work needing to get finished ALWAYS outweighs the days left in which to finish it!
Congratulations, again, on the bill. What a great victory for everyone involved.
The new playlist, at least part of it, is now on my iPod.
What fun to get to spend time with your son. Mine are both still at home full-time, but that will change way too soon. As crazy as my teen makes me, it always feels good to have him around. (He's usually good for a laugh or too also. :) )
The excerpt is, of course, wonderful. Can't wait for the finished product.

Christi said...

Yea, awesome stuff!

Like everyone, I loved the excerpt (Especially since my son is named Zach, hehe). Can't wait to read the whole thing...

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend (it was super hot here).

Rachel said...

Congrats on your bill!! You worked so hard and I'm so happy for you! Enjoy your time with your son and leave the internet be for a while, we'll be here when you get back. =)

Congrats Pamela...many of us dream of making a difference...you actually do.

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