With the new book release in the coming weeks, I’ve decided to get organized, get serious about keeping you up to date with information, and maybe give people a little something in return for your loyalty.
I’m building a newsletter, and for those who sign up, before March 1st, I will choose two subscribers to receive a free ebook copy of The Anatomy of Perception when it’s released the second week of March. So please, click here to sign up and your name goes in the hat! I’m also going to make this newsletter a place for exclusive snippets of upcoming works, contests, and content regarding my books not available anywhere else on the internet. Don’t miss out!
By way of thanks, I offer you an (unedited) excerpt from The Anatomy of Perception, after the jump.
Holly showed up at my apartment that night dressed in all black, a giant bag over her shoulder, and a push broom towering over her diminutive frame. Her short hair was, as always, impeccably styled, her bangs side swept and tapering into points just below her earlobes, the ends pink on top of the black, like they’d been dipped in Pepto Bismol. She normally wore only eyeliner—which she kept trying to get me to wear, too, with my eyes, but so far I’d been able to resist—and lip gloss, tinged just enough shine her lips with color. But tonight, she had camouflage paint all over her face, making her blue eyes pop even more. I blinked at her costume.
“What the hell?” I laughed a surprised yelp.
“Ooh, you guys gonna go burgle someone?” my roommate, Braden, asked with comical exaggeration. “Can I go?”
Holly gave him a critical once over. Braden was tall and skinny, and he wore his geekiness well, like Clark Kent. He was also completely full of himself, though somehow, he managed not to annoy me. Neither did Neil, our other roommate, who was probably the smartest guy in our year and so serious, we had to drag him out of the apartment every couple months. The university had set us up together with a list of places renting close to the school. The beauty of all of us being broke was having motivation to throw out that list and find something cheaper than the counselors suggested. It sort of bonded us, the three orphans against the world.
Only, they didn’t exactly know I wasn’t an orphan.
“You’ll do, Richard,” Holly said, making me laugh. Holly called people Richard when she thought they were dicks, but was also amused by them. Braden had corrected her calling him the wrong name once, but sort of shrugged it off now, not getting it and not being bothered to try. Braden was smart, confident, a bit of a know-it-all, but he was also not difficult to figure out. It made living with him easy. “But you have to wear black, and we’re not actually breaking laws, but don’t spoil my cloak and dagger fun, okay?”
Braden saluted. “Got it. What about Neil?”
Holly sighed and I grinned at her, entertained. Leave it to her to find an obnoxious but harmless way to put me at ease.
“Fine,” she huffed. “Again, black uniform.”
As Braden went to drag Neil away from the books, Holly dug in her bag, coming out with a hoodie for me. “Please tell me you have black, or at least dark, pants.”
I shook my head. “I don’t think I have anyth—oh! Dark blue scrubs. Be right back.” Taking the hoodie off her hands, I disappeared into my room and emerged minutes later in the proper attire, including a black beanie. The beanie wasn’t necessary, given my dark hair, but it lent to the caper mood.
“Perfect.” Holly grinned.
“This is stupid,” Neil grumbled even as he pulled on his own black sweatshirt. I thought he’d balk completely when Holly held up the camo paint, but he only sighed and took it.
“Of course it’s stupid. It’s also fun, ya stick in the mud,” she admonished. Braden laughed, totally getting into it as he scooped a finger of camo paint from the tin and swiped it on his cheek.
A wave of affection for them all, including Neil, swelled in my chest, but I bit my lip on any words. My roommates didn’t know I was gay either, and I didn’t want a big show of emotion to give me away. But I was flattered they were game to go on Holly’s adventure, however reluctant Neil was, just because they liked me, and her by extension. I hadn’t had a lot of friends in my life, so when I found a couple, I was glad to have them.
“Ready!” Braden shouted with too much enthusiasm.
“Okay!” Holly cried. “Let’s go! Quieter than this though!”
We laughed and trooped out the door and to the nearest subway stop, which would take us close to our mission.