One year ago today my debut YA novel was released. Happy birthday OBSCURA BURNING!
I have some exciting news regarding this novel coming soon! Watch this space
There are still a few autographed paperback copies up for grabs. If you’d like to get your hands on one of these, please leave a comment or email (details on the Contact page).
Here’s an exclusive birthday excerpt:
Cornflakes; scraps of yellow cardboard polluting perfectly good milk. I wash them down with orange juice, dribbling a little from the corner of my mouth where my lips no longer form a smooth crease. From his cross fixed to the kitchen wall, an emaciated Jesus glares at me, making the cardboard cereal even more difficult to swallow.
I drag the paper over and skim the headlines: Obscura panic despite government reassurances that the world probably won’t end. Department stores got ransacked in Albuquerque amid fears of price gouging. People are really starting to freak out. There’s a snippet on page two about the situation in Iraq, how a bunch of American soldiers are demanding flights home to see family before Armageddon. A picture of the Eiffel Tower lit up with candles and strewn with flowers; a phallic offering to whichever god tossed Obscura into the sky. There’s a whole segment on what Obscura might be doing to the weather. Meteorologists predict the worst hurricane season in centuries, increased seismic activity resulting in more tsunamis and volcanoes. The world might not end, but that doesn’t mean humans won’t get wiped out anyway.
“What are you doing today, son?” Dad asks around the edges of the sports section. He should be scouring the classifieds for a job, not that there’d be much point if the world ends.
“The usual.” There isn’t a hell of a lot to do in Coyote’s Luck. Last couple of summers, Danny and I passed the days out by the dam near the reservation with Shira, or worked odd jobs around town, sometimes even helping out at the ranches farther away. This year we’d both been set for working at Black Paw, an eatery sporting kitsch Indian decor and a Mexican menu. Then the fire happened.
“Didn’t you have a job lined up?” Dad folds the paper and looks at me. His gaze doesn’t linger too long on my face before he’s studying his checkered napkin. Mom usually mediates conservations like this one, but she worked the night shift and is still passed out upstairs.
“You really think they’re going to want me serving kids their tortillas?”
“Why not?” Dad still doesn’t look up.
“You can’t even look at me, Dad. How the hell do you think some kids are going to order food and not end up puking on the table when they see my face?” I smash my bowl in the sink and stomp out of the kitchen, slamming the screen door behind me. Dad calls after me, but I ignore him. Nothing he can say will change my scars.