Turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book.
That was Marshall McLuhan’s advice anyway. Over the next few Wednesdays, I invite readers to submit their own or other works (pg. 69 only of course!) via the Contact Form here.
This week I’m excited to present three Pg. 69 excerpts. I know their authors would welcome your comments below!
The Protector by Danielle Lenee Davis
Genre: Police procedural
Page 69 Excerpt (published by Desert Rain Press’ January 18, 2014)When the body of a social worker is found on the stairway inside the building where she works, a mouthful of Scrabble letters tells Detective Sydney Valentine that this is not a random killing. In this excerpt from Page 69, Sydney is talking to her sister Mac.
“My job is who I am. What’s wrong with that?”
“It doesn’t have to be all that you are. There’s too much stress in your job and you need an outlet.”
I slurped my smoothie, licked the straw. “Okay. I’ll give you that. But, I know how to channel my stress and divert it. Channel and divert.”
“Yeah, like you channeled it into Monty Bradford’s nose after he was acquitted for raping Allison.”
“I wasn’t on the job yet, so it doesn’t count.” I flashed a wide grin at her and turned back to the laptop. “And if you can’t come up with anything else I think I’m doing just fine. Thank you very much.”
“Give me time and I’ll think of more.”
“Now I have to deal with him again, though.”
“What?” She scooted her chair closer, leaned her arms on the table. “Why?”
“He’s the brother-in-law of Ann Baker.”
“Wait. Ann Baker’s sister married that creep?” She pulled her glass toward her, then peered at me. “Do you think he killed her?”
“I don’t know if he had anything to do with it, but if he did…” I pushed my chair back, took my glass to the sink. “…I’ll do my damndest to make sure his ass doesn’t walk this time.”
Naked Alliances by S.K. Nicholls
Genre: Crime FictionThe private investigator is making his first visit to Leisure Lagoon, a nudist resort. This is often what happens to a first-timer…
Page 69 Excerpt (work in progress)
Around a smaller, quieter, swimming pool, nude guests lounged in near darkness. People passed him coming from and going to the Reef. Dozens of children scrambled around a dimly-lit playground, some clothed, some nude. In the darkness, the foliage grew dense on either side of the walkway. There were showers to his right and the library to his left. He turned to look back toward the light of the gazebo and collided with a blonde who had just stepped from the shower.
“Excuse me,” he said. Immediately he covered his front with his towel. She backed away, and he got a good look.
“Anita? My God, Anita! I mean…how…how lovely to…well, to see you,” he fumbled his words. “I don’t mean to see you, as in all of you,” he said to his office manager.
“It’s quite alright,” she answered. “I come here often, and you?”
“Actually, this is my first time.” He continued to hold his towel in front of his body, while she dried her own with confidence from head to toe. He was staring. Her damp, blonde hair hung in ringlets around her shoulders, not loosely piled on her head as it was at work. Her erect nipples perched atop her full, round breasts like cherries on double sundaes. He was momentarily lost in thought about what he could do with a can of whipped cream.
“It’s really okay, you know, us meeting up here. But it’s not so polite to stare.”
“Oh, Anita, I’m sorry. It’s just, this is a bit awkward.”
“No need for apologies. Seriously. I run into people I know all the time. You’ll get used to it.” She turned toward the Reef. “I’m going to meet up with some friends, buy you a drink later?”
“I’m heading down to the lake. Will you be here tomorrow?”
“No, I’m back to the city tonight, unfortunately. Another time, maybe?”
“Sure, another time.”
Richard waited until she was far across the other side of the pool before turning around. He edged his way carefully through the darkness, stepped out onto the pavement, and proceeded toward the lake. At the same time his world was expanding, it was getting considerably smaller. When he reached the gate, a woman stopped him to get his room number for the charge.
“You must be new here,” she said.
“What makes you say so?” Richard asked.
“Cottontail,” she said with a wink.
The band had not started playing, but the lawn looked like a mini Woodstock was about to take place. Naked hula-hoopers and toweled revelers waving glow sticks dotted the green. Two tents were set up on the far side. Richard aimed for the bar tent.
Page 69 of The Fireborn by Trent P. McDonald
Genre: Science Fiction/FantasyIn the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. His detractors, of course, would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate romantic authors and absinthe addicts. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead. – At this point, page 69, Elliot is trying to locate Excalibur which he believes can be used to stop the fireborn, the ancient Celtic zombies created by the Cauldron.
Page 69 Excerpt, (Work in progress)
“So, Dr. Everett-Jones, what have you accomplished in the last five days?” asked the Major-General. His laser eyes were aimed directly at Elliot.
“Well sir,” Elliot began, “For the most part I’ve been engaged in research. I found the most wonderful book which actually led me to another library. It’s quite fascinating what you can find hidden in some of the old houses in these out of the way villages. I’ve gone over a few old manuscripts that have given me insight into the area. Did you know that sometime during the late thirteenth or the early fourteenth century the locals created a makeshift shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary that was located pretty at present day Camford? It was thought by some people to be visited by what they called ‘The Virgin of the Waters’. It took years for the local clergy to succeed in shutting it down. The whole affair was hushed up because the local powers didn’t want anyone to think their parish was home to a nest of heretics. I found two references to the shrine, both having a bit of fun at the expense of what they thought were the easily fooled, naive peasants. ‘The Virgin of the Water’ – Does the name sound familiar? I also found some talk of a sword, but it really doesn’t fit, at least not yet. I still have a few old books to go through.” Elliot could see the Major-General’s impatience. “You have to understand, sir, this type of research takes time.”
“Time, I am afraid, is a commodity that we do not have,” Major-General Edwards answered. “I’m sorry, but we can no longer afford to stay here with our impossible search. My office is closing and I’m returning to London today, as is Major Stuart.” The Major-General motioned towards Arthur. “I expect that you’ll stay on, but be aware that our funding will be gone and you’ll have to pay for your own expenses, including lodging. I, of course, wish you the best of luck. We’ll ensure that you can reach my office in the event that you do find the sword. In the meantime, though, be aware that the British military has withdrawn from this venture.”
I would really love to feature your Page 69! Use Contact Form here to submit your favorite Pg 69 (your own or other’s work) or tweet #Pg69