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Angel of Mercy Is Now Available In Print!

Well it only took about a month after it came out as an e-book, but Angel of Mercy is finally available in print through Amazon.com.    And seeing as how I’ve been meaning to post an excerpt from the book, this gives me a good excuse to get one up.

This is fairly towards the beginining of the book, Mercy has spotted her mysterious blue-eyed stranger and has followed him home.   (kids at home, never try this!)

This was crazy.  I was in a bad part of town, following a guy who may or may not be real, into an unfamiliar building… to what end?  Still, I found myself pressing the elevator button, toes tapping with impatience for it to arrive.  The car was empty when it stopped on the ground floor, and I stepped inside and pushed the button for the third floor.  The ride was short, and the elevator doors opened to reveal… nothing.  Just an empty hallway.  So what was I supposed to do now?  Start knocking on doors?  Not exactly a safe prospect in any neighborhood.

I was just about to rethink heading back to my car, when two doors down, a little boy, maybe eight years old emerged; his arms loaded down with trucks that he unceremoniously dumped onto the hallway floor.


I had never been one to approach strangers of any kind, remembering what my mother instilled upon me since birth.  At that moment, I was hoping this kid’s mom hadn’t been quite so strict.

Approaching the boy hesitantly, I gave him what I hoped was a harmless looking smile, not in any way predatory.  “Hey, can I ask you something?”

The boy didn’t look up, he was too busy lining his trucks up into two meticulous lines, facing each other.

Undeterred, I forged on, nothing to lose.  “I’m looking for a friend of mine, he lives on this floor but I forgot which apartment is his.”

Still no reaction from the kid; maybe he was deaf?  More likely the cars were just that much more interesting than I was.

“He’s tall, with blonde curly hair and blue eyes, he wears a long brown coat most of the time, have you seen him?”

“You mean the magician?” the boy asked without looking up.

An interesting description…  I quickly tried to decide if I wanted to play dumb and hope that he would offer more details.  “Magician?  What makes you call him that?”

“Because he does tricks sometimes.”

“What kind of tricks?”  This was getting curiouser and curiouser.

Now the boy looked up at me, his interest sparked.  “Once I saw him help a bird that flew into the window.”  He pointed to the window at the end of the hallway that was halfway open.  Thick metal security bars stood on the outside of the casing.  “It crashed into the window and fell on the sill and its wing was all messed up.  I saw him reach through and touch it and the bird got up and flew away.”  There was awe in his voice now, and from the look on his face, I could see he believed every word that he said, verbatim.

The imaged sparked a memory for me, of the man standing over my bed, his hands on my abdomen…  “That’s him,” I nodded absently.  At least I’d found another person who could see him, and that was a relief in and of itself.  “So which one is his apartment again?”

The boy pointed to the unit all the way at the end of the hall, near the window.

“Thanks, kid.” I smiled; my stomach fluttering nervously as I walked to the door in question and knocked.  My heart was beating like a jackhammer in my chest, the butterflies in my stomach having grown into swallows as I waited in anticipation.

Nothing happened.

Chewing on my bottom lip, I knocked again, my annoyance growing when still no answer came.  I pounded stubbornly again.  “I know you’re in there.  I’m not going away until you talk to me,” I called out in frustration.  For a moment I thought he would completely ignore me, but then the door opened and there he was, still in his brown coat, clutching the door handle as if it was his safety line.

“Hi,” I said simply, not knowing what else to say as we stared at each other across the threshold.  He stood there just looking at me, an unfathomable expression on his face.   Then, when I thought he might actually shut the door in my face, he turned and walked away, leaving the door wide open.  Taking that as the closest thing I was going to get to an invitation, I stepped inside, closing the door behind me.

To say that his apartment was sparse would be an understatement.  It was laid out as one big room that combined the kitchen, living room and dining room.  A pair of pocket doors on one side led to another room, intended to be a bedroom I assumed, but it was difficult to tell what it was being used for at the moment with the lack of furniture.  There was no couch or television, no table or chairs, no furniture of any kind, save a series of tall bookcases, filled to overflowing with books, one scarred and beat up recliner chair and a writing desk, piled high with more books and papers.

“This is your place?” I asked softly, stepping deeper into the room.  The walls were a dingy gray and I suspected they had once been painted white but had faded over time.  The wood floors were scarred and pitted, in need of refinishing, and the kitchen’s appliances were dated, perhaps twenty years old or more, no sign of stainless steel or digital readouts in sight.  Still, the apartment didn’t look dirty exactly, just old and in need of a coat of paint, and maybe a good dusting.

“I live here, yes,” he nodded; his voice soft and low, as though he didn’t speak very often at full volume.  His eyes were on everything but me, as if he was afraid to meet my gaze.

The silence stretched between us as I looked around and when I realized he wasn’t going to say anything else, I took the direct approach.  “Why were you following me?”

“Why did you follow me?” he countered, his eyes finally looking up to meet mine when I spoke, curiosity written all over his face.

“I asked you first,” I insisted stubbornly.

“I asked you second.”  He said this very matter of factly, not being a smartass about it at all; which was the only reason why I didn’t just turn on my heel and march out of there.

“I’m waiting for you to answer me,” I tried again, exercising my patience.

“I felt… responsible,” he answered after searching a moment for the right word.

“You were there in the hospital, weren’t you?”



“You were dying.”  His voice held profound sadness, and I wondered how he could feel something so deeply about a complete stranger.  We were standing closer to each other now, though I don’t remember either of us moving.

I swallowed, looking up into those brilliant blue eyes, the exact same shade as mine now were.  “If I was so close to dying, then how am I here now?”

“I could not let you die.”

“What do you mean you couldn’t let me die?”

“I used what Grace was given me to restore you, but it wasn’t enough.”

“I don’t understand…”  Though part of me did, I just wasn’t ready to accept it quite yet.

“I gave you more than I had intended, it is forbidden…”

“What is?  Are you saying you’re responsible for healing me?”

“I couldn’t let you die after you helped me; I don’t know why…”  There was a puzzled look on his face as he reached up to brush my cheek with the back of his fingers.  The touch surprised me, but clearly disturbed him on a much deeper level; and he stared at his fingers as if the touch had burned him.

The conflicting emotions I was getting from him were confusing the hell out of me, but he looked just as troubled and walked away, turning his back on me.  “You should leave,” he said in a pained voice.

He obviously didn’t know me very well.

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