Emprise Excerpt: Math Nerds Suck

This is the month I was supposed to start my next book, Jeanne Dark. Meh. Don’t feel like it. To be honest, current sales are so shitty weak they aren’t worth the time it takes me to crank out new books. Instead, I’m writing short stories as the mood hits me. I may even let someone other than my muse read them.

One of my favorite books is Emprise, which almost no one has read. It is a very spiritual fantasy, and by far the most emotional book I’ve written. It also has more mythological creatures than I can count, including some I’m sure you’ve never heard of. Some of them are being unleashed into small-time Virginia. The book is a deep-3rd-person Point of View (POV) book, with narration from the POV of each of the lead characters. You see the story lay out as they experience it, including their thoughts. (Think early Stephen King.) I think it’s an effective devise for adding suspense to the key romantic story line.

This excerpt is Robin Lebeaux, a 16-year-old genius kid who absolutely no one knows is smart. In fact, she keeps it such a secret that even readers of Books 1 and 2 didn’t know. She’s also a ditz, which I can attest is the best kind of genius to be. If anyone wants to read more, I have samples of the 1st 10% of the book available. This is a Standalone Book, as are Discovery and Awakening. I don’t do no stinking serials, except on my blog.

Excerpt begins after the jump. Did you jump yet? I said, “Jump,” dammit!

Cover is Charlie Patterson, a typical biracial teenager who can walk in others’ dreams and fought his 1st dragon by age 12. I know, such a stereotype.

Emprise Excerpt

Robin knew she was smart. In fact, she was smart enough that making others think she was a ditz was one of her favorite pastimes. However, math was not her thing. She could do it, but didn’t want to. She was in the tenth-grade honors math track as an eleventh-grader only because taking no math at all was not an option. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Math-Nerd were math whizzing away, getting their usual A’s. At least Charlie had the common courtesy to pretend to be bored. He sat beside her and was currently doodling. Robin could just make out World War Four – which involved dragons and alien space craft – exploding along the margins of Charlie’s notepad. On her other side was Jannet, currently shaking her cramping wrist so that she could resume writing every single syllable the teacher said.

Ahead of them, Mr. Rodriguez burped and continued talking as though his gas was in the curriculum. Robin giggled, wondering if Jannet had written “burp” in her notes. Charlie, God love him, looked at Robin and then burped himself. Robin giggled again. Within thirty seconds, every kid in Honors Precalculus had burped – all except Jannet. Mr. Rodriguez pretended not to notice, likely, Robin surmised, because then the teacher would have had to acknowledge he had started it.

“Oh, grow up LeBeaux,” Jannet whispered.

Robin replied by scribbling a wonderful caricature of Jannet with the word “Burp!” in a decorative word balloon. She then balled it up, and hit Jannet in the back of the head with it. Jannet rolled her eyes, shook her head, picked up, and unfolded the note – then proceeded to cackle.

“Miss Rogers, would you care to let the rest of us in on the joke?” asked Mr. Rodriguez.

Jannet looked down as that was the precise time she was due to check her notes for typos. She shook her head vigorously, careful not to make eye contact. When Mr. Rodriguez returned to – whatever it was he was talking about – Jannet looked at Robin and gave her a five-second eye-roll.

“You love me,” Robin whispered in return.

“I do,” Jannet whispered back.

That made Robin want to cry, so she grinned instead. Grinning, she felt, would make her eyes hazel, and therefore, unreadable. If they thought she was happy, they never probed.

People want all happy, all the time.

The performer in Robin was all too willing to accommodate them. Still, hurt or not, wronged or no, Robin couldn’t help but notice Jannet had taken to the habit of reciprocating any bits of love that Robin threw her way. That kind of love deserved the truth. Robin, shortly before the bell rang, drew a lovely heart in which were inscribed the words, “We need to talk.” Jannet, opening the note, nodded in immediate agreement. Robin sighed.

So, she’s not my sister, but she still loves me. That should count for something.


  1. EagleAye says:

    I never thought of Robin as a ditz. She felt a little disconnected from the group at times because Charlie and Jannet were so smart in school. Robin led the way in every aspect of her relationship with Charlie, and she kept poor Charlie on his heels at all times. Seemed like like only knew he loved her and then let her lead him around by the nose after that.

    While in the Stream, she was very powerful, frequently saving Charlie’s bacon when he lost his confidence. Robin had a tough exterior in my estimation, but a fragile inner core that sometimes threatened their relationship. That fragility wasn’t so much her fault and more due to her abusive father, who I hated with a passion by the way. For me, I felt Robin was a very powerful character.

    Sorry to hear sales are poor. Hopefully they pick up soon.

    1. Thanks. I’m very heartened to see her character (and Charlie’s) came through so clearly. Robin is still my favorite character – she was fun to write. I’d hoped people would connect to the characters enough to watch them grow. Charlie needed to realize his strong interior was what he needed to bring to the fore. Robin was the opposite, and needed to see that her “false” bravado exterior was the real her, and the inner doubts were all false.

      To be fair, they were my first attempts at writing, and even reading them again, I can see where I’d change or edit. If I wrote them again, some of the humor would go, and I’d tighten the language and make them more emotional. But our writing reflects what we are or need at the time. When I wrote the 1st two books, I was DEEP in heartache and wrote mainly to heal.

      I wish I’d written books for which there was a genre. I need to stop making them up. Thanks so much for your comment.

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