Sunday, April 7, 2013

Excerpt #2 from Twinned Universes--and a Giveaway!

Yvonne hesitated, then laid her hand over Paul's. “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”
“Do you forgive non-Christians?”
“Depends on what for.”
If he turned, his lips would be centimeters from hers. “I don’t know, Yvonne. What do I need your forgiveness for? I mean, it’s not like—”
Paul stopped as he remembered the flowers he hadn’t gotten rid of, his mother in the hospital bed, the coffin at the funeral.
“Not like what?”
Yvonne was lucky. She wasn’t responsible for her mom’s death. Her mom was still alive.
Wet heat registered on Paul’s arm. He jerked away as steam came out of the kettle.
Yvonne turned off the stove and pointed toward a couple of cups. But before he could get them, she touched his shoulder.
“It’s not your fault that your mom was killed.” She spoke as if she’d read his mind.
He stared at the cups, a cheerful red and green. Wasn’t it too early for Christmas? “It is too.”
“You had no idea who you were or what your great-uncle planned to do.”
Paul wished it was that easy. Maybe it was for her, but he didn’t share her faith. Even her kind words couldn’t wash away the sludge in his soul whenever he thought of Mom. Part of him wished he could just weep everything out onto Yvonne’s shoulders, but then she’d think him weak.
“It doesn’t matter.” He turned away and reached for the cocoa. “We were going to figure out how to save Sean, remember?”
“We haven’t finished talking about you yet.”
“Well, I am.”
She snatched the green cup away before he could add the cocoa powder for her. Even in the dimly lit kitchen, her eyes burned fiercely.
He cleared his throat. “‘Doubt that the stars are fire—’”
She held up her hand. “‘I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.’”
Damn. She had to be pissed to sting him with his beloved Shakespeare.
“If you really loved me, Paul Lyon Harrison, you wouldn’t use someone else’s words. You’d share your feelings with me.”
“I do—”
“I thought you wanted to talk about Sean.” Yvonne’s voice stole the warmth from his drink.
Fine. Be that way. Powder scattered on the counter as he stirred his cocoa too hard. The bulge in his pants refused to settle down. “Sean doesn’t want to be told, and I don’t think it’ll help matters if we do tell him. Baby knows, but she might not be able to keep Sean from going to the concert. The real problem is Joseph. We have to convince him to leave Sean alone, not just at the concert, but afterward.”
“So I have to find out if the travelers are brainwashing him,” Yvonne said. “If I can get a blood sample from him, I can test it with Dr. Stern’s equipment. But how do I find him in such a big city?”
“Easy. He’s a guard at the Museum of Science and Industry. If we wander around there long enough, you’ll find him. I know he likes talking to visitors, especially beautiful girls. You shouldn’t have a problem.”
Her cheeks darkened. “Dr. Stern told me the blood analysis takes several hours. I can’t give him the antidote until I know for sure the travelers have been drugging him. It could mess up his brain chemistry otherwise.”
It’s got to be screwed up anyway. Paul kept that to himself and said, “Is that going to be enough? I mean, if the travelers have been feeding him ‘Sean is evil’ messages for a long time, will one dose of antidote change his mind?”
“It’ll help, but I don’t know for sure.” Yvonne shook her head. “I should have asked Dr. Stern while I had the chance. It’s hard not being able to contact her.”
“Then we have to go ahead on our own. It’s safest if we assume we have to teach Joseph that Sean’s OK.”
“I can talk to him—”
“Or I could practice my Sean impersonation on him once I get the holos.” Paul grinned. “It’s always good to do a dry run before you perform for your real audience.”
Yvonne grabbed his arm. “But—if he thinks you’re Sean—he might try to kill you instead!”
“He can’t do that in the museum!”
“Why not? If he’s a guard, he’ll have a weapon.”
“It’s in public!”
“So was Sean’s final concert,” Yvonne shot back.
Scalding cocoa splashed over Paul’s hand. “You really think Joseph would kill me instead of Sean?”
She nodded, eyes wide.
It didn’t matter anymore if she was attracted to him or not. “Then I’m screwed.”

* * *

Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first.

In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother’s death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself—and Sean’s time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul’s family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he’s never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he’ll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. “To be or not to be” was a simple question in comparison....

Available now (in eBook and paper formats) on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Although Twinned Universes is a standalone novel, Lyon's Legacy, Book One of the Catalyst Chronicles, provides some background and features the story of strong-willed scientist Joanna Lyon. To get caught up on the Catalyst Chronicles series, please enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a signed copy of Lyon's Legacy and a $5 gift card from Amazon. You can learn more about the Catalyst Chronicles series on my blog.


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