A Novel in III Parts (Part I)
Skinless: A Novel in III Parts (Part I)
by L.M. Davis
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Novella
Published: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Lyndberry Press
Looking at Luca, who’s just saved my life, I can’t respond. No explanation I might offer will satisfy after all of the extraordinary things he’s just witnessed. —Ankh AnCaela Murphy's body is a ticking bomb that only her mom can defuse. The problem: her mother is missing and presumed taken by the Skinless, bogeymen from Ankh’s home world who have been hunting her and her mother for two years--ever since they fled that world and certain death. With help from Luca, a boy whose touch confuses and who refuses to back down, Ankh races against time to find her mother before the bomb inside of her detonates, taking her life. Tracking the Skinless across the country, the pair search for her mother and uncover the horrifying truth behind the generations-old war.
LUCA We are crouched down in the back of Mat’s car with a blanket thrown over our heads; a necessary precaution since the whole plan’s pretty much blown if the psychos spot us on the way out of town. Ankh’s cradled against my chest and I’m cursing testosterone with every fiber of my being because even in the middle of the strangest six hours of my life the only thing on my mind right now is how amazing it is to be this close to her and how good her hair smells. Mat swerves into another lane—despite the fact that he would probably curl up in a ball and die if anything ever happen to this car, he’s an amazingly bad driver—and Ankh falls against me. She tries to smother it, but I hear her cry of pain. I wish she would have let us take her to the hospital, but she wants no part of it. I have the aspirin Bret gave me for when things get really bad, but she doesn’t want those either. Though I guess I can’t blame her for that one; I’d probably be wary too, if aspirin knocked me on my ass and had me slurring words like a drunken frat boy. The car slows, which must mean we’re close to Boston, because that’s where we agreed to make the change over. I put my hands around Ankh’s waist, with intentions that are as pure as the new fallen snow. All I want is to steady her so that the motion causes as little pain as necessary. Of course, even though my brain decrees the absence of perverted feels in the act, my body doesn’t seem to take heed. I’m having all kinds of reactions to being this close to Ankh, absolutely none of which are within a hundred miles of being appropriate. The car door can’t open soon enough and when it does, I throw the blanket off our heads and scramble out of the car. We’re at a gas station right off the expressway. Overhead, cars zoom by. Chuck and Mat stand around like sentinels scouting for trouble. Behind us, Bret pulls up in her mother’s car, which she will use to get the guys back to Pilgrim’s Creek. She jumps out of the car and comes running to the back door of Mat’s car, where Ankh’s just managed to swing her legs over the edge. I don’t know what she’s thinking but she wraps her arms around Ankh a pulls her in for a hug. Even though it must hurt like hell, Ankh returns the squeeze. “Be careful.” She’s holding Ankh, but at the same time she’s looking over her shoulder, straight into my eyes. Chuck and Mat are watching the whole scene with looks that say they wish they had the guts to take Ankh into their arms that way. Their goodbyes are definitely less passionate. I hop into the car and start it because I can’t stand one more minute of this moping and because this is no time for the drawn out goodbyes so someone has to cut this short. Besides, the whole thing is just a little too final feeling, like they think their never going to see Ankh again and in my mind that’s not even a possibility. She’s not leaving forever, so I wish everyone would just quit acting like she is.
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A Novel in III Parts (Part II)
Skinless: A Novel in III Parts (Part II)
by L.M. Davis
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Novella
Published: June 30th 2013
Publisher: Lyndberry Press
All I can say is when the girl I like looks at me with wide, freaked out eyes and then runs away, the only thing that I can do run after her. Even if she didn’t ask me, even if she told me not to, I’m not superman enough to fight the instinct to protect her. -Luca For Luca Valken, AnCaela Murphy is like no other girl he's ever met and that's exactly what makes him so crazy about her. Never in his wildest imaginings, and they got pretty wild, did he dream what that difference truly means. By the time that he's followed her to Atlanta, in search of her missing mother, he's in too deep. Too deeply entangled in the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance. Too deeply terrified for Ankh's safety. Too deeply in love to ever consider walking away.
ANKH Squeezing Luca’s hand in mine, his anxiousness is my own. His pulse beats too fast between his thumb and index finger. His palm is damp with sweat. I’m also afraid, but somehow holding Luca’s hand helps. We reach the bottom of another flight and now there are only two more. We’re almost there. The pounding startles me. Abruptly, the footsteps, which had been fading seem like they’re right above us and coming down fast. Luca grips my hand tighter and we abandon any attempt at stealth. All that matters now is getting away. At the bottom of the last flight, the door opens not to the street but into another hallway. Ahead, through a glass wall is the turquoise swimming pool. We veer right, dashing down the hall and out into a huge lounge filled with cream and gold furniture. In the center of the room, an escalator leads down. Behind us, the door slams and noise echoes across the silent hotel. We run that much faster, trying to reach the escalator before our escape route vanishes. The escalator is deactivated, so we take the frozen stairs two at a time. Out off the corner of my eye, I watch the gray figures spilling into the lounge.
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A little more than a year ago, I had the idea for the story that would become skinless: A Novel in III Parts. It’s less that I had the idea then it came to me in a dream about an alien girl in terrible danger and the boy head over hills in love with her. (Yes, dreams are still how I get some of my more intriguing story ideas.) I woke up from that dream thinking “I have to know how this story ends,” because dreams, being dreams, are never so obliging as to tell the whole tale (not to me, anyway).
Immediately following that thought was the realization that I was knee-deep, waist-deep, in writing my Shifters Novel series and so when would I find the time. I’ve never been that author who could work on multiple creative projects simultaneously. Maybe it’s because I write fantasy/sci-fi and to do so would require shifting between multiple worlds (and it's hard enough keeping a grip on two)…who knows, it’s just never been that easy for me. So, with that thought, I decided to table the story until the Shifters Novel series was completed (fully recognizing that I might not return for two years or so.)
Stories, however, are sometimes like boys. Some are gentle and considerate. They come to you meekly, whispering and cajoling, sweet talking you into writing. Others are impatient and a little obnoxious. Characters shout words of dialogue, refusing to let you sleep. Scenes and plot points invade your thoughts, while you calmly try to brush your teeth, and you end up dribbling toothpaste on your shirt while you’re trying to get ready for work. The second kind of story demands to be written without the slightest bit of concern for your time tables, other projects, etc…etc… Ankh and Luca are those characters, and skinless is that story.
So here we are, a little more than a year later, and I have long since waved my white flag of surrender. The story that began as a the strange meanderings of my subconscious mind has become a full-fledged novel, which I am serializing in three parts. I’m still working on the Shifters Novel series, and I hope that the two books will be available soon. Until then, I hope that you’ll check out and then adore skinless; otherwise, I’ve endured all of this abuse for nothing.
Thanks to Krystal's Enchanting Reads for hosting me!
About the Author
L. M. Davis loves great storytelling. She needs nothing more than a good book and a comfy chair to be happy. She was born in the south, raised in the north, and has a few degrees under her belt. She doesn't like to admit it, but she may have something of a "shifter" fetish. She still hasn’t gotten her black cat, but she thinks about it everyday. Her thoughts go something like this: "I really should get a cat." For now, she contents herself with spoiling the pets of her friends and family. She is the author of Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, Posers: A Shifters Novel, and skinless.