Jake: An Alternative POV (After The Ending)

This scene corresponds with chapter 20 of After The Ending. What follows is Jake's experience leading up to the first time he met Zoe in the wooded area of Fort Knox. Enjoy! Jake started awake. At first, all he could feel were the jagged rocks littering the ground beneath him, but feeling slowly returned to his stiff, crumpled body. His bones felt frozen through and through. As he stirred, a smarting pain shot through his spine, and he winced. He struggled to remember where he was, why he was in pain, and what he was doing on the cold, hard ground. He blinked, too groggy to remember what had happened. Distant howling roused him from confusion, and he peered out into the winter-ravaged

Deleted Scene: The Call (After The Ending)

Deleted Scene After The Ending (original) CHAPTER 1 "The Call" Fumbling through the door, Zoe was miffed that the house was quiet. Granted, it was three in the morning, but she’d been hoping for some sort of distraction that might give her an excuse to postpone calling Dani. She was dreading sharing the bad news. After grabbing a mostly empty bottle of tequila from the cupboard above the fridge, Zoe dragged her feet down the hall and into her bedroom. She took a swig of the potent poison, then pulled her cell out of her pocket and called her friend. Across the country, Dani read the name on her caller ID and excitedly hit the answer button. “Are you drunk dialing me?” “I’m going to p

Deleted Scene: Dani and Zoe (Out Of The Ashes)

Deleted Scene #1 Dani's POV This scene was originally in the beginning of the book, but was removed to pick up the pace during the first quarter of the story. There were actually quite a few scenes removed from this part of the original manuscript for that same reason. Enjoy! When I reached the mouth of the hallway, a feminine laugh greeted me, and I recognized it as belonging to Sanchez. Jason’s followed immediately after. I paused, bit my lip, and second-guessed what I was about to do. But I have to tell him! With a deep breath, I continued down the hall, stopping just before the open doorway into the lounge. With one more deep breath, I moved into the doorway. The room was dimmer than

First Chapter: Out Of The Ashes

Chapter 1 from Out Of The Ashes NOTE: The book was still going through copy edits when originally posted, so please pardon any erorrs. :) Chapter 1 Jake March 23, 1AE Colorado Springs, Colorado Body tense and heart racing, Jake scoured Zoe’s face for any inkling of recognition. He couldn’t allow himself to believe she had no memory of him or all they’d been through together. She’d admitted she loved him only hours earlier. Now, she was scared, casting furtive glances around the room at friends and family she clearly didn’t remember, including him. In the dying moonlight seeping through the undressed windows, Jake watched her, desperation making it hard for him to breathe. Her eyes…he coul

First Chapter: The Ending Beginnings Mandy

Chapter 1 Mandy trudged through the snow toward the sole parked car. Despite the substantial amount of weight she’d gained over the last decade, she still loved walking around the campground. Her campground. With Lake Tahoe on one side and the snow all around, she could almost lose herself to the beauty of the winter wonderland. She could almost forget everything she’d done over the past 22 years. She laughed. It was a harsh sound, at odds with the soft white puffs of air that marked it. She’d hurt a lot of people, not that they’d minded. The more she thought about it, the clearer the truth became; even if she could erase the past—forget it, or even do it over—she wouldn’t. Every single act

First Chapter: The Ending Beginnings Jake & Clara

CHAPTER 1 Jake sat on an overstuffed couch in the hospital’s rec room, the stark furniture and barren walls brightened by the muted, flashing television. The President’s address looped on the radio at the nurses’ station behind him, and the more the words sank in, the more his mind reeled. A global pandemic? Start over? Build anew? Was that even possible? Amidst his chaotic mind chatter, Jake wondered what the hell he was going to do next. Rising from the couch, he took three steps toward one of the barred windows across from him, braced his hands against the wall on either side, and let out a long exhale. He stared out at the crashed Cadillac and the few buildings that were visible throug

First Chapter: The Ending Beginnings Clara

CHAPTER 1 Without taking her eyes from her book, Clara reached for her chocolate milk, which was sitting on the laminate cafeteria table beside her tattered backpack. Lips pursed around the straw and her feet bouncing with happy anticipation, she took two long pulls of the rich, cold liquid until her straw made a slurping sound, and she set the empty carton back down on the table. All of the other students were out in the quad, fussing about their homework or gushing about boys or complaining about the teachers they didn’t like, but Clara had better things to do. She ignored the ceaseless giggling and chatter as it trickled in through the open cafeteria doors and lost herself in her book. “I

First Chapter: The Ending Beginnings Carlos

Chapter 1 “I can’t…I told you,” Carlos said, yanking his wrist out of the larger kid’s clammy grasp. It wasn’t that Carlos was small for his age—quite the opposite, in fact. He was already five-foot-ten and, thanks to the recently wrapped-up football season, nearly 150 pounds, and he was still a few months shy of sixteen. No, the problem was that Julian was just a little bit taller, a whole lot thicker, and really desperate. Julian raised his hands, running his fingers through his greasy, dirty-blond hair. There was no doubt in Carlos’s mind that the kid needed a shower, and based on his pallid coloring and the grayish-purple, bruise-like circles under his eyes, to lay off the Vicodin. Ca

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