THE HIGHLY CAPABLE – Excerpt

My book tour kicks off today with a stop on Rebecca Clark’s blog. A huge thanks to Rebecca for hosting me and being apart of the tour.

Books & Babble

What would you do if you could control objects with your mind?

Would you be able to choose between right and wrong?

The Highly Capable Front Cover

1-

Life masters the element of surprise. Everything goes on just the way it always does until something unexpected turns the world on its head. Change isn’t something to plan for; it is an event to embrace when it presents itself, because it always will. I walk quiet and slow down an unfamiliar hallway with a sour feeling in my stomach. Something just isn’t right tonight.

“Ruby, let’s check in here. It looks like the master bedroom,” Brody whispers as he ducks into a room at the end of the long, dark hallway.

“It’s crazy how some people carry on such lavish existences,” I whisper back. My toes will touch his heels if I’m not careful. Getting through this night quickly is best. This house is enormous and…

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31 Months Before The Events of The Highly Capable

Another person’s touch was something I was still getting used to. All I could focus on was the warmth of Tristan’s hand. I was in the back of some beefed-out van holding hands with the boy who could turn invisible—the boy I followed into the warehouse despite all the warnings that went off in my head not to. I wondered how I looked to him and hoped I was starting to mean something to him, for he certainly meant the same thing to me. I looked around, not able to be entirely sure if I was dreaming of being in a van full of misfits with just like me or if it was real.

Everything felt surreal.

I had been on my own for so long. It’s hard to feel on the defensive, always. I pushed everyone away. The moment I was living on the street my relationship with the outside world changed drastically. My motivations centered only around survival, no longer enjoyment. I didn’t care bout what new movie I wanted to watch. I only cared about where I was going to sleep each night. I had hoped that I wasn’t the only one wit the ability to do something unexplainable. Here was evidence all around me. The world is larger and more diverse than I had expected. For the first time in my whole life, I didn’t feel alone and utterly hopeless. I studied the sight of my seemly small hand interwind with Tristan’s. He was almost too cute, with high cheekbones and a naturally pouty mouth. His eyes sparkled, with all these possibilities that constantly flickered through his head. There was a point where Tristan believed anything was possible. He his wonderment made me think of Peter Pan. His infinite hope in the incredible and unexplained was how he so instantly convinced me to meet his as he referred to them. They were, in fact, a crew but Tristan defiantly was not the one in charge. A couple—at least they seemed like they were a couple—seemed to be the ones making things happen. They both had black hair and unreadable eyes. The female, Madison, was a good six years older than me. Her face held sign’s she was getting near the middle of her twenties. Signs of youth was starting to hide behind the signs of experience and stress. She talked in a tone that was always sounding like she was snapping at people. The driver, and her possible boyfriend (though it doesn’t seem right to use such a proper word), Julian stayed mostly silent. He was clearly the muscle of the group. His face didn’t change from the serious expression he made on his face when Tristan introduced earlier in the evening.

The van screeched to a halt. The street was perfectly paved. Well, maintained craftsmen houses stood in orderly lines. Madison brought us to one of the nicer neighborhoods in north Seattle. My stomach churns with uneasy expectations. I wasn’t convinced that I was somewhere I should be. Sitting on the other side of Tristan was his best friend, Brody. The two of them apparently linked up when they were kids, long before meeting up with Madison and whatever this was. We were all some level of thief. Up until then I’d only gone after pockets and purses, never someone’s home.

But, this is how Tristan afforded a place to live in the city–that’s how they all did. I told myself and Tristan I’d give it a try. As we sat in the upscale neighborhood that housed only the successful and the lucky, only doubt swirled in my head.

“Are you ready?” Tristan asked with wide eyes. A smile took up the lower half of his face, reminding me where I’m there.

“I don’t know,” I said honestly.

“Then, maybe you shouldn’t. It will only get easier to do this. If you aren’t sure, don’t,” Brody said, keeping his voice low. Thick black glasses framed his hazel eyes that focused on me. I couldn’t help but feel guilty for being there. But, he was there too—and it wasn’t his first time.

“Leave her be, man,” Tristan said jabbing Brody in the waist with his elbow.

“I’m not being mean. I’m saying what’s real. It’s a choice.” Brody’s raspy voice cracked at the last few words. I was coming to know that Brody’s voice does crazy things when he’s passionate about something. Brody’s lips tightened into a straight line. My knees suddenly felt like a mixture of glass and jelly. I wasn’t sure why Brody was speaking up the way he was. Tristan’s hand around mine tightened, and he shot Brody a look that said drop it.

“Are you chickens ready to make a couple of bucks?” Madison said as she slowly passed a fireball the size of a marble, from hand to hand. Tristan’s skin shimmered, as he slowly faded away altogether. “Yep,” he said. The warmth of his hand was still around mine. The power of invisibility, you can be both present and not simultaneously. Brody’s body faded into the van floor gradually as he said his. Something else I was learning about Brody was he often phased through objects mid conversation. Once he is gone completely, the conversation was over.

The van doors slid open. I waited for a second.

“Come on,” Tristan whispered.

I slowly climbed out of the van the large, fancy houses seemed, even more, massive as I stood on foot. It had been so long since I had been in a true home.

“I’m ready,” I told Tristan.

Brody shook his head. I was annoyed. He barely knew me, and he was judging me for trying something he had been doing for awhile.

Madison was suddenly standing right next to me. I didn’t hear her move, but there she was. A fog of negativity lingered her life overused perfume. Her black hair looked more like a horses mane then someone’s hair. Her eyes showed no warmth. How could someone with the ability to conjure fire seem so cold?

“Don’t get in the way,” she said to me, only further supporting my opinion.

“I plan on helping,” I responded without giving it much thought. “Tristan told me my power would be helpful.”

“Caring too much about someone I worked with was one of the worse things I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of terrible things.” Her voice slid out in a tone that left me sure of where she was coming from.

“Stay here and wait for the signal. Brody and I are the first to go in,” Tristan whispered in my ear, then released my hand. Without being able to feel his touch, I had no concept of where he was in reference to me.

Doing What It Takes

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his soul, and that, I’m sure, is why he does it.” – Roald Dahl 

I had a rather productive day; more than most actually, though I thrive to be this productive creatively, every day. I’m nearing the end of working on book two of The Ruby Dawson Saga. I’ve been slaving away on getting it ready to send off next week. There is something exciting and nerve-wracking about knowing the words I’ve been stringing together over the last several months is going to be into someone else’s’ hands and subject to their opinions.

But, that is, of course, part the gig. Writing for a living is a bittersweet roller coaster filled with a mix of days ranging from; self-deprecating frustration to celebration and delusions of grandeur.

I needed to make a big push today, and I did everything I needed to do, and for that I’m jazzed. Lately, I feel like I’ve been walking a tightrope of anticipation. I’ve been tossing all these figurative balls in the air—all toward improving my career. For awhile now I’ve been busy adding this and that onto my todo list, all hoping it will amount to something. Now, I can sense it. I feel that I’m close to achieving my next big goals. Now I’m not exactly a patient person by nature, waiting for things—especially things I’m actively working on—is not an easy feat to me. When I want something, I want it now.

I’ve some managed to take the perspective one needs to make fairy houses sincerely and attribute it to how I earn a living.

That sentence: make a living causes indigestion. Anytime I read or watch something that brings out an urge to go there or enjoy more of it; I’m reminded why I do what I do. I love to enjoy stories. I thrive in a world where I’m creating them. The feeling I get when I’m introduced to a character that takes my breath away is one of my favorite. The tense spine I get from not knowing whether or not they are going to be okay, keeps me turning the page. The same goes for when I’m writing. I enjoy the creation just like I would reading a story for the first time.

It may sound silly worded this way, but, I believe in books and contributing to that world is what I do. It’s a grind at times, but always something I love.

 

 

The Highly Capable by Jayme Beddingfield

Thank you H.C. for such an awesome review of The Highly Capable! My day is made.

The Irresponsible Reader

The Highly CapableThe Highly Capable

by Jayme Beddingfield
Series:The Ruby Dawson Saga, Volume 1ePub, 157 pg.
Booktrope Editions, 2015

Read: February 9, 2016

If Jamie Schultz’s Arcane Underworld were an HBO show, this would be the TNT or USA Network equivalent (this is a description, not a criticism) — it’s not quite a gritty, or dark — but it deals with the same kind of characters, in similar pressures. A small group of criminals, augmented with magic/powers, who suddenly find themselves in waters far deeper than they were prepared for — and the fallout from that.

Ruby Dawson is telekenetic, her drug-addled boyfriend can turn invisible, her best friend, Brody can walk through walls, one other member of the team has super-strength and another can climb walls like a certain Web-Slinger. Their boss, Madison, is pyrokenetic (and a secretive control-freak, but that’s beside the point). Ruby used to be a…

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Fall For Castles in the Air

His eyes are so blue.
I don’t want to let him down, but I fear it’s destined.

Destiny?
I wish I could just grab onto the concept.
“You can,” said the wind or voice spoken in a whisper.
“At first, there was nothing then a burst of blue butterflies flapping their wings.
“It’s so important to believe. Magic counts on us as we rely on it. Like so much, we all too quickly misunderstand the importance of something we exist with.”
Bubbles have replaced the flapping of blue.
“Is this what it’s supposed to feel like?”
“The process is personal.”
“You could answer me with proper responses I’m more accustomed to!”
“What would be the fun in that?”
“Some, still I think.”
“I’m not certain.”
“Are we late?”
“Maybe.”
“Should we go?”
“Absolutely.”
The birds of blue and gold fly in circles about in the pink-painted sky. Whisper urge us to keep going.

The Sad Girl (Excerpt)

Chapter 1

24 May 2010

LIFE WAS PRETTY GOOD. I was eighteen months into my parole, and staying out of trouble. I had a job. Heck, I had my own company and the money that came with it. Not a lot at first, but it was finally starting to pick up. Who knew an ex-con could make money selling recovered police evidence and property? I had a girlfriend now, too, who accepted me with all the baggage that comes with a convicted felon. It almost couldn’t get better. Then I saw her.

It was odd that I even found her. Usually the departments I got stuff from were consistent about erasing files and such. I hardly ever double-checked them, just because they had gotten so consistent.

Even stranger was that there was a case number attached to her. That’s only about the third time it’d happened since I started Graybar Auctions. One department up in upstate New York had let some stuff slip through, but it was their first time shipping stuff to me. I’d been working with Westwood PD in Alabama, the department that sent this shipment to me, almost since the beginning. They’d helped me work out my rules, so they knew the drill. I shook my head.

I looked at the seventeen images on my screen for almost fifteen minutes. I think it was her eyes that sent me over the edge. Even Maria, my office assistant, commented on it.

“You know, I think that’s who that guy had in mind when he sang that line, ‘restless and reckless and lost.’”

She was pretty and young. Long blonde hair framed a small face in six photos. It was pulled back into pigtails in three, and in a single ponytail or braid in the rest. She wore three different outfits. The locations were unremarkable. Most were inside. Some showed her on a couch, and one showed her cooking. The outside shots looked posed, and could’ve passed for high school graduation photos, if she’d been old enough to graduate. She looked happy outside.

There was something haunting about her. The look in her eyes was distant and maybe a little bit sad. Maria’s comment about “Out of the Frying Pan” by Meat Loaf cued up the song in my head and I let it play mentally as I stared. “Restless and reckless and lost” fit her all too well. So did “the walking wounded and the living dead.” The resolution on the pictures was good enough that I could see she’d been crying in the last two.

I finally shook off the willies creeping up my spine, and checked out the forty other memory cards in the box. Took me an hour. I didn’t find anything else weird, which calmed me down. A little. There were two cameras, the cards, and some jewelry in the shipment. I stuffed everything into the safe in the backroom and got back to work.

The rest of the day seemed to fly in a blur. I saw all the outbound boxes piled by the backdoor waiting for UPS to pick them up, but I couldn’t tell you anything about any of the auctions. Usually something stuck in my head about each batch of stuff I sent out. I could tell you where a shipment was going, or something about my contact at one of the departments. Today, though, I was still stuck on The Sad Girl. Maria had named her that, and it fit.

-The Sad Girl by Bob Mueller

 

                   When you get right down to it, Bob Mueller
bobwrites about emotions. He finds them in his own experiences as a divorced father and family member of a sex abuse survivor, and from the people he meets. He puts himself in someone else’s shoes, and teases out their feelings. Blending that with bits and pieces of history and life experience, he crafts a story that might have been inspired by a song, or a news article. But it’s about emotions in the end.Born in north Texas and raised in southeastern Ohio, Bob is a member of Tulsa NightWriters and Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, a father of eight, and a pastor’s husband. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading (thrillers, historical fiction and non-fiction, and police procedurals), genealogy, and shooting.For more information, visit http://www.bobmuellerwriter.com

 

 

On Hold Considering My Familiar

“I wasn’t sure if you were going to come?” A young woman spoke. Her lips a wide and grateful grin. Her hazel eyes pierce him in the near dark world they were now in.

“I said I’d meet you here,” his voice trailing seconds slower than he intended. A shock and awe of being there in front of her shook him more than he imagined.

“I’ve been waiting for twenty-one years,” she says tugging at the ends of her dark curls, surprised at how reserved she’s behaving. Night after night while sleeping in the passage between the lights, granting wishes and hoping for freedom she pictured what it would be like when he was ready for their journey. Waiting is frowned upon, but she didn’t really have a choice. A destiny that is chosen and a destiny that is picked are two different adventures entirely. No, she knew what she wanted, and that’s how it would be. It didn’t matter how she had to wait.

“Well did you really want me to come any earlier?” His smile made everything snap into perspective as a lens whipped clean

“Well, no, I suppose not.” She picked at her badly chipped red-lacquered nails. “It’s been cold.”

He touches her face. “I’ve missed you terribly. It’s been too long since I’ve gotten to see your freckles.”

“My freckles? That’s what you miss?” Her nose wrinkled in a playful nature.

“I’ve missed a lot of things. Your freckles were the hook. They have a special meaning to me.” His hands are holding hers now. The last moments before seeing each other again fade into the nothing they always were. The ‘now’ and the ‘then’ weren’t thoughts that crossed their minds.

Different things matter where they were now.

A welcomed parade of stars chase their kings in the sky close enough to touch.

“Well, I guess we should get moving?” She glances at the road beyond the stars to the far left of the gully. Thousands of lavender plants grow wild causing the air to be thick this it’s calming sweetness. A bitter taste touches their tongues. Joy and sorrow meet in a line near the river but not past the mountains of the north.

“Where will we go first?” His whole face widens with excitement and wonder.

Guilt in her satisfaction tugged at her toes. “First we must go to the Forrest of Truths.”

“What happens there?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been here this whole time.”