Friday, July 26, 2013

M Pepper Langlinais: The K-Pro Excerpt #1

The excerpts today come from M Pepper Langlinais. Her novel The K-Pro is about the ancient Roman and Greek gods and goddesses. Come back at noon central time for another excerpt!

The K-Pro Excerpt:
“What’s wrong with David?” Mac was wondering aloud.

From where he stood monitoring the video assist, Craig came alert. “Sir?”

“I wasn’t asking you,” Mac told him. He turned expectantly to Andra, “You’re old friends, right? Anything going on with him?”

Andra shifted uncomfortably against the canvas on which she sat. “Well . . .” She drew the word out in an attempt to buy herself time to think. “You know, I came out to see him because . . .” And here she let the words hang; she didn’t have anything more to say.

Of course, Mac filled in the open air with his own assumptions. And if Craig was paying attention to what was being said—or not being said—neither Andra nor Mac noticed.

Whatever conclusion Mac reached, he didn’t voice it, only sighed. Then, cupping his hands around his mouth, he shouted, “David! Wake up and focus! Mr. Hastings is an energetic character, and you’re playing him like a narcoleptic!”

David looked over, nodded his understanding, stepped back to his mark. And while Andra detected a fair amount of determination in his face, she saw traces of the forlorn as well.

“Let me talk to him,” she said, slipping out of the chair.

“Hey!” Craig called after her, then realized his seat was finally free. He hurried to reclaim it while Mac’s attention remained on the woman crossing the set to where the actors stood waiting for cue.

“Andra, darling, has Mac added you to the cast?” Alfred asked as she stopped short in front of David.

“Who’s this?” Liz asked.

“Old friend of David’s. And Mac’s, too, apparently.” Alfred’s lips stretched like a snake uncoiling as he looked to their visitor. “You just know all kinds of interesting people, don’t you?”

She ignored him. “What do you want?” she asked David, alarmed at the desperate tone she heard in her own voice.

David only blinked, a small frown on his face.

“Just tell me or let me go,” Andra pleaded.

But David’s brow furrowed as he shook his head. He felt as if he had static between his ears. “I don’t . . .”

“Shouldn’t we finish this shot?” asked Liz.

“Yes, David,” said Alfred, “tell her you want to finish this scene so we can get in out of the heat.”

“Would it help you concentrate if I weren’t here?” Andra asked.

Unable now to think at all with her standing there, those green eyes on him making him dizzy and nauseous, David started to bring his hands to his face, was startled when something prevented them from getting there. A bolt ran through him as he realized Andra had taken his hands in hers.

“Your makeup,” she said by way of explanation. Froze. Something was wrong. Andra heard it like a rolling thunder, going so far as to turn her eyes briefly to the empty summer sky in search of signs of an unexpected storm.

But of course there was nothing. The sky was a clear, blank expanse of blue.

So Andra looked again at David, whose dark blue eyes were digging into her in a way that made her distinctly uncomfortable.

Wait. Dark blue? If there was one thing everyone knew about David Styles, it was that his eyes were a bright, light blue. The color of a Caribbean sea. Or the Mediterranean, depending on which magazine you read. In any case, not this strange slate color.

Meaning to let go of David’s hands, Andra started to draw back and away, but he closed his fingers and held on.

“I want my key back, Katie.”

For Andra, the words were like a crack of lighting splitting the world in two, complete with the high-pitched howling of a wickedly cold wind. Her breath stopped in her chest and she rocked on her feet; the only thing that kept her from falling outright was David’s unrelenting grip.

“That’s not the line,” Liz said, and the spell was broken. Andra used the moment to pull her hands free, and at the loss of her touch David blinked like a man waking from a dream. All at once he had a blazing headache. He reached again for his face but stopped himself short of touching it, eyeing Andra all the while.

For her part, Andra watched David’s eyes clear, the darkness parting from them like rainclouds breaking open to allow daylight to shine through. And somewhere in the back of her mind, the screaming stopped again. “Alfred’s right,” she said when she realized everyone was still staring at her, “It’s hot out here. I’m going . . .” She didn’t finish the sentence, merely beat a hasty retreat.

Also by M Pepper Langlinais:
St. Peter in Chains
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Last Line
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of Ichabod Reed
The World Ends at Five and Other Stories

and coming soon:

St. Peter at the Gate

Find them and The K-Pro at:

And follow M on her site at and on Twitter @sh8kspeare

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