I gotta read every day. Can’t seem to help myself. I usually have two or three books going … one on my Kindle so I can read before I call it a night, one on my back porch … because it is important to read in the summer with the breeze cutting through the screens, and one in the living room, as a good thriller beats mediocre television any day.
So when Echo asked me to host a blog stop for a new book, I figured I better order the book — Hellfire — and start reading it. HEY! I’m enjoying it. Nice writing, nifty characters … new author for me to follow–Michelle Schad. Evolved is the next in the series. Striking covers, great concept.
I am going to post an excerpt here, so you can consider adding this author to your list. And when I’m done work today, I’m going back to read the rest of this marvelous book. They’re a perfect size for reading in two nights.
About the Book:
For many, the United States is a land of opportunity and new beginnings – unless you happen to be ‘different’ from everyone else. Hadi Shahir is one of those people, different in more ways than one. Hadi can manipulate fire; he is ‘Evolved’.
All he wants is a new life and new adventures in this land of opportunity. His dreams become endless nightmares, however, that begin with an inexplicable hate crime that leaves the young man traumatized and untrusting of the world around him. A chance encounter with a pretty face cracks that shell, showing him that not everyone in Chicago is out to get him until a rash of violent, deadly fires breaks out around the city.
Suddenly, all eyes focus on Hadi when too many coincidences bring his abilities to the forefront. In a matter of moments, Hadi jumps to the top of the AEC’s most-wanted list. His quiet life as a bartender quickly turns into a tangled mess of chaos, lies, and murder that drag the entire city of Chicago down in flames with the remnants of Hadi’s ruined life.
Excerpt, the opening scene:
He coughed, choking on the rainwater that streamed down the sides of his broken nose. Each droplet dripped down the back of his throat along with the copper tang of his own blood.
He took another gut punch to the stomach, curling in over the steel toe that delivered the painful blow. He wretched into the puddle beneath him, groaning pitifully after. The kicks continued, bruising his ribs, his sides and hips, his chest and back until he no longer had the strength to keep them away. Instead, he lay there, dead to the world around him, numb to the pain and hateful words spewed at him.
The nightmare shattered like a broken window.
A violent hissing replaced the thunderous sound of falling rain. The taste and smell of copper evaporated into the odor of melting plastic.
“Get up!” someone barked in Arabic. The pain of the nightmare still lingered, but something about the barked order made Hadi Shahir’s limbs move, made him sit up and force his eyes open. Half of his room was on fire.
“Shit,” he cursed, immediately absorbing the flames into the palm of his hand. It burned the skin, reminding him of his curse. “Saleh, I’m sorry I-”
“You are late for work,” his cousin, Saleh, said heavily. “Mary already called. She is waiting for you.”
Hadi watched Saleh walk away with the fire extinguisher still in hand. The white foam was everywhere. There was absolutely nothing left of the television that once sat atop Hadi’s dresser. He could hear Nima, Saleh’s wife, asking if everything was all right as Saleh left the room and their baby girl crying from all the commotion Hadi caused.
The nightmare was the same every night.