SMOOTHIE

smoothie 200by Jane Elliot

Nothing much ever happens to Heather, until the day she’s innocently minding her own business when a bomb goes off – and she’s precipitated into the kind of adventure which in her world only happens to people on TV! Thankfully she’s about as prepared and resourceful as a girl can be, because all of a sudden she’s in the middle of a road movie along with an extraordinary woman named Natalie – the two of them running for their lives into and out of a mess of complicated situations in which nobody is ever quite what he or she might appear to be …

56000 words/204 pages
$5.95

Publication 1 August 2015

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“Female driven suspense novel with great action and dialogue and terrific character development. Highly recommended!”
Review by Delta at The Romance Reviews 17 September 2015

” … this is the first time I’ve seen the big screen in all its Technicolor, surround sound, and a pair of A-list actors brought from the big screen to the pages of a book.”
Review by Rainbow Awards judge at Reviews and Ramblings 28 October 2015

RAINBOW AWARDS 2015
HONOURABLE MENTION

“I just sat down and didn’t stop until the book was done.”
Review by Roberta at Love Bytes 7 November 2015

SAMPLE TEXT

It all started with a smoothie. In fact, the whole mess could be blamed on the smoothie. If Sweet Sal didn’t serve up such a ridiculously tasty Strawberry-Banana-Peach Sundae Smoothie, I would never have been tempted away from my latest diet and would never have been anywhere near South Beach when the bomb went off, which meant I’d never have met Natalie, never gotten shot at, never been on the run from the police, and never ripped out my own heart and stomped on it.

Hard to believe such an innocuous treat could be blamed for so much.

Maybe I should back up a bit. My name is Heather George. I’m 5’9″, have long black hair, small brown eyes, a whole lot more weight than I care to think about, and, if anyone cares, I’m a Libra. I work as an administrative assistant at South Seas Cruise Lines, where I spend most of my time sitting around waiting for people to give me work and surreptitiously reading British classics online. I have no social life, in large part due to the fact that my IQ is just high enough for me to be completely without social skills while simultaneously making me as geeky as a woman working at a cruise line company in Miami can possibly be, which means I spend a lot of time chatting with people online and writing stories featuring my favorite TV show characters.

The one bit of excitement in my life comes from my imagination, which tends to come alive right when I most desperately want to sleep, providing an assortment of random what-if scenarios. On the one hand, this means I have chronic insomnia. On the other hand, if I ever get shoved out of a plane without a parachute, I already have a plan in place. And I pity the fool who tries to pull me out of my car and attack me at a rest stop. I have a hammer and I plan to aim for the knees.

On the day of the bombing, I was waiting in line at Sweet Sal’s cart and contemplating what I would do if I got attacked by sharks. It wasn’t a terribly interesting scenario, because — unlike falling out of an airplane without a parachute, for example — there wasn’t much I could do other than take a deep breath before going under and then doing my best to poke the shark’s eyes out. Hopefully the shark would be disoriented enough to let me go. In reality, I’d probably be dead.

I was just making a mental note to myself to practice holding my breath more in the future when the car bomb went off.

Of course, I didn’t know it was a bomb at the time. All I knew was that something slammed into my side, knocking me to the ground. A split second later sound and heat caught up: an ear-shattering boom and a sudden scorching burn overwhelmed my senses and for a stretch of time I couldn’t see or hear anything at all.

When I picked myself up off the ground, I was in the middle of chaos. Less than thirty feet away was a conflagration that had already consumed three cars. Black smoke billowing out of the flames filled the air with an oily, acrid stench. All around me were people: some wandering around looking stunned, some running around looking panicked, and a few lying on the ground, unconscious or worse. Most of them were bleeding and I could see at least two with broken limbs. Making things even more terrifying was the fact that I couldn’t hear anything aside from a high-pitched buzzing, despite the fact that I could see several people screaming.

A hot, stinging liquid dripped into my eye and I swiped at it irritably, only to have my hand come back stained with blood. I cursed, I think, though I couldn’t even hear myself, and probed my forehead. From the amount of blood dripping down there had to be a significant cut there, but I couldn’t feel anything. Further investigation found a nasty wound on the underside of my wrist where my fall had scraped away a large patch of skin. It wasn’t bleeding heavily and I could barely feel it, but I knew from experience that it would hurt like hell once sensation returned.

I don’t know how long I stood there, feeling overwhelmed, before it eventually occurred to me that I had a first aid kit in the trunk of my car. Feeling like I was sleepwalking through water, I made my way past several cars with blown out windows before finding my aging Saturn, blessedly intact. Still numb, I fumbled my keys twice before I managed to separate out the car key and get it into the trunk lock.

I’d just barely managed to find the first aid kit when I felt myself shoved again. As I tumbled forward into the trunk, I caught a glimpse of a lean, coltish woman with dirty blonde hair and bright green eyes shoving my legs into the trunk after my body. Then the trunk lid slammed shut and I found myself trapped in darkness.

Now, I’ll admit I’d never before considered a scenario where I found myself less than thirty feet away from a car bomb on South Beach. Being locked in my own trunk, on the other hand, was a subject I’d given considerable thought. Unfortunately, I hadn’t really considered the dimensions of my trunk or myself when I was coming up with my daring escape plan. If I was at the same weight I’d been in high school, I might have been able to turn around and get to the lights. Ten years of too much pizza and chocolate had taken their toll, however, and at my current size I had about as much chance of flipping over in the trunk as I did of spontaneously turning into Superwoman and punching my way free.


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