Saturday, January 4, 2014

Outtakes - Human-Trafficking thriller, On the Pineapple Express

Since On the Pineapple Express, an inspirational thriller about human trafficking, is out on the Kindle and the full release is only a few weeks away, I'm letting my readers see parts of the story that were cut for various reasons. I'm trying to avoid any spoilers. The prologue was cut because we cut the point-of-view for Katie Lloyd, a beautiful, bright, athletic 15-year-old. Without further ado, here is Katie in the deleted prologue to On the Pineapple Express, sequel to Hide and Seek:

Friday, October 25, 3:50 PM

Katie Lloyd sighed with relief as she stepped from the sidewalk, across the rock border, and onto the lawn in front of her home—her new foster home. By taking back streets on her way home from school, she managed to avoid the harassment which had plagued her for the past two years. Many of the boys tormented her with crude remarks, wolf whistles, and constant leering. Her appearance had attracted this unwanted kind of attention since she turned thirteen.
When a shrill whistle pierced her ears, she stopped. Dustin, the obnoxious freshmen from next door, was ogling her with his head propped up on the cedar fence between the two houses. More than once he had tried to peep through her bedroom window. That wasn’t going to happen again.
Katie jumped back to the rock border, stooped, and grabbed an egg-sized rock. Putting her whole body into the throw, her well-trained, throwing arm cracked like a whip.
Dustin ducked behind the fence when an eighty-mile-per-hour fastball parted his hair. The rock flew across the neighbor’s yard. A loud crack sounded when it broke a board loose from the fence at the far side of the yard.
Katie pursed her lips and shook her head. Too bad his nose wasn't there when the rock arrived.
As she walked toward the front door, she stared at it for a few seconds. Her stomach knotted and her smile morphed to a frown. She wasn’t safe even behind that door. Everybody needed somewhere they could feel safe.
But nobody gets everything they need.
She had almost made it home without any—
Tires grated on pavement as a vehicle braked hard. Katie turned toward the street, where a minivan with dark windows came to a stop in front of her house. The passenger-side window slid down, and she recognized Anya, a new girl at school. More than just a new girl, Anya was the only person who had tried to befriend Katie since she started school in September.
"Hey, Katie, I heard something at school today I thought you should know."
Katie took a step toward the van. "What's that?"
"You don’t want this broadcast to the whole neighborhood. Come here and I'll tell you."
Was this about another stalker? She walked across the lawn toward the van, wishing she was ugly and obese.
Well, at least ugly. That wouldn't keep me from making the varsity softball team.
"Come on, Katie. This is good news." Anya motioned for Katie to step closer.
She stopped near Anya's open window. "OK. What's so important you needed someone to drive you over here to tell me?"
Anya waved her closer. "This is for your ears only. You'll understand when you hear it."
Katie rested her forearms on the base of the open window. "Here I am. So—"
With a quick, deft movement, Anya hooked both hands inside Katie's collar and pulled her against the vehicle. Katie gasped. The side door slid open. "What are you—"
Two large arms shot out of the door and vice-like hands clamped the front and back of her head. The hand on the front sealed Katie's mouth.
Her heart pounded out the tempo of panic. The hand smothered her. She ripped at it using all her strength, but powerful arms yanked her into the back of the van.
The back seats had been removed. Realizing that, her panic deepened. The door slammed shut.
Katie tried to roll, wiggle free, kick, pound on the vehicle, scream—anything to attract attention. The large, meaty hand still covered her mouth, clamping it so tightly she couldn’t bite. Something restrained her arms, pulling them behind her, cutting into her wrists. A knee pushed into her back, forcing the air from her lungs. Another set of hands shoved her head into the floor of the van.
The van took off and a gravelly voice spoke. "Go to sleep my blond-haired, blue-eyed princess."
Katie tried to keep her wits about her. She tried to think of a way to escape, but the second set of hands clamped like giant pliers on both sides of her neck. When someone squeezed the pliers, her vision and her thoughts became fuzzy. Katie’s mind screamed a silent plea for help...

If you don't want to read the e-book, the full release, including printed copies, is scheduled for February 28.
The subject of human trafficking is treated carefully without being overly graphic. I would even recommend this book to my 14-year-old granddaughter. It's a sad commentary on our society that we have to warn our kids about these very real dangers they could encounter at the mall, on a street corner by their school, anywhere kids gather ... but we do. We must!
You can read more about my writing on The Barn Door Book Loft:


  1. This sounds fantastic. How can I enter the giveaway? Thanks!

  2. Melissa, Just leave your e-mail address (so I can contact you if you win) on today's blog post. You commented on an older post. Here's the link: Release Day On the Pineapple Express
    There are links to 4 other blogs where giveaways for the book are also underway, plus you'll see links to the book trailer and other info.