I agreed to help with the blog tour for Matthew Cox’s YA debut, Caller 107, a contemporary paranormal novel. Submitted for your approval is an excerpt from Chapter Two.
Her collective of friends on the front stoop enjoyed a communal wince at the noise; a few whispers of ‘what the fuck are you doing’ made it through the paralytic pain. Fear of Traci being wrong, that someone was still here and was now awake, got her to her feet. Fear of the flashing light got her moving. She unlatched the door, pinching it through her sleeves. Kevin yanked it open and dragged her out onto the porch.
“For a little bitch, you make a shitload of noise.”
“Sorry.” She got snotty. “Who puts a fucking Oriental rug on hardwood without a pad? Shot right out from under me.”
Yeah, I sound like a street kid.
He hauled her down two steps. “You stay right here. You see anything weird, you come running in and warn us. We go out the back.”
Her urgent eyes grew wide. “Hey, there’s―”
Kevin shoved her out of the way, sending her over the porch railing. The stone to the gut knocked the words right out of her, and nauseous guilt kept them gone. Before she could breathe again, the lot of them had disappeared inside, pulling the door closed behind them. Trembling, she meandered onto the sidewalk, cupping sleeve-covered hands over her mouth to warm icy fingers. A lone taxi drove past; she turned her face away before the headlights hit her.
She tasted meatball Hot Pockets again.
What am I doing? Dad can’t make this go away. Even if Rosario is a drug dealer, this is still B&E. From fear, she could resist the shakes. From cold, she could resist the shiver. From both, she succumbed.
Would he even bother to try?
A thud came from the second floor window. She drew a sharp breath, tasting the basement dust from her coat. At least she muffled the yelp. Natalie leaned against the stone railing, gazing at the shadows adrift in the windows. This sort of thing felt much more exciting on TV; being in it sucked.
Nat… They wanna give you drugs. They wanna get you fucked up so you drop your pants and they all take a turn. They are going to get you put in jail. She managed a snarl, thinking about her mother. Her nerves came under control, and she stopped shaking. Serves you right, Mom.
Glimmering red and blue lights invaded the dark one block down. Her legs went to jelly. Silent alarm. She took a step back, thankful the building they chose was right next to an alley. Before the police car nosed around the corner, she bolted into the night. Natalie did not think about where she was going―she had no idea.
About Caller 107
When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.
Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.
Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.
Before her parents ruined that too.
Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.
About Matthew Cox
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.
Caller 107 Giveaways
We’re running a couple of giveaways for Caller 107.