My new book “Time Snap” just came out and I couldn’t be more excited about it. (And I can’t get enough of that cover!) I ran into some problems with the actual publishing (the fact that I just had shoulder surgery and have to do all my work one-handed hasn’t helped), but now that the wrinkles have been ironed out, I thought you might like to see an excerpt:
CHASE’S KNEES SAGGED like they’d turned to Jell-O. As the lightning died away the outline of the big rex melted again into the darkness. But looking up, Chase imagined he could still see the dull gleam of the animal’s enormous yellow teeth.
The rex growled as if thinking, I’ve got you now!
Chase felt fear squeeze his heart like an icy hand. He knew they only had one chance to get away, and that there was no room for mistakes.
“Klorel, Zach … run!”
They didn’t need to be told twice. The next instant Klorel and Zach were sprinting through the trees with Chase hot on their heels. The big rex bellowed … angrily? Hungrily? Chase couldn’t tell—didn’t care—as he raced after his friends.
Klorel tripped on a root and fell flat on her face. Not missing a beat—as smoothly as if they’d practiced it a thousand times—Chase and Zach reached down as they passed, grabbed her by the arms, and pulled her to her feet.
They still had a chance to escape. But Zach suddenly became tangled in the roots and fell hard enough the air gushed from his lungs in a loud hooff! Chase turned to help just as the rex burst from the trees. The tyrannosaur lunged and Zach rolled away just as a massive foot thumped into the mud, exactly where he’d been a second earlier.
Chase cringed and darted to the side as the tyrannosaur bellowed. The rex whipped around as if searching for its prey and Chase saw the great tail swinging toward him. He ducked just as the tail lashed the air, felt a whoosh! as it passed over him.
The tyrannosaur darted forward and snapped at something in the brush, the huge jaws slamming together with a crack like a gunshot. There was a wet crunch—
Chase felt his stomach heave, knowing Klorel had been in that direction.
—and the great head rose over the trees, leafy limbs and branches dangling from its jaws.
Outraged at having missed its prey, the rex turned and lunged again. Chase dove aside as a massive foot came crashing down, just missing him. He scrambled to his feet then instantly ducked again as the tail whipped by over his head.
The tyrannosaur obviously knew Chase—or someone, or several someones—was there, hidden in the brush. But in the rain and the darkness and the thickness of the brush, it didn’t know exactly where.
The rex bellowed, stamping a foot into the mud so hard it shook the ground. Mud flew through the air and splattered Chase like a school bus splashing through a puddle.
The tyrannosaur wheeled around and snapped at the brush. Chase had lost track of Zach and Klorel—didn’t know which way they’d gone—but couldn’t help thinking they were right there, beneath the rex. He reeled back, hot bile rising in his throat, certain the rex had gotten one of them.
The dinosaur crunched down again—the huge jaws cracking together—then whipped its head back and forth, shredding its prize into pieces. Chase saw leaves and branches flying from its mouth, but the rex didn’t seem to realize it had missed the real treat. It shook its head and stamped the mud, then abruptly wheeled around again. Chase dropped and rolled to avoid a clawed-foot, then instantly had to roll the other way to miss the other one. The tyrannosaur was thrashing around like it was covered with biting ants, and Chase was right beneath it, scrambling back and forth and trying to avoid being mashed into the mud.
A great foot crashed down and part of a massive claw caught Chase across the leg, pinning him to the ground. Chase cried out in pain, but the claw moved and Chase wiggled free, the dinosaur not knowing he was right there. Chase army-crawled through the mud, realizing he wasn’t just in danger from the terrible teeth and jaws. He was just as likely to be squashed flat by a massive foot or batted into outer space by the whipping tail.
He reached the trees and scrambled to his feet, wanting to run, but was afraid the rex would see him. He knew his best bet was to stay out of the dinosaur’s line of sight while trying to avoid being trampled, batted, beaten, or eaten.
The rex lunged at something in the brush, and Chase darted behind the trunk of a thick tree. He watched the dinosaur stomp back and forth for another moment, then took a step back from the clearing. And then another.
Finally, when he was sure he was out of sight, he turned and ran deeper into the trees. He ran for several minutes, then turned and angled in the direction of the jet. He hoped Zach and Klorel—if they’d gotten away—would be doing the same.
He could still hear the tyrannosaur thrashing about in the trees. But the animal didn’t seem as enraged as it had been before.
As if accepting that—for now—its prey had escaped.
Crazy, disturbing thoughts raced through Chase’s mind as he slogged through the trees.
A million different animals to choose from, and it finds us again, Chase thought. He
winced as a wet branch whipped across his face. It’s almost like it’s looking for us. Like it’s tracking us. But … how?
Some kind of wild dinovision?
Rogue reptilian radar?
A strange thought began tickling the back of his brain. He sensed the big rex wasn’t just looking for a quick snack. It seemed more like a dog chasing a ball while the kids played keep-away.