Indie Author Spotlight – Teshelle Combs and “The System”

Indie Author Spotlight – Teshelle Combs and “The System”

I’ve got another fantastic indie author for you to meet this morning…say hello to Teshelle Combs…

TCombs Author

Teshelle Combs is the award winning author of the YA action/romance novel, ‘The System,” and contemporary fantasy novel, “Core.” She’s one of those crazies who majored in English in college and works as a full-time writer.  Teshelle grew up in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and currently lives with her musico hubby, Nate Combs, and their baby boy, Jaxter in Cape Coral, FL.

You can follow her at:

  • Email: teshellecombs@gmail.com

 

And here’s her book!

cover!

1 + 1 = Dead.

That’s the only math that adds up when you’re in the System.

Everywhere Nick turns, he’s surrounded by the inevitability of his own demise at the hands of the people who stole his life from him. That is, until those hands deliver the bleeding, feisty, eye-rolling Nessa Parker. Tasked with keeping his new partner alive, Nick must face all the ways he’s died and all the things he’s forgotten.

Nessa might as well give up. The moment she gets into that car, the moment she lays her hazel eyes on her new partner, her end begins. It doesn’t matter that Nick Masters can slip through time by computing mathematical algorithms in his mind. It doesn’t matter how dark and handsome and irresistibly cold he is. Nessa has to defeat her own shadows.

Together and alone, Nick and Nessa make sense of their senseless fates and fight for the courage to change it all. Even if it means the System wins and they end up…well…dead.

You can buy it on Amazon – just CLICK HERE!   Her first book, “Core”, is also available on Amazon.

And here’s an excerpt for you!

From Chapter 6: Nick Masters

My dream was perfect terror.

I was reliving it, every minute of it, all of it. My knees buckled when I saw Travis, his hair clutched between Collins’ fingers. His eyes were wide, his mouth open as he gasped for air. His freckles stood out boldly against his face, the color draining from it. I screamed when Collins brought his fist down into his face. The blood was dark red as it leaked from his nose. Then Collins lifted the pistol to his forehead.

I clawed at the glass that was keeping him from me. Glass. A pathetic sheet of glass. That was all that held me back. Enough for me to see him, too much for me to get through.

I begged. God, I begged. “Please, God. Not him. Me instead. Please, me instead.” And I shattered the glass, just in time. My hand reached through the shards, ripping a hole that I could fit through. Just in time.

Then the gentle click of the trigger.

I knew I was screaming for real. I knew I wasn’t back at the annex and that I had been dreaming. I knew I was lying on the floor between the beds in our motel. But reality couldn’t stop the sound from tearing through my throat.

I sat up so fast that I knocked the lamp off the table behind me. Air was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t get enough of it into my lungs at once. I heard Nessa shouting, trying to hold on to me, trying to get me to calm down. Then the vomit took over. I leaned forward as it came, wishing I could quit heaving, quit puking.

I got to the bathroom as fast as I could and buried my face in the tap water. I brushed my teeth until my gums bled. I didn’t dare look at myself in the mirror that hung over the sink, because I knew it wouldn’t be me looking back. Instead, I searched for my store of the solution I’d made, fumbled my vial a couple times and retrieved it from the sink. Finally, added just a drop to each eye. The familiar burn didn’t make Travis’ face look any farther away. I could still see it every time I blinked. Just a sheet of glass between us. I touched the scar that ran from the tip of my middle finger all the way to my elbow. Somehow it had never healed. It never would.

The longer I lived, the closer to hell I sunk. My whole life was quicksand, every decision a move that left me one ounce of air left to breathe. I tried to search myself for what I thought remorse was supposed to feel like. I should have been crying. I should have been ripping my hair out of my scalp for what I did to Holden. But all I felt was silence in the pit of my stomach. There was nothing left. None of me left to give to Holden’s memory. The System had taken it all when they took Travis.

The sun was threatening to rise when I ventured out of the bathroom. The vomit I’d left behind was pretty much gone. It couldn’t have been Chloe or Mia who’d cleaned it up, since they were both passed out drunk on one of the beds, their arms tangled together, mascara streaked down both of their faces. I wondered if they knew.

My partner didn’t say a word. The curtains parted, she was looking out the window as the sky turned from black to gray. I wondered if she thought it was beautiful. Then, I wondered if she thought she was beautiful.

When she heard me behind her, she didn’t tell me I was messed up or that I needed help. She didn’t jump or gasp or flinch or run. Instead, she leaned back into me, just a little, just enough for me to rest my chin against her hair.

She let the curtain fall closed as she turned and pressed against me. She slid her arms over mine and buried her face against my neck. So I traced her spine with my hands, feeling the smooth skin beneath her t-shirt, hoping I wasn’t hurting her. She touched her lips to my bullet wound and the smallest shock of cold pain followed her, then. I moved her in closer to me, tasted her as the seconds raced by.

She pulled away just as I did, as though we both knew we didn’t mean it. I was surprised that my heart was thudding so hard against my chest. I had to clear my throat, focus on something else, something that didn’t look and feel like her.

I took Holden’s lighter and shook a cigarette loose from the pack. Then I stepped out onto the balcony and watched the smoke curl into the yellow-gray sky. I hoped it would calm me down. Instead, I felt the world tilt a little, like the ground was suddenly uneven. I had made a mistake just then. I could feel it in every bit of me. But it was the good kind of mistake. The worse kind. The kind that made a person want to do it just one more time.

After a few minutes, Nessa stepped outside with me. I handed her my cigarette and she exhaled a steady stream of smoke. Two more drags and she handed it back.

“I hate smoking,” she said. She sat on the edge of the railing, too high up for most people’s comfort. A breeze could knock her right over, and she’d fall to her death. She didn’t look worried though, so I didn’t worry either. A sigh slipped away from her as she kicked her heel against the railing.

“That was a really stupid thing we did in there,” she said

My reply wasn’t coming, and she knew that, so she left me standing on the balcony alone, watching my own smoke diffuse through the air. The ruffle of sheets meant she was in bed and I tried not to imagine what she looked like laying there, her hair spilling across the pillow.

That’s when I knew.  I knew it was too late.

 

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