Ninie Hammon’s Blog for Readers

Sneak Peek of The Knowing, Book Two

Posted: March 10, 2016, 7:27PM

         

 Excerpt from THE KNOWING: BOOK TWO

"Where's Becca?"

 

That's what the demons wanted to know.

They sent a shooter into an elementary school to find out.

They attacked a dying man in a hospital, chased a police officer through burning warehouses and killed Emily Burke--all to find out the answer to a simple question: Where's Becca?

The demons never got an answer to their question, though, and neither did the readers of Book One of The Knowing. But that question is finally answered in the second book--and you can read about it here in this excerpt.

          The Knowing is a trilogy--three books that tell a single story that's too big to tell in one. It's not a continuing series, a saga where the characters continue in book after book. Instead, it is one big story with a beginning (Book One), a middle (Book Two) and an end (Book Three). Book One of the trilogy was published last fall and I am working on Book Two now for a release sometime this spring. I'm hoping to release the third book around Halloween.

         Before Book One was published, I posted two blogs that contained excerpts from the book. Readers LOVED it. So I promised I would do the same thing, give readers a sneak peek, of Book Two as soon as I could. Finding just the right excerpt is not as easy as it might seem. What you share with readers before a book is published must:

       1. Whet a reader’s appetite.

       2. Give them a glimpse at the plot/style/tone of the book.

       3. NOT give away key information that will become a spoiler when they read the book.

          I believe I've found a selection of the story that will meet all that criteria. It will certainly be engaging to those who've read Book One because it answers one of the essential "dangling" elements in the first book. In this excerpt, you will find out: Where's Becca? 

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the                                  authorities, against the powers of this dark world.

                                                The Bible, Ephesians 6:12

                

  There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

                                                    William Shakespeare 

                                                            

                  The Devil went down to Georgia, lookin' for a soul to steal.

                                                        Charlie Daniels 

 

 

                            THE KNOWING:
                               BOOK TWO

                                      By Ninie Hammon 

          Becca Hawkins opened her eyes to darkness so thick she had to reach up and feel her eyelids to be sure they weren’t still closed. She was lying on lumps of something and one of the somethings was poking into her back at such a painful angle that it might have been what woke her. Or not. She’d once walked across shards of glass from a window she’d broken to get into a house and if that wouldn’t wake you up, what would? She hadn’t felt a thing. At the time anyway. She’d felt it later, though. Still felt it when she re-lived it. That was the horror of flashbacks and night terrors. You didn’t just remember pain, you felt it all over again just as you had the first time. That’s why she screamed. Who wouldn’t scream walking across broken glass?

            Of course, the old woman in the bunk next to hers at the shelter hadn’t looked at it quite the same way, just complained that Becca was keeping her awake, was disturbing everybody, as a matter of fact, so they’d kicked her out on the street where she’d had to walk up and down the sidewalk in front of the soup kitchen until it opened at daylight, afraid if she sat still she’d freeze to death. But even that, even walking in the rags of a coat in the bitter cold, her nose running and then freezing on her upper lip, even that was better than reliving the bottoms of both feet cut open with glass stuck so deep it took an emergency room doctor an hour to find all the shards and thirty-two stitches to close the wounds.

            She closed her eyes, hoping that the lumpy, leather-stink place was a flashback and she really was sound asleep on the army cot in the little room off the kitchen where the cook had said she could sleep until she made enough money to get her own place. Right. Like she’d ever be able to get her own place!

            But when she opened her eyes again, she was still there in lumpy darkness. Only now she had figured out where. She was in a closet. Whose closet? Well, a thing like that was hard to say just judging from the generalized stink of a person’s sneakers.

            The closet door was suddenly flung open and a shaft of brilliant light split open the darkness. Becca squinted, couldn’t see anything in the glare. But she could hear just fine. 

            “Right there,” said an indignant woman’s voice. “That filthy vagrant … homeless person … whatever it’s politically correct to call her kind … it is right there, curled up in a ball in my closet!”

            She heard men’s voices, the scuffle of feet, and then large hands reached down, grabbed her arm and dragged her out into the light.

            The closet hadn’t been in the woman’s bedroom. That was a good thing, Becca thought. She’d likely be in more trouble if she’d broken into some woman’s house. This was clearly some kind of storage shed, which meant she’d probably only had to push up an unlocked window—or break out the glass!—to slip in from outside. She didn’t bother to try to remember what it was she’d done. She’d long since given up trying to remember. She just accepted that she’d gone to sleep somewhere and had awakened somewhere else. Badda boom, badda bing. Where she might have been or what she might have done in between going to sleep and waking up she had no idea.

            “…doing here?”

            A man standing behind the one who’d dragged her out of the closet was speaking to her. She turned toward him and her heart sank. A cop.

            “I don’t care what she’s doing here,” the indignant woman said. “I just want her gone—right now.”

            “Ma’am, you’ll have to come along with me,” the police officer told Becca, took her arm and lead her out of the building. Once outside, Becca saw that it was a detached garage and that a window on one side stood open.

            “Are you arresting me?” she asked.

            “You’ll know I’m arresting you when I tell you I’m arresting you.”.

            “How can it be called breaking and entering when I didn’t break anything,” she said as he propelled her toward a cruiser parked at the curb.

            “There’s the entering part.”

            “That window was open,” she lied. Or maybe she didn’t. Maybe it had been open. “I was just trying to get in out of the rain.”

            They’d reached the car by then and the officer stopped and faced her. “I’m taking you in. A jail cell is warm and dry and they’ll feed you something that bears a resemblance to real food.” He looked her up and down. “You’re not going to make it if you stay out here.”

            She wouldn’t make it if he put her in there.

            “Please don’t lock me up,” she said. “Can’t you just give me a ticket or something, some kind of citation. I’ll show up in court, I swear I will.” Another lie.

            “Don’t, worry,” he said, “you’ll get out before the DT’s get too bad. What else you hooked on besides booze?”

             Becca never drank, not a drop, had never even “experimented” with drugs. Her life was hard enough sober. What it might be like to experience her reality in some kind of dopey state where she had no defenses at all—no, she’d pass on that one, thank you very much.

            Might as well run the truth up the flagpole and see if anybody’d salute. “I’m not hooked on anything. I just can’t be locked up. Please.”

            He looked more closely at her, perhaps saw that her pupils weren’t dilated and she was steady on her feet and didn’t smell like cheap wine or mouthwash.

            “You’ve stopped taking your meds then. Nobody does what you did without some serious mental issues.”

            What did I do?

            “Either way, you broke the law. I could get you on the breaking and entering charge, vandalism, destruction of public property, terroristic threatening”—what had she done?—but I’m just listing the ‘least egregious’, vagrancy, on the arrest report so you’ll go to district court instead of circuit court. They’ll cut you loose on Monday.”

            “What’s today?”

            “Friday.”

            She couldn’t be locked in a jail cell for three days! She had to keep moving, running or he’d find her.

            “You don’t understand, I—”

            “What’s your name?”

            Becca hesitated.

            “Your real name.”

            “Becca Hawkins.” She hadn’t meant to tell him that, but he’d caught her off guard before she had time to make something up.

            “Now, I am arresting you. I said I’d tell you.” Then he began to recite the mantra. “Rebecca Hawkins, you—”

            “It’s Becca, just Becca.”

            It’s not short for anything or long for anything or a substitute for anything. It just is.

           Who always said that? Jack. He told people that—teachers and grownups—when they didn’t get her name right. For some reason, it always upset him when people got her name wrong.

            “--to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right—“

            “Don’t I have the right to remain sane? You put me in a box and he’ll come for me.”

            “--to an attorney and to have an attorney present before questioning. If you cannot afford an—”

            “I look to you like I can afford a lawyer?”

            “—attorney, one will be appointed for you by the court. Do you understand—?”

            “You’re the one who doesn’t understand. If I don’t keep moving around, I can’t stay away from him! I can’t—“

            “You’re going to be in jail, lady. Who’s going to break into a jail to get at you?”

            The officer didn’t get it. What was after her didn’t have to break in. He was already there, waiting for her.

            Becca did fine the first night. She was ok. There were only a couple of other prisoners and one of them was so drunk she did nothing but babble nonsense, sing golden oldies in an off-key soprano, and cry about losing “Billy,” who was either her boyfriend, her husband, her son, her brother or her bulldog.

            Becca was good with that, she was down with that. Every now and then, she joined in the singing, though mostly the woman sang country-western and Becca was a pop music fan.

            The other woman was a fat Hispanic woman who’d apparently been picked up for shoplifting and it struck Becca that the woman could have stuffed a microwave down the front of her dress and nobody’d have noticed. You played the cards you were dealt, though, did the best you could with whatever you had. That was what life was, doing the best you could.

            In Becca’s case, that had never, ever been enough. She always came up short at the end of the day, but she never quit trying either. And that was something. You got points for that, didn’t you?

            She leaned back against the dirty concrete block cell wall while the drunk woman sang about standing by her man and began to “tally up the good,” what churchies called “counting your blessings.” She listed that she was, as the officer had said, warm and dry and fed. The food was as good as most of what Becca ate and better than what she had to go dumpster-diving for. She had a cell all to herself, which was nothing short of miraculous. Even if she woke up screaming, and she never knew when she closed her eyes whether that would be the case or not, but even if she did, nobody could touch her. They were locked up tight in their own cells. They could complain, cuss at her, yell for the guard to shut her up, do whatever they wanted but they couldn’t get to her. Which granted a lot of appeal to being in jail—being behind bars so the rest of the world couldn’t touch you.

            Becca Hawkins did not like to be touched.

            Then late in the afternoon of the second day, they brought in the prostitute. Long before Becca saw her, she felt the wave of cold that flowed out from her, frozen lava from a volcano of ice. The frigid air instantly slathered the floor, walls and cell bars with frost. Not white frost but ugly dark-red crystals—a color real frost could never be. The air was so cold it hurt to breathe, felt like those bloody crystals were forming in her nose and throat and lungs, cutting her open so she bled, her warm blood instantly frozen into jagged red crystals. She began shivering, her teeth chattering uncontrollably. Dressed in nothing but a dirty t-shirt and jeans, the cold bit into her flesh and chilled her to the bone. But it would have done the same thing if she’d been wearing an Eskimo parka made of seal skin and polar bear hide. This was cold from the other and you felt it with your soul, not your fingers. This cold knew no boundaries, was as inexorable and unstoppable as a rising tide.

          What the prostitute really looked like, looked like to other people, Becca didn’t know. She never could see those things, see people the way others did. She’d caught a glimpse of dirty dark hair and squinty, too-small eyes. But  as soon as Becca spotted what was attached to the woman’s chest, all the woman’s features changed.

            Her eyes opened up and became deep, dark pools with no color at all—just the black irises and no eyelids—like a lizard. Her nose melted and ran down off her face so nothing was left behind but two wet holes oozing green goo that dripped down her lip. Her teeth sharpened, razor edge, her fingers grew claws.

            Some part of Becca knew that wasn’t real, had always known it. People’s features changing—that wasn’t really happening. What she perceived was not objective reality, what she saw was colored by the beasts, the others, the horrors, the demons that possessed them. And maybe the demons had some power to distort the world Becca saw. Or maybe—and this had always been a scary thought—maybe what she saw was reality, was a manifestation of what the person had become in response to the evil inside them. Maybe the rest, the veneer, was illusion.

            Becca wanted to run—that’s why she couldn’t be locked up, what the officer didn’t understand—she had to be able to run. But running was not an option now. The locked-up-and-people-couldn’t-touch-her blessing became a she-couldn’t-get-away curse. She cowered in a corner of her cell, tried to hide though there was nowhere to hide. Even if there had been a hiding place, a mattress that actually would come off the bed to stack in front of her or somewhere else to stay out of sight, it wouldn’t have mattered. The others could always sense her, could feel Becca’s knowing.

            “What have we here?” it said. Its voice was gravel grinding under a truck tire. “Look what we have here.”

            Becca sat on the floor in the corner of her cell, squashed up tight against the cold concrete block wall. 

            “Oh, juicy,” said another voice, a high, shrieky voice like the cry of gulls at the beach. “Come talk to us, Miss Pretty.”

            Becca felt her eyes opening. She hated that, hated that she had to look, she couldn’t squeeze her eyes tight shut and stick her fingers into her ears and chant “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!” She had to see. If you could see, you had to see. That’s the way it was.

            One was a creature of slime, the filth at the very bottom of a sewer pipe. The other had many black hairy legs like a mutant spider.  But they could have been anything, could change into anything. What she saw could slide through other forms and shapes before her eyes like the changing colors and shapes in a kaleidoscope.

            “She does see us,” the second one, the spider one said, from a great maw of a mouth that opened up across its whole chest. “Can we come and play with you? Be with you? Be inside you?”

            Becca cried, “No!” In spite of herself, even though she knew it was wrong, oh so very, very wrong to engage a demon. She wailed the word at the top of her voice and it came out of her throat into the world as a strangled whisper.

            “You’re ripe for us,” the first one said. Then he brightened. “And you know it, don’t you? Yes, you know who we are and where we come from and you know we can have you if we want.”

            They couldn’t, of course, but that was small comfort to Becca now, locked in here with them, unable to get free.

            She often tried to think of what to say to banish them, words that would stop then, send them screaming back the way they’d come. She’d known how once, at least she thought she had. But she could only remember tatters and snips now and without it all, every last bit of it, banishing backfired. She knew that. And like a piece of dynamite held in your hand, when it backfired, went off without warning, the injuries it inflicted were catastrophic, maiming injuries that would never heal. Never.

            As they began to jeer and laugh at her, their slime running all over the woman they were attached to with the tentacles of a sea monster, Becca watched because she had to. And she cringed back into herself, tried to hole up somewhere in the very darkest, smallest crevice in her mind. Tried to prepare for the onslaught of dirty, black evil that would so paralyze and suffocate her, she would die, die, die a thousand times only to come back again and again to suffer more.

            Now, he would come, the Monster Other would come. He would know where she was and he would come, slither dark and slimy into her mind and steal every good and beautiful thing from it until it was a wasteland, utterly bereft of anything good or holy or beautiful. She would look at it. She would speak to it. She would touch pure evil and never, never never be clean again.

            She waited in a terror so profound it stole the air from her lungs and every speck of hope from her heart.

            But this time, the Monster Other did not come. Someone else did, though, someone she hadn’t seen in twenty-six years.

 

 

                       

 






Comments

Rebecca March 10, 2016, 9:27PM

WOW! What a teaser! If I thought I was eager for Book 2 before, I'm near crazy for it now! Thank you, Nine Hammon, for the perfect tease!    Reply

Replies (1)

Shirley March 11, 2016, 11:38AM

I've been wondering when Becca would again be part of the action. And wow, this was some introduction back in! Even if I'd not read part 1, this excerpt in itself would make me want to pick up this book, and then probably put it down (reluctantly) while I did read part 1! Your writing style brings me right into the story and I can't wait to get acquainted with the cast, and in this case, reacquainted with some of the key players from part 1. The launch of the completed part 2 is greedily anticipated!   Reply

Replies (1)

Lynn March 11, 2016, 8:22PM

When I finished reading The Knowing Part 1, I was so wrapped up in the story that I couldn't wait for Part 2 to come out. Now that I've read the excerpt from Part 2 I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for that book to come out. Ninie, you write so vividly that I find myself tumbling over the words to get to the next sentence, so eager to find out more of the story. Poor Becca. What will happen to her now and who is the person who came who she hasn't seen for 26 years? Is it Jack? Please write faster, Ninie. I'm dying here!!   Reply

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Janice March 11, 2016, 11:47PM

Fantastic sneak peek!! I can't wait until the book comes out. I will be crazy with wonder how this is going to go.
Thanks Ninie!
   Reply

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Paulette Hamilton Fletcher March 12, 2016, 4:25AM

Wow! Can't wait for the rest of it..   Reply

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BarbaramMillington March 12, 2016, 7:58AM

Wow, really looking forward to Book 2 now I have read this excerpt, patience is a virtue. Keep up the good work and where do you get your inspiration from?   Reply

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Sharon March 12, 2016, 2:45PM

After reading "The Last Safe Place" I was hooked for your writing! I then read, "Five Days in May" & wanted more! After that, I read, "The knowing". I loved it & was glad there was going to be a part 2 coming out. I just finished "When Butterflies Cry". What a fabulous book! I just got "Home Grown", but haven't read it yet. Now you send me this "teaser"! WOW! I can't wait until you're finished it! You certainly do "set pages on fire"! I just love your style of writing. Also, the editing & proofing is well done in your books. I'm reading a book now (not yours) that is so full of errors, it is annoying to read and disrupts the flow. I probably won't even finish it. I am a fanatic about that. Don't they have people that are supposed to proof read? Anyway, Congratulations! Keep them coming!   Reply

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Jane March 13, 2016, 2:46PM

Thank you. Perfect teaser. I'm simply amazed by your writing skills, Ninie. You've become my number one favorite author.   Reply

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Virginia March 13, 2016, 4:04PM

Wow! Can't wait to read Book 2!! I absolutely LOVE your style, Ninie. :)   Reply

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Lisa March 13, 2016, 4:52PM

This little excerpt has me wanting more! I can't wait for The Knowing:Book 2 to come out so I can read what happens to Becca (praying she gets away from that awful creature!). Love this series and the fact that you chose spiritual warfare as a subject matter. I believe it is something that many people don't realize is actually going on beyond our awareness, and it's actually possible some people can see it/feel it. Thank you, Ninie. Love your books!   Reply

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Patty March 13, 2016, 5:53PM

Great Sneak-Peek.. Makes me want to go back and read book one again. Just love your writing style..puts me right smack dab in the middle of the story and that can be kind of scary in this particular story.   Reply

Replies (1)

Dez March 13, 2016, 7:10PM

Fantastic teaser. Becca is a pivotal character and I'm looking forward to getting forward to getting to know more about her. It's like the reverse of chasing your demons, as they will follow her to the ends of the earth.    Reply

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Anna Rasmussen March 13, 2016, 8:03PM

My daughter started me on your books, that first one was Five Days in May (because I grew up in Oklahoma), then Black Sunshine (the secrets in the mine), The Memory Closet, The Knowing: Book 1, Home Grown, and am now almost finished with Sudan. Then I will read When Butterflies Cry, The Last Safe Place, and last but not least, God Said Yes. Each one of your books I read is different, yet so intense, I can't seem to read them fast enough, then I don't want them to end either. You do "Set the pages on fire". I am so glad I found your books. Can't wait to start Book 2 and then Book 3. Keep up the great writing you do so well.   Reply

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Judy Blevins March 13, 2016, 10:18PM

WOW, WOW, WOW. I am already trying to figure out what will happen in book 2 and book three. You are so descriptive, I walk right into each scene with your protagonist.
I want to know how you came up with the look of the demons attached to the people possessed by them. You got it right on the money. Do you know someone with the knowing? Have you seen them yourself? Just curious how you got your insight about such things and are always so accurate in your descriptions.   Reply

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Karen March 13, 2016, 1:28AM

Can see why you been so busy. Ninie, this is really good.    Reply

Replies (4)

Sherrie March 14, 2016, 7:45PM

Thank you Ninie for the sneak-peak, can't wait for the the next book!   Reply

Replies (1)

Elsie Hall March 15, 2016, 12:47AM

I was already anxious to read book two, but now even more so. Please, write quicker, lol! Your books are engrossing with terrific stories that never fail to please. Thanks for writing them.    Reply

Replies (1)

Kelly Koch March 17, 2016, 9:37AM

Thank you so much! Great to be back with these characters...
   Reply

Replies (1)

JoAnn Lynch March 18, 2016, 11:30AM

Thanks for the preview! Once again, it has me anxiously anticipating the release of this book too. Can't wait to learn more about Becca.   Reply

Replies (1)


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"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author
NINIE HAMMON

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.