Tuesday, March 26, 2013

7: A Magical Number

BlogFans, prepare yourself for a Post O'Sevens. Yes, there's a Chapter 7 to The Projectionist waiting down below for you, but don't dare skip ahead or you'll miss some Good Stuff!

In exactly 7 days, my new thriller will be released. It's called SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS, or as readers have nicknamed it, "7UD." Here's what New York Times and international bestselling author James Rollins had to say about this one:

"A simple glitch in a power grid heralds the beginning of a madman's scheme to bring about a biblical apocalypse. Written in a staccato style that will leave readers breathless and flipping pages long into the night, Hatchett's novel, SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS, is a thriller not to be missed!"  - James Rollins

7UD is near and dear to my heart. I imagined the type of story I'd most like to read, then decided to write it. It's been circulated among alpha and beta readers far and wide, and the feedback has been encouraging in an overwhelming way. (Just think about what it must take to keep Jim Rollins up at night!) Whatever you can do to spread the word will be SO appreciated!

Now, skipping any more adieu at all, here is the cover for SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS.

Seven Unholy Days (an unputdownable thriller available on April 2!)
You guys will never know how much your feedback and encouragement means. I love you!


Chapter 7

Porter huffed the school steps two at a time, checking his watch on the way. Midstride to the top step, disaster struck in the form of Hank Ledbetter’s outstretched foot. Falling forward from the trip, Porter tried to right himself, overcompensated, and tumbled backward down the old concrete steps. His lanky frame had little padding and he felt every bump on the way down. At the bottom, lying on his back, he looked up to see Ledbetter at the top of the steps, laughing so hard he was bent over with his hands on his knees.

Then the greatest thing ever happened. A girl marched right up the steps, stepped behind Ledbetter, and shoved him down the steps. He landed beside Porter and didn’t fare as well, since he fell on his face instead of his backside. Now the girl was doing exactly as Ledbetter had, bent over, belly-laughing. Now a crowd was gathering, joining in, taunting Ledbetter, having a large time at his expense. But Porter didn’t care about Ledbetter or the crowd.

His eyes were on the girl, and what a girl she was. He had seen her around school a few times. Didn’t know her name, though. She was a year behind him. Her laughing face looked like sunshine, her eyes like blue stars. She had short brown hair and a dimple on each cheek. When she finally stopped laughing at Ledbetter, she looked straight at Porter. To be certain, his normal reaction would have been to look away at the speed of light when any girl looked his way. Especially when he was lying on his back on the sidewalk. Double especially when he got there by being bullied by a jerk like Hank Ledbetter. Triple especially when the girl showed up and paid back the bully for him. But he couldn’t look away. He was...he was...captivated.

She came back down the steps and reached down a hand to help him up. He took it, stood, still staring at her.

"You okay?" she said.

"Uh, sure, yeah. Thanks."

She stuck her hand out. "I'm Alice."

He took her hand in his and in that first split second of her skin touching his, he knew he never wanted to let go. "Hamlin," he said.

"That's a funny name."


"I've never known a Hamlin."

"Oh, sorry. Porter. Porter Hamlin."

She tilted her head kind of sideways. "You sure you're okay?"


"Okay, see you later." She smiled. Paused. "Can I have my hand back now?"

"Oh, sorry." Porter let go. Alice bounded up the steps, then looked back over her shoulder just before she went through the door. And she winked. At him.

At his feet, Ledbetter groaned and rolled over onto his back. "You'll pay for that," he said.

And for the second time in five minutes, Porter didn't react like Porter. Instead, he looked down at Hank Ledbetter, with his skinned nose and skinned forehead and skinned chin, and said, "I'll pay for you tripping me?"

"Damn better believe you'll pay for that bitch, then she will too."

Third time and the most radical departure imaginable:  Without thinking, Porter cocked his leg and kicked Ledbetter in the face. Not all that hard, mind you, and he was wearing sneakers, but still. Then he laughed and climbed the steps and went inside Diebold High.


Porter would later remember absolutely nothing about the rest of that day. This would prove more significant than anyone could have imagined. Ever.