James' new book: Blood Bond released today!
James Goodman began life in Dover Delaware, but has lived in several states throughout the nation as well as several places abroad. Some of his gypsy ways were in service to his country, others in service to his family, but most in service to his heart.
He graduated from Peach County Georgia before joining the Army during Operation Desert Shield. Upon completion of his duty, he attended college at Oklahoma State University and earned a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology.
In addition to being a word slinger, James is now the owner of an engineering and construction company. He is also one of the founding members of the Highway Rollers, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who raise funds for various charities.
He now calls Owasso, Oklahoma home and resides there with his beautiful wife, teenage son and their three dogs. They spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, riding motorcycles, wakeboarding, hiking, hunting and just generally enjoying each other’s company.
To find out more, visit his website. http://www.goodysworld.com. Or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. He would love to hear from you.
A storm brews in the Indian Territory. Nightfall is coming and there is something lurking in the darkness that is as beautiful as it is terrifying. There is a new hunter on the plains and his prey is… human. When a Native American man collides with the world of vampires, the fate of an entire tribe could hang in the balance.
Kanati peeked from under his blanket, watching the lantern as it faded down the hall. He spared a quick glance at the other beds lining the wall. Five on his left, four on his right. He and the others were guests at the Chesterfield Academy for Boys, Injun School to those who worked there.
Should I wake any of them? Who else is crazy enough to try this?
He pulled a crumpled paper from beneath his pillow and ran a finger over it in the darkness. A map, stolen from the library, ripped from a book earlier in the day. It marked his Talwa, Tahlonteeskee. Home.
The harsh bite of winter was gone, but the air still carried a chill. At least that’s why he told himself his entire body trembled.
Sliding from beneath the covers, he willed his breath to come. He listened for movement in the hall, cringing when the boards creaked beneath his feet. Grabbing his boots from beside the bed, he crept in stocking feet to the edge of the room and crouched to eye the shadows in the dimly lit hall. He could barely make out the shape of a door at the end of the hallway, but it was enough. By then, he knew the route by heart, having walked it every day for the last eleven years.
Forty steps to freedom. Ocasta, please make my feet light and their dreams heavy.
He could feel sweat pool as it ran down his back. Fear threatened to consume his resolve.
If they beat me for speaking in my own tongue, what will they do to me for trying to escape?
A board groaned beneath his feet. He held his breath. He froze at the halfway point, certain he heard breathing behind him. He whirled, ready to spout an explanation. The hall was empty.
Keep it steady. One foot in front of the other. You’re almost there—
Holding his breath, he reached for the knob. The gods are smiling on you.
“Joseph, what are you doing out of bed?” a voice rumbled behind him.
Kanati jumped, spun and glared at the man with the lantern. Jack Barnes, teacher extraordinaire. He was one of the most vile human beings he had ever had the misfortune of meeting. Between the beatings, the leering during bathing time and the lingering touches while helping some of the younger boys get dressed in the mornings, it was a wonder Kanati made it to near adult hood with his virtue and most of his bones intact. Over a decade of torment and regret crashed over him in waves. So many times, he wanted to stand up to the man, but he had been conditioned for so long with fear, pain and humiliation, he didn’t dare. Besides, the rest of the teachers at the school were only marginally better.
“My name’s not Joseph,” he growled.
“What the hell has gotten into you?” The man stepped forward, face puckered, though it wasn’t clear if it was from confusion or anger.
“I’m going home.” He reached for the knob again.
“Don’t push me, boy.” The man jabbed a finger at the air between them. “You touch that door and I’ll—”
“What?” He cast a glance at him over his shoulder. “You’ll give me another beating?”
The man reached for his hip and snarled when he realized his holster wasn’t there. “I don’t think beating is a strong enough word for what I’m about to do to you.” He began his advance, fists clenched.
“You’ll have to catch me first,” he said with a nervous chuckle and slung open the door.
He leapt from the porch, cursing as the rough earth dug into his feet. A full moon colored the sloping hills an eerie shade of blue. Nothing on the windswept plain provided him cover. The nearest tree line was over a mile away.
It’s not far. You can make it. He stopped just long enough to stomp into his boots.
Gunfire exploded, kicking up wisps of dust and dirt from the ground around his feet.
Kanati scurried in a zigzag motion, breathing in gulps. Hickory trees raced to greet him. He ran faster, throwing himself into their arms. The branches fought him as he pushed his way through, slowing his escape. He could no longer run, but squirm and push his way through the thick foliage that marked the beginning of the tree line. A few steps further, and then screams reached his ears. What happened? He turned and took a step back the way he came, but hesitated.
It wasn’t just the voices of his friends screaming in the night; something was happening to the teachers as well. He cursed his own cowardice as he turned again and pushed deeper into the woods.
Wind whistled through the trees, their mighty limbs moaning beneath its touch. He was thankful for the relief against the warm night air. Screams followed him, filling his ears, filling his mind with visions of his friends’ faces contorted in agony. Bile rose in his throat and he fought the urge to vomit. He wasn’t alone. Something moved through the branches beside him. He tried to run faster, but the branches snapped at his face, pulled at his shirt. Laughter bounced from the trunks; surrounding him. He turned to look for his tormentor and tripped over an exposed root. His breath left him in a rush as his body crashed into the ground.
Don’t let me die… not here, not like this. He scrambled to his feet, spinning in circles, trying to find the source of the laughter. Why are you doing this to me?
“You are a willful one,” a deep, angelic voice rode on the night air. “What will you do with your newfound freedom?”
“Who are you?” he sobbed. “What are you gonna do to me?”
“If you were a little older,” the voice fell to a whisper. “I would answer that question in explicit detail.”
“What did you do to my friends?”
“What makes you think I did anything?”
“The screams—” He couldn’t bring himself to elaborate.
“Let’s just say your journey home should be unhindered.”
“You killed them, didn’t you?”
The whisper of branches moving with the breeze was his only answer. Kanati was once again alone with his fears.
* * * *
The stranger slipped further into the shadows, eyeing the young man with interest. Everything happens for a reason. We were destined to meet, you and I, he thought before returning to finish what he started.
Welcome, James! We're glad to have you as part of the SRP family!