Imagine a town where you can stay out as late as you want, wake up when it suits you, you never have to go to work, and everything is free for the taking. Sounds perfect right? But what if you can’t remember where you are or how you got there? What if you can’t ever leave? And what if the only other people around are hostages, just like you? Would you still want to stay?
Jasmine Marshall certainly didn’t think so until she met Justin Beck; a dashing active-duty member of the United States Army and fellow hostage. With him around life in Kolob might not be so bad after all … or so she thought. There are vampires and psychics at the breakfast table! Disturbing acts of torture and senseless violence are commonplace. Biochemical warfare is a very real threat, and the town’s mayor is an elusive mad-scientist obsessed with his own theories about December 21, 2012!
In a place where one has everything to gain and nothing to lose, one thing reigns true: nothing in Kolob is ever as it seems.
GOTTA HAVE IT!
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
“This is definitely going to be on my top ten list of mindblowingly awesome reads of 2012…Eat your heart out Lara Croft.” ~ Books4Tomorrow
“This novel screams for a sequel! I highly recommend it.” ~ KLW
“I was hooked from the very start! This book is brilliantly written by a very talented L.M. Smith. I have no doubt that her work will be celebrated and enjoyed by millions, an author who is one to watch for in the future.” ~ A Ferocious FeLion
“The ending sent chills down my spine, and left me wanting to know what’s going to happen next!” ~ L. Worton
“Despite the fact that everything in town looks home-spun sweet (a hardware store, old-fashioned movie theater, and even a penny candy shop), things are not apple-pie a la mode in Kolob.” ~ Author Bonnie Bernard
“Jazz is like my new BFF and I already miss her. I can’t wait to read more” ~ Sarah09
Jazz grabbed the handle on the door and pulled but it wouldn’t budge. She immediately looked at her cigarette and then up at the nearest camera.
“Look I was on my way out all right? I’m sorry. Open the doors and I’ll take it outside.”
They all waited but nothing happened. Turning to the table she dropped the cigarette into a glass of water and then looked up at the black bubble once more.
“There, ok? I put it out. Now open the doors.”
She yanked the handle again but the door still didn’t budge. It was then that she noticed, for the first time, that there were no latches to depress or knobs to turn from the inside of the dining room. She was reminded of her first day in Kolob when she’d awakened upstairs, unable to leave her room until ‘the man behind the curtain’ allowed it.
Suddenly she felt herself flailing backward, bumping into the buffet table as Gordon shoved her out of the way to try the doors himself. He yanked again and again but the doors didn’t even rattle on their hinges. Everyone was on their feet now, watching in uncertainty and fear as Gordon barraged the steel doors with both fists.
“Gordon, stop before you hurt yourself.” Beck said quietly. The other man was screaming now, like a caged animal on fire. Jazz and the others were in a state of shock at his behavior, almost more surprised by how he was acting than by being locked in the dining room. Kaori started crying as both Beck and Piper tried to calm Gordon down.
A memory, from months ago, of sitting on the front porch of the hotel talking to Beck about their mutual suspicions regarding Gordon flashed through Jazz’s mind.
‘He knows something.’ She thought.
Suddenly her own panic took over. She grabbed the nearest chair and flung it at the window, narrowly missing Piper’s head in the process.
“Jazz!” Beck shouted, stunned.
“LET US OUT OF HERE! OPEN THESE GOD DAMNED DOORS NOW!” She screamed.
Something primal had taken over when she’d realized that Gordon’s uncharacteristic behavior may have been an indication that he knew something that the rest of them didn’t. She felt Beck’s hands clamp over her arms as she lifted the chair to swing it again and Piper dodged out of the way. Kaori’s crying had quickly morphed into an excruciating peal and Jazz was already starting to feel an ache in her head.
“Jasmine stop! We need to be calm!” Beck was saying.
She couldn’t focus on his words but he was stronger than her. She found herself quickly immobilized as he held her arms to her sides and hugged her to him in spite of her thrashing.
“Fuck that! We need to get out of here! This isn’t normal!” Gordon shouted, picking up the chair that Jazz had dropped and running to the next window with it. Just as before the chair bounced off of the reinforced glass like it was made of rubber.
Suddenly they heard a sound that made them all, even Gordon, become absolutely still as they listened. It reminded Jazz of squeaking metal, similar to how the hedge clippers had sounded in the barn that awful night weeks ago. It was coming from above them and they all looked up as several ventilation registers slid open in the ceiling. There was a brief silence followed by a soft ‘whuff’ as the flame under the warming bins went out. Somewhere deep within the bowels of the building they heard a motor start up that reminded Jazz of the sound that her heater made right before the blower kicked on back home in Montana.