Hyperventilated Underwater Blues

My second novel, Hyperventilated Underwater Blues, just went up on Amazon and Smashwords. From Smashwords, it will go to Barnes & Noble, the Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, Aldiko, etc. Right now the novel is available as ebook but CreateSpace will publish the paperback soon.

Below is a short excerpt, the Prologue. The Prologue is in third person but the rest of the story is told in first person. Hyperventilated Underwater Blues is an action-adventure murder mystery.

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Prologue

Bernadine Kutzenov’s killer walked slowly across the concrete deck of the Dunbar University swimming pool. Bernadine treaded water about five feet from the edge of the big 50-meter pool, her head visible in the narrow space between two of the floating tarpaulins.

Her eyes, heavy and sleepy, stung from the chlorine as she paddled her arms and legs in big, slow bicycling circles, squeezing water comfortably between her thighs and past her biceps, feeling like she was dancing underwater. And she was naked. Naked? She remembered dancing naked. She remembered learning to tread water. But she did not remember how she came to be in the pool. It must be a dream, and not a good dream either. Her mind felt disconnected from her body, like it was off to the side observing. Something irritating and scratchy kept scraping her neck and face. Pool covers. Why was she swimming in a pool with pool covers? Why dream about pool covers? And her head felt cold. With sudden awareness, she heard the howling wind in little sonic bursts as her ears bobbed in and out of the water. But it was dark and cold. And loud. It must be a dream. She struggled with dream thoughts.

Relieved, she recognized the man walking to the edge of the pool and stretched out one arm so he could help her. He bent and his hand slid past hers pushing the top of her head under the water just as she started to take a breath. When her mouth, nose and throat filled with water, her larynx suddenly constricted. Her throat locked up, though she could still cough. She coughed. Bubbles burst out her mouth but her breathing response remained locked. She wanted to breathe but couldn’t so she grabbed the tile pool edge with her outstretched hand and braced her feet against the side of the pool. But the hand grasped her hair and held her under the water. She couldn’t pull away. Kicking her legs hard and turning her head in a vain attempt to escape the hand wrapped in her hair, she tried to pull herself up with her other hand still on the concrete pool deck. Something smashed her fingers. Under the water, she shrieked, a few more bubbles sputtering from her mouth, surprising because she thought she’d already coughed everything out of her lungs. Now she panicked, muscles churning arms, legs and torso wildly, burning the remaining oxygen in her blood. But the hand held her under. Her last jumbled thought as awareness faded was the utter conviction that she was having a nightmare. Pushed by the hand on her head, she slid into cold darkness.

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