Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chapter One of The Dying Breath!

Well, you asked for it and I just got clearance to post an exerpt of The Dying Breath! I hope you all like it! This comes with hugs and kisses from me to you!

Chapter One

“There’s no way I can let you in that house with the remains,” Sheriff Jacobs told Cameryn. A small man, the sheriff leaned his hip against the porch’s wooden railing, his expression obscured by the sun’s reflection on his glasses. He took a long drag from his cigarette, sending a plume into the frigid February air, then lazily flicked the ashes onto the snow-encrusted bushes below. “Sorry to smoke in front of you—I wouldn’t do it ‘cept it cuts the smell. There’s not another odor in this world like the stench of a decaying human and I, for one, can’t stand it.” Another drag, and then, “And I’d appreciate it if you stopped rolling your eyes at me, Cameryn Mahoney. I know you’re assistant to the coroner, but you’re only seventeen and your father, the real coroner, ain’t here yet, which means I’m the one in charge. We’re not breaking in until Pat gets here.”
“Except you’re not listening. We don’t have to break anything!” Cameryn protested.
The sheriff cut her off. “Dream on. Leather Ed keeps this dump locked up tighter than a drum.” Jacobs waved his cigarette toward the metal bars that wept trails of orange rust onto the home’s weathered siding. “Bars on the windows, deadbolts on the doors, all to protect stuff that wasn’t even worth stealing. Soon as my deputy gets here he’ll bust us in, and then we’ll go inside, together, to see what’s what. Afterwards you can take your pictures of the dead.” He pinched the cigarette between his thumb and forefinger, taking a long drag. “You know, I’ll never understand why a pretty girl like you….” His voice trailed off, but Cameryn no longer listened because her mind was focused on other things.
The answer, she knew, was in the door itself. She peeled off her thick coat and dropped it next to a pile of trash Leather Ed had stacked against the siding, a stack that had grown to a height of almost three feet. Squatting, she examined the dog-door flap, darkened to black from years of grime. Leather Ed owned an emaciated German shepherd which had already been removed by a worried neighbor, a man who had called the police, who had, in turn, called the coroner’s office, who’d sent a text to her. Death had its protocol.
Studying the frame around the dog door, Cameryn mentally took its dimensions; then with a tentative swipe she kicked the weathered plastic. The panel swung back and forth like a metronome, revealing a patch of dirty floor and a crumpled edge of a paper plate. Difficult, yes, but she could clear it, with or without Jacobs’ consent. She got on her knees and began to back in feet first, her hair falling into her face in dark curtain. It was a tight fit. As she moved she tried not to picture the filthy linoleum her jeans would scrape against or notice the fresh wave of odor that wound around her like a pungent scarf. The metal lip of the dog door dug into her backside and she was just tilting onto her hip when she felt hands yanking her beneath her armpits. The sheriff pulled her to her feet with so much force she almost cried out.
“Are you crazy?” Jacob’s expression was the same one everyone in Silverton wore whenever they looked at her now. Lines of worry, and inside that, real fear. “Your father would skin me alive if I let you out of my sight.” His hand sliced through the air as he talked over her protests, “No, Cameryn, not even for a single moment. No, no, no!”
“Come on, I only want to go a few feet inside so I can unlock the door—that’s all!” she cried. “Let me do my job, Sheriff. I’m not an infant.”
“No, what you are is a target.” Leaning close, Jacobs dropped his cigarette onto the porch. With a slow, sure motion, he ground the stub beneath the heel of his boot. “No one knows what’s in that house. Probably nothing but the body of the town eccentric. But the fact is, Kyle O’Neil’s got you in his crosshairs and right now you’re on my watch. I’m not taking any chances.” He paused for a moment, for effect, Cameryn guessed, but she wouldn’t let him see how his words had hit home. The verbal punch to her heart—she had learned to take the hit without flinching where outsiders could see. She forced her eyes to meet his, which were cold and wintry gray. Raising her chin, she said, “That’s ridiculous. Kyle’s gone.”
“How do you know that?” Jacobs tapped his finger to his temple. “Huh? Use that famous brain of yours. There ain’t no body.”
“Yes, but—”
“But nothing. I know everyone in town is saying that psycho got lost in those mountains and froze hisself to death, and I hope to the good Lord they’re right. Maybe come spring we find his sorry carcass frozen in some creek. But you need to think about this: if that boy had enough smarts to kill his teacher, he’s smart enough to keep hisself alive, even in February.” He jabbed his forefinger at Cameryn. “Until we find him, I say you’re in danger, which means you’re staying right here by my side. Understand?”
There was nothing to say. Looking past him, she focused on a hermit thrush perched on the rim of a toppled bird feeder, its claws as fine as thread. It was a trick she’d begun to master, a mental dodge she used when people insisted on pressing themselves into her life: stare at something else, concentrate on the detail of the thing. Let their words pass over like water.
“I’ll take your silence as a ‘yes’,” Jacobs told her. “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna call my deputy. He shoulda been here by now.” Jacobs stomped down the rickety porch steps and turned his back toward her, one finger screwed into his ear while he pressed the phone into the other.
Cameryn was aware of the cold creeping through her too-thin shirt, grateful that it cooled the heat of her frustration. Overhead, above the peak of Molar Mountain, the palest moon shimmered, a golden coin floating in a blue water sky. In the past, her beloved mountains had felt protective. Now, they’d become walls. Walls that echoed the word that had come to define her.
Target.
It was the perfect word as to what she’d become. She was no longer Cameryn Mahoney, senior at Silverton High, straight-A student, science geek and forensic guru. When she walked the hallways at school whispers followed, marking her new identity: The Victim. The hunted. Prey.
She had almost loved him once. Kyle On’Neil, the boy who, with terrible precision, had tried to kill her. Before the police arrived he’d vanished into the mountains, and Cameryn had believed the F.B.I. when they announced he’d been spotted in Mexico. And yet, as Silverton glittered beneath strings of Christmas lights, Cameryn received a message on her bedroom computer. I see you. Come out and play. Move your curtain and look out. By the trees. I’m waiting.
She’d pulled back her curtain. There, illuminated by moonlight, stood Kyle. Even in the half-light she’d recognized his muscled frame, his square jaw, the yellow hair glinting like dandelion fluff, his legs thick as tree trunks rooted into the ground. His face had been too deep in shadow for her to make out his eyes, but she could see the curve of the mouth. He was smiling.
Kyle raised his hand, touching his heart with his fist before extending his open palm toward her. Horror flooded her as he faded back into a stand of pine. It was only then she realized she was screaming.
And once again Kyle O’Neil had vanished. It was the second time he’d threatened her life. This time, though, the town’s reaction had been different. Aware that she’d been twice menaced, Silverton had pulled together for Cameryn’s protection, and she felt as though she were an insect caught in a web. It was as if she would suffocate in the silk cocoon of good intentions.
Now she watched as Sheriff Jacobs paced across Leather Ed’s yard, his boots cleaving snow. “Yes, Justin, Cammie’s with me.” He stole a glance at Cameryn before twisting away. “Quit worrying…she won’t do nothing without my say-so. I’ve got it under control.”
At that moment Cameryn felt something click in her head. She won’t do nothing without my say-so. Maybe if she took back the power in her life again, people would stop looking at her like the victim she was more conclusively becoming every minute. And she knew exactly what she had to do.
She looked at the door, her nerves tingling. Throwing a quick glance in the sheriff’s direction, she backed to the dog door and dropped to her knees again, this time pushing fast, scraping her vertebrae against the metal frame with so much force she knew she would have a bruise down her backbone. She didn’t care. Once inside, she rocked back on her knees, exhilarated as she steadied the swinging flap with her hand. For the first time in a long while she’d done something on her own and the independence was electrifying.
It was dim inside. As Cameryn unfolded herself, she brushed off the front of her jeans, taking a moment to allow her eyes to adjust. The kitchen countertops were piled with plates and paper cups. A coffee pot, so stained the white plastic had turned to sepia, tipped drunkenly on a broken base. Although she’d never been inside the house, Cameryn had waited on Leather Ed many times at the Grand, and the interior of the home was exactly what she expected. A mess.
She drew in a breath and tried not to taste the stench of death that almost overpowered her. So far, Jacobs hadn’t sensed her absence, which would give her time to open the door in triumph. It is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission was a phrase her friend Lyric had taught her. But when she reached her hand to unlock the deadbolt she realized there was nothing to turn. The face of the brass deadbolt was smooth and flat; a keyhole yawned where the knob should have been. Staring, she tried to compute the dichotomy. How could a bolt need two keys? The outside of a lock demanded a key, but the inside lock should require only a turn of a handle. This side of the deadbolt was blank.
“Cammie!” She heard the sheriff curse and the heavy stomp of his boots on the porch. He pounded the door so hard it sounded like a sonic boom. “Are you in there?”
“Yes,” she called back. “I told you I could fit.”
Swearing, and then, “Come out of there right now—that’s an order!”
Cameryn ignored this. “I was going to unlock the door but there’s just a keyhole on this side,” she cried, loud enough for him to hear. “I don’t get it.”
“That’s because Leather Ed was paranoid. He used double key deadbolts to make sure nobody could break into his house. You have to have the key to get out.”
“So where is it?”
A pause, and then, “Where’s what?”
“The key.”
“I—he—Leather Ed kept them on his self.” Smacking the door again, he cried, “Okay, you’ve proved your point, you’re a very resourceful and independent girl—”
“Woman,” Cameryn said. She bit the edge of her lip.
“Woman. Now come out of there.”
“No.”
She said it so softly she knew he couldn’t hear her through the door. Doing something on her own was critical in a way she couldn’t define. The protective bubble-wrap needed to be ripped away. As she formed a plan in her mind, Cameryn felt more like herself than she had in weeks. It seemed as though she were finally shaking off the fog of sleep. Her mind was humming again.
The sheriff pounded wood, his thumps coming as rapidly as blows from a jackhammer. “Get yourself back through that doggy door right now!”
Cameryn stood close to the door, her palm resting on the cool wood. “Listen, I’m going to find Leather Ed and get the keys. Then I’ll open the door. It’s the most logical thing to do. So just chill.”
“Cameryn Mahoney!” Jacobs roared, and Cameryn knew enough to jump back. The sheriff reached his arm through the dog door shoulder deep, cursing in frustration as his hand grabbed nothing but air. There was no way he could fit through the opening. He knew it, too.
Cameryn tuned out the pounding, concentrating instead on what she might find in the next room. Though the dim half-light she moved forward, the smell thickening with every step. Cupping her hand over her nose Cameryn walked into a room filled with trash, with only a tiny rabbit trail, a foot wide, winding between mounds of newspapers and old magazines.
So, Leather Ed, this is your living room. A recliner had been shoved against a battered sofa covered with an afghan made of yarn. Both were empty. The television had been left on but there was no sound. The weatherman pointed to different points on a map, his mouth moving silently as the light blinked against the walls.
Strange, she thought as she took in the disarray. What a weird, sad man. She remembered waiting on Leather Ed at the Grand right before Christmas, when she and the cook had surreptitiously watched Leather Ed muttering to himself. Cameryn had noticed the way the cowhide conformed to his body until they became a kind of shell. The smell of unwashed flesh engulfed him as his gray hair sprung from his head in a kind of tangled wire. Like everyone else her age, she’d steered clear of the man. Now, inhaling the distinctive odor that told her Leather Ed was most surely dead, she felt ashamed of herself. Maybe the town that overwhelmed you, just like it’s overwhelming me, she thought. Were you trying to escape us? But even as she thought it she knew it wasn’t true. He’d walked among them, but he’d been invisible. The town was trying to escape him.
She moved on.
The smell was more intense by the staircase. Blinking, she looked up into the dark that stretched above her. The stair creaked beneath her foot when she took a tentative step, her hand gliding on the wooden railing as she began her ascent.
Sheriff Jacobs’ cries were muted now and easier to ignore. From this distance the sheriff’s rapping sounded like a pencil tapping against a desk as she stepped into the upper hallway. And then there was another sound, a voice that made her chest tighten. It was louder than Sheriff Jacobs’. More urgent. Angrier.
“Cammie, it’s me, Justin. You’ve got to stop this right now! It’s not safe!”
She groaned. As protective as her father and Sheriff Jacobs had been, Justin, Silverton’s deputy, had been worse. Still, she was committed to her path. Let them yell. All would be forgiven when she got those keys.
A door was on her right, cracked open less than an inch. Cautious, she pushed against it. Hinges squeaked loudly as the door swung open and she registered a stench strong enough to taste. Pulling her shirt over her nose she breathed through the cotton, grateful for this barest protection.
It took a moment for her eyes to adjust. Shadows seem to float against the wall like underwater creatures. Through the murky light she strained to see. Her fingers found the switch plate and she flipped it on. And there, propped in a chair by the bed, was the bloated corpse of Leather Ed, a book clutched in his hands. Body fluid had seeped onto the pages, covering the lines of print in an eerie watercolor. His feet, still encased in worn boots, were planted on the floor while his leathers, distended from decomposition, shone in the light. But it was his face that made Cameryn’s mind freeze. Every bit of skin was gone from his eyes down to his neck. His teeth, white and gleaming, grinned at her from a stripped skull. His jawbone had been wiped clean.
She could feel the horrified expression on her face as the room began to wobble at the edges of her periphery. Forcing her breathing to slow, Cameryn tried to make herself think rationally.
The German shepherd must have gotten to the corpse. His dog did this. From her forensic studies she knew animals could consume their masters after death. You’ve still got to get the keys. Keep going, she commanded as she moved closer to the body.
She wouldn’t have noticed the piece of paper folded neatly on the end table next to the body but for her name. The word ‘Cameryn’ had been printed in beautiful precision.
She reached out and grabbed the parchment, written in a perfect cursive hand.
To Cameryn, my anam cara,
I will love you until your dying breath. Please believe that I will find you, my Angel of Death. We are bound by cords you cannot break. Two worlds, intersecting separate pieces that the fates will never break apart. Trust that I will be with you soon.
In eternal adoration,
Kyle O’Neil.

83 comments:

Tess said...

I LOVED IT! I am soooooo excited now! I cannot wait until the book comes out! It's coming out in fall, right? NO!! I can't wait that long!!

*dies*

Haha, JK. But i seriously cannot wait. I would be zipping through the pages now, but can't! I am so excited right now. You know, all jittery and jumpy...

<3 your writing! Forever a fan,

~Tess

Anonymous said...

AHHH!!! i need to read the rest! lol still seriously that is awesome! i so wish i could read it right now!:)

Anonymous said...

Okay, that's really not fair! You can't just end it like that, it's as bad as the end of the third book! It's not cool!

Rachel C. said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I loved it sooooo much!!! I can't wait for the book to come out! Seriously, the ending of Circle of Blood was creepy-awesome, but this is so cliff-hanger good! Thanks so much for posting some of it!

~Rachel

P.S. I want to be a forensic scientist someday, and these books are part of the reason, so thanks for writing them!

Poptart (fav nickname) said...

HOLY COW!!!!!!! So so so so awesome Alane!!!!! I loved it!
I can't wait for the rest! Oh too long to wait!
JK

Thanks for posting. Really really enjoyed it. And just like Rachel, I want to be a Forensic scientist someday too. I think I am leaning more towards a Medical examiner, or the corner job, both intrest me.
Thanks agian!
Laurel

ashley said...

OMG!!! I loved it! I can't wait until it comes out to buy it :)

Gail said...

Hi Lanie! This is great!! Now I have to wait to read the rest - no fair!!
Hope all is well with you!
Love, Gail

Gail from NY said...

Hi Lanie! This is great! Now I have to wait to read the rest - no fair!!
Hope all is well with you - so sorry to hear about your friend, Al.
Love, Gail

Philadelphia said...

This is even a more captivating cliffhanger than in circle of blood! It's sooo amazing, I am immensely excited for it to be released.Unfortunately, patience has never been a dominant quality in me so this will be difficult. I can't wait to read what happens between Cameryn and Justin! Ahh I'm excited!!!

These are some of the best books I have ever read! You are truly and amazing and influential writer!

~Philadelphia

Brittany said...

Alane,

I'm totally excited! I've been waiting for more romance with Cameryn and now she's got a killer's love letter and the cutie we've been routing for for three books now! I'm so ready for this book. And the cover OMG!!! It's so beyond perfect with how your guy dies. Oh so amazing! Can't wait to read more!

Brittany

P.S. The cute blonde say's she can't wait either!

Jenny! said...

Ahhh you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you SSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much this just like made my day!!! Ahhh thank you again!!!!!!!!!
:-)
So when does the actual book come out I'm gonna get it that day!!!!!!

Dani said...

Omigosh, it was amazing! I love it! I don't think I can wait for fall to get it! And the cover is really cool, too.

Lena said...

Who is the person on the cover supposed to be? I loved the excerpt. I can't wait to read the whole book. You are a great writer Alane!!

Ellie-Love Me or Hate Me said...

OMG.Absolutely loved it! I can't wait till it comes out and to see the fate of Cameryn,Justin,and Kyle.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait!!! I read this chapter excerpt and told my students that it is torture waiting for it to come out. I am READY!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!! THAT WAS SUPER AWESOME!! CAN YOU PUT UP THE SECOND CHAPTER?!? HAHAHAHAHA I CANT WAIT UNTIL FALL ITS TOO FAR AWAY I WISH IT COULD BE LIKE THE BEGINING OF SUMMER OR SOMETHING AND THE COVER OF THE BOOK IT ABSOUTLY BREATH TAKEN!! IT MAKES YOU THINK WHAT GONNA HAPPEN IN THAT BOOK NOW!! BUT THAT CLIFFHANGER IS CRUEL!! DEF WORSE THAN THE CLIFFHANGER ON THE CIRCLE OF BLOOD!! HAHA BUT THANKS FOR WRITING THIS FIRST CHAPTER AND GIVE US A TASTE OF IT!! KEEP TALKIN ABOUT IT AND GIVING US CLUES :D
----NICOLE

Alane Ferguson said...

You guys are the absolute BEST! There is so much more that happens - I can't wait for it to come out so you can read and see. Maybe I can post a bit more in the summer (I'll ask my editor) but for now, I'm extremely gratified that you like it! Great big squeezy- hugs from me to you!

Anonymous said...

i sure hope you can give us a little more extra more that would be out of the world awesome hehe we need to know more if we going to wait so long :( so yes please find out if you cna give more out!!!
--nicole

Amanda W said...

Gahh!! Now I will be ripping my hair out in suspense until fall. That chapter was AMAZING. IF the whole book is written like you wrote that chapter, then The Dying Breath is going to be incredible.

Can't we move the date closer? Like SPRING of 2009?

-Amanda W

CailaCaudill said...

Lanie!
Oh my goodness! I'm SUPER EXCITED for this book to come out! And just like the last 3 you have to sign it.

Love Ya!

Your Favorite Person,

Caila

Hannah said...

I can't wait for it to come out!

kraziichika15 said...

Omg I CAN NOT WAIT TILL THE BOOK COMES OUT!!!!!!!!!! I am sooooooooooox100 excited
I cannot wait till this fall!!!

I love your books!!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I <3 this series, does it really have to be fall when it comes out? Seriously, I'm dying to know what happens next! You gonna give us chapter two? =) I love your writing, keep up the awesome work!

From a fellow Author

- Akaeda Flame

Anonymous said...

That was so good. I don't think I will be able to last until fall. I really really want to read the whole thing! I'm so excited.

Anonymous said...

Such a good start!!! I LOVE You books they are soo mind getting i cant seem to stop reading tehm

Anonymous said...

Someone call 911, because I think I JUST DIED! That was AMAZING! I'm sooo mad its not coming out sooner 'cause I just have to read the rest! ahhhh! I'm so excited! Thanks for posting!

love,
A huge fan that is dying for
The Dying Breath to come out!!! (

KimScantlin said...

Bravo! Cannot wait to read on... The cover is fabulous. At 46, I am a huge fan of the series! Cannot wait for more. As a bookseller at the local mall, I am so enthusiastic about recommending your books to my young adult readers and their mothers!

ashley w said...

omg!!!!!!!! That was amazing!! I cant wait until i get 2 read the rest! I can already tell that this is gonna be a great book! the suspence is killin me.....seriously i think i just died!!! Cant wait 2 find out what happens next! omg fall is too far away 2 bad u cant move up the release date.....like move it up 2 april! lol! ahhh...cant wait! love ur books ur the best!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great book Mrs. Ferguson, I can't wait for it to come out this fall! Until then,
Jazzmen Ann Donnelly

Anonymous said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH omg i loved/hated this because now im gonna be obssed until i can read the rest!!! but am so glad i got to read it!!!

Anonymous said...

Please put the second chapter on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm DYING to read it. This is my favorite series ever! Can't you let the book out sooner!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

im new to this series! ive only read the 3rd book (The Circle of Blood) and it was good and i loved the way it ended! u kno...forcing u to read the next book! Tho i hate the fact that i have 2 wait so long! i am excited! i think it'll b very good!

Vicky said...

I actually read the 2nd one first, got hooked then read the 1st and 3rd. I'm definitely anxious for the 4th to come out. So exciting! Bravo Ms. Ferguson! But yes, if only The Dying Breath comes out a little earlier...for now, I shall reread the previous ones again. :P

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Luv It!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait for this one to come out!!!!!!!!! What am i going to read while im waiting???????????

~ Powder Springs, GA

Lara said...

I can't wait for the new book to come out! I looveee these books sooooo much!!!

Anonymous said...

omg i loved it i wish u could of told us more when uu came to my school.

cant wait till fall

<3 victoria

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the rest of the book but what happens to Camryn in the Last does he go to jail I hope this book gives answers.

jeesica said...

oh my gosh that was
A-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!!!!!!!! i cant believe you ended it like that as if the end of the 3rd book wasnt bad enough. i just cant wait for it to come out

your wonderful <3 ya much

Anonymous said...

Alane i can't belive you!!!!
the way you left me hangin was just cruel!!!=)
when i read the 1st chap i was like bouncing up & down so much, my eyes were bugging & and my heart was beating 100 mi an hour!!well up until the end, then i completely froze and had my hand over my mouth!!
eww i completely hate kyle!! and if nothing happens between justin & cammie i will scream!!! you'v been dancing around them 4 all 3 books!! but i waited 2 read the books cause my friends told me that if i didn't wait i would be too mad to read any thing else the rest of the skool year and so i finished the circle of blood the last day of skool and belive me they were right i refuse to read any new books until i finish your last book so please write fast!!

love a tottaly obsessed fan, kaylin from florida :)

Tina T.B. said...

OMG! I canNOT wait!!!! :D I LOVE this series. It's even gotten me interested in forensics as a study. LOVE IT! ^_^_^_^

Anonymous said...

Alane:
I love the first chapter of this book; however, I do have a question for you. Wasn't Cammie suppose to turn 18 in January? Sheriff Jacobs continues to refer to her age as 17.
MG

Anonymous said...

OMG that was amazing!!!!!
my cousin just graduated high school and shes been talking about going into forensics for about two years now.
i always thought it was the most disgusting thing in the world. i almost faint at the sight of blood so i have no idea how i can read your books! there just so amazing it doesnt even bother me! :)
your books have helped me realize why in the world my cousin would be willing work with dead people!
i love your writting and cant wait for more!!!! :)

Erin said...

OH...MY...GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that was totally and completely AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont think I can wait that long for the book to come out. I am such a HUGE fan of your books, and you are the best auther ever. I am really looking forward reading The Dying Breath.

Your #1 fan forever,
<3 ERin

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh i need to read it im going to cy i need it

Anonymous said...

OMG!! I just found this book a week ago and I've finished all three!! I'm so anxious as to find out what happens between Justin and Cammie!!! And then with Kyle coming back!! I can't wait for the Dying Breath to come out!!

Anonymous said...

That was awesome! I loved it. I can't wait til the book comes out. Ever since i read your books I am interested in forensics, medical things, and investigations.

PS: you are one of my favorite authors.

bill said...

i like it a lot!

p.s.
i knew the real leather ed in silverton when i was a teen.

Wendy said...

I just started reading your books as part of my summer reading of classroom books. I keep a classroom library and try to read at least 50 books every summer. I read all three of them over the last few days.

My students that have read your books really enjoy them and I can see why. I will be recommending them in the fall.

I tend to notice details in stories and I do have one question about a detail in this chapter - it has to do with Cameryn's age. The sheriff says that she is 17. Wouldn't she have turned 18 in January? I remember that being stated in either the 2nd or 3rd book. I read both of them today.

Christina said...

OMIGOSH!!!!! I don't know how I will be able to survive the waiting!! When in the fall does it come out?! I just know that this one will be the best yet! But I'm scared, the title doesn't mean that Cammie's gonna die, does it? I don't really want Kyle to die either! And I totally guessed that Kyle did like Cammie! It's a sort of sweet, in a killer way! haha

But now instead of reading the rest of the book, I have to read summer reading books! :(

Anonymous said...

Omigosh that was sooooo good i really want to read the 4th book. This excerpt made my day. can't wait for the rest of the book

Camille said...

I loved the excerpt!!! I cant wait for the book to come out!!!!

Dares to Dream said...

That first chapter left me hanging on the edge of my seat!...well, bed. But same difference. It has me more excited than before (if possible) for the next book to come out! I have adored your stories so far, both for your plots, characters, and science. It is nice to see that there are books for teens being written that deal with forensic evidence, not just adult books. I hope more people become interested in mysteries once they read your novels!

-Cassidy

Heather said...

It was breath-taking! I'm even more excited for the book to come out! Your books have really had an impact in my life, in the best way possable! Kudos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kalee said...

Alane---
I am sooooo excited about this book!!! I really x 100000000
want justin and cammie 2 get together they r like perfect for eachother!!!!!

I dont get why cammie kissed kyle but wont even date justin:(
i really think cammie should let her guard down and have some romance with justin. He's like perfect for her, i mean, he's gorgeos,and he really cares about cammie. I really hope they get 2gether

Kade123 said...

Gosh Alane, you are the best writer on the planet! You rock! I love your books and I've been none stop talking about The Dying Breath to my parents and they practically bribed me to get me to shut up! I love your books!

Alane Ferguson said...

Kade123 is my new BFF - what an AWESOME comment! Thanks to you all for your support and you counting down to the release date! My computer gave me The Blue Screen of Death, which means I have lost EVERYTHING. I am still in shock but trying to recover with a new Apple. So you upbeat thoughts have been most appreciated over this very long week. Thousands of pages gone - poof! I'm crying on the inside AND the outside. So thanks again for making me smile!

Kalee said...

alane i cant wait 4 the dying breath 2 come out. i seriosly cannot wait. and please please PLEAASE have cammie and justin get 2gether

Alane Ferguson said...

Not to worry, Kaylee...except, Kyle is still out there, watching Cameryn's every move....

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!!!!! I cannot wait till this book comes out. U r an amazing author!! Will this be the last book? Please tell me it won't!! I love this series!! Woohoo, go Justin and Cammie!!! : D

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!! i don't think i can wait till Oct. 15!!!! I LOVE ALANE FERGUSON!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved that so much!!! I read all of the other books and I plan on buying this one too, cannot wait till fall!

Anonymous said...

I loved that, now I wish I wouldn't have read it because I just can't stop thinking about chapter 2!!! looks like it will be another gr8 book!!!

Danielle said...

I was just about to email you to find out when the next book was coming out...and wow-was I soooo surprised when I saw this....
I cannot wait!!!!!! I mean-I really, physically cannot wait..lol

You are an amazing writer and story teller....

god bless you girl!!!!

Anonymous said...

this is AWESOME i think you should put up the next chapter! i cant wait for it to come out im going to buy it. these are some of the best books ever! I can tell this one is going to be the best of all. Hurry up and publish it.! so exicted, cant wait.

-Ashley

BrandyNicole said...

Oh my gosh! I've been reading another series but the next book dosen't come out til like February so I turned to your books...again. For the third time. Ha, anywho it was great! Fall, when exactly is fall? I'm so excited! And I rememered the ending of the third book and I'm like wait a second, it dosen't just end like that! There's gotta be a fourth one. So now I'm all excited. Because of your books I'm right in the middle, do I wanna be a forensic scientist, or a writer? It's a tough decision. Hurry up and finish the fourth book!

Forever a fan,
-Brandy

Annie said...

Alane,
I am soooooooo excited for your 4th book!! I read the Christopher Killer in 6th grade so we could make iMovies and have been hooked ever since! After finishing The Circle of Blood, I was really sad to know that I wouldn't know the end of Cameryn's story, until I heard about this book. I was ecstatic! My friends and I love them so much, and we can't wait!! I'm so glad you wrote a 4th one!
Forever hooked,

Annie

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH
I just finished the book, less than five minutes ago, and it's almost impossible to breathe because of the ending. AMAZING!
The suspense at the end was killing me.
You are SUCH a great writer!
This is the end of the series right?
-Kali :)

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

Anonymous said...

I was sooo surprised and excited at the end of the third book! It kept me on the edge of my seat! I love all of these books and I can't wait for the next one to come up!!:)

Danialle said...

My only regret to reading this is the fact that I have to wait till Christmas to start reading more of the book. I LOVE THE FIRST CHAPTER!!!!

Lena said...

AMAZING!!!! I cannot wait to read the whole thing! I really wanna know what happens with Justin and Cameryn. I love the mixture of science and mystery in these novels!

mattie said...

I LUV IT IT IS EXCITING AND A TOTAL PAGE TURNER

mattie said...

I LUV IT ,IT IS EXCITING AND A TOTAL PAGETURNER

mattie said...

i luv it it is awesome

Autumn said...

I absolutely love this series and I cant wait to finally read this book!!! good job Alane!!! =]

Anonymous said...

.....wow......This series is something I haven't seen in a long time....its just.....absolutely perfect. When I read the end of Circle of Blood i couldn't sleep, eager to what happened. Thank you! You are an inspiration to me! <3 ur number 1 fan, Ashlee

Anonymous said...

i already read the dying breath is there going to be another book after it? and the third book ended in a big cliff hanger. i didnt really the end of tdying breath, klye shouldnt have died.

Anonymous said...

Omg!! Alane, honey you did an absolute fabulous job on the Christopher killer and now dying breath? I can't wait to read the angel of death and your other book with that series. I thought it was sad though when Kyle came after Justin and stabbed him with his knife. But the way you put Justin and Cammie in character was fabulous!! You made them seem like a really good couple.(And you made Justin seem really cute!) :)
Well anyway, love ALL of your books!!

Sonya said...

Omigod. I can't wait to read the rest of this book. The forst 3 books were amazing!

Anonymous said...

i just got done reading this book its amazing your my fav author thanks for the first chapter it made me so want to read it i love your writing :)

Samantha A. S. said...

Love this book!

The new inspiration for becoming an author and joining forensics.




Where can I find your forensic books? Only own 2. Any specific stores?(not online?)

Alane, your amazing and after a week of actually learning you exist, you are my idol.

I am only 11, and am in LOVE with your books!

nancy said...

I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! it was amazing and i love that cameryn and justin are together. i read fast and when i finished it i cried because i know that there is not another book. I am reading the series all over again!! I LOVED IT SO MUCH i cant stop talking about. no other series is better than this one!!
your biggest fan
Nancy

ps.i just want to ask if you are writing the next book.

Maddie Roberts said...

OMG I love your books I wonder if there will be another book I want to read more I really love the books