Read An Excerpt

NIGHTSHADE
by Ronie Kendig

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Inspirational

Read Book Review

Cracking open the throttle ignited a wild explosion of power and speed. Zero to sixty in less than three seconds left Max Jacobs breathless. Gut pressed to the spine of his Hayabusa, he bore down the mountainous two-lane road away from civilization, away from . . . everything. Here only pine trees, concrete and speed were his friends.

His bike screamed as it ate up the road. The thrill burst through him. He needed the rush. Craved it. Stop running, Max. Her words stabbed his conscience. Made him mad.

Rounding a bend, he slowed and sighted the drop-off in the road—remembered a full 10% grade, straight down. His gaze bounced between the speedometer and the cement. Common sense told him to decelerate. The boiling in his veins said otherwise.  

He twisted the throttle.   

Eighty. 

Max leaned into the bike and felt the surge. 

Ninety.

He sucked in a breath as he sped toward the break. 

The road dropped off. The Hayabusa roared as the wheels sailed out. He tried to grip the handlebars tighter as nothing but tingling Virginia oxygen enveloped him. Silence gaped. 

This could be it. This could end it all. No more pain. No more life without Syd . . . 

Take me. Just take me. 

The Hayabusa plummeted. 

Straight down. Concrete. Like a meteor slamming to earth. 

The back tire hit. A jolt shot through the bike. Then the front tire bounced. Rattling carried through the handlebars and into his shoulders. He grabbed the brake—

Stupid! The brake locked. Rear tire went right. He tried to steer into the skid but momentum flipped him up. Over. Pops snapped through his back as he spiraled through the air. In the chaos his bike gave chase, kicking and screaming as it tore after him. 

Crack! Pop! The sound of his crashing bike reverberated through the lonely country lane. 

Scenery whirled. Pine trees whipped into a Christmas-color frosting. Tree bark blurred into a menagerie of browns, drawing closer and closer.

Thud! His head bounced off the cement. He flipped again.

Finally. It’d be over. He closed his eyes. No more—

THUD! “Oof.” The breath knocked from his lungs. Pain spiked his shoulders and spine. Fire lit across his limbs and back as he slid from one lane to another. Down the road, spinning. Straight toward the trees. 

He winced, arched his back. Kicking, he tried to gain traction. If he wasn’t going to die, he didn’t want to end up paralyzed. Just like you not to think it through. 

He dumped into a ditch. 

Smack! 

Everything went black.

He blinked. Pain shrieked through his body, his thighs and shoulders burning. “Argh!” 

Max pried himself onto all fours, hanging his head. A crack rent the face shield. A wicked throb pulsed through his temples and . . . everywhere. He fought with the helmet. Growled as he freed the straps. He pawed it off, cursing at the thing for saving his life. Those head whacks as he somersaulted through the air should’ve punched a hole in his skull. Warmth dribbled down his brow. He pressed a palm against his forehead. Sticky and warm. Blood. He grunted and strained to look across the road. Mangled. Twisted. His bike. Him.