Monday, June 17, 2013

WIP Excerpt: Human Strengths

I've been really excited and humbled by the positive response Human Frailties has been getting from the Goodreads crowd. I've had people asking me about the sequel, and yes, I am hard at work on it! I'm working on the rewrite at the moment, and hoping to have it out to my beta readers in a couple of weeks (which is all depending on how much more ass-kicking allergy season does to me... the last week? Miserable.)

At any rate, since I had so much fun posting teasers for Human Frailties over on Goodreads, I've decided to post a teaser for the sequel. From Human Strengths (mostly unedited, so no promises about whether this bit will make the final cut):

Ignoring the pain in his ankle, Tor scrambled back until his hip hit the stone lid of the sarcophagus. He spared a glance behind him, reaching for the sword just as the rhyx began its charge.

“Tor!” Ash’s cry of warning barely registered. The moment his fingers closed around the leather-wrapped hilt, something huge unfolded in his mind. Tor froze. There was a split-second of intense cold and then something ghosted through him, a tingling that moved outward from his core to his fingertips in one quick pulse. His limbs exploded into motion and his grip on the sword shifted as he charged the rhyx.

The creature screamed as he met it in mid-leap. The blade penetrated fur, skin, and muscle. There was a brief feeling of resistance before their combined momentum drove the blade deep into the animal’s chest. The rhyx dropped to the floor with a gurgling breath and Tor, unable to let go of the sword, crashed to the floor with it.

Whatever it was that had possessed him suddenly let go. Swearing and gasping for breath, Tor struggled to get away. The panic that burned through him was so thick it nearly choked him. Before he could scramble to his feet, the cold light of the leythe surrounded him and seared through him, an icy, burning shock. It felt exactly like what Lucano had done to him, and the screams that tore from his throat were as much terror as pain.

He tried to drop the sword, but his fingers tightened on the hilt instead. The cold burned into him. Every muscle in his body locked and Tor’s back arched as he screamed again. He couldn’t feel the bond, couldn’t feel the sword in his hands, couldn’t feel anything except that freezing pain that burned him in places no one should have been able to touch.

The cold was abruptly replaced by a flow of healing warmth. The nameless places inside him that hurt beyond all bearing drew in that warmth and slowly faded from his awareness.

I am Blackfang of the Azhani, and you are my bond-mate. There was a long pause followed by a strong sense of disbelief before the voice continued, sounding much less sure of itself: Oh… you’re not a princess…

“Princess…?” Tor echoed faintly, and then everything went fuzzy and darkness closed in over his head.

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