Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Chains That Bind, Excerpt Chapt 7

This excerpt is from The Chains That Bind, book 3 of the Runespells series. You can order Fluffy Bunny, book 2, published in 2017, and Too Wyrd, book 1, published in 2016. Both books are published by Black Rose Writing.

I slammed back the remainder of my drink and dropped some bills on the table. I had a job to do and, like it or not, I needed Joseph's help to safely navigate the trail. I could swallow being hurt by his words if he stepped up to get this done. The rest we'd work out later.

"Hey, bitch!"

My head whipped around at the man's voice. I spotted a man at the bar with his hand locked around the wrist of a woman with short hair. Part of my mind noticed that the cut was really bad, choppy and bedraggled. The rest of me focused on the man.

"What is your problem, buddy?" I shouted, stalking up to him. "Let her go!"

The man started to protest, and I grabbed his wrist, applying pressure on the bones until he yelped and his hand opened. I shoved his hand away and stuck my finger in his face.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" I demanded.

The man scowled at me. "That woman was on the news."

I blinked. "What?"

The man hefted himself of his bar stool. "You heard me," he said. "She's that chick all the cops are looking for. And you helped her get away."

I turned around, but the woman was already gone. I heard the man yell after me, but I hit the door at a run.

I stopped when I hit the sidewalk, my eyes darting around for any sign of the woman. Night had fallen and the streetlights gave uneven illumination for a search. A running figure caught my attention and I rushed after her.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Chains That Bind Excerpt - Going Berserker

This excerpt is from The Chains That Bind, book 3 of the Runespells series. You can order Fluffy Bunny, book 2, published in 2017, and Too Wyrd, book 1, published in 2016. Both books are published by Black Rose Writing.

"You need to find your trigger," Rade insisted, watching me go through the kata she'd shown me.

I panted with effort. "I have plenty of triggers," I muttered.

"What angers you? What gives you the desire to be a righteous avenger? What makes you want bring down the wrath of the gods?"

I paused and cocked my head to one side. Rade gave me an expectant look.

"What makes me want to bring the wrath of the gods?" I kept my face straight when I met her eyes. "Bad movies and rap music."

Rade rolled her eyes. I'm pretty sure it wasn't something she did often. She was too uptight for that.

I went back to the series of moves. They were fighting moves, done in a set pattern and in slow motion. Katas, no matter what style of fighting was done, were about building muscle memory. The theory was, if I got in a fight, my body would remember the moves and play them out in double time.

I figured it was good exercise and it gave me something to focus on besides my continued failure to get past my past.

Rade moved up close to my side. She kept her voice low and stayed out of the way of my movements. But she spoke slowly, relentlessly. "What angers you? What causes your eyes to flash? What brings up the rage? What makes you want to hit, to hurt?"

I let her words wash over me as I moved. My mind only needed to partially focus on the kata. The rest of my thoughts drifted.

A face appeared in my mind. Lupe. I'd gone to Zaro the first time to try to stop him from taking her as one of his many "wives". Instead, he'd taken me, and I'd never gotten a clear answer as to whether he'd left Lupe alone.

Thinking about how he'd manipulated so many, stealing their will for his own pleasure - stealing MY will for his pleasure - how he'd messed up so many people and families, how women abandoned their children for him... I could see the faces of the children at the Center, so many with a soul-deep sorrow spilling from their eyes.

I felt the anger bubbling up, and I let myself embrace it. There was no one I could hurt on accident here. Rade was more than capable of defending herself if I lost it, and Joseph was out of the way, making up some breakfast.

The warmth rushed up the back of my neck, heating my ears and making my scalp tingle. Energy and power flowed up my legs and into my torso, spilling out along my arms. My body felt like it had sprouted muscles. I glanced down at my hands and some manic part of my mind giggled over the thought that they should have turned green.

I clenched my hands into fists and flexed my body. The tension pushed its way out of my gut, and I opened my mouth to roar my rage.

My vision changed, flooding red, then fading into a kind of yellow with blood red still tinging the edges. I could still see everything, but I found that there were things popping out at me.

Rade was one of those things. She drew me like a flame attracts a moth. Her body and face sprang into sharp relief, and I could see in my mind which three spots to strike first for maximum pain.

I could also see on her face the exact moment when she understood that I would attack her. She shifted smoothly on her feet, changing the way her weight was distributed. Part of me knew she'd moved into a fighting stance, but the thoughts going through my head were hungry and challenging. The prey would be a good fight, and I could almost taste the pleasure of testing my strength on her.

I stepped towards her, my own feet moving step by step, a tiger stalking in the jungle. Prey could not run without exposing herself to my attack. I could take my time to get into position.

I hunched over slightly, coiling my body to be ready to spring. I let my mouth fall open, and I sniffed the air, letting my nose and tongue work together. I tasted the green of the trees and bushes, the yellow of sunlight warming the grass. A musky scent drifted past bringing to mind a deer scratching his cheek on a low branch.

I also smelled sweat. Not like human sweat, though it was impossible to explain the difference. Prey was nervous. I smiled. Then I lunged for the Valkyrie's throat.