Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year, literally, of Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.
Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
Today I'm offering snippets from my new release Take the Reins, a fantasy romance, and Book 1 in the Rifts series. Bethany Stanton is missing and Major McMacken has accepted the job, but now that he's crossed into this new world, there are a whole new set of dangers he has to prepare for.
It took him a few heartbeats to realize it wasn’t the wind making the sound. Mack jerked his gaze into the brilliant blue sky just in time to see a meteor heading straight for him.
Aw, shit, that’s nice. What’re the odds?
He tried to calculate where the meteor would hit and bolted perpendicular to it to escape. Oddly, the meteor seemed to follow him and he spun just as it crashed into the turf no more than thirty yards behind him. The impact threw him to the ground just as heat and flame shot over his head. Mack rolled to keep the flames from catching his clothes and scrambled to his feet to escape the brush fire.
He only had to run a few feet before the flames appeared to stop in a perfect circle around the impact. Mack paused and cautiously glanced over his shoulder. The meteor thrashed on the ground as if experiencing death throes.
What the hell?
Shrieking filled the air and a flailing mass churned in the center of the impact site. Flames licked in concentric circles around the thrashing creature, pulsing in time with flashes of light. A hum rose, the frequency growing louder and louder until another explosion rocked the grasslands.
Again, Mack was knocked off his feet as heat and light emblazoned the world. He threw his hands up over his eyes as debris rained down over him, bits of ash and grass smelling a lot like burnt feathers. He sat up and scanned the smoldering field, ducking when something grazed his head. He caught it and held up a brilliant orange feather that glinted gold when he turned it.
Little sparks seemed to trail behind it as he moved it through the air, but they didn’t worry him half as much as the flames encroaching on his position in the grass. Mack scrambled up and tried to gauge which direction would get him out of the flames fastest. The ashes in the crater stirred as if the wind kicked them up, but the air around him lay still. He frowned and shifted closer, his curiosity overriding his preservation instinct.
What the hell is that?
Something pushed its way out of the soft gray flakes at the bottom of the impact crater. A head remarkably similar to a bird rose, followed by a long neck and bare shoulders. As he watched, the body sprouted what looked like feathers, similar in color to the one he held. The beak opened and a plaintive shriek rent the air. Mack slapped his hands to his ears as the creature extended its scaly arms and awkwardly flapped a few times, feathers growing like magic.
He glanced at the feather in his fingers. It matched the plumage of the creature whistling and flapping on the ground. Sparks shot from the ends of its growing feathers and little flames licked along its crest and tail. The body enlarged as it flapped its wings harder and it met Mack’s gaze with a glowing red eye.
Take the Reins, available everywhere now.
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