A Teaser For Tuesday

This week’s teaser is from my new book, Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate, which is out now on Amazon. This work sees the action return to the Arena as Sadira now faces a duel of honour against a fellow Chosen, prefaced by a full blown tournament where each Chosen fields a team, fighting to earn advantages in the final match.

Not all of the Stitched wore furs and leather, and when Green Glory cut down one of the Zombies that was wearing and iron breastplate, she saw her score jump by several points, briefly overtaking Kingblade’s. As soon as this registered she started looking for the metal-clad Stitched and pushed her way toward the closest one. A mace handed Zombie smashed her side as she pushed, but she sent it sprawling with a flick of her horn and then brought her axe down onto the armoured figure, cleaving through the helm and spilling its pickled brain.

Kingblade saw Green Glory’s score jump ahead of his, and he began to surge into the horde as well, cutting down Zombies with powerful strokes. As they closed around him, one of them gouged his leg with a jagged hook, slowing him down for a moment. He growled and crushed its head with a powerful backhand.

Both Gladiators were fighting hard now, drenched with sweat and breathing hard. Many of the spectators were on their feet, shouting praises for their favourite. In the Platinum Circle Lounge, a round of late betting was taking place, with princely sums wagered on the exact spread of points.

The undead, relentless and vicious, pulled at the Gladiators. Each of their steps became a burden. An especially energetic Zombie leapt onto Green Glory’s back, clawing at her head with the hooked blades that were attached to its wrists instead of hands. Reaching back, she tossed it into the fray and then pushed forward again, crushing more foes underfoot while she looked for more of the armoured Stitched.

Kingblade’s sword became a blur of steel and blood, chopping through every Stitched around him. Though he now realized that the metal armoured zombies were worth more points, he did not push toward them, opting instead to kill those within easy reach as quickly as possible. Every stroke brought two or more down, soaking the sands around him red with blood and littering it with severed limbs and broken bodies.

Green Glory saw Kingblade’s score surge upward; she was losing ground. She shouldered toward the closest metal clad Stitched, but the ranks of her foes did not buckle. Bellowing she pushed into them again, toppling and crushing some, but she was not able to get to her target. Then she pushed a third time, half pushing, half leaping over the wall of the undead.

A Teaser for Tuesday

Welcome friends. This week’s teaser is from Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate, book seven of The Domains of The Chosen series.

Stormscream shouted and fell to the sand. Bloodfrost, sensing a chance to close in for the kill, descended upon him. Stormscream was not as wounded as he appeared though, and he stabbed her as she attacked. His right-hand blade pierced her side, and hot blood ran down the handle. It did not stop her though, and Bloodfrost leaned into her own attack, forcing Stormscream to parry with his other weapon. Heedless of the wound in her side, she pushed on her blade with both hands, trusting to superior position, driven by the strength of her rage. The tip of her weapon pushed into the flesh of Stromscream’s shoulder. Her opponent, knowing his fate if he did not escape, channelled a lightning spell that covered his hand in crackling electricity and he let go of the sword embedded in Bloodfrost’s side. Then, as her blade inched deeper into his flesh, grating past his remaining weapon, he grabbed hold of his opponent’s leg.

Electricity burned through Bloodfrost, filling her with searing pain much worse than that from the blade impaling her. Bloodfrost staggered and let loose a piercing war-shriek before gritting her teeth and bearing down on the greatsword.

“It will take more than that!” she growled, her voice like that of a beast.

Blood welled around the tip as she drove it deeper and Stormscream grunted in pain.

“How about this, bitch!” he snarled, reaching up between her legs and grabbing her groin. Electricity pulsed through his hand and into Bloodfrost’s groin, burning the flesh. The crowd gasped as the Gladiatrix howled and fell back, pulling her blade out of Stormscream and sinking to her knees in the sand, panting at the vicious pain.

Even on the fighting grounds there are lines you are not supposed to cross. Here we see a definite heel character engage in the lowest of low blows. I take great joy in writing such moments of over-the-top villainy at times 🙂

 

A Teaser for Tuesday

Barring unforeseen events my next Domains of the Chosen book, Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate will release next week. Here is a taste:

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The body was pinned to a tree with javelins through each shoulder and one in the belly. It was easy to read pain in the features of the dead man, although softened by death and decay.

“This is bad,” said Elder Hissu.

“This is my father’s work,” said Riritaka. “He wants to cause panic.”

“Who is this man?” asked Gavin.

“He is known to me,” said Elder Hissu, sadly. “He is a trader among your people, beloved by both the Legionnaires and those who seek peace among the tribes.”

“The scouts tell me he was put here four days ago,” said Strategos Mora. “This was done while we were attending the sodding peace talks.”

“Yes, that sounds like Gotka,” said Riritaka. “He will come for us soon.”

“How far away from the fort are we?” asked Gavin.

“If we marched clear through the night we could get there in less than twenty hours,” said Strategos Mora. “We cannot outpace The Pale in the jungle though, Chosen. Only the best of the scouts could manage that feat, and even then, it would be risky.”

“Can we evade them?” asked Gavin.

“No,” said Strategos Mora. “We believe they watch us, even now.”

“It is possible,” said Chosen Brighthoof. “But surely not in numbers large enough to be a threat.”

“The watchers will be directing two groups,” said Riritaka. “One will be between us and the fort, the other will be trailing us.”

“Should we move to the coast then?” asked Gavin, trying to formulate a plan.

“They would expect that, would they not?” responded elder Hissu, turning to Riritaka.

“Yes,” said Riritaka. “The paths to the coast will be heavily trapped.”

“Strategos Mora, how far away are your men?” asked Gavin.

<> (The edits on this next part have not been approved, so this is raw.)

The Duellum Dominantium was one of the few times that both groups enter the fighting grounds at the same time.

Silvius, followed by the mountainous form of the Gorehound entered from the south, while Sadira and Sapphire Kiss entered from the north. A half-million fans, all on their feet, screaming and cheering, greeted the four Gladiators as their feet touched the white sands.

Sadira, known for her flashy entrances, merely gave a salute to the crowd and then plodded to the centre of the Arena. The audience was taken aback; those who hated Sadira filled the air with jeers and boos, while those who loved her felt a touch of fear at the sight of their vivacious hero looking wan and full of sorrow. Sapphire Kiss walked beside her like an energetic filly following in the wake of an old mare, eager and ready to fight.

Silvius strode across the sand, his hair spilling over his shoulders in magnificent curls, jaw set in a confident smile. Everything about him shone, from his armour and the edge of his Draklaive to his oiled skin. He stood a head taller than Sadira and Sapphire Kiss, and looked leaner and more powerful than he had in many years.

Behind him lumbered the Gorehound, huge and foreboding.

For The Duellum Dominantium, Quintus diKrass, the most famed arena announcer of the day had been brought out of retirement. He named each of the fighters in turn and they all gave a salute. Sadira’s was curt, in marked contrast the impressive flourish given by Silvius.

“It looks as if the flower of Daer has wilted,” intoned Silvius. “Have you come to regret challenging me, kitten?”

Teaser Tuesday

It is still Tuesday somewhere, I am certain…

Anyways here is a Teaser from my next book, Red Fangs (The Shadow Wolf Sagas #2)

After searching a few of these we found ourselves in an area called The Husk, where an entire street had been consumed by green flame over a decade ago and not yet rebuilt. It was a dismal sight, the bones of once vital buildings looming through the mist like the carcasses of long forgotten beasts.

“The basements on most of these places are still be intact,” said Murith. “We often get called into clear this area of vagrants. It has been quiet for weeks though.”

“Tis a great place for an ambush.”

“Cinder is a coward and a trickster,” said Berkhilda. “He would favour traps over direct confrontation.”

“Do either of you know what he looks like?” asked Murith.

“No.”

“He wears a red mask,” said Berkhilda. “And I am told that he is not large of stature.”

“That’s not much to go on.”

I raised my hand for silence and walked forward, concentrating, letting my senses go. The smell of smoke and ash and ash was overpowering, but underneath it all I could detect the scent of blood and the chemical smell from the bloodsuckers who attacked Murith and her squad. This was the place, then. Cautiously, I sifted through the other scents. Human waste. A venomous creeper vine. Cheap liquor and old sweat. Still, despite the confirmation, something bothered me.

“This is the place,” I said. “Cinder had the basement cleared out and proofed against scent and sound. But I can clearly smell blood and that drug. I think we are meant to find this place. I can hear something else too.”

“So it’s a trap.”

“I think so,” I could definitely hear a sound now, a faint but steady sobbing muffled by layers of earth and broken buildings.

Teaser Tuesday

This week’s teaser comes from by upcoming novel, Red Fangs, the second book in the Shadow Wolf Sagas.

Besides editing, I had to rewrite some of the text and even add in a few characters that become important later.

And I laughed as they came, because what man can be tired with the rush of escaping the snapping jaws of something monstrous and the red joy of killing it still upon him?

My first attacker gave me plenty of warning, howling ferociously as she leapt off her high perch, teeth flashing in dim light. I swung my blade to meet her and her eyes went wide as it cut deep and sent her flying away in two pieces.

Then they were all around me, driven mad by the curse of the Bloodhydra. They clawed at my face and I pushed them away. They clawed at my sides but my Kingsmail proved too much for them. They clawed at my legs and bit at my back and that proved to be a larger problem.

While most of Cinders minions were poor combatants, used to back alley street fights at best, they were still vampires and much stronger than most men. I chopped the hands off the first couple, but as soon as one got a lasting grip on me my position became untenable.

A body slammed into my side and I staggered. Another jumped on my back, biting at my neck and bearing me down. My sword was torn from my handsI knew that if I fell they would tear me apart. Roaring, I reached back and felt my hand close on the back of the neck of the one on. I pulled him over my shoulder as I wheeled about drunkenly, trying to stay up, the slammed him into the planks. Something snagged my foot, nearly tripping me, and I drove my knife down violently.

Grinning, a vampire with the facial tattoos of a wildsider gang, came at me as I freed my foot. I fed him a mouthful of gauntleted fist, shattering the teeth that he had so proudly displayed. Another fell to a strike to the heart from my knife, shocked eyes wide in the dark.

“Who’s next?”

The vampire that leapt out at was bearing my own blade, shimmering silver in torchlight.

Teaser Tuesday

It is Tuesday once more, and thus time for a teaser. This week it is a little tidbit from my work-in-progress, Red Fangs, the second book in the Shadow Wolf Sagas.

The Shadow Wolf Sagas does not have as many monsters in it as my other series, The Domains of the Chosen, but I do sneak in a grotesque beast here and there:

“Too wate wittiw man,” came a voice from the passage behind me.

I turned. An enormous humanoid filled the passage, waddling toward me. It was fat and pale with tiny, porcine eyes and a mouthful of finger-sized fangs. One of its arms had a hook instead of a hand, while other held a cleaver. It was a troll of some sort. I drew my axe and hammer.

 “Gonna eat ma fiw!” chortled the thing emerging from the darkness, gnashing its teeth. It was heavyset for a troll and yet moved with surprising agility. I felt the hairs on my neck stand on end and wished that I had some of Git’s firebombs.

“Oh, thank Furis!” said Berkhilda, relief evident in her voice. “I was getting sick of all this prattle!”

Berkhilda pushed past me to meet the creature. The tunnels here were wide enough that she had space to swing her axe. Of course, had we been in a smaller passage, such a beast would not have been able to follow us.

“Gonna cut you up!” chortled the thing.

Zavra whimpered, cowering behind me. Berkhilda snorted and charged. Her saw-toothed axe blurred as it sliced through the air. The beast made no attempt to dodge, nor did it flinch as the blade clove into its chest. Blood, thick and black, ooozed out of the cut. I recognized the sights of such corrupted vitae from my days as an adventurer.

“Wight… it is some sort of wight!” I shouted.

The massive wight slammed its bulk into Berkhilda as the vampire warrior struggled to pull her weapon from the wound. As strong as she was, the creature’s mass seemed to defy her, and she was pinned to the side of the passage by a veritable wall of pale flesh.

“Hurhurhur,” said the Beast, raising its cleaver. “Gun cut you up good redhairs.”

I leapt at the wight, aiming a blow at its head but something snared my foot, and I stumbled, catching myself before I fell. The Troll-wight chortled and swung its hook hand at me. I was barely able to get my weapons up to shield myself from the blow and the impact knocked the breath from my lungs and lifted me off my feet. I flew back, hitting the brick wall, bracing for impact as best I could, then sliding down.

“Wait yurr turn,” gurgled the corpulent wight. Berkhilda was pounding on it with her fists now, each punch driving deep into the folds of its flesh, but her powerful blows seemed to have little effect. Wights and trolls are notoriously resistant to pain, although I have never heard of any that were so rotund and gleefully hungry.

As I pushed myself up the wight chortled and raised its cleaver again. Berkhilda caught its arm and held the weapon in place with furious strength. The beast raised the hook-hand, scrapping it along her armour. Berkhilda gnashed her teeth angrily.

I pushed up off the wall, charging, and leaping up onto the mass. The troll-wight turned its head toward me, beady eyes widening. I landed on its mountainous back, digging the crowsbeak spikes on the back of my hammer and axe into its flesh, like pitons into a cliffside. Then I begant to hack at the beast, forgoing precision in favour of brutal strokes of my axe into its head and shoulder. Blood and gore splattered the tunnel as I went to work.

“Geddorffff, stoppit!” rumbled the creature, shaking like a dog emerging from the water and trying to reach me with its hook. I pulled myself up, and dug in again.