- 2013 (94)
- 2012 (299)
- 2011 (392)
- Drafting in the Fast Lane
- Reader fatigue
- I went back and forth
- Transylvanian Treats- Guest blog by Marie Treanor
- Release of The Devil's Kiss - The Magical Sword Bo...
- When Souls Collide Chapter 13, part 1
- It's Friday...
- The Selection of Words
- Launch party for Hunter's Moon Magic!
- Vampires in Paradise
- I Want More
- Black Cat Beauty Author: Savanna Kougar Genr...
- When Souls Collide Chapter 11, part 2
- It's Friday...
- A sexy, action-packed sci-fi romance? Damaged Carg...
- Reading to Make Myself Write
- Battle of the Bunnies
- <!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--><!--[i...
- When Souls Collide Chapter 11, part 1
- It's Friday...
- Time Moves By...
- Who Are You?
- A Chat with Paranormal Romance Author JL Oiler
- How Bad Do You Like Them?
- Angelic Surrender The Kavanaugh Foundation, Boo...
- When Souls Collide, Chapter 10, Part 2
- Filling in for the wonderful J. Hali Steele...and ...
- Beyond the happily ever after
- 2009 (174)
A free book! Imagine the possibilities! Would I pick out a historical, a mystery, a paranormal romance? Well, at that moment the world was my oyster. He went to the sci-fi section while I browsed the shelves of romance offerings.
And I promptly became bored, screeching to a halt, I've so already read that bored.
All the rows of compellingly beautiful cover art on the paranormals, while some reeled me in, as soon as I read the blurbs I realized I’d read all those twists and turns before and oh lord do I have the stomach for yet another vampire book? Same thing with the historical romances. Gorgeous, half-dressed men, but every guy is titled, there’s an issue with the girl and oh look they get together and live happily ever after. Blah, blah, blah. Forlorn, I headed over to my beloved mystery section, hoping against hope there was something different.
All the heroes are cops or former cops, all the heroines are nosy busy bodies who don’t really want to get involved but solve the cozy mystery anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure all of these books are perfectly lovely and some writer took the time to finish the book and had the guts to send it out to agents and editors. We know the drill. However, this is my complaint: for the love of God, do something different!
I’ll be the first to admit, coming up with original takes on plots is tough. It’s hard work and sometimes a writer will fall back on the tried and true because it’s easy and familiar. Who hasn’t done this a time or two? But as a reader—heck as a writer—I’m getting real tired of seeing twenty books that are essentially the same.
Maybe it’s a fatal flaw in the New York model. They scream they want different—yet not that different because they might not be able to market it. They yell they want to take chance on new talent—yet not someone real new because they might have out-of-the-box ideas they might not know what to do with. They clamor for new plots—yet not too “out there” because the reader might have to think too much.
I don’t know about you but I’ve never followed the herd or have done what everyone else is doing because it’s comfortable or cozy. I don’t intend to start now.
I want NEW. I want DIFFERENT. I want to finish a book and say wow, that was great or you just don’t see that anymore.
As a reader, I want to be engaged, so wrapped up in a fresh new plot twist or new take on the norm that as a writer, I’ll be jealous I didn’t think of it first. Dazzle me. Dangle that proverbial carrot in front of me that will make me absolutely need to buy your next book.
As a writer, I’m constantly striving to write original things and put such a different spin on things that a reader will say it’s a unique and welcome take. The result? Sometimes I’m a difficult-to-place author LOL The payoff? Huge because the content isn’t the same as a lot of writers. Readers say hmm, I wonder what else she can do.
What did I end up getting at Borders as my free book? A historical romance featuring pirates (I already have 3 just like it in paperback form and 4 more on my e-reader) Yup, I know but I’m hoping from the blurb it’ll be different… If not chances are this book will end up on Paperback Swap.
Pretty bad, huh?
So, the question of the day is this: what plot line/character mixes are you tired of seeing out there? What is something you’d be interested in reading about in future books?
With the third release of The Magical Sword Series, The Devil’s Kiss coming out on Monday at 8 p.m. EST, I thought I’d share the song that was the inspiration for the these novels.
Run by Leona Lewis, played an important role with all of the novels in the series, but especially with The Devil’s Kiss. The story is intense, emotional and powerful. To make sure I nailed the emotion down in my writing, I always listened to this song before I wrote the scene to get me in the mind set of deep emotion. There's just something about Ms. Lewis' voice that reaches down into your soul and plays at your heart strings.
So, onto the fun stuff, let's have a contest. Well, not really a contest, just leave a comment with your email address, and on Tuesday morning I will draw a winner!!
What’s the prize? Either, The Willow or The Wicked to get you started on the series or A Deadly Whisper if you’ve already followed Nexi’s journeys.
The Magical Sword Series ~ Book Three
A nasty bite starts a whirlwind of doom―one soul turns toward the darkness while one heart battles to deny destiny.
Nexi Jones can never catch a break. With only just returning from a much needed vacation—a deadly Werewolf attack takes place in Plymouth, Minnesota. In pursuit for answers, Nexi finds herself face-to-face with someone she desperately wanted to avoid, Magnus, the Lord of the Underworld. He hasn’t forgotten her and will stop at nothing to use her magical abilities for his personal gain.
Soon, Nexi will be in a battle far worse than conjuring Magic against those of the Underworld. The fiercest battle rages within her as her soul combats against her heart to decide Nexi’s fate. Will all that matters—will everyone she loves—be lost forever?
Want more? Come read an excerpt - http://www.staceykennedy.com/the-devils-kiss-excerpt/
Website - www.staceykennedy.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=100000956942180
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3473046.Stacey_Kennedy
Twitter - http://twitter.com/Stacey_Kennedy
PRAISE FOR THE WILLOW
RT Book Reviews
“…Kennedy has created a world that readers will want to visit again and again!” Dawn Crowne
PRAISE FOR THE WICKED
Bitten by Paranormal Romance
“Do you love magic, dominant men, adventure, humor, evil villains and a talking cat? Well here is an excellent book for you to try.” Laurie
Have to share a fantastic review for Slipping the Past
Stop by and check it out.
Okay, on to lucky chapter 13. :)
All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.
***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***
Tesza climbed onto the barge. Short box-shaped sails caught the wind to drive the craft forward. Their escort consisted of ten other barges, carrying crews of one hundred.
The shallow bottom boats navigated the mangroves with ease. They moved left or right, guided by a paddle in the back and poles at the bow of the boat. A figure head of a carved beast, called a garver, sat to the front of Jarod’s barge. The very same creature in the design tattooed onto his face.
Garvers weren’t fictional creatures, but fierce and real. Swimming under the barges, following their flight out to sea. All the while, waiting for opportunity to drop into the swamp. Many a Kalos child had been snatched off the banks or warrior gobbled whole, when they’d fallen into the water.
Nasty beasts with double rowed teeth that shed and regrew many times a year and a fatal first bite. They weighed twice the weight of a barge, ran anywhere from the same length, to three times that. Long and skinny like a serpent, they had a spiny dorsal fin that ran the extent of their entire backbone and only broke the water’s surface prior to a strike.
They were a good reason to be off the water before star-fall and the biggest reason Jarod positioned his fleet here.
Jarod was a garver, much like the beast that lurked below, waiting for opportunity.
He was armed, but the weapons he had couldn’t stop a Kori charge. The Kori had mechanized, one and two man hovers, that flew over the mangroves with ease and lazr’ weapons that could blast his soldiers to dust.
But mechanization came at a cost. Noisy, they drew the attention of the garvers, who hunted at night. Jarod had used stolen hovers to train the garvers, feeding them raw meat, dumping it behind the crafts as they skimmed across the mangroves. The sound of the hovers drew the garvers, the engines were a dinner bell and Jarod knew it. He’d trained them that way.
Not meant to stop on the water, the hovers tipped easy when they did, making them a dangerous mode of transportation for the mangroves and the garver knew that a simple strike of the tail and the craft could be flipped and snack obtained.
Tesza paced back and forth along the rail, pulling the cape Jarod gave her tighter over her shoulders. Star-fall was fast approaching. She shifted her gaze to Jarod, who stood watch at the stern. He’d said Ursus would return in force to kill them. He seemed certain of it.
He turned to catch her watching him. They’ll come. His eyes said it all.
Had Ursus used her? The answer lay across the mangroves. If they attacked, she could be certain.
Her nerves were strung tight. Had she been a fool to trust the enemy soldier, give him the cure?
She shivered when she thought about what waited. If Ursus came, he deserved what Jarod planned. He’d tricked her, told her he loved her, and needed her. Had it been a lie?
She watched as the final pieces of the trap were set. Nets were strung across the inlet and would be triggered by a simple poke of the poles they used to navigate. Above in the canopy, heavy weights with ropes would drop, raising the nets before and after the attackers, leaving the Kori trapped in a swamp full of hungry garvers, and unable to move. Sitting targets, ready to be plucked.
“Get in the cabin, Tesza.” Jarod walked up behind her and tucked the cape tighter over her shoulders, pushing her towards his quarters. “I hear them approaching.”
She cocked her head and listened. Her eyes widened and her heart sank. A buzzing sound like angry wasps filled the mangroves. Inside, she wanted to believe Ursus innocent.
Tesza strained to see the source, hoping what she heard wasn’t real. The humming grew louder.
Pain filled her chest. He was coming, to kill them all.
Jarod signaled to the escorts both on the starboard and port sides of the royal barge. All lanterns blinked out, leaving the swamps in utter darkness.
“You’ve been betrayed. He never loved you.” He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her into him, kissing her as though he’d never taste her again. “I’ve never stopped.”
Tesza’s stomach flip-flopped. Memories of his touch, his soft words. It all came raging back with that kiss.
“Get inside now.” He stepped back, gave her one more push and she found herself at the door to his cabin.
She opened her mouth and shut it. This is where she belonged, this was right. Tesza bit her lip and fisted her cape, pulling it around her, trying to stop shivering. So why did she feel the pull of the other?
She scanned the darkness, but all she could see was Jarod’s long pale braid as he retreated to the stern.
Her heart pounded in her throat. It was a different pull and different love than the way she’d felt about Ursus. But it was there.
Regardless that she didn’t want too, she couldn’t stop loving him, needing him.
Jarod’s strength was intoxicating. She knew how it felt when he held her, touched her. A throbbing ache started between her thighs and Tesza silently chastised herself for thinking such things. Now was not the time. The one she’d thought loved her was coming to kill her, and the one who truly did, she’d betrayed.
She watched him walk away; a part of her craved him. How could she have feelings for both, need both? She didn’t want him. Jolts shot through her body. Lust. She didn’t want him, didn’t need him. He’d cast her out. Ursus cast her away. She didn’t need or want either of them. Both could bake in the barren plains for all she cared.
“Gods,” she snarled. “I don’t want you.”
He spun. Her heart leapt. Across the darkness she could see his eyes, and even in the blackness she swore she saw a smile. The ache increased. Tesza growled and flung the cabin door open and slammed it shut after her. Damned men!
Otherwise, today, I'm flying by the seat of my pants! No particular topic--I'm going to let whatever falls on the page stay on the page. *laughing*
I'm fresh back from Authors After Dark (AAD) where I had a great time meeting and talking with so many new people. Had some very interesting conversations, to say the least. Is it because, as writers, we tend to spend a lot of time 'holed-up' (dang, is that right? well, you know what I mean! *grins*) with ourselves and our characters that when we do get together--we maximize every minute of the time we have with others. Hmm, I'd never given that much thought before. I know when I go out with my friends, we talk and talk...and talk more...about everything!
With every conference, I try to meet and talk with authors I don't run into very often in my travels around the net. This time was no different. I spent time, uhh, having a flaming cocktail--really, it was on fire--with the effervescent TC Blue (http://tcblue.wordpress.com/) on one side and, the always fun, Judi Fennell (http://judifennell.com/) on the other side. They were both egging me on because I would never...oh hell, who am I fooling--yes I would have done it anyway! and the man shoving it at me from the other side of the bar was so damn cute--he could have sold me ice at the North Pole.
I bought far too many books, but I wanted each and everyone of them, and that was good enough reason for me.
So, that's it for me today. Hope you all have a great weekend.
Remember: Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele
Do you believe in ghosts? This is a question that I see bandied about the ‘net occasionally. For me, I’d have to say yes, I do. The ones that have sailed through my life have been of the friendly variety that whisper in the darkness or brush past me with barely a touch. I haven’t had cause to encounter an annoying ghost (unless you want to count the whole fire alarm debacle about a year about, but we won’t talk about that).
In fact, the spectral inhabitants among us fascinate me so much, I’m beginning to see a pattern of putting ghosts into a lot of my books—The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart, The Art of Fang Shui, Vegetarian at Midnight, just to name a few.
Now, before you go and call the Ghostbusters, stop and consider that maybe these realm travelers need to teach you something before they can move on.
Here are the book launch party details. I have a packet of book swag and a cute little writing pen shaped like a witch’s broom (with actual bristles) up for grabs. All you need to do is leave a comment (with email address) And I hope you’ll go pick up a copy of Hunter’s Moon Magic.
Blurb: Judith Goode, wrongly accused of witchcraft during the trials in 1600 Massachusetts, casts a spell on the black velvet dress she intended to wear for her lover’s return. If she can’t realize true love then she wants to ensure that any woman who wears the dress will but fate has other plans.
Even though Judith is now in ghost form, her quest to unite her soul with her lover’s burns strong. The enchanted dress has survived for two hundred years and is now in the hands of Carolina Cox who wears it to a masquerade where she meets Paul Brown. Love blooms and is realized yet life’s problems prevent a perfect match.
Disheartened through the years, Judith gives the attempt one last time in modern day Indianapolis by putting the dress in the hands of Jacob Howson, one of her last living ancestors. He’s a computer programmer looking for love and finds it by literally running into Lexy Brown at a dry cleaner.
Sometimes the love worth waiting for can be found under the light of a Hunter’s Moon.
Excerpt from Chapter One
October 29, 1692 Ipswich, Massachusetts
Brilliant moonlight streamed through the window, competing with the weak glow from the candle on the worktable. Judith Goode snipped off the last thread and placed the scissors into a basket near her elbow.
Standing, she shook out the length of black velvet pleased with how the dress had turned out. A round full skirt fell to the floor in elegant waves with faint glimmers of silver thread gleamed in the folds. The bodice was a masterpiece of scooped neck trimmed with runic symbols in the same silver thread, designed to catch an admiring gaze.
Black satin ribbons crisscrossing under the neckline would lend the dress structure and matched the tiny stain bows on the tops of the fluttered, capped sleeves.
The ideal gown to wear for a romantic tryst, especially since the fabric had been given to her from her lover when he had returned to port from his last trip.
Unfortunately, she would never be allowed to wear the dress--unless they hanged her in it.
Hearing an angry assortment of voices just outside her modest cottage, Judith folded the gown and placed it into a reed basket. The tinkle of breaking glass sounded, followed by a scuffle and several loud shouts for the ‘Devil’s Follower. They’d branded her a witch, and she didn’t correct them.
It wouldn’t have mattered.
She was different from the others in the village. A healer, and not disposed to spending hours on her knees in the church, Judith was automatically dubbed a follower of the occult.
The gray streak down the middle of her black hair didn’t help matters. Nor did her affinity for bathing naked at the shore on the nights of the full moon for no other reason than she admired the silvery light.
To these people, if you looked and talked differently from them, you must be evil--bad--not worthy of redemption and no amount of explanation would change their narrow minds. She’d tried twice before to plead her case. Now luck had abandoned her.
Judith wanted no part of the religious bigotry, their interpretation of salvation for the sake of public cleansing and a way to gain land and property.
Their way was not the only way to live a life.
Outside, shouts from men and women alike drew closer. Her breath quickening, Judith opened a carved trinket box on her worktable and withdrew a small sachet of cloth. A secret smile curved her lips. If she couldn’t wear the gown, at least she could ensure the women who did would have a happy life. Tucking the sachet between the folds of the dress, Judith nodded in satisfaction. The herbs were good and would not fail.
A few sprigs of basil for love, a couple dried fruits of the cayenne pepper plant for the fire of the spirit, chamomile flower heads for relaxation and protection, and cinnamon sticks to lure a male; Judith knew the basic ingredients for a love spell would have far reaching implications as much as the words she muttered over the fabric.
“May the women who wear this dress find their true love. May desire overcome them in such a way they cannot deny its call. May the women whose lives touch this dress be happy throughout all eternity with the men of their dreams, the mates of their hearts, and the keeper of their souls.”
After she recited her spell, Judith’s attention wandered to her absent lover. He’d been away, along with her brother, on a fishing ship for months and this time when he returned, she and Percy planned to be married. After three years of courtship and clandestine meetings, he’d offhandedly asked for her hand one evening over dinner. Judith agreed and the small, private ceremony was planned. Now, a few days shy of their reunion, the elders of the village were hell bent on ferreting out witches.
Not that they would even know a real witch if they bumped into one at the market. Hysteria reined in the small towns and anyone they couldn’t understand was immediately suspect.
Above everything else, Judith vowed never to reveal Percy’s name to the elders for fear an appointment with the gallows would await him, too. The only reason she embraced her destiny with calm was she knew Percy would live to tell her tale. A twinge of regret tickled her stomach. They’d talked at length of this very occurrence. It was always a risk, but she wished she could see him one last time.
With a sigh, she gave the plush velvet one last loving stroke then scattered a few red clover flowers for good luck and two dried hibiscus flowers for attracting love on the top. A folded quilt completed the contents of the basket and hid the gown from view.
It was all she could do.
A prayer that the frock would find its way into good hands escaped her lips shortly before an insistent pounding rained on her front door. With a gasp, Judith scooped up the basket and padded across the simple wooden planks of the floor to her kitchen window. Releasing the catch, she swung the casement out. “Hide it well, Jenny. Make certain my brother receives it and cares for it. Someday, somehow, Percy and I will be reunited, even if it takes two lifetimes to accomplish.”
“Yes, ma’am.”The melodious whisper of her apprentice seeped in from the darkness beyond. “You needn’t worry. I will take care of it. Godspeed”
Another round of hammering on the door brought Judith’s attention to matters at hand. She wiped her sweaty palms on her humble white apron.
Her heart raced in time to the blows.
She swung the window closed and pulled the curtains.
Then, with a deep breath, she tied the strings of her bonnet beneath her chin, crossed to the door, and unlatched the locks.
Time to usher in her fate. Judith straightened her spine. She would not meet death with tears.
My name is Rebecca Leigh and I write erotic romance.
Let me make one think clear right up front -- I'm a vamp girl. Always have been, always will be.
So it came quite easy for my first novel to be about a very hot, sexy vampire named Julian. Actually, "Have Stake, Will Travel" is really about Orion Masters the vampire slayer. Orion's not your ordinary slayer -- she kills the undead for cold, hard cash. After all, a girl's gotta make a living. Orion works for the Corporation, an entity run by witches. Her life takes a dramatic u-turn when the Corporation sends her to a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to take out a particularly heinous family of vampires.
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Buy Link - http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=linda018&cart_id=44657.44535&product_name=Black+Cat+Beauty&return_page=&user-id=&password=&exchange=&exact_match=exact
Paranormal romance, science-fiction, erotica—all mixed in together in one story! This fast paced HOT story will leave in a little pout, “It’s over already?”
Sable is a very naughty kitty indeed. More than that, she’s a compelling character that I just couldn’t get enough of. And Devon, well―let’s just leave it at, drool dripped from my mouth onto the page. The passion between them is immediate and doesn’t stop the entire way through. But passion isn’t all you’ll find between the pages of this book―it’s a wild ride of adventure with totally awesome paranormal elements.
Now, the first couple chapters did leave me a little lost. I had to re-read them to get a full understanding of what these creatures were and the rules that governed their world. Even then, I’m not quite sure I have a complete understanding of this “kitty” world.
Regardless, I loved this story!! It’s witty―with quirky lines only a kitty would say, sexy and just overall a fantastic read!!
A private Halloween party in a gothic mansion hidden in the Hollywood Hills. Add one party crasher, Sable Kiki, a naughty black cat with a sexy, wild, human side. Her covert assignment from her devious, always cunning father: Use her seductive wiles to find out the truth from Devon Zant, a movie star on the rise to super stardom.
Posing as the superhero actor, Devon Zant, D’Torr has arrived on Earth seeking revenge for the capture of his younger brother and to assist in stopping a powerful enemy. The leviathan warfleet of the Altirrux wants to rule all intergalactic trade routes to Earth, endangering the survival of D’Torr’s race and all the inhabitants of the rare blue jewel, Earth.
A LINE THAT HAD ME DROOLING WITH WORD ENVY ― But wishes were for lay-around, canned tuna-eating cats. Not for her. No, never for her. Seeking the feel of him, her body swayed toward him, her desire coiling deep for him.
Which begs me to ask, anybody out there having any routines or odd quirks when they write???
All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.
***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***
At first she felt the hand on her shoulder as someone slid under the blanket next to her. Tesza scooted into his warmth. Ursus had already dressed. She sniffed and inhaled the savory scents of breakfast.
Hard to believe he was a cold-blooded killer, the way he cared for her. His hand slid around her waist and lower, touching her thigh and sliding between her legs, slipping inside her. Tesza moaned and pushed into his probing fingers, savoring the touch.
“Forget him, Tesza. You’re mine now. I’ve waited a long time to consummate our marriage.”
Tesza gasped, her eyes snapped open and she tried to pull away from the man that held her, nuzzling her neck.
Shit. Where had Jarod come from? He was within his rights to claim her. All her life she’d waited for her moment with him, now it seemed diminished, not what she’d really sought.
“Get off me, Jarod.”
“You’re my wife. The people demanded I give you to him in hopes you would seduce away his life and that of our enemies. It’s sat like acid in my gut for days. I haven’t slept, I haven’t eaten. I can’t make the pain of my decision go away. I want to erase his touch from your skin, his image from your eyes. I need to make you forget him. I will make you forget him.” Pain carried on his voice. His hand withdrew.
He pulled on her, ripping her soul down the middle. Gods she loved him too. Needed him.
But she’d betrayed him, her people, by giving the cure to Ursus. The tone of his words made it clear. He loved her, wanted her, and he hurt for sharing her with Ursus. He pulled back and rolled her over, gazing in her eyes. “I can wait for you to come to me. But I won’t wait forever. Forget him. He’s dead, and soon all his kind will be.”
“You’ve infected him.” He stroked her cheek, touching her softly. “You’ve saved us.”
“I can’t be responsible for killing all those people.” Should she tell him she’d betrayed him? No.
“I can’t give him the cure.”
“The fruit nuts are all around us. You’re not evil, Jarod. Surely you wouldn’t let children and women die from this.”
“I have to, Tesza.” Jarod shook his head. He ran his thumb along the pink welt on her face that had started to heal.
“You are queen of the Kalos, Tesza; you’d do well to remember that.” He slid his hand down her shoulder and cupped her breast. Tesza took a deep breath and closed her eyes. His hands were gentle, but they still felt wrong.
“I’ve had you followed, protected every step of the way. You must know this killed me inside, forcing you out. I had no choice. That man you were with murdered six brutally before you returned to camp that night. The clan would not sympathize, not after that. They wanted you dead. I could spare you that, but you couldn’t stay. It was the law, I was bound by it.”
“That Red-Clan woman?”
“She gave her life to save you. She knew they were about to find you and intercepted. Don’t dishonor her sacrifice or your people by loving an enemy soldier. Let him go Tesza. I will honor you and give you the world. He can give you nothing but pain and a life on the run. They will never accept you, even if you save them.”
“Do you know what you ask?”
“We will live because of you. Our people will continue forever.”
“And another will become extinct.”
“They brought it upon themselves. Forget him. He would’ve had you executed anyway. With him you would’ve died. With me, you’ll live, be free. You’ll be happy. I love you, Tesza. I’ve always loved you.”
“Then don’t do this. Save the innocents and I will stay with you.”
“I am saving the innocents, Tesza. I am.” He kissed her sliding his tongue into her mouth. She didn’t fight him, but she didn’t give him anything back either. He thought she’d followed through, when she’d betrayed him, trading the lives of her people for another’s.
“You’ll love me back someday. This is part of life. Survival.”
“I loved you once.” She still loved him, but she was also angry with him and wouldn’t reward him with the truth.
“You will again.”
He got up. “Dress, eat and come outside. We can’t delay travel further or we’ll be caught in the floods.” Jarod stopped and glanced over his shoulder. “He will return with a force. Watch Tesza and see. He’ll come to kill us all. He tortured men for the same information he wanted from you. He only used you to find our clans. To find me.”
"How can I believe you, after everything that's happened?"
Jarod placed his hand over his heart. “My soul could never lie to you. You will see.”
Ursus opened his eyes. Pain stabbed through his brain. His mouth felt dry. He reached up and touched his nose, flinching. Dried blood crusted around it. Certainly broken.
He stared at the sky and the faces of children who stood over him. They peered back with curiosity.
Jarod had dumped him in a community location. He let his gaze sweep the area. The square.
Shit. A very public location.
The sound of boots tramping towards him and he turned his head to stare at a squad of his men who approached.
“Sir.” One man addressed him. Ursus blinked, pushing away the blinding light and sharp pains from behind his eyes. Something wasn’t right. Had the cure worked? He could feel the fever settling in. Every joint in his body ached.
The bastard had dumped him in a public square with children. Ursus ground down on his teeth. Next time they met, he wouldn’t be as kind. He’d beat Jarod to a fraction from extinction, then crush his bones to dust under his heel.
Gods, he hated that bastard.
“Sir, are you okay?”
Fuck no. “Yes,” he groaned and forced himself to sit. His vision warbled before him. He was going to hurt that bastard.
Ursus rubbed his forehead. She hadn’t said how long. Days? Weeks? Months? Was he infected? Did the cure work? If not, how long before he succumbed to the plague? How long before his people contracted it?
He’d no intention of bringing this back to them, but more than likely, he did. No, what she'd given him--he couldn’t be cured. Not with this fever.
His first priority was to alert Colonel Pilot of the danger. There was a good chance Pilot would execute him for what he’d done, but to keep it from them would be worse.
His squad leader offered him a hand. Ursus stared at it, debating the consequences and then slapped his hand into the soldier’s. Whatever damage was done, was done. There was nothing left to do but move forward.
Ursus cringed as the man tugged him to his feet. Aches, a burning in his muscles and joints. Gods, this illness acted quickly. He put his hand to his forehead and steadied himself.
“I need to see Colonel Pilot.” Explaining this wouldn’t be easy. Pilot could execute him on the spot. He’d broken half a dozen military laws, as well as temple laws.
“He’s been looking for you.”
“What happened, sir?”
“Nothing a lazr’-whipping won’t remedy.” Ursus rubbed one of his temples. “I can make it from here. Finish your patrol.” Had he infected them? Could it spread that fast? The soldiers nodded and returned to their squad, marching from the square. Around him, still life. Civilians stopped and stared. Children, women, men...