Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hitting Your Stride in that Race to the Finish(ed Book)

by Nancy Gideon

When I was in high school, I used to time laps for the boys track team after school (cute guys in shorty shorts – a dirty job . . .). The goal was to keep the pace steady for the long haul and finish strong. The long distance runners in the mile and two mile would establish a ‘zone’ where external distractions fell away (things like crowd noise and fatigue), where nothing existed except their own internal rhythm that would carry them to the finish line. Yeah, writing is like that, too.

Don’t you love it when the W-I-P that you’ve been fighting with suddenly hits its stride?

After false starts, shin splints and stumbles, I’ve finally hit my stride in my W-I-P UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS, the 10th book in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal series. Instead of moaning and groaning each morning as I turn on the computer, I’ve stretched and shaken it out and am ready to run at the first blink of the cursor. My only wish is that I had time for a long distance run each morning before work instead of just a quick dash.

Here’s a sneak peek . . .

The well-dressed crowd pushed as close as they dared, high on the adrenalin thrill and raw violence. Anticipation electrified the air, a pheromone compliment to the blood already shed. Even knowing what they were about to see, having experienced the jolt, the shock, the wild intoxication of it during the first two rounds, the concept was still unique enough to spike feverish excitement. The illegal factor brought some. The chance of watching mortal combat enticed others. But the whisper, just the glimmer of possibility that what they were seeing wasn’t staged reeled them and their fat wallets in and held them captive.

Lights in the dressage ring went dim, bringing those in the bleachers to their feet so they could see over the mob straining against the fence. A deafening cry rose from the spectators as spotlights swirled and finally fixed upon two massive figures loping out into the center of the ring. Breaths caught in amazement as light glinted off the feral red of their eyes and glittered in the strings of drool threading off ferocious fangs. The hunched shoulders, thick with muscle, matted with bristling hair, claw-tipped hands curled and ready to shred anything within reach belonged in a Sy-Fy movie or circus freak show. Animals, monstrous and dangerous . . . at first glance. Until amazed eyes traveled down those heaving chests to Wrangler jeans and work boots still mudded from the docks.

Not animals. But not men, either.

Was it just amazing theater presented for the exclusive few? The audience didn’t care. The carnage was genuine. The chance to wager and win big real.

The pair paused instead rushing forward to lock in battle. Waiting. The arena grew quiet as shaggy heads lifted to test the thick air as if the heavy breeze conveyed an unsettling message. They began to growl and weave warily, not liking what they scented. The spectators stained to see.

But the figure striding boldly into the ring to meet the two behemoths wasn’t fierce or frightening in look or attitude. The cocky strut, the taunting grin, the sleek gleam of tanned flesh on brawny arms. Just a man?

The beasts drew back in confusion, looking toward handlers who stood in the shadows, not sure what to do when confronted with such a vulnerable opponent. But the slight figure showed no hesitation as he flung fists high as the first hard rocking chords of “Fire Your Guns” shattered the humid air.

Chanting started small and built like a squall out on the Gulf, rolling in louder and louder.

“Gunslinger! Gunslinger!”

The fighter responded to their cries with a sudden echoing roar. His hands gripped the front of his tee shirt as his head fell back, and he was lost within a flash of dazzling light. And when blinking eyes adjusted, they went wide to see standing in the small human’s stead a creature covered in a thick red-gold pelt, lupine features lifted in a savage howl.

Right. Before. Their. Eyes.

Same clothing. Same black armband. Same widely planted stance. As if he’d transformed from man to beast right in front of them!

And the audience went wild.

UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS picks up where REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT left off, right in the middle of the action. If I keep up my pace, I should have it ready to read in late summer. Though it can be read on its own, its more exciting as part of a relay race with the books that come before it. If you start now, you should be able to hand off the baton to a book that’s ready to run strong and finish hot.

Happy reading and enjoy the race!!

Nancy Gideon on the Web


Patricia Kiyono said...

It's definitely an awesome feeling when the words flow - although it's been a LONG time since that's happened to me! If this excerpt is a sample of a quick dash I don't blame you for wishing for more time in the mornings! Hope the pace continues.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Okay, I'm breathing again after reading - no, after being totally absorbed in - that excerpt. May the flowing of your words continue.