Only 20 days to the release of FORESWORN
, the third in my Sisters of Fate Trilogy! Early copies have gone out to some reviewers already and I’m keeping myself occupied so I don’t check for reviews. (Failing a bit at that one, but oh well. 😉 )
So, how about an excerpt?
We opted to leave the snowmobile in the clearing because four of us wouldn’t fit. Arun was sure he could find it later even though he said that thicket hadn’t existed before.
Walking in the slush left from the storm turned out to be the worst thing I’d ever tried to do. Every step in the wet, thick, glopping snow felt like the earth was trying to suck my feet inside. The brutal wind burrowed so fiercely, it crept under and through layers of clothing. And though I’d wrapped my scarf around my face, the cold seemed to have thickened in my lungs until every breath felt like it stabbed fat icicles into my chest.
I didn’t know if it was exhaustion or what, but the trees seemed to be throwing moving shadows onto the ground. Moving sinuous shadows that didn’t resemble any sort I’d ever seen. A dark foreboding filled me, and even my norn seemed to lock up in my chest as something suddenly felt very, very wrong. Looking up, I squinted at the full moon that threw light on the ground—though we didn’t need it. Not with Brigg.
But then I remembered what was wrong and jolted to a halt.
Nanna, Brigg and Arun all stopped with me and followed my gaze.
“I know,” Nanna said, her voice barely carrying over the arctic blast of wind coming through the valley. “It’s not supposed to look full right now.” She shivered and hefted her backpack higher. “I’m pretty sure that’s a bad, bad sign.”
“It’s not just the moon,” I said, waving them all closer, so I wouldn’t have to yell. Once the three of them were close enough, I had to swallow twice to dislodge the lump of terror thickening in my throat. And I still had to raise my voice over the wind. “I don’t think we’re alone out here anymore.”
They froze. Then, one by one, they each looked toward the woods around us. My heart beat so hard and loud, it competed with the roaring wind.
Slowly, Arun let his backpack slide off his shoulders. Nanna and Brigg did the same. Then they surprised me when they knelt and pulled out weapons. Actual weapons. Brigg held a dagger in each hand and my eyebrows lifted when I glimpsed the silver nunchucks in Nanna’s hands.
I stepped close to Arun. “I don’t suppose you have a sword in your pack?”
He shook his head, frowning as he peered into the woods. “I trained on one but didn’t bring it for this trip. I mean, who walks around with a sword on his hip?” He squinted before his eyes went wide.
I looked that direction and felt the world rumble underneath my feet as the shadows under the trees started to writhe and flow in ways that had nothing at all to do with natural shadows. One in particular sort of rippled as it moved from one tree to another. It had long legs and long arms and long hair that flowed around its shoulders just as it left the cover of the trees.
“Get ready to be blinded,” Nanna shouted as it seemed as if the forest exploded shadows.
Brigg, still gripping the two wicked-looking daggers, held out his hands and lowered his face. The light that burst from him made the creatures pouring out of the forest raise their hands to cover their eyes. They halted, some hissing, then slowly crept forward.
“Gods, look how they move,” I said as I knelt and began digging through the snow, looking for rocks…for anything. I wished we’d brought weapons and couldn’t imagine why we’d thought we wouldn’t need them. But then, never in all my wildest nightmares had I thought to see actual dark elves.
They were like us in that some were taller than others and their hair came in different shades, but their skin glimmered like polished black marble in the glow of Brigg’s scalding light. He closed his eyes, obviously concentrating, and more light spilled out of him.
I winced and shielded my own eyes just as my hand grasped something under the snow. I felt two somethings—right next to each other. I’d been looking for a rock or a heavy stick or anything I could fight with. What I pulled out of the snow made my skin crawl with electricity because there was no way this was coincidence.