Dead Wrath (Valkyrie 4) Excerpt

So, with Dead Wrath in edits, to be released 26th November, here is Chapter 1 for you to enjoy:

DEAD WRATH (a Valkyrie Novel #4)

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CHAPTER ONE

Ragnarok was here.

But it certainly didn’t feel like we were at war. The worn brown leather of my sandals made little sound on the stone floor of the palace hallway. I went in search of solace and my feet already knew the way. An Ulfr strode past me, high cheekbones and forehead so distinctive in the race of the wolf shape-shifter. He met my eyes and nodded, a polite respectful greeting. I gave him a lukewarm smile and kept walking, my feet moving me toward the balcony.

The halls were empty and chilled at this time of morning, when the light of the day gently awakens the land, when the shadows of night depart with slow reluctance. In recent days I’d found myself seeking as little company as possible.

It was so early that the torches hanging on the walls were still smoldering from the night’s light, sending smoky streams trailing along the air, the smell musty and acrid. I pulled my cloak closer and hurried along the hall, praying I’d avoid any further curious gazes.

Almost there.

Hidden by thick, velvet drapes, the balcony was the very same one I’d stood in so long ago when Thor had told me the lengths I’d need to go to kill the Dwarf Queen. It seemed a lifetime ago when, Aidan’s life had been all that mattered and I’d naively thought the god had been exaggerating a little. Only when I’d been faced with the wrath of the evil queen did I truly know that when he said I’d need to bring back her head, he’d really meant it.

A sigh drifted from my lips as I slipped through the parting in the drapes and walked onto the balcony. It overlooked the valley of Asgard, with the lake far to north, just a sliver of silver gleaming sadly at the edge of the realm. My arms wrapped themselves around my body as if it could prevent the cold from seeping into my bones. But I knew there was nothing that would take the ice away.

I suppressed another sigh, then figured what the hell, and sighed anyway.

In the pale grey light of morning, the green valley, bordered by a snow-covered mountain range, lay blanketed in a light mist. It matched my mood.

The light sheen of moisture lay over the land like a shimmering veil and it felt very much like the veil that seemed to bind my feelings this last week.

Ragnarok was upon us, the events of the end of the world, predicted so long ago, were finally coming to pass. And the warriors of Asgard, Valkyries, einherjar and Ulfr alike were revving things up, but as much as I tried I couldn’t summon even a hint of anticipation for the final showdown with Loki and his creepy band of Jotunn. Loki the Trickster, and the bane of my life since I’d entered Asgard. His skill at manipulation seemed unbeatable, and now after all these centuries he’d finally risen to challenge his father, Odin.

Rage rose within me, surging through my veins and although I felt my nails dig into my arms I did nothing. Felt nothing.

I gave a wry grin.

A feeling kept tapping away at the edge of my consciousness, like a determined woodpecker, bugging me endlessly, incessantly. I recognized it as the other, more stubborn part of my nature. The one that I’d heard only as a whisper through the days that I’d mourned the death of my closest friend. I knew I had to pull myself out of this funk. Something Sigrun would have said was typical of me and was what made me different.

Unique.

I snorted. Unique was the last thing I felt. Broken was a way better description. Tears burned my eyes and my heart twisted in my chest. She was always there, a flimsy ethereal ghost walking with me, smiling as she sat beside me, her soft voice echoing in my memory, her grey wings fluttering at her back as she blushed at the mere mention of Fenrir’s name. But what hurt more than anything else was something I barely wanted to admit to myself.

She was slowly fading.

And just the thought made my stomach ache as if it was slowly turning to stone. The memory of her face was slowly disappearing, making me so desperately afraid. What if I forgot what she looked like? What kind of friend did it make me that it took so little time for me to lose the one connection I had left with Sigrun. The best friend I’d ever had. She’d been my guide and my mentor, my friend and my confidante.

And she had died on my watch.

I gritted my teeth. I was supposed to watch over my team and no matter how much anyone tried to convince me that it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t see it that way. There must have been something I could have done that I didn’t do. Something I’d missed that could have gotten us out of Jotunnheim without killing Sigrun.

The land of the frost giants, where we’d gone to save a god and ended up finding one friend and losing another. I still heard the whirring of the arrow as it flew through the air. I still felt the stabbing pain in my heart when I heard the thwack as the arrow embedded itself into her flesh. And I still felt the hollow emptiness in my soul, an absence of all feeling that resonated within me long after I’d avenged her and killed the frost giant who had taken her from us.

When I’d heard the arrow and turned around, I’d been so sure it would have landed somewhere in the ground in front of me. The last place I expected to see it was inside Sigrun. My hands unlaced themselves and and shook as they grabbed onto the thick stone balustrade, my knuckles white and stiff, my knees trembling. I’d had to break the end of the spear off so we could move her to safety, but by then we had already lost her.

A bitter laugh escaped from my throat, the sound caught on an errant breeze and swept away as if it had never existed.

How much loss was a person supposed to endure?

I’d gotten careless. That was it. Didn’t remember that in Jotunnheim a pile of stones could be anything but what it looked like. That pile of stones had taken a Valkyrie’s life so quickly.

People say you should look on the bright side, see the positives in your life, but I couldn’t see a bright side. Just Odin, stuck in a strange inter-dimensional plane, put there by his Trickster son. And Aidan, once loved and loving, but now distant and unreachable, and Sigrun gone forever. Sure I could count the positives; Joshua giving me the love I needed, and Aimee so steadfast and fierce in her protectiveness, were birth still by my side. And, not forgetting the fact that the whole of the Nine Realms now knew who I really was.

Daughter of Odin.

If that could be seen as a positive, I thought wryly.

I wasn’t as convinced as everyone else seemed to be. What did a couple of stolen genes matter in the greater scheme of things? I was part of Odin, part of Dr. Halbrook, part of Irene, a mother who didn’t want me? What was I really? Just a mutated, bastardized version of the real warrior Brunhilde. Nothing more.

Drawing my cloak closer, I exhaled, my breath creating a white puffy cloud. A breeze took it, tearing it into smoky strands then stealing it away. Now a hint of orange bled into the sky. Orange streaked with a blood red. It will not be a good day today. And from the ache in my bones I wondered if my body was agreeing with me

I left the balcony and the view, deciding it was time to be a little practical.

I had a patient to visit.

***

I knocked lightly at the door and entered, cracking it open and peering inside. Brody had not been sent to the infirmary at Valhalla in the manner of all the other Warriors when healing. He was of course a special case considering everything he’d been through.

When I entered he looked up and smiled, his teeth a white flash against his caramel skin. He still had those chocolate dark eyes and that mop of unruly curls. But that was all that was left of my little foster brother Brody. When I’d know him he was ten, just a sapling of a kid, skinny and laughing all the time, forever playing tricks on me. I remembered one time when I’d been sitting on Ms Custer’s porch, my nose buried in a book. Something tiny hit me on the neck and I brushed it away. Again and again I kept swatting at nothing until I heard a soft giggle and rustling in the bushed beside the balustrade.

The last bug that hit me wasn’t going down without a fight. It grabbed onto my skin with all its might but thankfully the prankster’s aim was sadly off by an arms-length. As soon as I felt the pinch and saw the insect, I flew off the seat and began frantically dusting my shirt out, pulling the tails from my jeans and slapping at my bare waist, almost hysterical. And also furious. I remember yelling at him that he was a little brat and that I planned to spank him into next Tuesday but his cute giggles were what got me.

He’d always been able to make me laugh and he’d made that short stay in Ms Custer’s foster home in Craven so very special.

Now he sat on his bed and leaned against the dark, polished wood backrest, his face and body all grown to a young man who looked eighteen. A tray of breakfast sat on his lap, half-eaten.

I frowned. “I’m sorry to walk in on your breakfast.” I hesitated as I stood just inside the door.

He snorted, his eyes sparkling. “You can walk in anytime. I’m about to go crazy in this room. The only company I’ve had in the last day have been the four walls, and Greta the Huldra.”

“At least she’s cheerful,” I offered with a smirk.

“There is that,” he said, shrugging as he grinned back at me.

“I’m sorry. It’s probably my fault that everyones been neglecting you.”

He frowned and shook his head. “You know, Bryn, not everything that goes wrong around here is your fault.”

“Umm, thats debatable,” I winked and continued, “but what I meant was the warriors have preparations to make for our next mission. Joshua’s out with a scout team, and Aimee is training a group of Ulfr warriors. So they pretty much have their hands full.”

“And you? Don’t you have your own hands filled with work?” he asked as he picked up a half-eaten pastry.

I nodded and sat beside his knee. “Yup, which is why this has to be a short visit.”

He made a face but he didn’t push it.

“So tell me how you’ve been doing?”

His head bobbed a little too enthusiastically but I let him speak. “I’d doing very well, got some meat back on my bones, not so undernourished anymore, you can barely tell I have ribs anymore.”

I laughed although the memory of his emaciated body still gave me a chill. The frost giants certainly didn’t care for their prisoners. “Getting fat are we?” I asked stabbing a finger at his belly.

“Hey, get off. I’m still ticklish,” he whined and it reminded me so much of the old Brody that my expression faded to nothing. He turned his head studied my face. Seemed he’d noticed the change in my mood. “Hey, you okay Bryn?”

I nodded, vaguely aware he’d be waiting for some explanation. I went with the truth. “Just now, you reminded me so much of the boy I once knew.”

“That boy is still here Bryn.” He tapped his chest. “My body may have been changed but I don’t think the soul forgets the people you love.”

My throat tight as I swallowed back the emotion that seemed to envelop me. “I know but it’s a little strange to see you look so much older. I suppose I’ll get used to it.” Then I tilted my head and looked at him. “How much do you remember of being Brody in Craven?”

“All my memories seem to be intact. Just like with Joshua and the rest. But, it gets a little sketchy after I reached Valhalla.”

I frowned watching him pick at the flakes of pastry. “So you don’t recall being taken from here?”

“Nope.” He shook his head sadly. “I wish I could remember something.”

“I wonder how he managed to pull that off?” I asked myself softly.

“I don’t really think that matters much right now does it?” he asked, assuming I was talking to him. “I’m alive and I’m not going anywhere. I’ll soon be well enough to fight.”

I laughed. “No. What I meant was we need to investigate how he abducted you so we can find out how he entered and who in Asgard is working with him. He couldn’t have acted alone to take you right from under our noses. Someone must have helped him.”

Brody leaned against his pillows, his plate now covered in shredded bits of pastry. I got to my feet and said, “I’d better get moving. Morning meetings.”

As I turned to leave, Brody called out, “Bryn? Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.” I turned to face him with a ready smile.

“When will I be able to fight?”

A shadow passed over my soul at the question but he deserved an answer, and an honest one at that. “As soon as you are strong enough you will begin your training. Then when Fenrir or your instructors say you’re ready then you’ll join a scout team and begin your missions.” Secretly I hoped it would be all over before he set foot out of the bed.

Now he beamed happily. “I can’t wait.”

“What’s the rush?” I asked laughing at his anticipation.

“Because Loki needs his head removed from his neck and I plan on fulfilling that task.”

I snorted. “Then you better get in line kiddo.”

***

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Chapter One – Last Chance SkinWalker #3

Okay so- I’ve been emailed/messaged/Pm’d numerous time regarding sample chapters of Last Chance and as always – I hear ya!

So here is Chapter One and I just may put chapter Two up next week. Depends … ya know … if you want it that is 🙂

Oh and one commenter will receive an ARC of Last Chance, so don’t forget to leave a comment 😉

 

LAST CHANCE: DarkWorld:SkinWalker #3

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Releases end October 2014

Chapter One

 

A Walker funeral isn’t that different from the funerals of any other species. Flowers, coffins, mourners. Tears, grief. Regret.

The subtle difference lies in the species itself, and maybe in particular religious preference. Most Walkers regard the goddess Ailuros, cat god of the Greek pantheon, as their deity of choice. Worship isn’t in any way similar to most other EarthWorld religions.

Ailuros just is.

She is a constant, like the air in your lungs or the rain falling from a moody sky. The goddess is nature personified. She gives no gifts, answers no bargains. She is merely the god of all things.

Ailuros has no temples, not in the modern world. Not after the tsunami that was the annihilation of ‘witches’. Call a Walker or a Mage a witch and it was a laughably simple feat to eradicate entire clans. Places of worship were and always will be an open invitation to the religious zealots.

Now, the temple must exist inside your soul. Or else you were truly lost.

I often wonder how different life would be if humans knew we existed. What would they think if their son or daughter brought home a werewolf or a Fae for dinner? Cross-species reproduction? I shook my head, the movement jerky and short as I swallowed a bitter laugh. I walked, past faces some familiar, many not, to the front row of white aluminum foldout chairs. My father’s lawn, and the weather had cooperated in my sisters honor. The ground was firm, the grass a bright, cheery green. The sun streamed down, not so warm that we’d have to shed our coats, but with enough head that an afternoon outside was a pleasant experience.

Seems Mother Nature had remembered to pull out all the stops for Greer’s farewell.

I’d already said my goodbye to my sister. I sighed, my thoughts taking back a few weeks. We’d had our last conversation in a way I’d never expected. How many people get to talk to the dead?

I recalled Greer’s last words.

“So many times I pushed you away and yet you still came to help me. I didn’t deserve you. I don’t deserve you… Thank you, Kai.”

Words I never expected to hear, not from a sister who had always remained just that bit out of reach, just that bit colder than necessary.

I recalled the expression on her face, the sincerity in her eyes, and even the love as she spoke. So unexpected. Those words. Tears blurred my vision as I sat blindly on the nearest seat. I wished we’d had more time, I wished we’d been able to be close. But fate didn’t want it that way. I sighed and felt the lead weight in my stomach settle deeper into place.

I should be happy that Greer and I had made our peace but the harsher, more awful truth hung over me a dark, accusing cloud threatening to loose a storm of emotions. I’d failed my mother. I’d failed to save her daughter. What mother could forgive me? I didn’t deserve forgiving. I’d failed her.

Failed them both.

Murmuring from the back of the seated crowd drew my thoughts away from the cesspit of my self-pity. I shifted in my seat and glanced behind me. My father Corin, brother Iain and four other men I didn’t recognize, walked steadily along the center aisle bearing the weight of Greer’s coffin between them.

Made of molded concrete, shaped to fit the curves of Greer’s figure, the coffin was finished with exquisitely fine detail. The sculptor had paid close attention to Greer’s aquiline features, replicating them so closely that I would have sworn that Greer herself lay there. The rest of her body was sculpted wearing a peplos, an ancient toga-like garment draped elegantly around her body in the style of the Greek goddesses. Within the carved casket, Greer was dressed in a similar fashion.

Her body had been gently bathed, perfumed oils rubbed into her skin. Her long ash-blond hair, was washed, brushed and draped over her shoulders and allowed to fall off her body at the waist. Her hands had been positioned at the center of her chest, her fingers entwined around the feet of a stone statue of Ailuros, The statue stood straight up, its feminine curves enhanced by the fall of the fabric of her simple peplos. With the head of a panther the statue hearkened back to the days before Ailuros had evolved into the external manifestation of a cat, the days when the goddess bore the head of a lioness. Today, each walker tribe saw Ailuros with a head that signified their own species.

Only the cats, of course. Wolf walkers bowed to the feet of Anubis.

With a start I recognized Byron Teague, the local wolf alpha, and Justin Lake, alpha of the cougars behind my brother and father. Again, I was reminded that attendance at the funeral would be more a show of support of those grieving her death rather than an actual payment of respect to Greer herself. The lynx and jaguar alphas brought up the rear of the pallbearers. I turned and faced the stone bier at the front; a simple table constructed from white marble, and surrounded with vases of white roses.

From somewhere around me a lone violin sang sweet sad notes. A song I didn’t recognize but which brought tears to my eyes anyway. I swallowed the lump in my throat and blinked away the moisture. I’d just regained my composure when a tap on my shoulder pulled my attending from the pallbearers who were setting the casket onto the bier. Behind me sat Lily, Logan, Saleem and Tara. Logan’s hand felt warm and comforting on my shoulder and I held tightly onto it. I drew strength just from the touch of the man.

Tara leaned forward, her dark hair glinting in the sun. “Mother couldn’t make it but she does send her apologies and her condolences,” she whispered in my ear before giving me a small encouraging smile.

I nodded. “Thanks,” was all I could think to say. I was overwhelmed by their support. Even more so when I caught a glimpse of Storm and Chief Murdoch sitting in the back row. Proof that I managed to gather my own little band of friends over the last few years. The one person I didn’t see was Clancy. Clancy McBride, my best friend, my supervisor at the rehab center, taken from me by the same Walker who, in the end, had killed my sister too.

The chair beside me squawked and I twisted around as Grams sat down. I took her hands and she squeezed them back. We were both dressed in white, me in a skirt suit, and Grams in a pants and matching jacket. Walkers shunned the nothingness of black. We saw death as another step in out journey, not a marking of the end, the beginning of nothing.

Gram’s and I had long supported each other in our grief, and I then guilt clawed at me, ripping open old wounds. When my uncle Niko had died we’d had no body to bury. They’d had a small memorial service but with everything that had happened, and everything Niko had done I couldn’t bring myself to attend. Grams and everyone else had understood. I’d been weak from the Wraith-sword poison, grieving for Clancy, terrified for Mom and Anjelo and Greer, all innocents sucked into Niko’s crazy schemes.

I tried to banish those thoughts, bring my attention back onto the ceremony. With the casket in place, the pallbearers dispersed and my father and brother came to sit beside us.

The light glinted off the carved face of the coffin as a woman glided slowly toward a lectern. The white podium stood beside the bier, covered in white fabric and decorated with a swag of white roses and baby’s breath. Etina was our equivalent to a pastor or a priest. The priestesses of  Ailuros presided over deaths and births and marriages within the walker communities. Etina, her red hair held away from her face by a band of matching braids, came to a graceful stop behind the flowers and to to smile at the gathering.

I listened with half an ear as she spoke a little about Greer, an extolling of virtues that steered clear from her leaving home without so much as a goodbye, from her involvement with Pariah walkers Niko and Brand, and from any references to how she finally met her end. I swallowed a sob. Everywhere I looked I saw the image of my mother’s face, superimposed on everyone, saw the look of disappointment in her eyes everywhere I turned. A look I would need to face soon. My heart thudded as Etina motioned for my father to come forward to speak.

I didn’t hear his words, my mind still on my mother and the promises I’d broken. Fingers slipped in against mine and I looked at Iain as he held my hand, squeezing it in silent comfort. I’d refused to speak, not wanting to be a hypocrite. As sisters, we’d never been close. No point in pretending now.

Soon my father returned to his seat, and Etina resumed her duties. Movement around me brought me back to the present as the small gathering began to rise. The service was over and the coffin would be transferred to a special cart, whose dark gleaming wheels were almost as tall as I was. The cart would draw the coffin and the mourners along the edge of the town and deep into the mountains.

All walkers have a special place to bury their dead. Living in the world of humans the only safety we had against prying eyes is the ownership of private land. As such every Walker town would have a special burial ground. Whether they be within mountains or beneath the ground they were all lead lined to hide the contents and the entrances were all so well hidden you’d only know of its existence if you’d been shown it. And as a rule no human was ever shown the entrance to our Mausoleums.

And now, for the first time, I wondered how that rule applied to Mom.

When the gathering moved to the roadside, only immediate family, elders and the priestess completed the procession. The cart rolled back and forth on spindly wheels, then began to move, drawn by my father and brother. I followed, giving Logan and my friends a weak wave.

“We’ll wait for you at the house,” Lily whispered as my heels scraped the hard packed soil of the path.

The procession moved slowly- far too slowly for my liking. To be honest I just wanted it over and done with so I could get back to my normal life. Grams moved silently beside me sending waves of Jasmine in my direction. When she glanced at me, she threw me a soft smile, her blue eyes darker than the clear azure sky above us. But behind that comforting smile I could see a hint of resignation with a touch of determination added in for good measure. I sighed and trudges alone. If Grams could see it through, then I bloody well could too.

We walked together, following the rugged road deep into the forest of birch and ash whose branches rose high above us, but blessed us with ragged patches of golden light every few meters. I had to admit, no matter how much I wasn’t enjoying the walk, the trail through the forest was utterly beautiful. The very nature of it made my panther purr inside me. I pushed her back down and walked on until eventually we moved off the dirt track and into a clearing that seemed to appear out of the forest like magic. We’d reached the base of the mountain at last. My feet thanked them. Someone please remind me why in Ailuros’ name did I think heels were a good idea?

Someone up ahead would have pressed his hand against the plate hidden behind a fall of creeping ivy, because suddenly stone ground and scraped, and a large rock shifted aside to reveal the entrance to the burial cave. The threshold was wide enough to accommodate the wheeled carriage, allowing it to pass through comfortably. We followed it inside, and still none spoke. The last of the group stepped farther into the cool interior and the door grunted and groaned shut.

For the briefest moment we were plunged into a solid darkness so thick it felt like I was breathing shadows into my lungs. Seconds later, lights began to pop and flicker. Small electric lanterns, strung high up on the stone walls, lit the whole entrance cave up in its stark light.

The Tukats burial grounds was made up of a warren of caves leading off a long central corridor, and organized according to age of family. Each individual room backed onto solid stone, allowing the family to dig deeper into the mountain to expand their space should they expand their families. Many of the older family’s had caves within caves allocated to them. It all tended to get a little complicated so I’d only ever concentrated on the Odel tomb. The carriage wheels turned as it traveled to the furthest end of the passage, the thin wheels rolling along the stone floor. As the solemn procession moved into the shadowed depths, I followed, my heart thudding against my ribs.

Ours was the very last of the caves, as befitting of the oldest family in Tukats. The men prepared to remove the coffin from the carriage and the priestess fussed around them, wanting to ensure they didn’t damage the fragile carvings. She needn’t have bothered. The men, two others including my father and brother, were accustomed enough to funeral preparations as to take the required care with the coffin. Etina was just a fusser.

They slid the coffin off the wooden base of the carriage, then lifted it by the carved metal handles. The pallbearers hefted their burden through the entrance to the Odel burial chamber, finding the empty spot beside my uncle Niko’s coffin. Despite the deeds of his troubled lifetime they had accorded him the position in death that had always been allocated to him. He lay beside his father, my grandfather, late husband to Grams who stood silently beside me. Everyone within the community had access to the burial caves, many coming and going as they pleased, but I knew Grams hardly ever visited. I’d never understood her reluctance until now.

The walls exuded a deep cold that did nothing to counter the icy fingers of grief. Although I was not mired deeply within the grip of mourning for Greer I could understand the need to have someone make you feel better. And this cold, underground mausoleum certainly did nothing to help a me feel better. If anything it made me feel a little too closer to death than I old have liked. I moved toward Grams, happy to feel the warmth of her arm as she drew me closer.

In that moment I missed Mom so badly that I felt the stab of longing deep in my gut. It hurt and hot tears filmed my eyes. I blinked them away and just in time as Iain and my father joined Grams and me. The rest of the townspeople who’d accompanied us to the burial grounds moved to position themselves behind us. Etina walked silently to the head of the coffin, a censer swinging from her hand, her skirts rustling. Ribbons of white smoke streaming from the gleaming brass container, curling and spiraling upward until they dissipated above our heads.

The scent of incense softened the icy air, and I felt the tight fist in my gut release its hold on me.

Etina spoke about the eternal quality of the soul and how the ones we lose are never truly gone. I almost believed her.

I recalled the way Greer had retreated into the light, how it had felt so right, as if she was returning home, Or was it perhaps the expression on my sister’s face. One I’d never seen before.

Peace.

***

Disclaimer: Please remember this excerpt is unedited 🙂

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Peace Peeps!

Lost Soul – DarkWorld #2 Teaser

Lost Soul is releasing 31st Jan 2014.
Here is a little excerpt to whet your appetites:

My body burned, my own brand of fire searing its way through my limbs.
I flung the covers off, trying to convince myself they were the reason I was too warm. But even as I lay there in a thin cotton singlet and briefs, I couldn’t seem to cool down. I wiped damp tendrils off my sweaty forehead, fingers tangling with my unkempt mane.
My forearm burned, throbbing accusingly at me.

Teaser Tuesday (Aug 27)

Here’s an excerpt from Dead Chaos to tide you over until release day…

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Expect to see DEAD CHAOS released end AUG/early SEP. Come back next week for another scintillating excerpt…

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Teaser Tuesday (Aug 20)

Here’s an excerpt from Dead Chaos to tide you over until release day…

DC Excerpt 3

Expect to see DEAD CHAOS released end AUG/early SEP. Come back next week for another scintillating excerpt…

Are you on Amazon? Then sign up to be notified as soon as I release a new book. Go to my author page and at the top right hand corner click the link to subscribe. Amazon Author page.

Or you can subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email the day of every new release, and be notified of cover reveals and competitions too. SUBSCRIBE

Friday Food Fiction – Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken

Fiction is filled with food so I thought a little meme for food in our favourite books will be nice idea. I’ll be trolling through my novels and finding delectable delights to share with you. Feel free to use the meme, just post an excerpt relevant to the dish, find a recipe and post that too. And reblog and link to your hearts content. 🙂

“Her (Ms. Custer’s) smile, like the soft pat on my shoulder, was gentle and sweet and enduring. “Did it go well today?” She reached out and gently touched my bandage.

Ms. Custer had intended to come to the funeral but I’d asked her to stay home. Didn’t want the kids exposed to more grief. And my sorrow craved solitude. I wasn’t sure why, but I knew I’d shatter into a million shards of grief if my little family were with me.

I just nodded. No sense in telling her about Cherise and her malicious machinations. Ms. Custer’s face tightened but she let it be.

Tender garlic and herb-roasted chicken and butter-glazed carrots made it safely to the table. I went through the motions, pretending to eat under the stern supervision of my foster mother. Washing up was easier to do and I escaped the kitchen, both dishes and myself in one piece.

A wide veranda hugged the front half of the house, dark and private, especially in the evenings. I surrendered to its comforting embrace. Enjoyed the thrill of having the porch swing to myself, reveled in the enveloping dark night and the sweet scent of Ms. Custer’s pink climbing roses. I sat alone, enclosed in my little private world, with just the crickets and cicadas to vie for my attention.”

DEAD RADIANCE (Valkyrie #1) Chapter 4

Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe

 Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe

Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home

 

Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons each minced fresh parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium lemon, halved
  • 1 large whole garlic bulb
  • 1 sprig each fresh parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme

 

Directions

  • With fingers, carefully loosen skin around the chicken breast, leg and thigh. Combine minced parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and pepper; rub half under skin. Place sliced garlic cloves under skin. Squeeze half of the lemon into the cavity and place the squeezed half in the cavity.
  • Remove papery outer skin from whole garlic bulb (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut top off garlic bulb. Place garlic bulb and herb sprigs in the cavity. Skewer chicken openings; tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.
  • Place chicken breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over chicken; rub remaining herb mixture over chicken.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until chicken juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180° (cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly). Baste with pan drippings if desired.
  • Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin, garlic, lemon and herbs from cavity before carving. Yield: 8 servings.

 

Hope you enjoy this mouthwatering episode of Friday Food Fiction

 

Teaser Tuesday (Aug 13)

Here’s an excerpt from Dead Chaos to tide you over until release day…

DC Excerpt 2

Expect to see DEAD CHAOS released end AUG/early SEP. Come back next week for another scintillating excerpt…

Are you on Amazon? Then sign up to be notified as soon as I release a new book. Go to my author page and at the top right hand corner click the link to subscribe. Amazon Author page.

Or you can subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email the day of every new release, and be notified of cover reveals and competitions too. SUBSCRIBE

Teaser Tuesday (Aug 6)

Here’s an excerpt from Dead Chaos to tide you over until release day…

DC Excerpt 1

Expect to see DEAD CHAOS released end AUG/early SEP. Come back next week for another scintillating excerpt…

Are you on Amazon? Then sign up to be notified as soon as I release a new book. Go to my author page and at the top right hand corner click the link to subscribe. Amazon Author page.

Or you can subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email the day of every new release, and be notified of cover reveals and competitions too. SUBSCRIBE

Six Line Sunday (June 30)

I’ve decided I don’t blog enough and Six Line Sunday will be a a cool way to offer you a peek at what’s coming. In this case its FIRE- Book 1 in the Hand of Kali series…

“Knowledge?” Maya glared at him. “What do I need to know other than the fact that I can roast a person with my hands?”

“Yes, knowledge.” Nik’s face darkened. “Tell me, how much do you know about Rakshasas?”

“I can kill them and they stink.”

Expect to see Fire released mid July. Come back next week for another six spine tingling lines…

Are you on Amazon? Then sign up to be notified as soon as I release a new book. Go to my author page and at the top right hand corner click the link to subscribe. Amazon Author page.

Or you can subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email the day of every new release, be notified of cover reveals and competitions too. SUBSCRIBE

Six Line Sunday (July 14)

Here’s six more lines of FIRE- Book 1 in the Hand of Kali series…

He barreled straight at her. And for all her training in martial arts, she did the one thing her dad always said never to do. She ducked her head and hid her face, hands out, as if she could fend off this vicious attacker merely with her bare palms.

Maya sensed the heat on her skin before she saw it.

Byron was on fire. A living column of shimmering orange flames.

Expect to see Fire released mid July. Come back next week for another six scintillating lines…

Are you on Amazon? Then sign up to be notified as soon as I release a new book. Go to my author page and at the top right hand corner click the link to subscribe. Amazon Author page.

Or you can subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email the day of every new release, be notified of cover reveals and competitions too. SUBSCRIBE