This week I am giving away a signed copy of Ever After to two lucky winners. All you have to do to enjoy the first novel in the Cursed Series is:
- Like my Facebook Author Page.
- Share my Facebook Author Page on your wall.
- Answer this question in the comment section of my blog: What is your favorite book or movie, and why?
- Post your email at the bottom of this blog with your answer or, if you prefer, private message it to me on my Facebook Author Page.
The drawing will take place on Ever Tempted’s RELEASE DAY: September 27, 2016.
Good luck and happy reading!
Below is an excerpt from Ever After:
Two oval-shaped, emerald eyes emerged from the overgrown thickets beyond the gate. Three feet away, a waist high cat crept closer. Its head was twice the size of mine. Its lip curled up. One razor-sharp tooth could have sliced straight through me. Its black, shiny coat shimmered in the moonlight. It stopped, all four muscular legs locked, twitching.
I took one step back, but the cat’s triangular head lowered as it put its weight on its back haunches. A low, guttural growl rolled over in its chest. Moonlight glinted off its eyes as it narrowed them to slits. The monstrous cat sauntered to my left. It halted. Holding lifelessly still, my breath burned in my lungs.
In a long black fluid movement, the cat turned toward me. It took one step and halted, lowering its head to assess me. Tilting its head as it took me in, it growled again.
I tried to inch back, but stopped when something dark and shadowy slinked across the ground between us.
The cat lunged.
I tried to dart to the left, but stumbled back. The cat’s long body stretched and soared over me as I tumbled backward down the embankment. I stopped rolling and slid on my stomach, but the momentum I’d built drug me downward. Rocks and exposed fingers of roots scratched my stomach and tore my nails as I grasped for something, anything to hold to.Rocks and dirt broke free from the embankment landing on my shoulders. Every tree root I grabbed for snapped causing me to slide more.
I scrambled and dug at anything I could to slow my ascension, when an arm scooped from nowhere and brought me to a stop. My nails dug into flesh as I scrambled for sturdy hold.
Hot, irregular breath washed over my face as my slight frame slammed into the long body of a human, a male.
He leaned in with me toward the embankment, grasping me firmly to his chest. His strong arms eased me down to a firmer footing. When the moonlight gave me partial view of his face, the air was sucked from my body. The smooth planes of his face weren’t possible. High cheekbones, a clenched jaw line, and a pair of perfectly set apart eyes were haloed by wavy brown hair that brushed his cheeks. And he held me so close, our noses could have touched.
I clenched taut forearms that were perfectly capable of tossing me fifty yards with no effort.
“You’re okay. I’ve got you, now. The screaming is really unnecessary,” the red lips said in an accent I couldn’t place, though I’d heard it before. A serious, aggravated, expression creased the stranger’s forehead.
Breathe. I had to breathe or I’d pass out.
He loosened his grip on me and turned me to face the embankment.
Out of his embrace, air was colder and breathing was more difficult. I didn’t like it.
The young man wiped his eyes and surveyed the roots beside and below us. He grimaced and placed my hand on a sturdy tree root. When he turned back to me, he locked me into a gaze that could have melted titanium. For a moment, the space between me and this mysterious stranger thickened with electric, sizzling air. My lungs stopped burning, and my heart stammered.
“Can I have my hand back?” he asked his body stiff under my touch.
Reluctantly, I flexed my fingers, releasing him from my grip.
The stranger gently placed my other hand on another root. He left his hand over mine for a second and turned that unsettling gaze back to me. He shuddered slightly and tensed away from me. His words sparked a flame of embarrassment in my cheeks. “Now would you try not to get yourself killed if I jump to the pond edge and guide you down?”
“There, put your foot on that rock.” He nodded to a white stone that jutted like a bony elbow out of a wall of red mud. “You should be able to find a rock for each step almost to the bottom.”
I took a deep breath and noted where he’d jumped and landed with perfect ease. I was still four full body lengths above his head. Pressing my body closer to the embankment I used the dirt wall to support my forehead. I inhaled and exhaled trying to slow my heart.
“It’s not that far now. Just ease your right foot about two feet down. You should find the loop of a root to stand on,” the guy said. In a few seconds, he’d guided me as far down the wall as I could go without having to jump. I couldn’t use anything else for footing. “When you jump, push back from the wall. Don’t worry. I’ve got you. I promise.”
That voice. It reverberated inside me. My head swam. I gripped an unstable root. A stone under my foot loosened, and I began to slip. I pushed back from the wall.
Expecting to meet with the ground, my grateful arms shot around the guy’s neck when he caught me under my back and legs. Hot tears burned my cheeks. I buried my face in his shirt.
He put me down but kept me in the loop of his arms. His grip didn’t loosen immediately. “Can you stand?”
That accent. Where had I heard it?
The air thickened and the night sounds silenced.
His arms were vice grips, heart slamming against my chest. “You’re going to have to walk.”
My cheeks burned, and the tears dried. I stepped out of his arms as a searing pain spread through my hand.
He started to say something, but stopped. A jagged rock had slashed my palm open. He took a deep breath and held it as blood splattered the ground. It covered the front of his t-shirt. Stumbling back, he stuttered. “We should get that,” he turned away from me, “cleaned up and bandaged.” His voice was monotone. But his face said it all. He didn’t like blood. He stepped farther away.
“It’s just a little blood,” I said and started to the pond. Just as my fingers grazed the water, he grabbed me by the waist and jerked us both back where we toppled onto the ground.
* * * *
I hoped you enjoyed this tidbit. Read Ever After to see what happens next….