The purpose here is to spotlight a few lines or a few paragraphs from a new release or backlisted title. This way my readers get to sample some delicious snippets and I'll do my best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
This week I'm teasing from THE VALKYRIE'S SWORD, an upcoming paranormal romance. It should be out to you by the end of this month! Svanhild is a fallen valkyrie and she's heard someone call for help on the way into town. This guy is trapped under a fallen tree in a stream and the water's rising. Don't worry, this is NOT her love interest, just a guy who needs help and doesn't know how to express gratitude.
“Be ready to drag yourself away from your bike.” She strode toward the other side of the stump. “I’m going to shift the stump enough to get you free.”
“How the fuck are you gonna do that? And what about my bike?”
Humans, always worried about their toys. She sighed as she made sure her footing was solid before she grasped the downed stump. “The bike is secondary and we’ll deal with it once you’re out. Ready to move? On the count of three.”
“Hold on...okay. Ready.”
Svanhild closed her eyes and ignored the icy water soaking into her jeans. She released some of her Valkyrie essence, just enough to be inbued with the strength of a Berserker warrior so she could move the stump. She’d haul the man out then work on the bike.
“One.” She steadied her grip on the stump. “Two.”
“You sure you can move this?”
She ignored him. “Three.” She yanked and lifted the stump. The waterlogged wood moved slugglishly as if a great hand held it down. But Svanhild increased her effort and a wet, sucking sound tore through the rain-soaked air as the thick trunk moved. If she’d completely taken on her true form, she would’ve been able to toss the waterlogged tree across the stream, but she was only able to shift it a little to the side, freeing the bike and man.
“Holy shit.” The man groaned as she sloshed back to him, the water already up to her thighs. “How the fuck did you move that?”
“It’s not important at the moment. Let’s get you out of the stream. Do you think you can walk?” She held out her hand to him, her feet braced. He reached out to clasp her wrist and her world grayed out around the man touching her.
Her Valkyrie senses roared to life, screaming with the wrongness of the being holding her wrist. Unworthy! Defiler! Forsaken! Her eyes widened as she met his brown gaze and the edges of her mouth pulled down as she bared her teeth.
His eyes filled with dread and he swallowed hard. “Oh shit.”
She yanked him close to her chest until they stood nose to nose, her fury mounting. “You are a butcher.”
“Now, now, let’s not be too hasty. I haven’t done anything—”
“Today. You haven’t done anything today.” She scowled and thrust him away from her, wishing she had her sword in her hands. “I shouldn’t have saved you. I should’ve let the water take you.” She clenched her hands into fists. “What’s done is done. You’re safe now.”
“Yeah, but what about my bike?” He shuffled to the bank and stared at his motorcyle slowly disappearing under the rising stream.
She tightened her fists and wished they could be wrapped around his throat, but she held back the berserker’s rage. Five hundred years! Odin had exiled her from Asgard to the mortal world because she’d dared to disagree with him. I was right, dammit. The warrior she’d been sent to collect during the Ottoman-Hungarian War had been a butcher, a murderer without honor or conscience. Seeing his actions and choices in life laid out before her turned her stomach and she refused to give him a place of honor.
And now I’ve saved this butcher from death. I am a fool.
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