In case you missed it on Facebook, this week has turned into Cover Reveal week here on My Random Muse. Tomorrow, prepare to turn up the heat with Keri Lake’s smokin’ hot cover for Logan’s story: Soul Resurrected. Her second Sons of Wrath book. Saturday I’ll be joining in on the cover reveal for Mara Valderran’s Heirs of War. These two ladies are fantastic authors so make sure you get their books on your TBR list and check back in fall as I join both of them on their Blog tours.
As I write this, it’s slightly after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday evening and the temp is 91 degrees with a dew point of 66 degrees. I’m relatively cool in my dungeon, but having come in from outside not too long ago, I have sweat trickling down places it just doesn’t belong. I’m cranky and formulating a headache. Needless to say, this kind of weather and I DO NOT, let me repeat, DO FREAKING NOT get along.
In honor of that, and in anticipation of seasons I prefer over those with heat and humidity, I’ve decided to share the first 8 + 28 sentences of Fortune Favors the Cold, the short story I’m working on for an anthology submission the end of October. It began as an entry in a Best Opening Contest. It wouldn’t leave me alone, so, of course, I decided to start playing with it. And, of course, 1700 words later I have no friggin’ idea where it’s headed. *sigh*
The sound of wings . . .
Branson cringed beneath the rush of air, ducking his head. They’d spotted it soaring along the ridgeline three nights past; though in reality it had been here much longer. Probably since early spring. It hadn’t come close until now, waiting until high winter when the pass couldn’t be negotiated without the will of the gods in your pocket.
Waited until it could take its time with them.
And Branson — he’d drawn the short straw. Always did have damn bad luck. It’s how he’d gotten stuck in this gods forsaken hell hole in the first place.
Bits of ice peppered Branson’s face as the beast landed. With a noise like banners snapping in the breeze, it furled those huge, crimson wings against its back.
The color of blood on snow, Branson thought. My blood, likely.
They locked gazes. Branson sighed, turned his head and spit. “Let’s get it done, then.”
He flexed his chilled fingers on the frosty grip of his sword and wiped his chin with the back of his hand. Damn the gates of hell, he hated the cold. Gods alone knew why he had listened to Joorysh.
Because you’re a greedy rat bastard and he knows it. Played on your love of a challenge and the lure of gold, didn’t he? And what did you get for it? A broken leg that still pains you, a winter in the frozen underbelly of the world, and now —
“It’s not my idea, this,” he said to the beast. Not that it would help. The thing had no ears that he could see. Then again, he’d a hard time seeing past the wicked long fangs in a head the size of a supply wagon, and claws that gouged the ice-covered rock beneath its feet.
Of all the ways death could come, Branson had always considered evisceration to be about the worst. Not like he hadn’t been threatened with it before. Usually those times when he’d found himself chained to a wall in some damp, fetid, cesspit of a prison. Each time Hermares, god of thieves, assassins, and fools, had seen fit to deliver him to freedom. Each time he’d made Joorysh pay in either coin or hide. Once in both because the saving hadn’t come until they’d dragged Branson out into the square stripped to the waist and tied out.
He preferred never to come that close again.
He frowned and cocked an eye toward the low, dull grey sky. Hermares himself wouldn’t venture here even for the King of Fools.
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