We are looking for reviewers and bloggers alike to join the fun coming September 28-October 9! Review copies are available in ebook formats worldwide.
In other news, today’s excerpt comes from Chapter Two of The Dryad’s Sacrifice (first novella in the Sylvan Prelude series). The Dryad’s Sacrifice is based in the same world as Skinshifter and actually occurs about 300 years before the events of the main book. Both books will release at Amazon on September 25, 2015 and at Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords on December 24, 2015.
If you haven’t read the first TDS excerpt that I posted last week, I suggest you do that before you tackle this one. Enjoy!
Eliza lost her balance and tipped sideways against the ropes as the bridge bucked and rolled. Before I knew what was happening, my body was tangled within the bridge’s right-side netting and the hand that had been holding Eliza’s shoulder now gripped the left strap of her pack.
“Don’t let go!” she screamed as she dangled below me, clutching the bag’s other strap with both hands.
Despite being well-sewn, the pack was not made to withstand this amount of pull. Tears stung my eyes as we heard the pop of her strap’s first seam.
“Climb!” I ordered her.
“You can! Climb!”
Another louder snap resounded above us and I felt my body lurch as a rope loosened around my captive arm. I thrust it toward my sister. “Grab hold!”
“If I move, I could break the strap!”
“If you don’t move, it will break anyway! Move!”
She nodded and began to inch her fingers up the strap toward her pack’s main flap. If she could catch hold of the opening, she could spill the pack’s supplies, lighten the load, lessen the strain on the straps, and shorten the distance between us. Her fingers snagged the bag open and Eliza ducked her head as supplies pelted her body on their way to the gorge floor. I heard a second pop just as her fist found purchase around the knapsack’s opening. The strap I was now clutching with both hands had begun to loosen.
“Hurry!” I yelled.
She gripped the bag and swung her left hand up to grab the strap I was holding. The action ripped the pack and strap apart. I screamed as I felt the strap slice against my raw palm. Our left hands clutched the same straining strap while our right hands flailed. Our hands touched, stretched, and finally locked around each other’s wrists just as I felt the second rope give way under my chest. We lurched downward and I screamed again.
We heard a forlorn howl echo across the gap. Eliza and I turned our heads in the direction and spied the werewolf elder watching us from the bridge entrance.
“Fenraz! Help us!” I yelled.
Four of Fenraz’s packmates were gripping the anchoring poles of the bridge to keep them from ripping away from the side of the ridge.
“We can hold it but for a moment more!” he shouted. “Try to reach the ledge!”
He pointed to a narrow precipice of rock near us.
“I see it!” Eliza shouted back.
She looked up at me and I saw that the fear in her eyes matched my own. “I am not going to lose you today!” I said. I squeezed my fist around her wrist. “On my third count, let go of the strap and catch my hand.”
“One, two, three! Grab it!”
She did. The strap followed the pack into the rapids far below us as she gripped my arms and swung in midair. A second gust of wind caught our tangle of a bridge and rocked it hard. Sweat slicked our raw hands and stung inside the welts wrought by the straps. I winced as I felt her weight shift under me.
“What are you doing?” I screamed as she twisted and kicked in my grip.
“Neither you nor the bridge cannot hold me much longer. I have to swing into that ledge!”
“It’s too far from us!”
“No it isn’t. I’ve swung between tree boughs that are much farther apart than this distance. Believe me; I can do this.”
I didn’t, but what other option did we have?
Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!
The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!