I've been getting a lot of emails and questions about the release date for Luathara (Book Three of the Otherworld) lately, and all I can say is that I'm going to do my best to get it out by November 1st. I can't make any solid promises, however, because I have a lot going on during the next few months (the Orange County Book Festival at the end of the month, getting back into the rhythm of the new school year etc.). But I would just like to let you know that I greatly appreciate all your messages and comments and that they do encourage me to keep on writing (even when my Muse demands a vacation ;)). I can't thank you all enough for your wonderful support and enthusiasm for this series.
I have also been working on Ehriad, my novella that will be a handful of scenes from Faelorehn, told from Cade's point of view. I'm almost done with that book and I hope to have it out some time this month. As of this moment, it is a little over 16,000 words, but may end up being more or less after editing. I have no set date on its release, however, I am happy to give you guys a small excerpt to help tide you over until it's complete. Again, thank you for all your emails and wonderful comments and I hope you enjoy this little preview! (WARNING: There may be a few typos . . .)
From Ehriad, a Novella of the Otherworld . . .
The sharp snap of a twig and a low, almost imperceptible growl informed me that the creature I hunted was now only a few yards away. I assumed his growl of frustration was aimed towards the branch he’d broken, giving away his presence, and not by any means meant to intimidate me. No matter, I had planned it this way. I had known he’d been following me for a good fifteen minutes now. It helped when you had another pair of eyes, and a good nose, to help you along.
How close? I sent to my spirit guide.
Ten feet, to the right, Fergus answered.
His mind was sharp, focused on the hunt. Even better.
I let my body ease out of the tense stance it had taken at hearing the sound of the snapped twig. One more minute Fergus. I’d let the creature stalk me for sixty seconds more.
The thing about faelah is despite their vicious, blood-thirsty tendencies, they weren’t very smart. I was only a few feet from the dolmarehn now, boxed in on most sides by the steep walls of the culvert, and the faelah was somewhere above me, close to the edge but remaining out of sight.
What exactly are we dealing with? I asked my spirit guide.
About my size, dark, no hair. Small eyes, big teeth, sharp, thin claws and a tail like a rat.
I nodded to myself. This particular monster resembled most other faelah: the grotesque, zombie-like imitations of an animals created from the long-dead body parts of many others. If the people of the mortal world could see it, they would be cursed with a lifetime of nightmares to disrupt their sleep.
Fortunately for them, the faelah’s glamour kept it invisible from sight. No, only my people, the Faelorehn, could see the faelah. At least until they were destroyed and a small window between the time their glamour faded from their bodies and their flesh turned to ash did the mere mortals get a chance to catch a glimpse. This was one of the main reasons I lured as many as I could back into the Otherworld, or at least deep enough into the woods to kill them where they wouldn’t be seen by anyone.
The crunch of dead leaves met my ears again, along with Fergus’s words: Get ready.
I slipped my hand into my boot, pulling out a long knife, pressing the dull side against my forearm so that I could stab if necessary.
In the next breath, the faelah leapt from the edge of the ravine and used the trunks of dead trees crisscrossing my path like ladder rungs to make its way down. The faelah came to rest only fifteen feet in front of me, a monster looking very much like a partially decomposed mountain lion. It growled at me, showing several long teeth, and twitched its reedy tail. Just as I had suspected, this one wasn’t going to let me lead it back into the Otherworld. Looks like it would have to be a kill. Not that I regretted it much. Most of the faelah had been other animals at one time, animals that had been transformed by the Morrigan. I bared my teeth in a grimace, hoping to intimidate the monster.
A flash of white caught the corner of my eye and a giant wolfhound joined us, using the same method the faelah had to reach the gully floor. He landed behind the creature, bearing his teeth and laying his rusty ears flat against his skull.
Kill? he sent me.
Yes, this one will have to be a kill.
The beast howled and snapped its jaws before hunkering down on its hindquarters.
Here goes . . .
With preternatural speed the faelah leapt, mouth gaping open, massive paws tipped with needle-thin claws outstretched. I froze for a fraction of a second, then with one swift movement, jerked my hand diagonally across my body, swiping the sharp edge of my blade against leathery skin.
The yowl in the monster’s throat died and I quickly sidestepped, letting the body hurtle past me. It landed in a tangled heap in the dirt, the head nearly severed from the rest of the body. Its limbs twitched a few times as black, putrid blood spilled from the open wound. I wrinkled my nose at the smell, but didn’t gag. I was used to the stench.
As I cleaned my blade I felt the faelah’s glamour swell like a bubble, growing larger and larger until it burst. There was nothing to see really, but my own well of magic felt it all the same. If there had been mortals around, they would now be gaping, dumbfounded at the atrocity lying at their feet. I didn’t even stay to make sure it turned to dust.
“Come on Fergus, time to go,” I said to the wolfhound.
Wounds? he sent me.
No, not even a scratch. I was, after all, very good at my job.
* * * * *
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of Ehriad! Feel free to leave comments or if you have any questions about the Otherworld series, send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org