Souls Fall! Out today!

Number 2 in The Soul War series is out today. Click here to buy Souls Fall, now available both in digital form and paperback

Here’s an excerpt for my readers:

Gaspard turned on his heel and exited, Marc and Kara following.

They switched positions as they exited the building with Kara leading, Gaspard in the middle, and Marc at the back, and the three worked their way toward their car, which was parked in a VIP space in the hotel’s reserved back parking lot. Gaspard and Marc were talking together in low voices, intent on their discussion, so it was only Kara who sensed the danger.

She whirled, grasped Gaspard by both shoulders, and propelled him toward the car, instructing Marc to take point and cover their charge. Marc placed a hand on Gaspard’s elbow and pushed him the rest of the way, throwing Gaspard in the back seat with an order to stay down. Kara watched this from the corner of her eye until a crushing hand came down on her sword arm, drawing her full attention to the big man who was making himself a nuisance. The last thing she heard was Marc shouting, “Let her do her damn job!”

Kara’s right arm was numb from the blow to the nerves at her elbow, so it would do no good to draw her sword. She turned and ran, calling for Rikassa as Jarius emerged fully from the shadows and gave chase.

“I keep my master safe!” he bellowed. “And you are a danger to him. He’s forbidden me from killing you, but he never said anything about hurting you. I’m going to rip your arms off at the sockets and…”

Kara never heard the rest of it. She leapt on top of a car and vaulted from car roof to car roof, using her agility to stay ahead of the human rhinoceros behind her. Jarius was human, or at least not a vampire, but he was unreasonably strong. It occurred to her mid-leap that he may be part jötnar, part giant. That made it all the more important that she stay out of his grasp. Jötnar, even half-breeds, were famous for compressing human heads between their huge hands, popping the brains out like pus from a zit.

Not a pretty picture.

Her hand tingled as the nerves returned to life. She hurdled over Jarius’ outstretched arm and settled on Rikassa’s back, who had flown at full speed to her Lady. Kara urged the horse to fly higher and used the ascent to transform into the Valkyrie she was, armor glinting with the light of the street lamps in the shadowed parking lot. The wild horse neighed a challenge to her Lady’s attacker and veered to the right to give Kara time to draw her sword.

“I am no threat to you!” Kara yelled. “There is no need for this!”

Jarius looked up, face screwed tight in anger. He clambered on top of a Ford 150 with monster wheels, denting the hood with his weight, and jumped toward the horse, arms outstretched as if he thought he could catch Rikassa like a firefly. He landed with a thud on the concrete, a spider-web of tiny fissures spreading out from his feet. Rikassa flew directly at him and used a front hoof to kick him squarely in the head. It should have been a killing blow. Instead, Rikassa’s hoof bounced off the giant, who shook off the attack like a dog shaking off water after a lovely lake swim.

That confirms it, thought Kara. There was definitely jötnar in Jarius’ family tree. The giants were great when it came to brawn but not so valuable when it came to brains. And as Rikassa’s kick made thoroughly obvious, it would also make him harder to strike down because jötnar had skin like stone. It would take a deft touch. There were only a few vulnerable places she could assail and do any damage.

Jarius beckoned in a “bring it” sort of way, and Kara obliged. She threw Rikassa into a steep descent, flicked her sword, and then bade Rikassa to fly up, up, and away. This left Jarius gaping at his right ear, which now sat on the ground like a leftover potato chip. He roared his anger to the sky.

 

 

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