Today’s the big day. Curse Breaker Hidden launches today! (It’s also our Scribe’s birthday. She will celebrate it by writing more books for us, of course.) No more preorders. You can grab your copy of Curse Breaker Hidden right now and dive in. Here’s a taste of what’s inside. I present another preview. We’ll pick up with my buddy Saveen, then Papa and I enter the fray:
Run, Dragon, Run (Part 3)
The skull, which was cackling, and its captives disappeared behind a section of a broken wall. Saveen wriggled out from under the debris covering him and crept off the landing through the jagged hole punched into the wall enclosing the staircase. It was just large enough to admit him after a careful scan of the area beyond it. The giant skull had vanished and so had its two captives. Obviously, the strange trio had descended into the gigantic hole in the floor. Even Mama might fit through that hole, and she had a hundred-foot wingspan.
Had part of the stronghold collapsed? No, that was impossible because the stronghold was inside a mountain. Sarn had said it was quite sturdy on several occasions, and he would know since his magic had an affinity for stones.
Saveen gawked at the destruction. Everything in sight had been smashed to pieces. He didn’t hear any moans or see any bodies, but he also didn’t know what people used this level for. It might be full of storerooms or workrooms. Both would be abandoned at this hour. Movement caught his attention, and Saveen froze.
Two figures wearing green uniforms huddled together on the other side of that cavernous hole. They looked like Rangers. One helped the other up. As soon as they turned their backs on him, Saveen rushed to the edge of that gigantic hole and looked down at a frightening sight. More tentacles than he could count squirmed around in the debris down there. But thank God the skull monster was gone.
Saveen plucked up his courage and jumped. Mama was down there. He extended his stubby wings and sailed down toward an underground river and the Lower Quarters. Lots of tentacles slithered over the piles of debris covering the ground while a bunch more arched over something happening on the riverbank, but Saveen couldn’t see what.
Could he reach the ground and hide before that creature noticed him? It didn’t seem to have any eyes, or none Saveen could see, but its tentacles were striking something. They must have some way of sensing things.
Mama had always told him to avoid things he didn’t understand, and that sounded like great advice right now. Several tentacles swung in his direction. How had they sensed him?
Seeing Double (aka Chapter 2)
“Crawl faster, so Bear doesn’t get hurt,” his son had said.
Kids said the darndest things. Sarn couldn’t help but laugh at that non sequitur, even though it sent a dull pain through his chest. Damn. He might have bruised a rib or two when that tentacle had struck his chest, not good. Hopefully, he hadn’t broken anything.
Sarn crawled around a bend, and the tunnel swam before his eyes. He closed them for a moment. Nope, that didn’t help. The walls were still undulating in time with his racing heart. Double damn.
Sarn rubbed his eyes. No change. The shadows still flickered in the foul wind kicked up by that invisible funnel, which was coming from a rock of all things. It galled Sarn to crawl away from it. If he had his other magic, he could stop it, but he hadn’t figured out how to get that power back yet, and now wasn’t a good time to try.
“Papa?” Ran skidded into his side.
Pain cut through his head, and Sarn gritted his teeth. Maybe he was hurt worse than he’d realized. His ribs ached, and his knees too from all the crawling, but walking was out of the question until he was less dizzy.
“Sorry. The ground’s slippery here.” Ran patted his side, but that just made it hurt more.
Sarn batted his son’s hand away. “It’s okay.” Besides, the boy’s scant weight couldn’t hurt Sarn anymore than he already was. But those injuries weren’t getting better. Am I too injured to fight anymore? He did have a concussion.
Sarn leaned his good side against the wall while he considered that, but without his magic to soften it, it wasn’t a comfortable place to rest. His knees were abraded from all the crawling, but he was still too dizzy to stand. Should he go back or go on? What would my heroes do? That was the problem. Sarn didn’t know.
Heroes didn’t get concussions. In every story Sarn had ever heard, they fought without tiring, delivering wound after wound to the enemy, but they never got hurt. They also never left dangerous magical objects lying around or lost their powers either, but Sarn had done both those things.
What have I done? Sarn sat back on his heels and put his aching head in his scratched hands. Maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a hero after all. But he knew someone who was.
“Sovvan.” Just saying her name made Sarn feel a little better. I could use your help, sis. Could he call her without his earth magic? His son had called her, and the boy didn’t have magic. But should he? Were things really so bad he couldn’t handle them himself?
Sarn bit his lip. He’d never had anyone to call for help. Nor was he sure that she would be all that much help. Sovvan didn’t have magic either.
He heard muffled voices. Sarn scanned the tunnel, but he didn’t see anyone. Nor could he sense anyone with his earth magic gone. But one of the voices he’d heard was female. “Sovvan? Are you here?” Sarn asked, daring to hope that she was.
“I don’t think she is because I don’t see her.” Ran stepped in front of him, and he also scanned the area, before glancing back at Sarn. His face was scrunched up with worry. “What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
“No, I was regretting things I can’t change instead of fixing the things I can change.” Like that weird rock Jersten had tricked him into activating. That damned thing was preying on Sarn’s mind. He had to do something about it, but what could he do without his earth magic?
“We should go back.” Sarn hadn’t meant to say that aloud. Nor could he take that back.
“To the bad rock? But it’ll hurt you.” Ran fidgeted as his small hands dug around behind Sarn.
Sarn realized his son was trying to free his favorite toy from his belt. He vaguely recalled his son wedging his bear under there. Why Ran had thought that was a good idea, Sarn didn’t know.
After a little more tugging and wiggling, Ran freed his stuffed friend and hugged him tight. “I don’t think we should go back. If Bear were here, he’d agree with me. It’s a bad idea.”
“Oh, really?” Sarn scrubbed both hands over his face. That didn’t help either. His eyes were so heavy. “Then why does my gut say we should?”
“I don’t know. What does your magic say?” Ran poked him in the belly.
“That’s a good question.” Sarn tried to call it up. It was time to find out what it could do. But the magic he’d regained wasn’t like the earth magic he was used to using. For one thing, it wasn’t as vocal or as green. Nor did it like rocks. What did it like?But that white star in his heart just kept on shining and doing nothing Sarn could sense or see. What are you? What can you do? Still nothing. What was the key to unlocking it?
- Curse Breaker Enchanted
- His Angelic Keeper
- Curse Breaker Darkens
- Curse Breaker Faceted
- Curse Breaker Falls
- Curse Breaker Sundered
- His Angelic Keeper Hidden
- Curse Breaker Hidden
- Spell of Shadow & Light
- His Angelic Keeper Fallen (in progress now)*
- Curse Breaker Trapped (next in the writing queue)*
*Coming soon in 2021*
We’ll be back with more on Friday as our launch week continues!
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