I am finally getting back to working on The Shifter, the sequel to The Mage. I don’t want to give too much away, since I left some things hanging at the end of the first novel, but I also want to give people a taste of what I’m working on. I hope this is coherent enough to stand as an engaging excerpt.
The woods were quiet. Only now did it seem unnatural to Cassie. No song birds called out; no insects buzzed. She felt a chill inside as she tried to locate the source of the strange silence.
There. She could sense a kind of emptiness off to her left. Whatever it was, it eluded her senses. There was no smell nor sound. Instead, it was an absence that she noticed, a slippery nothingness that she could not quite locate. She turned to face it directly, but it seemed to slide away from her attention.
Curiosity fought with primal fear, and that froze Cassie in place. She wanted to know what was happening, what was causing this strange occurrence, but she also wanted to flee and find a place to hide. Unable to decide in favor of one impulse or the other, she simply stood transfixed, staring deeper into the woods.
A deep growl behind her broke the spell, and she spun around. A wolf stood several feet away, teeth bared and hate in its eyes. If it was the same wolf she had seen earlier, it had shed all pretense of friendliness. Again she was caught, unable to react. This time it was broken when the wolf’s growl increased and it leaped on her. The force of its body crashing into her knocked her to the ground. The wolf stood, snarling over her. Terror choked her, making it difficult for her to breathe. The world began to fade to black.
Something struck the wolf and knocked it off of her, relieving some of the pressure on her chest. The smell of burnt hair replaced the weight in causing her to choke. She tried to sit up, but she had been too close to losing consciousness. Blackness began to take over her vision once more. She fell back to the ground. There was growling nearby and the sound of running, but it seemed to be away from her. She dared to hope she might be safe just before finally blacking out.