Sorcerer’s Conquest‘s release date has been moved up due to editing scheduling conflicts. (My sincerest apologies.)
In the meantime, it’s been a grilled cheese and tomato soup kind of week. (Comfort food, here I come!)
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak that will hopefully tide you over until the book is released in March 2018. (I so loved writing this book!)
Sorcerer’s Conquest Excerpt
Heedless of the growing shadows as dusk grayed into night, Maddox Chadwick, sorcerer, paced at the top of a mountain.
A few nights ago at the end of the gathering, he and his fellow knights set out to perform their final tasks to earn their freedom, and yet a sense of restlessness, of expectation, lured Maddox back to the same spot on this spring evening.
Anticipation bolstered his stride, as if he returned once again after a fifteen-hundred-year hiatus, to a grand stage. Long ago, Maddox left the world of thievery and thespian pursuits behind to join twelve others to protect Camelot against underworld forces.
Now, drawn to this area in East Tennessee by the power housed within the mountains, their tenure as Dark Knights would soon to an end.
A line of mostly stone layered the ridgetop. Stunted cedar and pine trees sprouted close to the summit and blended in with oaks and other foliage along the steep, downward slopes. The breeze stirred through the evergreens and tickled his nostrils, and magic thrummed through the crystals in the ground beneath him.
Pale and muted, a halfmoon glowed through thickening clouds, casting long shadows and turning the trees into twisted, sinister shapes.
As stated in the ancient prophecy, he sought release from his knightly duties. Yet, he, a sorcerer of Merlin’s ilk, did not know where to look.
While the others possessed the knowledge of their last knightly tasks, Maddox walked back and forth. Owls hooted and crickets chirred to jeer his performance. For good reason, because like an actor without direction, he strode along a ridgeline in search of the unknown.
The weight of foreboding pressed on his shoulders, at odds with the growing anticipation. Maddox frowned, trying to make sense of it.
In honor of the upcoming supermoon, he manifested the image of an orb, mimicking it exactly. Held within the space between his cupped hands, the glow illuminated a pit that once held a large chunk of crystal. But even the conjuring in a world long devoid of magic failed to excite him.
Nothing much did anymore, not since the price of his sorcery featured centuries of celibacy no man should be forced to endure.
In addition, he had no idea what ancient artifact he was meant to retrieve, and no clue why he’d been drawn here to this particular place at this specific time. But whatever demanded his attention and scrutiny had everything to do with him being upon this ridge on this night.
Movement along the tree line caught his attention and Gideon Saint-Valeri, the cur of a wolf shifter, staggered into view and dropped to his knees. No longer a handsome knight or even a noble wolf, the creature before him bore a monstrous visage of an elongated snout with sharp uneven teeth gleaming below a fur-covered forehead of a more human slant.
Back hunched, the deformed Dark Knight carried a brown-haired, unconscious woman cradled tight to his chest.
Tasting cedar and pine as he inhaled, Maddox quirked his upper lip. Within his leather jacket, he shrugged as if to dislodge the weight of this strange night from his shoulders.
When the second-in-command raised his face wetness marred the disfigured cheeks. “She dies.” The werewolf shook his head and spoke in a low guttural tone. “And I have killed her.”
Maddox blinked at the sight of his tears. Never had he have imagined seeing such agony and grief on the arrogant, dutybound shifter’s face.
“We cannot tarry. We must return to the woods.” A woman, with hair too light for brown and too dark for red, stumbled from the lower slope, panting as she stopped beside the afflicted knight. “Time runs out.”
At the sight of her, a strange slowness shuttered Maddox’s hearing and reactions. His fingers automatically curled toward his palm, yet he hesitated in making the gesture that would freeze the woman in place.
Could it be?