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Excerpt from The Final Offering

Thula opened her eyes and stared at the blank, empty walls. The heat from the brazier hit her like a brick, and her clothes were damp with sweat. She stood up and looked around.

A dream, she thought. It was only a dream.

It sure hadn’t felt like a dream, but then again, she was starving. She opened the door to the room and walked out into the temple. The change in temperature was a great blessing. All was silent, and she didn’t see anyone inside. Walking out the doors, she crept down the stone stairs.

Wait, she thought. If that was a dream, shouldn’t I have a knot on my head? And shouldn’t it be pounding?

She reached for the back of her head, and her skull felt smooth. A tingle ran up her spine, and she stopped dead in her tracks. “It wasn’t a dream. They contacted me,” she said.

Suddenly, she didn’t know what to do. Thoughts raced through her mind as she tried to come up with a plan. Her eyes darted from side to side as she looked around the village.

Hetorian, she thought. He’ll know what to do. At least she hoped he would help her craft a plan.

Excerpt from Vampire’s Curse

“Man, she hates you.” Brandr smiles. “I feel like I did you a favor.” He motions to Erwin, who unties both my dad and sister. “Remember, you have seventy-two hours and your time starts now. Fail to arrive and your pretty little sister gets it next.”

A throat clears off screen. Brandr and Erwin drop to their knees. A figure in a long cloak steps toward the camera. I can’t see his face; it’s covered by a hood.

“I’m done playing games with you, Chris. Turn yourself in or the rest of your family will meet the same fate as your mother. Brandr doesn’t look finished yet and I’d like him to taste more blood.”

In disbelief, I stare at the screen through the heavy tears running down my face. “Aldric?”

“Oh, I see you do have a brain. Very good.” I feel the penetration of his hateful glare, even with the low illumination offered by the inferior lighting in the warehouse. It’s giving me the Heebie-jeebies.

“Do you have any idea about the amount of heat I’ll be under for this little fiasco tonight? Not only did I let several humans see what we did, but poor Brandr here killed one of them. The council will not be happy, and I won’t be surprised if they send an entire envoy to harass me.

Excerpt from The Unknown Man

Rhovick sat and stared through the dim light of his cell, focusing on the five severed heads laid out in front of him. He set them in various positions. The stink emanating from the soulless skulls disgusted him, but he conversed with them anyway. Over the past few days, they became his friends. Each day he didn’t reveal the location of the orb, more innocents died. Their heads were left as a reminder, and each day it became more difficult to hold back the information.  His mind pushed passed sanity and closer to delusion now—it became harder and harder to separate reality from hallucination. Every once in a while he would drift back to reality and realize his position, but his mind would react by slipping into delirium. He wanted to die, but Lutheras had taken all means of accomplishing his suicide away.

He drifted back to delirium when he heard footsteps from down the hall, bringing him back to reality. Getting on his feet, he smoothed the clothes he still wore, wanting to face Lutheras when he entered the cell. The dark wizard stood outside the door with three Minotaurs and a Goblin. His face displayed a baneful grin.