It's that time again. This time, I wanted to bring everyone back to the 2nd installment of my Darkness Unleashed series, KISS OF THE WOLF. Currently I have 3 novels out for this series and I'm hoping to release the final installment sometime next month.
A promise made is more than he’d bargained for…
Fiery and strong, Kara has always walked alone. Though she retains the same gifts as her sister, she is sent on a journey of her own. One that takes her out across the Baylo Sea and into a dark world of demons.Had she known the danger that followed her, or the man who’d save her life, she might have reconsidered.
Sent to find Saleene’s sister, Zachius is plagued with the vision of the woman who haunts his dreams. Though he swore an oath to his friend to save Kara, he never imagines the woman he would find would be the same as from his dreams. Torn between his duty to protect Kara and keep her safe, he finds that there is more at stake than just their lives.
Can he save her from the evil before it’s too late….
or will he be the one needing to be rescued.
Zachius reached behind his head, soreness from weeks of travel crept across his body. He swore he would find a better way to get back home, the knot in his neck a constant reminder of the lack of comfort he’d found on the ship. He had been cramped in the small boat, one he swore was older than the gods themselves, traveling across the Baylo Sea for longer than he could recall. Looking up to the sun, he prayed he could fulfill his promise to Dartian and Saleene. He had vowed to find Saleene’s sister Kara, to warn her, and if needed, keep her safe from harm. Short glimpses of his dreams still haunted him though. Visions of a red haired beauty with eyes the color of the deep emerald visited him every night. Could it be possible the two were one and the same? He shook his head as he pushed the idea aside; sure it was just a coincidence.
“How much farther until we reach land?” He asked the captain. Fatigue and annoyance laced his words, even though he tried to keep them neutral. The man who ran the small vessel rarely spoke to anyone other than his crew. He’d done what he could to help on the boat, but his thoughts continued to drift to his quest. Though the crew was engaging enough, he found his mind continued to drift toward his first meeting with Kara and what he would say. Part of him hoped she was not the woman from his dreams, that she would be something completely different, yet somewhere inside he knew she would be.
“We are very close to the island you seek, sir.” The captain’s rough voice broke through his thoughts. “See...there in the distance...those are the peaks of Ahska.” Zachius’ gaze followed the direction the old man motioned toward, his eyes taking in the snowcapped mountains. A shudder moved through his body. Something evil had already made its way to this small island and if Kara was anything like her older sister, she was already knee deep in the middle of it.
“How close can we get to the island?” His gaze drifted to the rough waves that crashed against the side of the boat. He knew that even though he could see the bottom, it was likely that it was much farther than he would like.
“I’m afraid, maybe another few feet, is as close as we dare to go.” The man’s voice held a hint of apprehension. He had listened to the tales the men told over the previous nights. They believed the island was cursed. For once, he would have to agree. If the evil he had already met had engulfed the island, it would not be safe for any of them.
“I understand, captain, just get as close as you can. I’ll make my way from there.”
As the boat neared the outer banks, Zachius grabbed his pack, swinging it over his shoulder as he vaulted from the deck and into the shallow water, his feet thudding lightly as he landed. Without a glance back, he took off into the forest, his mind focused on finding the woman he had vowed to protect. Whether she’d accept his protection or not was yet to be determined. Behind him, he could hear the boat back out of the shallow waters and head back to sea. Each of the men had asked him if he was sure he wanted to go. Their intentions were understandable, but he had told them he had to. Each one had nodded their understanding.
The moment he stepped into the forest, a thick cocoon of cold enveloped him, sending shivers across his skin. The impact was so strong it stopped him in his tracks; his first instinct was to turn around and leave. Shaking his head, he cleared his mind. It was a trap meant to turn strangers away. He wasn’t about to fall for it, not if she was nearby.
“I don’t think so.” He refused to let anything stop him. He had come too far and his every instinct told him she was close. He needed to be here. He was firm in his resolve to locate her. How to find her was more of the problem. His contacts had advised him that a woman who fit her description had come to the island, but where she had gone they could not say. Unsure of which direction to take, a sound on the wind alerted him to a disturbance in the area. The moment he closed his eyes he picked up the howl of a male wolf, a warning to other animals of something wrong in the area. Something about the sound caught his attention, as if she was also calling for help for more than just herself. Then he heard it, the one thing he could not mistake for anything other than a woman’s voice softly floating on the breeze.
“Kara.” He whispered.
Turning toward the sound of her voice, Zachius vaulted through the deep lush foliage, his energy renewed. He needed to find her. If the voice of the wolf held true, danger was close. Old weathered tree branches blocked his advances, roots reached up to keep him from moving forward. It was more than a coincidence, he thought, and pushed even harder past the barriers that continued to be put in his way. He was not about to fail after getting so close, not when he still had the energy to fight. Pulling his sword out, he slashed at the obstacles, refusing to stop.
As he entered a clearing, he found a rundown cabin, its door, and windows gone for what appeared to be many years. Looking inside he could tell someone had used it recently. Smoke still drifted up from the used fireplace. Moving his gaze around the interior of the cabin, he found a small piece of cloth. Picking up the fabric, he knew it was from a blouse made of soft cotton, its forest green color faded from continual use. Bringing the fabric to his face, he breathed in, the scent of jasmine filling his nostrils.
Kara.... It had to be her, he was sure of it. It could be no other. Her scent filled his mind and soul until he knew he could find her anywhere, no matter what she looked like or where she hid. He placed the piece of fabric in his pack and moved out of the cabin and back into the woods, his stance solid as he made his way toward the east and the coming battle.
Okay everyone, that is the snippit for this week. Hope you enjoyed the read. You can find this novel at Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes and Noble Smashwords and if you want a print copy you can get it here
Happy reading and writing!