Welcome to my stop on the Science Fiction Romance Brigade's Midsummer Blog Hop.
The SFR Brigade has several grand prize bundles, including but not limited to a $100, two $50 and three $25 gift cards along with huge eBook bonanzas.
Through the end of June, I'm also running my own separate giveaway with a $15 and two $5 gift cards on offer.
Both widgets are included at the end of this post along with the full list of participants. Happy hopping!
This year's hop prompt turned out to be very convenient since my most recent sci-fi release has stars on its cover and is set mostly in the dark.
A twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story, Catching Red is a post-apocalyptic romance featuring an imperiled scout and the spy determined to save her. To find their happily-ever-after, Scarlet and her Woodsman must hack their way through zombies, destroy an evil cult, and survive an undead world.
I've included an action-packed night-time excerpt below. If you have a second, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.
It had been days since she last slept. Sand filled her joints. Her head was about to collapse her neck, and the cold chilled her like never before. Her lids drooped as she struggled to focus. Her chances of success were slim, but she still needed to try.
Slithering against smooth bark, she made her way to the ground. She took a deep breath and made sure her feet made no sound as she moved over the melting snow. She heard a noise and fell into a crouch. She couldn’t see any movement, but the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Her heart raced. She hadn’t survived this long by overruling her instincts.
Sensing imminent attack, she unsheathed the dual knives from her lower back. Rising to her feet, she swung her body in an arc, responding to a movement in the corner of her eye. Her instincts proved true.
The carcass careened toward her, its lumbering movements too easily avoided. She wasn’t worried about this corpse or the ones following it into the clearing. She had fought undead for most of her life, and all had been easier than her first kill. They weren’t real threats, especially not after what happened this winter. But killing them made far too much noise.
Aiming for its left eye, she plunged one knife into the creature clamoring for blood and flesh. She had learned how to angle her chosen weapon so the tip buried inside its brain. Needing the blade back, she turned her body and used the downward momentum to pull it free. With a sharp twist of her wrist the metal obeyed, but her gaze was already fixed on the next target.
The following kills were a blur as viscous black blood streaked white snow. Undead bodies dropped to the ground in rapid succession. She had just enough time to hoist herself atop a low branch before a shadow entered her line of vision.
Though garbed in black like all the others, she was immediately certain this man was one of the two leaders. He moved with an agility that made the patrolling soldiers seem like cattle. She noticed the way he turned to scan the area. If she had been in his line of sight, she was certain he would have spotted her. His approach was close to silent.
He was taller than all the men she’d encountered except for Marcus. His shoulders were broad; his limbs were long. She couldn’t see his face, and a black cap covered his head. But something about him felt familiar.
Her heart pounded. It was a matter of time before he realized she was perched above him. She needed to act now. As her body fell through the air, her arms looped to secure both blades against his neck. By the time her feet met the ground, dual lines of blood marred his pale white skin. It was a silent warning.
He lifted his hands in a gesture of surrender. She waited for what seemed like an eternity for someone to follow in his wake. No one came.
A gust of wind made the leaves rustle. A familiar musky scent filled her lungs. Realizing who he was, she froze even before she heard his voice.
“You’re not going to use those, are you, Red?” Marcus’ tone was relaxed and confident. Her mind reeled. It was all the distraction he needed.
He stepped back toward her before capturing both her wrists. He pushed them apart, released one of her hands, and swung her forward. Using her own momentum, he circled her body. His free arm rose and wrapped around her neck.
An instant later, her vision blurred and then went black.
Thanks again for visiting my stop on the SFR Brigade's Starry Night Hop! Below are the full list of participants along with Rafflecopter widgets to both the main and my personal giveaways.