As the release date for Witch Hearts gets closer, I want to give a little preview to my friends (and potential readers). I released this chapter back on Halloween as a special preview and had since removed it, but as the big release day draws near, I want to give you some more snippets to pique your interest.
If you like this chapter, I suggest signing up for my totally free, non-spammy newsletter (to the left), because next week I’ll be unveiling Chapter 2, plus a later chapter you won’t get in any Amazon excerpts. I also want to do more for my friends, so from time to time I’ll be giving away paperback copies of Witch Hearts, as well as Gifted, and maybe some other fun treats I find along the way.
I hope you enjoy Chapter 1 and gets you pumped to read a world full of my 3 favorite M’s: Magic, Mystery, and Murder.
Witch Hearts, Chapter 1
The pretty blond girl running alone at twilight on an empty greenway story never ended well.
At least, that’s the thought that ran through her head as she jogged the path back to her car, still two miles out. She laughed at herself; she watched too many crime shows. Besides, she could handle a problem if need be.
Thanks to daylight savings time, the decline of people in the park was a natural thing. She just hadn’t expected it to be this empty. None of the usual bikers, joggers, and dog-walkers were around tonight. She glanced up at the darkening sky, knew by routine there would be a full moon tonight. Leaves scraped across pavement in a light breeze. The autumn chill raised goosebumps on her well-toned legs and she promised to wear pants on her next run.
The slight cramp in her leg made her slow to a walk. Catching her breath, she tried to loosen her left calf muscle when she heard a scuffling noise behind her. She risked a glance back and a large shadow came over her as a hulk of a man stood several feet behind her. He didn’t move to greet her. She opened her mouth to speak, but her gut screamed at her. A boulder sat heavy in her stomach; she needed to get away from him.
For a long moment, they stood at a draw, wondering who would twitch first. He broke the silence and whispered, too low for her to hear with the distance. The streetlight above him went out. Her eyes narrowed and she took a step back.
The shadow disappeared before her eyes and the streetlight came back on.
Fight or flight kicked in. She turned to run and slammed into a brick wall of muscle, a large man who grinned over her. Shadows covered him as the streetlight popped and went out over their heads. She opened her mouth to scream and he threw a powder in her face. She smelled lavender, choked on the dust in her mouth as she realized what he’d done to her.
A sleeping potion.
She tried to shout at the top of her lungs, to give him a wallop of his own medicine. Then darkness came over her and she felt herself being carried away.
For almost an hour, she knew nothing.
Then the pretty blond girl opened her eyes, squinted into the florescent lights. Despite her exposed half-naked body, fear overruled humiliation. She felt dark magic in her, the power and evil weighing her down. She couldn’t move; he’d tied her down to whatever she now laid on. Maybe she could do a spell to free herself.
“Goddess help me,” she began in a whisper.
A metallic clatter near her head made her squeak in fright and a deep, raspy voice cut her off.
“You won’t be doing any magic tricks this evening.”
She thrashed her head around, tried to see where this sick bastard stood. She’d throw a flame with her eyeballs if she could, but she wasn’t that powerful. Her best friend could probably figure a way out of this; what would she do? The blankness in her brain only frightened her more. She didn’t want to die.
“You’re not going anywhere, sweetheart,” the man said. His loving tone made her cringe in fear and she struggled against the ropes on her limbs.
The girl’s shaking body and slight, panicked gasps only seemed to egg him on. He licked his lips, stepping out of the shadows.
The pretty blond girl screamed as he pressed a scalpel to her chest.