Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Huge Reader Contest - Day 16!


From Out of the Shadows by Linda Mooney
Buy eBook from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Erotic Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

Croat was a Lupan, one of the half-man, half-beast creatures long thought to be extinct or fabricated from fairy tales. Lupan were folklore, nothing more than a myth.

Tora was a Sensitive. Her kind really existed, and normal people feared Sensitives because it was common knowledge that all Sensitives were evil and practiced the dark magicks.

Captured and thrown together inside Baron Agrino’s dungeon, they discovered a connection between them that defied all reason, and a love that transcended all boundaries.

But is their love strong enough to stop the baron from what he’ll do with every Lupan he plans to capture? Or, worse, what he’ll do with Tora once he learns what she is?

Warning! Contains torture, imprisonment, severe beatings, nasty bad guys, public nudity, molten wax, old wives' tales, forest folk, bad horsemanship, and lots of pissed off townspeople.


Excerpt

Some time during the night a commotion outside her door dragged her out of her restless sleep. Tora listened intently to the obvious sounds of a struggle, holding her breath as the noise grew louder and closer.

There were shouts and cursing, audible although muffled. She could make out a howling or growling, much like a dog fighting its master. Her first thought was that the new prisoner was giving his captors difficulty. It had to be a man, rather than a woman or child. Perhaps more than one man. It definitely sounded as though several jailors had their hands full with their recalcitrant victim. Silently she wished the new prisoner luck at fighting the baron’s men. If he was being brought here, it meant that the baron wanted him alive. Otherwise the soldiers would have already killed him.

The struggle came nearer until it stopped at her door. Suddenly, there was a key in the lock, and the door flew open so hard, it slammed into the wall. Before it could bounce back, at least a dozen men began to pour into the tiny cell, struggling to keep the prisoner from escaping. In their midst was a net made of heavy rope, wherein their captive fought to escape. One man carried a lantern, but the pale light did little to illuminate things enough for her to see clearly.

The cursing and screaming was deafening. Tora squeezed herself against the wall as tightly as she could, never taking her eyes off of the dark form being beaten into submission. They used whatever they had to punish the man: chains, rifle butts, boots. The baron’s men eventually dropped their victim, but instead of backing away, they continued to pummel the man.

She knew it would be useless to beg the soldiers to leave the man be. Still, she had to tightly press her lips together to keep from yelling at them. For what seemed like hours, the guards savagely attacked the poor soul. Someone came in with a whip. The sound of it hitting raw flesh was sickening. They cursed at their target, spat on it, and some laughed. Tora flinched at the brutality inflicted. Tears fell when she heard the crunch of bones being broken, and the wet squelch of bleeding wounds. A thin trail of blood trickled across the stone floor, between the soldier’s feet, and nearly reached her. In the singular light of the lantern, the wetness was as black as the night sky.

She was on the verge of covering her ears with her hands when the beatings finally stopped. The soldiers stepped back, ripping the net away from their victim. For several long minutes they silently eyed the still form, until one of their number spoke up.

"Is he dead?"

"Naw. But when he comes to, he’ll wish he was," another answered.

They turned and began filing out of the cell. One man glanced over at where Tora was huddled against the wall. She couldn’t see his face, but she knew he was smiling. The soldiers always smiled after inflicting any sort of cruelty on another helpless human being.

The last armed man gave the still figure a final kick before he left, locking the door behind him. With the only source of light gone, the cell once again grew pitch black. Her quiet world shifted back into place—only now she was sharing it with another person. A person who had been beaten nearly to death. From where she sat, Tora could hear the poor man’s labored breathing. Every few seconds he would groan in pain. Her heart went out to him.

Slowly, carefully, she got onto her knees and inched her way over to the unconscious figure. Holding out a hand, she sought the man’s pulse, hoping she would find it strong. Many years ago she had discovered she could survive almost anything. But if this man died and was allowed to rot in this place, Tora wondered if she could live through that experience.

Could she survive through another long and agonizing death?

"Sir...Sir, let me help you." She lowered her hand, expecting to encounter chilled, if not bloodied flesh. Instead, her fingers felt hair. Long, thick hair.

Not believing what she was feeling, she extended her arm as far as it would reach to find his shoulder. An arm. And more thick, fur-like hair. Her immediate reaction was to jerk back in sudden terror.

Oh, please. God, no! It couldn’t be, she argued with herself. It was a man lying on the blisteringly cold stone floor. It was a man who had been the target of those soldiers’ venom. It had to be. There was no way it could be...

Lupan.

Even the thought of the possibility that she could be trapped in here with a half-man, half-wolf creature sent terror pulsing through her body. Solid reasoning reminded her that there were no such beings as Lupans anymore. Lupans hadn’t existed for centuries. In fact, they were considered extinct, if they had ever lived at all. Creatures now of myth and legend. Monsters only kept alive in stories, to be told to children in order to make them behave.

Tora squeezed her eyes shut, counted to ten, and opened them, hoping to see more of the being lying nearby. Unfortunately there was no moon tonight, and no other outside light could penetrate the darkness. Still, she could barely make out the man’s...beast’s?...shape. Cautiously, she reached out again to find a thick pelt, now sticky and warm.

Blood. Its sickly smell filled the room.

The man gave a shuddering breath and moaned. The sound was heartbreaking. Worse, it sounded human. Terrifying creature of myth or not, he was in excruciating pain. Gathering her courage, Tora spread her fingers over his back, letting the dense hairs tickle her palm. Then, little by little, she opened herself up to his agony.

It was like absorbing fire.

Tora hissed as the burning pain seeped through her skin, surged into her blood vessels, and penetrated her muscles. With the pain came the additional torment of broken and shattered bones. She mentally located them—two ribs, the lower left arm, and his left collarbone. As she continued to examine him, reaching where she could, she discovered several areas where his flesh was raw and pulpy. Yet everywhere she touch, she met fur. And the more she investigated, the less evidence she found that felt human.

As her fingers traveled over a large, bleeding tear near the damaged arm, the man-beast shrank slightly from her touch, and a deep growl softly warned her to be careful. This time Tora immediately retreated back to her side of the room.

"I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you," she told him in a gentle voice, and hoped he wouldn’t notice it was also quaking. "I know where you’re hurt, and I wish I could help, but I can’t when it’s dark like this." She could feel the blood cooling and congealing on her hand. She wiped as much of it as she could on her skirt. "Come daylight, I’ll see what I can do, but I’m afraid it won’t be enough. You’ve been badly injured, and you’ve lost a lot of blood. You also have some broken ribs, plus a broken bone in your arm and collarbone." Sighing loudly, Tora added, "I don’t have anything to clean your wounds or bind them. I’m sorry. It looks like it’s going to be a long night for both of us, I’m afraid."

She waited, listening intently for the creature to respond. After a while it was clear it either wasn’t going to say anything. Maybe it wasn’t capable of complete human speech.

Curling up as tightly as she could, Tora tried to find a comfortable position in which to get some sleep. The attempt would prove futile, as the cold made it nearly impossible to rest. Add the fact that a huge creature she had believed no longer existed lay unchained less than six feet away, compounded her fear and distress.

The worst was yet to come, and the thought of what she had still to face filled her with dread. In the morning, she would see for the first time what her hands had described. And if the legends and tales proved true, it could very well be her last morning of life.

Because everyone knew how much Lupans craved human flesh.

Buy eBook from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

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Linda Mooney Website

AUTHOR GIVEAWAY TODAY
Leave a comment and/or query today for Linda Mooney to be entered in a drawing for From Out of the Shadows ebook [new release]!


REMEMBER
Commenting and/or asking questions on an author’s blog for the day will enter you into the Big Huge Reader Contest for a Pink Sony eReader or one of three boxes packed full of RT Booklovers Convention goodies. Unfortunately, due to the grand prize being an electronic and weight of the other three boxes, this contest is for US residents only.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Been hearing good things about this book.

Looks like a great read!!!

Valerie
in Germany
valb0302@yahoo.com

Kristabel Reed said...

Everyone knew they craved human flesh, just like everyone knew sensitives were evil. Love it, gotta appreciate the irony here.

Pamk said...

lol love those sterotypes. sounda like a great story.

Lovie said...

Loved "AEquana" and looking forward to reading "From out of the Shadows", Croat and Tora's story sound great.

Linda Mooney said...

Thank you for your kind words, everyone. I hope readers enjoy it. :)

Anne said...

I love these funny little blurbs "Warning! Contains torture, imprisonment, severe beatings, nasty bad guys, public nudity, molten wax, old wives' tales, forest folk, bad horsemanship, and lots of pissed off townspeople."

I thought only Samhain Pub. did them.

Jean P said...

I have never read a book with a Sensitive in it. Sounds like a good book, enjoyed the excerpt. I loved the warning too, the line about "and lots of pissed off townspeople" for some reason really struck me funny

Jennifer Mathis said...

sounds great so going on my list

Tilly Greene said...

Hiya Linda!

Like Valerie, I've been hearing some good things about this one, and the excerpt solidified the need to read it :-)

Congrats on this brand spanking new release.

Tilly

snowl3prd said...

This book sounds like it is going to be interesting to read. I also haven't read any books with a sensitive in it.
Heather
snowl3prd@yahoo.com

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

This sounds like a wild read. Please count me in too. Miranda
mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

Linda Mooney said...

Anne, I'd been doing them for a while when someone else commented about Samhain. Before I did the warnings, I used to do Ten Reasons Why You SHOULDN'T Read This Book!, which covered basically the same ground. :) I loved doing them and seeing readers' reactions.

Thank you again for letting me come aboard, Tilly!

*yadkny* said...

Hi Linda,
Loved the excerpt. I have to find out what happens next. Definitely going in my TBR pile.

yadkny@hotmail.com

Stephanie said...

Looks like another winner from your wild imagination Linda! You have me intriguied with what happens next! Will this be turned into another fabulous series from you as well?

DragonStar1974@aol.com

joder said...

Is it naughty of me that the book warnings don't scare me off, but instead make me want the book even more?

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Diana Castilleja said...

Can't wait to read it! Rock on wif yur bad self! ;)

Sherry said...

I haven't read anything by this author and I've not seen this book before but it sounds like a very good read and I can't wait to read it.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Linda Mooney said...

Step, This one ends where I would be hard-pressed to make it a series. But I also learned a long time ago never to say never. LOL! Considering my Runner's Moon series was supposed to be just a 3-book deal! :D

Suzette said...

I have to agree with everyone. This osunds like a great read. I love how you left it at the end of the excerpt. If nothing else catches your attention, that last sentence does. Want this one.

ilona said...

How to entice your readers 101. First put out an excerpt, then leave them in suspense at the end of it.

Now I have to get the book to find out more :-D

CrystalGB said...

Sounds good. I love the cover.

Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot}com

booklover0226 said...

I loved the excerpt and I know I'll love the book.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Rosie said...

Wow, that was a great excerpt. Can't wait to read this book. Thanks!!

rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

Cathy M said...

Hi Linda,

I love your Runner's Moon series and look forward to reading, From Out of the Shadows.


caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Linda. The warning has definitely intrigued me.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

stacey said...

Looks like a great book i love thease types of book.I love finding a new author to me.Your books look like me type.

sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

practimom said...

oh heck yeah! i love this excerpt! you've snagged me with this one! can't wait to read it!

Nancy G said...

This one just hit the top of the TBB list-this one sounds absolutely fantastic. Got to get this one.

joshgranny@msn.com

flchen1 said...

Linda, that excerpt was terrific! Adding this to the TBB!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Linda Mooney said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. :) Just letting you know I'll be picking my winner first thing in the morning, so that all overseas readers can have a chance to comments.

Thank you again! You've made it a wonderful day! :D

Judy said...

A great excerpt!! Really got me interested!! Looks like this book has a little bit of everything!!! I also find the cover very interesting, love the face and eyes at the bottom!!!

Linda Mooney said...

I have this neat little program called The Hat where you put all the names in, pick "select", and it randomly "draws out" a name. And the name it chose was

ilona

Congratulations! Please email me at Linda@LindaMooney.com, and I'll send you a copy of my book!

Thank you again to everyone who commented!

Anonymous said...

Haha for The Hat. Congrats Ilona!!

Valerie
in Germany

pams00 said...

Stopping in late to comment on this one - congrats to the winner - just picked this one up and can't wait to read :).

Pam S
pams00@aol.com

Nicole Zoltack said...

Looks like a great read!

~Nicole
Nicole.Zoltack AT gmail.com