Thursday, September 20, 2018

Knights of the Dead God

My next book is releasing September 30. Knights of the Dead God is a spin-off/sort-of sequel to my first novel Jack Bloodfist: Fixer and is available for pre-order right now. 

If you've read Fixer you might have a good idea of what to expect, but you might be surprised.  I'm really fond of this little book and really hope others enjoy it as much as I do.

Here's the synopsis:

The half-orc girl, Mikaia Goretusk, has been torn from her home. Her world. Her family. Her only allies are the holy knight, Arthur Shield, once sworn to kill everyone she has ever cared for, and the witch, Hazel Midd.
Arthur struggles with the guilt of being unable to save his god. Hazel seeks desperately for something taken from her. They distrust each other but both are compelled to protect the young girl.
To return her home they must battle angry mobs, hags, and dark wizards. They will seek the aid of the Knights of Saban. The very god that ordered the extermination of her family. But Saban is dead and not all is as it should be in his temple. The knights have enlisted the use of dark magics to rekindle the fear that was once theirs by right.
Mikaia’s road home will be a long one. Will her first step in that journey be the last?

Keep reading for a small scene from the first chapter of the book. If you like what you read, maybe consider pre-ordering? Or at least telling a friend about it.

Arthur Shield doesn’t draw his sword. Just waits. Waits as the armed intruders charge him, their own weapons ready to kill.

The first to reach him swings a spike tipped club, one made by no professional craftsman. By the time the club’s overhead arc reaches its target the old man is not there. He has stepped, gracelessly, aside to allow the weapon free passage through the air.

Arthur grabs the back of the man’s head with one hand and drives it forward into his elbow. There is the crack of breaking cartilage and the sudden coppery scent of blood.

As the man stumbles from his injury the old warrior twists a hand in the man’s shirt and jerks him to the side. The man stumbles into one of his comrades, the second attacker’s own notched sword being pulled back just in time. The two tangle and, with just a little help from Shield, they are both on the ground.

Arthur walks past them, sparing enough energy to casually kick the second man in the throat. The sound of angry cries replaced with rasping, choked breaths.

The first man tries to rise, blood from his nose absorbing into the sawdust of the inn floor. He is pushed back to the ground by the body of another of his friends, the woman wailing and grasping at an arm that is bent at an unnatural angle.

Shield dodges more attacks, more cheaply made weapons swung by inexperienced arms. He catches a hand holding a rusty dagger and punches into the wielder’s arm. The weapon is dropped. Arthur catches it with his free hand and drives the point into the attacker’s shoulder before sweeping their feet out from under them.

He is in the midst of them now. Completely surrounded with seemingly no way to move or dodge. But he finds ways. He is an old man. An old man that has spent a lifetime avoiding death. He ducks and dodges, sidesteps and strafes. He catches arms and throws his opponents into each other. He takes advantage of their confidence and inexperience.

As he ducks under a swung staff he scoops a dented pewter mug from a table. The weak foam of heavily watered beer explodes up and out as the mug crumples against the side of a head.

He kicks out a foot with just the right pressure and another pained scream joins the chorus as a kneecap breaks.

He continues this way. Picking up dinnerware or chairs or disarming. Using his hands and feet he breaks noses and arms and legs.

Before very long at all, he stands at the doorway before the elf, Lara, a trail of groaning or crying men and women behind him.

“Now,” he addresses the elf as she stares, eyes wide in shock, “was there something you wished to discuss, madam elf?”

Her lips peel back in a snarl and she is on him, using fists and teeth she attacks. With a feral leap she wraps her legs around his torso and begins to swing.

He manages to get his arms up but her attacks reopen not-yet-healed wounds and blood again soaks into his clothing.

He grimaces and lets out a pained yelp as her teeth dig into the flesh of one hand.

He throws his arms and returns her embrace. With a grunt, he squeezes.

She gasps at the sudden pressure and loosens her own grip on him. He grabs her sides and pushes. Fabric tears as she grasps his shirtsleeves.

Then his forehead finds her nose and her head rocks back. With eyes watering and blood pouring from her destroyed nose she completely loses her grip.

He throws her to the ground.

“Fine. No talk.” He guides a heavy boot into the side of her head and she stops moving.

He studies the blood pouring freely down his arm with a small level of distaste before looking up at the gathered crowd.

“Someone, call your village healer. That one, at least, really needs help.” He points to a man, red faced, struggling to breath.