With release day creeping ever closer it is about time I started getting The Last Knight out there. After all, a little advertising never hurt anyone – right?
So every Friday between now and the 30th June I am going to be posting some kind of teaser or taster here on my blog – be it extracts from the book, a sneak peek at the ‘cover blurb’ or most exciting of all, the reveal of the actual cover art.
So today let’s start with a little snippet from the book – and because I never do things the way most people expect it’s not going to be the first chapter.
The stench of rotting flesh grew stronger as the shadow stepped towards us. A shaft of moonlight lanced down through the trees and I saw what had been stalking us for the first time.
Ancient, coal black armour shrouded a form even bigger than Lance. There was no shine to the metal, it was matte black, dented and pitted with rust. Yet it was the eyeholes in the helmet that drew my gaze; there were no eyes, just empty pits, burning with dark fire.
“What the hell is it?” I screamed at Lance as the creature straight out of my nightmare strode towards us, booted feet crushing the undergrowth.
“A Wraith,” he muttered.
The thing unsheathed its sword and swung at Lance. Ducking under the blow he lashed out with his foot, catching it on the knee and its leg buckled.
“Come on.” He grabbed my arm, pulling me away through the trees.
It was impossible to run with the undergrowth catching at our feet but we stumbled along, Lance in front of me and Percy on my heels.
“What exactly is a Wraith?” I gasped when we seemed to have put some distance between us and it.
For a moment it didn’t look like Lance was going to reply, but then his shoulders sagged.
“A wraith is a creature of old magic. They’re not alive. They’re spirits of long dead knights drawn back into this world. You can’t kill them. You can’t fight them. They won’t stop until they finish the job they’ve been summoned back to complete.”
I screamed as another wraith stepped from the trees to our left. Lance spun, but Percy was already there. He charged under its outstretched sword and slammed his shoulder into its chest. They tumbled out of sight into the undergrowth.
“Leave it, Cara. He’ll be fine. Come on.” Lance dragged me onwards, but I stared back over my shoulder, praying for Percy to re-emerge from the trees.
A root caught at my foot and I fell, almost pulling Lance down with me. He dragged me back upright and we staggered on.
“You said they don’t stop till they complete a job,” I said, trying to stop myself thinking about what might be happening to Percy. “So what are they doing here?”
Again Lance hesitated. “You really want to know?”
He stopped so suddenly I slammed into the back of him. He caught me as he turned, his eyes gleaming in the moonlight. I threw up my hands to steady myself, palms pressed against Lance’s chest.
“They’re here to kill you, Cara. They’ve been sent to kill the only threat to their master, the one who raised them from the dead.”
His voice seemed to be coming from a long way away. My vision blurred at the edges. I felt sick, I couldn’t seem to breathe. My fingers clutched at the fabric of his shirt.
“Kill me?” The words came out as a strangled gasp.
“This is why I didn’t tell you,” Lance said, grabbing my face between his hands. “I need you to be strong.”
“I’m scared,” I admitted in a whisper.
“No one is immune to fear. It’s how you deal with it that matters.”
I nodded just as there was a rustle behind us. Lance shoved me backwards, but it was Percy who staggered out of the trees. He was covered in blood again, but he seemed relatively unscathed.
“What are you two standing around chatting for?” He grinned like a schoolboy and shoved us both towards the trees.
Only seconds later we stumbled across a small ditch and onto the tarmac of a road. With a firm surface under our feet we could really run, pounding down the road. All I could hear was the pumping of my own blood.
Tyres screeched ahead of us and a car cornered at high speed. The full headlights illuminated one of the wraiths waiting in the middle of the road for us. It turned too late and the car hit it full on, sending it flying into the ditch.
The car fishtailed as it braked and came to a halt side on to us. The driver’s door flung open and Wyn looked out at us, eyes bright with adrenaline.
“Well, get the hell in.”
Chapter Nine, THE LAST KNIGHT.
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