The rough draft of Wizard’s Wrath is now complete. You’ve all waited so long for it, I thought you might enjoy a little snippet from the story. It has not been thoroughly proofread, but I believe that most of it will make the cut. So, without further ado, here is a small selection from Wizard’s Wrath: Book Four in the Fae Unbound Series!
Chapter One, Scene One
The sound was faint, but it had woken James up for the past few days, and tonight he heard it again—that middle-of-the-night scuffling in his kitchen. By the time he got up to check, there was never anyone there. But James wasn’t asleep this time, and he burst out of his bedroom, ready with a fistful of magic, to confront the intruder.
It was only Gurrdenn, lit in the moonlight from the open, uncurtained window. But the gnome had no business being in the kitchen uninvited. He set down the potion bottle he’d been drinking from and smacked his lips.
James exhaled sharply, relieved, and unclenched his fist.
The gnome turned to the noise, his eyes narrowing with annoyance, but not fear, and looked back at him from beneath a hat styled from the top of a raccoon’s head. The raccoon ears gave the gnome’s leader a comical look even when he was deadly serious. “Not here. Dream. Back to sleep. Be good little wizard.”
James shook his index finger at the gnome as his long stride covered the distance to the counter in only three steps. He was not happy with himself for acting like his least-liked teacher from grade school, but that’s what gnomes do to a person. “You stay right there while I figure out what you’ve been getting in to.”
He picked up the potion bottle and read the label he’d stuck to it when he created it. Gnome Smarts. There was a lot less of it now than when he stored the bottle after using it to help the gnomes focus when they’d assisted with the search for the elf assassin only a few days before.
James turned back and grabbed Gurrdenn by a small foot just before he nearly scrambled out the open window. “Oh no, you don’t. You and I need to have a little talk.”
The gnome twisted around so that he sat facing his tall captor, then tilted his head back to look up at him. James looked down at Gurrdenn’s expression of annoyance, and his temper flared. “You know it’s dangerous to just go around drinking potions you know nothing about, right? I don’t know the long term effects of this thing!”
“Gurrdenn stay smart. Be smart gnome.”
“Are you listening to me? I don’t know if something bad could happen after a while. It may not be safe.” James took a deep breath, working to control his anger.
“Gurrdenn smart. Gurrdenn safe.” He patted James’s hand. “Good wizard, no worry.”
“You’re infuriating, you know that, right?” James pulled his hand out of reach. “Okay, look. I get it. You like being smarter. I mean, I wish I could get smarter out of a bottle, too. But you come to me and ask about it when you need some more instead of sneaking in here. I have to keep an eye on the dose and look for possible side effects.”
“Good Wizard. Be back soon.” The gnome turned toward the open window again, but he turned back when a light flashed behind him. James had picked up a board that was covered with ancient symbols. A spot of light glowed at the periphery of a poorly drawn circle at the board’s center which was illustrated with a map of the town.
Turning away only briefly from the map, James said, “Hang on. I may need a smart gnome after all.”
James watched the map intently for several minutes and then said, “It’s definitely moving toward the cemetery.” The only known death in this town had been Thomas. He knew who the ghoul was coming for. His shoulders collapsed forward as the grief he had worked so hard to keep at bay settled over him. “With all the death all over the world right now, why did that particular ghoul decide to head here for our dead?”
“Ghoul?” The gnome shuddered.
“Yeah, ghoul. I’m not facing it alone this time. It was rough enough last time. Go get Avenall and don’t tell him what the problem is. Make sure he has his weapons and tell him to meet me at Thomas’s grave. But I absolutely don’t want Lizbet or Tanji finding out about this, so if you want to keep getting your smart juice, just do exactly what I said.”
The gnome’s eyes darted longingly to the bottle, then back to James. “No queen. Just elf. Meet at grave.” Then he turned, moved to the window, and leaned out to grab onto the drainpipe next to it. James poked his head out afterward and watched the gnome hit the ground running.
So, dear readers, you’ll have to wait for the rest, but I’m thinking there’s a battle with ghouls in your future!