The Rush of Betrayal: Book One News Update
Hello Friends. I know it’s been a while since I posted anything here but I’ve been hard at work on the final edits for the new book, The Rush of Betrayal (book one and two). I’ll have the book covers done in the next week or so and my goal is to have the first book available for purchase by the end of June 2012 (with book two available sometime later this year – my goal is October 2012).
When the cover for Book One is done, I’ll post a copy of it here so you can see what it looks like – meanwhile, I thought I’d include a sample of Chapter One today. Let me get any legal type stuff I might need out of the way….
The Rush of Betrayal: Deception (Book One) By Shawn Wickersheim Copyright 2012 Note: This ebook (sample) is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook (sample) may not be used, copied, printed, sold or given away to other people. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. The characters and events in this book (sample) are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
A haunting human cry pierced the hooded man’s thoughts and sent uncontrollable tremors throughout his body. He cocked his head to one side and held his breath as the tormented wail rose in pitch and tone until his own lungs screamed for air. And then the tortured cry cut short. Thundering silence filled the night so quickly he gasped. Tears welled and he blinked them away.
What a superb talent to create such raw and painful emotions in another!
Tentacles of jealousy threatened to latch onto him, but the hooded man brushed them aside. He had no time for this kind of indulgence. Still, he found himself hoping to hear more. Disappointment found him instead. Sighing through his teeth, he leaned against the white-washed wall of the three-story warehouse behind him and glanced up at the distant stars. Lost in his dark reverie, he hadn’t noticed how far the constellations had traveled across the heavens. His gloved hands tightened into fists. The man he was meeting was late.
A stiff wind whipped across the crescent-shaped bay and drove toward Belyne’s shore, carrying with it the briny scent of the sea. It caught the trailing edge of his cloak, tugged at it mischievously and then let it drop as it moved further inland up the hill and among the city proper. The hooded man shivered against the growing cold and considered finding a more sheltered location but the clatter of approaching footsteps echoing down the deserted cobblestone road kept him rooted in place. He pulled his cloak tightly around himself and faded into the shadows.
The plodding footsteps drew nearer until finally a large man appeared out of the darkness. He was heavy in the middle with a waddling, bowlegged gait and every couple of steps he’d kick a rock loose and send it skipping down the street.
“You’re late,” the hooded man said with just a bit of edge to it.
“Oh!” The fat man clutched at his chest. “I’ve asked you not to do that!”
The hooded man didn’t say anything.
“I . . .” The fat man’s head jerked left, right, as he searched the darkness. “I couldn’t get away sooner.”
“You should have tried harder.”
The fat man spun around, still searching. “Where are you, Lord–?”
“I’ve told you before, no names!” He emerged wraith-like from the shadows. “Names tend to carry on the wind.”
“Oh. Yes.” The fat man’s nose wrinkled. “Speaking of the wind, must we meet down here? The dockside air is so foul.”
“Have you brought the documents I require?” He cared not for the other’s discomfort.
The fat man swallowed hard and fumbled for something inside his cloak. Beneath his own, the hooded man’s gloved fingers tightened comfortably around the hilt of his sword. If he were being double-crossed, he’d kill the other man in an instant, regardless of his station. The fat man withdrew a bone scroll case. Its white surface shimmered in the faint moonlight.
“I told you not to use bone.” The hooded man put a little more edge to his words.
The fat man shrugged, his broad shoulders rolling casually beneath his cloak. “What does it matter?”
The hooded man launched himself across the narrow road. One hand wrapped around the case, the other closed around the fat man’s fleshy neck.
“You will do as I say, precisely as I say, from now on or you will find yourself impaled on my sword.” He slammed the fat man against the opposite building hard. “Do you understand?”
Eyes bulging, the man struggled to nod.
The hooded man stepped back. The pungent stench of the fat man’s fear filled the air between them.
“W . . . what now?”
In one fluid motion, the hooded man drew a dagger from his belt and pressed the tip against the fat man’s double chin. “Upon my order, you will ram this into your father’s chest all the way up to the hilt.”
“Th . . . that isn’t what we . . . planned . . .”
“I never agreed to–”
The tip of the dagger twitched. The fat man stiffened. His nostrils flared. A drop of blood eased down the weapon’s sharp edge.
“Upon my order,” the hooded man repeated, “you will ram this into your father’s chest, all the way up to the hilt.” He spun the dagger around in his hand and held it out in front of the other man’s face. “And you will leave it there for everyone to see.”
He studied the fat man’s eyes. Recognition of the dagger’s unique ornamental design dawned slowly within their frightened, pale green depths.
“How did you get that?”
“It doesn’t matter.” He pushed the dagger into the fat man’s hands. “Just do as you’re told.”
“But . . . why frame Lord Ian Weatherall for murder? Why not just kill him and move on?”
“Because . . .” the hooded man fell silent. He had asked himself those very same questions countless times before and the answers were always the same. Death would be too kind and too quick for the bastard responsible for ruining his life! No, he would crush him instead, strip him of his pride, destroy everything he held dear, frame him for murder and then use his coerced confession to achieve a goal far greater than anyone could possible imagine. But he didn’t want just anyone knowing his complex plans.
“Because,” he began again, deriving a bit of pleasure from the irony of his words, “I’ve always found the act of killing to be a simple one, performed by simple-minded men, haven’t you?”
And before the fat man recognized the insult, the hooded man slipped into the shadows and faded from sight.
Well, friends, that’s the end of Chapter One. I hope you enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this is all the time I have for blogging today. Thanks for visiting with me and I hope you all have a wonderful day!