Ready for The Cutthroat Prince, book two in the William of Alamore series? I'm ready to get it published and into your hands! And we are so close!
But, as I know you are waiting and you have been fantastic readers, I wanted to share with you the start of this book. So, without much rambling, I give you the first page of The Cutthroat Prince...
Heart slamming in his throat, threatening to strangle each rasping breath, the man ran harder, tripping over brambles and branches that caught at his clothing in the dark. His white-blonde hair fell over his blue eyes, blood dripped over his arms through his clothing, down his face like scarlet tears. Somewhere in the tangle of trees around him, he could hear the hammer of hooves, a second pulse that beat a strange separate rhythm through his skin and chest. Hindered with exhaustion and the stale tavern spirits he could still taste on his tongue he stumbled, this time not catching himself before sprawling in the dirt on his chest. He felt blood leap to his skin where it had torn over his palms and knees. Swaying, he tried to push himself up. Run! He could hear the word screaming through his head. Run!
The hooves were nearing, getting closer and closer with each breath, the moon’s silver light was filtering through the trees, showing nothing but branches and the sheen of the river only a few yards ahead, in the clearing of trees. Reaching it seemed impossible without being spotted and, even if he could, he couldn’t swim well sober let alone in his current state. He closed his eyes, half hoping he might vanish. Perhaps they wouldn’t see him here.
“Pathetic,” the voice above him sent a shiver through his body, deep and cold in his chest. He opened one eye and the world spun round him. He swallowed the panic and sick rising in him and lifted his face to the hooves that had stopped between him and the water, blocking his way forward. Black feathered hooves that led up the powerful legs of the fine animal, a horse the color of a clouded night, its eyes reflecting the distant moon in two faint stars so high above it may have been miles. The rider might have been the specter of death in his grey cloak, a sword swaying at his saddle, too far away to see if he even had a face.
“Mercy.” The man’s voice croaked, and he winced, his eyes stinging with tears. “Mercy, please, please have mercy.”
Someone else in the shadows cackled, high and manic, but the rider before him merely cocked his head. “Mercy?” he sounded unimpressed, indifferent. “Surely the guards of Alamore are supposed to show more grit than that.”
More laughter. The man on the ground squeezed his eyes shut, fighting the whimper that rose in his chest. “Please. Please don’t kill me.”
There was a faint musical note, the sound of spurs as the rider dismounted and approached him, each step shadow light. “Look at me,” said the rider, sounding bored.
The Alamore guard lifted his face, eyes still tightly squeezed shut, waiting for the death blow to slice through him.
“I said look at me,” snapped the rider, impatience making his tone sharper.