You know we’re excited about Faith Hunter’s next Soulwood novel. So today we have not one, not two, but three awesome Soulwood treats. First off is the fifth part of the “How Occam Got His Name” short story. You can read the first four parts at Bea’s Book Nook, Romance Junkies, BTH Reviews, and Gizmo’s Reviews (in that order).
After you get your free short story on, we have an excerpt from Flame in the Dark (Margaret’s review is coming soon!), and a giveaway of the first two Soulwood books and an Amazon gift card.
Read on to get your urban fantasy fix!
HOW OCCAM GOT HIS NAME (Part 5)
by Faith Hunter
“Wayman, we got a problem,” Trace said softly, even though he’d broke out in a cold sweat and wanted noting more than to run screaming into the night.
“Remember the paw prints we saw down in the wash?”
Wayman sat up slowly. “Yeah. Bobcat. It was a big ‘un.”
“Well I think it found us. And it’s bigger than a bobcat.”
Wayman eased around on his butt to face the direction of the beam. His voice dropped to a whisper, as if to hide their location from the cat. “It’s a cat, though. Pretty big. Spotted.”
“Spotted,” Trace said, thinking about one particular biology class last year. “Maybe a jaguar.”
“Cowmen killed off the last jaguar from these parts in the early nineteen hundreds, according to Grampa.”
“Too big to be a bobcat,” Trace said softly. “Bobcats ain’t got no spots. Should I shoot it?”
“No. If you don’t kill it with the first shot,” Wayman said, “it might attack from the pain. We need to get back to the camp, slow and easy. Grampa said never to run from a predator.”
As he said the last words, the big cat opened his mouth and yawned, showing off big—very big—teeth. The cat licked its jaw and chuffed, as if agreeing with the statement.
“So what do we do?” Trace asked.
Wayman stood, slowly, very, very slowly, and Trace copied his speed. Wayman gathered up their blanket and water bottles. The cat, caught in the flash light’s beam, watched them, turning to the side from time to time, to protect its eyes from the bright light. Trace wondered if it could jump from one hillock to the next or if they were safe here on the other side of the wash.
Wayman turned on his own flash and said, “Okay. You keep your flash on the cat. I’m gonna scream.”
It was good to have the warning because Wayman could scream like a little girl, a high-pitched, terrifying sound. Wayman opened his mouth, took a deep breath, and let lose.
A piercing wail came over JoJo’s computer and her attention snapped back to the multiple screens. “Get your gear,” she said. “We got another one. Knoxville PD just got a ten-eighty-one code. Multiple shots fired into a restaurant. Secret Service is on- site, which means the senator was there. Sending the address to your tablet and your cell.” Her voice rose to follow me down the hallway. “Abrams Tolliver’s family is inside. His security team is pinned down. Wear your vest! Take an AR-15 and a comms unit. More info as I have it.”
“I’m not certified yet on automatic rifles,” I yelled back as I grabbed gear.
JoJo cursed and said, “Take one anyway. Give it to one of the team when you get there!”
“Got it!” I shouted and checked out an AR-15 from the weapons room and added it to my gear.
“Be safe!” JoJo shouted.
I grabbed my gobag and was out the door into the dying light of day while the last words were still dying on the air.
ABOUT FAITH HUNTER
New York Times and USA Today bestselling fantasy author Faith Hunter was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. Altogether she has 40+ books in print under the names Gary Hunter, Gwen Hunter, and Faith Hunter. As Faith, she writes two contemporary Urban Fantasy series: the Jane Yellowrock series, featuring a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires, and the Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. Her Rogue Mage novels are a dark, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. The role playing game based on the series, is ROGUE MAGE, RPG.