Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
How would you like to get an exclusive inside peak into Thea Harrison’s new Elder Races novella, True Colors? Here at UTC we are bringing you exclusively the second half of Chapter One (first half posted at Moira Rogers’ blog).
Meeting your soulmate? Great. Preventing your possible murder? Even better.
Alice Clark, a Wyr and schoolteacher, has had two friends murdered in as many days, and she’s just found the body of a third. She arrives at the scene only minutes before Gideon Riehl, a wolf Wyr and current detective in the Wyr Division of Violent Crime—and, as Alice oh-so-inconveniently recognizes at first sight, her mate.
But the sudden connection Riehl and Alice feel is complicated when the murders are linked to a serial killer who last struck seven years ago, killing seven people in seven days. They have just one night before the killer strikes again. And every sign points to Alice as the next victim.
Warning: This book contains a hot police detective, a violent murderer on the hunt, and a heroine that can blend in anywhere…
Chapter One (2nd half)
Alice’s feet started carrying her automatically on her normal route home after visiting Haley, toward the Bedford Avenue subway station. First Peter was killed. Then yesterday they found out David had gone missing, and now Haley was dead.
David was dead as well. She knew he was, even though the police had not yet released any official word. Three of her friends, gone in as many days.
The street looked innocuous but a hint of the monster’s scent still lingered, warm and sensual in the cold wet air. Alice couldn’t stop shaking. The image of Haley’s poor mutilated body was frozen in her mind. What was she supposed to do next? Oh yes, call 9-1-1.
She dug in her pocket for her cell phone as her gaze darted around her surroundings. She glanced over her shoulder.
A man in black jeans and a battered leather jacket was crossing the street. He was immense, as tall as a tree, built like a linebacker, and he moved like a killer. His white-blond hair was cut military short, and the sharp, ruthless lines of his face were weathered and harsh. His piercing eyes were some kind of pale color, either gray or blue, and they reflected the light as he looked straight at her.
The bottom dropped out of Alice’s world as recognition slammed into her. Too many nightmarish epiphanies happened at once. They nearly knocked her to the ground.
It was the monster. He was no longer caught in a Wyr’s partial shapeshift, but she knew him. She knew him.
He’d found her, just as she’d been afraid he would. He had caught her scent, and now he had seen her face.
And she had seen his. He might be the one who had killed her friends. He was the most terrifying male she had ever seen.
And he was her mate.
Oh gods. Oh gods.
A hot wash of horror licked invisible flames along her skin. She had heard of such a thing before, two Wyr recognizing each other as mates at first sight. She had thought it was an urban legend. Deeper than love, more dangerous than lust, Wyr mated for life. This couldn’t be happening. It wouldn’t happen, not if she had anything to say about it.
She whirled. Terror whited out her thinking and lent wings to her feet.
* * *
Riehl lunged into a sprint after the woman.
Holy hell, that chick could move. Riehl was fast but he was big. She darted lickety-split between cars and people like nothing he’d ever seen, her slight, slender body able to take sharp turns and squeeze through tight spaces in a way he couldn’t hope to match.
Then in a hopscotch skip straight into the land of weird, as she ran she faded into her surroundings. She didn’t quite disappear, not totally. Her clothing was too solid for that, but somehow it was harder to track her just by vision alone.
Huh. That was fascinating as shit.
Good thing he could track her with more than just his vision. He could catch her if he changed. If they had been anywhere but the city, he would have. He was faster in his wolf form, and he could run literally for days. But if he changed into the wolf, he couldn’t speak unless they were close enough for telepathy, and he could already taste her panic on the wind. Besides, NYC might be the seat of the Wyr demesne, but it was also home to millions of others as well. He didn’t trust how people might react to the sight of a two-hundred-pound wolf hurtling down a city street.
He took a deep breath and bellowed, “NYPD! Stop!”
Of course she didn’t stop. He wouldn’t have stopped either just because some dumbass stranger yelled at him. Damn it, was she headed for the subway?
She was. In a move that was so suicidal it took his breath away, she plunged almost directly under the wheels of an oncoming truck as she raced across the street. Riehl didn’t think the driver even saw her because the truck never slowed.
Riehl had no choice but to pull up for a few vital moments, which gave her an even greater lead. After the truck he kicked it in gear, kicked it as hard as he could. He blazed down the sidewalk like a heat-seeking missile, scattering pedestrians in his wake like so many squawking chickens. He listened to the sounds of his breathing, the sharp wind whistling in his ears. At the subway station, he didn’t bother with taking the stairs at a run. Instead he gathered himself and spanned the flight in one massive leap, but it wasn’t enough.
Several yards ahead, the woman darted across the station platform and on to a train just as the doors closed. It was like something out of a goddamn made-for-TV movie.
Unbelievable. Riehl spat out a curse as he came up to the closed doors.
They stared at each other through the barrier. The woman was panting and her eyes were dilated black in a face that was chalky white except for two hectic flags of color in her cheeks. As she took in his expression, she stepped back from the door, only stopping when she bumped into people behind her.
The train lurched. He raised his eyebrows, pulled out his badge and showed it to her. She stared at it and her eyes widened. As the train pulled away, she stepped forward again and put her hand to the glass, her gaze rising to his.
He pointed to her. “Nearest police station,” he mouthed. “Go there.”
The last sight he had of her was her peering at him as the train rattled away. He wondered if showing her the badge would get a better result than yelling at her in the street had.
He had better go locate the nearest police station and find out.
Ms. Harrison is giving away one copy of True Colors to a lucky commenter. Winner will be chosen via random.org.
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