It's an absolute delight to feature fellow "SnippetSunday" Author Gem Sivad. I enjoy her weekly teasers and hope you'll check out her latest release "Blood Stoned".
Blood Stoned Blurb:
1887. Maggie Jenks, is a natural healer. She lays-hands on the sick, tends the wounded, and brings the almost dead back to life. Then she moves on. That's what usually happens anyway. When Maggie arrives in Willow Springs, New Mexico Territory, she's greeted with enough ill-health to keep her feet planted for a long visit, and enough magic in the air to make her want to stay.
After a strange malady sweeps down from the railroad tunnel in Raton Pass, leaving bloodless carcasses littering the ground and town citizens lingering in half-death, it takes Maggie, her shifter mate Hunter, and an amulet infused with harvested magic, to save the living from the walking undead.
"You heard nothing last night?"
Sean's head shake deepened the puzzle. He didn't like me, but he loved all his livestock and tended his animals with the same devotion he lavished on his wife and child.
My gaze swung back to Sullivan. I couldn't believe this monster that usually ruled the corral had stood quietly while a predator fed.
Though I had no desire to crouch on the ground next to the beast, I needed to touch the legs. Bending low, I laid hands on the right foreleg and stroked down, brushing across the seeping wounds.
"Alrighty then," I murmured as I watched the cuts scab over. Inelegant though it was, I crawled around Sullivan, attending each leg. By the time I returned to the foreleg, the scabs had dried and flaked off, leaving pink scars.
"It can't be anything he ate. His feed's not been changed and he's either been in the barn or the corral where there's no weeds to eat." Sean's voice was gruff. He stared hard at me, letting me know without begging, how important the bull was.
Trying not to see the desperation in his silent plea, I continued my examination, stroking the muscled shoulder and following a vein up the thick neck to the bovine jaw.
Instead of the steady sound of a healthy heart, the bull's pulse stuttered and beat in a sluggish rhythm. Not expecting much to happen in the way of healing, I settled both thumbs side by side on the vein, focusing whatever drib of power I might have on that spot.
I can't describe what happened next, other than to say I became a conduit, pumping magic through my thumbs into the bull. I stared at the connection and watched the white haze buzzing around the beast gradually change to gray. When it finally dispersed altogether, the connection ended, and my hands dropped to my sides.
"That's all I can do." I closed my eyes, tottering on my feet as I shook my head to clear it. When I opened my eyes again, it was to see the recovered animal trotting across the barn lot.
Paddy grabbed up Myrtle and the boy and whirled them around, dancing an Irish jig. Watching them, I paid no mind to the bull until I heard Sullivan snort. A quick glance his way confirmed he had his head down, pawing the ground in a challenge. Being both sapped of energy and bloated with magic, at first, I ignored the creature.
"Maggie, move," Myrtle shrieked when the beast began a gallop across the lot.
I stumbled backward and fell, landing on my rear in the dust. I had no chance of reaching the fence before the bull reached me. Myrtle shouted at Paddy to do something and to his credit, he picked up a pitchfork.
Whether it was to be used on his bull or me, I didn't wait to find out.
Drawing on the power I'd just harvested from the healing, I cast a protection spell to create a shield between me and the ungrateful beast. But instead of shaping itself into a wall, magic zinged from me and smacked the bull a forceful blow. Sullivan fell to his front knees. A patch of hair on his right shoulder appeared singed while another spot burst into flame.
"Well isn't that grand? The animal seems to be feeling frisky again." Myrtle remained positive, ignoring my misfired spell, while Paddy glared threats at me and beat out the blaze dancing on his prize bovine's shoulder.
"'Tis true yer a jinx." He pointed at the scorched patch of hair still smoldering. "You fix one thing and break two more. Ye've put a devil mark on my Aberdeen-Angus."
Available Now: Blood Stoned @ Amazon: buy or borrow: http://amzn.to/1JVUvdZ
Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Gem Sivad, a reclusive writer, comma phobic, and eavesdropper on the world. Although I have hermit tendencies, occasionally I come out of the writer's den to meet readers at book signing events. Hope to see you there. But in case we miss each other, you can find me at the places below.
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