Three years ago I sat down with a character who had surfaced during one of my writing exercise sessions. A grumpy, disgruntled werewolf, Rick Keller showed up in my notes the night that the organization he used to work for came to get him.
Throughout the next year or so, this short excerpt stayed on my mind. The organization Rick used to work for gathered a name — MONIKER — and a history, namely a genesis in an unnamed office of an unnamed department of the Office of Strategic Services. Rick lost one homeland and gained another, and by the time he started to tell me his story, he had quit all vestiges of secret-agent hood and was retired out in the Vermont wilderness.
For the 2011 National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo), I began writing a novel flavored by some of the research I was doing on World War II, partisan warfare, and combating human trafficking. And today Untold Press releases that novel, Cold Run, available on Amazon and Goodreads.
We have a couple of cool events planned to help celebrate. The first is a giveaway, open from August 3 − 30, that could net you a $20 Amazon gift certificate, or free copies of Cold Run. You can check it out on the Untold Press Web site, or at a Rafflecopter giveaway.
Untold Press has also scheduled a Book Blitz for August 5-10, and a Book Tour from August 15-28. I’ll be Tweeting and Pinging, so stay tuned for more information!
The man behind the weapon was a ghost, a black tactical suit concealing his form, expensive scope mounted on some sort of rifle. I howled again and lurched at him, brought down short by another surge of the change. I struggled to remain upright but found myself on my knees.
Another man appeared to the side, shining a bright, piercing strobe light at my eyes, disorienting me as I tried to turn to face the new threat, my traitorous body rendering my reactions unreliable.
I scrambled to get my feet under me, but the final throes of the change robbed the ground from me. I flailed my paws against the last remnants of my work clothes, now torn and scattered on the ground.
I heard the explosion of gases from the chamber of the first man’s rifle a split second after the bullet pierced my side. I yelped and fell sideways, trying to relieve the pressure. I rolled to all fours and lunged toward the man, intent on relieving the pain by ripping the screams from his throat.
He shot again and again as I reached him, bowling him over and aiming for the soft pieces exposed to my grip.
Instead of soft viscera beneath my teeth, the next sensation I felt came as intense pain, which slowed and disjointed my movements. I raised my head, snapping and gnarling in vain against the folds of the net suddenly enveloping me. Ignoring the second man–stupid mistake. From the burning the lines of the net raised against my hide, I could tell the wires were laced with silver filaments.
The man with the rifle scrambled away from me. I let him go, rolling on the ground, trying to escape the clutching net.
“He’s a big one.” The second man spoke the words, looking down on me from an impossible height as the pain began to outweigh the panic. I could feel the silver working against my struggling.
“He always was.” The first man hocked and spat. It smelled of Copenhagen. “It’s going to be a bitch dragging him down to the truck.”
The words made no sense. I listened, but could not understand.
“If we let you up, do you promise to be a good doggie?” The man with the rifle prodded the barrel into my side.
I growled, but it was mostly wishful thinking, the energy from the night and the change suddenly sapped by the ensilvered net. I lay on my side and simply lolled.
“Good boy.” The man kept his rifle trained at me as his partner knelt down and fiddled with the edge of the net. Grasping a loop from the edge, he pulled. The line must have been attached in some ingenious way so when he pulled on it, it contracted the net into a small, compact circle around my neck.
“Come on.” The second man jerked at my neck, holding the line as a leash. “I’m not carrying you down this hill in the dark.”
The net continued to burn against my neck as he dragged me to my feet. Head hanging, I padded after him through the snow.