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Tuesday Teaser: The Last Hero

I picked an excerpt from The Last Hero. There’s two books I’ve written that are VERY dear to me, this being one of them. Maybe newer fans don’t know my attachment to this book. It’s actually the first book I EVER queried to publishers, one of the last books I ever signed (to SCP, they had almost all my books at one time), and it was the first book I had a hard cover of. That’s a HUGE milestone for an author. It made me feel like my dream was real—that I could call myself “an author”.

The Last Hero, in my opinion, is one of my best books, but because it’s fantasy, it never sold very many books, which is unfortunate. I’ve never had any luck with my fantasy novels unless they have a vampire in them. If you haven’t read it, you should 😉


Cole breathed rapidly, his teeth clenched tightly. Thick smoke filled the bullet-strewn hallways. His lungs drew in the tainted air. He could hear the screams of his comrades echoing throughout the tight space. The ceiling was crumpling, and the drywall fell upon his head like a fine snow.

The structure was heavily damaged, the fighting inside leaving it unstable. Even though Sebastian had already retreated, Cole didn’t turn back. He had to save the rest of his team.

Hearing cries from a nearby tunnel, Cole followed the sound to its source. The heavy buckles on his boots bounced steadily as he ran. Before entering the room, he stopped and rested against the wall. He surveyed the area cautiously, making sure to stay perfectly still.

Shadowing his slow gaze with a readied weapon, he was prepared to shoot anything that moved. This mission was anything but routine, and he had been out of his element since he had arrived. This new enemy seemed unstoppable, and Cole had watched helplessly as his friends had been slaughtered.

Swallowing hard, he tried to calm his racing heart. Through his scope, he could see a large mound of bodies. There were hundreds of them, piled up like discarded garbage. These were the men he had grown up with. The horrid sight ignited rage within him.

A greenish smoke rose from the corpses, the room filling with the metallic stench of death. He was about to do another scan of the room, but a low growl made his back stiffen. It was a beast-like sound, definitely not human.

Spinning quickly, Cole unsheathed the sword on his back. He quickly aimed it at the new threat. It was more subtle than his gun, and he hoped not to draw any attention to himself by firing a shot.

But then, he saw the man’s face and recognized his own uniform. Cole’s expression softened. A deep pain filled his chest that felt like a dead weight crushing his every breath.

“Richard?” Taking a swipe at the empty air, Cole’s features hardened. He then readied himself to attack. “What’s wrong with you? Why are you attacking me? It’s me, Cole!”

Richard released a barrage of bullets, but Cole artfully dodged them.

Cole tried to reach out to him one last time. “Get a hold of yourself! Stop this madness right now! Don‘t let it control your mind! Fight it, Richard! Please! Stop!”

But Richard didn’t respond. At this distance, Cole could see the green light reflected in his comrade’s eyes. He knew what he had to do, even though his heart was against it. The virus had contaminated Richard. His friend was gone.

“Cole,” Richard hissed, as a few soldiers came and backed him up. Cole’s eyes quickly darted over their faces. Each one had that hellish green light residing in their eyes. “It’s your turn to die.”

Charging forward, Cole halted Richard’s words with a quick slash of his sword. He fought until they all lay lifeless at his feet.

Wiping his nose roughly, Cole sniffled. Disbelieving, he studied the bodies of his friends. A few seconds of silence passed, as he tried to grasp what was going on. But he didn’t have much time to think. The soldiers he thought he had killed were rising up and preparing to attack him again.

This was impossible. Some were missing limbs. Others pawed at the floor as they dragged their bodies along it. Terror flashed in Cole’s ice blue eyes, his breath quick. He had never seen anything like this before and had no idea how to fight back.

“Nero.”

Turning abruptly in the direction of the voice, Cole glared at the man standing behind him. His enemy wore a long, green robe. The flames that ravaged the building illuminated his face. A black dragon cradled his left eye, a dark tattoo that intensified his sparkling blue eyes. He wore a twisted smile, an unnatural expression that bathed his features in an evil light.

“So, you have finally arrived.”

“Who are you?” Cole’s weapon shook in his hands, but he swallowed his fear as he followed the man’s advance through the scope.

“You don’t remember me?” The man’s eyes narrowed on Cole. There was fury seething through his every word. His hands were fisted and trembled slightly.

Cole’s gaze scanned the Virus soldiers that stood behind the man. None of them were attacking him. “You…” He paused, his gun making a quick pass around him. When he saw no one, he pointed it at the man once again. “You’re one of them, aren’t you?” He took a few cautious steps backward.

 


Book Release: The Last Hero

The Last Hero is up for pre-order on SCP’s website!  It’s official release date is October 31st!

Here’s some specs on the book….

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the last hero cover finalBuy link: Sweet Cravings Publishing

Genre: Fantasy romance, suspense

Book Description:

Someone releases an ancient sorcerer, one that almost destroyed the world two hundred years ago.  He soon starts where he left off and wages war.  Using the dreaded spell, known as Virus, he infects his enemies and uses them as soldiers in his army.

When he invades Fairway, Cole and his squad are sent to fight him.  Cole’s overwhelmed by the new enemy, and the seemingly impossible to kill, Virus soldiers.  There, he encounters the sorcerer who believes Cole is his son, Nero. He demands Cole come with him, but Cole refuses.  After a tense meeting, Cole’s brain is suddenly flooded with painful visions and he passes out.

When he returns home, the visions only get worse and he is plagued by Nero’s bad memories.  He has no idea what’s happening, and fears he may have caught Virus.  He stays quiet in fear of being taken out of the war. But he can’t stop the visions, and soon realizes the woman he loves becomes a trigger.  He’s afraid he might kill her, so he tries to push her away.  But she never gives up and will do anything to save him from going crazy.

The war then becomes only half of his problem, and he’s left scrambling to stop Nero from driving him insane.  But little does he know, Nero isn’t who Cole thinks he is, and they have more in common than he thinks.

Book Trailer

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Excerpt 1:

“I’m not your son.”

“You’re not?” The man advanced, forcing Cole to take a few steps backward again. “Who are you, then?”

“I’m…” Cole paused, an image flashing in his head. His breath quickened as he put his palm to his forehead. There was a pained look in his eyes, his hands shaking. Visions of the man flew through his brain. It felt like a movie being projected over his sight, dizziness trying to force him unconscious. “Stop…” Holding back tears, Cole held his head. A loud buzz filled his ears, and the sound of laughter echoed in his brain.

“My poor boy.” Sighing, the man watched Cole’s actions closely. “What have they done to you?”

“Why…are…you doing this?” Standing on shaky legs, Cole finally pulled out the sword. He held it in front of him defensively. “What do you want from me?”

“Come with me, Nero.”

“I will never surrender myself to you!” Cole’s expression hardened, the chains on his jacket bouncing as he readied himself for a fight.

“So, you’ve decided to fight me, then? I see…” The man raised his hands, and his army advanced toward Cole slowly. “So, that’s how it is? Then, get ready to fight, my boy.”

“Gladly.” The surface of Cole’s sword gleamed under the light, his icy eyes shining with great intent. His head was still spinning, but he tried to push it back.

“You’re coming with me, even if I have to drag you kicking and screaming!” A green wind rose from under the man, making his robes fly upward as the air thickened with magic. “Lay down your sword and surrender. You are no match for my army of Virus soldiers! Come to me, Nero!”

“Come to me, Nero.” Cole heard the man’s words in his head, even if he hadn’t said them a second time. He was hallucinating. He could feel it. He could see the man looking at him strangely. Then, he heard the voice speak again. “Lay down your sword and surrender, or I’ll kill her!”

“Stop!” Cole’s head buzzed. It was so loud that the deafening sound brought him to his knees. His vision was blurry, as if something were trying to control his thoughts.

Watching Cole’s reaction, the man’s face grew concerned. “Are you all right?” His breath then quickened when he saw the Virus soldiers advancing without his command.

“I’ll kill you!” Cole heard his own voice in his ears. “Don’t hurt her!” Letting out a blood-curdling scream, Cole held his swimming head.

A pulse slowly began radiating from Cole’s body. It was a whitish glow that snuffed out the greenish one that lay within the Virus’ soldiers’ eyes. With each wave, it became stronger. Its beams hit the soldiers, the powerful light reducing them to dust.

“Nero, stop!” There was a shrill desperation to the man’s voice as he held out his hands to Cole. “Stop! Don’t do this again. Fight the visions! Don’t give in to the madness! Listen to me! Stop!”

And that was the last thing Cole heard before he blacked out.

 

Excerpt 2

“….You’re no hero. You’re a villain, just like me.”

“I’m nothing like you.”

Yes, you are. It’s in our blood.” Raising his fist, he spoke in a dramatic tone, his loud voice booming. “We weren’t made to serve at the lap of the king. We were meant to rule! To make men cower at our feet. I can see that in you—the powerful stance of a warrior king. The great power sleeping within you could enslave the world.”

“I don’t want that.”

“You don’t know what you want.” Reinhold’s voice was still raised as he spoke angrily with his hands. “All you can think about is that girl and what she wants. Deep inside, you have the same dream as I. To rule. To make the world bow at your feet. You loved the feeling when you killed Joshua—that rush that your power gives you.”

Nero was about to speak, but Reinhold cut him off. Waving a rapid finger, he tried to stand taller than his son. “You loved it! I saw it on your face! The evil grin of a legendary black sorcerer, the ultimate dictator!”

“I admit it!” Nero snapped back at his father, both men eying each other like rabid wolves engrossed in a heated fight to the death. “It felt good! But I had a conscience! I knew what I did was wrong! I stopped! That’s the difference between you and me! I’m not a villain!”

“No!” Reinhold was raging. “You’re a god!”

With those words, Nero backed off. His chest rose and fell with his rapid breath, his hand reaching to his lips to wipe them dry. “Have you forgotten? You taught me to be a hero, and that’s what I’m going to be,” he vowed softly.

“You’re making a mistake.”