Hello Contestants! And Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble, Gobble!
Yes, I know Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks away, but I have to admit it’s my favorite holiday. Not just because of all the yummy food, I love being with my family, drinking adult beverages and laughing. Realizing what I’m thankful for. What I’m thankful right now, is you!
I’d like to thank you for participating in The Romance Review’s Year End Splash! Below, I have an excerpt from A Pirate’s Curse. Kane is my hero and he’s a vampire pirate! Find out how he got his scar and you’ll not only be eligible to win the fabulous prizes fro TRR, but you’ll be able to win a copy of A Pirate’s Curse. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll double your odds of winning not only Pirate’s but a copy of my new release, A Vampire’s Christmas Wish.
Captain Kane O’Brien peered through his spyglass aboard the deck of the Soaring Phoenix. “Bloody hell.”
The waxing moon and blazing firelight lit up the black ocean. The cursed Fiery Damsel loomed over a burning, half submerged flute ship, slowly circling its broken mast. Water spilled into cannonball-size holes. Fire licked the white sails, and wood crackled and snapped.
He gritted his teeth. A red-headed giant towered over the terrified sailors. His beard hid his face and his eyes burned red. Quinton Palmer. The sailors had the same look of horror when he met Palmer. ’Twas during the Irish Confederate War. He’d have been sixteen years old, a whelp, when Quinton Palmer forced him to become a man.
Kane’s hero had always been his father, Finn O’Brien, an honorable and courageous man. And Finn O’Brien relished freedom. When the British approached their home town of Wexford, burning their fields and homes, taking their livestock and raping their women, Finn rallied the men in the village to fight.
Kane and his father had hid behind an overturned wagon. Shells exploded around them. Kane shrank. Smoke stung his eyes.
He peered around a spinning wagon wheel. An Irish setter limped out onto the road. A beast of a British soldier, Palmer, held a bayonet in his hand and a sick smile crossed his face. Ten years old, Michael O’Shay, ran over to the dog, screaming. He wrapped his arms around the dying dog’s neck.
Palmer stabbed little Michael in the shoulder. Michael yelped, releasing the dog. Blood streamed down his chest. The dog snapped and growled. Palmer flicked the bayonet, slicing the dog’s throat and the animal collapsed onto the road, blood pooling around him.
Palmer’s cruelty had sickened Kane and bile rose up his throat. He gripped his sword, but his legs refused to move. His heart pounded and sweat drenched his back.
“Kane,” his father ordered. “I want you to remain here. Do you hear me, lad?” He gripped Kane’s shoulder and shook him. Kane nodded as shells exploded around them, ringing his ears.
Kane had swallowed his fright. “Aye, Pa.”
Raising a cutlass over his head, Finn O’Brien charged Palmer.
Palmer took a step back, but whipped out his pistol and fired. His father staggered, but regained his step. Palmer was almost a head taller than his father, but Finn O’Brien never shied away from a fight.
Palmer fired again, but this time, Finn spun around and fell on his knees.
Palmer raised his bayonet.
Kane had forgotten his fear. He screamed a war cry, running with his sword high over his head. But his legs failed to move fast enough. The blasts of cannons blocked out his yells. Sweat dripped in his eyes and bile burned in his gut.
Palmer stabbed his father in the heart. Eyes wide open, Finn collapsed onto his back. Palmer smiled and threw his bayonet onto Finn O’Brien’s lifeless body.
He jerked out the embedded sword and lunged at Kane, knocking Kane’s sword out of his hand. Kane clenched his fist and swung, but Palmer grabbed him and threw him down next to his dead father. He raised the bloody sword. Kane sucked in his breath. He was dead.
“Something to remember me by boy,” Palmer promised. He slashed Kane’s face. Pain slid over him. He’d never forgotten Palmer’s promise, or his cruelty, or his smile.
Kane fingered his bumpy scar on his left cheek. Hate boiled inside him as Palmer spoke to a man. The terrified lad shook his head. Angered, Palmer slammed the man into the nearest mast. The poor fellow slapped at Palmer’s hands, but Palmer crooked the man’s head to the side and sank his bloodstained teeth into his throat.
Kane shoved the spy glass back into his breeches. “What the devil are you up to Palmer?”
Who gave Kane his scar?
a) The demon Zuto
b) Jacques D’Aubigne
c) Captain Quinton Palmer
d) Captain Justin Knight