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Excerpt: Rite of Spring by Gen Gericault


Hi, there! Rebecca Hamilton here to tell you how SUPER excited we are to bring you this MEGA giveaway! First place prize is a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, but we also have 12 runner up ebook and paperback prizes! Entering will connect you with 21 paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors for more great deals, freebies, and giveaway, so in a way, everyone wins!

Before you enter the giveaway, check out an excerpt of RITE OF SPRING by Gen Géricault, one of the authors sponsoring the giveaway!

You’re safer here than you’ll ever be anywhere else in the world.”

Hope laughed, half-delirious. Dodger began to snarl again, but she didn’t feel the need to silence him.

“You’re right, I am. I’ve got Dodge. Just stay back.”

Dodger’s snarls intensified, and he jerked forward on his leash. Only, he didn’t leap at Houston. Rather, the Shepherd’s attention was fixed on the darkness to Houston’s right.

And then the darkness moved.

Hope leapt back and shrieked. Houston spun. From the rigid set of his broad back, she knew this wasn’t a part of some elaborate plan to lure her back to the house.

“What did you see?” he demanded, but Hope barely heard him over the vicious snarls and barks now rising from her dog.

Dodger dove forward so quickly, so suddenly, Hope lost her grip on the leash. He disappeared into the darkness, bounding after his prey in a fury.

“Dodger, no!”

She burst into a run, careless of the fact that she couldn’t see a damn thing. Hands seized her shoulders, slowing her.

Stop. It’s not safe.”

“That’s my dog!” she yelled, pushing him away. Still, Houston held tight. “He was my dad’s dog!”

“And I’ll find him. But you’re going back to the house.”

“The hell I am!” She yanked herself free and continued, fully aware that he was right beside her.

Damn it. Stay behind me, at least.” His irritation broke through, and Hope rolled her eyes.

Fear and annoyance aside, her progress slowed. Away from the porch’s floodlights, her steps were more tentative. She tried to recall the layout of the property from their earlier stroll, knowing there were small hills and dips that would send her tumbling into the night.

Dodger’s barking ceased. Dread churned in the pit of Hope’s stomach. “Dodger!”

“I see him,” Houston said, his voice so graveled he might as well have growled.

“Where?” Hope asked, confused.

Houston took hold of her left wrist. His grip was firm but controlled enough that Hope didn’t feel the need to pull away. He veered toward the left, then halted. His entire body seemed to stiffen beside hers. Sniffing the air in an act that was more animal than human, he stared forward as if he could see through the shadows.

“What did you see before?”

“I don’t know,” Hope said, battling the fear that shook her voice. “Just a shape. A black shape.”

Houston sniffed again. His deep intake of air was the only sound.

“Is it always this quiet?”

“No.” His grim, grizzled reply sent a trill of terror down Hope’s spine. Though she couldn’t detect anything particularly noxious on the night air, she supposed he would know when something didn’t smell right on his land.

“Where’s Dodger?” she asked, meeker than she intended.

“Twenty feet straight ahead,” he replied. “Looking up at a tree.”

“How can you see in this light?” She looked up at him and almost screamed. Houston’s eyes gleamed gold, similar to the way Dodger’s had shone in the dark hallway.

She recoiled, but Houston tightened his fingers around her wrist.

“We’re not alone,” he growled. “Stay with me, no matter what happens.”

The glinting gold of his eyes sliced through the darkness, rocketing Hope’s panic to new heights. “What’s happening??”

A gust of unseasonably cold wind rustled the grass. Dodger resumed barking, louder than ever. All around them, the night seemed to writhe and stretch.

The clouds shuffled lazily across the sky, covering most of the moon. Under pale, hazy light, a large shape skittered across the grass. Too big to be a German Shepherd, it shambled forward, graceless. Darker than even the darkness surrounding it, the form straightened. Red eyes blinked open and stared back at her.

Hope parted her lips to scream, but her horror caught in the back of her throat. Houston moved, placing himself in front of her. The broad cover of his body blocked the horrible thing from her sight.

“I’m so sorry.” Houston spoke, but it wasn’t his voice. Not anymore. Lower and deeper, it graveled like the crunch of a rocky trail under heavy boots. “You’re safe. Remember you’re safe.

The clouds cleared, allowing the moon its full, beaming glow. Houston’s shoulder blades popped beneath his t-shirt.

Something was happening. Something that shouldn’t have been happening. Something that finally dragged the stifled scream from Hope’s lungs.

Houston Afters, the farm boy fanboy who grilled a damn fine venison steak and laughed at her terrible jokes, was growing.

He was changing shape.

He was sprouting fur.

Hope stumbled backward, tripping over her feet while her dinner date exploded out of his clothes. The man she’d kissed by an old piano disappeared. In his stead towered a goddamn bear.

Don’t forget to also check out the complete list of books included in this promotion! Some of the authors have even put their books on sale just for you! Click any book to check it out on Amazon!

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