Snow Spirits Excerpt
Before I share with you the Snow Spirits excerpt, this morning, I received my new cover for it. It is the second book in the Children of the Wild Series. (Book 1 can be found at Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo.) All I can say is “Wow!” Emmy at StudioENP has done a stellar job with this cover. Personally, I’m in love. If you’d like to get a sneak peek of the cover, sign up for my newsletter. You’ll also have a chance at a $5 Amazon gift certificate announced in my January newsletter.
Begin Snow Spirits excerpt
Snowflakes swirled in a beautiful dance, gently landing on her eyelashes and blanketing the world. A gust of wind whooshed past her parents’ mud hut, chasing the flakes through the village. She watched the maelstrom of snow pass by. The wind tugged at her, and her snow leopard twitched again.
“Xué,” her mother’s voice called over the rising wind.
“Bring home some meat so we can celebrate.”
A heavy weight settled on her. If she could find any. The starving masses had invaded their mountains in search of food. Many died, ill-equipped to survive the harsh environment. Perhaps the mountains would be quiet due to the storm, but desperation drove people to do desperate things—like brave snowstorms in search of food. With winter upon them, prey was scarce.
She jogged across the dirt road, past a few huts with smoke curling out of the center of their thatched roofs to the edge of the village. Snow-covered conifers towered over her. A hushed silence shrouded the forest. Not even rodents dared the oncoming storm.
Her navy-blue liberation shoes sank knee-deep into the undisturbed snow that had fallen overnight. The cold penetrated the canvas-topped, rubber-soled shoes. Snow clung to her rag wool, loose-fitting trousers and shoes with each step she took. By the time she reached her destination, she panted from the exertion. Normally, she’d spend more time covering her tracks, but the storm would erase them soon enough. No one would be traveling today.
Kneeling behind a large tree, she swept snow off a wooden box and sat down. She untied her damp shoes and slipped out of them. Resting her feet on the top of her shoes to prevent her wool socks from getting sodden, she removed them and stuffed them in her pocket. She stood barefoot in the snow, opened the box, and slapped the shoes together to dislodge as much snow as possible before setting them in the box to the side. She took the socks from her pocket and stuffed them inside her shoes. The snow stung where it touched her feet. She wiggled her toes, yearning for the days before Mao and the Cultural Revolution had swept the country—and for her heavy, sheepskin boots that had kept her feet toasty warm.
With a sigh, she continued disrobing. It didn’t do to worry about things she couldn’t change. Unbuttoning her drab gray, high-collared, cadre wool jacket, she shook it out as well, folded it, and carefully placed it on top of her shoes. The pants quickly followed. Just as gently, she shut the box and covered it back up.
Delicate snowflakes landed on her skin in increasing succession, melting as they hit. Soon, there’d be a whiteout. She needed to move quickly. Shivers rippled over her. Each breath created a puff of white fog in front of her.
She stood naked for a moment longer, staring into the trees, searching for any sign of life before turning her focus within to the waiting animal. Her skin undulated and stretched. Bones popped and expanded. Thick, luxurious fur sprang up, replacing her pale human skin. She dropped down onto all fours. Her wide, furry feet acting as snowshoes, she only sank a few inches into the fresh snow. Her ears flicked back and forth, alert for sound of any kind, but only the soft shushing of falling snow greeted her.
End Snow Spirits excerpt
If you’d like to read Some Place to Belong, the first book of the Children of the Wild series, you can find it at the following distributors: