This is the official start of the snippeting, counting down to the release date for The God’s Wolfling. The first snippet is here. This is the second snippet, the first part of Chapter 2.
The God’s Wolfling is the final book of the duology begun with Vulcan’s Kittens. It is the story of a young woman who wants to grow up, and have adventures. I don’t know about you, but I was that young woman, when I was 16. I wanted to have adventures, do important things, travel the world… Linn’s got a very different family than I did, and many more dangers to face than I. But I hope that young people will understand her, and I know those of us who look back at who we were, and what we dreamed, will know her.
The scheduled release for this book is August 1, 2014, and I will snippet weekly on Thursdays up until then, about the first quarter of the book… hopefully by then you will want to finish the book!
As always, this is a raw draft. Although my first reader has looked at bits, and alpha readers have some of it, I haven’t had feedback yet, so I’m open to suggestions in comments. Just know I may not pay any attention to them, as ever. 😉
Halfway around the planet from the newly-awakened god and his plight, Heff Vulkane, once known as the Smith of the Gods, set his fruity drink down on the little table at his elbow and stretched his toes in the black volcanic sand, sighing with contentment. He was enjoying a rare vacation, something he was rediscovering made hard work worthwhile. During the decades of his self-imposed retirement and hermitage in the mountains of Idaho, he had done very little. Now, as one of the leaders in the private war to keep Earth free, he had very little free time.
To make his enjoyment complete, Pele walked out of the waves in front of him, crystal drops of water catching the sunlight, and his breath. She came and leaned over him for a kiss, and he didn’t mind the drips she shed as she took her time. She had given up Crone for Maiden, and was the curvy raven-haired beauty he had fallen for all those centuries before. When they came up for breath, a cleared throat off to their side made Heff chuckle.
“Deal, Kiddo. Your generation didn’t invent sex.” He informed his only grandchild.
“Yeah, Grampa, I know.” Linn gave him the hairy eyeball, and now Pele laughed, sitting on the arm of his lounger and wringing her hair out into the sand so she wouldn’t drip more on him.
“What’s up?” He prompted the young woman who looked more and more like her grandmother with each passing year.
“I was hoping to talk to you about something.”
Heff smiled at her and waved at the other chair. Pele stayed where she was. Heff studied his granddaughter for a long moment.
“You’ve grown,” he mused.
She looked surprised, asking “since when?”
“Since you came here, dear.” Pele filled in.
Linn shook her head. “I’m still as short as I was then.”
“That’s not what I meant. You are two years older, and it shows.”
“The summer vacation from hell made me grow up, and since then, nothing has happened.” Linn complained.
Heff nodded. “I thought that was what you were going to say.”
Pele interjected her comment before Linn could respond. “You’re bored. You’ve been stuck here with Hypatia, and you love her, and have learned about so many things, but when is the war going to end. Or begin? Or something?”
Linn threw her hands in the air with a short laugh and leaned back in her chair, unconsciously imitating her grandfather’s earlier action by digging her toes into the sand.
“Yes! I helped create a weapon. Maybe. We don’t know if it would actually work, since we never used it. I was running for my life. And then… it just stopped.”
“Not completely.” Heff sighed, thinking of all the nasty little skirmishes he’d been fighting for the last few years.
“You want to be part of it.” Pele supplied.
“I guess. I mean, I know, it’s dangerous for me. More than for you, or Bes. Who was here earlier today, by the way.”
They nodded. Linn assumed her grandmother knew when anyone went through Sanctuary. Not the whole islands, her family wasn’t that kind of god, to be omniscient, but Pele kept a close eye on the comings and goings here.
“And I know I can’t fight, don’t want to…” she stopped, stuck for words.
“What about Patches and Moira?” Pele asked.
Linn shrugged, “they are doing preschool, sometimes I play with them on the beach. But they are babies.”
Her grandparents exchanged amused looks, and Linn went on with her train of thought. “Dierdre, Blackie, and Spot are good friends, but it’s not like school in Seattle was, with all my friends there. I miss some, and not others. Sanctuary is wonderful, Hypatia is an amazing teacher, she knows so much. It’s just…” she trailed off, her train derailed by what she was seeing.
She was looking past them, toward the cliff-face of Sanctuary, when she saw Sekhmet emerge from the tunnel at a lope, only transforming to woman-form as she neared them. Linn had never seen her do this before, and she stared, transfixed.
Heff and Pele, seeing her expression, turned in their chairs to see who or what was coming. Sekhmet had already finished her shift, which Linn had seen as a golden flowing of Power and fur, finishing in the godesses’ golden-skinned woman-form. She was dressed, too, in the pleated white cotton dress of Ancient Egypt.
Sekhmet winked at Linn, who was stunned speechless, and held out her hands to Pele, who rose to give her a hug.
“I thought you were on vacation,” Heff hugged his right-hand woman in turn.
“Oh, you know how that goes.” The lion goddess stooped to kiss her sons, then held out her arms to Linn. Sekhmet smelled faintly spicy, and she rested a cheek on Linn’s hair in a rare moment of stillness. The big cat was more industrious than any tame tabby.
“I need to talk to Heff and Pele, brave girl.” Sekhmet murmured to Linn. Still in her arms, Linn could hear her heart pounding. She resented being treated like a child, but something that frightened Sekhmet was a scary thought.
“Go ahead, Sek. Linn can hear this, she’s going to go to work for us.” Grampa Heff said.
Linn bounced out of Sekhmet’s grasp, excited. “Really?”
Pele laughed, “settle and listen, first job.”
Linn plopped down on the sand cross-legged and put a hand on her chin, fingers over her mouth.
“Ok,” Sekhmet laughed, “new recruit is inducted.”
She stood with her arms clasped behind her back and her face dropping into seriousness. Linn could feel a tingle as the Power surged through Sekhmet. The tall woman was gathering herself.