Hey, guys! So I realize it's been an extremely long time since I've written a blog post. We have a sneak peek at Shadow Creatures (The Sherwood Wolves #3) for you, but first I want to explain to you why I've been out of commission for awhile. The past year was a rough one.
I've mostly kept my health issues private, but two years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called IgA Nephropathy that was attacking my kidneys. My doctors tried a number of treatment options to try and slow the progress, but my kidneys continued failing and I started to get really sick. I would sleep 10-15 hours a day and still wake up feeling like I'd been hit by a bus. I also spent a lot of time on the bathroom floor either puking or fighting off the urge to puke. It was miserable, and it made it impossible for Jayme and I to write at our usual pace. This is why you've probably noticed a lot of our release dates getting postponed or our overall vagueness about when a certain book would be done.
In December, when my kidneys were functioning at only 8%, I ended up in the hospital to get a catheter placed in my neck for emergency dialysis. The next few months consisted of going to my local dialysis center for treatments three times a week for 3.5 hours a day. I was so exhausted and felt so miserable. There were a few times I had to cut my sessions short because I ended up puking while I was on the machine.
And then something truly amazing happened. My friend Lisa, who I met online nearly 10 years ago, offered to get tested for me. I met this incredibly beautiful, selfless friend in person, face-to-face, for the very first time just minutes before we prepared to go into surgery - just minutes before she gave me her kidney - on April 13th. :)
Our next book, Shadow Creatures (The Sherwood Wolves #3) is already available for pre-order at all of the retailers (Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N, Kobo & iTunes).
So, now, without further ado, here's a sneak peek at the book's first chapter.
***(Warning: This post does contain spoilers for those who haven't yet read the first two books in the series, Wolfbound and Starcrossed).***
I waited in the bathroom stall where I’d just watched Isaac claim Roxy as his Host only moments before, my heart pounding against my chest.
I was so nervous that he’d seen me. I could’ve sworn he’d noticed me through the crack of the bathroom stall, but I was pretty sure that if he’d known I was there and that I’d overheard his conversation with Roxy, he would’ve done something to hurt me and he hadn’t.
No, I was pretty sure that I’d gotten lucky… this time, at least.
After a few long moments, I stepped out of the stall and pressed my ear against the restroom door. All I heard was the sound of a Pitbull song thumping in the background. I was pretty sure the coast was clear. Of course, the only way to know was to open the door.
Cautiously, I opened it and glanced around.
There was no sign of Isaac/Roxy in sight.
I breathed a deep sigh of relief as I stepped back into the party room, scanning the restaurant for Jax.
I didn’t see him anywhere.
My mind went into a frenzy of panic. What if I was too late? What if Isaac had already gotten to him?
Except, I realized, that Isaac really hadn’t gotten to him. I spotted Roxy’s body over by the refreshments table. She was serving herself some punch.
Isaac had sounded so determined to get revenge on Jax right away, but apparently, punch had to come first. Then again, I guess he must’ve figured that if he wanted to carry on this charade, he needed to play the role of the birthday girl so no one would suspect anything.
I watched as Ace approached Roxy. Isaac turned and tossed Roxy’s short hair seductively. A smile spread across her lips. To someone completely unsuspecting, she looked flirtatious and not much different from usual. She looked like Roxy, even though she wasn’t Roxy. Not really.'
As Ace wrapped an arm around Roxy, my stomach tightened in knots.
I knew Isaac wanted to get revenge on Jax, since he was the one who’d buried him, but what about the rest of the Sherwood family? Isaac hadn’t mentioned wanting to hurt any of them – not even Mila, who had helped Jax bury him.
I wasn’t sure if Ace would be safe with Isaac, but it wasn’t like there was really anything I could do about it at that moment. I wanted to warn Ace, but at the same time, I wasn’t about to blow up my spot. I was lucky enough to have gotten out of that bathroom alive. I couldn’t pull Ace aside to tell him the truth about Isaac using Roxy as his Host. That would only make Isaac suspicious of what I knew.
I wasn’t sure what Isaac would do to me if he found out I knew the truth – especially if he found out I was Jax’s mate. I wasn’t sure if this Shade version of Isaac was the same as the Isaac who I’d known my entire life. I wanted to believe that he was good, but… the Isaac I knew wouldn’t have been out for blood.
In any case, I didn’t want to find out what he would do.
A part of me felt guilty about not saying anything to Ace, but I wasn’t sure if he would’ve even believed me, anyway. He was so into Roxy that he might not have been willing to believe or accept that she was gone… or that she was a Hunter. I didn’t know what that meant, but after overhearing her conversation, I could only assume that it meant one thing: Roxy was a werewolf Hunter, which was why she’d been planning to kill some of the werewolves tonight.
My stomach twisted with a sick feeling. Roxy had seemed so nice. I thought the two of us could get to be best friends, like she was the missing part of the Camryn-Blair-Zoe friendship puzzle. But
I was wrong. Instead, she’d wanted to get rid of the Sherwood family and me, all because we weren’t human.
Her words echoed through my mind. “There are more of them in Cedar Falls than we originally thought.”
I peered around the room. How many of the people on the dance floor weren’t actually people at all? How many of them were werewolves? I’d known most of them my entire life, but how much did I really know about any of them?
They’re not kidding when they say people in small towns have big secrets.
As much as I wanted to ponder who in the room might’ve been a wolf and why, I didn’t have time to think about it. I needed to get to Jax and the two of us needed to get out of here, before it was too late.
“Camryn, there you are!” Blair said exasperatedly, a look of relief in her eyes. “I’ve been looking all over for you. Where have you been?”
“Sorry,” I apologized. “I was talking to Demetri—I mean, my dad. And then I had to use the bathroom.”
“When did the whole ‘dad’ thing happen, anyway?” She eyed me curiously.
“Not long after you left,” I replied, unable to pinpoint the exact date of when I’d learned that Demetrius was my father. The past few weeks had been such a whirlwind. It felt like so much had happened in such a short time. “Zoe found out about him before I did.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about him before now?”
“This is the type of news you can’t really share over the phone,” I admitted. “I wanted to tell you in person.”
She nodded understandingly. “What’s he like?”
“He’s an ass.” I wished that I could’ve found something nice to say about my father, but… I couldn’t. I mean, let’s be real. He’d forced my sister into getting married and now he was planning to kill her husband. The more I thought about it, the more the whole thing infuriated me.
“I’m sorry. Are you okay?” My best friend met my eyes with a look of genuine concern.
I knew what she was thinking. For years, I’d always talked about what my father might’ve been like. My mom had never really talked about him, so I hadn’t known. I’d wondered if he was a doctor who saved lives like Zoe wanted to be, or if he was a clown who made children smile. Or maybe he was an astronaut.
I’d thought he could’ve been a lot of things, but a monster had definitely not been one of them. To learn that he was less than amazing… well, I wasn’t going to lie. It was really heartbreaking.
“Yeah, I will be,” I assured her. “Hey, have you seen Jax anywhere?”
Blair nodded. “Yeah, I just saw him answer his phone and then go outside a few minutes ago.” She motioned to Caleb and Bash, who were talking on the other side of the room. “Are those his brothers?”
“Those are two of them. The rest of them are here, too… somewhere,” I said, glancing around the room but not sure where his other brothers were. I figured that they must’ve been dancing deep within the crowd. “I’ll introduce you to them, just as soon as I find Jax. I’ll be back.”
I knew that was a lie, of course. Jax and I weren’t going to come back to the party. We couldn’t come back to the party, or he couldn’t, at least – not if I wanted him to get out alive. We had to get away from here – away from Isaac – and then come up with some sort of plan. I wasn’t sure where we would go, but then it hit me.
With its security guards and the walls that kept things from getting in and out, I couldn’t really think of a safer place to be.
Yeah, as soon as I found Jax, we would go straight there. We wouldn’t come back to the party, contrary to what I’d told Blair.
My best friend didn’t seem to see through my lie, though.
“Don’t take too long or I might have to introduce myself to them without you,” she said with a sly grin.
“I’ll try not to.” I breathed a slight sigh of relief. I knew I didn’t need to worry about leaving Blair in the room with someone as dangerous as Isaac. The other Sherwood boys and Mila were there. I was pretty sure that they would keep her – and anyone else – safe, if anything should happen. At least, I hoped they would.
I turned away from Blair and headed for the door.
As I stepped outside into the warm night, I glanced around the parking lot.
Jax’s car was gone.
Panic flooded my veins. Where had he gone? And why hadn’t he let me know where or why he was going?
These questions circled around in my mind as I reached for my cell phone to call him when I noticed three guys out of the corner of my eye. They were headed straight for me.
From a distance, I could see that all three of them were tall with broad shoulders. They were dressed identically; each of them wore dark wash jeans and plain black t-shirts that revealed large muscles. It was hard to tell from so far away, but I was willing to bet that they were about the same age as me.
Maybe they were security guards at the Purple Swan, the restaurant the party was being held at? It was the only explanation I could seem to think of… except for the possibly that, whoever they were, they had news about Jax. Like the type of news I didn’t want to hear – like that something bad had happened to him.
My gut wrenched at the idea.
“Are you Camryn Evans?” one of the guys asked in a husky voice as the three of them approached me. He stared me up and down, his dark eyes boring through mine as though he was searching them for something.
Up close, I realized that I recognized him from somewhere. I wasn’t sure where from, but he looked so familiar.
“Yeah, that would be me,” I said slowly, feeling uneasy about the fact that I was confirming my identity to strangers. What if they wanted to hurt me? “What makes you ask?”
The guy with the dark eyes nodded to one of the other guys, this one a blonde.
Before I even knew what was happening, the blonde guy thrust a needle into my arm. I felt it stab into my skin and then a burning sensation hit as whatever was in the needle entered my bloodstream.
I tried to let out a scream, but suddenly the scenery around me was spinning.
I heard the sound of my phone hit against the black pavement as it fell to the ground. My eyes instantly grew heavy and everything in my line of vision went blurry.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the first chapter. Does it make you want to read the next book? Were you already looking forward to it? Have you given up on the series? Leave your comments below! :)