Hello! Thank you all for joining me here today for my monthly author column at Love Bytes. At the moment I’m currently in edits for The Soldati Prince which is due for release in November, and Disarming Donner which is due for release in December. Since I was away at YaoiCon last week and missed #TeaserTuesday, I thought I’d share it with you here.
The Soldati Prince, the first novella in the Soldati Hearts series centers around Riley Murrough, a seemingly ordinary human who gets swept up in an extraordinary adventure. There’s humor, romance, adventure, and sexy leather-clad tiger shifters. I should have more information on the October pre-order soon. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek!
One moment Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger shifter he would rather strangle.
Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world where he belongs. On their journey they might discover why the priestess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.
Around them the birds chirped and Riley smiled when he saw some squirrels playing. Soon some other furry little creatures joined in. A group of rabbits appeared, heading swiftly in the same direction. Did rabbits travel in packs?
“Um….” Riley caught up to Rayner. “Quick question.”
Khalon let out a heavy sigh. “Your questions are never quick. And here I thought I might have a moment’s peace.”
“Your charm continues to astound me,” Riley drawled before turning his attention back to Rayner. “Are the animals in this forest always in such a hurry?”
Rayner stopped. He sniffed the air and narrowed his eyes, peering into the woods. He turned and gave Adira a nod. She leaped into action, darting off into the woods while Ezra took off in a different direction. That didn’t bode well.
“What’s going on?” Riley asked, a chill spreading through him. He didn’t like this. Something was wrong. There was a distant roar and Rayner’s eyes widened. He grabbed Riley’s arm.
Before Riley could ask, the sun was swallowed in darkness, or so it seemed. A thick fog rolled into the woods all around them and Khalon pulled Riley between him and Rayner as they sped down the trail. The fog became so thick Riley couldn’t see what lay two feet ahead of him. He trusted Rayner and Khalon not to run him into a tree.
A horrifying shriek resounded before it multiplied into several more, followed by two familiar roars. Riley’s heart was ready to beat out of him. He didn’t need to be told what was behind them. The tattoos on his arm burned but he ignored it, too horrified by the noises coming from within the fog. He could barely see a thing, and as much as he hated to admit it, he was scared shitless. Whatever number of demons had shown up in the alley last night was nothing compared to what was after him now.
“Khalon, what’s happening?” Riley asked as he did his best to keep up with the warriors on either side of him. He really needed to lay off the cake. If he survived he’d have to remember to thank Tura for the boots because his sneakers—and feet—wouldn’t have survived the jagged rocks and harsh terrain of the woods. An icy wind whipped in his face and his lungs ached from his heavy breathing, but he continued to push himself, his boots kicking up dirt and pebbles as he raced down the path.
“There’s a village not far from here,” Khalon informed him. “Straight ahead. Whatever you do, don’t look back, and don’t stop.”
Despite what Khalon might think, Riley wasn’t an idiot. He had no intention of stopping until he either ran out of ground or collapsed from exhaustion. Amazing how the threat of being killed by demons unlocked a level of athleticism Riley never knew he had.
The noise intensified and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Something was close. He could feel it. Like it was clawing at his soul. His chest got tight and it suddenly became harder to breathe. What the hell? Was he running out of steam already? He wasn’t that out of shape. His lungs burned and he felt dizzy. No, this was something else. His vision flickered, and when a strange pulse erupted from his chest, he got scared and cried out.
Riley didn’t know why he called Khalon’s name, but when the world around him spun off its axis, his vision growing dark and his legs giving out from under him, he was relieved and grateful Khalon was there to catch him.
Would you like to see my facecast for Soldati Hearts? Check out The Soldati Hearts board on Pinterest!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.