*Phew* Was buried all week last week in the last large-scale revision of The Rancher’s Daughter, cleaning up the last messy plot points, fixing descriptions and dialogue, and making sure everything flows well. The big battle scene took a while; in that scene, Lainie has three different enemies and one unreliable ally (not Silas; he’s temporarily indisposed), and the battle is happening on both the physical and the metaphysical planes. I could only do a few paragraphs at a time, then I had to go rest my poor tired brain. *sigh* Lainie keeps getting herself into these situations, and then I have to figure out how to get her out of them.
Anyway, it’s on to the final edits and proofreading. If everything continues to go as it has been, The Rancher’s Daughter will be out by the end of April. In the meantime, here’s a snippet from the book:
A rustling in the forest undergrowth several measures away drew her attention. From the shadows, a narrow pair of glowing, dark orange eyes stared at her. Below them, Lainie could make out a long, furry snout with sharp fangs poking up and down out of the sides of the mouth. Behind the head stretched a body the length of a man, covered in gray fur and set close to the ground on short, thick legs. Even in the dim light, Lainie could see the curving claws, longer than her fingers, that tipped each enormous paw. Two long ears stood straight up atop the head and twitched towards her as a thick tail, the length of the creature’s body, swished back and forth through the litter on the forest floor.
Lainie bit back a scream and fought to keep from making the slightest movement or sound as her heart thundered in her chest. This was the first time she had ever seen a grovik as anything more than a shadow in the distance. Now, as she stared at this one only measures away, all the terrifying stories about the beasts, how one grovik could strip a man — or a tied-up woman — down to the bones in a matter of minutes, came rushing back into her mind.
The grovik took a step towards her. Cold sweat broke out all over her body. She squeezed her eyes shut, tears of terror leaking down her cheeks, and prayed as hard as she could. If nothing else, she hoped it would be over with quick. She braced herself for the tearing of enormous, razor-sharp teeth and claws into her flesh.