I am sure my followers are aware of my deep love for Quinn Loftis; the indie author responsible for the beloved Grey Wolves series. As a dedicated and awesomely genuine author I love every opportunity to support her books, and spread my deep love for her as a friend and author. As fans many of you will agree with my sentiments about this thrilling and powerful series that keeps bring us back begging for more. Today I have the absolute amazing pleasure of posting the only excerpt for Chapter two of the upcoming June release Out of the Dark. Oh Yea! You read that right Quinn is giving us another peak at what is to come for the next desperately anticipated book in the Grey Wolves series.
Out of the Dark
By: Quinn Loftis
Series: Grey Wolves Book 4
To be Released: June 17th, 2012
Tell me More:Darkness has descended on the Transylvanian Alps.
Four packs of the powerful Grey wolves – in a rare show of cooperation – had joined together here in an effort to help their pack members find true mates. Then they were betrayed by one of their own – an Alpha hell-bent on becoming the most powerful of the Canis lupis. And though the wolf's assassination attempt on the currently-reigning Romanian Alpha failed, his plans to get Decebel, the Romanian Beta, out of the picture were coming together even as his treachery was discovered. The wolf fled, leaving destruction, death, and a missing mate behind him.
Unbeknownst to the other packs, the wolf has employed a witch to finish the deadly job and help him gain another tool to increase his power. A curse of devastating proportions will cripple Decebel in a way that may dissolve his fragile bond with Jennifer. Meanwhile, injured and alone, Jen has been fighting for her life. She had come to terms with her fate, accepting that she would not share a life with Decebel, until help came in the most unexpected form...
Vasile will have to use all his resources – including Sally, the new gypsy healer of the Romanian pack – to discover a way in which to destroy the witch, lift the curse from Decebel and reunite him with the one woman who makes him whole, and solve a mystery that's been surrounding the Romanian pack for 300 years.
If you have not had the pleasure already make sure to check out the excerpt of Chapter 1 of Out of the Dark on Quinn blog here. If that is not enough check out chapter two below for even more of the upcoming release.
Excerpt Chapter Two Out of the Dark
Decebel squeezed his eyes shut as he felt Jennifer slip away again. He had nearly fallen to the ground when he heard her voice in his mind. She was alive – that was what he had to focus on right now. He couldn't think about the fact that she was in the arms of an unknown male wolf, he couldn't think about the fact that she was in so much pain she was losing consciousness, and he definitely couldn't think about the fact that she wanted to make babies with him.
Decebel thought about how her voice had sounded in his mind. Even in pain and fear his mate would lighten the moment and try to distract him. How had he been so blessed to get a woman who would stand up to him, challenge him, accept him, and love him for the overbearing man he knew he was? At that exact moment he didn't know or really care, he just knew that he needed Jennifer; he needed his mate back in his arms where she would be safe. And as soon as he found her, he would chain her to his side so she would never be out of his sight again.
He chuckled to himself. Yeah, I'd like to see me try to chain her, he thought, then smiled even bigger. Although, my mate would probably like being chained.
Decebel rubbed his hands across his face, setting aside his thoughts about Jennifer while he dealt with the matter at hand.
Fane, Skender, Dillon, and Boain pulled up next to the large crowd in two black Hummers and two vans.
"Excellent." Jacque smiled as she watched the four males climb out of the vehicles.
Decebel waved the Alphas from the three other packs over.
"Each of you take a vehicle and begin transporting your packs down to the village. See if you can find a place large enough for all of us – or a couple places, if that's the best we can do. Dillon you take a vehicle as well and get your pack down the mountain." The Hungarian and Bulgarian Alphas nodded and walked off, shouting orders to their packs, as Dillon began hollering orders to his pack.
Decebel turned to Sorin. "Get Vasile and Alina in the vehicle first. Then the females with one male. Have Dorin drive. The rest of the males will stay here with me and wait for their return."
"I'm on it." Sorin nodded and then turned to Skender. "Help me with Vasile and Alina. I'm not sure that they are quite ready to walk on their own. Don't assist Vasile unless absolutely necessary. He won't want to appear weak."
"I want to stay with Fane," Jacque told Decebel.
"With all due respect, Jacque, you do not outrank me yet," Decebel told her firmly.
Fane pulled Jacque to the side. "You must go, love. Take care of the females while my mother is weak."
Jacque pursed her lips together as her eyes narrowed. "If you let something happen to yourself I'm going to be pissed. Don't say I didn't warn you."
Fane smiled as he leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "I consider myself warned. Know that those feelings go both ways, Luna. Take care of yourself."
Jacque wrapped her arms around Fane's neck, pulling him tight. "I love you," she whispered in his mind.
"That's good to hear, because I plan to keep you around for quite some time," Fane teased, trying to keep the moment light.
Jacque stuck her tongue out at him as they separated. Fane winked at her, praying they would be safe as she headed toward the Hummer and climbed in behind Sally.
Decebel, Fane, and Costin watched as the four vehicles, packed beyond capacity, headed down the mountain.
Decebel felt a chill run through him as the temperature seemed to drop unnaturally. He glanced in the direction of the burning mansion. His brow furrowed as he remembered how he had watched the fire engulf and devour the structure.
Definitely not natural, he thought.
"Sorin." Decebel waved his pack mate over. "You're older than I am." Sorin nodded in agreement. "What do you know of dark magic?"
Sorin's face paled as he looked just to the right of his Beta's eyes, so not to challenge him.
"It comes from witches." Sorin voice was strained.
"I thought those were just tales," Decebel commented, remembering the stories other pack mates would share, like telling ghost stories only it was about witches who could curse you to have three eyeballs or no tongue.
"There is always some truth in fables," Sorin told him.
Costin and Fane were now listening intently.
"Why do you want to know about witches and dark magic?" Fane asked Decebel.
"There was something behind that fire. I could feel it, like oil running over my skin. It was greasy and thick."
Fane nodded. "I agree that something was in the air. Something evil."
"There hasn't been a documented witch in centuries." Sorin was shaking his head. "And even when there were witches, it was – is – forbidden for packs to employ them or seek out their help."
"Well, it's pretty obvious that Thad isn't really into obeying pack law. He did attempt to kill our Alpha and my mate, after all," Decebel ground out.
The wolves waiting for the vehicles to return huddled with their pack mates, seeking comfort from one another. Decebel felt the chill again. Something was wrong.
Something was coming.
"I want Vasile's spawn crushed into nothing." Thad paced in the woods a mile behind the burning mansion. "Just a pup and he's found his mate. I've been waiting centuries!"
Thad turned to look at the woman who was holding her hands toward the fire, muttering under her breath. Desdemona – or Mona, for short – was an extremely powerful witch. A witch that his pack had employed for several centuries. She was the epitome of evil. Even her name, meaning “of the devil”, testified to the darkness of her soul. Thad watched and waited as she continued to bring the mansion to the ground.
Suddenly she dropped her arms and turned to face him, piercing him with her eyes, one blue, one black – both filled with malice. She had long hair, black as night with one strip of white near her face. Aside from the freaky eyes, she was a beautiful woman – a beautiful woman who would cut your heart out and feed it to the wolves if you crossed her.
"I've told you before, Thad, I cannot kill from a distance without the lifeblood of the one you want dead." She sounded exasperated, as if talking to an annoying child.
"What can you do to him? Surely a witch four centuries old can do something," Thad taunted.
"Watch yourself, wolf," Mona hissed. "I work for you, but I will not be disrespected."
"My apologies." Thad bowed his head and knew his words and posture had placated her.
"So you're pissed because he has a mate at such a young age?" she asked.
"Pissed is putting it mildly. If you can't kill him, take her away from him."
Mona walked a slow circle around Thad, arms folded across her chest as she flipped through the curses in her mind. Thad watched as a grin – so wicked it could cause demons from hell to cower – spread across her evil, albeit beautiful, face.
"I have just the curse to take care of our little wolf pup." Mona rubbed her hands together as her eyes began to glow, " Nutrea uitat, cherished forgotten, a curse that will remove his treasured memories and return him to the worst day he's ever lived through."
"What if the worst day he's ever lived through was while he was with the half-breed?" Thad questioned.
"She is his most treasured memory. She will be wiped from his mind because she trumps everything. So with her gone, his mind will return to a time before he met his mate that was horrific for him," Mona explained, but the tone of her voice made it clear that she didn't like having to do it.
"Now, I need you to keep silent." She glared at Thad until he raised his arms in surrender and stepped back, leaning up against a tree.
Mona turned toward the mansion again and began to seek out the life forces of those near. She could feel a strong pull just beyond the mansion. The packs, she decided. They had run the opposite direction and were waiting. She smiled to herself. Witches had been wiped from the minds of the Canis lupis long ago. The wolves feared the magic and tried to ignore it, thinking it would just go away.
We are not so easily forgotten, she thought. I will remind you wolves who wields the power and to whom you should bow.
As she focused on the power of the wolves she began to chant.
"Earth, water, wind and fire,
Heed my words, fulfill my desire.
Find the one whose name is Fane,
Seek him out, make your claim.
Bind his memories, treasured few,
Take him back to feel the pain anew.
In his mind, mysteries uncovered,
Rip out the mate he has discovered.
Earth, water, wind and fire,
Hear me now, do as I desire."
Mona continued to focus, waiting for her spell to hit its target.
"Did it work?" Thad asked.
"Shh!" Mona growled. "I will feel it when it hits him."
Seconds ticked by. The wind began to pick up and Mona's hair started to whip around her face. Her eyes glowed and darkness seemed to wrap her in a cloak, caressing her, embracing her as a lover. She closed her eyes once more as a crash of thunder reached across the sky. Then she let out a skin-crawling growl.
"It didn't work? What happened? Speak, witch!" Thad snarled.
"His Beta protected him." Mona spoke through gritted teeth. "Somehow he heard the spell in the wind. He shouldn't have been able to."
"What are you going to do now? Can you send another spell to Fane?"
"Damn wolves." Mona turned on Thad. "There are laws that bind our magic. We can't just do whatever we want, wolf. The Beta has the curse. You said he was mated?"
"Yes, but I tried to have his mate killed. I don't know if she is indeed dead but I don't think so. From the way he spoke in those last few moments in the mansion, she was still alive but injured."
"So you want the Beta's mate dead as well? Damn wolf. Do you want all of their mates killed?"
Thad growled at her.
Mona shook her head. "Just hold on."
She began to think aloud, working through the possibilities. "So the Beta no longer remembers his mate. Right about now he should be awakening. He will remember the worst day of his life and will think that that day is today. I can't curse Fane since I started this one on the Beta. Damn the laws fate has bound me with. I could curse the Beta again to make sure his mate is never found..." She tapped her lip with her long fingernail. "Hmm. That has possibilities. If the Beta couldn't find his mate, the Alpha would assign his most trusted to the hunt. Then they would be exposed, vulnerable." Mona smiled and turned back to Thad. "The Beta will be the only wolf able to find his mate," she announced.
"How is that going to help?" Thad's brow furrowed.
"He won't remember who she is," she told him, waiting for him to get the obviousness of the situation.
"So?" Thad shrugged.
Mona groaned. "Are you kidding me? The universe wasted a perfectly good amount of energy on your life," she mumbled. "As her mate he would be able to use their bond to find her. If he doesn't remember her, he doesn't even remember her scent. Even if he can still hear her through the bond, he won't trust the voice. He doesn't know he's met his mate."
Thad made an “oh” motion with his mouth.
"We don't have to worry about the bond. Though I'm convinced they are mates, there were no mating signs," he told her.
"Excellent. So the only wolf who can find her can't remember her." Mona wiped her hands together as if to clean dirt off them. "That takes care of one mate."
"What of the others?" Thad asked.
"Vasile will have his most trusted wolves looking for the Beta's mate. That means they will be out from under the protection of the pack. Susceptible. It will give me time to work on some special spells for our little prince." She grinned wickedly.
Thad shivered. "You give me the creeps sometimes."
"That's too bad. I was going for warm fuzzies with all the cursing and killing." Mona waved him off. "Give me the name of the Beta and his mate and then be quiet."
"Decebel and Jen," Thad told her as he resumed his position against a tree.
Once again, Mona reached out for the life force. Specifically she sought out the one full of confusion. As soon as she felt him, his strife, confusion, pain, and anger rolled over her.
"There you are, little wolf," she muttered. Focused on the Beta, she began.
"Earth, water, wind and fire,
Heed me now, fulfill my desire.
Follow the curse given this day,
Continue to bind with what I say.
Decebel, Beta, Mate to Jen,
Though he is, strong as ten,
Unravel what their fate has wove,
Should he look for her he'll only rove.
No bond will master what I've wrought,
No mate he'll find if she's sought.
Earth, water, wind and fire,
Go now, fulfill my desire.”
Evil smiles stretched across Mona's and Thad's lips when moments later they heard a howl so full of pain it made the hairs on their arms stand up.