Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at Nerdhuffing. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story. [indie-author-excerpt] There was nowhere to go. Steep cliffs on one side and rough terrain on the other blocked his escape. And the scent of tigers came from ahead. Je’Rol froze, scanning his surroundings for something to help him escape. Two tigers bore down on him from behind, their orange and black flashing with each swift stride, bodies elongating and condensing with the grace and prowess of demonlords. He leapt up the steep angle of the grassy incline next to him, but the demonlords were faster. Before he could gather his feet to launch himself farther, one of the tigers beat him to it. Snarling fangs threatened him from above with the body pressed close to the grass and rocks. He couldn’t fight on the incline. The other tiger crept up from below. The thunder of hooves slowed and splashed in water. The riders spread out along the low area little more than a wide trench through which the stream flowed. He was surrounded, and by the black and silver armor, he didn’t have much of a chance. The black-cloaked figure threw back its hood and he almost fell from his precarious position. Nadia stared up at him, the severe lines of her face cut the light into areas of shadow, carving out a woman’s face rather than the smooth roundness of the young girl from his past. The Nadia he had known was gone. “Come to me, Je’Rol.” She called, and his heart sought to obey. The tiger above him slid closer, kicking loose gravel onto him. Je’Rol snarled at them in a futile effort to frighten them off, but the tiger’s claws flexed, its ears pinned flat to its head and lips pulled back to bare sharp teeth. The beast took the challenge, growling in defiance. No. Nadia called him. “Je’Rol.” He turned to face her. She sat astride her horse below, dressed in the black of a demon hunter. No. He couldn’t obey, the beast insisted on fighting, yet each second also tempered its defiance. A clatter of rocks rained upon him, drawing his attention to the tiger sliding towards him. Voices whispered below, but his eyes focused on the threat above. The pull of Nadia’s presence quelled the beast’s determination in the face of the tiger— Until an arrow sank its biting pain deep into his sore thigh. He whirled and lost his security on the grassy tufts. In a blink, he rolled down the steep incline and knocked against the other tiger. Teeth clamped around his upper arm. “Give up, Je’Rol, and she won’t hurt you.” Nadia spoke in a soothing but commanding voice. He would not give up. He would not return to Je’Rekun. And he would not face Nadia the demon hunter. The beast growled for escape, clawing at the tiger holding him. She bit harder but not to make him bleed, and the beast struggled against his control and Nadia’s dispirit. His claws extended, and with his free hand, he swiped at the tiger’s face. She howled, releasing her grip, and he kicked away to roll past her to the feet of the horses shying back. As he reached the bottom, he untangled from the cloak wrapped around him. The other tiger jumped mid-slide, but he was too late to avoid being knocked back into the water. He opened his mouth to gasp but choked on the frigid water. Panic swept over him to breathe. In that moment, the beast ripped free of his control.
About the Author
Follow M.A. Nilles around the web: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook
M. A. Nilles is the darker side of Melanie Nilles. She currently resides in central North Dakota with her family, cats, and her horse. Her published works under the name Melanie Nilles include the Starfire Angels series and Adronis series. Her works as M. A. Nilles include the Legend of the White Dragon epic and Demon Age series, including Tiger Born. More can be found at www.melanienilles.com.
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