Teaser Tuesday! Opening Chapter of Crosscurrents (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 2)

Edits? Check.

Proofs? Check (but we’ll do them a few more times!)

Cover Art? In progress (super-excited to share!)

Giveaways and Swag? You betcha!

Crosscurrents (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 2) is coming in March! Here’s the opening chapter, which should give you a taste of what Rhinemaiden Ilsa and her hero, scientist Paul Pulaski, will be facing.

Hope you enjoy!

If you haven’t yet, grab a copy of Lorelei’s Lyric (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 1) to catch the adventures from the beginning.

***

Chapter 1

The earth shook.

Tremors rumbled from the center of the ancient riverbed to the shoreline and beyond.

Waves slammed against rock and assaulted treetops, the disturbance of water reverberating through sister elements of earth and air.

If fire showed up, the circle would be complete.

And…cue the lightning.

Energy swirled around, palpable enough to taste.

He was awake.

Her shaky legs ached from transformation, one she’d only recently mastered. No teacher, of course, because hybrids were largely left on their own. Few discovered what they were and why they were drawn to their element, and fewer still learned to commune with it, draw strength and power from it, and to serve it. Most didn’t.

She’d been lucky.

And a damned good thing, too.

The purebloods, so-called “guardians” of river and stream, had fled in terror at the first sign of the ancient one’s emergence. And mortals remained blissfully unaware.

For now.

What could have disturbed his slumber after so long? This particular presence had slept for nearly a thousand years, forgotten by all but the elders of nearly extinct tribes who had once shared his dominion. That was a time when people lived in harmony with the elements and worshiped their guardians. A time before science replaced myth and technology made reverence irrelevant. Inevitable, yet perhaps she could merge the two. Maybe that was her true purpose.

But she would need help.

An aftershock erupted in a small tsunami from The Suck. Apparently his long rest hadn’t improved the soul-sucker’s disposition. He would be hungry. And he would want his mate.

Definitely time to clear out.

She willed her body and mind to calm, no easy task with the elemental energy suffusing her. She’d known he was powerful, but knowing it and feeling it were two different things. Reason and logic were swept away, leaving wonder, trepidation, and that oh-so-human sensation of awe in their wake.

But she wasn’t completely human. The tremor running down her spine and through her legs proved it. It loosened flesh, blood, and bone. Searing pain followed by rending, fusion, and coalescence gave birth of a new form. She collapsed under the strain and used the last of her strength to guide her falling body to the river.

Water soothed flesh, bone, and spirit, allowing her to gauge the success of her latest transformation. A few fin flicks propelled her through the river. Yes, better this time, and faster! Complete on the first try. It would do nicely.

She tugged the waterproof bag secured to her waist open and yanked out a handful of tubes for collecting samples of enchanted water. Oh, she was a believer to be sure, with the zeal of a convert. Then again, today’s magic is tomorrow’s science. She’d test the samples later and see if there was a tangible way to track the giant when he moved.

He would move soon.

She stored the sample tubes back in the bag and sealed it tight. She could’ve used magic to whisk it away to safety along with her phone and clothing. That trick had taken hours of practice and patience, but those skills came in handy when shifting. She didn’t want to run the risk of losing the precious cargo, though. Plus, she needed samples from non-enchanted water as a control for comparison.

Talk about blending worlds.

Bag secured, she dove under and filled her gills and belly with the same element, memorizing its taste and signature so she could track it and follow his movements using less scientific methods. What she would do with the information, she couldn’t say. But having it would give her something to take to the purebloods if she found them.

No, not if. When. It had to be when.

Because this once-sleeping giant could and would destroy anything and everything in his path should his hungers go unsatisfied—and no creature mortal, immortal, or in between would be able to stop him.

 

***

Hope you enjoyed! More to come soon…

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