Winter’s Trial excerpt

Well, here is a snippet from my upcoming novel, Winter’s Trial by Darren Endymion, released through Torquere on August 21st. I suppose I’m late in the marketing game, but as discussed previously, I am seriously terrible at that.

This is the scene where my two protagonists, Cristiano and Austin meet for the first time. As werewolf True Mates (soul mates, more than the typical Chosen Mates, divinely linked), their meeting is something strong and life altering.

Well, the excerpt is long enough (and the indents refused to work consistently), so here it goes (hope you like it):


As the official claimed that he had business to attend to, and the other members of the local architectural firm had left as well, Cris continued to talk with Mrs. Hill. She led him back to the front desk, leveling with him about what she wanted and what she could spend.

They were laughing together in quiet library whispers when Mrs. Hill raised her hand and positively beamed as Cris heard the library’s glass doors open behind him.

Cris’ senses exploded.


      Austin got out of his car and shut the door, unable to stop the nervous growling in his stomach. He wasn’t hungry, but he was… excited? Nervous? Yes, both. But more. His insides seemed to be boiling with anticipation. He seemed alive, the pale white of the world outside seemed too bright, too full of life.

He giggled and peered through the glass door to the library, noting Mrs. Hill talking to a tall, broad-shouldered man with dark skin and neat, slicked back ebony hair. She waved at Austin and he raised a hand to wave at her as he pushed open the door.

Then his world came together with an almost audible click.


      Austin Holcomb’s nostrils flared, the hair on the back of his neck stood up, and his eyes shifted back and forth from lupine to human.

Cristiano Raposo winced as if in pain, his hands clenching into fists. He leaned forward and turned, as though he had been hit in the stomach.

Their senses reached out, like gentle, smoky hands, and came together in a sweep of ecstasy, pleasure, and longing. They knew each other in that moment. Part of each of them knew it before their minds knew that they had come together. Their souls meshed from across a barren library lobby, and the True Mates looked into each other’s eyes for the first time.

Austin looked up and gasped. There before him stood a gorgeous man, 6’2″, dark black hair, deep brown eyes, thick red lips, a slight goatee, broad through the chest and trim in the waist. The light blue sweater he wore dipped down into a V neck that showed just the barest bit of short chest hair and was pulled tight around a body that made Austin suck in his breath.

Cristiano gazed into green eyes that were a deep, gorgeous shade of emerald. When he could look away for even a second from those eyes that Called him even now, even this close, he gasped. His mate was beautiful. He was 5’8″, his buzzed brownish red hair stood out in perfect contrast to pale, smooth skin. His lips were not as full as Cris’ but they were shaped in a downward bow, as though just managing to suppress impish thoughts and comments.

They felt the other in a way they never would again, though they would often come close. They knew each other. Memories and quirks and feelings shuttled from one to the other in a swell of empathy and desire and need. They became one being, their thoughts and memories whirling across the small space between them. No longer separate people but one throbbing soul, an aching hole between them that only closeness and the weighty task of getting to know each other could fill.

Cris thought about kissing those lips and stroking the delicate, pale face, even as Austin thought how it would feel to press up against this man’s chest, to feel those powerful arms around him, stroking the small of his back.

And there was more. Their memories flashed out at each other in globs of empathy, visions of things past, like one being thinking of how it came to that place, how it suddenly became whole. Memories of…

      …summers in Brazil, sunning on the beach, digging his feet into the sand, thinking of the time when he would meet his True Mate…

      …jumping through the snow in a Minnesota winter with the Matriarch and the Alpha, young and just his third time as a wolf, thinking that the only thing that could be better would be to have his True Mate at his side. Before things got bad…

      …watching his video, loaded into his suitcase back at the hotel even now, and hoping his mate would be fair and have blond or auburn hair. Looking at his own dark hair, dark features and wondering what his skin would look like next to his mate’s…

Time and space were meaningless as shards of memory stabbed and shone and healed. Things sped up, memories flashing across the void in rapid succession, like twinkling flecks of light in the dark, running over and through each other, separate, confusing, and perfect.

But there were horrors, too.

      …broken leg in the jungle before he had Changed…

      …tumble from a rooftop before he had Changed and been banished…

      …fight with his brother, the worst ever, and the split lip he had given him, the smell of blood, and the instant remorse…

      …wandering through the snow, weeping, alone, frightened, and betrayed…

      …leaving his father, his mother, his pack, leaving everything for a job and for the reality that lay behind it, but most of all leaving his younger brother, his best friend, and how much he missed him already…

      …his mother and father turning away from him, scared hurt in her eyes, and scorn in his, the rocks thrown by his former friends, the growl coming from deep in the throats of those he had once cared for…

And then there was greatness.

      …becoming a lab technician, testing his theories about the wolf blood, about the healing properties of it, and being right…

      …getting accepted to school, passing the tests, getting his architect license…

       …the love of the Matriarch, the slight support of the Alpha, and the acceptance of a small child…

       …the Sage and his Alpha and his brother, all wishing and…

      …not comparing to what he had…

      …knowing that his life had led up to…



~ by Darren Endymion on August 13, 2013.

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