Unlock the Mystery of Rogue Ranger: Get the Story Now!
Today’s the day. I’m Robin, your temporary host and the third book in my series, Rogue Ranger, comes out today. It’s also my Scribe, Melinda’s, birthday.
I hope you’ll check Rogue Ranger out. My story takes some crazy bends as I run into fallen gods and grapple with the changing magic in the land, all the while searching for my daughter.
What’s Rogue Ranger about?
A mother's love knows no bounds, but the enchanted forest is unforgiving. There are three rules she can’t break—start no fires, carry no weapons, and do no harm—or die.
Robin must save her daughter while keeping the rules of the forest, despite being harried by shapeshifters who want something from her. With the help of a powerful mage and his enigmatic companion, they face tests that push them to the brink. But one of them is not who they seem.
Will they triumph over the forest's rules and the evil that seeks to destroy them, or succumb to its power and turn against each other? Dive into this epic fantasy adventure and find out!
Get Rogue Ranger now.
And now I need to return us to the night when I lost my daughter and our except from the first book in my series, Hunter’s Night. I know. I didn’t time this right, but it’s my first takeover in years. We’ll talk more about why that happened on Monday.
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by Melinda Kucsera
Chapter 1, part 3
Strella groaned and rolled onto her side, batting Robin’s hands away. How could anyone sleep through this? Strella must really be exhausted. “Then let Cat deal with it. It's her watch. Mine just ended,” Strella mumbled into her arm.
“Get up before you wake up as a shade in the Gray Between Life and Death.”
But Strella just snored. Damn her. All that hiking must have caught up with her.
Robin ducked, and a knife just missed her head. She grabbed the first thing that came to hand—a rucksack—and thrust it in front of her like a shield. Why had she sacrificed her knife earlier? Robin could just imagine the lecture her father would have given her if he’d been there. Stupid, stupid, she was better than this.
The Huntress slit the bag open, spilling woolen socks onto the canvas floor, but it stopped her next jab before that wicked blade could do more than graze Robin's red leather brigandine. Robin grabbed a relieved breath when the Huntress frowned.
“Having some trouble?” Robin asked when the Huntress couldn’t jiggle her blade free. Now, that was more like it. Robin smiled. The Huntress’ knife was caught on something inside the rucksack, so Robin shoved the sack at the Huntress’ face, and the back of the creature’s hand thwacked her pert little nose.
“You bitch,” seethed the now bleeding Huntress.
“Yeah, yeah, cry me a river. It’s just a little nosebleed.” And maybe a broken nose too, but Robin wasn’t sure about that since her opponent wasn't completely human.
Robin chucked another bag at the Huntress to keep her off balance. The bassinet was nowhere in sight, but Rosalie was here somewhere. She must be. The tent wasn’t that large. So why hadn’t she made so much as a peep since the fight had begun?
“Rosalie?” Panic bloomed in her chest, as Robin shoved another bag into the path of the lunging Huntress. It was half the size of a person and just as wide.
When the Huntress dodged it, her hooves caught on a tangle of wet clothes Strella must have stripped off after her watch, and that deer-woman went down. Good, maybe she'd stay tangled up for a little while.
Robin nudged her traveling companion again in passing. “Get up! Death's here for a dance, so let's give her one.”
But Strella didn’t rise from her blankets at that stirring speech, nor did the large lump under the blanket budge when Robin shoved her a third time. Where was Cat? Was she still fighting out there? How many more of these creeps were there?
In answer, the wind screamed through the mountain pass and pummeled the tent again, ripping one of the tent poles out of the ground. Robin wrestled with yards of unruly canvas as the tent suddenly embraced her. The Huntress crouched, making a smaller target for the wind-whipped canvas to strike until the wind calmed. When it did, the tent listed to one side. One more blow would knock it down then Rosalie would be unprotected from the elements.
The Huntress remained hunched and partially hidden by the sagging canvas. She withdrew a second knife from her sheath. Where was the first one?
“Nice knife. I'll take it from your cold dead fingers.” Robin shoved loose canvas out of her sightline.
“I’d love to see you try.” The Huntress extended a forked black tongue and licked her blade. The bloody thing had canine teeth running along its edge, and it looked as hungry for her blood as its wielder. Oh goody, not only would she die, but she might end up on the menu tonight.
“What the hell have I gotten myself into now?” Robin wondered aloud. She thought she’d left all her troubles behind when she’d lit out on the trail seeking a new life. Apparently not.
Cold seeped through Robin’s clothes as she fumbled through her gear for a weapon or something to throw. Anything would do. Her bow case would be great right now. It was wooden and as long as a quarterstaff. Where was it? Her numb fingers turned up baby paraphernalia but no bassinet, baby or bow case. Damn it. Where were they?
“Where’s my baby?” The question hung between them while Robin’s thoughts spun in a tight, terrified circle. She shut down that line of thought before panic turned her into a gibbering wreck and tossed three dirty diapers and a rattle in quick succession.
The Huntress dodged the cloth poo-bombs but caught the rattle and did a suggestive hip wiggle before pocketing it. She smirked at Robin, and her eyes glinted in the half-dark.
Robin swallowed, and fear burned all the way down to the worried fist clenched in her belly. “Where’s my daughter?”
A heavyweight slammed into Robin, knocking her down onto her belly as a new combatant barreled into the tent, collapsing it. A second and a third creature followed him, and several hooves stepped on her back before Robin could roll out of the way. Only the tough leather of her brigandine kept those hooves from biting into her flesh.
Pain lit Robin up, but it was a dull roar compared to the fear for her daughter squeezing her chest. Please don’t trample her. She’s just a baby. Robin tried to throw her arms over her head to shield it, but she was all tangled up in the tent canvas. Something hard collided with her head, and the world winnowed away as an ululating war cry rang out.
“Strella? Did you finally get up?” Robin tried to ask, but everything faded to black before she could get the words out. Forget me. Save my baby. Robin sent that wordless plea into the darkness to anyone who was listening. Then, she finally passed out.
Get Hunter’s Night, book 1 of the Robin of Larkspur series, on sale now for 99 cents.
That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next week with more!
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