Jaxx Steele back again, this time to share my shifter story with you, Marked for Life. I always loved reading shifter books. I didn’t really have a preference, wolf, some kind of cat or whatever, I liked them all and one day wanted to do one of my own.
This book was actually on my to-do list since I had my first book published back in 06. I didn’t finish it, however, until late 2010. I just couldn’t get my wolves right. I wanted the fight scene to be realistic for animals, but to reflect that they were sentient being as well and not just beast. Then, of course, other books got in the way. LOL Marked for Life is my only shifter published though I have another on my WIP. Seeing how it took 5 years to write this one to completion I can’t begin to predict when that one will get done. Here’s a peek at Marked for Life.
The disdain in Raymond's words and the slight adjustment to his posture told Mark he was preparing to attack. Mark morphed swiftly into his wolf form just as the sandy wolf appeared. The beast launched himself into the air and collided with its ebony counterpart. They dropped hard to the ground, ripping and tearing at each other. Black and tan fur filled the air around them as they continued to fight. The lighter wolf took first bite, snapping the front leg of the darker wolf who let loose a high-pitched yelp. Although he faltered from the wound, Mark retaliated with his own bite, tearing away part of the other wolf's ear. Together the wolves stood staring at one another, drool dripping from their fangs as they growled at one another. Slowly, they walked in a circle, eyeing each other, preparing for the next attack.
It came fast, with Mark taking first bite. He landed on his enemy's back and bit down on his shoulder, causing the pale wolf to yowl in pain. He planted his claws into the dirt and bucked his abuser forward, catapulting his opponent and causing him to crash-land on his back. Before Mark could right himself, Raymond was on him, snapping and snarling. Mark clawed and bit at Raymond's front legs and chest, striking back until he managed to return to his feet. Once he was upright the fight resumed. Simultaneously, they snapped at each other's face, their heads connecting in a loud thud. Mark shook off the dazed sensation first and caught Raymond's paw in his mouth, the maneuver crippling his assailant who fell over, writhing in pain. Battered, bleeding, and hobbling, the two wolves gathered their wits and returned to their circular motion to catch their breath and ready themselves again.
Why do you fight to protect this human, Mark? Raymond sent into his mind. What is he to you?
That is not your concern, betrayer.
Betrayer? Oh, brother, why do you use such harsh words toward me?
You are not my brother.
Yes, I guess that is true, since you are no longer a member of the pack. But as you know, Mark, I still am. If you pledge your allegiance to me I may find it in my heart to speak to the counsel in your behalf.
Mark dismissed Raymond's words, knowing they were hollow and untrustworthy. The fear inside him almost choked him, but he knew Raymond would not beat him as easily as before. The knowledge confused and scared him, but it also gave Mark strength.
I can help you return home to where you belong, Raymond continued with false reassurance. The leader ages more every day. I will take his place as chief sooner rather than later.
You are unworthy to lead our people! The hatred Mark felt blasted forward in the words he sent. You disregard our laws as if you have the right. Not only have you killed one of your own to advance your station, these humans were not the first you have murdered for sport, Mark declared with a snarl.
Mark ran forward, crashing into Raymond who staggered backwards and lost his footing. Mark took advantage of his stumble and pounced. This time he found the soft spot on his throat and prepared to bite down.
It was not Raymond's plea but another voice that pierced Mark's mind. The familiar sensation shocked him. He paused, turning his head in the direction he sensed it coming from. From behind a tree in the distance he saw the sprite who had saved him so long ago.
Release him, Mark. It is not time for him to die.
Mark was stunned. What? He must be stopped, he protested.
And he will be. Trust me. Do as I say. Release him.
Reluctantly Mark opened his mouth and dropped his brother. Raymond scurried away from him to his feet. He looked at Mark with shock in his wild yellow eyes. Death awaited him with Mark's next bite and they both knew it. Mark turned away from him and Raymond took off into the forest as fast as his wounds would allow. The black wolf sat down, exhausted.
Buy Marked for Life at Silver Publishing
Thanks for having me back, Carson!