Monday, March 20, 2017

The Bull Riding Witch Cover and Opening

The cover for The Bull Riding Witch is finally finished. Tell me below what you think.

Reminder, I am giving away two signed print copies and two ebooks of The Bull Riding Witch when it is released. I have added a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card. To enter the contest, subscribe to my newsletter (see the sidebar) or comment on any of the posts in my blog. Each comment equals one entry, and you can enter as many times as you like.

On Friday's blog, I discussed openings, so I thought I'd give you the opening of The Bull Riding Witch today.

I woke with my head pounding and my tongue coated with the fur balls of ten thousand cats. I nearly gagged at the stench that filled the air, a scent that combined the reek of inside of a knight’s armor after jousting with the odor of rotting flesh.

Confused, I examined my surroundings. Hung on the wall facing me was a portrait of a huge bull with its head down and its heels kicked high into the air. Incredibly, a man, hanging onto a rope with only one hand, sat on the bull’s back. Why would anyone ride a bull? Bulls were dangerous and impossible to control.

Piled high on the bedside table were plates covered with the remains of several meals, bowls with a few dregs of sour milk, and empty bottles. The sheet I lay on was stained with various substances I didn’t want to identify. Where was I? This was certainly no place worthy of me, the crown princess. Maybe I had somehow ended in the servants’ quarters, although I couldn’t imagine how.

I tried to sit up, and my head felt as if it were going to split in two. I groaned, and the sound was deep and masculine. What the . . .? I looked down at my arms. They were muscular and covered with hair. I grabbed my naked chest. My breasts were entirely flat, and my chest was covered with thick, coarse hair. When I rubbed my hand across my face, I felt thick stubble. I looked down at the short clothes, which were the only thing I was wearing; there was a bulge that just shouldn’t have been there. I lifted the waistband and peeked. Dear gods, how had I gotten one of those? I poked it with my finger, and it twitched. I snapped the waistband closed and jumped away, but I couldn’t get away from the body I was wearing.

My breath came in dizzying gasps, and my pulse raced. This was just a dream, I told myself. It couldn’t be real.

From the bed, I saw a small, closetlike room with a mirror on the wall. With my skull threatening to split apart, I stumbled out of bed and tripped over piles of dirty clothes that covered the floor. I pushed through them to the other room. In a mirror stained with water spots, a man stared back at me. Medium-height, broad shoulders, shoulder-length brown hair with brown eyes to match. A scar near the right eyebrow enhanced rather than detracted from the rugged good looks. It was a face that would have drawn a second glance even from a princess and one that would have sent my father calling for the guards.

But it wasn’t mine. I grabbed the filthy porcelain basin underneath the mirror. How had this happened? Had I gone mad? “Think, Daulphina,” I told myself. “There has to be a logical explanation.”

Tell me what you think. Have I followed my own rules?

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