GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Exclusive Excerpt: Kestrel's Dance by Misty Massey + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Exclusive Excerpt: Kestrel's Dance by Misty Massey + giveaway

Kestrel's Dance
by Misty Massey
June 24, 2022
Kestrel, the pirate who can whistle up the wind, returns in book two of the Mad Kestrel Series. Captain Kes will defy the king, gamble with her friends' lives, and run the risk of capture by evil mages to get her hands on the magical knowledge so long denied to her.

Kestrel, the King's Privateer, is preparing to wait out the annual storm season when she receives an unexpected royal order to capture and deliver a rare creature for the king’s menagerie. Before she can weigh anchor, news reaches Kestrel of a long-ago friend in desperate need of help—in the opposite direction of her assigned voyage. In addition, her ship may be haunted by something big, loud, and terrifying.

Before Kestrel can plot a course, she crosses paths with an enigmatic dancer who offers an enticing bargain: sail her home to the Continent, an ocean away, and she'll reveal the mysteries of magic Kestrel has longed all her life to know.

The temptation of answers endangers her crew and might ruin her privateer status. Worse, taking on this passenger could thrust her into the clutches of the ever-watchful Danisoban mages who lie in wait for her to make the perfect mistake.

Every decision is fraught with danger. Each wrong turn may mean her death or the death of her crew. And Captain Kestrel can walk away from none of them.

Book 1

Exclusive Excerpt Four:
Shadd climbed up from the lower deck hatch. His shaggy hair was more disheveled than usual, soot stained his cheeks and his homespun tunic was hanging loose.
“What the hell’s happening?” she bellowed, not waiting for him to come any closer.
“I thought you said a storm’s comin’, but there ain’t no wind nor chop.” He shoved the ends of his tunic into his breeches.
“Gundeck secure?”
“As the Mayor of Pecheta’s strongbox, Captain, aye.”
The sudden moaning was long, and loud, an eerie wail raising gooseflesh on her arms. It shuddered up through the decks and vibrated her very bones. No way this was thunder. At the same instant, the ship’s timbers groaned in wooden agony. The Thanos began shaking. Mildly at first, increasing in intensity until the barrels tied to the mast rattled against the wooden deck. The ship tilted, and Kestrel skipped a few steps, fighting to maintain her balance. Oil splashed out of the lanterns on that side, throwing the deck into heavier shadow. She grabbed onto Shadd’s shirt, trying to keep from tumbling to the deck. Men in the rigging cried out at the unexpected lurch. The ship righted itself, and Kestrel let her quartermaster go.
“Earthquake?” she asked.
“At this depth?” He frowned, clearly puzzled. “Most we’d feel would be a heavier roll.”
“If that’s not it—” she stopped, confused. They stared at each other helplessly.
Deafening clanking exploded over the thunder. The capstan, the huge spool on which the messenger rope was wound, began to spin, slowly at first, then building up speed. It unwound its long rope, the anchor chain to which the rope was attached banging against the hull loud enough to be heard on deck. Two men were standing nearby, watching helplessly as the spokes shot past in a blur. The rope whined dangerously.
Kestrel took the ladder two steps at a time, sprinting across the deck toward the capstan. “Why’s it playing out so fast?” “Don’t know, Captain,” David DeadEye cried. “The bight slipped right off, and around she went.”
“Like a fish with a hook,” yelled Hudee.
Shadd caught up to her, panting. “What’s happenin’?”
“We have to stop the anchor!”

About the Author:
Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel, a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas, Kestrel’s Voyages, a collection of short stories featuring those rambunctious pirates, and the upcoming Kestrel’s Dance. She is a co-editor of The Weird Wild West and Lawless Lands: Tales of the Weird Frontier, and was a founding member of Magical Words. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and she’s working on a series of Shadow Council novellas for Falstaff Press featuring the famous gunslinger Doc Holliday. When she’s not writing, Misty studies and performs Middle Eastern dance and will, on occasion, surprise everyone with a batch of home-baked snickerdoodles. She’s a sucker for good sushi, African coffee, SC Gamecock football, and the darkest rum she can find. You can keep up with what Misty’s doing at, Facebook and Twitter.​


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