Today’s Sneak Peek is an excerpt from The Care and Feeding of Griffins, the first book of my Lords of Arcadia series. The book follows Taryn MacTavish out of her ordinary life and into the world of Arcadia, a refuge of sorts for magical creatures, to raise a baby griffin. She’s made her new home in the Valley of Hoof and Horn and although she has not been made to feel terribly welcome, she’s decided to make the best of things and plant a garden. The excerpt is taken directly after she has finished this exhausting labor and collapsed for some much-needed rest, only to hear approaching footsteps…
* * *
Taryn forced her eyes open. At first, she saw only a black blur with the sun behind it. Then she sat up, struggling onto her elbows, and the intruder took shape.
It was a shape she knew at once, even though she’d never seen it except in bad illustrations. His chest was broad and powerful, with a thin coat of cocoa-brown fur smoothing the outline of his muscles into slabs of raw strength. His arms bulged comic-book style, his forearms rippling as he clenched and unclenched his massive hands on the haft of an equally-massive axe. His torso narrowed into naked loins; the brazen fact of his maleness was stamped from a human mold rather than beast, the only part of him below the waist that was. His legs were beast’s legs that led down to great, spreading, split hooves that were capped with sharpened, brass crescents. His neck was thick. It had to be, to support the bull’s head that grew there. His horns curved impressively wide and forward, made into lethal daggers with brass points.
Taryn found herself thinking very calmly of the Standing Stones where she had spent her first night. In specific, of the hoof print and the horns that had so attracted her. It hadn’t meant game at all, though, had it? It meant minotaur. Minotaur.
The bull’s mouth parted, issuing a voice as deep and cold and the mountain’s heart: “I want you gone from my valley.”
She stared at him and, stunned, heard herself say, “No.”
The minotaur lowered his horns. It was an impressively intimidating gesture, in spite of the fact that he’d have to be standing on his head to gore her as she lay strengthless on the ground. His eyes, oddly human and shockingly grey, narrowed to steely slits. “This is a grace I am giving you, human,” he told her darkly. “Get you gone and leave with your life.”