Author Hollis Shiloh specializes in sweet to low heat level M/M romances. She is published with Dreamspinner Press as well as indie pub. Check out more about her at her site or sign up for her mailing list.
Today, she offers a sample of her latest release THE MAGICIAN OF DUSTVILLE as well as a giveaway. Please leave a comment and an email ( ex. superhero at villianmail dot com ) and three winners will be chosen for a free copy.
Also available through Kindle Unlimited and paperback.
There! He pricked his fingers on something, and scrabbled for it. His hands were numb, and he could barely feel, but his magic wasn’t enough to get through the ropes, nor his strength or cleverness sufficient to twist or work his way free. Contorting his hands, he scrabbled with the sharp rock (or whatever it was — it felt more like a razor blade), hurting himself more than the rope. But desperation — and the nearing chug of the train — lent him determination, and he hacked away.
His hands were bleeding profusely when he got them free at last. He ignored the pain and got himself to his feet. Legs still bound, head still light, he wobbled, feeling queasy and weak. But he had a good view of the train again now; it was quite near. He flexed his arms a bit, and aimed his magic.
There was nothing else to do. He had to comply with them. He had to — and he did not wish to.
Crying a little, from rage as much as anything, half choked on dust and mucus and emotion, he stopped the train. It took a special sort of magical push, and he used all the skill he could access to do it gently, so he didn’t kill anyone.
Modern railways always had brakes on their engines that could not be affected by magic; it was a simple shielding procedure that had been developed early to prevent people from using magic to stop trains from a distance. So what ought to have been an easy task — turning a brake on from that distance — was instead a very difficult one: stopping an entire train.
Now John had only his partial magical strength and needed to use it on the train while it was chugging along at speed. He felt the great, inexorable weight of the train pushing against his weakened inner strength. It was certainly too much. But he could do it — he could. He could let the magic in the whole world flow through and into him.
He could be but a speck, a conductor, to let the magic of the world stop the train. It wasn’t his strength, it was the strength of everything, everywhere, the air that everyone was breathing and that the train was chugging in greedily to burn.
The chugging slowed, stopped. Panting, he came back to himself, to the tiny pinprick of a man on a hillside. He had seemed very small and far away there for a moment. It took him a minute to remember what was going on.
Now he saw them again — down by the train, little as toys, riding on those miniature horses, dwarfed by the train and by distance. He could never be as small as that, small though he might be. He reached down distantly and undid the ropes on his legs with a touch of magic. He began to walk, not taking his gaze off the men who were holding up the train.
What had they done with Henry? He wasn’t riding with them. It was both of the villains now with the lower halves of their faces concealed by bandanas, their guns firing in the air.
A frightened engineer had his hands up, was climbing down from the train.
“Oh dear,” said John. He began to walk faster.
But he had used the last of his strength to get the train stopped, and to get his ropes free, and to just move. He was losing all his strength now, and realizing that in a moment he would be useless. But with one last burst — if he could only — oh, Henry. He stumbled and fell, once, and got up again, knees bleeding. It was too hard. He couldn’t. He couldn’t.
Oh, Henry. Come back for me, to me! Henry!
copyright Hollis Shiloh, 2015.