Today we have a sneak peek from the new urban fantasy novel by Lynne Cantwell: Crosswind: Land, Sea, Sky Book 1.
Life on Earth is much improved since the pagan gods’ return. As conflict eases around the world, attention — and money — has turned to more humanitarian goals: improving the lives of the First Nations peoples and others who were repressed for thousands of years.
But the former ruling class – the military, religious, and corporate leaders who profited under the old system — are about to stage a last-ditch effort to bring their good times back.
The gods refuse to start a new war against those men, because that would make them no better than Their opponents. Instead, They have drafted three humans to help Them. Together, Tess, Sue and Darrell must find a way past their own flaws to ensure the gods’ peace will not be destroyed.
Here is an excerpt from Crosswind: Land, Sea, Sky Book 1 …
“Let me show you around,” Sue said to Darrell. “Tess, you don’t need to come along.”
Tess levered herself out of the chair. “No, I’d better. Otherwise I’ll be asleep in a minute.” She trailed them up the stairs.
Sue was motioning through the door of Ginger’s room like the eye candy on a game show. “This would be your room,” she said. “It’s small, but it might suit you better than it would suit one of us – guys usually have less stuff, don’t they?” She was smiling hopefully at Darrell as he ducked his head through the doorway. Tess hung back near the door to her own room.
“Did you say you have a basement?” he asked as he stepped back out.
“I did,” Sue said.
“I’d like to take a look at it.”
They all trooped through the townhouse and down the basement stairs. Tess stopped about halfway down and sank to a seat, leaning against the cinder block wall, while Darrell prowled around the gloomy space, dodging boxes, castoff furniture, and their makeshift closet for winter clothing.
Finally, he said, “I can make this work.”
Tess blinked and sat up straight. Sue said, “Wait a minute. You want to sleep down here?”
“But it’s gross,” she said. “It’s damp, and there are spider crickets and Goddess knows what else. And the windows leak when we get a lot of rain.”
Darrell had cracked a tiny smile – the first one Tess had seen on his face, she realized. “‘Goddess’?” he asked.
“Yes. I’m Wiccan. Is that a problem?” Sue said mildly, but Tess heard the edge.
“Not at all,” Darrell responded. “Would it be okay if I moved all of your stuff to the bottom of the stairs? Then I could put up a partition with a regular door in it. I’d make sure to leave common access to the hot water heater and electrical box in the back.”
“You’d have a huge space,” Tess said, thinking aloud. “Like a studio apartment, except you wouldn’t have a kitchen or a bathroom.”
“Exactly,” Darrell said. “I can shower at the gym at work, no problem. So all we would really be sharing is the kitchen and the half bath.”
Sue and Tess looked at each other. “Sounds like a great deal for all of us,” Sue said. “Welcome home, roomie.” She and Darrell shook hands, and they trooped back up to the kitchen.
There, Tess held out her hand to Darrell. As he took it, she had another of those weird visions. This time, it was a giant rabbit’s head superimposed over Darrell’s. It grinned and winked at her, just as Senator Holt’s apparition had. Tess blinked rapidly.
“Are you okay?” the rabbit asked.
“No,” Tess said. “No, I am definitely not okay. It’s been great to meet you and I’m glad this is going to work out for all of us. But I am so tired that I’m starting to hallucinate. If you’ll both excuse me, I’m going to bed.”
She could have sworn she heard the rabbit chuckling as she headed up the stairs. But what chilled her was the crow that cawed right along with him.