Spirit (Elemental #5)
by Shauna Granger Release Date: 04/30/13
About the Book
Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.
Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.
But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
In the distance, I heard something echoing my screams. I had a moment of panic and looked right and left, but the monstrous cries stopped. I held my breath to listen, not even daring to move. In the sudden quiet, the snuffling breath and breaking twigs behind me sounded like gunfire.
I was no longer alone.
My mouth was dry, and my hands were suddenly shaking. I dared not breathe for fear of giving myself away before I knew what the noisy thing was. Whatever it was, it was too close to be whatever had roared in the distance. Great, two things to worry about. Slowly, I inched around the tree, bracing myself with one hand, to try to see what was creeping up on me. I kept my face pressed against the smooth trunk, trying to keep myself as small as possible. Dead leaves crunched and twigs snapped as the thing made its way through the dark forest. It finally came around another group of trees, and by the weak moonlight, I made it out.
For one heart stopping moment, I thought it was the Hell Hound Ian had set on me so long ago, but this thing had thick, coarse fur, so white it nearly glowed. Its paws were as big as both my hands put together, shoulders as high as mine, and its tail swished back and forth, back and forth as it snuffled against the ground, looking for a scent to follow. I might’ve thought it was beautiful until he picked up his head and swung his face in my direction. It reminded me of a snow leopard after a bloody battle.
His black lips stretched wide over a mouth full of razor-like teeth, each one as long as my finger, and saliva foamed and dripped from the corners of his mouth. His eyes were black and beady, nearly lost in the ruff of fur around his squashed nose. His ears were flattened against his head as he galumphed through the trees, snuffling the ground. He got ever closer to me, and I knew my chances of escaping dwindled as I stood frozen in place. I chewed the inside of my cheek, trying to think of what to do. Yes, I could run, sure, but to where? The trees seemed to go on and on, and I had no idea where I was. I would’ve climbed a tree, but all of the branches were too high for me to reach, and the trunks were smooth in the winter hibernation.
Laying the flat of my hand against the tree, I tried to make contact with it, asking it to open up and take me in, to hide me from the monster. But the tree remained quiet and firm against my hand. I had hoped the pain returning meant I had some of my powers back, but if I couldn’t get a tree to hear me, then I definitely had no Earth powers here. I cursed silently before edging to stand up, keeping my body pressed tightly against the tree.
Risking another glance around the trunk, I saw the creature turn left, away from me, sniffling and snuffling as it went like a pig looking for truffles. Just as I was about to turn and sneak away, my foot slipped on some loose dirt, and the toe of my boot scraped against a root. In the quiet, it sounded absurdly loud, but not so loud as the beast’s surprised snort. Its ears shot straight up and turned toward the sound, toward me.
Our eyes met, mine round and unblinking, its narrowed and angry. It craned its head back, its neck lengthening as it did, and howled so long and loud that I cringed away. Before it dropped its head, I spun on the spot and ran.
Other Books In the Series
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Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.
1 – Signed Paperback of winner’s choice of books 1-5 in the Elemental series. (US only)
1 – e-book of winner’s choice of books 1-5 in the Elemental series. (INT)