The Uncommon Rider eBook Cover


It’s Snippet Time for The Uncommon Rider!


The release date is getting closer and closer for The Uncommon Rider! I’m getting so excited to start this series! Come on, already! At least we have another snippet today to help keep the excitement at bay for another day.


Chapter Four

In his lifetime, Hiker had lost many, but no one like the person he was approaching. Adam and he had spent several hundred years together passing time. Waiting to be needed again. Arguing about what needed to be done in the meantime.

There was no one who got under Hiker’s skin like the man he was rushing towards. And no one he loved more who still breathed on this Earth, besides Bell, of course.

At the Barrier, Hiker paused, realizing it had been a long time since he’d left the Gullington. He’d portaled out recently, but only briefly and that was different than actually crossing the border.

From his place on the slick grass, he could see Adam and Kay-Rye sprawled out roughly one-hundred yards away. They had made it so close to safety, and yet, close was the difference between life and death.

The guys halted at Hiker’s back, probably sensing his trepidation. Evan hadn’t crossed the Barrier in quite some time. For the others, it had been more than a lifetime. There was simply no reason to leave anymore.

He turned, wishing he’d taken the time to get his dragon—Bell. She couldn’t do anything, but it would have made the next part easier.

“Brothers,” Hiker began, his gaze falling on Evan and then Mahkah and Wilder’s faces. Like Hiker, they were much older than most magicians, having the longevity of their dragons, but it didn’t show. Mahkah and Wilder appeared to be in their early twenties even though they’d both spent over two centuries on this Earth. Evan was still a baby by dragon rider’s standards at just over a hundred years old, but he at least appeared mature enough to drink a beer in a pub. Not that he’d ever been given the chance to do so.

“We don’t know what’s out there,” Hiker continued. “Whatever took Adam down, could still be on the prowl. Stay vigilant. And at the first sign of danger, call your dragon. Otherwise, simply show your respect.”

“Is he dead?” Mahkah asked, stepping forward, his long black hair falling out of his ponytail and into his face.

One of the hardest things Hiker had to do in long time was nod to that question. If the Elite Globe had indicated it, then Adam wasn’t even holding on by a breath. It was too late for goodbyes. It was too late for anything but a burial of the greatest rider and dragon who Hiker had known in many centuries.

Adam should have been the leader of the Elite. He and Hiker both knew it.  He was older. More experienced. Magnetized to the larger, more dangerous dragon—Kay-Rye. But the thing about Adam was that he never wanted the role. He preferred the fight rather than to lead. He craved the hunt over determining the strategy. Adam liked detective work without all the responsibility that went with looking after the others. He loved the resolutions that only a dragon rider could bring to any dispute… or he used to.

Hiker was the one who wanted to lead. He always had felt more protective of the others. And so he became the one who led them. Even when there was nothing to lead them toward except for another day of monotony.

Taking in an unfulfilling breath, Hiker pulled his sword and swung around, stalking out past the Barrier. The air on the other side of the invisible wall was different. Colder. Laced with strange smells, reeking of the modern world.

Hiker held his breath as he strode for the bodies laid out on the other side of the field. The dragon and rider had crashed, the heavy beast landing on top of Adam, crushing him. However, the expression on his dead friend’s face, wasn’t one of anguish. Hiker could tell that Adam had died staring into the eyes of his best friend, by the angle of their heads. And he also knew that something dangerous had attacked them based on the scorched marks along their flesh.

He breathed through his mouth, not wanting to remember this moment punctuated by the smell of burned skin, hair and leather.

The guys spread out behind him, each of their weapons held at the ready as they side stepped around the dragon and rider.

Damn it, Adam, why couldn’t you leave things alone, Hiker wondered, studying the many wounds marking their bodies.

“I don’t think there’s anything out here,” Wilder said, his eyes scanning. “Whatever it was is gone.”

Hiker nodded. “They were on their way home when something attacked them, I’m guessing.”

“But what?” Mahkah asked.

The leader of the Dragon Elite looked out at the darkening mountains. “It’s hard to tell. The world out there isn’t the same one any of us knew. That’s one reason we aren’t to return to it yet. We need time. The world needs time to adjust.”

The men all nodded, having heard this argument from Hiker many times, especially in the evening when Adam challenged him over drinks.

“It could have been an accident,” Evan reasoned.

“Maybe,” Hiker said, narrowing his eyes at a brighter spot in the sky between two ridges far in the distance.

“Simi and I can do a patrol,” Wilder offered.

“No,” Hiker said at once, swinging around to face his men. “Adam had been looking for trouble lately. It appears that he found it. I won’t have any of you risking your lives tonight. This only proves what I’ve believed since mortals awoke, seeing magic again. If we are to take back our roles, then first we will have to understand how the world has changed. We can’t simply rush out there or we will get ourselves killed. Mortals, and magical races who have long believed we were dead or knew nothing about us in the first place, will be frightened when we make an appearance. I don’t know what attacked Adam and Kay-Rye, but I can assure it was something that felt threatened by them.”

“And something of great power,” Mahkah observed, his eyes running over the large black dragon who was at least thirty-feet long.

“Rest assured, I will give this matter my full attention, determining exactly what we need to prepare ourselves for when we do finally venture out into the world,” Hiker stated with confidence, trying to hold together his tough exterior as the full implications of his friend’s death sunk in.

“But not yet, right?” Evan asked.

Hiker shook his head. “No, we’re not ready. The world isn’t.”

He waved the men toward the Gullington. “Go back now. Send Quiet to help me. Tomorrow morning we will hold a memorial for our brother.”

The men all nodded, each reluctantly turning their backs, heading for the castle, which wasn’t visible from that side of the Barrier.

When the riders had disappeared, Hiker turned his attention to Adam and Kay-Rye’s bodies. He would only have a few minutes before Quiet, the groundskeeper, showed up to help. He really hadn’t needed the gnome’s help, but rather some time alone. Not to grieve though. That would come later. Hiker needed answers. He needed information.

Waving his hand at the bodies, he muttered a spell he hadn’t used in a very long time. Like riding a dragon, the magic came back to him. Both lived in his bones.

The area around Adam and his dragon sparkled with light that rose a few feet off the ground and began to trail in the opposite direction of the Gullington. Hiker followed it with his eyes until it disappeared behind the mountain ridges.

He lifted his hand into the air, letting out a low-pitch whistle that only his Bell would hear. Within a minute the red dragon soared from the Cave, in his direction. Her majestic wings cut through the air, making fast progress as she approached. Just seeing her, made Hiker feel better.

She had no issues passing through the Barrier, although it had been a long time for her, as well.

Her face turned to the side as she landed, looking over the bodies lying at Hiker’s feet. She didn’t show any emotions in her green eyes, but just blinked, following the track of sparkly dust that trailed in the opposite direction.

“Whatever attacked them is over there, isn’t it?” Hiker’s dragon asked.

He nodded, pulling himself onto her back without difficulty even though she wasn’t suited up for a ride with a saddle and reigns. “Yes, and you know what we have to do with what we find, right?”

The dragon’s gaze returned to the bodies lying in the grass that was quickly growing stiff with frost. “Of course. And tomorrow…?”

“Tomorrow we will grieve, Bell,” Hiker stated, holding onto the dragon. “Tonight, we find out what killed our dear friends.”


Want to know what happens to Hiker? Come back on Thursday to get the next snippet! Or you could pre-order the book now and it will show up in your eReader on November 8th, Probably before you even wake up!

The uncommon rider banner