Sunday, May 10, 2015

Excerpt from SOULS OF THE NEVER by CJ Rutherford

Excerpt from SOULS OF THE NEVER by CJ Rutherford
Book Description

Publication Date: September 8, 2014

Dreams are just dreams, aren't they?

At the edge of the universe, an ancient evil dreams. Visions of of conquest fill his mind. Magic, the source of his power, has lain hidden behind the Veil for thousands of years, but the spell is failing. He stirs in his sleep as his hunger awakens him.

On the planet Sanctuary, Derren dreams. he’s seen the same visage, every night for decades. His soul cries out to her, because he has loved her forever.

In Belfast, 20-year-old Katheryne dreams. Her dreams are killing her. A Beast wants into this world, and she is the conduit.

Dreams are just dreams, aren't they? Think again!
Souls of the Never is book one of The Tales of the Neverwar series. A blend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance, it’s the first in a dark trilogy, perfect for new adult readers.

C J Rutherford

Excerpt from Chapter 15

Katheryne and Derren walked together, their feet sweeping through the fine sand on the beach as the waves crashed in breakers a short distance away.
Both hearts ached to take the other’s hand, to somehow affirm their love, but neither of them was quite ready to totally offer themselves up. 

They were in no doubt that would eventually happen, but as Katheryne consciously thought, I’m not that kind of girl, she knew what she felt for Derren was real. And she knew not being that kind of girl wouldn’t matter a damn. 

Her whole body tingled in his presence. When the initial shock of his arrival had dispersed, and he and Krista tried to explain what was happening, all she’d been able to do was look at him. 

And she knew from the constant sarcastic remarks coming from his sister, that Derren’s behaviour was a mirror of her own. 

Katheryne looked around. The Island was clear now. Derren had tuned the flames out fully, so this whole bay area was back to its pristine natural beauty. She took it in, drinking in the smells and sounds, feeling a sense of satisfaction. This oasis of safe haven was her creation. 

As she stopped and turned around, several of her friends waved across at her and she waved back. Katheryne vaguely remembered listening as Derren had explained how he protected them from the flames. At the time she’d been too busy watching his mouth move to pay attention. She giggled inside. They had time. She’d ask him again, later. 

One thing did bother her though. Walking a short distance inland to the fringe of the jungle, Katheryne sat on a fallen palm trunk. Derren followed her and stood, his impossible eyes gazing down into hers. Their intensity was almost too great to withstand, but she suffered the attention gladly as they pierced her heart and soul. 

“Sit,” she said, smiling as she patted the trunk beside her. 

Derren gave that lopsided grin again, causing a flutter to travel through her whole body. 

“You do realise we’ve been walking for over an hour in silence, and the first word you say to me is, ‘Sit’.” He was beaming now, perfect teeth behind his perfect lips. “Most people might see this as an anti-climax.” He chuckled, the sound musical as he took his assigned position on the trunk beside a very flustered Katheryne. 

“I think it’s safe to say we’re not ‘most people’,” she agreed, her own smile having a similar effect on Derren as he flushed visibly. 

“I think that’s a safe enough bet.” He looked straight into her eyes and Katheryne saw the desire simmering barely below the surface of his expression. “But you wanted to ask me something.” 

Katheryne’s eye widened, but she wasn’t shocked at his ability to read her thoughts. They’d walked for an hour in silence because neither of them had felt the need to talk, as if simply being with each other fulfilled their every need. 

Katheryne had to break eye contact at this point. She was having trouble concentrating. Both she and Derren were stuck in a feedback loop of mutual denial, restraint, and inevitable destiny. 

“I wanted to ask you what makes me so special,” she said, looking up again. “You told us last night about visiting all those other realities. Surely you must have met other ‘me’s’. What makes me so different from them?” 

The reaction from Derren when she’d finished the last sentence was totally unexpected. 

He stood up and took her hands, pulling her up into his arms. He kissed her. Before Katheryne could catch a breath she was kissing him back, tenderly but with an urgency born of unendurable restraint and separation. 

There was an eternity of love and passion in that kiss, and their souls joined in exultation and bliss. Katheryne’s heart pounded in her chest, threatening to burst, and as their bodies touched she felt his, beating in unison with hers. 

Everything external ceased to exist as they clung desperately to each other. 

They separated slowly and reluctantly, breathless but ecstatic. 

“That’s not an answer, you know,” she gasped, “but I’ll let you off with it...this time.” 

Derren blushed. He seemed embarrassed but completely pleased with himself as his grin lit his face. 

“I didn’t think you’d believe me if I just told you, so I thought showing you may have been a better way of...convincing you,” he breathed. “I’ve never felt this before, Katheryne. I wanted to, but it just wasn’t there.” 

She backed off a little. “What do you mean? What wasn’t there?” 

Derren looked deep into her eyes as he spoke.
“Part of our mission, mine and Krista’s along with the other Liberi, is to find the Foundation.” 

“The Foundation? What is that, a stone or something?” 

Derren chuckled. “No. It’s a person, one who is supposed to save us all from Tenybris. I never knew who it was at the start, when I first began to search for it, but somehow I was certain I would be the one to find it. To find you, Katheryne.” 

“Me?” Katheryne gaped. She pushed away, her palms facing Derren. “You must have me mixed up with someone else. I mean, I’m just…ordinary. I’m just…me.” 

She blurted the last word out, but Derren simply smiled as he swept his arm out, indicating their current surroundings. 

“How do you explain this place, then?” he asked. “This might be beyond someone ‘ordinary’, don’t you think?” 

Katheryne was spooked, but Derren held his hand out to her. 

“I will never hurt you, Katheryne,” he said with an integrity and intensity which banished her doubts and fears. Katheryne took his hand and allowed him to draw her into his arms again. She pressed hard against him, savouring the feeling of safety he provided. 

“There is another reason I knew, however, I must say the kiss was...nice.” The mischievous grin on his face caused her to flush. 

Katheryne knew he was teasing her...Nice! Explosions were still echoing in her chest and all he had to say was Nice? 

He’ll pay for that later, she thought, and a part of her wondered what she meant, before surprising herself by the answer. A heat grew within her, almost overcoming her self-control, but for now she was intrigued by what he’d just said. 

“So, are you going to explain?” asked Katheryne, as she ran her hand over his chest, feeling the irresistible beating of the heart beneath, “or are you expecting something else...nice, as an incentive?” She, too, smiled wickedly. 

Derren flushed. He hardly knew anything about this girl, but the depth of the feelings coursing between them prevented any doubt about their future. All he wanted, all he needed, was to kiss those perfect lips again and never stop. 

It was an exercise in iron will as he forced himself to take one of his hands from around Katheryne and reach inside his shirt, drawing out a folded square of paper. He gave it to her. “Open it,” he said, smiling enigmatically. 

As she took it and began to unfold the page, an image started to appear. And as she looked on the unfinished picture it seemed to complete itself, drawing her in as the face fully formed. She immediately recognised her own features looking back at her, but as she watched, it was like it came to life, emotions flooding out at her. She could feel the love she felt for Derren, the restrained desire, and the complete and utter trust in him. The picture was her; there was no mistake. 

“I’ve been searching for the one true Foundation for years, Katheryne.” Derren said as a tear rolled down his cheek. “In every reality I visited, I was drawn to you. And every time I met them it felt…wrong.” 

He took the hand holding the drawing. “I never felt this! It was like the others were poor copies of the original.” He released her, needing her to make the final decision. Only she could accept who, and what, she was. 

Katheryne’s head was reeling, confusion conflicting with joy. And as the need inside her erupted in heat and necessity, tears fell warmly onto her cheeks.
She looked at Derren. “How?” was all she managed before he swept her into his arms, kissing her again as if they had just reunited after an age apart. Their bodies responded as the desire overcame any restraint they possessed. 

As they parted briefly Katheryne asked something which suddenly became very important to her. “How long? How long have you been searching for me?” 

“Forever,” gasped Derren, “I’ve been looking for you forever.” His body shook in anticipation as they melted into each other’s souls.

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