Okay, enough with the sales pitch. Here's another free peek at Prisoner of Time. This is the start of Chapter 6:
One never forgets the memory of having their mind downloaded into a virtual system. The experience of being pure thought, then having your body reconstituted around your mind, and flying through the virtual ether toward a new reality seemingly as real as the one you just left; it was simply beyond anything imaginable.
Morgan found that the second time around it was no less amazing. If anything, the entire process was better, for he knew what to expect, and it didn't scare the heck out of him. He was able to enjoy the fantastic sensations all the way, until that sudden snap of reality hit him, and he found himself lying down on the floor of a mausoleum.
The first time he'd done this alone, but today he found a helpful hand reaching down to pick him up, though it caught him a little off-guard. The man staring down at him was hard to recognize in the regal wizard's robes, and his face was no longer as youthful as it had been a few hours before.
The young flesh of Alan Polansky was now replaced with more middle-aged features. The once charcoal hair was half gray, the bulbous forehead was more pronounced by a receding hairline, and there was extensive wrinkling at the temples.
"You sure got old quick," Morgan said, as Alan helped him to his feet.
"Oh, yes. I could never get used to being twenty five again, so I opted for fifty as a nice compromise. It beats being ninety, but still provides for some seniority."
Staring outside the mausoleum, Morgan saw a scene quite dissimilar from the one that had greeted him during his first visit to Fantasan. Instead of a sunny day with grassy hills, here there was a steady drizzle with ragged trees blocking distant views. It would be a wet walk to find shelter, but they couldn't linger in this access kiosk all day.
"All right!" a youthful cheer sounded.
Morgan turned around to see Baxter Redhawk dressed in glorious Ivanhoe armor. The medieval suit made the ranch hand hardly recognizable.
"Well, that's bound to be trouble," Alan said, examining the conspicuous youth.
"What do you mean? I'm a knight! Stand forth, knave, and deliver!" he said, drawing his long sword.
"Be careful with that thing, Baxter," Morgan warned, keeping his distance, fearful of losing an arm to the clumsy lad.
"I'll have you know I'm an expert swordsman," Baxter replied, waving his blade about to get the feel of it.
"That would be your first expertise," Morgan mentioned. "Come on, let's get out of here."
Stepping out into the rain, Morgan felt his leather boots sink half an inch into muck. The dirt surrounding the mausoleum was recently upturned, as if something had attempted to dig under the structure. Perhaps a wild animal seeking grubs, or some fortune-hunter dreaming of buried treasure.
Finding the chilly spring rain to be unpleasant, Alan decided to put a stop to it. Reaching up his arm and summoning the magic at his command, he attempted to activate a deflection screen over his body to prevent the moisture from touching his form. Strangely enough, a field did not appear, but there came a burst of flame that covered his body for a split second and set his hair on fire.
Morgan and Baxter stood in silent shock as Alan stomped around, smacking his hair with his damp palms, trying to snuff the flames. Before his flesh could be burned, the hair was extinguished, leaving black soot oozing down his forehead with the rain water.
"Why in God's name did you do that?" Morgan asked, trying to keep from laughing.
"I don't understand. That was a simple spell to deflect the rain. It should not have set me ablaze."
"Feeling a little rusty?" Morgan asked.
"Nonsense!" Alan snapped. "I am a master of the highest order. Such a mediocre spell is well within my abilities. Something is wrong here. Things do not feel right."
Also, if you've read Prisoner of Time already, be sure to post a review of it at Amazon.com. Thanks!