Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)
In late March I published a paranormal fantasy romance The Captive Shifter, but since I was in the midst of excerpting my scifi romance at the time, I didn’t share from Shifter.
Kyler, the leopard shifter, has been used as a source of magic in a major spellcasting and isn’t recovering well. Caitlyn, the heroine, goes to the kitchen to see what can be done about his diet at least and speaks to Nadelma the Cook.
The occasions were so rare nowadays when Nadelma deigned to cook that the kitchen staff gathered to spectate. The cook was clearly enjoying the sensation she created as she prepared multiple dishes to a chorus of appreciative murmurs, moving from one stove to the next and back, adding a spice here, checking the flavor there. She deftly plated her offering to a chorus of laudatory oohs and aahs. Caitlyn pushed away the remnants of her meal, curious to survey the tray for herself.
“If I hadn’t just eaten, I’d be challenging Kyler for this, ma’am,” she said truthfully. Nadelma had prepared a breakfast to tempt the palate of the hungriest carnivore. The offering included a rare steak, an omelet bursting with cheese, crisp bacon piled high, country potatoes and freshly baked bread for dunking in steaming fish chowder.
“One thing missing,” Nadelma pointed at the nearest kitchen maid, “Fetch me a glass of the fresh milk.”
“Milk?” Caitlyn laughed,. “For Kyler? He’s a grown man, not a boy.”
Nadelma winked at her, “He once told me he runs as a cat. Or am I wrong?”
Concealing her own considerable magical powers, Caitlyn enters the service of the northern Witch Queen masquerading as a simple healer. Under order from her goddess, she’s searching for a magical gem stolen long ago from her own people, believed to be hidden in the massive castle. The task is daunting but Caitlyn is sure she can locate the gem and escape, bringing the prize back to the temple where it belongs. Until she meets the captive shifter and her loyalties become dangerously divided.
In payment for her past services to his people, Kyler the leopard shifter has entered into a life of servitude far from his forest home, allowing the Witch Queen to tap his magic to power her ever darker spells. Factions at Court are threatening to turn the Queen to the Shadow. Her increasing demands for magic will cut short his nearly immortal lifespan. Kyler’s resigned to his fate until the day he crosses paths with the new arrival, whose secrets and magic entice and attract both man and leopard. Has he met his mate at last?
The Queen will never willingly release him from captivity. Caitlyn’s goddess refuses to grant her any delay in accomplishing her own task. Can they locate the magical gem, fight the Shadow and win free of the Witch Queen to earn the right to be together?