Veronica: From my visit last week to the blog of Jeffe Kennedy , my friend and an author of amazing fantasy romance (and other genres) herself, who hosted me on my blog tour for The Captive Shifter. I gave her an excerpt I haven’t shared anywhere else.
Reblogged from Jeffe’s page:
Jeffe: Hey everyone! I have a special treat for you today. No, not a new fantasy romance from me – though I’m working on it! But my good friend Veronica Scott has taken a break from her stellar science-fiction romances and brought a new fantasy romance into the world for our delighted consumption.
I’m happy to have her guest post here today. Take it away, Veronica!
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Thank you so much for having my as your guest today! And congratulations on the RWA RITA nomination for Pages of the Mind, one of my favorite books.
Before we get to the exclusive excerpt, a bit of background about my new release, The Captive Shifter (Magic of Claddare Book 1. This novel is my first foray into writing fantasy romance, featuring witches and shifters in an alternate world. I actually wrote the kernel of the story back in 2010, as my first attempt to sit down and seriously aim for publication, versus ‘just’ telling stories for myself and my family to enjoy. Along the way, I got sidetracked from this manuscript by a submission call from Carina Press for romances set in the ancient world and ended up publishing Priestess of the Nile with them. That book had paranormal and fantasy elements and sent me down a path of writing more stories in the Gods of Egypt series (no relation to the awesomely awful movie of the same name!). At the same time I self-published my first science fiction romance novel and really found a home in the SFR world. So much so I’ve concentrated primarily on that genre ever since, with a few forays to ancient Egypt along the way.
But The Captive Shifter was always there in the back of my mind because I really loved the characters, Kyler the leopard shifter and Caitlyn the witch. Periodically I’d return to working on the story and had sent it to my freelance editors, so by this year it was 90% ready to go. When my current SFR novel experienced schedule delays in editing, I thought this was my perfect moment to finish the final edits on Shifter, get a gorgeous cover from Fiona Jayde and see if readers might enjoy my venture into fantasy romance. I have all kinds of sequels lined up in my head, depending on whether there’s a demand from anyone other than myself to know more about the magical world of Claddare and its people.
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?
The excerpt – Cailyn’s first experience with how magic is practiced in the Witch Queen’s city and how Kyler the Shifter is required to lend his support to the spell casting. As a man, he lies drugged in the center of the altar sands:
The princesses began a new chant, slowly dancing around the altar counterclockwise. Power sparked and flared, spewing purple and red starbursts in the air. The apprentices sang a capella, weaving a counterpoint to the song. Caitlyn mouthed the words, not giving them voice, certainly adding no magic. Hot anger suffused her entire body, watching Kyler used as a source of power for the purposes of others. Her heart hammered in her chest so hard she was amazed no one heard the pounding….
Veronica: You’ll have to hop over to Jeffe’s page to read the rest of this exclusive excerpt, or of course you can buy the book, which is available now :).