He Runs As a Cat Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’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?”

captive shifterThe story:

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?

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Weekend Writing Warriors Talk to the Shifters

better wewriwaContinuing on with my unedited Shifter and Girl-With-A-Secret WIP, Caitlyn draws the visiting band of shifters from the North into an empty room, as they mustn’t be seen talking together. She demands once again to know if they’ve come about Kyle. The leader of the shifters is answering her:

“Yes, we’ve come to this place for the third time in as many years, with the same bitter result.”

“What did the Witch Queen tell you?” Caitlyn said.

The man threw his heavy riding gloves onto the table. “She knew the time of  indenture was only to be five years, she agreed to that, yet  now the date is long past she won’t release him, claiming no term was ever set. We can’t prove it and she only laughs. She won’t even let us see him.”

“Kyle told me the agreement would end only upon his death,” Caitlyn whispered.

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 I  love and appreciate your comments and feedback! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

Weekend Writing Warriors Don’t Displease the Cook

better wewriwaHappy Mother’s Day! I don’t have anything about mothers to excerpt for today so I went with a snippet about the Cook in the Witch Queen’s palace, because she’s the closest thing to a motherly person in this unedited WIP about a shifter and a Girl With A Secret LOL.

Kyle is having a hard time recovering from the most recent spell casting, where the Witch Queen pulled even more of his magic to fuel her spells. The palace physician (who is also a witch) has ordered a bland diet suitable for an invalid. Caitlyn goes to the kitchen to ask for a proper meal for predator in need of strength. Nadelma the Cook is speaking.

“Strange times we’re in, with the poor shifter caught in the middle. He carved me a special wooden spoon last year for the winter festival, you know – all my favorite flowers and fruits on the handle. It’s far too beautiful to cook with and so I told him.”

Caitlyn felt the kitchen cat rubbing against her ankles. Bending down, she stroked the soft gray fur, thinking sadly how dull and matted the leopard’s fur had been. “So you’ll allow me to make something proper for Kyle to eat?”

Nadelma hoisted herself from her chair with an alarming amount of effort and said, “I’ll fix him a breakfast suitable for a warrior with my own hands and we’ll just see if that doesn’t do him more good that what the high and mighty ordered. They do their magic, I do mine.”

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 I  love and appreciate your comments and feedback! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

(Photo from SXC by domus71)

Weekend Writing Warriors – More Magical Mystery

better wewriwaA few more excerpts from my one and only shifter novel (so far, not counting “Priestess of the Nile” where the Crocodile God shifts)…Kyle is a leopard shifter and Caitlyn is the mysterious girl-with-a-secret who infiltrated the Witch Queen’s castle with his impulsive help. Last week she was summoned to participate in a magical ceremony, at which the Queen drew upon Kyle’s powers to augment her own. Angry at the way he was being treated, Caitlyn helps him survive the spell casting but is nearly banished as a result. He seeks her out a few days later.

Kyle is speaking as the snippet starts.

“You, Caitlyn of Ordlathas, are a mystery and I’m intrigued. You come from a territory that never sends apprentices to the Witch Queen.  You claim to desire a place here so desperately, yet you didn’t get upset when they dropped you from the training after the incident last week. You have your own magic – I see the spirals of it with the leopard’s eyes – green, lavender, pure, with no taint of Shadow. You can learn nothing from them – I suspect  they could learn from you if their minds weren’t so closed against the existence of any power but their own. So why are you here?”

“Are you finished?” She jerked her arm free from his loose clasp.

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 I  love and appreciate your comments and feedback! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…