An unhappy shape shifter can be a dangerous companion....
For Sneak Peek Sunday authors share six paragraphs from a published work or a WIP (work in progress).
My submission for this week is from my 2nd book, Deadly Enchantment. A shapeshifting wizard romance set in Victorian England published by New Concepts Publishing,
In this excerpt, which occurs near the end of the first Chapter, Dominic Westcroft has returned from London to discover his sister has invited several young women to his home, so he can select a new bride. Except, Dominic has no intention of ever marrying again. His fury with his sister's interference manifests into a green trail of hot smoke that he directs away from his sister. Seemingly sentient, the tendril snakes through the ceiling and the floorboards of an upper room where the women are waiting.
Dominic rose and bent forward until their noses practically met. “You really don’t want to battle me over this, Regina Elizabeth. If I have to send these women back, I won’t be nearly as charitable about it as you. So, I advise you to do as I say before I tend to the matter myself.”
* * * *
Serena was the first to see the sinuous trail of green mist snaking up from the floorboards, but she said nothing assuming it was another manifestation of her fertile imagination and if she ignored it, it would go away. However, Susan saw it next, and she screamed. The tendril immediately ceased its serpent-like meandering and headed directly for the frightened woman like a purposeful, slithering tentacle of green fog.
Susan screamed again, but fear kept her rooted where she stood. Though Serena stood furthest away from Susan and the steadily advancing trail, when she noticed the others remained frozen in fear of the phenomenon, she took a step toward it and called, “Stop.”
The green tentacle turned again. This time toward her.
It had almost reached her when Allison let out a small cry of despair. The tentacle started to turn once again, but acting instinctively Serena plunged her hand into the coalescing trail, only to draw back from its intense heat with a gasp. The brief encounter caused Serena’s flesh to prickle in reaction. The smoke-like tentacle had been filled with an angry masculine presence, which Serena recognized and recoiled from at the same time. With her touch, the smoke-filled snake immediately turned from green to blue and took on an even more vaporous appearance.
Afraid and uncertain, Serena took a step back, but the bluish mist followed. When she took another step back, the mist hovered for a moment, and then rushed forward to wrap itself around her fingers and wrist. This time the snake-like mist felt warm and tingly, like the hissing sparks of a doused flame. Not enough to burn, but enough to set the tiny curls at the nape of Serena’s neck on end. When the mist started to trail up her arm, she could feel its essence trying to meld with hers in an attempt to probe her mind. Afraid of its intent, she instinctively closed her eyes and tried to close her mind. Uncertain of her success, and leery of the consequences of failure, she quickly drew back. Temporarily thwarted, the translucent tentacle dissipated briefly then reformed again to lightly encircle her wrist. Struggling not to show her fear, she pulled back again, and this time it dissipated completely.
Serena has no idea what just touched her, but she fears it may have gained more from her than she ever could have from it, which could present a very real danger to her.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt and want more. Please click the link below to continue your hop Sneak Peek Sunday. Wishing you a wonderful journey.