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 excerpt 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 snippet, which occurs in the middle of the second 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. What neither he nor his sister suspects, however, is that one of the women is actually his deceased bride's sister. Tormented by guilt over his wife's tragic and brutal death, Dominic has no intention of ever marrying again. However, when his show of temper accidentally reveals one of their guests possesses magical abilities she's trying to keep hidden, he invites the ladies join him for dinner, so he can rout her out. His resulting magical show ends up causing a few of the women to cry out in dismay, so Serena calls an end to the charade by revealing herself as the woman with whom he had psychically linked a few hours previously. Serena knows she's taking a huge risk by standing up to him, but she believes doing so will put an end to his magical shenanigans without revealing her true identity. However, when Westcroft intimates he knows her secret, her chair magically rises into the air. Realizing she can't appear weak before a predator, Serena dares their host to dash her to the ground.
Westcroft regarded Serena intently for a moment, and then lowered her back to her seat. He bowed to her. “It would appear that I must yield this round to you, my lady. You called my bluff, and won. But don’t think this means we are through, for we are not.”
He turned to the other women, and yelled, “Cease and desist! Your caterwauling is most unpleasant, and as you can see no one was harmed, so there is no cause for it to continue.”
The women became silent almost immediately, except for a few sniffles. Assuming the lead, Caitlyn stepped forward. “Please, sir, we’d like to leave.”
Giving his hand a distracted wave, he released his hold on the doors. “Then by all means scurry off to your rooms, don’t let me hold you back.”
Caitlyn shook her head. “No, sir. I mean we would like to leave the manor.”
“You would, would you? Do all of you feel that way?” Allison, Susan and Dorothy, who’d finally regained consciousness after her swoon, all nodded, but the others seemed more uncertain. “It is late,” he concurred almost gently. “I suggest you all retire for the night, and if you still feel so inclined in the morning, we will make arrangements to see you safely returned to your loving families.”
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