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 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. However, when he suspects one of their guests possesses magical abilities she doesn't want them to know about, he decides to have them join him for dinner so he can rout out the culprit.
The summons to dinner was neither unexpected nor desired. Serena told the women that whatever they did, they should not show their fear. She worried about Susan and Allison the most. Neither was particularly strong nor adept at hiding their feelings. She coached them as best she could, then each left to get changed. Dinner, they were informed, was a formal affair, and they were expected to dress accordingly.
They descended the stairs in single file and in alphabetical order, as they had been instructed. Serena wanted to change places with Allison to protect her, but Allison was afraid they’d be discovered and feared what might happen as a result. Serena worried more for Allison than herself, but if following the rules kept her cousin from fretting, she wouldn’t insist.
The Master of Ravenswood, dressed in formal evening attire, stood from his seat at the head of the table as they entered. He may have manners and style, but that didn’t make him any less of a demon in Serena’s mind. Mrs. Sloan asked them to remain in alphabetical order and stand behind the chairs beginning at Mr. Westcroft’s left. Once they were in position and Mrs. Sloan had taken her leave, Dominic Westcroft gave a nod and their chairs drew back from the table as if unseen servants had politely pulled them back for the ladies to sit. Several of the women gasped, but no one moved. Serena’s heart sank as she realized he had sensed her abilities when their essences melded, and now he intended to use his magic as a means of forcing her to disclose herself.
Katherine Shaw was the first to regain her composure. Gracefully drawing back her wine red velvet skirt, she took her seat and actually smiled at the man and thanked him.
Dominic Westcroft’s eyes took on a predatory gleam as he regarded her. Following Katherine’s lead, Serena took her seat as well. She wasn’t sure what order the others followed since all her concentration was focused on holding her flighty napkin still on her lap. Glancing up she noticed Dorothy struggling to keep her silverware flat on the table, Frances tugging to keep her napkin from covering her face and Melissa gripping tightly to hers to keep it from tucking into her lace-frilled bosom. Only Susan and Allison appeared to be untouched by their host’s pranks, and both of them looked as if they’d faint if anything moved on them.
From the slight curve of his lips, Serena suspected Westcroft was only dallying with them, and she dreaded what would happen when his efforts turned earnest.
Read the first three chapters at: Deadly Enchantment
Available at NCP, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ARe
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.
Intrigue! The various personalities makes this so interesting, Kathryn. A reader wants to know about each of them, but especially about Serena's secret. Nicely done.ReplyDelete