Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Challenge

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  I’m sharing from Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4, otherwise known as The Book from Hell, which appears to be cursed by the gods.  First, it took me twice as long to write as it was supposed to, and now forces beyond my control are conspiring to keep me from publishing.  But it will be worth it! I swear.  I swear a lot, actually, when it comes to this book.  But enough of my writerly woes.  In this scene from the first chapter, Jacqui in his cat form is confronting a new cat in the hood, who isn’t acting like any other cat Jacqui has ever met.

***

Gradually the hairs along its spine lowered and it flopped over on its side. After a moment, it rolled onto its back, staring at him from an upside down position.

The ruffian kept its glowing eyes on Jacqui’s, and an uncomfortable feeling started to grow in Jacqui’s belly. Another cat had never supplicated before him in this manner, and they usually averted their eyes, because eye contact between cats signaled a type of challenge.

The stray rolled back and forth, coating its grimy fur with bits of gravel and twigs. Clearly male, unfixed, it was sadly a case for the local animal rescue center. They didn’t euthanize, except for when it came to a wild mutation like Cat.

Okay, Ruffian, Jacqui thought at the cat, go ahead and relax and roll in the dirt. Tomorrow I’ll get you into a carrier and take you to the shelter.

No chance, said the cat, flopping back to its side.

(That’s ten. Here’s a few more to finish out the moment):

Wait. What?

Did that beast just talk to us?

Jacqui stilled and focused very hard. Did you just talk to me?

Ruffian lifted a leg and began to lick his nether regions. No more words invaded Jacqui’s head.

Imagining things.

***

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Human Tendencies

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or fewer.  After several days of near 100 degree temperatures, I’m wrung out, and really wishing I could go somewhere else. But right now, that still seems like a faraway and unlikely dream. Thank goodness for fiction, and the stories that take us away and let us travel even when we’re stuck.  So let’s pop on up to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island and join Jacqui on his midnight prowl.

I’ve been sharing from the first chapter of my upcoming release, Wild, Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4. In this scene, Jacqui in his cat form has encountered a mysterious stray, who doesn’t act like the other domestic cats he’s encountered before.

***

Jacqui slinked up all stealthy-like, to get a good look before the ruffian fled in terror.

The strange cat seemed to be mesmerized by the front of Jacqui’s apartment building. Jacqui scanned it, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The nesting birds were all fast asleep. Ironically, because the neighborhood cats avoided the general area, the trees in front of Jacqui’s place had become a kind of bird refuge; a cruel trick of Mother Nature, designed to test his peaceful, non-bird killing human tendencies to the limit.

The cat turned, spotted Jacqui, and immediately went into a full, I’m-too-scared-to-run arch, accompanied by an ear-splitting yowl.

Relax, Jacqui thought at the beast, but if mind-to-mind communication existed between cats, he had yet to discover how it worked. Body language worked better, so he sat down and yawned.

The other cat remained locked in position, but at least it stopped screaming. Jacqui looked away, to give the poor thing an opportunity to flee.

***

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ So Long Kitty

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

I’m a little grumpy today. I’ve hit yet another roadblock on the way to publishing Wild.  My copyeditor had the audacity to get terribly ill right before beginning the final edit. The nerve! But it’s okay. She’s okay. I’m okay. Life and Fiction goes on.

So here we are back with Jacqui in his cat form, prowling the neighbor in search of a new cat who’s had the audacity to invade Cat’s territory. But this new cat might be more than your average puddy tat.

***

Most domestic cats avoided him like he was a Rottweiler with rabies. One look at the larger, wild hybrid beauty that was Cat and—whoosh—a flash of tail over the nearest fence and so long kitty. Which was too bad. Jacqui liked cats and wouldn’t mind if one or two wanted to live with him, but it wasn’t meant to be. He was a loner. In both shapes.

At the next corner, he turned right and headed up the street that ran between his place and Wyatt’s, to see what the new cat was up to.

He found it easily, because it stood in the middle of the road staring, oddly enough, at Jacqui’s second floor apartment. It was a black and white tuxedo cat—black and gray really—mangy with matted hair and one chewed-up ear. A stray.

***

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ On the Prowl

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

Life has gotten interesting around here.  I’ve welcomed two new kittens into my household and have received my official Crazy Cat Lady certificate.  You can now address me as Alexis Duran, CCL.  I’m sure Jacqui would be thrilled with the new arrivals. They’re all about getting into trouble, just like him.

Speaking of Jacqui, he’s on the prowl for some trouble himself.  This scene is from the first chapter of my upcoming release Wild, Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4. Jacqui has shifted into his cat form and is setting off to explore the neighborhood.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

Blinking a few times, he stretched to his full length, arched his back and shook all over. Then he jumped onto the dryer and slid out the window. A thick rhododendron bush grew right outside. Not the easiest shrub to navigate, but he rustled through it and soon stood on the street in front of Wyatt’s apartment building, scanning up and down for threats.

No one was in view except for a possum rooting around a few doors over. A bat darted across the sky above him. Jacqui yawned and took another big sniff. With Cat’s nose, a thousand new smells crowded in on him.

Strange cat on the prowl, up the hill.

He padded in that direction.

***

Prowling companions

 

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Go Wild

Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in ten sentences or less.

To those of you in the US, Happy Independence Day! To those not in the US, Happy Weekend! Hope it’s not too hot or noisy or, you know, end-of-the-world-ish wherever you are.

I’m continuing to share from my upcoming release, Wild, Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4.  The process drags on, but I am oh-so-close, and will soon be sharing the awesome cover with you.  For now, we join Jacqui as he does his thing, which is turning into a cat.

***

Jacqui took a deep breath and let it out to a count of ten heart beats, centering himself in his body. He didn’t have time or room for his normal meditative, yoga shifting ritual, so he simply shook out his arms and commanded his muscles to relax. Relax and let go.

Let go of his shape, his humanity, his over-sized brain full of man concerns and man anxieties. Let Cat take over. Shrink, compact, go wild.

He and Cat were more than ready. With a dizzying shimmer he shed unnecessary bulk and height. For one heart-stopping moment he had no shape and then, as if he’d flung himself off a cliff, he plummeted. His perception altered, colors faded but details sharpened, and everything grew in size around him.

***

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Guess What? I’m a Cat

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I’m sharing from my upcoming release, Wild, Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4. In case you didn’t guess from the title, Jacqui is a cat shifter. He’s in a relationship with a regular human, which is a new and dangerous thing for Jacqui. He’s trying to figure out how to keep both his love life and his secret in tact. Good luck, Jacqui.

***

Jacqui picked up the trail of his clothing leading to the stairs—Wyatt had undressed him with particular enthusiasm that night—and carried the bundle to the utility room. He stowed the clothes in a cupboard and slid the window open a crack.

No problem, just a quick tour of the neighborhood and back in time for some hot man sex before Wyatt got up to go to work. This could work. They could work. No need to break Wyatt’s brain with the whole “Guess what, I’m a cat” thing.

He quietly closed the door and listened for sounds of a hunky man moving around upstairs. He heard nothing—nothing except the thud of his heart.

Admit it, you enjoy the thrill.

Maybe a little.

***

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.