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Welcome to the Spooktacular Event blog hop.
I love the fall of the year. So cool and bright with autum colors. And Halloween is the best. I enjoy handing out candy and see the different costumes on the children.
It’s also the best time to read a scary story.
What is your favorite thing about fall?
My story is a paranormal romance, but there are some scenes like the one below that are scary.
Blurb: Haunted by the loss of his parents, Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. But, once he finds out the truth he runs to his one true mate, Morgan, who he had met while she was on holiday.
When his past and present collide, it’s worse than he imagined and he’s forced to fight for his life.
Auntie walked into the middle of the hollow. “We the Catcall Clan are gathered here together to witness a challenge. Called by Munch son of Tiger, who challenges Jared Catterick son of nobody.”
“I am the son of somebody,” Jared yelled. The sudden flow of anger had his heart pounding hard against his ribs.
“Who? What are their names?” Auntie crossed her arm and leaned on one hip and tapped a toe.
“I donna remember. I was too young when they killed them and took me away,” Jared muttered. “And she knows that.”
“Is Catterick your real last name?” Killer asked him in the canine speech.
“Aye. I donna remember much about me old life, but I never forgot me name.”
“Just tell her Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Killer said.
“Me parents were Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Jared said in a loud clear voice.
A few people around the hollow snickered.
Auntie gave a quick nod. “Jared son of Mr. and Mrs. Catterick. Munch challenges you for the death of his da, Tiger.”
Munch marched to Auntie’s side. He was every bit as big as his father. Well-muscled and not just tall but wide. Where Tiger’s hair was gray and white, Munch was blond and black. Another man accompanied him, his second, a tall, lanky male named Boyd. Jared knew him well, even though he was younger.
“Och. Here we go,” Jared told Killer and walked out into the middle of the hollow.
“He’s big,” Killer said in the canine speech.
“And ugly. I wouldna want to ride him into battle.”
Killer stayed at his side. “Psst.”
“You can fight, right?” Killer asked.
“Good to know.”
Auntie looked at both males. “Jared, as the challenged, you may decide on weapons and forms.”
“Human and no weapons,” Jared said.
“Very well,” Auntie said. “You may use your feet, hands, elbows and knees. Even your head if you feel the need.”
“What aboot sticks and stones?” Munch asked, his voice youthful.
“Will break my bones,” Jared said under his breath.
“No weapons,” Auntie shook a finger at Munch. “That includes sticks and stones.”
“Well,” Munch crossed his arms, “since I canna change into cat form, I think I should be able to use whatever I find in the hollow.”
“This isn’t a free-for-all, Munch. There is discipline to a challenge. You must remain in your human form and fight like a human. With this match, we’ll have a square go.”
“Not very cat-like.” Munch sniffed.
Auntie fisted her hands and leaned toward Munch. “You’re not a cat. You are a shifter. You shift between three forms. Now stay with one for the duration of the fight.”
“Doesn’t he understand?” Killer asked.
“A bit daft that one,” Jared muttered back. Munch doesn’t seem have a lot of self-control. Unlike Tiger who would have done exactly what Auntie said to the letter.
“Seconds, to the side.” Auntie pointed. “You may view the fight only. Do not interfere unless your partner is hurt or someone breaks the rules.”
Both Boyd and Killer trotted to edge of the clearing.
Jared stood facing Munch. Several feet separated them. Jared shook out his arms, moved his head from side to side, and loosened his muscles.
Auntie raised her hand and did a karate chop between them. “Now fight.”
“I swear on me da’s grave, I will end you!” Munch roared and the skin on his face boiled. His hands burst out of his gloves and feet from his boots. The shift made Munch bigger, tearing his clothes. He stopped in the in-between state, like movie werewolves of old, but in this case half-cat and half-human. The only thing that remained of his clothes was his black overall snow pants and even that stretched taunt across him. Extending his claws, he snarled and reached for Jared. “I want to see you bleedin’.”
Year of the Cat is a paranormal romance and is released for the Kindle.
Jared stood in the snow and tried not to shiver. He usually wasn’t outside this early, but at least he could give his free lesson before working with the other patrons. He let out a breath and it blew out in a vapor. Even with his quilted pants and parka it was freezing. The whole bloody mountain range was Baltic. A light dusting of snow obscured the traces of yesterday’s activities.
A black and brown calico rubbed against his leg.
“Trying to make amends?” The cat stuck her nose in the air and turned away.
“Don’t get haughty with me, Ms. Puss, you started it.”
“Are you talking to the cat?” Morgan said softly behind him.
He sniffed and caught the light aroma of spice and flowers with an undertone of Morgan’s sweet feminine scent.
Jared swung around.
Morgan was dressed in a stylish sporty outfit of black bottoms and a bright pink jacket. It went well with her blonde hair and pale blue eyes.
She gave him a shy grin, he almost chuckled. “Such a sweet smile on a lovely lady. Is that smile all for me?”
When the cat hissed, he picked up a fistful of snow and dropped it on top of her. The calico ran.
Morgan huffed and sat her fists on her hips. “You’re mean. What did that cat ever do to you?”
“She scratched me once.”
“Only once?” She cocked her head.
“Well…” He couldn’t tell her the truth. “More than once.”
She strolled over, snow crunching under her boots. “And if I do something to displease you during our lesson, will you dump snow on me, too?”
In his excitement from seeing her again, he’d nearly forgotten he’d promised a free skiing lesson, but the thought of what other lessons he could give her made his pants tight.
He took her hand. “I’ll be gentle.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Promise?”