Serial Love by Lisabet Sarai
The Eyes of Bast was an experiment. I created the novella as a serial, writing and posting a chapter each month as part of my regular website update. I’ve never tried this approach before. Although I’m usually more of a plotter than a pantster, I had very little idea about what would happen next. Each month, I’d reread the previous installment, to help me maintain continuity, and then I’d just sit down and write whatever came to mind.
The process was remarkably liberating. I could set my imagination free.
The bulk of what I write is targeted for a particular publisher and often, a specific call for submissions. I usually have a predefined theme and both a minimum and maximum word count. These constraints shape my creative process. My internal editor is constantly active. Would the publisher object to this language? Was I taking too long to get to the clinch? Was my take on the theme close enough to satisfy the requirements?
With The Eyes of Bast, I was writing for my own pleasure – and of course that of my readers. The story could be as long (or short) as it needed to be. I could write sweet or raunchy, depending on my mood. I could introduce plot twists as they occurred to me, without worrying too much about plausibility.
I was writing purely for the fun of it. What a novel concept!
I’m actually pretty pleased with the way the tale turned out. I especially like the dramatic ending, which borrows a bit from horror tales. And I’m delighted by the depths my villain ultimately revealed. I have a problem writing bad guys (or in this case, bad girls). Delphine Montserrat is one of my better evil-doers.
I hope my readers agree.
Go check the old elm. I swear, the voice was clear as crystal in my mind. Lack of sleep, I told myself. Or stress. The cage is still in my apartment. There won’t be anything there. But the urge to go back to the park just wouldn’t let go.
Trust your instincts. With a sigh, I turned and headed for the park, pulling my mace out of my purse as I walked.
The sky was still light enough for me to see shapes and shadows, even under the trees. As I’d expected, area beneath the elm was empty, the grass trampled from my previous visit. Of course no cats revealed themselves. If there were ferals around, they’d be hiding in the underbrush, wary of my scent and the sounds I made, despite my attempts to move quietly.
Tom wasn’t afraid of you. The thought made me ache. He’d been such a gorgeous, affectionate cat. I hoped he was okay.
“Hello.” The voice was male, low and throaty. I jumped and whirled around.
A man stood behind me, a fairly young man with sleek, dark skin and a wide, shy smile. Although his body appeared to be fit and muscular, he held himself in an awkward manner, as if he had some subtle handicap. His arms hung at his sides, his hands clenching and unclenching as though he didn’t quite know what to do with them.
I gripped my mace more tightly, although he didn’t appear at all threatening.
“Um – what are you doing here?”
“Nothing, nothing…” He shrugged and scratched the curly black locks that covered his head. “I heard your voice. I wanted to make sure you were all right.”
Had I spoken aloud? I returned his smile, still uncertain whether I should trust him. “I’m fine. Just taking a walk.”
“It’s not safe here after dark, you know.”
His earnest tone made me chuckle. I held up the can of mace. “I can take care of myself.”
Worry furrowed his high forehead. “That won’t help against some of the things that come out at night.”
A chill shot through me. I shook it away. “I was just headed home anyway.”
“Good. You should be careful.” His smile returned, melting my last vestiges of suspicion. He pronounced his English with a precision that made me wonder if he spoke something else as his native language. It wasn’t exactly an accent, but I could tell he wasn’t a native New Yorker.
“What about you?”
“Oh – I know my way around here,” he answered. He ran his fingers through his curls and arched his back a bit, as though stretching. Despite that odd awkwardness, he was lithe and graceful. A brief pang of desire shot through me. “And I have excellent night vision. Exceptionally sharp hearing, too.”
I couldn’t figure out why, but something about him felt familiar. “Have we met before?” I asked, then cringed, realizing it sounded like a pick up line. “I mean – um – I don’t mean…” Hot blood climbed into my cheeks, though the shadows were probably too dense for him detect my discomfort.
His bold laugh rang out in the growing darkness. “Maybe we have met,” he said. “I live in the neighborhood. Do you?”
“Pretty close,” I answered, alarm bells sounding in my head. No matter how handsome and charming he was, I wasn’t about to give him my address.
“Well, then, you never know. You said you were heading home. May I walk with you?” He took my arm without waiting for my permission.
“Um – actually—” His touch stopped me cold. It drove out rational thought. As if someone had turned on a faucet, hormones poured into my blood. My nipples tensed and my lower lips grew plump and slick. His fingers on my bare forearm were tipped with fire. I gasped, staring up in wonder at his strong, even features, overcome by his imminent maleness.
I wanted stretch out in the grass and pull him down on top of me. I was dying to feel his weight on my chest, his hardness probing between my thighs. Skin on skin was what I craved, with an urgency I’d never experienced in my all my twenty-eight years.
His nostrils flared and I knew he’d caught the ocean scent rising from my sex. I could smell it myself. My saturated panties and jeans were no barrier. He grinned, revealing teeth so white they gleamed in the twilight gloom. I shuddered with need, imagining those teeth tearing my flesh, and stumbled on the gravel path.
Trust your heart. Follow your dreams.
Shaina Williams’ grandmother bequeathed her that wisdom, along with a old pendant from the Islands, carved from an ocelot’s tooth. When instinct tells Shaina to visit the feral cat trap she’d set in Central Park, she listens to that inner voice, She discovers she’s caged a magnificent black tom, but the cat inexplicably vanishes after she tends to his wounds. Seeking the errant feline, Shaina encounters instead a handsome stranger whose slightest touch sets her body on fire. As the day dawns after a night of ferocious passion, her mysterious lover is forced back into his true shape – the tomcat she’d rescued.
Born a cat, Tom was transformed into an unwilling shape shifter by a sorceress who craved a human plaything to satisfy her perverse lusts. Centuries old and irresistibly powerful, Delphine Montserrat will stop at nothing to find her runaway familiar. Shaina vows to do whatever is necessary to defeat the vicious but seductive witch and save the man she believes is her soul mate – even though it might mean losing him forever.
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About the Author:
When I was a little girl, my dad would make up stories for my siblings and me, fabulous sagas about ghosts and monsters, magical races with mysterious powers, heroes on impossible quests, hidden treasures awaiting only the most courageous seeker. I blame him for my lifelong fascination with the magical and miraculous.
Now that I’m grown up, I create my own tales of wonder, weaving in generous portions of human desire with its potent enchantments. In my paranormal tales, love works the most powerful magick.
Find out more about me and my books at my website, Lisabet’s Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) and my blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com). I also hang out on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83387.Lisabet_Sarai) and Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/author/lisabetsarai). I also have a VIP readers email list where I share release and contest information and run exclusive monthly giveaways. To join, just email me: lisabet [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com.