The Eyes of Bast by Lisabet Sarai is a fabulous, erotic paranormal/shapeshifter romance!
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.
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.
Excerpt – Rated PG
Tom finally broke the kiss and leaned back with a sigh. “Ah, Shaina! I should never have allowed you near me. But I was so very lonely... I wasn’t thinking straight. Now I’ve put you in danger too.”
“Danger? What kind of danger?” I reached over to flick the switch on my reading lamp, so I could read his expressions. Then I seated myself cross-legged at his feet and clasped his hands in mine. “Tell me, Tom. Tell me everything.”
“You will not believe me.”
“How could I not believe after – after what I saw this morning?”
His brows knotted together. “I never wanted you to see – I was careless...”
“But I did see. And now I know, at least something about you. But I don’t know enough to help you out of whatever trouble you’re in. Tell me the whole truth. I promise I’ll keep it private, if that’s what you want. And I promise I won’t be shocked.”
Tom’s lush mouth twisted in a grimace of disgust. “You might not be able to keep that promise. But never mind. You’ve asked. I’ll tell you.”
He stared off into the distance, above my head. “I was born in a small town in coastal Maine, about seven years ago.”
“I was born a cat.”
I choked down my cry of surprise. How could it be...?
“Yes. I was born under a wharf. I spent the first six months of my life as a black kitten, a stray living off the scraps from the fishing boats and clam shacks. Then she caught me and made me her prisoner.”
“I don’t even want to utter her name. There’s danger in the very word. She is a witch, centuries old, a practitioner of the darkest arts – the epitome of evil. Out walking one evening along the rocky shore, she caught sight of me and wanted me as her familiar. It was easy for her to lure me into her clutches.
“At first she just used me to facilitate her spells. The rumored powers of black cats are more than just legend. Before long, though, she began to experiment.”
His ominous tone sent a chill through my naked body. I pulled the towel around me.
“You see, her advanced age hadn’t diminished her lust. Quite the opposite. She wanted a sexual plaything, someone she could use to satisfy her perverted desires. A male body she could own and control. So she delved into her books of magic, seeking a spell that would turn her poor innocent feline familiar into a man – at least when she wanted him that way.
“Her first attempts failed.” Tom shuddered at the recollection. “She barely managed to save my life. I guess she’d grown fond of me at that point – in her own twisted way.”
“Finally, she found a ritual that would change an animal into a human during the hours when the sun was banished from the earth. I’ll never forget the terror of that first transformation, when I found myself wobbling on two legs in front of her naked body. It was even worse than what came after.”
“What was that?”
“Oh, Shaina – I was human, but scarcely a man. I was barely thirteen.”
* * * * * *
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.