Faith Hunter SHATTERED BONDS Tour

Shattered Bonds by Faith Hunter

Part One of a short story about Beast from Faith Hunter, author of the bestselling Jane Yellowrock series!

In Faith Hunter’s SHATTERED BONDS, Jane Yellowrock must dig deep and find strength within herself if she is to survive in the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series.

Jane Yellowrock is vampire-killer-for-hire, but her last battle with an ancient arcane enemy has brought her low. She seeks retreat in the Appalachian Mountains to grieve the loss of her friends, and to heal—or to die—from the disease brought on by her magic.

But malevolent elements in the paranormal community still seek to destroy Jane, and a terrifying foe stalks her, even into the safety of the hills. With nowhere to run and her body failing, the rogue-vampire hunter and her inner Beast must discover a way to defeat this new threat, and find a form that gives her a chance to fight another day.

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Shattered Bonds tour

Of Cats and Cars—a story of Beast, copyright Faith Hunter: Part One

Author’s Note: This is a short story that fits nowhere. The timeline isn’t perfect but the fans won this story by pushing Beast’s FaceBook page and getting us to three thousand Likes. It was seen online for 30 hours. It will eventually be placed in the timeline, edited, altered, and expanded. Enjoy! 

_____________________________

“No. Absolutely not.”

“But—” 

“There is no way beneath heaven’s sun that I will allow that … that … cat creature to hunt from my car. The seats are original. The carpet is original. It has never been off road and it never will.” His voice rose. “She is in pristine cond—”

“That cat creature is your queen,” Eli said, his tone cutting into the beginnings of an excellent tirade and still managing to sound laconic. 

Edmund Sebastian Hartley shut his mouth. He had already made arrangements to ship his prized Maserati to France, where he would join Gregoire, Blood Master of Clan Arceneau (and assorted massive French properties and cities), in his campaign to seize all of Europe for the Emperor of Europe and the Dark Queen of Mithrans. The goal was to conquer the unruly, warring Masters of the Cities, claim their fealty, gain control over their hunting lands, and bring peace to the blood-families that had been left in limbo when Jane Yellowrock killed Titus, the former Emperor of Europe. Thanks to her, Edmund was now that same titular, if moderately unwilling, Emperor. Walking away wasn’t option. Leo Pellissier had made clear what the ramifications of such an abdication would mean politically and in regard to world unrest. Therefore, he would fight. And he would win.

Ed frowned at the puma lounging in the kitchen, her eyes on the three men gathered in the living room. She yawned, showing off her fangs, and flicked her ear tabs at him. She was a magnificent creature, lean and muscular, and he had it on good authority that those curved and serrated fangs could tear the head from a powerful blood servant or even a vampire. Apparently, there was photographic proof.

Ed didn’t know what was going on with Jane, but she hadn’t been herself since Leo had been defeated. When in human shape, she was pale and withdrawn, grieving as all of them were, but there was something more, something that had sent her into Puma concolor form for the last two days. Normally when in mountain lion form, Jane was present, she acknowledged comments, answered questions, participated in discussion as best as the cat form allowed. At such times she called herself Beast. But not now. Two days past, she had texted him with the request to take her Beast hunting for a cow, in his car. For a cow. In his car. He had refused. He still was refusing. Not. In. His. Maserati. 

Except that the cat creature—sans Jane—was following him around, watching him, often vocalizing loudly with clicks and whistles and mewls, like a kitten begging for milk. This dusk, he had waked from his daily sleep to find her lying on his chest, her fangs inches from his eyes. Had he been alive, he would have expired on the spot. Ed had no idea how she had opened the sealed door to his newly renovated, windowless, attic sanctuary or, more likely, who had let her in, but there it was. He dropped to the leather couch, leaned at an angle to the couch back and arm, and propped his chin on his fist, staring at the cat in the kitchen. This was all utterly unacceptable.

The cat rose, killing grace and muscle, and walked to him, her very long tail moving slightly. When she was ten feet away, she leaped over the back of the couch and dropped beside him. Despite his centuries as a human-hunting vampire, he flinched. Eli chuckled. The cat’s head fell into his lap and she started to purr. He had a ridiculous urge to scratch her ears. She batted her eyes at him, for all the world as if she were flirting. He had no idea that mountain lions had such long eye lashes. Or perhaps only Jane’s cat had them. Her golden eyes were the loving expression of a cat who wanted something and wasn’t above emotional manipulation to get it.

The cat rubbed her jaw on his bespoke suit pants, scent marking him and leaving behind cat hair. His tailor would be appalled. There would be no getting out the musky scent. “Stop that,” he demanded. The cat rolled over and stared at him from upside down, her belly exposed. “No. I am not scratching your belly and you are not hunting in my car.”

The cat mewled and resumed putting, the vibration nearly shaking the couch.

Ed looked at Eli, who was sitting at a table littered with pieces of weapons, smiling. Smiling. The stench of solvents and oils was strong on the air when Ed took a breath to speak. “You say Jane bargained with the cat? With my car?

“Oh yeah,” Alex Younger said from his computer-covered desk. “And the bargain that Beast wanted was to hunt in your car. The car with no head, which we’re pretty sure means with the hard top off and the soft top down.” He chuckled, a teenaged laugh that clearly said he was enjoying this conversation. “Hunt a cow. In your car.”

“One does not hunt cows. One milks them or breeds them or slaughters them for meat. They are stupid and docile. It would not be a hunt.”

Eli snapped and clacked one weapon back together and dry fired at a painting on the wall. A painting of a beautiful race horse. He used it as target practice, over and over, the weapon clicking. Edmund closed his eyes against the sacrilege, comforting himself with the thought that at least the warrior hadn’t used actual ammo.

Ed ignored the cat. She purred. He ignored her some more.

The cougar rolled over and sat up, shifting her body until they were face to face, her whiskers tickling his skin. She lifted both front paws and put her forelegs around his shoulders, still purring, but she extruded her claws and pressed them into the skin of his nape, very carefully, very deliberately. Her cat breath smelled of bloody meat, a scent with which all Mithrans were intimately familiar. Speaking to the cat, Ed said, “Even if I agreed to this insane plan, it will not be a hunt. Cows will run, terrified. They will scatter and destroy the farmer’s property. The undercarriage of the Maserati will be ripped out trying to go overland. It will be an epic failure resulting in no edible cows and the destruction of my car.”

“Not the kind of cows she wants,” Eli said, placing the weapon to the side and reassembling another so fast even vampire vision could scarcely follow. 

“And?” Ed said when Eli seemed unwilling to continue.

“Beast wants to hunt cows with trees on their heads,” Alex said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“We think she wants to hunt longhorn cattle,” Eli said, the small smile still in place. Ed had a feeling that in another person the little smile would have been a belly laugh. He was enjoying himself.

“Or bison,” Alex said.

The cat licked him. It was clearly a tasting lick as opposed to a grooming lick or a loving lick, as a dog might do. If he should die, the cat would undoubtedly treat hm as food. Her tongue was like sandpaper and when she licked him again, it bloody well hurt. “Stop that,” he snapped.

Alex snickered. 

The cat chuffed in amusement. Her purring increased in volume, the vibration so strong it reverberated in his chest.

Jane had done this. She had bargained with property she did not own—

 


Shattered Bonds by Faith Hunter

Mass Market Paperback

Published by Ace, Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN 9780399587986

Jane Yellowrock must dig deep and find strength within herself if she is to survive in the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series.

Jane Yellowrock is vampire-killer-for-hire, but her last battle with an ancient arcane enemy has brought her low. She seeks retreat in the Appalachian Mountains to grieve the loss of her friends, and to heal—or to die—from the disease brought on by her magic.

But malevolent elements in the paranormal community still seek to destroy Jane, and a terrifying foe stalks her, even into the safety of the hills. With nowhere to run and her body failing, the rogue-vampire hunter and her inner Beast must discover a way to defeat this new threat, and find a form that gives her a chance to fight another day.


Purchase links

Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series, the Soulwood series, and the Rogue Mage series, as well as the author of 16 thrillers under pen the names Gary Hunter and Gwen Hunter. She has 40+ books in print.

Faith collects orchids and animal skulls, loves thunder storms, and writes. She likes to cook soup, bake homemade bread, garden, and run Class III whitewater rivers. She edits the occasional anthology and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain’t.

For more, see www.faithhunter.net
To keep up with her, like her fan page at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/official.faith.hunter

 

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3 Responses to Faith Hunter SHATTERED BONDS Tour

  1. JeanMP

    Love this series, have enjoyed all the books

  2. bn100

    interesting series

  3. Glenda M

    Faith Hunter is a new to me author. This looks like an interesting series!

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