As people from different walks of life come together to fight a bunch of nasty demons, Shaman's Drum shows how believers of different faith groups can work together. Oh, and there's a hearty dollop of romance between the two main protagonists, too! But will they be granted their ultimate wish? Find out in this exciting read!
So, check out her fab teaser below! Over to Ailsa...
England in the near future.
Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again.
Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive.
Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust?
Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga's Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths.
It's a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.
With the launch of Shaman's Drum on Friday 11th January, I'm pleased to offer an extract to whet your appetite. Riga, the Black Shaman captain is going to spy on the Temple of the Dianics, a group of renegade cultists. Her lover, Iamo, the ex-monk, is unaware of what she is doing and will go crazy when he finds out.
A cat’s mind is a great place to be because it’s completely self-centred. It revolves around my comfort, my needs and my pleasure. I meditated around to that attitude and started to move my body like a cat. Stretch the front legs one after the other, lean forward and stick out each hind leg completely, turn the head almost around, practice a little walking softly. The shape-shift was nearly complete.
Demand, me, me, me, arrogant, demand, me, me, me, my right, give me! My mouth opened and a petulant meow came out.
I stalked out of the bushes and over to the big doors which were slightly ajar. Meow. Meow, meow, meow. Some women were complete suckers for cats and I prayed I’d find one of them straight off.
“Hello, Beloved of Bastet, what are you after, then?”
Bingo! Curl around the legs, pretend to be friendly, get what you want through dissimulating. Rub the chin against the offered hand. I love you, human lady; I love you so much you must give me something to eat. Meow, meow, meow.
“Ah, what a sweetie you are. Come on then, let’s see what we can find you.”
The unfortunate thing about shape-shifting is that you sense a lot of things as the animal would, as you’re using its body. Distinguishing human faces is beyond a cat, despite their fantastic eyesight. they go by smell and movement. I didn’t know this woman by her smell so I just saw her as an unimportant human blob, which is how most cats usually see people. Fortunately a cat’s hearing is brilliant and I could understand her speech, being as my human brain was controlling the cat-mind.
I trotted behind her sandaled feet, hearing her long robe swishing with every step. She led me through the Temple to the back rooms, reserved for more mundane tasks like preparing food and storing wine. She gave me a dish of milk and a few scraps of raw meat which were delicious (for a cat).
Someone called to her and she left me in there, probably hoping I’d lie down by the fireplace, which I had to fight very hard to resist as the cat-nature was starting to win.
I positioned my cat-self by the door and listened. A male voice was speaking.
What the…A man in the Dianics’ holy-of holies?
I risked a peep around the door, flattening my black cat body to the shadows. Concentration on using my own eyesight was a nightmare but I managed it for a second or two.
A bespectacled monk in the brown robes of the brotherhood was talking.
“So we are agreed, then, Sisters? Four days from now, when the moon is set to wane.”
“Yes, yes, it should be done at the dark of the moon but our guest is becoming impatient. I have persuaded him that it cannot be done in the full moon but he will wait no longer than the waning. He wants his promised gift. He will have the fornicator monk for his revenge or he will withdraw his aid. If he turns on us, we will not be able to control things. Iamo is his, the Prince has sworn it.” The voice was harsh, female and used to command.
“Then he will have to be delivered within the next four days if he is to be correctly prepared for the ceremony.” The man spoke again. There was a whiff of pure evil in that last word and it was said with such relish that I made the sign of protection in my head.
“That is your part of the bargain, Brother. Have you decided how you will do it?”
The male voice took up again. “I have seen him. That is why I asked for your indulgence tonight, Lady. He is here in the capital with his whore. It will not be difficult. He will probably be using the same apartment he did as a student. Even if it is neccessary to bring him here a little earlier, you will only have to keep him under lock and key until the time is right.”
“What about the woman?” Another female voice joined in.
“That is your province, Lady.”
“Very well, we will take care of her when the time comes. I will have watchers out for her. The black bitch should not be hard to find, if we can’t see her, we will just follow the smell.”
Nobody noticed the black cat, strolling quietly, hugging the wall to reach the doors then slipping out, back into the darkness.
I shape-changed back to myself and dressed quickly, needing to get back to the flat urgently, but promising myself that the next cat who crossed my path would get a whole fish as a thanks-offering.
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