Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday Spotlight - Stephani Hecht and Baily's Ninth Life (The Lost Shifters, Book 33)

Welcome Stephani Hecht back to Sunday Spotlight! She's here sharing her soon to release book, Baily's Ninth Life (The Lost Shifters, Book 33)

* * * *

Baily learned to distrust other shifters through their treatment of him. As a housecat shifter, he’s not exactly the strongest shifter. To compensate, he’s become one of best soldiers for the Coalition. He’s made a place for himself with friends but he doesn’t truly believe they won’t turn on him. 

Caden learned to distrust other shifters from birth. His grandfather taught him and his brother to avoid all Packs, Clowders, and Coalitions no matter what. All those lessons will be challenged when a stray cat claims a spot in his bar and maybe his heart. Together, 

Baily and Caden, must re-learn the lessons of their lives. That not all shifters are against them. A trip with the leadership of the Coalition to a secret cabin might be the turning point. That maybe they can believe in other shifters, each other and love.


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Baily fumed as he let the lesser hottie treat his wounds. Meanwhile, he glowered at hottie number one as he thought about all the mean things he wanted to say to him once he got his damn collar off. And there was plenty Baily had to say.

First off, it didn’t matter that he was a Cat shifter. He could kick ass with the best of them, thank you very much. Sure he may not be able to shift and rip the throats of their enemies out, but he was one of the best sharpshooters in the Coalition. Something that had taken hours of practice to earn.

Secondly, he was not mangy. Okay, maybe he did look a bit on the rough side, but he’d been through some pretty tough shit. First, that stupid Frog captured him, then it hadn’t been easy going since he’d escaped. For some insane reason, it seemed as if every shifter in the city was hunting him down.

All of that had reduced Baily to hiding in the shadows, dumpsters and dark corners as he tried to make his way back to the Coalition. Then he’d happened upon the bar. When he’d caught a whiff of feline rolling off the bartender taking out the trash, Baily had dashed inside. He’d hoped the guy would be able to get in touch with Mitchell. Baily had heard rumors of two feline shifters who owned a bar in the city.

Instead, the bartender ended up not knowing Mitchell at all. Which made perfect fucking sense, since the only luck Baily had been having lately had been the shitty kind. That’s when he remembered that the rest of the rumors about how the bar owners were skittish around other shifters and didn’t interact with them at all. So, they probably hadn’t ever met Mitchell at all.

“Caden, are you sure you don’t want to take him in and get him fixed?” asked the younger brother.

As if! Baily had to pull in the urge to bite the dick’s finger off. He only refrained because Caden was pretty damn hot and he probably wouldn’t like it if Baily maimed his brother. But that didn’t stop Baily from hissing at the jerk.

“I don’t think he likes the idea,” Caden said. “Maybe, you should stop suggesting it, Jozef.”

If Baily could have, he would have given a sly grin. Then Jozef poked at his side and Baily let out a yelp. Damn it, that hurt. He’d gotten it when he’d crawled through a broken window to get away from those weird bird shifters. They’d been the worst when it came to hunting him down. It was almost as if they had some special recipe they were dying to make and the secret ingredient was Baily tail.

To make sure that Jozef got the message loud and clear that there would be no snipping of any body parts, Baily swiped his paw out and hit the male in his thigh. It wasn’t exactly the target Baily was aiming for, but it still got his point across. Jozef let out a yelp as he jumped back, his brown eyes wide in shock.

“What the fuck? Are you sure this thing isn’t a shifter?” Jozef demanded.

“I’m pretty sure, but you’re the one who should know for sure. You almost graduated from college to be a vet, not me,” Caden replied, his voice breathless because he was laughing so hard.

Jozef stooped down so he could look Baily directly in the eyes. Baily tried his best to make his expression as human as possible. If he could get these two lone shifters to believe he really was a shifter then maybe they would contact the Coalition for him. Then they could send for help and he could go home. Although, it would be a damn shame to have to leave Caden behind. Then again, there was nothing that said Baily couldn’t come back to visit the sexy bartender.

“Shift for me,” Jozef commanded.

Baily huffed in irritation. Didn’t they see the damn anti-shifting collar on his neck? Then a horrifying thought occurred to Baily. What if they didn’t know about the collars and the power they had over Baily? Oh, shit. That would not be good for him. Then they would think he was a regular cat for sure and no help would be coming Baily’s way.

It wasn’t as if Baily could just pick up a pen or pencil either. Cats didn’t have any thumbs. Which meant he couldn’t write a letter. He thought frantically for another way to communicate. He recalled reading a book by Dean Koontz where a genius dog communicated with Scrabble tiles, but Baily didn’t see one of those games lying around. So, unless he managed to find a computer and could log on, he was screwed.

“Nope, he’s not a shifter. Just a weird-o,” Jozef proclaimed as he straightened up.

Oh, just you wait until I get this damn collar off. Then we’ll see who the weird-o is, you son-of-a-bitch. I’ll kick your ass from here to Pontiac. Then you’ll be sorry for calling me mangy and threatening to cut my balls off.

Then Caden came over and began to stroke Baily’s head and all his dark thoughts floated away. Normally, he hated it when others petted him that way. It reminded him that he wasn’t a true predator, but a domestic pet. It made him feel weak and a joke. Yet, when Caden did it, Baily wanted to purr and rub himself all over the bartender. He even smelled nice. Like a warm whiskey with some spices mixed in. Which was odd that Baily found so appealing given that shifters didn’t drink that kind of stuff.

“You almost seem disappointed,” Jozef remarked.

“I’m not. Besides, it’s not like I could have done anything even if was a shifter. You know the rules, we don’t make nice with other shifters,” Caden replied, still stroking Baily’s fur.

That was an odd statement. It made Baily wonder what happened in their past that made them so leery of others of their own kind. At first, he’d just assumed they were Lost Shifters, part of the generation of felines who’d been lost over two decades ago during the Great Raven Attack. Now he wasn’t so sure. By the way, they were talking, he had a feeling there was a lot more to their story.


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