Snapshot #1: Catnip (Contest)

Snapshot #1: Catnip (Contest)

Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to introduce you to the stories and the authors you will find within the covers of She Shifters. I’m up first! Not only did I get to edit this luscious collection, I wrote a story too. From the title of the book, She Shifters, you get a pretty good idea about the general paranormal theme—supernatural creatures that blend from human form to some creature, but that’s the last pre-conceived notion you should have about this book. I asked authors to surprise me. They proved beyond a doubt that there’s still plenty of fresh twists left.

For my story, I wanted something fun, but also a little eerie. What I got in the end was something that had a Practical Magic feel. Enjoy the snippet. And if you post a comment today, I will give you a free pdf copy of HER SOUL TO KEEP. Be sure to include your email address in your response to this question:

What is it about shapeshifters that intrigues you?

From “Catnip” by Delilah Devlin:

Mallory set “Miss Kitty” on the bookshelf beside her computer. She’d brushed away as much dust as she could before sponging away the grime. She’d reattached the tail with tiny stitches. While she’d worked, she’d admired the craftsmanship of the strange little doll. The fur suit was seamless and molded to the figure. The small face wasn’t hard plastic, but something softer, with the texture of real skin. The lips, with their cat’s cleft at the center, were parted with a row of individually attached teeth beneath them. She’d stroked her thumbnail over the soft lashes surrounding those shining eyes—each lash appeared to be embedded in the lids.

Perhaps there was more to the doll than what she’d originally believed. Promising herself to do a little Internet search in the morning, she turned off the bedroom light and climbed into bed.

Her head no sooner hit the pillow than she heard something drop to the floor. The sound was soft, but solid.

She sighed and reached to turn on the bedside lamp. Glancing in the direction of the sound, she scanned the floor, but found nothing out of place. Only mildly perturbed, Mallory reached for the light, then paused. Her gaze flicked to the bookcase. Her new doll wasn’t on the shelf where she’d placed it.

Dammit. She’d never sleep until it was back where it belonged. She crawled from the bed and searched the floor beneath the shelf. Nothing. She pulled out her desk chair to see if it had somehow tumbled beneath her desk. “Weird,” she said under her breath as she pushed the chair back into place.

A skittering sounded in the closet beside the shelf, and her heart rate accelerated. “What the hell?” The sound was too small to be a hidden intruder. Wary, she approached the closet. The door was open only a crack. Did she have a mouse? The mystery over the doll was forgotten as she worried how she’d trap it. Inching the door open, she reached inside for the string attached to the lamp on the ceiling.

A loud thump came from the back of the closet, and Mallory jumped back. Too freaking big to be a mouse. Fuck! She backed up two steps, then ran for the bedroom door.

Before she’d gone three steps, something pounced on her back, taking her to the carpet. Hands wrapped around her wrists, pinning them to the floor. Mallory bucked, panic making her breaths come in short, shallow sobs.

“Don’t be afraid,” purred a feminine voice from right beside her ear.

The raspy quality of the voice caressed nerves Mallory chose to ignore. “Get off me,” she ground out.

“I think I’ll stay here for a moment. I don’t want you bolting again, because I wouldn’t like to hurt you. You smell good.”

“What the fuck were you doing in my closet? What do you want?”

The body covering her back resettled, curves molding to Mallory’s. “I’m not sure why I’m here. Are you a witch?” The woman’s hips undulated, grinding against Mallory’s ass.

Which made it very hard to think. “Am I a wha—”

A snarl sounded. “Just shut up a second. I can’t think.” A rumbling purr vibrated against her, growing louder as the woman on her back nuzzled her neck.

“What are you doing?” Mallory asked in a very small voice, wondering if she was going to be raped by the woman and why that thought didn’t terrify her more.

Mmm… I’m doing what I couldn’t when you groomed me.”

Groomed you?” A sandpaper tongue licked behind her ear. “Jesus! Get off me.”

Pffft. Nails dug into her shoulders, but the woman released her hands and climbed off her.

Mallory rolled to her side, caught a glimpse of her attacker, and screamed. She scrambled backward on her hands and butt, halting when she hit the bed. “You—you…” She pointed, hyperventilating.

The woman who knelt on all fours in front of her was the spitting image of Miss Kitty. Well, mostly. Her body was still Barbie Doll perfect, but the tiger-striped fur was a shorter, shining down, which did nothing to hide the lovely tuft of fur at her mound or the pert, brown nipples of her breasts. Her face was still smooth, still beautiful and round, the eyes a wide, unblinking green. Long brown hair fell down her back, parted by small cat’s ears atop her head. A long striped tail curved around one thigh—the white, tufted end flicking lazily side to side.

Mallory drew deep breaths and shook her head. This wasn’t happening. Beautiful women didn’t visit her bedroom, never mind the fur suit. “All right. I’m asleep. Or high. Maybe that old witch at the garage sale had some LSD in the goo she rubbed on my hand when we shook.”

The cat-woman’s small, triangular nose twitched. “Old witch?”

“Not important right this minute,” Mallory bit out. “I’m being punked, right? Although why me, I don’t know. I’m not a celebrity. I don’t have any friends here.”

Miss Kitty’s head canted, curiosity in her large mirrored eyes. “What are you talking about? And could you please speak more slowly? I’m still having trouble—” Her eyelids slid halfway down, and she sniffed the air delicately. “Your smell—it’s delicious.” Her cat’s lips, with the pretty cleft on the upper bow, lifted. White teeth, the eyeteeth honed to scary sharpness, flashed.

“Are you going to eat me?”

The cat’s eyes blinked. Her lips twitched. “Only if you’re good,” she purred.

73 thoughts on “Snapshot #1: Catnip (Contest)

  1. I like the sound of this book all too often it is male shifter we read about nice to see a change 🙂

  2. Tough question! So many possible answers. I think it’s that whole sense of dual personalities, the freedom to be something else. Something more than we are. Plus the connection to a creature that isn’t civilized and lives strictly by instinct–experiencing things on the most basic level and reveling in it! Plus who wouldn’t want a big kitty or wolf to snuggle with sometimes!!!!!!

  3. wow…this is different. Sure want to read more. Guess this book goes to the TBR list. Thatks for sharing this, Delilah.

  4. What is it about shapeshifters that intrigues me? Besides the physical change into a different ‘creature’, I like seeing if there are similar characteristics between the two. Demeanor, physical similarities (eyes, face…), attitude. I like reading the background behind the creature they become.
    email: synlab1 at yahoo dot com

  5. This book sounds so interesting can’t wait to read it….especially since we don’t get most of them in SA

    1. They don’t sell Cleis books in SA? Say it isn’t so. Have you looked in the erotica section of the book store? Cleis books are more often than not stacked there!

  6. i like shapeshifters – special catshifter – because i have 3 cats. it is interesting to read the character of the shifters. they are part cat (or other animals) and human – very different personalities. i haven´t read a lesbian book but this one i will read!!! i like all books of you and hope for much more…lol.

    gabi dot wurst at arcor dot de

  7. I like the idea that she had cat characteristics. Physical and behavioral. I also like that she is a lesbian shifter. I have found only a few books with that theme. I can’t wait to read more.

  8. I just loved the snippet and want to read more. As for the shape shifting thing….I have loved the idea of seeing life through the eyes of other creatures. I always wondered how they lived their lives and what if special humans could change into them just pulled me in deeper. I could look at a hawk or a panther and dream of stories about them really being a woman. I woman because I am one and never thought about a man in that place. So I have been having these thought way before I thought about being a writer and now I let my imagination go where it needs to go. Even in the kids book, kind of on the line of Harry Potter but with a 10 year old lesbian wizard. I started has shape shifters in it. Cats that turn into witches and wizards turn into animals.

      1. Which story do you want to read? LOL I have lots on the WIP list. Every thing is very rough as yet. I’m still learning as I have only been doing it for fun for four years but just now getting serious. Because I know this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I guess I know what I want to be when I grow up. As my mom use to say I would never grow up, well that is a good thing for a writer to keep my imagination growing.

  9. Your story sounds great! I like the shapeshifter’s struggle to balance their human and animal sides. And they are often more cuddly than a fully human lover, which I love, lol.

    1. Don’t forget the purring… I had only to watch my cat’s tail flicking when she’s irritated or swishing when she’s happy to know how Miss Kitty would behave.

  10. Definateley liking the sound of this story….might have just found myself a new author!!!! Sorry stuff like that excites me

  11. Wow you have me intrigued I cannot wait to read more and thank you for the free book 🙂

  12. I love shape shifter books I have never read a F/F book before but it sounds interesting…

  13. That’s different and I’m so intrigued. I’ve read only a few F/F books but have enjoyed them. Sounds like a really good read

  14. I can’t wait to read this book. One of the things that draws me to shapeshifter stories is that most of them have a mate that instinct guides them to and they usually mate for life. Its nice to read about such love like that in a world where divorce and cheating is prevalent.

    1. I like fated mates themes too, but sometimes, I like building a world where our social strictures don’t exist. Allows for more freedom to explore…

  15. I love the fact that all ‘alpha’ shifters don’t have to be male. Women can be just as alpha as any male (some more so). Thanks for the stories.

  16. I guess what I like about the whole shifter thing is having another side to you that’s a more strong willed and has a strong set of protective instincts for others in their pack. Sometimes I really wish our own families were a little like the fictional characters I read about.

  17. Shapeshifters intrigue me because they can change their physical shape. How many of us would like to do that once in a while? I also like the fact that’s it’s based in fantasy. It’s a nice excape from reality once in a while.

  18. I love that shifters are not bound by conventional rules. Most other genres can only sway so far from the norm of their behavior (sparkling vampires) before readers start laughing at the audacity or rediculousness of it. Aside from werewolves, most shifters have no set convention for psychological norms in the minds of followers. Perfecttx at hotmail dot com

    1. Tar, it’s up to the writer’s creativity and talent to make it believable, or at least to make the reader WANT it to be believable so they take that leap.

  19. Hi Delilah,
    love the cover,it’s gorgeously creepy. the excerpt was wonderful and i can’t wait to see what happens next. 😀

    i think that the thing i like most about shifters is that it gives us permission to let the “animal” in all of our personalities out to play once in awhile, even if it is just in a book or our imagination. LOL!

    tammy ramey

  20. Left a comment on FB but now also putting it here so you have my email addy. Thank you so much I love Shifters but mostly I love books and reading.


  21. Very cool, Delilah! I love that shifters let you see that primal part of them so close to the surface instead of burying it deep as we often need to instead 😉

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

    1. Nice point, Fedora. Love the word “primal”–but shifters are very primitive and natural in the way they see things and react. It makes it fun to push their buttons and watch the fur fly.

  22. I love shape shifters because of the idea of two different animals in one body. The idea that they work together and compete. The magic of the human body reforming to something completely different. I love that every author has their own take on how it would work! jepebATverizonDOTnet

  23. I think the better question is what DOESN’T intrigue me! Shifts get to live in two worlds. Well, three if you divide magical and non-magical into 2 separate categories. They have that animalistic side that they don’t feel “obligated” to keep inside like society tells us mere mortals we should do.

    And dang I could go on all day about this but I’d better stop it there, LOL.

  24. I love the dangerous quality the shifters bring and the unknown. Always a great combination. They also seem to have their own set of rules to go by if any. It’s totally HOT.

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