Friday, June 11, 2010

Shifter's Coven: Healer by Marteeka Karland

Shifter's Coven: Healer by Marteeka  Karland
Read an excerpt

Shifter's Coven: Healer

by Marteeka Karland
cover art by Marteeka Karland
ISBN: 978-1-60521-431-3
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Werewolves
Series: Shifter's Coven
Length: Novella

Vivian has spent her whole life under her mother's thumb. Even to the point of attempted murder of pack Alpha, Wade. When she was young, however, her father handpicked a man to protect her. To watch out for her. He formed a bond between them that set them on a path they're now traveling.
Julian has been a shadow in Vivian's mind. He's been biding his time until he was strong enough to break her mother's hold. Now that he's a power shifter in his own right, he isn't sure Vivian still needs him. She was, after all, promised to another man.
Once Julian realizes Vivian is no longer tying her life to Wade's, he hunts her down and offers to take her away. He knows danger still follows and that Vivian's mother will stop at nothing to control her daughter in her own quest for power.
But Vivian isn't quite what she seems. Even she doesn't know her full potential. When Julian's life is on the line, only she can save him.
As Healer, it is her destiny.
Shifter's Coven: Healer
Marteeka Karland
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Marteeka Karland

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"The way I see it, you have three choices. You can go back to your mother, who will likely kill you. You can stay with this pack and hope they don't decide to do the same. Or you can come with me and possibly face the same fate..." He grinned wickedly at her, letting the last word trail off. "...but have a hell of a lot better time before the end. What do you say, precious?"
Damn. Leave it to Julian to state the obvious in such a naughty way. The man simply didn't take anything seriously. He never had. Why he was here was totally beyond Vivian's imagination. She hadn't seen or heard from him in over two years. Why here? Why now? And to make matters worse, he was completely naked. He must have come to her in his lion form. Shifting had a way of wreaking havoc on clothing.
She sighed. Julian had always seemed to avoid her, though Vivian had been able to mentally find him at will. He never communicated with her, though. For the most part, he simply seemed to ignore her, or so she thought. Until tonight.
"Some choice." She crossed her arms over her breasts, hoping like hell he didn't see the way her nipples puckered through the thin cotton of her shirt. Given the fact that he probably would never have realized she existed had it not been for her father's magical bond tying their lives together, she didn't want to embarrass herself by letting him know how he affected her. Had always affected her. "Do you have a plan?"
"You're not a prisoner here," Julian shrugged. "I see no reason we can't just walk out."
"If I leave, they'll most certainly follow. I think I'm kind of on probation here." Vivian had a dull roar in her head and an ache behind her right eye. The effort of blocking her mother from seeing into her mind was becoming too much for her. The old woman was a very strong telepath, and Vivian had been fighting her in earnest for weeks now. "Look, Julian. Maybe I should just stay. They've not harmed me, though I know they hate me. I honestly deserve whatever punishment they see fit to deliver."
In the blink of an eye, Julian's whole attitude changed. He went from the teasing, fun-loving, easygoing guy she'd grown up with to a man so intense, she actually took a couple of steps away from him.
"Over my dead body." He snatched her hand and yanked her to him, pulling her after him out of the door to the den she'd been assigned. "We're leaving. Now."
"Julian, I don't think this is a good idea."
"Why?" Julian hissed. "Because of some overactive sense of sacrifice? You did what you had to do to stay alive and protect innocents in the wake of your mother's wrath. You shouldn't be punished for it."
He led her through the door and into the woods. He only stopped before leaving the relative safety of the trees and brush surrounding her den to cross the clearing just outside the community. Looking around thoroughly, and, Vivian knew, using every enhanced sense he had, he kept her hand and tugged her into a crouch before proceeding down the darkened path leading outside the magical walls of the pack.
"Julian, stop. Please." Despite her reluctance to leave, Vivian still crouched and followed his lead, speaking in hushed whispers. "If we do this, they'll never trust me again. I'll be an outcast."
Julian whirled around on her, backing her up until her back was against a nearby tree. When he spoke, it was with more ferocity than Vivian had previously thought him capable of. "You'll never be a part of that pack, Vivian. You're a witch. The coven was your home. Not this place."
Vivian had never seen Julian so passionate or serious about anything. He was always the one joking and laughing. Now, his eyes drilled a hole straight through her soul. He was deadly serious.
"And what about you, Julian?" Her voice was barely above a whisper. "You're both warlock and shifter. Where do you belong?"

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