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Shapeshifter
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-290-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 124 Pages
Published: February 2016

From inside the flap

Shapeshifter continues the engaging adventures of Niall Flynn, Irish professor, and his American-born daughter, Caitlin, and their friends, the strange people Below-Ground who subsist on a mysterious and magical red fluid and can't stand sunlight. As Caitlin ponders her future - college in Ireland or the US, and just how does she feel about her Below-Ground friend, Fortescue - things get even more interesting. Her cat turns out to be a silver-haired smart-aleck fairy in disguise and he and his people need help. Someone is kidnapping the Fair Folk, the Tuatha de Danaan. Why? Who? Can they be found and rescued before it is too late? Add in the complications of love in its many permutations, and Bastine is once again taking her readers on a wild ride of magic, mystery, love and friendship on the Emerald Isle.

Reviews and Awards

REVIEW PRAISE

Praise for Shapeshifter:

"Shapeshifter continues the engaging adventures of Niall Flynn, Irish professor, and his American-born daughter, Caitlin, and their friends, the strange people Below-Ground who subsist on a mysterious and magical red fluid and can't stand sunlight. As Caitlin ponders her future - college in Ireland or the US, and just how does she feel about her Below-Ground friend, Fortescue - things get even more interesting. Her cat turns out to be a silver-haired smart-aleck fairy in disguise and he and his people need help. Someone is kidnapping the Fair Folk, the Tuatha de Danaan. Why? Who? Can they be found and rescued before it is too late? Add in the complications of love in its many permutations, and Bastine is once again taking her readers on a wild ride of magic and mystery and love and friendship on the Emerald Isle."

Warren Rochelle, author of Harvest of Changelings and The Called

"A thoroughly engaging follow-up to The Source. The regular cast returns for another rousing adventure, with the addition of some truly unforgettable new characters."Debra Killeen, author of the Myrridian Cycle

Praise for The Source:

"I enjoyed reading The Source because it was an interesting take on the classic myths and legends of vampires and the famous story "The Pied Piper." Caitlin is a smart teenager interested in old folklore and is willing to fully commit herself to helping her friends and family when they are in need. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes folklore and adventure. "The Source" was an enthralling book and someone from practically any age group would enjoy it."Sydney Clark, for Reader Views



Shapeshifter (Excerpt)


PROLOGUE

Nicodemus wasn't happy about what he was doing, what he was forced to do. Thanks to Alastair and his boundless ambition, Nicodemus had slipped into the cavern containing the Source fountain and removed the Goddess Star. He knew this was dangerous: It was the Star which gave the Source its energy, its power to heal and nourish the population of Hamelyn. Ozymandias himself, the enclave's founder, had placed the Goddess Star in the fountain with great ceremony.

It was, of course, because of all that "ceremony" that anyone and everyone knew where to find the talisman. This made it an easy target, should anyone be inclined to steal it. For the most part, the citizens of Hamelyn, refugees from persecution all, understood that the Star's power protected everyone, and that the safety and well-being of their entire community depended on the health of the fountain's red liquid. For a few hundred years, the Goddess Star had remained at the bottom of the Source fountain, undisturbed. But now Nicodemus had observed Alastair's covetous glance one too many times. He knew Alastair had designs on leading the Council, and that he would stop at nothing to have his way.

Which was why Nicodemus found himself not far from the entrance to a cave in the west of Ireland. It hadn't taken him long to find the fairy ring he'd located on the old map. He knew no one was aware of his theft; he'd recorded it in his private journals, to be donated to the Archives after his death. Nicodemus intended to legally ensure that his papers would remain sealed for a reasonable length of time, to be certain the threat posed by Alastair was past. He certainly had no intention of leaving the Star buried forever, just for the duration of the immediate crisis.

Nicodemus approached the fairy ring cautiously. He wished no insult to the "wee folk." As he dug a hole before one of the stones, he beseeched them in a somber whisper.

"Old Ones, in exchange for your guardianship of this, Hamelyn's treasure, I promise you: Whenever one of my People comes to reclaim it, he or she will be in your debt. Hamelyn will owe you its help when you yourselves are at a moment of crisis; thus, feel free to collect."

Nicodemus expected the debt to be repaid before too much time had passed. He didn't want the Star to be recovered too soon, before the danger posed by Alastair was fully resolved, but he also didn't wish to endanger all of Hamelyn by depriving its citizens of the Star's power.

But papers could also get buried, or lost, or ignored. And over time, early history could transform into legends, stories. Nicodemus couldn't foresee just how long it would take to retrieve the Goddess Star from its safe hiding place.

The fairies, on the other hand, had very long memories, and were ever mindful of their debts and those owed them... .


***

Mortimer was trying to prevent history repeating itself.

He had recently observed that his uncle, Lord Gabriel, seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time in the Source fountain's cavern. Since his life-threatening experience over the past summer, Mortimer had developed a keen insight and self-awareness. He had also gained a new perspective on his uncle. Gabriel's dynastic ambitions were only surpassed by his personal greed.

So Mortimer found himself one evening, hidden in the darkest niche of the cavern containing the fountain. He'd decided it was time to get everything out in the open.

Gabriel slipped furtively into the cavern, cold blue eyes darting in every direction. Just in case he was being observed, he made a show of filling a large earthenware pitcher. Mortimer wasn't fooled. He knew why his uncle was here: to steal the Star or, at the very least, to do a little reconnaissance prior to theft. Mortimer had spent a great deal of time with Fortescue throughout the autumn months, helping him organize the Archives. There were several references to a troublemaker and Mortimer had realized they referred to an ancestor of his, Alastair, an ancestor to whom his uncle always referred in admiring terms. It hadn't taken long for the two young men to connect everything: Nicodemus' papers, the troublemaker from the same period and Mortimer's ancestor.

Fortescue had tried to make light of things, but Mortimer had difficulty hiding his disgust. How in the world was he ever to overcome centuries of bad blood?

Mortimer stepped out of the shadows. "Looking for something, Uncle?"

Gabriel jumped, dropping the pitcher, which shattered on the cavern floor. "Look what you made me do!" he snapped, taking the opportunity to shift his guilt onto his nephew.

Mortimer refused to accept it. "I know why you are here, Uncle. I am not as stupid as you would have everyone think. I can read and study the evidence and make connections. Your beloved Alastair wished to use the Star to further his ambitions all those years ago - that is how it came to be lost - and now you desire to do the same. But I will not allow it."

Gabriel's instinct was to bait Mortimer, to sneer and ask how he intended to stop him. But that, of course, would prove the brat's suspicions correct.

"I have no idea what you are talking about, boy," he said airily. "I was only here to collect the Source. Do go find something to mop up that spill, will you?"

"No, Uncle. I am not leaving you here. Or, if I do, I will return with Abercrombie and put a stop to this once and for all. Leave the Star alone." Mortimer folded his arms across his chest. "I am not leaving this room until you have."

Gabriel swept out with as much dignity as he could muster. The boy had changed, and he knew Mortimer meant it. He also knew the ungrateful brat would be delighted to run to Abercrombie, the head of Hamelyn's Council of Elders. He was just going to have to wait for the right moment... .