top of page
  • N. N. Light

Kitsune Enchantment by Margaret L. Carter is a Love and Romance Festival pick #romance #paranormalromance #lovemonth #giveaway



Title: Kitsune Enchantment

 

Author: Margaret L. Carter

 

Genre: Paranormal romance

 

Book Blurb:

 

On the verge of losing her job, Shannon leaps at the chance to sell her graphic novel series to a major publisher. If only she could trust her reclusive artist partner, Ryo, to show up for editorial meetings at the science fiction convention they're attending. She'd love to have a closer relationship with Ryo, but how can she count on a man who keeps disappearing with the flimsiest of excuses? Ryo feels the same attraction to Shannon, but he isn't sure how she'd react to the truth. He's a kitsune—a fox shapeshifter—prone to transforming at awkward moments. Furthermore, a bungling amateur sorcerer is stalking him. When the wannabe wizard follows him to the convention, Ryo's secret, liberty, and budding romance with Shannon are all threatened.

 

Excerpt:

 

For a minute Joel stared at Ryo, who simply stared back, magically compelled to silence. Finally, Joel said, “Cancel that command. Answer truthfully: You really can’t do most of those things mentioned in the legends?”

 

“I’ve never been able to so far. My mother had many of those gifts, but she’s a full-blooded kitsune and a two-tailed one, at that. Like I said, casting foxfire is about the extent of my ability. Burning your house down wouldn’t be much help, would it?”

 

“Shut up again already.” After a moment’s thought, Joel said, “Well, it can’t hurt to try anyhow. Let’s go.”

 

Unable to speak, Ryo arched his eyebrows. Joel said, “We’ll go to the garage, pick up my car, and drive to my house. You’ll do your level best to conjure up that object-finding power. Once we’ve found the book, I’ll release you.”

 

Ryo gave him a skeptical look. Joel sighed. “Okay, you can talk, but don’t even think about yelling for help.”

 

“Have you figured out how to keep me from escaping the minute your concentration lapses?” Ryo followed his captor into the hall. He wasn’t tempted to test whether that last clause constituted an order, since he knew if he tried to disobey, he’d only get silenced again.

 

“That’s my problem.”

 

“So it is,” Ryo said in an assumed carefree tone. In fact, he wasn’t too worried yet, certain the other man would eventually get distracted enough to let him break free.

 

Joel glared at him. “Go to the elevator.”

 

Walking on, Ryo said as they turned the corner at the end of the hall, “Won’t you look sort of conspicuous waving that thing around and giving me orders if we run into other people on the way down?”

 

Hesitating several paces from the elevator, Joel cast a dubious glance in the direction of the stairs.

 

“Maybe you should have taken elementary villain lessons before starting this project.”

 

Scowling, Joel opened his mouth, probably to bark another order for silence. At that moment, one of the elevators down the hall opened, and Shannon stepped out.

 

“Ryo? What on earth is going on?”

 

At the sound of her voice, his heartbeat accelerated, and heat surged through him. His ears and buttocks sizzled with electricity as the former elongated and the latter sprouted a tail. Joel, brandishing the amulet, glanced wildly from Ryo to Shannon and back again.

 

Freed from the magical compulsion, Ryo dashed for the stairway entrance. Both Shannon and Joel yelled after him. Fortunately, with her calling his name, he couldn’t distinguish the words Joel was shouting, which doubtless consisted of an order to halt. Ryo wrenched the heavy door open and ran down the steps. Seconds later, the other two clattered behind him.

 

****

 

Shannon gaped at Ryo’s ears and tail. He didn’t have those a minute ago. Where did they come from?

 

Deciding to shelve that question for now, she rushed downstairs alongside Joel Brady. “What are you doing? Why are you chasing him?” Maybe Ryo’s reluctance to deal with this weirdo wasn’t so irrational after all. When they reached the first stairwell, she jumped in front of the man. “Hold it right here and explain yourself.” Not that she knew how she’d stop him if he chose to shove past her.

 

He grabbed her arm. When she batted him with her free hand and tried to jerk loose from his grip, he raised the pendant he was wearing and said, “Freeze.”

 

To her amazement, she couldn’t move. Her arms even stopped flailing around, petrified in the position they’d held when he had spoken. She swayed, off balance with one foot on tiptoe.

 

“You can stand straight,” he said, letting go of her, “and breathe and blink, but not talk or scream.”

 

Her leg muscles obeyed. She gulped a breath and swallowed.

 

Halfway down the next flight of stairs, Ryo pivoted, ran back up, and knocked Joel sideways. He let go of the pendant to catch himself, landing on hands and knees. Shannon instantly regained the ability to move. She retreated to wedge herself in a corner, her head spinning. As Joel scrambled to his feet, Ryo sprinted down the stairs.

 

As he ran, a pale glow shimmered around him. His outline wavered and melted, then coalesced into the shape of a small animal with dark copper fur, a white-tipped, bushy tail, and black paws, muzzle, and ear tips. A fox? He turned into a fox!

 

Joel gripped the pendant and opened his mouth. Without pausing to consider, Shannon thumped him in the side with her purse, then shoved him against the wall. Although dizzy with confusion, she figured the thing Joel wore had to radiate some kind of magic, crazy as that sounded. She couldn’t let him shout a command before Ryo got out of range, however far that might be.

 

When she looked for the fox, he’d fled out of sight. Good, he’s probably safe for the moment. It apparently didn’t take much to break Joel’s control over his victims, so it seemed likely he needed to be near people to command them. She ran in the direction fox-Ryo had gone, hoping to get a head start before Joel gathered his wits. Two landings and flights down, she caught up with the animal.

 

“Ryo? Is that really you?” Am I dreaming? Hallucinating?

 

The fox yipped and wagged his tail. With an inviting look over his shoulder, he scurried down the next stretch of stairs. Hearing Joel’s footsteps on the landing above, she hurried after Ryo. What the heck, if I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, I might as well go with the flow. On the chance that this was actually happening, she couldn’t leave him to fend for himself. He picked up speed, and she raced after him.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 

 


What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?

 

Exploring love between very different characters, especially human and nonhuman.

 

Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:

 

Always keep alive the memory of what drew you to each other in the first place.

 

Giveaway –

 

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

 

 

Open internationally.

 

Runs February 1 – 29, 2024

 

Drawing will be held on March 1, 2024. 

 


Author Biography:

 

Reading DRACULA at the age of twelve ignited

Margaret L. Carter’s interest in a wide range of

speculative fiction and inspired her to become a writer.

Vampires, however, have always remained close to her

heart. Her work on vampirism in literature includes four

books and numerous articles. She holds a PhD in

English from the University of California (Irvine), and

her dissertation contained a chapter on DRACULA. In

fiction, she has written horror, fantasy, and paranormal

romance, as well as sword-and-sorcery fantasy in

collaboration with her husband, a retired naval officer.

 

Recent publications include AGAINST THE DARK DEVOURER (Lovecraftian dark paranormal romance) and spring-themed contemporary light fantasy BUNNY HUNT. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies,

including the “Darkover” and “Sword and Sorceress”

series. She and her husband live in Maryland and have

four children, several grandchildren and great-

grandchildren, a St. Bernard, and two cats. Please visit

Carter’s Crypt:

 

Social Media Links:

 

bottom of page