Bring on the Kelpie!

Hi, everyone, I'm thrilled to announce Red Sage has made an offer on my second novella! Woohoo! This paranormal erotic romance is entitled "Beast in a Kilt." The hero of this story is a shapeshifter of a special sort. He turns into a kelpie at night. Kelpies are a part of Scottish folklore and legend. Centuries ago, Scots believed certain lochs or rivers were inhabited by these malicious water demons. A kelpie appears to be a normal-looking, beautiful white (or black) horse. This creature charms and lures weary travelers onto his back and then dives into the loch or river, drowning and eating his victims. Kelpies have the strength and stamina of ten horses. And some legends say these kelpies could shift into gorgeous human males if they wanted. In this form they sometimes mated with women.

Of course Torr Blackburn, the hero of my story, doesn't drown people or eat them, but he does shift into a beautiful white "horse" at night and feels an intense, violent rage at times. When he's hungry, he eats grass or oats like a normal horse. He loves swimming in the nearby loch to burn off energy or aggression, and he never feels cold, even in midwinter. In kelpie form, he does, as legend says, have the strength of ten horses; he can run all night if required. (I used this picture of Gerry Butler as Attila as inspiration for Torr. Yes, he does like to smirk. ;-) )

Traditionally, the only way to capture a kelpie is with a magical bridle. If a person can manage to place this special bridle over his head, the kelpie is enslaved. And that's exactly what the witch of the dark arts does at one point--the witch who cursed him in the first place. The only way he can escape the curse is to find true love.

I thoroughly enjoy researching and creating paranormal stories, whether they are shapeshifter, time travel or magical. I can let my imagination fly free and ignore the restraints of everyday rationality and logic. Paranormal romance is pure escape and fantasy, yet still believable.

When I visited Scotland recently, I saw this sculpture called The Kelpies at the Falkirk Wheel.

I created this paranormal world in my first novella in this series, "Devil in a Kilt," Red Sage Secrets Volume 27. The novellas take place in the year 1621 in Scotland. A dark witch placed a curse on three men who are friends and Highlanders (Gavin, Torr and Brodie) the year before because her son was killed in a skirmish in which he and his friends were trying to ambush and kill our three heroes. The witch took her revenge by placing a different curse on each of the three heroes. Gavin, the Highland chief from "Devil in a Kilt," shapeshifts into a hawk during the daytime and he can do nothing to control or prevent this. The curse has nearly destroyed his life. His clan believes he's possessed by the devil and so they fled. More than anything, he wants them to come home. Only one thing will break the curse for each man, love given and received, in equal parts with complete trust.

Here's the blurb for "Beast in a Kilt:"
Scottish lady Catriona MacCain has loved Torr Blackburn, a fierce Highland warrior, since she was a young lass, but Torr only sees Catriona as his best friend’s little sister. When Catriona’s family promises her in marriage to a detestable chieftain, she desperately needs Torr to save her from a fate worse than death. But Torr is under the spell of a witch of the dark arts and is cursed to spend his nights as a kelpie water demon. He doesn’t believe himself worthy of the virginal Lady Catriona. However, she is determined to seduce Torr and claim him… body, heart and soul, if only they can banish the curse and defeat the enemies who have vowed to possess and enslave them both.

I hope you enjoy reading about Torr and Catriona! :-)

Question for readers: What is the most unusual shifter you have read about?

Nicole North


Liane Gentry Skye said...

Yum, what's not to love? Scots, kilts, curses.....*sigh*. Can't wait to read about your Kelpie. :) Maybe I'll find one of my own when I visit Orkney. :D

Mia Varano said...

Nicole, congrats on your Red Sage sale! OMG - I thought a kelpie would be some cute little water sprite or something. Love the picture of Gerry too, smirk and all. When our family went to the UK 4 years ago, we took a boat ride on Loch Ness. Our boys kept their eyes pealed for Nessie, but we never thought to look for kelpies on the shore! Your stories sound wonderful.

Nicole North said...

Thanks, Liane! Please remember to pack me in your trunk so I can go to Orkney too! :-) I hope you do see one or at least a selkie.

Thanks Mia!! I LOVE Lock Ness, didn't see Nessie either. I also wanted to clarify something, for those who don't read shifter stories. The hero and heroine in my stories only make love in human form. (NO bestiality, thank you very much. LOL)

Chicks of Characterization said...

Great post Nicole! Your story sounds great! Congratulations on your sale!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Great post Nicole! Your story sounds great! Congratulations on your sale!

Eliza Knight said...

Your book sounds awesome!!! I can't wait to read it, and thanks for the info on kelpies, I was wondering what they were.

I have only read one shifter and it was about a selkie, but I enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to reading more.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Woohoo, super congratulations, Nicole! Can't wait to read them! :)

Gerri Bowen said...

Beast in a Kilt sounds wonderful!!! Love the Gerry Butler picture! :D

Nicole North said...

Hi chicks! Thanks so much!!

Eliza, thanks!! Yes, I plan to write about a selkie next! :-) All those sorts of creatures fascinate me.

Terry, thanks lady!! You know how much fun those shifters are.

Gerri, thanks! Yes that Gerry Butler pic is majorly inspiring. LOL

Catherine Berlin said...

Yay! Kelpies on thew rise! I have a kelpie in my December Cerridwen book, RETURN TO ME... but my kelpie isn't yummy like yours!
Can't wait to get your book!

Nicole North said...

Hi Catherine, thanks so much! Wow how cool you have a kelpie in your book! I look forward to reading it!!