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?