After the strangest summer of their lives, Nate and Larissa prepare to face their biggest challenge yet: High school.
With jocks that seem intent on making Nate’s life miserable, the reappearance of the mysterious green-haired shifter (now with new and improved blue hair), and Charlie, the new girl, who affects Nate in the weirdest way, it’s shaping up to be a doozy!
Greendale High isn't the only place in turmoil; Panteria is dying and only the Pantera twins can save it. Will Nate to return to the world that he has sworn to hate before it’s too late?
L. M. Davis loves great storytelling. She needs nothing more than a good book and a comfy chair to be happy. She was born in the south, raised in the north, and has several English degrees under her belt. She currently lives in Atlanta and is contemplating getting a cat. It will probably be black. The first two books of her Shifters Novel series, Interlopers and Posers, are available now.
This is something of a long excerpt and it has everything to do with world-building as a fantasy writer. My Shifters Novels exist in two worlds, a human world that we all more-or-less recognize and the world of the Great Kingdoms, which is an alternate dimension that I have created.
This scene takes place in that alternate dimension, and I chose this moment because of how it demonstrates what goes into the process of world-building. Not only did I have to be able to see this world and it's people, but I had to create customs for the Great Kingdoms, Panteria, Leonin, Tigeri, and Yaguaria. Everything about this moment, from the clothes that the different shifters wear to the description of the Great Chamber at trial should suggest something about the cultures of these worlds and how, even though they are all shifters, those cultures are very different.
Just in front of the dais were three
chairs. They were temporary additions to the Great Chamber,
brought there specifically for the proceedings that were concluding
that day. Each chair looked something like the Seat of the
Bastion, with two key differences. First, the chairs, all of
which were exactly the same size, were smaller than the Bastion’s
Seat. Second, though each of the chairs was decorated in the
same fashion as the Bastion’s Seat, each one had a different
colored stone. The first was studded with a honey-yellow
stone; the next was studded with a reddish-orange stone; the last
was studded with a yellow-green stone.
In the first chair sat a tall, brawny man.
Even sitting, he dwarfed nearly ever other shifter in the
room. He was tawny all over, from the roots of the flowing,
curly hair that flared out around his face, to the tips of his
tawny-colored toes that were visible because of the sandals he
wore. His honey-colored garment was slightly looser than the
tunics worn by the were-leopards. The sleeves stretched out
just past his large, muscled shoulders and the fabric draped down
to mid-calf. The garment was heavily embroidered with thin
golden fibers that created an elaborate landscape of golden
grasslands across his chest.
Next to him was the only other creature in the
room that could begin to match him in size. The woman was
tall, her head stood above the back of her chair by a good
foot. But she was not just tall; she also gave off a sense of
great bulk. Her straight, sleek hair was streaked liberally
black and white, so much so that it was difficult to tell which was
the predominant color. She wore a fitted orange-red dress
with elbow length sleeves and a skirt that flared out from the
waist. Her eyes, which tilted upward at the edges, were the
same color as the stone that speckled the chair in which she sat:
orangey-red and flecked with yellow.
In the final chair sat a stocky, swarthy
man. He was not as tall as the two who sat next to him, but
his thickly muscled frame was just as strong. He wore a
short-waist vest and a pair of flowing pants, both in the same
velvety brown color, just few shades darker than his skin. He
vest was embroidered with a shiny green thread that etched the
delicate pattern of leaves into the garment. His eyes, too,
were the color of the stones in the chair; their pale yellow-green
shade arresting in his dark face.
They were emissaries from the other three
kingdoms, Tigeri, Leonin, and Yaguaria, there to bear witness to
the trials and help carry out the sentences. They sat in
their chairs gazing at the defendant with an almost stoic
detachment that was belied only by the matching ferocity that
gleamed in each of their eyes.
On the dais, there were three chairs. In
the chair to the far left sat the Dowager. She wore an
emerald green tunic, embroidered with golden thread at the
hem. A golden diadem settled in her softly curling gray
locks. The crown was adorned with five, green panterite
stones that matched the color of the eyes that looked out from her
On the back of the Dowager’s chair perched
Windy. The only non-shifter in the room, the Dowager’s
faithful messenger stood at attention watching the proceedings with
great curiosity. The chair to the right of the Bastion’s Seat
was empty. It was the seat of the Bastion Imminent, and that
position was unfilled. For now.
In the Seat of the Bastion, Anna Pantera
sat. The Bastion’s Seat, the center chair of the three that
occupied the platform, was studded with green stones that glowed
subtly, casting a faint but eerie greenish sheen on Anna’s copper
skin. Though her pose was almost languid, Anna was alert and
She was dressed the ceremonial attire of the
occasion. Her tunic was panterite green and thickly
embroidered with golden thread along the hem. Leopard forms,
which mirrored the images on the Great Chamber walls, were
embroidered in a darker green thread around the waist of the
garment. A thick diadem of gold and green stones encircled
her forehead coming to a point over the bridge of her nose.
The stones pulsed faintly with power as her eyes fell on the woman
whom she would sentence.