Kim McDougall
The clock is ticking down! Six days to the release of Ghouls Don't Scamper. Pre-orders are now available so you can get a little surprise in your Kindle box on October 13th.

Paperbacks will be available a couple of days ahead of release day so book sniffers can enjoy it on the same day as digital readers.

I'm really excited for this one. Kyra heads back to Asgard to confront her past crimes and her family. It's a story that was a long time coming, and one that I planned from the very first drafts of this series.

In the next few newsletters, I'll introduce you to a few new characters. You might remember in Book 5, Kelpies Don't Fly, Gunora enlisted the help of a giant to kidnap the goblit twins. That giant features quite prominently in book 6. So today, I'd like you to meet Huyn, the giant with a big heart (and a secret crush on Kyra).

In this snippet, Kyra has gone in search of Huyn, hoping he can help her get back to Asgard. She finds him in the middle of an illegal cage fight with an entomo (a monster that dissolves into thousands of bugs).
Huyn sat on a table, naked but for a towel around his waist. Even slumped as he was, muscles ridged his abs. His hair fell in sweaty curls to his shoulders. His bare legs, as wide around as my chest and fuzzed with more blond curls, hung over the table and nearly brushed the ground. 

A flutter of pixies swarmed him. Some hovered by his neck to pat away moisture. Others rubbed cream on his bulging shoulders or dabbed at the wounds on his face. The room stank of eucalyptus. 

He glanced up through a curtain of hair and straightened. “Kyra! So glad to see you!” His voice boomed like he was a clacker and all the world was his bell. I winced. 

That is the magic of the Jotnars. Yes, they’re big and solid, but it’s more a force of personality than a physicality. The word Jotnar means devourer and the giants seem to devour every space in a room, no matter how big the room.

Huyn jumped off the table and swung me into a hug. My cheek pressed against his bare, sweaty shoulder until I squirmed away to face his big grin.

“I’m glad to see you too. You haven’t changed a bit.”

“Neither have you. As beautiful as ever.”

I bit my tongue on the denial that came to my lips. There is nothing worse than putting down a well-meant compliment.

“That was some fight,” I said. “How did you know how to kill the entomo?”

“Ah, we used to catch ‘em for a lark as kids. I had to make of a show of it first. Damn but I hate those things. Look at the bites.” He inspected his upper arm. Red welts puckered the skin. The pixies tsked and dabbed more cream on him. He waved them away.

“Enough. I’ll survive the night. Go pester someone else.” The pixies fluttered out, taking their baskets of herbs, pots of cream, and dirty towels with them. The remaining towel barely covered Huyn’s important bits, and I was glad it stayed in place. He grabbed a fresh towel off a nearby stack and rubbed his damp hair.

“I heard you were in Montreal,” he said. “Nasty business with your cousin a few months back.”

“I believe you had a hand in that.” I kept my tone light. No matter what had happened with Gunora, I needed Huyn on my side now. “I know a couple of goblits who still talk about the giant who took them to the old fairgrounds.”

“Aw, you’re not here to bust my balls over that, are you? They were never in any real danger, you know.” Huyn grinned and shook his curly mane. He really was a handsome devil—chiseled chin and cheekbones, blue eyes that danced with humor, a full kissable mouth…

I shook my head as if to clear it of cobwebs. The Jotnar charm was strong with this one. Even now, I could feel his magic twining around me like I was a bug in his web. It would be easy to let myself sink into that web. 

I sighed and strengthened my personal wards.

“No, I’m not here to bust your balls. Though we will have a conversation about that at some point. Right now, I need your help.”

Pre-order Ghouls Don't Scamper now!

In other news...

The Valkyrie Bestiary Holiday novella, Oh, Come All Ye Dragons is a Pick of the Pack at the Wolf Pack this month! Check it out at the Pick of the Pack.

Every month, I participate in several Online book fairs.  I also will be doing some craft fairs again this year! Yay! It's so nice to be out in the world again, assuming I can keep out of Covid's way. I do only local fairs, so I'll be in south eastern Ontario and south western Quebec if you'd like to come see me and get a signed book. You can see the list of upcoming events as well as all the Online opportunities to snatch up great books at discounted prices on the Book Fairs Page.

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