Kim McDougall

The kelpies are here! 

Every book birthday, I am always amazed that I survived the editing, formatting and general madness that surrounds a new release. For this one, I would particularly like to thank my editor, Elaine Jackson, for being my sounding board and helping me to plaster the cracks in this manuscript.

I would also like to thank you, my loyal reader, for your support. The encouragement from this reader group and on my Facebook page has been uplifting to say the least. I’m ever thankful that you keep wanting to read more of Kyra’s adventures. I promise this isn’t the last in the series. There will be more Valkyrie Bestiary to come. 

If you pre-ordered Kelpies Don’t Fly, it should be in your Kindle account now. If you didn’t pre-order, ebooks, paperbacks and hardcovers are now available.

Get Kelpies Don't Fly

Some paperback stores have been slow to load it. I will be adding more sales channels for these as they appear.

Now for the fun stuff. Here’s a deleted scene from Kelpies Don’t Fly. 

Some readers ask, “Why’d you delete that?” Scenes get deleted for many reasons. It turned out that Kelpies is the longest Valkyrie Bestiary story yet. It needed some pruning. But even if I hadn’t needed to trim for space, I would have deleted this scene. It’s fun, but has no real bearing on the story as a whole. Including it would have created reader expectations for more story about Nori. The feisty kitsune will definitely be back for future VB book, but her story just didn’t fit into this one. 

This deleted scene also gives a little teaser about some of the problems Kyra and Mason will be facing. Enjoy! 

The following morning, Nori tried to sneak out the front door without waking anyone. It didn’t work. I’d been awake for hours, sitting at the table in the little breakfast nook, wondering where Mason was—again—and watching the sun slowly reanimate the world. 

I heard Nori come stealthily down the stairs, missing the second-to-last step that always creaked. She dropped something—a shoe?—with a loud thud and swore in a whisper

“You can stop sneaking around,” I called out. “Mason’s gone and I’m already up.

A moment later, she appeared in the kitchen. She was fully dressed and made-up.

“Going somewhere?” I asked. 

“Home.” She headed for the coffeepot. 

“Home to France, home?” Mason had found Nori and her grandfather Yuki, in the hills above Marseilles. He’d brought them back to Montreal because Yuki had been his best weapon against Polina. But Yuki’s power hadn’t withstood the witch’s attacks and now Nori was alone in a strange country. I would want to go home too.

She shook her head, poured the dregs from the coffeepot into her cup, took a sip and grimaced. 

“Not France. I found an apartment downtown.”

“Downtown? I didn’t even know you were looking.” I paused. Nori wouldn’t look at me. “You can stay here as long as you like. You know that, right?”

She shook her head. “I can’t do that.”

I was about to tell her again that I had no hard feelings for the part she’d played in my recent abduction. She’d more than made up for that by taking care of Jacoby. But I stopped myself. In the weeks we’d been home, Nori had made herself scarce, even after she’d mostly recuperated. She kept to her room upstairs, only coming down for dinner if I insisted. 

What if leaving wasn’t about our past, but her past? With Mason. 

Neither of them had spoken about the months they’d spent together on that journey from Marseilles to Montreal, but Nori’s affection for Mason had been obvious. What if she hadn’t gotten over those feelings?

I squirmed in my seat. If I had to live in the same house with the man I crushed on and his partner, I’d be eager to find a new place too.

“I’m sorry about Mason. Whatever he said to you yesterday, he probably didn’t mean it.” 

“It’s not that.” Nori stared into her coffee cup like she might find the answers to the universe there. “At least not just that. But he has been in a foul mood. What gives?”

I wanted to tell her all about my worries, about how Mason wouldn’t talk to me, even though it was obvious to anyone with a bit of sense that he was struggling with something important. I wanted to tell her what it felt like to wake up every night to find his side of the bed cool and empty. But I didn’t. Nori and I had an odd relationship. We weren’t exactly best buds, but we’d been through something extraordinary together. And I didn’t do the whole girl-club thing well. 

So I simply said, “He’s working through some things.”

An awkward silence followed that, which I finally broke with, “Is your apartment nice?”

Nori shrugged and dumped the coffee in the sink. 

“Nice enough for now. My roommate’s Hub militia. She’s almost never there. It’ll be good for me to be on my own. I need to figure out what I want to do next.” She turned and headed for the door. I rose and stepped to the edge of the breakfast nook, where the kitchen tiles met the living room’s hardwood floor. 

Nori threaded her way through the seating area and skirted the circular fireplace that dominated the room. Her suitcase was already packed at the front door. 

“Wait!” I called out. She turned and watched me with her unsettlingly calm gaze. Should I hug her? Shake her hand? Offer to meet up some time? Gods, this stuff was hard.

“If you need anything, you’ll call, right?” 
“Sure thing.” She flashed me a quick smile. “See ya around.”

I lifted the tips of my fingers in a feeble wave. 

The door opened and Mason stepped inside. The All-father only knew where he’d been all night again. He looked rumpled and tired—worn around the edges.

He noted the suitcase. “You’re leaving?”

“Yes.” Nori squinted up at him as she leaned over to grab her bag.

Mason closed his eyes and clenched his fists at his sides, like he was counting to ten and asking the gods for patience. But when he opened his eyes again, he only nodded. 

“Keep in touch,” he said gruffly.

Nori scrunched up her lips to hold back a retort. She turned for the door, and then whipped back around and dropped her bag.

“What the hell.” She planted a kiss on his mouth. Her fingers twined in his hair. Mason’s eyes widened, but he made no move to reciprocate. Nori finally broke it off, winked at me, picked up her bag, and left. 

Oh, boy.

“She’ll be okay.” I said. “I’m sure…” 

“Stop!” Mason blurted. Color rose up his cheeks. His eyes flashed with manic fire. “Just stop.”

“Stop what?” 

“Stop thinking so loud!” He stormed down the hallway toward our bedroom. 

I stood by the front door, staring at a stray leaf that had blown in with Nori’s dramatic exit. My stomach churned with that combination of fear, worry and guilt that always came with confrontation.

A moment later I flinched when our bedroom door slammed.

There are more deleted scenes from the Valkyrie Bestiary. Check them out HERE.

P.S. Got questions about Kelpies Don't Fly, or anything Valkyrie Bestiary? Feel free to reply right in the comments. I love hearing from readers!

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