Draw One in the Darkby Sarah A. Hoyt
Every one of us has the beast inside. But for Kyrie Smith, the beast is no metaphor. Since she was 15, when she first shape-shifted into a savage, black panther, Kyrie has questioned her humanity. Although she's managed to keep her inner beast secret most of the time, the panther occasionally emerges to strike unbidden. Terrified she'll hurt someone while in
Every one of us has the beast inside. But for Kyrie Smith, the beast is no metaphor. Since she was 15, when she first shape-shifted into a savage, black panther, Kyrie has questioned her humanity. Although she's managed to keep her inner beast secret most of the time, the panther occasionally emerges to strike unbidden. Terrified she'll hurt someone while in panther form, Kyrie moves from town to town, searching for a way to feel human again.
Kyrie's lonely life changes forever while waitressing at a cheap diner in Goldport, Colorado. Investigating frantic screams from the parking lot, Kyrie stumbles upon a blood-spattered dragon crouching over a mangled human corpse. The dragon shape-shifts back into her co-worker, Tom, naked, dazed and unable to remember how he got there.
Thrust into an ever-changing world of shifters, where shape-shifting dragons, giant cats and other beasts wage a secret war behind humanity's back, Kyrie may find the answers she seeks with help from Tom, a mythical object called the Pearl of Heaven, and her own inner beast.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.70(w) x 4.40(h) x 1.20(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
Draw One In The Dark
By Sarah A. Hoyt
Baen Publishing EnterprisesCopyright © 2006 Sarah A. Hoyt
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe July night sprawled, warm and deep blue over Goldport, Colorado. In the distance the mountains were little more than suspicions of deeper darkness, a jagged outline where no stars appeared.
Most of Goldport was equally dark, from its slumbering suburbs to the blind silence of its downtown shops. Only the streetlights shone, at intervals, piercing the velvet blackness like so many stars.
At the edge of the western suburbs that climbed - square block after square block - into the lower slopes of the Rockies, the neon sign outside a Chinese Restaurant flickered. Three Luck Dragon flared, faded, then flared again and finally turned off completely.
A hand with nails that were, perhaps, just a little too long turned over a sign that hung on the window, so that the word closed faced the parking lot.
After a while, a sound broke the silence. A flapping, noise, as though of sheets unfurling in the silent night. Or perhaps of large wings beating. Descending.
Had anyone been awake, he'd have seen a large, dark creature-serpentine and thin-with vast unfolding wings descend from the night sky till his huge taloned feet met the asphalt. It closed its wings about itself and waited.
It did not wait long. From alleys and darkened streets, peopleemerged: teenagers, in tight jeans and t-shirts, looking nervous, sidling out of the shadows, glancing over their shoulders as if afraid of being followed. From yet other alleys ... creatures emerged: long, sinuous, in moist glistening colors between green and blue. They slid, monstrous heads low to the ground, curved fangs like daggers unsheathed in the moonlight. And sometimes dragons seemed to shift to naked teenagers and back again. In and out of the shadows, knit with walls and garbage bins, slithering along the hot cement of the pavements came young men who were dragons and dragons who were nervous young men.
They gathered in front of the Great Sky Dragon. And waited.
At length the dragon spoke, in a voice like pearls rolling upon old gold "Where is it?" he asked. "Did you get it back?"
The amorphous crowd of humans and dragons moved. There was the impression of someone pushed forward. A rustle of cloth and wings. A murmur of speech.
The young man pushed forward was slender, though there was a suggestion of muscles beneath his leg-molding jeans and of a substantial chest straining the fabric of the white t-shirt. His bare arm displayed a tattoo of a large, green, glistening dragon and his eyes had an oriental fold, though it was clear from his light brown hair, his pale skin that he was not wholly oriental.
He was, however, completely scared. He stood trembling in front of the monster, who brought a vast golden eye to fix on him. "Yesssssss?" The dragon said. "You have something to report? You've found the Pearl of Heaven?"
The young man shook his head, his straight, lank hair swinging from side to side.
"No?" the dragon asked. Light glimmered on his fangs as he spoke, and his golden eye came very close to the boy, as if to examine him better.
"It wasn't there," the youth said, rapidly, his English not so much accented, as retaining the lilt of someone who'd grown up in a community full of Chinese speakers. "We looked all over his apartment. It wasn't there."
The golden eye blinked, vein-laced green skin obstructing it for a just a moment. Then the huge head pulled back a little and tilted. "We do not," it said, fangs glimmering. "Tolerate failure."
It darted forward, so quickly the movement seemed to leave a green trail in the air like an after-image. The fangs glistened. A delicate tongue came forth.
The boy's scream echoed a second too late, like bad special effects. It still hung in air as the youth, feet and hands flailing, was lifted high into the night by the great dragon head.
A crunching sound. A brief glimmer. Two halves of the boy tumbling, in a shower of blood, towards the parking lot.
A scurry of cloth and wings followed, as men and dragons scrambled away.
The great golden eyes turned to them. The green muzzle was stained red. "We do not tolerate failure," it said. "Find the Pearl of Heaven. Kill the thief."
It opened its wings and, still looking intently at the crowd, flapped their great green length, till it rose into the dark, dark sky.
In the parking lot below no one moved till the last vestiges of the sinuous green and gold body had disappeared from view.
Excerpted from Draw One In The Dark by Sarah A. Hoyt Copyright © 2006 by Sarah A. Hoyt . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Sarah A. Hoyt has sold a dozen novels in various genres, including her new Musketeers Mysteries series, starting with Death of a Musketeer, and her acclaimed Shakespearean fantasy series, which started with the Mythopoeic award finalist, Ill Met by Moonlight. An avid history buff and longtime reader of sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries Sarah has published over three dozen short stories in esteemed magazines such as Asimov's, Analog, Amazing and Weird Tales, as well as several anthologies. Residing in Colorado with her husband, two teen boys and a pride of cats, Sarah is hard at work on her next dozen novels.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
A cute little urban fantasy novel set in Colorado about a group of shape shifters who don't realize there are others like them. Essentially it's a murder mystery where it appears a waiter (in dragon form) may have killed someone in the parking lot of local dive diner, and is helped out by another of the waitresses (a were-panther). There's also the detective (a were-lion) investigating several mysterious deaths in the area. Oh, and there is a Chinese Triad gang of dragons that is chasing after the dragon/waiter because he stole a magical pearl of theirs. The story was quick paced and held my interest. I haven't read multiple first person narrative in a long time, so it took a bit of getting used to. There was plenty of foreshadowing and many of the plot points seemed rather obvious. The biggest annoyance was the introduction of a new character a third of the way into the story. There were some romantic subplots but nothing too distracting. I'll likely read more from this author. The eBook version I have had several spelling mistakes and a couple of punctuation and grammar mistakes.
Okay. I own this one already on ebook and will be getting the Hardcover as well. Don't let the cover fool you if at first glance it turns you off. The book is much better written then the cover art was done. The characters are rich and diverse, more to the point they feel REAL. These aren't fantastical characters that you can't relate to they are as I said likable, they are flawed, they are.......human. You have to love a character like that and this book is full of them. Also considering one of the central sites integral to the story is a good old fashion kinda diner, You just might want to go down to your favorite one to read this book....in case you get the munchies while ya read :)
This is one that's going into my 'to be re-read stack'. When I go looking for a book I want something that gives a lot of bang for my buck, this one delivers. Stories about the Paranormal, shifters in this case, have been around for a long time, so it's refreshing to find one that has a fresh viewpoint on the subject. This one does, and is a very entertaining read.
I don't usually read books about 'weres', I prefer history and space opera. But a friend of mine said try it, loaned me his copy (earc) so I read it. You know...it's good. I found myself caring about what happens to the characters, found myself worried about the whole situation. I don't want to give the plotline away, but it ISNT a 'typical' shifter book. VERY exciting, very interesting. I even ended up preordering the book. Something I never do. Do yourself a favour, buy the book and read it, you won't be sorry!
For every reader who's been longing for a new twist on shapeshifting or who simply enjoys a ripping good tale, this is the book for you. Hoyt writes with a style and pace that keeps you turning the page and wanting more. Crisp dialogue and lush descriptions draw the reader in. You'll root for the good guys, hiss the bad and find yourself looking at seemingly ordinary people in a whole new light. After all, 'every one of us has the beast inside.'