Like father, like son…
Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.
Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.
When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…
About the Author
Jan DeLima lives in central Maine with her husband of twenty years and two English bulldogs. Unlike many authors, she didn’t pen stories at an early age, but she has always been a dedicated reader. She loves stories and storytelling. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine. She brings a mixture of all her experiences to Celtic Moon, her first published novel, blending castles and Celtic lore with the wild nature of her home.
Read an Excerpt
Rhuddin Vill age, Maine, USA
Described in a recent travel guide as, “A quiet town tucked into the base of Mount Katahdin at the end of the Appalachian Trail.”
Another war was inevitable.
Dylan felt this with utter certainty. The Katahdin territory, his territory, had remained unspoiled over the years by human progress—due to his calculated precautions. Nature thrived in untouched glory, raw and powerful, a precious achievement during these modern times.
An achievement his enemies coveted.
“It’s a message,” Dylan said with deliberate calm as he watched his brother stalk across the kitchen.
“No shit,” Luc snapped, throwing a crumpled ball of linen in Dylan’s direction. Dressed only in a pair of faded jeans, with wild black hair tangled about bare shoulders, Luc looked just as much a predator now as he did in wolf form. His skin was absent of tattoos, indicating that he had shifted in haste, a warning to those who knew him well to tread lightly.
Dylan snatched the offending item in midair and smoothed it out on the wooden island. It was blue linen with a gold stag embroidered across the top, circled by a horned snake. The royal banner of the Gwarchodwyr Unfed, the Originals of their kind. The Guardians. Vicious, powerful, and without conscience. Self-appointed protectors of their race.
Inbred assholes, the lot of them.
He traced the hand-hewn embroidery of the banner. “Where was it found?”
“On the north ridge.” A dangerous light sparked in Luc’s silver eyes, promising vengeance. “Tied to the Great Oak.”
The tree stood a short distance from the north entrance to their territory. Not a direct challenge. Not yet. But the message was clear: We are watching you.
“It seems”—Dylan brushed the banner to the side, his inner battle carefully masked by a calm exterior—“that the Guardians are restless.”
“We must respond.”
“I know,” Dylan growled. The walls of his control began to fracture. His wolf didn’t understand politics or passivity.
It wanted the blood of the idiot who dared challenge his dominance.
He walked over to the sink, shoved open the window, and breathed in the fresh spring air. The scent of his forest, pine and wet earth, soothed the animal within.
Luc stilled, watching, waiting, utterly quiet—a pose unnatural to a wolf just as dominant, just as powerful as Dylan.
“We will respond,” Dylan continued after a few moments, arriving at a dangerous decision. “But not in the expected way. I’m going forward with the plan as discussed. It’s time to gather with other leaders who have valued territories.”
Leaders without loyalties to the Guardians.
Luc stayed silent for several moments, and then gave a sharp nod. “I just wonder who’ll have the balls to come.”
“All of them,” Dylan surmised. “Either out of curiosity or need.”
“Or deceit.” “That too.”
“But they are Celts.” Luc sounded more persuaded by that simple fact. Celts protected their people.
They were also suspicious, stubborn bastards, unwilling to follow any form of leadership other than their own. Add a little wolf blood to the mix and any gathering had the potential to be downright volatile, as history had proven countless times.
“So be it.” A malicious smile of anticipation spread across Luc’s face. “The time is ripe for a gathering.”
Dylan ignored his brother’s comment as he looked out the kitchen window. Spring was quite possibly the worst time of year for a gathering of their kind.
Orange hues from the setting sun filtered through bare branches, forming dark silhouettes against the horizon. His forest looked dormant, with brown fields and patches of snow lingering in sunless areas. However, Dylan knew the truth, as did his brother, as would anyone with wolf blood running through his or her veins. Underneath the shroud of a waning winter, plants grew, buds formed, animals ended their hibernation. Life awakened. Its energy hummed along his skin like a thousand fingers, whispering promises of power. “We must watch our sister closely.”
“Elen can take care of herself.”
Dylan braced his arms on the counter, letting his head fall forward. “That’s what concerns me.”
Luc chuckled, a sound more sardonic than amused. “It may be time we revealed our strength.”
“If our enemies push us,” Dylan said, looking over his shoulder to meet his brother’s gaze, “they will learn soon
Luc crossed his arms and leaned against the center is- land, his relaxed stance a controlled deception. “I suggest we call everyone in from the cities.”
“Agreed.” A few of their people lived amongst pure hu- mans, secret ambassadors of sorts, as was necessary to influ- ence the laws of an accelerating world. “Let’s bring all our people home.”
Sophie Thibodeau stood outside the Providence Public Library trying to decide who was more insane, the homeless man practicing a colorful sermon on a milk crate, or her as she punched in Dylan’s number on her shiny new disposable prepaid phone.
There was a strong possibility that she may have won the crazy contest, considering the man she was about to call had been hunting her for over fifteen years.
Sophie hugged her jacket closed as a chill shuddered down her spine. She had traveled into the city specifically to activate the phone using a public computer at the library. Her location needed to be as untraceable as possible. Was she being a tad paranoid? Hell, yes. Hiding from a man who wasn’t exactly human had taught her a few lessons.
Her heart pounded as she stared down at the phone. Questions flooded her thoughts, weakening her resolve. What if Dylan wasn’t there? What if the number had been changed? What if he refused to accept the call, deciding instead to contact her on his terms? To hunt her down and trap her.
Calm down, she coached herself, taking a deep breath. And just push the little green button.
The transient paused in his sermon, adjusting a rainbow- colored beret over matted brown and gray hair. A cool breeze carried his stench: mildew, unwashed skin, and alcohol. Sophie thought he had paused for dramatic effect, but then large brown eyes met hers.
“Are you okay, child?”
Child? For the love of God, she was thirty-six years old. And pathetic, if a drunken homeless man was asking her if she needed help.
“I’m fine,” she answered back with a tight smile, simply because her mother had taught her never to be rude. Her mother had also taught her not to be a coward. The man didn’t look too convinced. No surprise there; neither was she.
Sophie turned her back on him and walked a short distance down the sidewalk. The streetlights flickered on, mingling with headlights from passing traffic. Either she was going to make the call or brave Providence traffic during rush hour.
She pushed the button and held the receiver to her ear.
Six rings, then a terse, “Hello.”
Male, but not Dylan.
Her breath whooshed out. But the rush of relief lasted only moments until reality forced her to form coherent words. “Is Dylan available?”
“No.” The tone was dismissive. “Are you wanting to leave a message?”
Porter, she guessed. One of Dylan’s guard dogs—a tattooed skinhead on steroids. The prick had locked her in Dylan’s room once. She had escaped under his watch. That thought gave her some satisfaction. She cleared her throat, gaining courage. “This is Sophie.”
Is it a sin to gain pleasure at someone else’s discomfort? Probably. A small part of her enjoyed it anyway. “I will be at this number for another hour. If Dylan wants to talk to me, have him return my call.” Three heartbeats later she added, “It concerns his son.”
“Are you still there?” she asked.
“Yes.” The single clipped word screamed, Bitch.
She gave Porter the number and hung up, tucking the phone into her coat pocket. To keep busy, she grabbed her purse, found twenty dollars, and walked over to the homeless man.
He reached out a gloved hand but paused when a passerby snapped, “He’ll only drink it away.” Sophie turned to the middle-aged woman, dressed in a casual coat and jeans. “Maybe that’s what he needs to survive this world.”
The woman shrugged and kept walking.
“God bless you, child.” The transient snatched the money. “I’ll pray for you.”
“Thank you, sir.” Sophie fingered the phone in her pocket. “I need all the prayers I can get.”
She searched the area for a secluded place to wait and headed toward a vacant park across the street. There was no grass in this section of the city, just brick and pavement, marble-colored benches, and tall slabs of granite.
As she dashed across the busy street, her left thigh began to ache, a tingling numbness rather than true pain, where nerve endings had been severed in a long slash from hip to calf by a red wolf with golden eyes. A female wolf.
The scars bothered Sophie most when it rained, an annoying reminder of the night she ran away from her son’s father, the night she learned that the monsters in legends did indeed exist.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Absolute perfection! Hands down, Celtic Moon is the best shifter book I have read all year. It might just be the best book overall. With a detailed world built around amazing characters, Celtic Moon is exactly what shifter fans and non-fans alike should be reading. Let’s start with Sophie – strong, resilient, determined, loving. I could list adjectives here for days but the biggest thing you need to know about Sophie is that she is a mother. Not in that vague way some people write about a mother; she is a hard-core, independent, absolutely-nothing-will-ever-harm-my-kid, badass mom. I loved her. I hope I am half as good of a mother as she is. Having left her husband after fearing he would take their child away from her, she’s lived on the run for years. But she’s not just hidden away, she’s taught herself to fight, to defend herself, and to defend her child from anyone or anything that may come looking for them. Which brings us to the “anything” – her husband, Dylan. Alpha of the Rhuddin territory centered around Katahdin peak in Maine, sixteen hundred years old… he thought he knew everything, that his people would honor his wishes without question and his wife would submit to his demands. Boy was he wrong. Between scaring the bejeesus out of Sophie by shifting in front of her to locking her away “for her safety” (I really HATE when male characters use that as an excuse for their bad behavior), he made more mistakes than he could repair and lost his wife and son in the process. Dylan possesses such a duality of personality in Celtic Moon – one minute angry and demanding of his errant wife, the next lonely and almost weak with the craving he has to be back with his family. The transformation his character undergoes as he learns the truth behind Sophie’s leaving him and the woman she has been forced to become due to the fear his people instilled in her is inspiring and beautiful. He learns to work with Sophie instead of deciding everything for her, to respect her opinions and decisions. And it’s a good thing he does because the man hadn’t had a woman in his bed since Sophie left him, and was feeling a little…tense. The secondary characters are just as wonderfully sculpted as Sophie and Dylan. Elen, sister of Dylan, with her unique and yet horrible gift and love of the wolf-trapped Cormack. Luc, wolf-born brother of Dylan, with his unusual eyes and the mantle of grief her wears. Joshua, son of Sophie and Dylan, energetic and funny with a love for his family that matches the intensity of his mom’s. Rosa, Elen, Francine, Enid, Taliesin – they all have stories to tell and lead the reader to crave the next installment in the series to learn more about them. Captivating and addictive, Celtic Moon will keep you turning pages with its mysterious plot, slow-burn second-chance romance and amazing family moments. Everything about this book makes me want to dive into the world of these shifters, move all my stuff (daughters included of course) into Rhuddin Hall and just watch the drama unfold. Will Joshua find a mate or will he sample the *ahem* wares of the ladies sure to throw themselves at him? Will Porter’s newfound respect of Sophie transform into more of a friendship? Will Cormack ever find the man within? What’s with the creepy foreshadowing about Luc? Celtic Moon left me absolutely craving more, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
This book caught me up in it almost immediately - and kept my attention throughout. I liked the characters and how they developed during the story. I liked the plot, even though it is a "save our people" theme like so many other books. This author kept the plot fresh and fast moving. I really liked the fact that the author brought in unexpected paranormals, with unexpected abilities and blended mythology into the storyline with an adept hand. My favorite part of all of this was the fact that the central female character WAS NOT an inept human fool. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
Very good story, especially for a first time author. Having Irish grandparents, I loved how Jan Delima used Celtic legends in the story. So many new authors concentrate too much on the love scenes and sacrifice the story. Not the case here. Jan has great main characters in Dylan and Sophie. And many interesting and memorable supporting characters, especially in their families. Dylan and Sophie were separated for years and came together again for the well being of their son, Joshua. Sophie was very young and naive when they were together and panicked when she found out Dylan was a shape shifter. When she returns to him, she is older and wiser, better able to hold her own with him and his clan. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal stories. Jan has come up with a new history of shape shifters. It was very entertaining and held my interest. I see on her site that she is planning the next two stories to be about Luc and Rosa, and Elen and Cormack. Can't wait till they are available.
I found this book by wondering through the isles at the library. That's what you do when waiting for.your favorite authors to finish their next books. I will be buying the next book in the series. It held my attention completely. Well done!
I didn't immediately pick up this book, I'm glad I decided to though because it is a very good read. Good character building giving just the right amount of background without becoming one of those tedious books that go to far into detail. The plot was well thought of and the ending left you excited for more but not unsatisfied. All in all a good read.
This is a rare find! Great plot, back story inserts and characters! Lots of action to temper and compliment the romance. Cant wait for the next book!