Kalin Asen wants to be the best fortune-teller at the infamous Bran Castle in Transylvania this Halloween. It should be a no-brainer … until she crosses paths with a sexy Russian wulfkin who just might be her soul mate. But no way in hell would her fate lie with someone who wants her pack dead. Her mission morphs into a single focus: ignore her uncontrollable urges and stay alive.
As the commander of the Russian wulfkin army, Axe Vuk takes seriously his assignment to get Bran Castle’s ownership signed over to his alpha. But considering the building isn’t actually for sale, he engages a witch to hex everyone into losing their inhibitions in hopes of getting the owner to accept his offer. Then he meets Kalin, and it’s impossible to tell if his growing attraction is a result of the spell or whether she is truly his mate.
When the night takes a deadly turn and his team loses control of their inner wolves, it’s a race against time to stop them from chomping down on every human in the castle. Will Kalin and Axe survive long enough to discover the truth behind their primal passions?
by T.F. Walsh
Sensuality Level: Sensual
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she’s always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.
Find T.F. Walsh at www.tfwalsh.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @tfwalsh. Sign up for T.F. Walsh’s newsletter to keep up to date on her latest releases at http://www.tfwalsh.com/subscribe-to-my-newsletter/.
An excerpt from Cloaked in Sorcery:
If I’d been born a witch, I would have cursed anyone who hurt kids and covered them in poison ivy for the rest of their natural-born lives. Sure, a tad overdramatic, but come on, who the fuck hexes children?
I stared down at Lupita fast asleep in her crib, her lower lip sticking out and her lashes clumped in patches from the past hour’s crying session. She was only six months old and already displayed stubbornness when it came to nap time. It had to run in the family. Her dad, Enre, the alpha of our Romanian wulfkin pack, rarely slept, and her mom, Alena, only snoozed in one-hour spurts to look after the twins.
My inner wolf pressed against my insides, inhaling Lupita’s powdery, newborn-baby scent and, beneath that, a timber-like smell. Lupita wouldn’t transform into a wolf until she hit puberty, and then all hell would break loose with her hormones taking over. Good luck to her parents.
“Kalin, look here,” Alena called from across the nursery.
I crossed the room to the second crib. Standing beside Alena, I glanced down at the bed. Seff was in his nappy, kicking his arms and legs in the air, smiling. Lupita and Seff might’ve been twins, but they couldn’t have been more different. When one hollered, the other giggled. When one cried for food, the other vomited.
Alena rubbed Seff’s round belly, her index finger pointing to a tiny red star just above his heart.
“What is that?” I leaned so close that the baby’s fine hair shifted with my breath. How could I have not seen that before? I helped Alena with the twins most days, because that was what best friends did. I touched the mark; it was rough beneath my finger. “Did he scratch himself?”
Alena had her hands flat against her stomach, her eyes watery. “I told you—I think they’re cursed. I was praying the family blight would skip them. It’s always skipped a generation before.” Her gaze swept to the child, whose eyes were mirror images of his dad’s—deep blue.
“Don’t say that,” I said. Leaping to conclusions never helped anyone.
Alena shook her head, long strands of brown hair loosening from her ponytail. “The other week when Lupita tumbled out of her crib and got that concussion, Seff fell asleep right away. He didn’t wake up for forty-eight hours.”
Fear looped through my mind. “Why didn’t you tell me that?”
Her gaze lowered. “Enre and I kept it secret, hoping we were mistaken. I thought the mark would fade after a bit, but it’s getting darker. Now I’m terrified it’s the curse.” She paced to the door and back, her blouse stained on the shoulder from Seff’s earlier projectile vomit. “The mark appeared on Seff’s chest, similar to Lupita’s, after the accident.” Alena pulled the collar of her shirt away from her collarbone, revealing a small, red star. Identical to Seff’s.
I’d grown up with Alena and her twin brother, Nic. Every member in the pack knew about their curse, but not the mark. If one twin died, then the other did too, so they stayed close. They had joint souls. Alena had once told me a witch placed the spell on her family. This was a specific kind of hex. A revenge spell. Something about her ancestor betraying a witch and getting another killed. But it had happened so many generations ago no one seemed to remember the smaller details. Yet the family still suffered. Hearing now that the babies were also afflicted, my stomach locked up.
“When I was young,” Alena said, “Nic almost died. I was unconscious for several days while he remained injured. I won’t let that happen to my babies. Seff and Lupita are my angels, and I’ll do anything to keep them safe.” Alena wiped her eyes, and I took her into my arms, letting her cry on my shoulder. Her body shook.
“Everything will be okay, you’ll see.” I held my friend tightly, giving her warmth and support.
At the age of twelve, I’d lost my sister to a wolf attack. My world had collapsed, and I’d sworn I’d die that day too. Alena’s father had discovered me wandering through the woods and accepted me into his pack. That was so long ago—a lifetime—but having someone accept me had eased the pain. I owed my life to their family. And I’d do anything for Alena.
She forced a weak smile and busied herself with folding the twins’ blankets. “Thanks, Kalin. It feels good to talk about it. Enre has his way of dealing with shit—hunting any animal that moves. But I can’t stop thinking about it—if one of my babies dies, then we lose both.” Her shoulders curled forward, her mouth growing thin and pale.
“Hey, stop thinking like that. You and Nic are still alive. If Seff and Lupita are anything like you, they’ll be fine. Maybe we should focus on hunting for magic folk. Find a cure.” The world was big enough that there was always someone to help. The trick was finding the right person.
She huffed. “I’ve tried, but most witches are fake or have no idea about this. And it’s complicated. As a wulfkin, normal human spells won’t work on me. And what if it’s too late? What if too much time has passed, and we can never lift the curse?”
I took her hand in mine, pushing aside the sorrow tunneling through my chest. “For the twins’ sake, you need to be strong. If a spell was placed on your family, then someone has to know how to remove it.”