Tuesday, June 26, 2018

{Excerpt} "A Study In Shifters" by Majanka Verstraete

A Study In Shifters
Majanka Verstraete
(The Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #1)
Publication date: June 26th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes may be the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s hard to live up to the family name when only one mistake can spell your downfall. After trusting the wrong guy in a case gone totally wrong, Marisol convinces the Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a last chance to prove her worth, and maybe even heal her broken heart
After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—and every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter. But is one of her own people involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?
Then Marisol discovers her best friend, Roan, is missing, and maybe the killer’s next target. The stakes just got higher than political intrigue. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. Marisol fears this case might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined.
It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.

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My heart raced in my chest. I wanted to pull my arm away, but Balthazar’s grip was strong as a vise. If I could still shift, I would turn into a jaguar and rip him apart. My inner animal, the last remnants of my shifter side, growled furiously.
Balthazar was wrong about me, but I knew I would never be able to convince him. I did care.  I cared so much about the people who died because of Mannix— because of me—that I hadn’t allowed myself to cry. I hadn’t cried because I hadn’t deserved to cry. It was all my fault. I hadn’t even deserved to be at her funeral, and I wouldn’t have gone if my mother hadn’t forced me along. I’d fought her the entire way, but without my ability to shift, I was powerless against her. So I had stood there in the soaking rain, the weight of guilt so enormous it seemed to push me straight into the ground.
Balthazar wasn’t the only one who thought I didn’t care. But it wasn’t that I didn’t care; it was that my guilt wouldn’t let me grieve.
“One day, Miss Holmes,” Balthy said as his fingers dug into my skin, “you’ll have to face the consequences of what you did. Of the people who got hurt because of you.”
“That’s enough, Balthazar,” Saldor said.
Balthazar gave me a look that said I wasn’t worth the dirt under his boots. His eyes turned into slits, like a snake, and I found myself stumbling back. Without another word, he turned on his heel and walked out of the room.
Saldor watched him leave, shook his head, and turned back toward me. “You did well, Marisol,” he said. “Not that I had expected otherwise.”
I sighed. “Rollins has a point, you know. I can come up with a logical deduction in seconds, and I’m perceptive, but what good does that do in real life situations? I can’t trust myself. I can’t trust my emotions.” I glanced down at my hands. “I shouldn’t have come back. The Council was right to suspend me.”
Saldor put a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t talk like that. You were born for this, and you know that. Your great-great-great grandfather was there to help establish this very Conclave. You deserve a spot in our ranks just as much as anyone else does.”
“Yes, but I’m pretty sure the great Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t have fallen for Mannix’s dirty tricks, now would he?” A hint of envy slipped into my voice. People always compared me to Gramps, and I always felt like I came up short. Who could compare to such a name? Such a legacy?


About Majanka Verstraete:
Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels. At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.
When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.
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