Here's my cover for The Praetorians: Discovery, due out on May 19th at New Concepts Publishing:
Isn't it gorgeous?!? I absolutely love New Concepts artists! (Well, to be honest, I've yet to get a cover from any of my publishers that I've not liked.) *G* Here's the story:
Catriona Devane is on the assignment that will finally put her on the journalistic map. Deep under the Sonoran Desert, she searches for clues in the disappearance of the lead scientist responsible for creating the Praetorians, warriors who are human/animal hybrids.
Max Didion is the captain of the ultra elite squad of Praetorians who guard the scientific facility. A human/cougar hybrid, his heightened sense of sight, smell and hearing are invaluable assets to him in his job. But he has become more and more convinced that what he's protecting is immoral. When Cat comes into his life and puts herself in harm's way, it's time to make a decision.
His job or her life?
He doesn't hesitate. And once they're relatively safe, will she love him enough to accept him for what he is? Part man, part cougar. Her mate.
* * *
An excerpt from The Praetorians: Discovery:
Catriona Devane crept along the deserted corridor of the scientific wing of The Foundation, a complex deep under the Sonoran Desert. Most people had no idea what lurked under this stretch of starkly beautiful land west of Tucson. They had no idea it housed an ultra-secretive organization that trained people with the powers of telepathy and telekinesis.
The Chosen Ones.
She held her breath and prayed no one would leave their quarters. At two in the morning, most of the staff was asleep, with a lone security guard on duty. Her contact had assured her the man would be distracted from the screens for thirty minutes. Long enough for her to get in and out without being seen.
Glancing at the duty roster as she passed by, she was reminded that today was Friday the thirteenth. Not that she was suspicious or anything. After all, this was twenty-seventy. Science ruled, and there was no room for ancient suspicions.
She tiptoed on, knowing if it weren’t for her latent ability to mask her thoughts, she would’ve never made it past the front door. As a Sensitive, she could block her mind from anything they sent her way. Most people were psychically sensitive to one degree or another, much more so than even fifty years ago.
She swallowed, even though her mouth was dry with the fear of being caught. Were she to be discovered in an area of the complex for which she didn’t have clearance, well.… She’d be in deep doo-doo.
With a capital D.
She could only hope her contact was true to his--or her--word.
She turned the corner and stopped for a moment, trying to calm her breathing. With the Praetorians’ exceptional sense of sound, they were sure to hear her if she went on like this, wheezing down the hallway like a winded racehorse.
Thoughts of the elite security force that guarded the Chosen Ones made her heart thump harder. The Praetorians, hybrid warriors, appeared to be mere humans, but the men’s DNA was spliced with that of various animals. These were men who were naturally tall and strong, but enhanced to be more. Much more.
Hawkmen. Wolfmen. Lionmen. The list of hybrids was astounding. It was rumored that the experiments had begun as much as a hundred years earlier, in a top-secret military installation in Nevada. But, like the Chosen Ones, the Praetorians were kept a secret.
She needed to know why.
A noise from behind made her stop. With a gulp, she turned and surveyed the still empty corridor. When nothing happened, she wiped her sweaty palms on her black jeans and started walking again. Her rubber-soled sneakers made little noise on the floor, but she was so hyped up, the small squeaks she heard seemed to echo loudly.
Her destination was the room at the end, the lab where the biogenetic researchers worked. All other staff was forbidden admittance. From conversations she’d had with other lab assistants, this was the last place Doctor Lexy Harris had been seen, just over a week ago.
If she could prove to the authorities and the public that nefarious scientific experiments--unsanctioned biogenetic experiments--were taking place here, all initially engineered by Doctor Harris, she’d be on the journalistic map. Cat was determined this story would be the one to make her career.
But there was more to it than that. She had a personal agenda, as well, to discover what had happened to her brother. She hadn’t heard from him in nearly five years, but she sensed he still lived. Her contact at The Foundation had hinted that Sean had gotten mixed up in all of this. She needed to find him. She had to know.
This was her first undercover assignment and she was so close to the truth--all the truth--the fine hairs on the back of her neck were standing on end.
Of course, that could have something to do with Max Didion, the captain of the security team here at The Foundation. Every time he was near, her senses went into overload. All she wanted to do was wrap herself around him and drink him in, his smell, the feel of his skin, the heat from his big body.
One kiss. He’d only kissed her one time and she couldn’t get the taste of him out of her mouth. She wasn’t sure she wanted to. It was like holding milk chocolate in your mouth and taking a sip of coffee. A burst of bitter against the sweet.
She wanted more.
Copyright ©2006 Sherrill Quinn. All Rights Reserved.