Welcome everyone. I have author Freddy MacKay here and Kou, from Internment. please welcome them as we chat. Leave a comment about your favorite shifter at the bottom (with your email) for a chance to win one of our New Shenanigans Blog Tour prizes.
For the full schedule and all the prize info, please go to the intro post on the Mischief Corner Books Blog.
Interview with Kou
Toni: Hello, Kou. *bends way down to shakes paw*
Kou: Are you a giant? *eyes wide*
Toni: *laughs* Nope, you're just small.
Kou: *Puffs up tail* No I'm not.
Toni: I'm pretty sure I could squish you with my shoe.
Kou: *gasps in horror* You are a giant!
Toni: *crosses arms* Are we going to do this interview or not?
Kou: *climbs up chair and sits down*
Toni: *sighs in exasperation, looks at Freddy* This is your fault you know. You're responsible for him.
Freddy: I have no idea what you're talking about *in complete denial*
Kou: *leans toward Freddy* You sure she's not going to eat me?
Freddy: *pets Kou* Nope, she's just a platypus.
Kou: *eyes get really big, turns to Toni* How big are you when you shift?
Freddy: *Sends kisses* Love you!
Toni: *shakes head* This interview is never going to happen.
Freddy and Kou: Sure it will.
Toni: *eyes Freddy and Kou, points* Behave. Both of you.
Freddy and Kou: *salutes* Yes, Ma'am.
Toni: I should kick both of you out right now.
Freddy: We'll be good.
Toni: I'm going to regret this.
Toni: *shaking head again, rubs temple* Okay. Kou—not Freddy—can you tell me a little about yourself.
Kou: *holds up paw* I'm almost fifteen, and I am a Columbian Gray Squirrel. It's the most common squirrel in the United States. I like pinecones and nuts. My papa is Tadashi. He's the one who saved me when my birth squirrel abandoned the nest. Tadashi is a kitsune—a fox. He serves Inari at the temple, that's where we live. Tadashi is sad a lot, and we don't get company at the temple. It can be lonely. He can be a little overbearing. Tadashi can't seem to recognize I'm a grown up yet, but he's a good papa.
Toni: *smiles* Fourteen is still a little young, and it sounds like he loves you.
Kou: He does, but I worry about him. And I'm fifteen.
Toni: You said...
Kou: It's close enough!
Freddy: *laughing on the side*
Toni: *shoots Freddy dirty look* You're not helping.
Freddy: He bites you know. You might not want to disagree with him.
Toni: *lifts feet*
Freddy: *snorts* And he can jump far.
Kou: *puffs up* I can float!
Toni: *groans* I am so done with this interview.
Horns & Halos: Releasing this Thursday 29th August.
Trotting back to his room, satisfied with his run and able to work past the ever-present ache inside him, Tadashi stopped suddenly. There was a smell on the breeze—an unfamiliar scent. No. Scents. He whipped around and stuck his nose into the air, breathing deeply. It wasn't right. He growled. Something was wrong. Even the forest had gone quiet as if all the life bustling about earlier hadn't happened.
Tadashi sprinted toward the cause of his unease. The new growth and small buds peeping from the ground bent as he ran by, his speed kicking up a small wind where he passed. There should be some noise. The forest hadn't been this quite in years. The last time the animals were this quiet was... Tadashi stumbled.
Had humans returned to the mountain?
Most left his area alone due to the stories that developed after the war. He had let the tales proliferate, encouraged them, giving the tales a helping hand or paw periodically.
No one wanted to visit a haunted shrine.
He lifted his snout and tested the air again. Eyes closed, Tadashi tried hard to remember what humans smelled like. It had been so long. Nothing. He lost the scent. Tadashi shifted, turning and inhaling the wisps of smell the wind brought him. Finally, he caught the unfamiliar odor again.
His heart raced, the forest a blur as Tadashi ran to meet his intruders. His sanctuary would not be poisoned by humans, even if he had to drag them away by force. A low rumble settled in his belly the closer he got to the scent. His memory might not remember the general odor of people, but it was close enough to the one person he remembered best.
When the smell hung in the air like a heavy perfume, Tadashi slowed. Other animal smells mixed with the humans. Tadashi sniffed the ground and sneezed. Dogs. The hair on his back stood straight as he growled. Of course this couldn't be easy, but he would not back down. If he could scare whomever was stupid enough to visit the temple, that would be easiest. Less of his dwindling energy would be consumed. Tadashi tilted his snout back again, trying to locate the offenders.
Circling through the trees, he searched desperately. No noise was being made. If humans were around, the bumbling idiots should be making some kind of sound. Trampling bushes underfoot, breaking low hanging branches and squished flowers in their path instead of stepping around. They destroyed everything they touched. Took what they wanted and hurt those not like them. Like Tadashi or, more importantly, Akatsuki.
Tadashi needed to find the intruders before they hurt something valuable.
Finally, he found a piece of cloth hanging on a bush. The material was rather large and kind of looked like a shirt. Tadashi sniffed at it. Yuck. It smelled horrible. He sneezed. Humans were foul.
As he tore the offending material away from the bush, one thing did register with him.
The animals were chatting away again. Tadashi took it as a sign the intruders were gone. He shifted and took the piece of clothing in hand. He stretched it out, taking a good look at it. A t-shirt. His heartbeat went into overdrive, emotions barraging Tadashi making it awfully hard to keep his form. His tails slid out, and the need to hunt battered away any reason he had.
Humans had gotten awfully close to the temple. Closer than any in so long. Tadashi would have to check the seals and barriers. He wanted no unwelcome guests.
Angry he couldn't find the humans, Tadashi spun around and began to pace through the trees. He struggled with allowing his baser instincts to come out and hunt versus going back to the shrine and regrouping. If he got too close to town, people would notice, especially right now. He wanted to know if someone new had come to the sleepy mountain village but his showing up could create problems. Tadashi only went to town for supplies, and even then, his trips down were when he could control his different forms.
No. He was too upset to make the journey down. He'd have to go back to the shrine, regroup, and make a plan. Tadashi also wanted to find Kou. Maybe the little squirrel could tell him something.
Thank you to Freddy and Kou for taking the time to drop in on us here, even if you did drive me nuts. :)