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Announcement: Cutting Ties, by C.M. Torres

Cutting TiesQSFer C.M. Torrens has a new MM fantasy/paranormal book out:

War is looming, and as the alpha, it falls to Dante to protect his shifter pack from the hybrid creatures spawned to prey upon them. To that end he joins forces with the Nephilim Odin in the hopes of keeping both their people safe, though past slights and animosity between the clans continue to cause strain. Attacks on the packs and Nephilim clans increase, and the seemingly endless army of hybrids will not stop growing. Dante knows their only chance to put an end to the carnage is to find the nest where his twin August and August’s mistress are creating the hybrids.

With entire cities being destroyed, Dante must call upon the pack weave to find the people who have been captured—and the nest. Dante and Odin gather an army for an all-out attack. Though a desperate and risky move, Dante has been backed into a corner and he sees no other alternative. It’s a battle they must win at any price, because the cost of losing will be catastrophic.

Pack Born Book Two

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THE CONSTANT hum of the industrial fan drowned out the sounds from inside the basement. Twenty human men and women were chained to the concrete walls and floors among a nest of blankets. Some were weeping, others screaming as the virus ripped through their bodies. The once-shifter virus tried to trigger the change in them, but they weren’t shifters. Instead their muscles contracted as if they could and their bones strained under the stress.

August watched one woman through the window in the door as she screamed and began clawing at her skin. For a shifter the virus was like having the flu. The muscles wanted to shift, the skin itched, and fever and nausea wracked the body, but generally it was not especially life-threatening. Keying it to humans had made it lethal to 50 percent of all humans that they had given it. But lethal wasn’t what they were trying to achieve. They wanted them to survive, but the timing had to be just right. Just when their bones started to break, when the fever was high enough and the virus delivered all of its wonderful new bits of DNA throughout the body, that was when it was time to supply the cure.

Well, a cure of a sort.

The whole process took only seven days. Seven days to change a worthless creature like a human into something… new.

He unbolted the heavy steel door and stepped into the room. The scent of sickness was nauseating. Rags covered the floor, and buckets were filled with bile and excrement. He narrowed his eyes at the sight. The hybrids should have been cleaning up this mess throughout the week.

He shook his head and grabbed the first one of the night. Mistress made all of her hybrids herself. She needed them all under her control, so the only real limit on the number they could make was the number of humans she could change in a single night. It was exhausting work for her, and twenty was her limit. It took a couple of weeks for her to recover. Then they could do it again.

Now that they had perfected the process, they could keep this up indefinitely. Or until they ran out of humans, which wasn’t likely.

August dragged the sick female up the stairs and into the upper part of the cabin. It still held the look of an old hunting retreat. The dark wood paneling, animal heads, and a picture of dogs playing poker remained untouched since they acquired the place. Mistress waited on the couch sipping a glass of wine. She was a very small woman dressed in nothing but a sheer robe. She barely looked over the age of eighteen. Her hair was jet black, and her eyes had gone just as black with excitement. She loved making new children.

“Please.” The sick woman’s voice trembled and cracked, barely audible in the quiet room. Her glassy eyes and flushed cheeks shone with fever as she stared up at the Mistress. “Please, make it stop.”

August ignored her pleas and dropped her onto the cushion in front of his mistress. The girl fumbled and tried to move away, but the pain of the sickness made her slow. August shoved her back to the Mistress with his boot.

“Aw, come here, child,” Mistress said. “I can make you all better. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

“I just wanna go home,” the young woman whimpered. “What did you do to me?”

“I’m making you better, dear.” Mistress reached out to stroke her cheek. “Better than you ever were before.”

The sound of the Mistress’s voice had grown hypnotic as she captured the woman in her snare of sweet words and gentle touches.

August rummaged through his front pocket and lit a cigarette as he moved to the bay window across the room. The front door stood ajar to his right, and the hybrid outside hovered near the van. Only a sliver of the moon lit the sky as he waited for his mistress to finish making the first of many for the night. The soft whimpers and weak protests grew muddled behind him, and finally the girl went quiet. After a moment there was a shuddered gasp and Mistress whispered to the girl.

A solid thump of a body hitting wood echoed through the cabin, and August turned back toward the couch. The girl lay on the floor, her breathing shallow and uneven.

He flicked the cigarette out the door, scooped up the girl, and carried her out to the van. One of his Primes hovered near it, waiting. It was more misshapen than some of the others and a little twitchy too. It stared down at the unconscious soon-to-be hybrid and reached out to touch her.

“Stop that! Make yourself useful and grab some blankets for the new ones.” August batted the hybrid’s hand away and waved to toward the cabin.

The hybrid rushed around toward the back of the cabin and disappeared. At least it knew better than to use the front door.

He glanced down at the female, shut the van doors, and went to go get the next one from the basement. One at a time, he filled the van with the unconscious newly made. It would take the group a few days to recover and finish their change. They would never be human again, or shifter or Nephilim. They would be… something else.

With the final one loaded into the van, the hybrid tucked blankets around the sleeper.

August shot him a hard look, and the hybrid scrambled up to the driver’s seat. He shook his head and shut the doors.

“Get to the house,” he said.

Author Bio

C.M. Torrens lives in the Midwest with her wonderful family, two furry canines who think they’re human, and a pet snake who wishes he were human. The warm chaos of her house not only keeps her on her toes, but often reminds her of a zoo at feeding time.

She spends her days torn between chaining her muse to her desk and wanting to beat him for his lack of cooperation when she needs him most. She enjoys the quiet mornings when it’s still dark with a hot cup of coffee and her dogs cuddled at her feet like a giant fuzzy blanket. Those quiet mornings give her time to dwell on the dark worlds and passionate characters drifting in her head.



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