Tag Archives: shape shifter

The Bete goes on, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa BurtonHey all you space jockeys and interplanetary folks, and particularly cat lovers today, you’ve just landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show out there that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Darma. She’s a nineteen your old scientist who crash landed on an unexplored planet. “Welcome to the show, Darma.”

“Yo.”

“It seems like you guys are doing okay, and making the best of this new planet. My bio says you made friends with someone called the Bete. What can you tell us about your new friends?”

“They’re pretty damn capable, y’know. Decisive, practical. They respect intelligence. Sure, they’ve got some extra abilities. Each of them can do useful stuff like finding and telepathy, firestarting. Truthsense. Teleporting. And K’Ti is incredible at healing. She fixed my shattered hand like that. It’s totally true, Lisa. And, then, there’s the Prime, those that can also change into usually a badass animal. But really, what could be sexier than hanging out with someone who could, at any moment, turn into a gorgeous black panther. I mean, what a thrill. And they are bad to the bone. Xander’s the strongest, as the dragon, but I’ve got a soft spot for the panther.”

“It seems odd to form friendships with people who are so different. I’m guessing they aren’t all that different, are they?”

“Really, I don’t get what the big deal is, Lisa. Most of the time, they’re just like anyone else and the folks that seem to be weirded out are just overreacting. Sometimes they’re stupid kids, like Laren, pig-headed and quick to fight. Sometimes they’re insufferable bores like Cil. They’ve got dark sides and flaws just like you and me. And the way they’re treated by some of the humans, it’s no wonder so many of them we’re keeping at arms’ length until, y’know, I started walking through walls and then I, well, turned into a Kula tiger. Even Laren’s impressed when I do both at the same time. Anyway, Lisa, they had grown to accept me even before all that, but I think it helps I’m in the same boat with the rest of them.”

“That sounds pretty cool to me. How did you acquire your abilities?”

“K’Ti’s the one that spotted it. K’Ti knew it as a magic enhancer from the old planet, even out in the wild, but the rest of the Bete were clueless. Then the explorers said it was a known mutagen that caused enhanced talents and shapeshifting abilities if you eat enough of it. Well, it grows like mad upstream of the river so it’s in fish and game, the water. Only a matter of time before some of the humans were going to find out they weren’t so human. Couple already have and I’m one of ’em. Though, so far, I’m the only Prime, y’know, a shapeshifter.”

“How do the rest of the survivors feel about the Bete?”

“It depends and a lot of it depends on where you came from on the world we grew up on. People like the Captain and my teacher, Corrina Pensa, they’re more fascinated and impressed, maybe grateful the Bete have been willing to fight on our side. And me. They’re actively supporting the Bete, helping to protect them.

“Then, Lisa, there are a whole bunch of kids who grew up in the cities back home and never even heard of the Bete or magic like K’Ti’s. I don’t know that they have an opinion, yet. Just depends on who makes the compelling story.

“But there are some that are freaking fanatics. Folks that grew up in the fringes within range of the Bete camp, people who might have a stray mutant show up in their own village. If they found one, they’d kill them out of hand, first chance. Laren, I mentioned him early, the panther? He was one of those but his mother, when she found out, instead of turning him in, tried to keep it a secret. When her village found out, they chained him up to die outside the village where the dire wolves and wild Kula tigers roam, while they tortured his mother to death. Just for hiding his nature. While he listened, Lisa. He was eight years old. These people are wild-eyed fanatics and what they lack in numbers, they make up for in zeal. I mean, these folks are scary.

“When the rumor went around after we crashed that K’Ti was healing people—healing people—some of them came to attack and would have raped her and who knows what if the Bete hadn’t stopped them.”

“I’ll never understand why everyone can’t just get along. Your abilities could be a real benefit to the whole community if everyone would just embrace that.”

“K’Ti—she’s only sixteen but she’s wise beyond her years—says that someday we’ll all be Bete we’ll just end up hating ourselves, but what it really is, Lisa, is just dumb. It’s like being human, to some Bete, or being Bete, to some humans, would tell you all you need to know, but that’s not it. Everybody’s a person, an individual. Kert is a doofus and so is Laren, but they’re both good people. In the end, who you are is a lot more important than what you are.”

“I know, right. Believe me, I’ve been the outsider, and people don’t react too well to a robot girl sometimes. Maybe a new planet is a better place to live the way you want.”

“Well, it wasn’t that easy. Crash landing on an unknown planet, we weren’t really ready for it, you know. Carnivorous plants—K’Ti helped identify those—packs of attacking wolves and the bugs. You think you’ve seen it all until you’re face to face with an ant as tall as you are riding a freaking dragonfly as big as a small dragon when all you’ve got to defend yourself is a dull machete. That was the Klixit, Lisa. Wouldn’t want to do that again. I mean, we worked something out, but for a while there, it looked pretty hopeless. Then we had to deal with other bugs. Smaller, but deadly with disease.”

“That figures. You couldn’t just crash into the Planet of Eden.”

“Well, no, but, so far the climate’s been terrific and Laren found some native fauna that worship cats like gods. And we’ve got the shipcats. You ever heard of shipcats, Lisa? They are so cool. Specially bred for space travel, they pick people and can communicate with them. And those little buggers are damn fine fighters including a neurotoxin in their venom. That’s right, venom. Don’t get on their bad sides. Since Laren and I are both cats in our other forms, we can talk to any of them.”

“Wow, cat lovers are going to dig these books. I mean shipcats, tigers, and a panther. It’s almost like a shipcat could be a familiar, since they can tell you what they see and hear. Of course, they’re cats, and aren’t prone to following directions.”

“Yeah, they help though, but only as much or in the way they want to. Rather like regular cats. Only with venom. With the ship crashed and no fuel, we’re not getting off this rock so we’re going to have to make it work here and there are still a few unanswered questions like the 10 m high flood lines and the binary pair to our planet that, I swear, is getting closer, though I haven’t verified that with readings. And there are the wolf packs that attack but smell like man—except not any of the men that came with us. Could be a whole heaping helping of trouble still to come.”

“Cats and dogs are natural enemies. Maybe not a problem for the others, but you and Laren should be careful. Any closing comments for our listeners today?”

“In the meantime, I’ve got my hands full keeping Laren out of trouble, helping us develop useful inventions for our nascent colony and flouting Bete and human traditions in turn. Gonna be a heckuva ride, I’m betting. Wouldn’t miss it.”

“If you’d like to learn more about Darma and the Bete, pick up copies of The Beast Within and Nine Lives, by Stephanie Barr.

 

“Don’t forget to help me pay the bills around here, by using those sharing buttons today. Darma and Stephanie would do the same for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

There should never have been a space battle, certainly not one that sent my ship full of fleeing children across the whole damn universe. Nor was I prepared to land on a planet I knew nothing about and would never be able to escape. But of all the things I wasn’t prepared for, it was to find myself dependent on a tiny group of shapeshifting magic users among the refugees, shapeshifters hated by my own fellow humans and yet the only chance any of us had to survive.

I have now seen the shapeshifters, called the Bete, organize and build when we were still chaos inside my ship, even though we had adults and they didn’t. I have seen them repulse the horrific foes that wander this new world. change into fantastic beasts for our protection, and even heal our wounds.

I’m told they are demons and monsters that cannot be trusted, and yet, I have found that our fate relies not only on this group but the leadership and judgment of a boy half my age and many times my power. How am I to hate him? Who is really the beast in this?

The “demon” that saves us or the hatred that divides us?

The “demon” that saves us or the hatred that divides us?

I clearly did not bring enough whisky.

Some language and violence.

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Of all the ridiculous turn of events, that hot-headed interloper, Laren, took charge when a flurry of crises descended. Our leader was downed by some unknown disease, our healer mauled in our leader’s delirium, and the humans, as I always suspected, were gearing for war to take us out.

But Laren has discarded his only redeeming quality, his overwhelming distrust and hatred for humanity. That engineer human, is undoubtedly the cause, seducing that cat with her reason. Who would have expected that Laren, known for his short temper, would react with logic and caution as we tried to prevent the disease from taking out our most powerful Bete, save our leader and the healer, both in critical condition, and deal with the human camp, now under the power of those who consider us demons?

I’m not saying Laren wanted to be leader, but he stood firm when older and wiser heads, like mine, argued to leave the humans to their own self-destruction. And Bete and humans alike backed him, including his girlfriend who is now a Bete like us. What will happen now that he plans to attack the humans head-on, rescuing those that are friendly and putting a stop to the faction that wants to take us down? What is with all these new powers the Bete and even some humans are developing? What does this mean for our future?

Surely that stupid cat is not fit to lead us. So, why is he doing so damn well?

Sequel to Beast Within. Contains some language and violence.

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Stephanie BarrAlthough Stephanie Barr is a slave to three children and a slew of cats, she actually leads a double life as a part time novelist and full time rocket scientist. People everywhere have learned to watch out for fear of becoming part of her stories. Beware! You might be next!

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Take a fun quiz to find out which of Stephanie’s protagonist’s you’re most like here.

Take this fun quiz to find out which of Stephanie’s books best suits you.

Stephanie maintains two additional blogs, one dedicated to rocket science, and one dedicated to manga.

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The P.A.W.S. Institute, on Lisa Burton Radio

Don’t touch that dial, you’ve just landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show out there that interviews the characters that you love to read about. I’m your host, Lisa Burton, the robot girl, and my special guest today is Jessamyn, the head of the P.A.W.S. Institute. “Welcome to the show, Jessamyn.”

“Thank you Lisa, I’m privileged to be here.”

“Jessamyn, why don’t you tell the listeners what P.A.W.S. stands for.”

“P.A.W.S. is the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters. We are an umbrella organization for shifters all around the globe with branches in every continent. I am the head of the Midwest Institute that is located under the Jewel Box in Forest Park in St. Louis (though good luck in finding us – our magic wards are strong and unless you are a shifter yourself, and you’re invited in by me, you’ll not be able to penetrate them.)

“Here in St. Louis we host all kinds of shifters. Animagi are magicians who study hard and learn to become shifters. It’s a long and arduous process, as my son Danny discovered. He finally chose to become a Maine coon cat, but not before exploring all kinds of options from squirrels to sparrows.

“Werewolves come in two flavors. There are those who were bitten by a werewolf and those who were born to werewolf parents. Those who are bitten are initially only able to shift during a full-moon, but with practice they can learn to control their shifts and transform at any time of the month. Those born to werewolf parents generally don’t turn until they reach adolescence. There are rumors also of the existence of werecats in Europe that were said to be created by a Nazi scientist during the Second World War, but so far we have not hosted any of these weres at the Midwest institute.

“The rarest form is the true shapeshifter. They get their magic from silver charms that are passed on through the generations. It is said that the first charms were forged by Merlin and I once knew a magician who wore such a charm around his neck. Today at P.A.W.S. we host five shapeshifters: Miri Katz – a cat shifter from an old family from Vienna; Sandy and Sean Ryder – twins from Texas who joined us after their family was killed in unexpected fire on the family ranch. They transform into horses and can often be seen trotting around Forest Park; Zamir – one of our exchange students from the P.A.W.S. Institute of Egypt. His form is that of a snake and he’s training to be a Healer; and finally there’s Hugo Hogsworth, our chef at P.A.W.S. who is a rather large shapeshifting pig – and a wonderful cook! His truffles are to die for!”

“So you must be a shapeshifter yourself. What kind of animal do you shift into?”

“I’m one of the few animagi that can actually shift to more than one creature. All my forms are birds. I knew from the moment I decided to become an animagus that I wanted to be able to fly, and it has served me well. I flew as a young girl all the way from my ancestral home on Inis Fraogh in Ireland to New York. Not all at once of course. My companion and I rested on cruise ships along the way. For this trip I mostly took the form of a seagull. It’s important to blend in with your surroundings. But by far my favorite bird form is that of the eagle. I love its power and its beauty and the ability to fly high and still check out the world below. It has served me well over the years.”

“I like the idea that all kinds of shifters are represented. In a world where such things happen, there must be shrimp along with tigers. Not all of them will feel the need to be a hero, or a villain.”

“Oh yes we have all kinds at P.A.W.S. And we all try to work together even when it’s a stretch. For example we’ve recently become host to an exchange student from Canadian P.A.W.S., Gordon Pugh. Gordon’s chosen form is a Canada goose and a goose is not subtle. I’m constantly getting complaints about his behavior. He caused quite a ruckus over in Creve Coeur Park one day when he took a fancy to a young swan. His excuse that evening was “how was he supposed to know that they mated for life?”

“On the whole though, we work well together and use our joint magic to protect the greater population. P.A.W.S. you see receives its funding from a special secret magical department of the government. We take our responsibility seriously.”

“So there aren’t just shifters, there are powerful magical forces at work here too? You also mentioned protecting the greater population, can you tell us what you’re protecting us from?”

“Oh yes, at P.A.W.S. we explore more than just the magic of shifting. Every magic user has a special power. I, for example, have my illusion. I have been creating illusions ever since I was small. On Inis Fraogh as a child I would build illusory sandcastles filled with intricate detail. My mother, a Healer, used to scorn my skill, but I have learnt over the years that illusion is indeed very powerful.

“But every member of P.A.W.S. has their own special magic. Josh, one of our resident werewolves is particularly skilled at tracking, and my son Danny, is adept at telekinesis. Most of us at P.A.W.S. learn to control our magic and use it to help others, but there are other forces outside of P.A.W.S. with strong, unchecked magic. One such force is Alistair.

“I have met him once, but that one meeting left an indelible mark on me, and tore someone who was dear to me away. His power is that of persuasion. He can control those around him with a word and a touch and his pack adore him and try to emulate him. He claims he is immortal and his immortality comes from consuming human flesh on the full moon. And with each passing full moon he grows stronger.”

“So let me get this straight. More magic means more power, and this Alistair dude eats his victims to gain more power? That’s disgusting! In order to face him, do you have to eat some victims too?”

“Oh no, I would never do something so terrible and neither would any of the members of P.A.W.S. The werewolves we have hosted in P.A.W.S. have all sworn never to attack humans, rather on the night of the full moon they feast on squirrels and vermin. But Alistair’s pack grows stronger each full moon and they must be stopped.”

“Thank you, Jessamyn, for being my guest today. I think I speak for everyone when I hope you find a way to stop Alistair. Today’s show was sponsored by P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer. I’ll include all the important data on the blog site.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress. That means click those sharing buttons at the end. When your character appears here, you’ll appreciate others sharing your interview. If you’d like to arrange an interview for one of your characters, please use the email address inside my contact page. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

P.A.W.S.

When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama on the night before she dies she has no idea that the charm holds a secret, a powerful magic that saved her omama’s life and is about to make Miri’s a whole lot more interesting.

Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society known as the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.

http://amzn.com/B0129GG6YQ

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0129GG6YQ

 

Argentum:

Argentum is the thread that binds all magic …

The silver of Miri’s cat charm passed on through the generations.

The silver of Jessamyn’s scepter, the source of her illusions.

The silver of Quentin’s scrying bowl, forged by Merlin.

All intertwine in Argentum.

With Alistair gone a measure of peace returns to P.A.W.S., but Miri is tormented by nightmares. The silver charm that had recently hung around Alistair’s neck is now in Miri’s possession and seems to have taken on a life of its own. And then it mysteriously disappears.

Jessamyn seeks help from Quentin, who claims to have repented his past association with Alistair, but can he be trusted?

And what of Jenna? The young girl rescued from Alistair’s pack house holds a terrible secret. One that could determine the future of P.A.W.S.

https://amzn.com/B01M74MSAR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M74MSAR

Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the London. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a writer and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of the P.A.W.S. series has stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Winter Wishes, and Sins of The Past. She has also published a book of logic puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with her son Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

 

Follow Debbie at these locations:

Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/

Paws4Puzzles: http://paws4puzzles.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor

Twitter: @CiciCat42

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Manber-Kupfer/e/B00DHPNJ5I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7142164.Debbie_Manber_Kupfer

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjFGmnQLrtSBTkxa3BYddHA

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