New Release: Uma (Selkies) by Alice Gaines #urbanfantasy @AliceGaines

Mark Stephenson came to Galapagos searching for his friend, Nate Adams. Instead, a mysterious naked woman appears. Mark instantly falls into lust, but could there be real feelings lurking under the surface?

The rules of the Sisterhood allow Uma, a seal shapeshifter, one chance to mate with a human. Although she knows she must not bond with the man who will father her child, she wants Mark as her mate. But how will Mark deal with the fact she’s been lying to him?

Get it Today at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Alice Gaines

Uma rose before the rest of the Selkie Sisterhood had stirred. Even this early in the morning, the air in the islands humans called Galapagos was pleasant enough for her not to need clothing. In the nearby bushes, dozens of Darwin’s finches hopped about looking for insects, and marine iguanas basked on sun-warmed rocks. They would have to serve as her going away party.

Yesterday, she’d enjoyed the rite of initiation as a mated selkie — a seal shapeshifter. Today, she’d swim to a different island not too far away. There, she’d meet her mate, the human male who would give her a child. She couldn’t possibly have slept another wink nor waited until her sisters roused. She’d see them again soon enough when she returned home, pregnant and ready to create a new life for the next generation.

She went down the path toward the ocean, past booby nests where the parent birds shared responsibility for protecting their egg. As she’d done so many times before, she proceeded to the place where selkies hid their seal skins. No one would guess this was anything more than collection of scrub, rocks, and sand, but each sister had her own place here.

Long ago Uma had marked her spot with small stones in a particular pattern. Now, she moved them aside and dug a few inches into the sand to retrieve the sack that held the skin that would allow her to shift into her seal form. The skin itself caught the sunlight, making it glisten like silver.

After replacing the sack and rearranging the sand and stones, Uma rose and carried the skin down to the water’s edge. Here, she said a silent prayer of thanks and supplication for success to the nature gods who ruled this place before sitting to slip into the skin and make the transformation. She pictured herself as a seal. Still a mammal, but one who could slide through the water with agility and speed far beyond that of her human form.

The sea was as much her home as the land. As Mother Inu always said, the ocean currents flowed in her blood. The origin of all life existed within her. Now, she would create that life in her womb, and she’d have the very great pleasure of mating to accomplish that.

Mating — sex — with a human male gave incredible pleasure, according to the sisters who’d enjoyed it. She’d respond to his touch in ways she couldn’t imagine until she’d experienced it. And she wouldn’t copulate just once. In order to assure conception, she’d do it over and over again.

Her body had prepared itself for this union for months now, her breasts swelling and becoming sensitive to even the feel of clothing against her skin. A dull ache in the place between her legs said she’d come to crave contact there. Something more satisfying than her own touch. Something her mate could give her. With any luck, she’d have all that before the sun went down, and tomorrow she’d awake with the man to enjoy him yet again.

She swam through familiar waters where she and her sisters often spent hours together. Today, the colorful fish hardly distracted her. A sea lion and her pup approached to check her out, the pup frolicking in the joy of being young and free. Eventually, she left her Sisterhood’s territory behind and ventured toward more distant islands. Always, her sense of rightness in her destination told her she was approaching her goal. The nearer she got to her mate, the stronger the pull became until she finally pulled herself onto a foreign beach and basked in the sun after her long trip.

He was here. She could sense his presence, although she couldn’t have said how. Just a quickening of her pulse and a sweetness to the air. She waited a few minutes to let the anticipation rise.

By now, the sun had climbed higher in the sky. She concentrated on her human form, picturing herself emerging from her skin to become a woman. The seam along her side opened, and she crawled out. After rising, she glanced around.

A small structure sat atop a gentle rise, flanked by a portable outhouse. Definitely a human encampment, but no one stirred. He had to be here. Now with her human body exposed to the air, the sense of connection fairly vibrated against her skin. She’d find him. If not immediately, then soon. She’d waited all her life for this. She could wait a bit longer, even if it felt like torture.

First, she’d have to hide her seal skin. No humans could know about the existence of the Sisterhood or they’d exploit them for their own benefit. Her mate would have to believe she was what she appeared to be — a woman as eager to mate as he was.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Alice Gaines has published several sensuous and erotic works. She prefers stories that stretch the imagination, highlighting the power of love and sex. Alice has a Ph.D. in psychology from U. C. Berkeley and lives in Oakland, California, with her collection of orchids and her pet corn snake, Casper.