THE CAT WHO PAWED THE CULTIST: Sanctum Guardians Book 1 by Robert Hazelton ***Excerpt - Giveaway***

The Cat Who Pawed the Cultist 

Sanctum Guardians Book 1

by Robert Hazelton

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy



Charlotte Barreau has tried to maintain a low key lifestyle but it isn’t easy for a young witch. As a student of the Holstrom Sanctum, she’s studied the intricacies of magic but never had to apply them to anything of importance. Her biggest concerns involve finding a movie she hasn’t seen, spending time with her friend Avery, and passing magical physics.All that changes when she meets a feisty orange cat attempting to foil the plot of a cultist opening a portal to another world. This magical beast comes to her with a calling, a duty to defend our world against denizens of a dangerous realm called the Umbra Oculus. Charlotte finds herself inextricably bound to her new friend, a partner in his crusade.As they begin to investigate, they find themselves dangerously outmatched. Their opponents are fully trained, adult wizards with serious zeal for their work. Even after enlisting the aid of two additional students, they discover they may not be cut out for the task. But with no one else working on the problem, these children and their cat must save the world, even as they risk their very lives in the effort.


Excerpt

“Be still!” I rasped. “Come on, you want to come with me, I have to sneak you in!” 

“Why?” He asked. “I can smell another guardian here. I’ll introduce myself, tell him I’m moving in and we’ll be purrfect.” He waggled his little cat brows. “Did you like that there? Purrfect? Huh? Huh? C’mon, lady. It’s hard enough being a cat if you’re not going to throw me some tuna when I’m cute.”

“You’re adorable,” I replied. “But now, you have to be quiet and still! I’m going to wrap you in my jacket and bring you inside. I’ll sign in, we’ll go up the elevator and be in my room in no time.”

“Then?”

“Then we’ll talk.”

“No.”

I sighed. “What do you mean no?”

“First, we dine! Meow!” He sang the song of his people loud enough to wake the dead. I put my fingers over his mouth as soon as he finished.

“Sh!” I rasped. “I’ll give you food, yes. But there won’t be anything if we don’t get inside without being caught, get it?”

“Right. Stealth mode. I'm totally stealthy. I blend into any Latin inspired decoration. Oh! And hardwood floors! I totally melt into those. You'd never see me before I'd pounce! Haha!”

“Stop!” I wrapped him up. He still squirmed a bit but calmed down once I opened the door. Stepping over to the counter, I grabbed the pen to sign in. My hand trembled but it calmed down when I pressed the tip of the ballpoint to the page. I nearly finished writing my last name when the attendant looked at me, making me jump.

“You okay?” He asked.

“Uh huh.” I nodded, eyes wide. “Why? Do I not look okay? Is something wrong with me?”

His brows furrowed. “I’d say yes, probably.”

“Oh! Well.” I laughed nervously. “Nothing that can be helped right now. I’m just…going up to my room…for dinner…and homework.”

“Don’t let me stop you.” He tilted his head back and stared at the ceiling again.

“Bye bye!” I hurried over to the elevator and hit the button.

“You’re not smooth!” The cat said, his high voice muffled by my jacket.

“Shush!” I whispered harshly. “No more talking until we get to the room!”

“Did you say something?” The desk guy called out.

“Nope!” I yelled back. “Not to you at least. Just…talking to myself! About my homework I mentioned earlier. You know?”

“You fifth year kids are weird,” he replied. The elevator door opened and I boarded.

“I know! We totally are! Thanks!” I let the door close and slumped against the wall. “Great, now someone else thinks I’m nuts.”

“Ya kinda are nutters.” Another muffled comment from my jacket, this time in a faux British accent.

“Really? You’re cockney cat now? What’s that about?”

“Holstrom is a famous English school,” the cat said. “So I’m just tryin’ ta adapt, luv!”

“Don’t. Please don’t.”

The elevator door opened, revealing a blessedly empty hallway. Mine was the fifth door on the left and I practically ran the short distance. Bursting in, I put the cat on the floor. Only then did the earlier event catch up to me. I’d faced a total nut job and somehow survived. The trembling that plagued my hands downstairs moved to the rest of my body.


About the Author

Robert Hazelton has been writing short fiction, novels and music his entire life. As the founding member of Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society and a long time member of the band Abney Park, he has traveled extensively and performed countless shows in exotic locales.

Robert writes in a variety of genres but keeps drifting back to modern fantasy/horror. He considers Elizabeth Moon, Frank Herbert, and Steven Pressfield to be his biggest influences.



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