A Gift During Social Distancing


I hope you and the ones you love remain healthy and well during this unprecedented time in global history. I’m hunkered down in Florida, with my husband and my two US-based children. My third daughter remains in med school in Australia. So far (knock on wood), everyone in my family remains coronavirus free. We are all social distancing, working, studying, and writing from home. The daughter who isn’t with us is currently doing her ICU rotations at one of Brisbane’s hospitals, but she assures me that the minute her hospital receives their first COVID-19 patient, she will be sent home.

For anyone who has or has a family member who has contracted the virus, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Just to thank you all for your continued patience and support and to offer a little gift from me during this stressful time, I’m posting this snippet from my current WIP, THE JAGUAR KING, the third book my Weathermages of Mystral series. Enjoy.

Excerpt from THE JAGUAR KING, by C.L. Wilson

(c) Copyright 2020, C.L. Wilson, All rights reserved. This is an unedited work of fiction.

“Come quickly!” Taraq hissed, waving at Miq from the branches of a nearby banyan tree. “Something’s happening.” Not waiting for a response, he turned, sank back into his cat, and raced nimbly across the network of branches.

Miq melted into his jaguar form to more easily navigate the tangle of tree limbs. Powerful muscles flexed in his chest, forelegs and hindquarters as he leapt from his tree to the one Taraq had occupied. Thick, curved claws sank through bark and into the wood beneath to secure his purchase. His sensitive whiskers twitched and his eyes glowed gold as his magic responded to the thick miasma of evil that emanated from Cuora Zinoctl. It was so strong, it all but overpowered him. Miq chuffed and his tail smacked the banyan as he fought off the dark lure that dragged at his cat, making his mouth fill with saliva as every predatory instinct leapt to savage life. A snarl nearby—Cholu keeping watch over him—snapped him out of his brief trance. He shook himself roughly, chuffed his thanks, and followed Taraq’s scent trail through the arboreal highway towards the city of their enemy.

As he drew closer to Taraq’s position, he could hear a commotion. Shouting. The screams of shadow cats. He couldn’t feel the priests, though, thank the Seofne. For the moment, Miq was not a danger to his b’alam. In the days they’d spent scouting the city, trying to find a way in through the barrier, they’d learned that the shadow cats could sense Miq’s presence from a farther distance than the priests, but they had no power to control or influence him. That power lay solely with the priests—and only some of them, at that.

Taraq, who once more wore the skin of a man, crouched amongst the densely leafed upper branches of a massive kapok tree. Miq shed his fur and crouched beside him, and together they both looked down at the city below. The crown of the kapok tree, some two hundred feet above the forest floor, provided an unparalleled view of the deceptively beautiful Cuora Zinoctl, with its shining white stone pyramids, neatly ordered buildings, manicured gardens, white-stone-paved streets, and peaceful reflecting pools.

At the moment, the city’s facade of perfection and peacefulness had been shattered by some sort of uproar that had set the whole city in turmoil. Alarms were blaring. People were shouting. Scores of warriors and half a dozen shadow cats were all converging on the open stretch of ground that bordered the pyramid backing Gulah Zin’s palace, another pyramid to the right of the palace, and the walled gardens that linked the two. More shadow cats and numerous black-robed priests spilled from the temple to Ur’Xal that stood at the center of the city.

A single, small, dark figure ran before the gathering mass of pursuers, and the gap between them was closing quickly. At first Miq thought the figure was one of the priests, but as the figure grew closer and burst through the flowering hedges and greenery into to open, he realized that the swath of black swirling around the racing figure was hair, not cloth.

And the figure was a woman.

A young, naked woman with skin the color of burnished mahogany and waterfall of flower-bedecked black hair that fell to the back of her knees.

As she neared the magical barrier that enveloped the city, Miq realized something else.

The woman was glowing.

Golden light beamed out from her, surrounding her in a sphere of brightness as if her body was a blazing torch.

Miq grabbed one of the thick liana vines hanging from the branches nearby and shimmied down it. He called just enjough of his jaguar to makes curved claws sprout from his hands and feet as he dropping into a tangle of banyon limbs below and ran down them until he reached the ground.

The rainforest floor was a shadowy place. Little sunlight pierced the overhead canopy to reach the ground below. Shrubs and bushes grew in a dense thicket all along the perimeter of Cuora Zinoctl, leafy branches thrusting forward to fight for their share of sunlight that beamed down upon the great stone city. The magical perimeter that kept Miq and his b’alam at bay was a smoky haze, barely visible to the eyes but blaring across all of his senses, emanating a malevolent wrongness that set his teeth on edge.

Secreting himself in the shelter of the riotous shrubbery, Miq parted the leafy vines and branches with his fingers and peered through.

The woman was fifty yards from the barrier now, and whether she saw it or not, she showed no signs of slowing down. Behind her, the shadow cats had outpaced the guards and were closing on her fast. Her eyes, he saw, were green. A bright, blazing, vivid green. They glowed in her face even more brightly than the light glowed from her body. So brightly, they obscured the features of her face and made his own eyes hurt to look upon them. As if the sun itself blazed out of her eyes. It was the most astonishing and fascinating thing he’d ever seen.

He forced his gaze away and found that his vision was obscured by great spots of shadowy color, exactly as if he’d stared directly into the sun. Miq blinked and rubbed his eyes, but it took several seconds before the blinding spots faded enough that he could see again.

By the time he did, the woman had almost reach the barrier. Only another five or ten yards to go, but Miq felt his heart sink. She wasn’t going to make it. The shadow cats were almost upon her. One of the guards chasing her stopped long enough to put a blowgun to his lips and fire. The woman flinched and stumbled, reaching around blindly to pluck the needle from the back of her right thigh.

She took another staggering step, two. Her right leg collapsed. She went sprawling.

A lesser woman would have given up. Even many a strong woman would have given up. But not this one. She didn’t cry. She didn’t scream. She didn’t make a sound. She simply started crawling, dragging her limp right leg behind her. Determination shone from her as clearly as her light. No fear. No tears. Just pure, steely will. Blazing for all to see.

Admiration, fury and helplessness warred inside Miq, twisting his gut. There was nothing he could do. He and his b’alam had spent days trying everything in their power to breech the barrier to no avail. They couldn’t leap through it. Their claws couldn’t pierce it. Not even the jungle could cross the boundary. Not one leaf or branch or twisting root.

Behind the woman, the leading shadow cat prepared to spring.

Since coming to Cuora Zinoctl, Miq and his b’alam had kept themselves concealed, never daring to reveal themselves to the warriors in the city, not to the shadow cats that roamed the perimeter at night, and especially not to the priests walked along the barrier each day presumably to verify that whatever evil magic they’d used to construct it remained strong and potent.

Not one of his b’alam had dared risked exposure, too wary of the power the priests might wield against them.

But at the sight of the brave, fearless sun-eyed woman about to be slaughtered by the corrupted cats that wore his same fur—mere yards from his hiding place, no less—Miq found himself incapable of just hiding and watching her die.

He leapt from the bushes, a roar bellowing forth, so loud the birds in the canopy overhead exploded into squawking flight and the spider and howler monkeys screamed shrill warnings to their family groups.

The shadow cats behind the woman faltered.

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John Paul Bermudez

  on August 6, 2022 : Reply

My sister and I have a bet. We need to guess the next lead character among the two Season for this book. Mine is Autumn and her is Spring. I teased her that the first child always gets marry, last. Since, she’s the firstborn among us four.


  on August 3, 2022 : Reply

Ahhh! I can’t wait to read it and it’s about Spring!! I’m looking forward to both seasons stories.

Renee Dixon

  on July 19, 2022 : Reply

Love this story! I hope it will be published soon.

Karen D Warren

  on April 23, 2022 : Reply

If you ever need a proofreader, I would do it for free. I was a former teacher. I have found some errors in your other books. Still loved reading them. Both the Fading Land series and the current Sea and Winter King series are spectacular.


  on March 22, 2022 : Reply

I can’t wait for this. I loved the previous 2 in the series, and the Lord of the fading lands series is hands down my favorite series ever read. And would love to see more from that. Like seeing what becomes of Ellies twin sisters as they grow LOL in any case I so look forward to this book.

S. Anderson

  on March 19, 2022 : Reply

miss your story telling and hope you will be gifting us with J. King soon

Laurie Eckardt

  on March 13, 2022 : Reply

Please let me know when I can buy this book in paper or audio version. I love this series. Laurie


  on February 21, 2022 : Reply

Four /five years we have been waiting for this book after you left the last one on a cliff hanger, I hope it will be out soon, I know some of my friends have already given up hope it will be out this year. Please give us a release date five years is a long gap.


  on February 20, 2022 : Reply

I can’t wait to read the rest


  on February 2, 2022 : Reply

I finished The Sea King last night and I am so happy to see an excerpt for The Jaguar King. I’m looking forward to its release

Patricia Jones

  on December 30, 2021 : Reply

Great excerpt from your book looking forward to it thanks for the peak into it


  on December 19, 2021 : Reply

I just stopped by to see when a new book might be coming out and found this! Now I’m really looking forward to the next book!


  on December 15, 2021 : Reply

Oh my goodness, this looks so good. The waiting is going to be pure torture. Do we have a release date yet?

Andee Waddle

  on December 5, 2021 : Reply

I have read everything you’ve written more twice and cannot wait for you to publish again.

Marilyn Street

  on December 4, 2021 : Reply

Oh my goodness…I’m so excited to be able to read just a bit of JAGUAR KING.! I have been waiting to hear of another book from you. I was so sorry to hear of your loss.I hope that time has eased your pain. Thank you for allowing us to keep our hopes up for your next book!

Sue Erp

  on December 2, 2021 : Reply

Hurry ive waited so mlm long

Ida Martin

  on November 28, 2021 : Reply

I need to read this series. I loved the story of Rain and Elly. I must have read them a thousand times. I was hoping that series would be made into a movie, here’s hoping.

Brittney Ostrander

  on November 13, 2021 : Reply

Love it cant wait to read all of The Jaguar King. I’ve read most of C.L Wilson’s books and have been waiting for this one eagerly. Cant wait to add this book to the collection of books I own.which includes the rest of this series. C.L Wilson you are an amazing writer and have inspired me to start writing. Because of you I am currently working on 2 books of my own. Thank you so much for being an inspirational writer. I will continue to support you and your works.


  on November 10, 2021 : Reply

On my gosh ❤️ Do you have a release date? I adore the weather mage series!!


  on September 21, 2021 : Reply

Eagerly waiting for your book the jaguar king….