In Jacqueline M. Battisti’s new digital release, The Guardian of Bastet, cat shifter Trinity Morrigan-Caine is anything but your perfect paranormal. Other than transforming into a house cat, often at inconvenient times, Trinity thinks she’s practically useless as a supernatural being. But when someone in her small town summons a demon, Trinity finds herself in way over her head after she discovers that only she can help bring peace to her community. Battisti’s debut earned a Top Pick! in our September issue and since both Morgan and Elisa can’t resist a great urban fantasy tale, they had to check it out for themselves.
Morgan: After getting to know Trinity at the beginning of the story, I felt very sympathetic toward her. She has tremendous feelings of inadequacy and thinks of herself as un-spectacular.
Elisa: Yeah, I don’t think that that is actually a word.
Morgan: Well, I can’t use the term “unremarkable” because that just doesn’t fit. There is a whole bunch of remarkable things about Trinity, like the fact that her mom is a powerful spell-casting witch and her father is a puma shifter. And, oh yeah, Trinity herself can communicate with animals.
Elisa: Communicate! She can turn into an animal!
Morgan: But only a tiny housecat. Which is why she sees herself as not quite living up to the family name … either of her family names, in fact.
Elisa: But there are a few people who see more in Trinity …
Morgan: Vincent, the local, ancient vampire boss is convinced that she is a powerful Guardian that will keep the balance between paranormals and the “mundanes” (aka humans).
Elisa: And Trinity's best friend, Brandon, who doesn’t know about her powers, definitely realizes there is something different about Trinity. Something that was obvious since they met as children.
We met in the third grade when he tried to steal my lunchbox. He thought because he was so much bigger than me, I was an easy mark. I quickly corrected the assumption. I jumped on his back, bit him in the ear until he screamed like a girl, and he let go of my pilfered lunchbox. He needed three stitches to repair the damage and I ended up suspended for three days. When I got back to school, we cried truce. He was impressed a shrimp like me had not only the brass to take him on, but to win. I liked him for his apology and for realizing I was a bad ass (even if no one else thought so). We’ve been friends ever since.
Morgan: Brandon and Trinity’s friendship definitely made me smile. Having a sweet, normal guy play the part of the heroine’s BFF definitely added a realistic element to the story.
Elisa: I had real hopes for a deeper relationship between these two. But then some paranormal problems appear, and take up all of Trinity's time.
Morgan: Yeah, being tasked as a Guardian could ruin anyone's social life.
Elisa: Well, her (very active) social life that makes it difficult for others to accept Trinity as the Guardian.
Morgan: She is definitely a party girl.
Elisa: With a very real problem with authority and a smart mouth.
Morgan: But in all honestly, these things just make me like her more!
Elisa: I’m just saying that everyone in the Genesee Valley Society of Others, or GVSO for short, just kind of puts up with her because her mother is an important figure in the community.
Morgan: That is until Trinity becomes the center of some evil supernatural happenings in the area.
Elisa: Creatures of all kinds — vampires, shifters and witches — are dying of foul play and the suspect is one demon who was recently summoned.
Morgan: The same demon that recently went out on a date with our girl ...
Elisa: Trinity is going to never live down the fact that she actually slept with the Big Bad!
Morgan: Well, I did say she was in the middle of it all. And he is pretty sexy in human form.
Elisa: And technically, it can’t really be considered all Trinity’s fault because even with her half witch heritage, she has never actually been taught how to identify a demon.
Morgan: I’m just saying that she better get some training — pdq — because Ash, aka Amodeus, is looking for more than a one-night-stand.
Elisa: Yeah, he is after her head … literally.
Morgan: But Trinity does have some help …
Elisa: She is in possession of the magical amulet from the Egyptian goddess Ma’at that can fend off even the most powerful fiend.
Morgan: Now there is a piece of jewelry I can get behind!
Elisa: Totally. And Trinity also has her family on her side and they are not to be trifled with.
Morgan: But perhaps Trinity’s biggest asset is wolf shifter Gordon Barnes, he’s the local pack’s Alpha.
Elisa: And how!
Morgan: He is made to protect others, so when Ash comes calling, Gordon is particularly upset that he can’t stop the demon roaming his area.
“My pack has existed for generations, to protect this place. Now under my watch, people are dying and I have to rely on others to help us stop it.”
Elisa: Talk about having sympathy for a character! I felt so bad that as strong and protective as Gordon is, he just can’t defeat Ash.
Morgan: As Alpha, he definitely has his pride. He tells Trinity:
“I don’t like asking for help, especially from a fierce little kitten like you who makes my skin itch in frustration.”
“I make your skin itch? Have I suddenly become a rash?"
“How about an infection … in my blood. You’ve become strong and confident and interesting.”
Elisa: I have to agree with Gordon, Trinity is quite interesting as she comes into her own as Guardian.
Morgan: I particularly like that Gordon recognizes that Trinity is the leader. In fact, other than the vampire Vincent, he is the only one that realizes Trinity’s newly discovered power.
Elisa: Not even her own mother thinks she is up to the challenge...
Morgan: But Trinity’s not just a tame little housecat anymore.
Elisa: Transformation is definitely in the air. But before we can give anything else away, we'll stop there to let readers find out just what is in store for Trinity for themselves!
You can download a copy of The Guardian of Bastet, available from major online retailers now. Check back next week when RT's Elisa and Elissa Dish about Maya Banks and Lauren Dane’s recent erotic duology, Cherished.