Bitten as a teen, Caleb now suffers through a painful transformation from human to bobcat a few days each month. As a bobcat, he leaves behind his camp and fellow soldiers to explore the night. But a gunshot and the bright scent of fresh blood draws him to a clearing where he learns that he isn't the only one of his kind.
Wounded and hurt, Brance is a loner by nature, gruff and grumbling, who doesn't want anything to do with Caleb ... at first. The younger bobcat prevails, and starts to win Brance over, until they turn human again and find themselves on opposite sides of the American Civil War.
Bitten by Books: 3 out of 5.
"The story offers the reader a glimpse into the primal world of raw animal instinct with descriptions of the passion felt by the men in feline form ... A good read for anyone who delights in male/male eroticism."
Cocktail Reviews: 5 out of 5.
"At times heart wrenching ... a fantastic read, in my opinion. I think its fresh approach to a new kind of shape-shifter, the emotions brought onto the page so well, and the historical aspect brings together such a charming -- ooooh! -- just wonderful story."
Coffee Time Romance: 4 out of 5.
"This is an interesting story of people being different and then finding someone that is just like them. The reader jumps right in heart first. Caleb and Brance make a great couple; they are so different yet so alike in many ways. Under a Confederate Moon is a quick, entertaining story by a talented author. Add this one to your reading collection. You will not be sorry you did."
Fallen Angel Reviews: 4 out of 5.
"An interesting historical story with a fascinating paranormal twist to it. It is fascinating to see how people from that time period would respond to something so out of the ordinary, as shifters would be ... I loved how completely different Caleb saw the world in human and in bobcat form. The writing was so descriptive that the reader could almost see, smell, and feel it for themselves."
"An example of how even politics is not an obstacle to finding love. The characters created by J.M. Snyder are sensuous and humorous, the playful Caleb and no nonsense loner Brance make explosive lovers and a fantastic story. I enjoyed this saga immensely."
Literary Nymphs Reviews: 4.5 out of 5.
"Congrats to J.M. Snyder for writing such a wonderful story! It grabs you from the very first page and as the feelings these two characters share are so deep, so intense, you're just swept along for the ride until you realize, unfortunately, you've reached the end! This reviewer can't wait for the next chapter in Caleb and Brance's story!"
Pulp Fiction Reviews: 4 out of 5.
"What struck me off the bat in this story was how pleasurable it was to read. Snyder has an ear for narrative and dialogue, and the story flows well. The detail was enough to set the reader in the period of the piece, but not overly historical and unindated with facts that it took away from the focus of the story: the relationship between Caleb and Brance."
Rainbow Reviews: 4 out of 5.
"When I read one of J.M. Snyder's stories, I always find myself mentally and emotionally engaged with both the story and characters. This story was no different. The characters of Caleb and Brance are very different, but they compliment one another so well."
Review by Elisa Rolle:
"This is a very good weres story. The two men pass most of the time together in shifted form and when they are in that form they act like an animal not like a human. They are instinct and wild ... I like very much J.M. Snyder's style. She is very good in write realistic story setting in irrealistic world (paranormal or futuristic). Her characters are true even if they are paranormal being and enthral you in few pages."
Review by Enigmatically Emily:
"A wonderfully engaging story about two shapeshifter that meet under the most difficult of situations. The characters are fascinating in their differences and their similarities. This is an excellent beginning to an exceptional series of stories!"
Review by Frost: 5 out of 5.
"A wonderfully absorbing tale, rife in historical detail, and rich in feline lore. Snyder pens a powerful juxtaposition of the ugliness of the American Civil War in the eyes of those at the bottom ... against the warmth of emotion and sizzle of dominance/submission lust expressed both as human and feline. This is one story you don't want to do without. Read it, reread it, place it on the Keeper Shelf."
Romance Erotica Connection: 5 out of 5.
"This story had beautiful sceneries that were written with such exquisite perfection that I could see everything in my head. The raw emotions, the delicious sexuality, the love; everything came together for a wonderfully, heartwarming read. The dialogue in this piece was weaved with accuracy and grace that left me smiling at times without me even knowing it ... love comes when it wants to; never mind what team you're on or who you are. J. M. Snyder, I applaud you."
Sensual Reads & Reviews: 3 out of 5.
"Snyder has written this M/M brilliantly. The bond that Caleb and Brance share even in the beginning is very powerful. Come read just what I am talking about. I am sure you will enjoy it as well."
The Naughty Bits Grade A.
"Snyder has written a nice wonderful short story of southern boy redneck love that totally makes up for the many other literary sins I have read this week. Thanks J.M. for making me believe that eBooks are still a place to find something small but very special that falls far outside of the typical attempts at over baked, over wrought, epics with questionable character motivations and cream filler rich novels full of stale angst. I for one enjoy the fact you simply made me smile at a really good delicious bite of a tale."
The Romance Studio: 5 out of 5.
"A great story of the trials of the Civil War soldiers."
Two Lips Reviews: 5 out of 5, with a "heat level" of 3 out of 3.
"A truly wonderful short novella about finding love in the unlikeliest of places. Brance is a gruff and principled man who is just right for the young and inexperienced Caleb. These two share some unbelievingly hot encounters that will leave you with a new appreciation of wildlife."
The scent of man enveloped him. Each tree he sniffed, each branch, each bush, carried the smell of humans and their artillery. Dried blood and disease mingled with the smell, painful scents Caleb didn't like. The shirt on his back only confused his sense of smell, but once the camp was behind him, he took a moment to wiggle out of the torn material. He sniffed it, curious, then left it among the leaves as he hurried away, the growl still tickling the back of his throat. The sound warned anything away from his vicinity, and helped keep his mind off his churning stomach, or the bloodlust that filled his veins.
On four padded feet, Caleb crept through the forest as silently as a house cat stalking its prey. He hunted half-heartedly, not quite ready to sate his appetite and call it a night. At some point he scared up a large hare, coming onto it from downwind, but the creature caught his scent moments before he pounced and darted just beyond his powerful jaws to disappear into a hole too narrow and deep to dig in for long. Abandoning the prey, Caleb kept moving, always keeping the men and their smoke-filled camp at his back. He heard no more gunshots, and felt no urgency to hurry through the night.
Around him, the woods were alive in a way the human in him would never see. Small rodents raced over the forest floor, skittering through the moss and lichen, raising whiffs of fresh meat in their wake. Occasionally one would catch Caleb's attention and he'd give chase, toying with the frightened mouse until it disappeared into a crevice of tree roots too small for his paw to fit through. He caught a couple, nothing large, and let each one go after playing a bit. He wanted something larger, something worth the effort of a kill. Something ...
Off in the distance, along in the direction he was heading, he heard a gunshot. He stopped, ears trained on the sound, his whole body rigid and tense. Men, he thought, the word anathema to him in his current state. He waited for another sound, a second shot maybe, or raucous laughter in the night, but nothing seemed to follow. The tip of his tail twitched, waiting.
Then a volley of shots rang out, three, maybe four, all at once. Caleb dropped into a crouch and heard a wounded yelp cry out, a primal sound that tugged at his instinct. Another cat, he knew -- a large one, by the sound of it. That damned growl of his started up again, and he sniffed the air, trying to smell powder or blood, but nothing came to him on the wind.
Could be Yanks, the still-human part of his mind whispered. Sensing an unprecedented opportunity, Caleb sat down on his haunches and licked one forepaw as he mulled over his options. Race ahead, get shot like the other cat. Or no, sneak in and sneak out, but learn enough of the enemy camp to bring back to his commanding officer in the morning. Major Pennock would want to know how he came about the information, but if they ambushed the Yanks, would it matter how he knew?
With a decisive flick of his tail, Caleb leapt away. On strong legs, with sure strides, he ran through the forest, dodging undergrowth, vaulting over fallen logs and large stones, climbing low trees to jump from their quivering branches when it suited him. The wind raced him, whipping around his ears and flaring his nostrils. His fangs were bared to the night, allowing him to catch the faintest of odors. Before long he found the scent of man again, and gun smoke, and blood.
He skidded to a halt. Like a knife, the blood pierced his mind and stirred his senses. Nosing around, he found a drop of dark lifeblood on a deadfall, still warm. His tongue licked out, and the taste of copper filled his mouth. A heavy scent like wet fur clung to the wood. Picking his way carefully over the rotten limbs, Caleb climbed the deadfall and, on the other side of the forest floor, found another bright patch of blood, a clump of fur clinging stubbornly to the edges of a paw print. Another bobcat, just as he'd thought. Wounded.
He wouldn't get far.
With his animal senses, Caleb could easily discern the cat's path through the woods -- here the grass bent in a certain direction, there a few branches were snapped as if pointing the way. Caleb padded on, cautious. Every now and then he paused to sniff around. The trail led to a thicket of tall grass, tamped down in the center. As Caleb approached, he heard a low growl issue from the grass in warning.
He sat back. Cocked his head to one side. Ventured another step and received a breathy hiss as a reward. In the darkness he could see two golden cat's eyes staring back at him. A guttural voice spoke in his mind. ::Another step and you die.::