Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

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  • Tiger’s Curse Quotes

    January 13, 2014

    Tiger’s Curse Quotes

     new cover

    Wheat grass shakes? Seriously?! What I wouldn’t give for chocolate chip pancakes and a slice of bacon! #Kelsey

     I’m worried about grandfather. He despairs of ever finding the one he seeks. #Nilima

    They just moved me. I smell rain…and trees. Would it kill them to put me near a window? #Ren

    Spending today in the corner of a bookstore reading. Graduation coming soon and then I’ll look for a job. #Kelsey

    Raining hard in Dallas tonight. Start job search tomorrow. #Kelsey

    Davis finally let me out of my cage today. I must have spent 10 minutes just stretching. #Ren

    It’s been a while since I checked on the prince. I should make the effort again soon. #Mr. Kadam

    Got a job. All those times I thought about running away to the circus and now I’m actually doing it. #Kelsey

    Tonight was our first performance in the new town. The troupe is on edge. Funds are low. It doesn’t bode well for the tiger. #Ren

    Started my new job today. Love the people. A white tiger performed! Wish I brought my sketching book. #Kelsey

    There’s a new girl working here. She’s helping Davis. I find myself watching her whenever she’s near. #Ren

    Sometimes I feel like the tiger is watching me, I mean more than an animal usually does. #Kelsey

    She read me poetry. I devoured each word, repeating them in my mind so I wouldn’t forget, then I watched over her as she slept. #Ren

    I fell asleep near the tiger’s cage last night. It was strange but I felt cared for, like when my mom used to tuck me in. #Kelsey

    She was leaving so I made a sound and thought, “Please. Just stay a little longer. Don’t go yet.” That’s when…she touched me. #Ren

    I touched the tiger. It was crazy and stupid but I…had to. #Kelsey

    Something’s happened. I took human form for the first time in this century. I spent my minutes relearning to walk on two feet. #Ren

    I think the tiger is sick. He’s acting strange. He’s pacing a lot and he’s messing up his routines. #Kelsey

    Today is my 18th birthday. Doubt I’ll have a party. Do they make soy cakes? I hope not. Sigh…Nothing exciting ever happens to me. #Kelsey

    On my way to see the prince. To take human form again after all these years…I can’t imagine how difficult it’s been for him. #MrKadam

    Spoke with Kadam. We think Kelsey is the girl we’ve been looking for. I hate to deceive her but I really feel it’s the only way. #Ren

    The prince is remarkably well adjusted despite his captivity. I worry over the girl. There’s sadness in her eyes. #MrKadam

    To my great relief the young lady has agreed to accompany us. On our way to the plane now. Nilima is unhappy with me for lying. #MrKadam

    There’s a fire in the girl. I didn’t expect that. And she’s totally unafraid of the prince. It’s hard to believe the beast is a man. #Nilima

    When the back of the plane opened, I lifted my head and smelled the air. India! I was home. #Ren

    I have never disagreed with Ren’s choices before but today we argued hotly over the decision to lead her haplessly into the jungle. #MrKadam

    I was immediately aware of her when she stood at the window but I didn’t move at first. I wanted to look at her with my human eyes. #Ren

    How did I end up in the middle of the Indian jungle with a tiger? I win the prize for world’s worst decisions. #Kelsey

    Had to chase off a leopard before settling down for the night to watch over Kelsey. She’s handling the jungle surprisingly well. #Ren

    Spent the night near Kelsey. I buried my nose in her sweet scented hair and when I woke up, I forgot for a moment that I was a tiger. #Ren

    I smell like campfire. I have a sunburn. There are bug bites all over my body. And my hiking buddy is a tiger. What’s next?! #Kelsey

    As a man, I instantly became aware of the gold in her hair, her height measured against mine, and how easily she’d fit in my arms. #Ren

    Dropped off the Jeep with Nilima who loudly expressed her concerns with our plan. She’s not wrong. I hope Miss Kelsey is safe. #MrKadam

    She set her trembling hand in mine & followed me. In the hut she quickly moved away but I could still feel the press of her fingers. #Ren

    I told her who I am, what I am, and she didn’t run away. For the first time in centuries, I feel hope. #Ren

    Leaning about herbs in a hut in the middle of the jungle. What’s going on is too crazy for you to believe. #Kelsey

    We’re heading to the car. She’s overheated and sunburned but she’s coming. I wish I could talk to her and take care of her properly. #Ren

    Nilima has prepared a room for the girl. I’m unsure if the prince would prefer to eat as man or tiger. I have prepared for both. #MrKadam

    She twirled in her blue dress & I thought her the most enchanting creature I’d ever seen & her hair, I wanted to bury my hands in it. #Ren

    Miss Kelsey and Dhiren have left for the cave. I did all I could to prepare her. I hope it is enough. #MrKadam

    Driving to Mumbai with her chatting away, I felt like a man on a date with a beautiful girl, except I was sitting in the back seat. #Ren

    I wove a path through the jungle avoiding hundreds of dangerous creatures that could take her life. It’s better that she doesn’t know. #Ren

    When Kelsey found the opening to the labyrinth I caught the fresh scent of lotus and followed it. #Ren

    We made it through the traps. Though dangerous, I’d go back through them all just to have her wrap her arms around me like that again. #Ren

    We made it out of the cave only to be stalked by another tiger! I fought her off only to find Kelsey being attacked by a panther. #Ren

    We made it out by the skin of our teeth or perhaps the skin in my teeth and we’re headed for home. I think the hard part is over. #Ren

    Hearing her on the veranda, I used 3 precious min to shower & dress. Opening the door, my stomach twisted with nerves & anticipation. #Ren

    I had hoped the curse would be broken after the cave but it appears there is much more that must be done. #MrKadam

    Kadam told me that breaking the curse meant more danger for Kelsey. Convincing Kishan to give up his amulet is only way to protect her. #Ren

    Ren wants to find his brother. I don’t believe Kishan will help him. The tiger seems to have taken over the man. #MrKadam

    I was stalking dinner when I came across the scent. After all these years he was still alive. Prey forgotten, I trailed my brother. #Kishan

    I watched her standing by the waterfall. She laughed as butterflies rose & landed in her hair. All I could think about was kissing her. #Ren

    Led Ren far from his campsite, I want to see what he’s protecting out there. #Kishan

    She read a poem & I found a summer’s day in the blush of her cheek, the sun’s glint in her hair, & the peach blossom scent of her skin. #Ren

    I had no right to be in love. I had nothing to offer her. But reason drowned in the beat of my heart, & I asked permission to kiss her. #Ren

    Blushing, she stammered, embarrassed by my suggestion. I’m a fool. How could I ask her to return my affections when she only knows the tiger? #Ren

    I crouched in the trees watching the girl. She was writing something. I was fascinated by the expressions flitting across her face. #Kishan

    He tricked me, doubling back to follow his own tracks & when I realized he was headed for Kelsey I ran faster than I ever had before. #Ren

    He fought me. I’ve never seen Ren act this way before. He was always the model son, the diplomat. Has he changed or is it her? #Kishan

    I was out of time and as a tiger there wasn’t much I could do, other than killing him, to prevent Kishan from sweet talking Kelsey. #Ren

    Ren asked me to watch over Kelsey. I can understand his interest in her. She’s brave & determined but she’s also tender hearted. #Kishan

    I can’t hunt, can’t focus. All I can think about is Kishan either not taking care of Kelsey well enough or taking care of her too well. #Ren

    I woke Kelsey from her nightmare and wrapped her in my arms. The thunder of my heart was more powerful than the raging storm. #Ren

    A big animal moved outside my tent. Assumed it was Ren and was shocked to see the younger prince instead holding Miss Kelsey’s bag. #MrKadam

    Circling back, I found the camp deserted. Running fast, I caught up and watched them from the trees. I didn’t want her to leave. #Kishan

    I was relieved that Kishan loaned his amulet to Miss Kelsey. She seemed…out of sorts upon her return from the jungle. #MrKadam

    When we left Ren in the jungle it was like a #Iscrewedupmydatewithadreamyguy + #Iabandonedmypetonthesideoftheroad feeling. #Kelsey

    I paced in the jungle and then, suddenly, I just started running. When I found her hotel it was late. I let out a breath and knocked. #Ren

    She opened the door & I asked if I could stay. It wasn’t proper to ask but she was my light in a dark room & I craved her desperately. #Ren

    I didn’t expect anything. I just wanted to be near her. The world outside fell away. Melted around us. Then, she kissed me. #Ren

    I cupped her precious face in my hands & she trembled. She seemed frightened, fragile at first, but then she clung to me & I was lost. #Ren

    She was a perfect bloom. I smoothed the soft petals of her hair, touched my lips to her delicate arched neck, & tucked her into my soul. #Ren

    Just before dawn I woke, softly touched her cheek, & headed back to the jungle. My future was undetermined but I wanted her in it. #Ren

    I plan to take Miss Kelsey to a temple of Durga today. I chose the one closest to Hampi. It may result in nothing but we must try. #MrKadam

    Kelsey had the cutest smudge of dirt across her nose. It was nice exploring the temple with her. Nice until the statue came to life. #Ren

    Sensing her fear, I leapt in front of Kelsey and came face to face with Durga’s tiger. He snarled & watched Kelsey with hungry eyes. #Ren

    The snake headed toward Kelsey & waves fear came from her, so thick it almost choked me. There was nothing I could do except watch. #Ren

    I intended to check on Kelsey & Ren in the temple when a strange lethargy came over me. It caused me to sleep until their return. #MrKadam

    The golden treasures amazed me. When Miss Kelsey lifted the gada with ease, I realized that I might not be meant to help them. #MrKadam

    They spent the day in Hampi. I sat under a shady tree, licked my paws, & sulked, wishing I was the man at her side, holding her hand. #Ren

    Kadam sent us into the ruins at night. I could see clearly enough but Kelsey struggled. Then, the golden snake lit up the landscape. #Ren

    We couldn’t open the passageway that night. Kelsey slept fitfully while I kept watch over the ruins & the woman I couldn’t live without. #Ren

    The trees attacked. I panicked when I sensed Kelsey giving up and beat the trees with violent desperation until we were safely through. #Ren

    When I realized the tiger had no pull over me, I could have wept. Instead, I took hold of Kelsey’s hand and walked beside her as a man. #Ren

    I raced through the cave looking for Kelsey. I avoided imposters & finally caught her lovely scent. I found her dead & my heart stopped. #Ren

    I paced the jungle worrying. Ren obviously wanted her, but I wondered if she felt the same. Why can’t I stop thinking about her? #Kishan

    I was so thrilled about being human it took half a day for me to realize that Kelsey was nervously pulling away. What am I doing wrong? #Ren

    Kelsey slept in my arms. I pulled her close & pressed my lips to her shoulder. She sighed softly, whispered my name & I was enchanted. #Ren

    Having Kelsey wake up in my arms was a gift but she seemed embarrassed & avoided me all morning. Something’s wrong. Doesn’t she trust me? #Ren

    Kelsey avoided me all day. The only change in our relationship was that I was a man. Maybe she only cares for the tiger version of me. #Ren

    She only loved the tiger. She didn’t know how trapped I felt in that form. I allowed resentment to fester & lost my temper. #Ren

    I plucked a mango flower from the golden tree hoping to apologize but she moved away again as if she couldn’t stand to be near me. #Ren

    When the monkeys attacked I tried to divert their attention & headed to the trees to dispatch them quickly so I could help Kelsey. #Ren

    Leaving Kelsey in a safe place, I led the Kappa into the needle forest and savagely ripped them apart with teeth and claws. # Ren

    Finishing off the Kappa I paused. Something was wrong. I raced back to the clearing like a madman cursing myself for leaving her alone. #Ren

    At first I thought it had killed her. In a blind rage I destroyed it, then I heard her gasp & sunk to my knees. She was alive…barely. #Ren

    I wouldn’t have moved her but I heard the trees & knew more Kappa were coming. Cradling her in my arms, I raced back to the cave. #Ren

    When we got to the cave, I treated the wound as best I could but she was still fading and there was nothing I could do to stop it. #Ren

    Fear became despair as I watched her suffer. As her life ebbed away, I clutched her fingers & wondered how I’d go on living without her. #Ren

    I was resting when the breeze suddenly died. An omen. I raised my head and sniffed the dead air. I shouldn’t have let them go alone. #Kishan

    I knew she was dying. There was so much I wanted to say but all I could do was try to make her comfortable. Then Fanindra struck. #Ren

    I raised the gada intent on killing Fanindra but then I saw her golden venom was actually healing Kelsey. Instead I wept in gratitude. #Ren

    She lived and my soul filled with gladness. If she would have agreed, I’d have happily stayed there with her forever. #Ren

    She insisted on heading back & immediately pulled away from me. I need to know if what I feel is one sided or if she’s just stubborn. #Ren

    Something in me snapped when she marched up the stairs. A gentleman doesn’t take, he asks. But I couldn’t let her walk away from me. #Ren

    I wrapped the unyielding woman I loved in my arms & kissed her slowly, hoping that some part of her would sense my absolute devotion. #Ren

    She answered with a passion I didn’t expect & I was lost. In that moment our hearts beat as one. In that moment I knew she loved me. #Ren

    Thrilled with the knowledge that she loved me, it took me a moment to realize that she was angry. I found her tantrum irresistible. #Ren

    Kelsey & Ren appeared shortly after sunrise. Seeing Lokesh in my dream filled me with a cold dread that I kept hidden from them. #MrKadam

    That she was still angry was obvious, but nothing dimmed my mood until Kadam asked her about the vision & she confirmed what he saw. #Ren

    Left in the jungle, I paced, hating my tiger form. In Kishkindha I had a taste of being a man. Now anything else feels insufferable. #Ren

    I became a man the instant my body allowed. I waited for the pull of the tiger to overtake me. An hour passed, then two. Am I cured? #Ren

    The prince met me as a man & we rejoiced together that he could now take human form for a few hours. It is more than we hoped for. #MrKadam

    Ren spoke like the man I once knew. He instructed me regarding Miss Kelsey confirming my suspicions about his feelings for her. #MrKadam

    With Miss Kelsey settled in at the hotel, Ren & I went into town. He got a haircut, bought clothes & walked the streets as a man. #MrKadam

    The prince wanted to surprise Miss Kelsey at dinner. I hesitated but he assured me that he would be kind and behave as a gentleman. #MrKadam

    I watched her enter the restaurant. Her lovely hair hung in soft waves around her shoulders. Needing to touch it, I rose to greet her. #Ren

    She refused to look at me so I cupped her chin & her eyes finally found mine. I desperately hoped that she’d see a man & not a tiger. #Ren

    She wanted to run from me. Again. Threatening her worked. She lifted her stubborn chin & narrowed her eyes, the frightened deer expression gone. #Ren

    The waitress gave me a food list. What does entree, kebab, or marinated mean? Embarrassed, I told the woman to bring one of everything. #Ren

    Kelsey was jealous of the waitress. I almost laughed. This beautiful girl was absolutely perfect for me. How could I look at another? #Ren

    She announced that she might not be needed to complete the other tasks. I tried to hide the cold wave of panic that swept through me. #Ren

    Something happened. I was hidden in the trees in human form watching a group of children kick a ball. An hour passed, then two. #Kishan

    I tried to talk about us, but I was a novice at such things and she countered my every word with the ease of a skilled swordsman. #Ren

    Our first date didn’t go as planned. She was determined to escape-the wrong thing to do with a tiger-it took all my restraint not to pounce. #Ren

    We spoke for several hours. It is gratifying to see that despite his years as a tiger, the good man I once knew is still there. #MrKadam

    Going from being a man 24/7 in Kishkindha to only getting 6 hrs/day was hard but for the first time in decades I look forward to tmw. #Ren

    I stumbled into the village barefooted & asked the first person I met to help me find my friend. She fed me & called the authorities. #Kishan

    I was going over the list of forged documents needed to bring the prince back from the dead when I got the call that Kishan wanted to come home. #MrKadam

    I growled as I tried to make her a sandwich, annoyed with my inability to compete such a simple modern task. I’d been a tiger too long. #Ren

    She said she wanted to talk & I was relieved. In my time a man who felt this way about a woman wasted no time declaring his intentions. #Ren

    I parked near the village at dusk & a few moments later the big black cat emerged from the trees. Kishan was finally coming home. #MrKadam

    Hearing her on the veranda, my heartbeat quickened. I’ve mingled with kings & warlords but only with her do I lose my composure. #Ren

    The setting sun glinting off her hair & skin made her look like a goddess trapped in human form. I’d never seen a woman so beautiful. #Ren

    I took her hand & enjoyed the moment. Six hours stretched ahead of me like a lifetime & my heart was filled with love and gratitude. #Ren

    She was nervous so I massaged her feet. Blisters covered the delicate arches. I was determined never to cause her such pain again. #Ren

    We passed through a city with impossibly tall buildings and as I marveled, I thought, how was I going to acclimate to this new world? #Kishan

    At first I thought she was rejecting me because I wasn’t normal. It hurt but I understood it. Then I realized that wasn’t it at all. #Ren

    She believed she was ordinary? Impossible! Any man with common sense would see what I do. The more she went on the angrier I became. #Ren

    She said I only loved her because of the curse & that I only wanted her because I felt pity. Obviously I’d failed in conveying my true feelings. #Ren

    When she said she was leaving it was like the wide world, suddenly open to me, shrunk to a pinpoint of light. How could I breathe without her? #Ren

    She closed the door & I felt caged, trapped. I pressed my palms against the offensive barrier & tried to stop myself from breaking it. #Ren

    Stepping into the massive house was intimidating but I caught her scent immediately & knew I’d made the right decision by returning. #Kishan

    I’m approaching this wrong. Maybe Nilima can help. Regardless, before she leaves I need to make sure Kelsey knows exactly how I feel. #Ren

    Passing her door I heard water & something else. She was crying. Kadam shook his head and led on. If Ren hurt her, I’d kill him. # Kishan

    Though exhilarating to consider the Golden Fruit’s power, I worried over our blind leap into a world of seemingly limitless magic. #MrKadam

    Tears came as she confessed her feelings for Ren. In the past I’d be overstepping my bounds to counsel the prince but I feel I must. #MrKadam

    Kadam wants to let her leave. He was surprised by my defiance but I won’t let her go, at least not until she knows exactly how I feel. #Ren

    Kelsey went swimming. I rehearsed what I wanted to say, headed outside, & saw her hug Kishan. Insanely jealous, I broke the railing. #Ren

    Kadam told me Kishan returned and now I knew why. I didn’t react much to his stealing Yesubai, but with Kelsey, he was risking his life. #Ren

    I was nervous, but when she put her arms around me I knew I made the right decision. At that moment I truly felt like I’d come home. #Kishan

    Kadam told me that Kelsey wasn’t betrothed to Ren but still, I refused to make the same mistake again. I planned to ask her outright. #Kishan

    We talked and I asked her to accompany me to dinner. She agreed! Kadam will act as our chaperone. Also discovered I like root beer. #Kishan

    They left for dinner & I paced. I thought of Kishan taking her hand & making her laugh. Unable to stand it any longer, I called a taxi. #Ren

    I should’ve been out of my element, but as she described the modern world with enthusiasm, I felt as if there was a place for me. #Kishan

    I urged the driver to go faster. I felt a strange pressing need to find her & knew somehow that if I didn’t hurry I’d lose her forever. #Ren

    She danced with Kadam & I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Not knowing how to court her or if it was even proper, I asked her to dance. #Kishan

    Cold ice trickled through my veins as I stood there watching Kishan & Kelsey dance. I wanted to dash out on the floor & rip him apart. #Ren

    I lifted my head when I caught Ren’s scent. He was fuming to the point that I thought a vein might explode in his head. Interesting. #Kishan

    He was coldly indifferent to Yesubai. He was angry, yes, but with Kelsey my always-in-control older brother became a snarling beast. #Kishan

    Kishan left and the moment I touched her, my icy blood warmed. The anger subsided and I felt as if I could breathe again. #Ren

    I couldn’t let her leave. She needed to know what she meant to me. Guiding her outside, I mentally rehearsed what to say. #Ren

    What could I say to make this beautiful girl know how desperately I needed her? Practiced words fled my mind & I shamelessly begged. #Ren

    Ren had been enraged & I worried when he took Kelsey outside. I rose to check on her but Kadam held me back & said they’d be fine. #Kishan

    I gave her an anklet I’d bought before our dinner date & couldn’t help feeling proud to see the girl I loved wear jewelry I’d given her. #Ren

    Cage me? Didn’t she know I was only free when I was with her? I again cursed my inability to express myself properly in this century. #Ren

    After confessing her love, she ran from me. I wanted to stop her but I let her go. If she really loved me how could she leave? #Ren

    Miss Kelsey ran into the restaurant with streaming tears. Ah the drama of young love. I’d have to speak with the princes. #MrKadam

    When I saw her tears, I took her arm & guided her towards the car. Now I was the one fuming. He hurt her? I’d hurt him. #Kishan

    I spoke with Miss Kelsey and then told both of the princes that they needed to let her return to Oregon. In fact, I insisted. #MrKadam

    In the shade of a tree, I watch as she drove off. How did Ren mess up so completely that she had to put half a world between us? #Kishan

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch her leave. Instead, I ran off into the trees as a tiger worried that if I saw her, I’d never let her go. #Ren

    At the last second, I sped back to the house, frantic to see one final glimpse of her. I felt I wouldn’t survive unless I did. #Ren

    I raced alongside the car but they were too far down the road. Brokenheartedly, I roared out in hopelessness and grief. She was gone. #Ren

    This entry was posted in Bonus Material, Tiger's Curse.

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    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.