Animals bring joy to my life. Not just my own pets, but anyone’s animals. Even the big guys. Which is why, when I thought it was time to start giving back, I decided to volunteer at Lincoln Park Zoo. I’d been volunteering there for more than ten years when I wanted to do something more personal—socialize cats up for adoption at the then new PAWS Chicago.
While I was volunteering there, the Humane Society of Illinois had a couple of informative meetings about getting legislation passed to help stop dog fighting. Which is how I came up with the original idea for ANIMAL INSTINCTS. I wanted to help spread awareness. I was soon convinced, however, that people loved their pets too much to want to read about such a troubling practice, so I made a left turn and transitioned dog fights to shifter fights—humans who shift into predators. And that gave me a whole new angle on my story.
Skye Cross is the most like me heroine I’ve ever created. She’s an animal advocate. She even lives in my neighborhood, in my city 2-flat. I’d always wanted to have an animal rescuer heroine, and this was my opportunity. To make a really interesting match, my hero, Luc Lazare, is one of the shifters. Half-human, half-Kindred (descendents of the Nephilim), he is torn between his two worlds. The last thing he needs is to have to protect a human whose cop brother was killed while investigating those shifter fights.
Here is their first meeting, outside a fight arena:
Dark hair whipped around features so rugged they could have been cut from granite. High cheekbones. Broad forehead. Square chin. His eyes appeared silver in the moonlight, and they glowed at me, tightening my stomach and making it hard to breathe.
Trembling, I gasped, “What just happened?”
“You got into something that doesn’t concern you.” Forget about it.
I started. He hadn’t said the last bit out loud. There was something about him so powerful that I almost agreed.
I fought the desire to give in, saying, “I’m not forgetting about anything. Who are you?”
I felt as if he were trying to push the command into my mind.
Glaring at him, I pushed back.
“What are you?” he asked.
“Someone who protects animals.”
His silence told me that wasn’t exactly the explanation he was looking for. My pulse threaded unevenly as he stepped closer. I sensed both threat and something less tangible, something that made my stomach knot and my throat tighten. I’d always had a psychic connection not only with animals, but with my brother. No one else. Not until now. And this guy being able to mess with my mind went beyond any previous experience I’d had.
“Did you have something to do with the fight?” I gasped. “Where did those predators come from? What kind of power do you have over them?” It had to be something supernatural.
He stepped closer, and I sucked in a breath as his power cut through me, speeding my pulse, drying my mouth.
“You need to forget about them, Skye.”
This time he said it aloud. And he used my name.
“How do you know who I am?” I demanded, my heart beating so fast I could feel it bump up against my ribs. “What were you doing here? Who are you?”
Rather than answering my questions, he reached out and slid a palm along my cheek. The touch seared me, reminding me of the time I’d inadvertently touched a live wire. Wanting to move, wanting to run, I stood frozen instead. He was so close, I imagined I could feel the heat of his body as he splayed fingers around the side of my head. My insides trembled and my breasts felt full and tight.
What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I move? Or speak?
You never saw me. You’ll forget about me the moment I disappear.
Every fiber of my being longed to do what he wanted. But something in me, the thing that made me do what I do, was stronger.
“Disappear to where?” I demanded through a parched throat when I finally found my voice. “I have an excellent memory.”
Appearing frustrated that I’d been able to hear the silent command, he dropped his hand. “What are you?” he asked again.
The holidays from Thanksgiving to the New Year is a time of giving, and I’m hoping that this year, those of you who can will support an animal shelter or sanctuary or zoo, whether it is by volunteering, buying gifts that help the organization or by donation. Here are a couple of places that I support:
PAWS Chicago, with it’s adoption center, spay and neuter clinic, and at the forefront of animal advocacy.
Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the last free zoos in the country.
Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization.
For a chance at winning a copy of ANIMAL INSTINCTS, tell me about your pet or an animal story that will make us smile.
Luc Lazare doesn’t need more complications in his life. And Skye Cross, the intriguing woman able to communicate with animals, is the last thing he wants. Too bad his body disagrees. But he’s trying to save his shapeshifting family from being forced into the battle arena, and that means protecting the shifters responsible for stealing Skye’s brother’s soul. Even as she demands his help, he’ll have to resist the pull of temptation. Skye’s most recent animal rescue assignment involves saving canines involved in primal battles. Her investigation leads her to Luc, a man whose powers unsettle but intrigue her. Luc lures her into a dark encounter, and realizes that the animals engaging in these battles aren’t dogs at all, they’re wild predators. Skye finds herself caught in a dangerous world she never knew existed while relying on a man she couldn’t possibly trust. In a world where everything–and nothing–is as it seems, can Luc and Skye find a way to overcome the odds that are destined to keep them apart?
USA Today Bestselling Author Patricia Rosemoor has written 95 published novels that have generated more than seven million sales for eight publishers. Her fascination with “dangerous love” has led her to bring a different mix of thrills and chills and romance to each book. ANIMAL INSTINCTS and CRIMSON DUET (2 related holiday novels at a discounted price) are now available at digital retailers.
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