Of Love and Darkness
Genre: Paranormal, Shifters
Publisher: Soul Mates Publishing
Date of Publication: June 24, 2015
Number of pages: 181
Word Count: 60k
Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone
OF LOVE AND DARKNESS kicks off the new Twisted Fate shape-shifter series. There are two kinds of shifters: Rakshasa and Light Ones. Rakshasa want to snack on human bones. Light Ones want to protect the humans.
Unfortunately, the Rakshasa are currently winning the battle, as the Light Ones are not fertile. Only one type of Light One, exceedingly rare females called Chala, are able to produce offspring. The Rakshasa know this, and have managed to nearly decimate the population.
Enter Gavin Rowan, a cursed Rakshasa who believes he is a Light One. He feels all his Rakshasa urges to kill, but has been cursed to protect the Light Ones instead.
Throw Sydney Amataya into the mix. She is a Chala– except she doesn't know it. At least not until Gavin saves her from a Rakshasa attack and then declares her as his mate.
But that’s not how Sydney operates. Encouraged by her cross-dressing Fate, William, she refuses Gavin’s claim. If he wants to mate with her–once she gets over the shock of discovering this supernatural world, that is–he's going to have to woo her, impress her, wine and dine her. Romance her. She deserves no less, end of the world be damned.
Available at Amazon
Guest Post: Why Shifters?
Here’s a question: why shifters? I’ve now started two series centered around shifters – the Twisted Fate Series (Of Love and Darkness is the first of three books) and the Lightbearer Series. Twisted Fate is entirely about shifters, while Lightbearer was supposed to be about magical beings called, well, Lightbearers. Yet when I threw shifters into the mix in that series, it became about shifters. How did that happen?
The answer is simple: shifters are one of my favorite genres to read. So not coincidentally, I also happen to enjoy writing about them. They are sexy, strong, powerful, hot, did I mention sexy? In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.
I’ve learned they all have one thing in common. All shape shifters have the ability to change from human form into…something else. And that, as far as I have been able to determine, is the single aspect that defines every shifter in every book I’ve ever read or written. Beyond that, well, every author interprets them a little differently. Which is the way it should be, right? We’re talking magic, and magic is defined by the imagination of the person writing it.
Some shifters can only change into the form of one animal. These are typically referred to as were-animals (werewolves, were-bearers, were- you get the picture). Others are able to shift into pretty much any animal, or, as I like to explain in my books, the form of any warm-blooded being. The shifters in my Lightbearer Series can even shift into the form of birds, if they are so inclined. This comes in handy when one wants to escape rapidly and he’s on the second floor or at the top of a cliff (both situations occur in the first book in this series).
Many shifters’ clothing cannot shift with them. The clothing is either shed before the shift or, if the shift must occur with little notice, the clothing is torn to shreds when the body changes and alters, and the shifter must figure out another means of covering his naughty bits when he returns to human form.
The shifters in my books can shift while wearing clothing, and when they return to human form, their clothing returns to their body exactly as it was before the shift. I admit, I made this decision out of convenience. I considering the no-clothing route because, let’s be honest, that makes more sense, from a non-magical standpoint. But I was having a difficult time writing the whole, “Hold on, I have to strip and hide my clothing for later” aspect into the various scenes and plots and sub-plots of the series. So I decided if magic can make a person change from human to animal, then magic can make that person’s clothes reappear when they return to human form.
Some shifters have the ability to speak to each other telepathically. Some are able to harness other forms of magic, too. Some have glowing eyes. In my Lightbearer series, the shifters’ eyes glow when they are feeling strong emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, passion. Even if the shifter is trying to act stoic and passive, the object of his desire, if she is smart enough, can figure out pretty easily that he feels something, if his eyes are glowing. It’s practically a declaration of love.
Some shifters eat only red meat. Actually, the desire to eat red meat might possibly qualify as the second thing all shifters have in common, now that I think about it. Or maybe not. A vegetarian shifter could make for an intriguing storyline.
Many shifters have obsessive, jealous personalities. Like a dog, protecting his bone. Or his house. Or his mate. My shifters have this trait. In fact, it plays heavily into the next couple of books in the Lightbearer series.
I’m sure I’ve missed a few common traits. What other traits do you notice in your favorite books about shifters or weres? Which common traits are your favorite?
It was silent for long moments before Sydney realized the two animals had stopped fighting. She risked a quick glance over her shoulder and saw that one of them, the larger, bulkier one lay on the ground in a pool of blood, his lifeless eyes staring at her, unseeing. Sydney swallowed back bile and turned away from the grisly scene.
And found herself staring at Gavin’s T-shirt-covered chest, as he crouched in front of her and cradled her wounded arm with more gentleness than she would have given him credit for. She tried to wrench her arm free and let out a gasp of pain.
“Stop moving,” Gavin commanded in his gravelly voice. He gently slid her shredded coat off her shoulder, as if he meant to inspect the wound more closely.
“Where the hell were you?” Sydney demanded. “I just got attacked by a rabid dog. A really big dog. I need to go to the hospital. I need a rabies shot. Damn it, that hurts.” She hissed as he ripped off the arm of her sweater, instead of trying to tug the entire thing over her head.
“Hey,” she protested, “that’s my favorite sweater.”
Gavin gave the sweater a look that indicated he could not quite understand why it was her favorite, and then he prodded the wounds on her arm. Blood poured freely from four long slashes, dripping off the tips of her fingers and onto her now-ruined coat.
“I doubt he had rabies,” he muttered as he continued to inspect the wounds. “And I just rescued you, so you’re welcome.”
Sydney gaped at him. “Rescued me? Rescued me? You ran like a cat when somebody pulls out the water hose, you moron. There were two dogs. One jumped out at me and the other attacked him. They started fighting and I somehow got caught in the crosshairs. We should probably get the hell out of here though, because only one of them is dead back there. The other one might decide to come back and attack us.”
“He won’t,” Gavin said with an odd inflection in his voice. “But you’re right, there are others, and the scent of blood will bring them relatively quickly. Especially your blood. What are you?”
To Sydney’s utter horror, he leaned close to her wounded arm and sniffed, like a dog checking out another dog’s scent.
She gave her arm another jerk, but Gavin held her in a death grip. “What are you doing?” she asked as he bent closer still and then . . . licked her wounded arm.
Gavin’s eyes glazed over, as if he had fallen under some sort of spell. He blinked dazedly for a few heartbeats, his hands grasping her arm in a tight enough grip she thought the appendage might go numb. And then he bent his head and licked her wounds again, this time with earnest, licking over and over, as if he intended to clean up every last bit of blood. By the time the entire area was cleansed of all traces of blood, he was panting heavily and his eyes were still glazed. Sydney couldn’t be certain, but the bulge in his pants seemed to have gotten larger.
“Gross,” she snapped. “Now I have to get a rabies and a tetanus shot. I hate shots. Can you get hepatitis this way? I bet you have some sort of sexually transmitted disease, and now you’ve given it to me.”
“No disease,” he managed between pants and licks.
“I’m supposed to take your word for it? Get away from me.” She twisted her shoulder, and slid her arm out of a grasp that had gone slack. She was startled that she only experienced a twinge of pain, and when she looked down at her arm, her eyes widened as she realized the four long gashes were no longer bleeding, and in fact, appeared to actually be healing right before her eyes.
“What the . . .?”
“Chala,” Gavin whispered, his eyes still glazed and, were they glowing? It was the third time that evening she thought she saw glowing eyes. Sydney glanced up at the darkened, cloudy sky and wondered if it wasn’t some trick of the lights in downtown Detroit.
“Chala,” he whispered again.
Sydney gave him a cross look. “My name isn’t Chala.”
“You are a Chala,” Gavin said. The glazed look faded from his eyes, and while they still appeared to glow faintly, they had taken on a far more calculating look. Despite her current situation, she couldn’t help but think he had lovely silver-blue eyes.
“And you are my mate.”
About the Author:
Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they've overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.
Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.
And most important, if you enjoyed one of Tami's books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?
Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/baCo4j