- by Patricia Rosemoor
ANIMAL INSTINCTS, my new urban fantasy romantic suspense novel, is all about the animals. Attending a couple of Humane Society meetings about passing laws to help stop dog fighting, I wanted to raise awareness by using murders related to dog fighting as my crime. It was quickly pointed out to me that readers would think of their pets, and so I took a left turn and made them shifter fights.
My hero, Luc Lazare, is half-human, half-Kindred, and he’s a man who has been pulled between his two worlds all of his life. His retired social worker mother is all human and has instilled the idea of caring and justice in him. The Kindred part is reference to his father’s line–descendents of the Nephilim (progeny of fallen angels and earthly women) who are shapeshifters. Luc’s family is black panther, but other Kindred are other predators–wolves, hawks, African wild dogs, pythons and more. In their human form, their goal is to gain power by corrupting the rest of humanity.
My heroine, Skye Cross, is an animal advocate. She arrives with Animal Control at a dog fight, her purpose to see to the welfare of the dogs. To her surprise, the only dog she sees is an African Wild Dog. It’s opponent, a coyote, escapes the arena and she goes after it, only to be surrounded in the dark by wild predators, who see her as their next snack. Yes, she can “hear” their thoughts. And, saved by Luc, she realizes he, too, has gotten in her head:
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.
It is all about the animals for me. 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.
New York Times & 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) by Entangled Ignite is available at digital retailers. And don’t miss DANGEROUS ATTRACTION Boxed Set – romantic suspense novels published independently by Patricia and nine other USA Today bestselling authors.