Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wolf Tales IV by Kate Douglas
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kate Douglas has been lucky enough to call writing her career for most of her adult life, but it wasn’t until she discovered the world of the sexy paranormal that she really found her niche. Currently writing her way through eighteen contracted stories for Kensington’s new Aphrodisia line as the imprint’s lead author with her tales of the Chanku shapeshifters in Wolf Tales, she’s still waiting for someone to call and tell her it was all a big mistake. Kate gives credit for much of her success to the amazing cadre of generous and talented authors who have helped her over the years, and is a firm believer in the philosophy of “paying it forward.”
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve always loved to read, and writing was just an extension of that love. I started right out of college writing radio commercials for a country western station in Turlock, California in the early 1970s. I read my first Harlequin romance in 1976 and fell in love—that’s when I decided I wanted to write romances, but it took me awhile before I actually wrote my first book (1984) and then sold to an epublisher (1998) and it wasn’t until my contract with Kensington Publishing in 2005 that I really hit my stride.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love everything about it—sitting down at the computer with nothing but my imagination to guide me, interacting with my readers and other authors, even the promotion and the business of writing. It’s something I’ve wanted for so long, that I’m thoroughly enjoying every aspect of the job...if you could even call it that! I get excited when my copy edits arrive, and it’s even more fun when the galley proofs show up and I can see the way the finished product will look. When my author copies arrive, I want to celebrate! It’s wonderful!!!
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
LOL...I don’t. I write way too much and rarely get a break, but with two books and two novellas a year, my schedule is very full. Of course, my husband is retired and the kids are grown and gone, so I’m really free to spend my time writing. I always find time for the grandkids, however. They’re a priority! There’s very little I’d rather be doing than working on the next book.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Characters first. Of course, all my stories in Wolf Tales take place in the same world, and the ongoing themes and intertwined plots make it easy to keep the ideas flowing.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
Wolf Tales are erotic paranormal romance, with the emphasis on romance. They are sexually explicit, but still the most romantic stories I’ve ever written. Emotional, sometimes sweet, always sexy, and always romantic. I write them because they’re the kinds of stories I love to read. When I write, I never know what’s going to happen next—I’m definitely one of those authors who writes “from the seat of my pants.” That makes each story a personal adventure as I discover the plot through my character’s eyes.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That we’re all rolling in money. It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately!
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Totally from my imagination. Sometimes I’ll use the physical characteristics of a celebrity or model, but that’s just so I can keep the description consistent.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
It’s a toss up between Tinker McClintock and Anton Cheval. Anton’s in a number of my Wolf Tales stories—the uncontested leader of the Chanku shapeshifters and without a doubt, the most conflicted. He’s a wizard as well as a shapeshifter, a man consumed by the need to understand the impossible. He is in his early fifties, mated to Keisha Rialto, an African American woman he loves more than life itself. They have a new baby and the responsibility of fatherhood terrifies him, but his love for his woman and child drives every decision he makes. I love the fact that the others all see him as perfect and infallible, while he is, in reality, often unsure and vulnerable. Tinker, on the other hand, (the hero in Wolf Tales IV) is dealing with his own vulnerability. Big and powerful, yet a man who has always felt apart from the rest. He’s African American, but was raised by a white foster family in a typical, suburban neighborhood. When his foster parents were killed in a car accident, Tinker was thrust back into the foster care system, but without any idea how to function as a young black man in the rougher society he ended up in. That sense of always being just a bit out of step affects him throughout his life, until he meets Lisa Quinn and discovers what has been missing.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
I have no idea. I don’t go to movies and don’t watch TV, so I’m totally out of the loop as to who’s a celebrity and who might fit the image I have of my characters! Sorry...
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
The importance of honor, integrity, and love. The fact that love knows no bounds—not race or gender. My men love one another, so do my women, and they express that love verbally, emotionally and sexually. They are often in group relationships without jealousy or strife. The most important thing is to remain true to the pack, to the one they choose as mate, and to themselves. Many of my characters have had traumatic things in their background that affect their sense of self worth. One of the themes that’s repeated in my stories is the fact that, until you love yourself, you’re not capable of loving someone else. I want my characters to be strong and to believe in themselves before they truly find love.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Learn the basic skills and don’t quit. If you don’t write the book, it’s not got a chance in hell of selling. J
Who are your favorite authors?
The list is endless: Angela Knight, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christine Feehan, Devyn Quinn, Lori Handeland, Jackie Ivie, Robyn Carr, Elizabeth Amber, MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, Anne Stuart....and I’m just reading spines on my bookshelf!
What are you reading right now?
Jackie Ivie’s Lady of the Knight. Just finished Elizabeth Amber’s Nicholas from the Lords of Satyr series, and Devyn Quinn’s Flesh and the Devil. Every one is wonderful!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The seventh title in the ongoing erotic series from Kensington Aphrodisia, Wolf Tales IV is Tinker McClintock’s story.
Tinker has always been a man apart, separated not only by color but by his sense of always being out of place. When he meets Lisa Quinn working at a wolf sanctuary in Colorado, Tinker feels as if he’s finally come home—but home is not necessarily the safest place. Danger threatens not only the wolves, but Tinker and Lisa as well. Lucian Stone and Tia Mason join them in a powerful tale of rescue, love and revelation, and Tinker learns the true strength behind the alpha bitch he loves.
High Mountain Wolf Sanctuary, Colorado
If she sat very still, the wolves ignored her, even now in the failing light of dusk. Ignored her, though it was obvious they'd come searching for her. Lisa Quinn heard the zing of mosquitoes near her ear, sensed the encroaching coolness as night settled in, but she focused exclusively on the pack of seven wolves circled around the flat stone where she sat. They waited, sitting just as still as she, watching.
She recognized the alpha male and female, though even after observing this group for over a week she still couldn't keep their four half-grown pups straight without checking the tags in their ears. An older, grizzled male sat off to one side. He was badly scarred, one ear torn and his muzzle all tinged with gray. Lisa nodded to him, giving the respect his years had earned.
The wolf blinked, almost as if he acknowledged her greeting.
There was something magical about this time of night. Magic in the way their amber eyes glowed as darkness enfolded them, magic in the silence, the sense of otherworldliness, the connection Lisa experienced as the dark bodies faded into shadow until only the shining fire in their eyes remained.
She lived for this moment in time, this sense that the beasts reached out to her, spoke to her. Though their thoughts were merely jumbled images, visual representations without language, the feeling of communication lingered long after each member of the pack finally turned away and glided silently back into the forest.
Lisa sat very still even after the last wolf had gone. Sat with her legs folded in the standard lotus position, her hands resting lightly on her knees, her body trembling with energy and something deeper, more confusing. Arousal? Yes, she was sexually aroused.
It made no sense. None at all, but there was no denying the sexual energy coursing through her veins, throbbing between her legs, making her breasts ache. She breathed deeply, exhaled, took another breath and felt the tension slowly begin to ebb.
A symphony of night sounds slowly built around her, but still she held her position, all the while reevaluating the past few minutes, considering how those minutes connected with all the years of her life. As she pondered the details, the sensual feelings faded even more, but the awareness remained. The sense of self, of connection.
Why now? Why here, in the midst of wolves, when she'd never found a sense of belonging among human society? Questions. Always more questions, when she'd hoped so much for answers. Dreams had led her to this place over two years ago, dreams that took her though the forest, running with wolves, thinking as a wolf, being wolf.
Only in her dreams.
For the very first time, though, tonight they'd come to her. Come as if they expected her, as if they needed her. For what? It was more than mere curiosity about the woman. Almost as if they needed answers just as she did. So many nights she'd sat here, aware of their presence as they hovered, unseen in the woods. Tonight, they'd shown themselves. Honored her with their powerful, feral presence.
Unsettled her with their disquiet. Lisa felt a small shiver run down her spine and wished it away, unwilling to lose the basic sense of this night.
Truly a magical moment. A time to savor. A memory to hold and hopefully, to repeat tomorrow and the night after that. Finally, after a lifetime spent searching, Lisa felt as if there might actually be answers to some if not all of her questions.
The corners of her mouth twitched at the thought. There would always be more to wonder about. All was never as it seemed. For all the sense of serenity about this place, mysteries hovered in the background.
Wolves gone missing. Four now, over the past two years? The shroud of guilt she bent beneath, that the disappearances began the month Lisa was hired, never fully left her. If only the wolves could tell. Tonight, the sense of communion Lisa felt had carried the whisper of answers.
She clung to that possibility, saw it as a destination after so many years spent wandering. Lisa's thoughts drifted from the poverty and anger of her dysfunctional childhood home to years of battling demons she'd not been able to name. The homeless encampment where she'd lived for a time under a Florida bridge was as far removed from this forest haven as she could imagine.
Caught in her unsavory memories, the questions and her fragile hope for something better, Lisa drifted with her thoughts. She'd felt the suspicion cast her way over the missing wolves and done her best to send it back. She found comfort in the dream she'd had last night and felt her heart speed up as her mind took her on a race through the forest, running with her packmates beside her. She was miles away and years beyond when a bright beam of light cut a swath through the darkness. She blinked and shielded her eyes when it found her.
“Shit. Quinn? Is that you? What the hell are you doing out here in the dark?”
“Hal?” Damn. Mr. Suspicious himself, her supervisor, Hal Anderson. She gritted her teeth in an effort to keep her mouth shut.
Anderson held the flashlight pointed directly at her eyes. “No one's allowed inside the pens after hours. Those gates are locked for a reason. The last thing we need is a mangled body come morning. You know the rules.”
Shaken rudely out of her meditative state, Lisa slowly unwound her legs and rose to her feet. She made a big point of stepping off the flat rock and moving into Hal's comfort zone. Lisa liked the fact she was taller than her boss. Enjoyed watching him take that involuntary step backward and duck his head in a typically submissive gesture without realizing what he'd done.
In fact, she liked the feeling as much as she disliked the man. He'd never come right out and accused Lisa to her face of any connection to the missing wolves, but his suspicions had long been whispered about among the rest of the staff. Despite her dislike of the man, Lisa stood comfortably with hands on hips. “If no one's allowed, then why are you here, Hal?”
He stepped back another pace, apparently caught off guard by her question. Then he recovered and puffed up his chest. All it did was make him look like an irritated little rooster. “I'm in charge of this sanctuary and I go where I damned well please.” He patted the holster strapped to his side as if the sidearm gave him the authority his size couldn't. “Now get out of here. Don't let me find you this side of the fence after dark, or your ass is gone. I'm not kidding, Quinn. You know the rules.”
“Oh, I know the rules all right.” She threw an extra bit of sway into her hips as she brushed by him, knowing exactly how much it would irritate the little tyrant. “I'm just wondering if you do.”
She also wondered what Anderson was doing out here after dark. Had he been casting suspicion her way to take it off someone else...like himself? Lisa felt his gaze on her until she took a turn in the trail that dropped her into a stretch of deep forest and the path back to the main gate. She felt the wolves, as well. Felt their presence without hearing or seeing them. Knew they protected her.
Just as she knew, without any doubt at all, that they hated and possibly feared Hal Anderson.
""...Wolf Tales IV is a very hot and erotically charged book! ...The sex in this book is enough to light anyone’s fire, but there are deep love and emotional bonds there as well, which made the book that much more special. The author’s grasp of how to keep a story going with multiple characters is unsurpassed, in my estimation. It is my hope that Ms. Douglas will continue her Wolf Tales series for years to come!"
-- Regina from Coffee Time Romance
"...Erotic, spellbinding and intricately woven, Wolf Tales IV will have readers crying out for more of this series by bestselling author Kate Douglas...The plotline was superb in this story, with a touch of mystery thrown in to keep readers on the edge of their seats in anticipation. I cannot wait to read the next installment of Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas!"
-- Amanda Haffery from Just Erotic Romance Reviews
Wolf Tales IV by Kate Douglas
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
Release Date: July 2007
Genre: Paranormal Romance
$9.07 from Kensingtonbooks.com
Purchase Wolf Tales IV by Kate Douglas HERE!!!