Recently I’ve heard a lot of people talk about paranormal burnout and it’s a little hard for me to relate, not only as a writer but as a reader. After all, I can’t remember ever not being interested in stories with a paranormal slant and that was before I discovered romance. I loved the YA books Lois Duncan put out in the 80’s…psychics, haunted dolls, and astral projecting evil twins (Eek!). As a teen, I was a big fan of horror and fantasy, from the epic to the contemporary. Discovering romance was a revelation to me and paranormal romance, heaven.
What I think is exciting about paranormal romance today is that authors are beginning to draw more heavily from the fantasy and horror genres for inspiration and are using non-traditional characters, plots and mythologies on which to build their worlds. They’re keeping what I love about paranormal alive—the dark and dangerous stories set on the outskirts of human society, the mystery of the hidden, forgotten and unknown. At the same time, they’re exploring the boundaries of the genre, expanding it and creating fresh new worlds in the process.
It’s what I’ve tried to do with Lost City Shifters. For those new to the series…
The stories revolve around the Yaguara, a tribe of jaguar shapeshifters living deep in the Amazon jungle. For centuries they’ve inhabited an ancient city well beyond the influence of human culture.
Their society is traditional, isolationist and based on the premise that strength is the highest virtue.
They’re ruled by a King who’s earned his place in a bloody tournament of succession.
They resent human intrusion into their territory and are distrustful of them to the extent that until the events which take place in Mercy, taking a human mate was forbidden.
There’s an ongoing conflict between those who want to deal head on with the reality of human encroachment and a more traditional group clinging with increasing desperation to the old ways.
From this world comes the story of my newest release, Redemption. Adriano was caught in a power struggle, used as a scapegoat and sent into exile. Five years later, he wants nothing more than to be able to return home. He’s on the brink of recovering a priceless artifact from a damaged archaeological site in Peru, knowing that the Yaguara can’t afford to let it fall into human hands and confident that he’ll be able to exchange it for a pardon.
Sophie is the inquisitive and hard-working archaeologist who keeps getting in his way. Adriano’s plan to seduce her as a distraction backfires and what follows is a fast-paced adventure through a labyrinthine tunnel system hidden beneath the ruins.
I’ve been told that what people enjoy most about the series is its different take on shapeshifters. Well, that and the fact that love doesn’t magically transform these predators into pussycats. So what do you say, is there room for a little paranormal love in your heart?
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