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About the author:
Mixing sensual with emotional, her Bear Valley Shifters series will call on all emotions, and leave readers with a smile.
What inspired you to write your book?
My love of reading shifter romance transformed into a love of writing it.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Rumbling deep in his throat, the sound of Benson Riker’s blood lust overpowered the roll of distant thunder. A drop of rain fell on his nose, and he twitched his head to rid himself of the obnoxious droplet that tickled the short fur there. Bears of every size and color were lined up to his left and right. He paced and emitted another low growl that hummed against his chest.
His parents had chosen wrong. After years of living on the outskirts of bear shifter law, they’d finally picked a clan. One with enemies.
Rain pattered on the leaves of the forest behind him, the opening clouds like unhappy gods shedding tears over the blood they would spill today. The falling water kicked up the scent of moist soil, and the air filled with ozone and wet fur. His paws, larger than the bears around him, made bowls in the mud, which filled with water and reflected the face of a raging beast.
This rival clan wasn’t here to meet others of their kind, or to discuss boundary disputes. They were here for a hostile takeover, to claim Bear Valley as theirs. Clan law allowed shifter warfare over territory. It happened in nature, so why not for shifters? Except they were more than just bears. They were human, too.
Movement through the mist swayed trees and drew his angry gaze. His lips curled over his teeth with the promise of destruction. Over his dead body would these strangers come into his territory and take the home he’d found.
A great grizzly stepped from the forest. His fur shook with every heavy step he took and the shifter’s eyes seemed to hold Riker—challenge him. The alpha of the Long Claw Clan was enormous and scarred from the battles he’d waged. As the woods moved with his warriors, he roared into the early morning storm. His breath clashed against the cool wind in a puff of steam as the battle cry filled the clearing.
Old Rodge, Bear Valley’s alpha, stepped forward and stood on his hind legs, then bellowed his acceptance.
Riker cast a narrow look at his sister, Jenny, before he charged. If they died today, it would be in the pursuit of protecting clan territory. Their deaths would be honorable and mean something.
The others ran beside him, picking up speed as mud flew from divots in the wet earth under their feet. Red rage filled Riker, spreading to the pads of his paws and spurring him on until he was as close to flying as a bear shifter could get. He’d kill them all for trespassing here. For putting his family, his people, the cubs of the clan in danger.
The Long Claw Clan rushed at them in a blur of raging motion, and Riker’s pounding heart urged him faster still.
He hit a chestnut colored brown bear with the force of a runaway train. Biting, clawing and slapping—the sound of braying battle permeated the clearing. The wind whipped at his matted fur, and settled the scent of warm blood into the sensitive lining of his nose. It was the blood of his people and his fury pulsed and grew until it was infinite.
Minutes stretched and the mud beneath his paws turned red as the battle raged and bears fell. He roared as he raked his claws against a dark grizzly’s neck and turned to fight another. The air had chilled and he stood alone among the dead. Vacant eyes stared back at him and furry mounds, no longer breathing, scattered the clearing like ancient boulders.
So much loss. So much wasted. Their kind dwindled and still they fought and died for territory when the real danger lay outside of clan politics, with the humans.
Riker turned and searched the bodies for a honey colored grizzly, smaller than the others. A short bark of panic heaved from his throat, steaming the air in front of his snout. As he looked from face to face, dread slammed into him.
Leaping over a pile of carnage, he almost landed on the naked body of a woman, curled up with her knees drawn to her chest. Blood and rain spotted her skin, and red streams ran down her back. Canting his head, he studied her. She was beautiful, striking with nut-brown hair that had darkened in the rain. Her nose was slightly turned up on the end, and if she was still alive, her eyes would be…green.
Riker’s heart beat erratically in a painful rhythm. He knew this woman. Her name was Hannah.
Straining his ears, he listened for her breathing, focused on a small, heart-shaped scar on the back of her exposed neck, but heard nothing. No breath, no fluttering heartbeat. Only silence and death filled the clearing.
Something ugly broke inside of him, and in desperation, he tried to pull her to him. His six inch claws sliced across the flesh of her arm and her blood spilled in rivers, filling the puddles around her.
No. He looked at the paws that had hurt her, the weapons of a monster that had maimed her fragile human body, and he stumbled backward.
A woman stood at the edge of the battlefield. Flowing robes cascaded around her waif thin frame despite the weather and her eyes were white, seeing nothing and everything all at once. She watched him with a solemn expression.
“I told you, Riker.” She shook her head and her eyes looked so sad. “I told you she’d break you.”