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About the author:
J.A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with the best husband in the world, aka Mr B, a couple of back-chatting but pretty cool kids, two pooches she treats likes the babies of the house, and a scrawny cat that likes to vomit in unnecessary places.
What inspired you to write your book?
Instinct features characters from my paranormal Holloway Pack series, and it allowed me to revisit the characters’ roots. I had a lot of fun with the time-setting, and did a lot of research to get the clothing and dialogue correct.
Here is a short sample from the book:
From Instinct by J.A. Belfield
Beside the forest stream, a fallen trunk from winter last provided a sufficient resting place for Jem. If James detected the hint of a human alongside a trail of my own, he would be furious, so it seemed the best area to take her, as the hunts rarely stretched that far to the northeast.
Her skirt splayed around her to drape over the log and moist ground, as her outstretched hands offered balance to her bowed back. The sun seeping through the branches lent a glow to her cheeks and raised chest.
Head resting against my linked fingers, I lay upon a blanket of twigs and scattered fern beside the riverbank and watched her face tilt toward the sky.
“It is quite beautiful here,” she said. “I have never been surrounded by such silence.”
“The forest is never silent, Jem.”
I heard plenty: the breeze and the susurrant whispers of its passing, the gurgles of the river as it travelled its merry journey, the chirp of fledglings in the highest of branches, scurrying, wings, pecking, the faint and distant gobbling of a fox.
“I hear nothing but the wind.”
“Because that is all you expect to hear.” I rolled up and knelt before her. “Close your eyes.”
Her chin lowered, and she narrowed her stare, but I brushed my fingers over her lids until they dropped and held my hand over them.
Leaning close to her ear, I whispered, “Trust me.”
“Is that another of your attempts at humour?”
“Do you find me amusing?”
“Not at all.”
I chuckled before hushing her to be quiet. “Listen carefully. What do you truly hear?”
It took immense effort to show restraint whilst so near. A tilt of my head revealed the hint of her small breasts, peeking from the bodice of her dress, and each intake of her scent sent shivers down my spine.
“The wind,” she whispered, her breath skating over my cheek.
“Not good enough. Try harder.”
The breeze she spoke of blew through on the river’s current and toyed with her hair. At that moment, I wished I were the wind, free to dance across her flesh, seep through her clothing, and explore the forbidden depths of her body beneath.
“Birds,” she said, her murmur drawing me back.
“What else?” I asked.
She gave a sigh before falling quiet.
Pulling back to study her, I smiled at her frown of concentration, and had urges I wished I didn’t have to suppress, as her lips parted to allow the passage of her breaths. When I moved back to her ear, her hair blew around to tickle my cheek, and her artery drummed against my jaw, matching the throb of my own below. Considering tasting her pulsation, I tilted my head toward the flesh there.
“I hear you, Mr Holloway,” she whispered, causing me to pause. “I hear your breaths and the beat of your heart.”
Leaning back, I removed my hand from her eyes, but she did not open them.
“There is gentle thunder somewhere deep within your chest,” she continued, and when she lifted her lids, her moist eyes glistened like two pools on a winter’s eve.
The urge to tear at her clothing, and relieve myself of the pressure her presence encouraged, rushed at me with the force of a malignant wolf. Yet, taking a deep breath that shuddered my shoulders, I did not. Rather, fingers cramping against fulfilling my needs, I took her hand and introduced her to more that the forest had to offer.
Oddly, my first day with a female I did not devour turned out to be one of my most favoured.