Aaaahhhh I love this couple, you guys! Marcus and Jessica are just so funny and sweet and sexy together. I had the best time writing their dialogue.
It wasn’t just Jessica’s question that had sent Marcus running—it was her scent, her smile, her curves. It didn’t matter that she was in the Junkyard against her will, by a total accident. He wanted her.
And fuck if that didn’t make him an even worse person than he’d felt before.
A helpless human woman was trapped in the Junkyard and he was no better than the other pricks in here, half-hard all the time just from the sweet floral scent that rose from her skin like some kind of drug.
This all-encompassing desire was going to be the death of him, he was sure of it.
I’ve been writing shifter romance since 2016—a little earlier if you count some terrible books which shall never see the light of day. However, I started reading shifter romance much earlier than that, probably in the early 2000s.
Early into my reading, I found that I loved the different paranormal “worlds” almost as much as the characters themselves. They each had their own set of rules, and I was eager to figure them out with each new series I picked up.
My Fierce Mates universe has a few rules that I wanted to follow from the start.
I wanted my shifters to be apex predators,
clothes don’t shift with my shifters,
there is no shifter virus—you’re either born a shifter or you don’t shift,
shifters can sense lies and other emotions along with having heightened senses, and
the “mundane” world is unaware of shifters and supernatural beings in general.
None of these rules is original in and of itself—I’m not treading new ground or anything like that.
Why have the rules to begin with? Isn’t it limiting? What if I want a hamster shifter? What if a story is just begging for a hapless heroine to be bitten by a wolf so she can become one, herself? Some might think that having the rules in place, and continuing them through several series, would be limiting. For me, however, it has been freeing. When I know the boundaries, I can play through them, stretching my universe where allowed. At times, I can subvert those rules. Shifters can sense lies…but what happens if they meet someone who can successfully lie to them? I tried that in my book Ruthless Misfitand I loved how it turned out. The hero, also a shifter, had been forced to hone dishonesty by a terrible childhood.
When I first started writing shifter romance, in my Sierra Pride series, the only paranormal beings present were shifters. But I never specifically said that vampires didn’t exist, so when I wanted to expand the universe in the Corona Pride series, I was able to do that. Recently, witches were added to the mix, and beings with different abilities, too.
Why not have these other supernatural characters from the start? To be honest, when I started in 2016, I didn’t know how far I was going to take my Fierce Mates world. I’d never published a book on my own, and if this whole independent author thing didn’t work out, I was fully prepared to walk away. But the Fierce Mates books started gathering a small, devoted audience. I needed to write more books. But I wasn’t going to be happy repeating the same stories over and over again, so I made the world bigger by introducing new groups and new supernatural creatures. Some shifters got new abilities—Matt in Ruthless Misfit can tell lies. Doug in Savage Penance can complete his shift from human to animal in half a second. Bryce in Ruthless Outlaw can walk through dreams.
This process has shown me the beauty of creativity, especially within the playground of the paranormal. As I develop a new series, Junkyard Shifters, I’m once again starting with the basics—shifters. And as the world expands, so do the possibilities.
I love puzzles. I’m a huge fan of Sudoku, but I also adore word searches! Here’s one I made for the Junkyard Shifters series. You can find the words here in the following image, or download a pdf to print out and work with on paper. ❤
Filthy Beast is out now! What?! I’m super excited about this one.
“That’s it, my beautiful Lena,” he whispered, then took her mouth in a kiss so hot, she thought she was melting from the inside. “I’m going to show you what it means to be mine.”
A little story from behind the scenes–I was wrecked by a couple parts in this book. Tear-my-heart-up, then sew-it-back-together wrecked. There was this one part, and I won’t spoil it by telling you what it was, that I knew was coming and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write. I kept having second thoughts, because I just did NOT want it to happen.
But, happen it did. And like all painful things, it helped the characters grow.
We are so close to Filthy Beast‘s release, and I am so eager to see this book out in the world! Carter and Lena were so tough on each other at first–especially Lena, coming from a situation that had taught her not to trust anyone–especially not anyone with violent tendencies. And Carter, well. He liked to fight.
If you haven’t preordered your copy yet, I suggest you get it now! I don’t want you to miss out on the preorder sale. Tap the cover below for the link. ❤
“I’ll stay and keep watch,” Carter said.
“No, thanks. I’ll be fine. You can go,” she said. It was a struggle to keep her voice even and light. “Goodnight.”
Her heart ached as he shifted into his bear and walked off into the wet woods, but in the end, neither of them had a claim on the other, and fate seemed to want to keep it that way.