Today’s guest is the fabulous Vivian Arend who writes most awesome werewolves among other things. Ig you haven’t read her yet, you really have been missing out…
I love going new places.
I’ve visited the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Wandered through Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. I’ve strolled along the Rhine and poled a gondola in Venice. Bought frites from an open-air market in Holland, suntanned on the beaches of Mallorca in Spain.
But when my hubby says, “We’re taking a holiday,” my thoughts tend toward hiking boots, not hotels. Outhouses, not Opera Houses.
It seems many times I’ve been on the road less traveled. An eight-hour traverse between high altitude huts in the Alps of Austria. Canoeing the Yukon River, or hiking the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada—the experiences of a lifetime now a part of my soul.
That same spirit of adventure carries over into the writing world and I find myself drawn to stories that tell of exploits that venture beyond the contemporary world. Fabulous writers like Lauren, who takes us into a future amidst the stars. Or Tracy, who stretches the boundaries and shifts us into a sensual new world with dragons as a reality.
Visiting new places makes me happy.
A couple of summers ago, my family took a trip to Vancouver Island. We loaded up our kayaks, and for ten days paddled the waters of the Pacific around the Broken Group Islands on the west coast. I fell in love with the ocean all over again. From that trip a story emerged, Stormchild.
It’s a different direction with a bit of an otherworld feel to it. It’s a place that doesn’t exist, but could. And I love visiting places like that, if only in a story.
These elements have no desire to be tamed…
As the new traveling doctor for the Pacific Inside Passage settlements, Matthew Jentry balances dual roles for his water-shifter people—caring for their health as a human-trained physician, and for their spiritual needs as a shaman.
Distractions of the female kind are not on his agenda, but his magical bloodline makes him a target for every marriage-minded woman within range. There’s something about the mysterious Laurin Marshall, though, that he finds far too enticing. It’s just as well that it’s time for him to move on.
Laurin thought she had perfected her guise as a mild-mannered teacher, but the sexual fireworks she and Matt touch off are threatening to blow her cover out of the water. Luckily it’s time for her to catch the boat to her next assignment.
When she discovers she’ll be sailing with Matt, she realizes there’s only one thing more dangerous than their unforgettable one-night stand—being trapped with him on a boat that gives “riding out the storm” a whole new meaning…
Warning: Contains strong sexual currents and powerful waves of desire that break down inhibitions. Recommended only for those able to navigate through extremely steamy situations, on land and at sea.
Click the “more” link to read a fabulous excerpt and to see today’s question!!!
The light faded from the sky, twilight’s streaks coloring the horizon over the ocean. Matt paced carefully, his bare feet comfortable against the still-warm sands. The puzzle presented by the matriarch tugged at his mind again like an undercurrent dragging him out of his path. A shifter who couldn’t shift—for the People of the Sea it would be like never learning to walk. Until they were as at home in the water as on land, a person would never truly fit in.
On impulse, he angled farther down the beach toward where the young people gathered around a large bonfire. Perhaps he’d be able to spot the girl amongst her friends, get a feel for her trouble without frightening her. Although he couldn’t imagine why she was scared to see the shaman. The strains of guitar music rose on the air and ahead he spotted couples cuddled together around the heat of the blaze.
His gaze caught on a smaller circle farther inland, a group of laughing mothers watching protectively from their beach chairs a few metres away. The children played an intricate game involving switching positions and hiding a shiny shell of abalone. A woman knelt in their midst, her head thrown back in laughter, straight blonde hair tousled around her shoulders.
His body tightened. There was something more provocative in her uninhibited moment of delight than in all the sensual beauty he’d seen during the earlier dance. He watched with a growing ache in his groin as she joined a child in the outer circle and the game carried on around them.
Dark eyes, light skin. She must be a visitor to the people. He’d never seen a fair-haired shifter among the orca clans, and Mama T would have told him about such an anomaly. The woman hadn’t been one of the many of the settlement on whom he’d done a routine physical exam during the past two weeks. He rejoiced he’d avoided having to give her an examination when the mere sight of her heated his blood and drove his desire insanely high.
He had to meet her.
Another burst of giggles rose from the children as he changed directions to enter the circle. Childish voices cried out in greeting. No matter where he went, it was the little ones who made his heart sing the loudest, and he longed for the day he would have his own. He would sire them and raise them and they would remain a family. He swore this would happen, no matter what traditions were held amongst the shamans.
He exchanged hugs, accepted kisses and waved a greeting to the mothers who watched cautiously. A few blushed, but most looked pleased to have their offspring gain his attention. Then he slowly turned his focus to her. Savoring the moment, prolonging the time until their eyes met.
Midnight-filled orbs stared back, the curve of her cheek creamy white in contrast with her dark lashes. Her full lips drew him, the bottom one glistening where she’d licked it seconds earlier. He dropped his gaze slowly down her torso, not even trying to hide how attractive he found her curves and modest shift.
“You gonna play?” Small hands pulled him to the sand ahead of his response. He sank into position gratefully.
A mischievous smile tugged at the corner of the woman’s mouth as she looked him over. “You know how to play the game?”
He knelt upright in the middle of the circle and nodded. Surprise flashed in her eyes before he covered his face with his hands and the chanting began. Around him, small bodies moved and singsong voices echoed with the tune of a thousand years of tradition. When they stopped, another of the contrasts between the People of the Sea and the children of the human world grew apparent.
Utter silence surrounded him.
He removed his hands and let his eyes adjust to the dim light offered by the distant fire. All the childish voices were still, hands quiet, faces blank. Matt observed carefully before moving toward one of the pairs of children. They stared back with soft smiles, and he grinned. He traced their arms with a light tickling motion. They never moved.
A giggle broke free behind him and he spun. The culprit calmed her expression seconds too late and Matt crawled across the sand on his hands and knees, growling like a ferocious beast. The others laughed as he focused his attention on the noisemaker and her partner.
Oh sweet Lord, his mysterious woman sat behind the child.
He froze for a moment until her flashing eyes taunted him. Brushing the little girl’s arms gave far too little opportunity to brace himself for the next step. The blonde sat motionless, moonlight turning her hair into a glowing beacon. He took his time, running his palms along her silky flesh instead of using his fingertips like he had on the children. The caress of skin on skin made his mouth go dry and his body harden further with desire.
It was a child’s game and he was getting turned on. There was no mercy in the world.
The child in her lap shifted and knocked against his arm. His fingers grazed the side of the woman’s breast and she sucked in a gasp of air. He wanted to ignore the fact her nipple hardened instantly, but his gaze had locked on her torso like on a target.
Where the hell had she been for the past two weeks? Because all his righteous plans about remaining celibate were floating out on the evening tide. If there was any justice, any magic in the world, they were meant to be together. Even if it was just for one night.
Today’s question: To win an ebook copy of Stormchild and Tidal Wave, another shifter story by Vivian—What kind of adventure holiday would you be most likely to take part in? One that involves hiking, boating, biking, or skiing? Or something else?