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Monday, April 01, 2013

Kate Douglas—Spirit Wild, Book 1: Dark Wolf


Lee, thanks so much for inviting me to blog with you—I’m thankful to have something to take my mind off the fact that Dark Wolf is releasing in just thirty days. I’ve been so anxious for this story to come out, and it’s like waiting for Christmas when you’re a kid. The closer it gets, the longer the days seem to be!

For those who’ve not heard about my new Kensington Aphrodisia series, Spirit Wild, the first book, Dark Wolf, is set in the same Chanku world as Wolf Tales and Sexy Beast. When the series opens, the children of the original packmates are grown and living in a world that knows shapeshifters exist, but the offspring are dealing with a certain amount of discrimination and xenophobia—they’re smart, beautiful, and they don’t appear to age, something the rest of the population is beginning to take note of, and resent.

Lily Cheval is running her father’s company, Cheval International, in San Francisco. Most of the older generation from the original pack live in Montana on the original Cheval property. They’ve got independent nation status and get along well with their neighbors in the community of Kalispell—until a series of gruesome attacks on young women occur in both the Kalispell area and the San Francisco Bay Area. Each of the attacks is the same—a young woman brutally raped and then torn apart by wild beasts. All clues point to wolves and men working together, or, as many suspect, a rogue Chanku shapeshifter.

As tensions between Chanku and humans grow, Lily meets a fascinating young man, the son of a wizard suspected of practicing dark magic. Sebastian is nothing like his father, though he is also a powerful magician, able to shift to wolf form by magic means, not genetics. Suspicion over the attacks falls on Sebastian—he’s been in Montana and the San Francisco Bay Area whenever a murder has occurred, and he can take on both wolf and human form, but Lily senses the good in him, even when things happen that make her wonder if perhaps she’s wrong about the man she has quickly begun to care about.

Dark Wolf is a totally new series using the Chanku world from the previous books, but this series stands alone. Here’s the scene where Sebastian first sees Lily—he’s heard of her, but she is so much more than he’s imagined—the setting is a ballroom where Lily is covering for her father who was the intended guest of honor:

If anything, he’d been aware of a growing sense of expectation. It wasn’t just him. Those around him kept glancing toward the entrance to the room, as if awaiting royalty. He knew the honoree wasn’t expected to attend. Had he missed something? The mayor was already here. Was the governor coming?
He decided to relax and see what happened. Whoever was keeping everyone busy casting surreptitious glances toward the door would eventually arrive and the mystery would be solved.
A soft sigh spread across the huge room, as if everyone exhaled at once. Sebastian realized that he turned in absolute synchronization with every other person in the room.
Silence fell, a few people pushed to get a better look. At times like this, he appreciated his above average height, because it was a simple thing merely to peer over the heads of those between him and the entry.
There was a small cluster of people blocking the wide doorway into the ballroom, but they moved aside as if clearing way for royalty. Sebastian realized he’d lifted a bit to his toes in order to see who or what everyone was looking at.
The final person moved out of his line of vision.
Sebastian’s breath caught in his throat.
She was taller than average, as slim and graceful as any woodland creature, and yet when she turned and gazed in his direction, he sensed pure predator beneath the tawny curls that cascaded in wild disarray over her shoulders and waving around her slim hips.
Without a doubt, he’d never seen anyone as lovely or as mesmerizing in his entire life. The woman smiling and greeting those who met her like subjects bowing to a queen, moved within an aura of light and color that jolted his psychic senses on a level never before touched.
He’d always seen auras—they were a normal part of his vision and he rarely thought much of them. They were a part of the whole, just as important in his perception of each individual as the color of their hair or the shade of their eyes.
He’d never seen anyone like this woman. She moved in a shimmer of russet and gold, but the brilliance of her aura actually reflected in the physical plane, shimmering over her gown in a scarlet wave of light and life. So many shades of red, from the deepest blood red to a shade bordering on orange.
She wore her will, her power and her energy like a crimson cloak, radiating life and courage, and enough blatant sensuality that he felt the connection clear across the room.
His body reacted on a level totally separate from his brain, though he wondered how many other men in the room were suddenly as aroused as he was. He sensed a thread of desire drawing all of them closer, but he fought the pull. Fought the need that pulsed deep and steady on a level he’d never once experienced.
He planted his feet, even though they wanted to move. He felt his wolf rise and forced that creature back as well.
Who was she?
What was she?
He stared at her as she raised her eyes and glanced in his direction. Then she quickly turned away, and once again appeared to focus on the small crowd that pushed closer. He recognized the mayor and a few city officials, but they were nothing. No one of interest. Only the woman.
His heart thundered in his chest with the certainty that she was every bit as aware of him as he was of her. He pushed, sending a soft yet powerful mental command, calling her to him.
She fought him. Smiling, shaking hands, sharing air kisses with one person after another, she slowly worked her way across the room. Her aura spiked, the red growing brighter, stronger, and he knew she drew on her own psychic power as she continued to ignore him.
Look at me. Now. Raise your head and look at me.
I think not. You’re much too pushy.
Stunned, Sebastian took a step backward. She’d heard him. Heard him and answered him telepathically. She’d not raised her head, not looked his way, but she’d still managed to put him in his place.
Damn. She was absolutely magnificent.
He started slowly across the room, working his way through the throng that continued moving in her direction, as if they merely needed a chance to be close, to touch her hand, to speak to her.
The same way he did. He might have felt like a fool, except she was so obviously enjoying herself, so entirely involved in the people pressing all around that he couldn’t deny the joy he felt in her pleasure.
It was as if she took the good will of those around her and sent it back tenfold. His father had charisma, but he couldn’t touch this young woman. She was charisma personified, a veritable magnet, drawing everyone to her. Who in the hell was she?
He turned to a matronly woman standing beside him. She, too, was trying to get close. “I don’t know who she is? That woman who just came in. Do you?”
She looked at him as if he’d just stepped out of a cave. “Why, that’s Lily Cheval. Her father is the one being honored tonight. He couldn’t be here, so Lily’s attending in his place.”
Lily Cheval. He should have known. “Thank you,” he said, but the woman had managed to move a few steps ahead and wasn’t paying him any attention at all. Her focus, hell, the focus of every person in the room, was entirely on Ms. Cheval.
Sebastian turned his head and studied her again. His father had lied. She wasn’t merely attractive, she was absolutely breathtaking. From her waist-length tawny curls to the dark caramel skin barely covered in some sort of fabric that flashed like dark fire.
With the crimson flame of her aura all around, she was a burning torch of pure sensual energy. The crowd had moved closer now, and Sebastian was no more than ten or twelve feet from her.
She raised her head, and he was drowning. Drowning in eyes of deepest amber, eyes so pure, yet filled with so many secrets, he didn’t care if he never found the surface again.
A sharp pain pierced his skull, a sense of intrusion, of foul air and darkness.
Sebastian blinked. Lily stared at him for a brief moment. Her aura spiked a brilliant lavender, then faded to a muddy brown. Her eyes went wide, her hand went to her throat. Slowly, gracefully, she crumpled to the floor.
~~~*~~~
I hope that gives you something to think about until the book comes out on April 30! And while I don’t have copies to give away as prizes, yet, I do have copies of some of the original Wolf Tales books, including some of the older titles. I’ll choose one winner, and we’ll see if I have any of the ones you might be missing to send as your prize.

Kate Douglas

***Kate's winner is Cheryl Lemon!  Please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your mailing information.  Thanks!***

34 comments:

Mary Kirkland said...

Oh Kate, I am so looking forward to reading this new book. I can hardly wait! You know I have been enjoying your books for a long time.

miztik_rose@yahoo.com

Vickie Milizia said...

I love this series by Kate Douglas! She's the one that got me hooked on shifters! Thanks!

Michelle Ahrens said...

Can't wait for the new series!! Love your books!!!

Patsy Hughes said...

I have followed the Chanku for years now and Kate never disappoints. Its a wild ride that will have you crying and laughing and on the edge of your seat. You won't want to put the books down till you have reached the end, then you want more. The characters are sexy, smart and loving. They love their mates and packmates like nobodies business. If you haven't read the series then you are missing out on the fun and the wonderful world of Kate Douglas.

Mary Jo said...

30 Days!! So excited it is finally here (almost). Can't wait to read the next generation. I know I'll love it. Thanks for the peep.

Lee Hyat said...

just testing...

Kate Douglas said...

Will try this again--7th attempt. I think Blogger is playing an April Fool's joke on me, but I'm not laughing. :-(

Thank you, Mary! We met at the Running With Quills blog, didn't we? It's been a while! I do hope you enjoy the story--Lily has always been a favorite of mine.

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you Vickie--finally! The site is letting me post. So glad to hear I've helped drag you over to the dark side!

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you, Michelle! I'm really anxious, too. And I know how it ends...LOL. New books coming out make me very nervous...

Kate Douglas said...

Ah, Patsy...you're making me blush! Thank you--I think that's the ultimate fantasy--a world where love, honor and integrity are what count, where men and women are equals, but can still appreciate one another's strengths.

As the ultimate control freak, I love the fact that I can make my imaginary world any way that I want--and I want hot, sexy guys who are decent, strong men, and self-confident women who love strong men but don't necessarily defer to them unless it's the right thing to do.

Kate Douglas said...

Hey Mary Jo! I hope you love it, too. Lily is such a fascinating character to write--and Sebastian turned out to be even better than I originally imagined. I love it when that happens!

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks, Lee. For whatever reason, it's not talking to Chrome today. Internet Explorer is letting me post, but even that took a couple of tries. Need to let my readers know that if their not able to post, to try IE.

erin said...

Congrats to Kate on the new release! I love the sound of this book :) definitely going to be added to my wishlist!

Kristy Overton said...

My husband is under strict orders to surprise me with Dark Wolf for my birthday.
I am also pleased you are giving away your older books because my Pitt rescue chewed up WT 1-3.
I'm so excited!
P.S. Phoenix said your Chanku are delicious.

Mary Kirkland said...

Yeah, that's where we met. Blogger has been having problems all day.

Eli Yanti said...

Congrts on new release Katie, love the cover of this book :)

Stefanie said...

Congrats on the new release, it looks great!!!!

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks, Erin. This one is sexy like Wolf Tales, but there's more action, more intrigue and more everything! Lily was not a quiet child, and she's definitely a powerful adult--and very demanding, as heroines of stories go...hope you like it!

Kate Douglas said...

Kristy, you really need to have a chat with your Pitt...unless of course, he realized there were WOLVES between the covers and was protecting you... :-)

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks, Eli. It will be out in 27 days--my 30th release from Kensington Publishing since January 2006. And I agree: love the cover. What's neat is that is exactly how I pictured Sebastian Xenakis when I was writing the story. I was absolutely shocked when I saw it and realized they'd captured the look of him perfectly. That so rarely happens. (and please--I am so NOT a Katie... :-)

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you, Stefanie! I am really hoping readers like this new series of Chanku stories.

Cheryl Lemon said...

Kate - Trying for the fifth time to post. Really love the excert above. Was waiting for you to continue the Wolf Tale line. And from what I read above it will be great. Cheryl

Kate Douglas said...

aaarrrgggghhh...."...they're not able..." Sheesh. And I are a writer.

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks, Cheryl. And thank you for perservering! Much appreciated. I'm really hoping readers enjoy this new take on the Chanku.

vishal naiker said...

lovely cover images....



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Kayla Boman said...

Congrats on the new release! And definitely a great cover choice!!

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you. This is by far my favorite of all my book covers from Kensington, and the first that absolutely captures the hero in the story as well as the story itself. Credit goes to Shane Rebenschied (blot.com) who is an amazingly talented artist.

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks, Kayla. I'd love to say I had a part in the cover development, but I get no say in it at all, though I'm definitely thrilled with the one for Dark Wolf.

DorisJ said...

Hi Kate, I am so excited for this new adventure in lives of the Chanku. They always take me to a place where I can relax after a long day. Impatiently waiting for the release!!!!

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you, Doris. That's the best part about reading--and writing. Getting so caught up in the story that it takes you out of the real world and deep inside the fantasy. I always prefer my Chanku world to the real one!

Patsy Hughes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristy Overton said...

Have the winners been chosen yet?

Kate Douglas said...

Not yet, Kristy. I'll check with Lee and find out when I should do that. Thanks for the reminder...I swear the days just fly by and I'm so behind on everything!

Kate Douglas said...

It appears Lee has already selected a winner and her name is noted at the end of my post.

Cheryl Lemon is the winner. Congrats, Cheryl. I've mailed you privately, and thanks to everyone for stopping by.